David Woods, MAS, and Janelle Nevins Named PPAI 2018 Hall Of Fame Inductees
PPAI has named David Woods, MAS, retired president and CEO of Neenah, Wisconsin, distributor AIA Corporation, and the late Janelle Nevins, formerly senior vice president at Silver Spring, Maryland-based distributor Summit Group (PPAI 105050), as the 2018 PPAI Hall of Fame inductees. The announcement was made today at the PPAI North American Leadership Conference in Austin, Texas.
“PPAI is incredibly proud to induct Janelle and David into the Hall of Fame,” says Paul Bellantone, CAE, PPAI president and CEO. “This honor is well deserved. They have made extraordinary contributions over their careers to the Association, the promotional products industry and the communities they have served.”
Since 1977, the PPAI Hall of Fame has been honoring leaders in the promotional products industry who have had an impact on the industry and their communities. The industry has grown and prospered because of the creative spark and dedication of many, but the Hall of Fame inductees’ selfless efforts and devotion to the industry are monumental.
Woods’ retirement last year from AIA Corporation concluded an industry career that began in 1991 when he joined the Lee Wayne Company as president and CEO. In that role, he built a strong team and restored the distributor’s profitability and sales, and led its sale to HALO Promotional Products in 1993. He continued to lead Lee Wayne until he was promoted to executive vice president of HALO Promotional Products, and he served briefly as president of HALO International and senior vice president of HALO Corp.
In 2002, Woods was asked to join PPAI as COO while the Association was moving The PPAI Expo from Dallas to Las Vegas. He oversaw internal operations of the Association during the move, freeing up its leadership team to manage the intricacies of establishing Expo in Las Vegas. With an established track record of managing diverse organizations through transitions, Woods was recruited in 2003 by 4imprint to stabilize and turn around AIA, then known as Adventures In Advertising. Under his leadership and with the team he assembled, the distributor’s business conditions and outlook improved, and in 2005, Woods led a private equity buyout of AIA. PPB magazine named AIA one of the 12 Greatest Companies To Work For in 2014, and Counselor selected it as one its Best Places To Work for five years in a row, from 2012 to 2016.
Woods’ professional history is characterized by extensive volunteer service and leadership, and his relationship with PPAI spans 25 years. He served two terms on the PPAI Board of Directors, from 1997 to 2002 and from 2008 to 2011, and led it as chair in 2000. He served on the International Committee from 2002 to 2006 and was chair from 2004 to 2006. He was also a member of the Strategic Planning Committee from 1997 to 2002 and the Events Action Group from 1993 to 1997, and served as chair from 1995 to 1997. In addition, Woods served on the Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF) Board of Trustees from 2005 to 2009.
Janelle Nevins began her career in education and discovered the promotional products industry while on maternity leave. She started working part-time at a marketing business owned by her husband and father-in-law, and her 34-year career in the industry grew from there. Nevins landed Coca-Cola as a client with a cold call, launching her love for the industry. Coca-Cola became her most prestigious and largest account, with Nevins serving as a liaison between its field and corporate offices. In the following decades, Nevins Marketing Group grew into a prominent Atlanta-area presence in the promotional products industry, and later became a part of the Summit Group.
An active member of the promotional products industry’s trade associations, Nevins served on the PPAI Board of Directors from 2003 to 2006, as well as on a number of the Association’s committees and councils. She served on the Public Relations Committee, the PPAI Centennial Committee, the Conventions Advisory Council, the Public Relations Advisory Council and the Distributors Advisory Council. Outside of PPAI, she was active in the Georgia Association of Promotional Products (GAPPP) and joined its board in 2000.
Nevins was named the ASI Person of the Year in 1998 and the Counselor Person of the Year in 1999, and was a founder of the PeerNet Group, an alliance of promotional products and marketing distributors. Nevins passed away in August 2012 after a long illness.
In 2013, she was honored posthumously as a recipient of the PPAI Woman of Achievement Award, and in 2016 was the first inductee to the Georgia Association Of Promotional Products Professionals (GAPPP) Hall of Fame.
Induction into the PPAI Hall of Fame reflects the legacies of Woods and Nevins, and their contributions to the promotional products industry and their communities. Their induction ceremony will take place during the Chairman’s Leadership Dinner on January 15, 2018, at The PPAI Expo in Las Vegas.