In Memoriam: PPAI Hall Of Fame Member Lorraine Hempen, CAS
Lorraine Hempen, CAS, a former PPAI board member and an inductee into the Association’s Hall of Fame, passed away on December 15. She was 87.
Hempen spent her entire career with the Joseph Lipic Pen Company starting after college as secretary to the sales manager and retiring 55 years later in 2002 when the company closed its doors. Hempen broke ground for women in the industry. When she started in the promotional products field in 1947, there were only three other women working in the industry, and none served on any of the industry’s committees. In her nomination to the PPAI Hall Of Fame in 2008, she wrote, “When I entered the industry, you had to show professionalism and could not demand recognition for your service or abilities but had to earn it the hard way. As a woman, you had to maintain your role as a woman but display professionalism, be ethical, be a person of your word and really work twice as hard as a man to get any type of recognition.
“I recall when attending my first exhibitor show, a distributor was surprised to see me in the room. When I approached them to explain our products, they asked to talk to someone who knew someone about the line because it was their first encounter with a woman salesperson. It took several years until this type of thinking changed. … Women were critiqued differently than men and under a broader microscope. It was not easy in the ’50s, but I would never trade the experience. It made me a better professional salesperson and woman.”
Chuck Pecher, president of St. Louis-Missouri-based supplier Skinner & Kennedy Co., was one of Hempen’s nominators to the PPAI Hall Of Fame. He says, “The first thing that is important to know about Lorraine is that she was qualified and good at what she did for her company. She was a self-made person who worked hard to get where she was, and her accomplishments would have qualified any man or woman for our Hall of Fame. That being said, Lorraine emerged in an era where women were not found in leadership roles. She wanted to be accepted as the professional she was and most of her colleagues learned to do so because she was good at her job. Lorraine was a true ‘pioneer’ in opening doors for so many women who lead companies and associations in our industry today.”
Hempen served on the PPAI board in 1977-1981. She was awarded the Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004 and four years later was inducted into its Hall of Fame. She served on the Association’s government and legal affairs committees, and as vice chair of the education committee.
Hempen was also an active member of the St. Louis Advertising Specialty Association—now the Promotional Products Association of the Midwest (PPAM)—holding the positions of treasurer, secretary, vice president and president.
Following her passing, Hempen’s niece, Laura Bozzay, wrote a note to PPAI saying, “Lorraine was proud of her years with PPAI and often spoke highly of its members.”
Those who knew and worked with Hempen in the industry and through her volunteer work, remember her fondly. Cliff Quicksell, Jr., MAS+, director of marketing at iPROMOTEu, says, “This is very sad news. She was a tremendous person, happy and always willing to help and take the time to have a chat. She will be sorely missed. We need more people in the world like Lorraine.”
Outside the office, Hempen was an avid golfer, a seasoned traveler, a voracious reader and a rodeo enthusiast. She was also a dedicated volunteer at St. Stephen Protomartyr Church and was one of the eucharistic ministers there for a number of years.
Hempen is survived her niece Laura Bozzay and her husband Ron; great nephew Bryan Bozzay and his wife Alison Hoemann, great nephew Dan Bozzay and his wife Sarah May; great, great nieces Emma and Reagan; and great, great nephew Henry.
Visitation will be at St. Stephen Protomartyr Catholic Church 3929 Wilmington Ave., St. Louis, Missouri 63116, 9 – 10 am on Friday, December 21. Mass will be offered at 10 am. Following the mass, there will be a short gravesite ceremony at Resurrection Cemetery 6901 MacKenzie Rd., St. Louis, Missouri 63123.
In 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 PPAI Board will match industry donations up to $2,500 to fulfill the $5,000 commitment needed to create a Named Scholarship through the Promotional Products Education Foundation. To date, Hall Of Fame Named Scholarships have been created in memory of Gene Cesario, Marvin Spike, H.D. (Joe) Stratton and Fran Ford.
To make a gift to establish a scholarship in Lorraine Hempen’s name, send a check payable to PPEF mentioning Hempen in the memo line and mail it to PPEF, 3125 Skyway Circle North, Irving, TX 75038. Gifts can also be made online at www.ppef.us. Click on Donate and enter Hempen Memorial in the Comments Section.