In Memoriam: PPAI Hall of Fame Inductee Steve Slack
Stephen E. Slack, a 1992 inductee into the PPAI Hall of Fame and member of the PPAI Board of Directors from 1977 to 1981, passed away JUne 25 in Winter Park, Florida. He was 78.
Slack was instrumental in the relocation of the Association from Chicago to Dallas in 1977 and moving the annual trade show to the city. He served as vice chairman for two of his four years on the board; additionally, he served as chair of the PPAI Membership Services Committee for two years and was a volunteer on several other committees throughout his career.
A 25-time PPAI Pyramid Award winner, Slack founded distributorship Marquis Specialty Advertising in Winter Park in 1965 and later brought Marquis into the Geiger family, remaining as president of the operation. One of Slack’s more memorable promotions was a student-athlete fundraising effort for the University of Central Florida in the mid-1980s. The “UCF Gate-Crasher” event raised $1.2 million, the highest total in national collegiate fundraising at that time.
Slack was instrumental in redefining professional education for industry members. He participated in the PPAI Speakers Bureau for 10 years, presenting to colleges and universities as well as the U.S. Small Business Administration and more than 30 advertising clubs. Slack worked with fellow board member Tom Forrester to create the first Education Day in 1976 for PPAI’s annual trade show in Dallas. Later the two would expand it into a format that reached salespeople as well as owners and principals; Slack was a speaker at every Education Day from its inception in 1976 to 1984.
Slack also contributed significantly through his co-authorship of a key resource on the promotional products profession, Specialty Advertising: New Dimensions In Creative Marketing. Co-authored by marketing professor Dr. George Herpel, the text provided insights for both academic and business applications and became the standard publication for teaching about the industry. Slack’s model for developing promotions, given in a step-by-step illustration, was a prominent feature of the book.
Services for Slack, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, will be held Thursday, June 30, at Carey-Hand Cox Parker Funeral Home, 1350 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, Florida 32789. Visitation will be at 6 pm, followed by a service at 7 pm.
In August 2012, the PPAI Board of Directors voted to create a Hall of Fame Memorial Program utilizing PPEF’s Named Scholarships to honor Hall of Fame members for their lifetime contributions to the Association and industry. The board will match donations up to $2,500 to fulfill the $5,000 commitment needed to create a Named Scholarship through PPEF. To date, HOF Named Scholarships have been created in memory of Gene Cesario, Marvin Spike and H.D. Joe Stratton.
To make a gift to establish a scholarship in Steve Slack’s name, send a check payable to PPEF mentioning Slack in the memo line and mail it to PPEF, 3125 Skyway Circle North, Irving, Texas 75038. Gifts can also be made online at www.ppef.us. Click on Donate and enter the gift as a Memorial/Honorary donation.