In Memoriam: Stan Breckenridge, MAS
Stan Breckenridge, MAS, past chair of the PPAI Board of Directors and a lifetime member of the Association, passed away Wednesday at age 66. Breckenridge was senior vice president of sales for Fairport, New York-based supplier Mastercraft Decorators/The Guildlines.
Breckenridge’s career in promotional products spanned nearly 30 years. He was senior vice president of sales and marketing for Toledo, Ohio, supplier Sabina for a number of years, and held the same title for Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, supplier Moderne Glass Co., Inc. In 2012, he joined Mastercraft.
Breckenridge was an active and outspoken advocate for the industry and the power of promotional products, contributing guest columns to numerous digital and print publications.
“We are all terribly saddened by the passing of Stan Breckenridge and offer our deepest condolences to his wife Joyce, his family and his friends,” says PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE. “He was a tireless advocate and volunteer for our industry, a powerful leader of our board of directors, a courageous fighter and loyal colleague and friend. Stan has left an indelible mark on PPAI and the industry he served, and I know I speak for the association community when I say we miss his presence already.”
A dedicated volunteer, he donated thousands of hours to serving his industry. He was a member of numerous PPAI committees including the Public Relations Committee, Supplier Committee and Nominating Committee, which he chaired. He was also elected to the PPAI board and served from 2005-2010, including as board chair in 2008-2009. In addition to PPAI, he provided leadership to his regional association, Three Rivers Advertising Specialty Association (TRASA) where he served on its board of directors.
Breckenridge earned his MAS designation in 2003, and was inducted into the TRASA Hall of Fame that same year.
“We at TRASA are very shocked and sad to hear about Stan,” says Patti Ward, TRASA executive director. “Just last week he contacted me indicating that he would like to run for the 2016 TRASA board. We were looking forward to having him serve in a new role on the membership committee. Stan made us all laugh at his jokes and he always had a smile on his face. He was a dedicated volunteer and a true friend to many. He will be truly missed.”
Sherri Lennarson, MAS, president of Having Fun Promotions, served with Breckenridge on the PPAI board. “Stan had a great love for life and people,” she remembers. “He was always ready with a funny story or a joke. When he greeted you, it was not just in passing, it was with genuine interest and care. Stan had an incredible memory. I remember him asking a group to shout out numbers that he jotted on a white board at a leadership meeting. After a mere glance, Stan turned his back on the board and immediately and correctly called the numbers back out to the group. Remarkable.”
Paul Kiewiet, MAS+, executive director of the Michigan Promotional Professionals Association (MiPPA), also served with him on the board. “Stan Breckenridge was one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met,” he says. “Nothing could stop Stan. Life threw everything it could at him and he faced it with courage and grace. He started each conversation with a compliment and ended with a joke—usually groaners but always bringing a smile. And he would, without embarrassment, give a sincere ‘I love you.’ His resilience and tenacity were inspirational and his attitude always uplifting. He will be missed.”
Another who worked with Breckenridge during his board service was Gene Geiger, MAS+, CEO of Geiger. “Stan was a tireless and significant contributor to the industry and PPAI, including being the first person to raise the flag on Prop 65 and the potential it has for causing us problems. More importantly, Stan was a genuine, caring and very good man. May we all be remembered that way by others when we have passed.”
In the field of glassware and ceramics, he was recognized by the Society of Glass & Ceramic Decorators for his instrumental work in the passage of an FDA amendment to the Food and Drug Regulatory Modernization Act of 1997.
Breckenridge earned a degree from Geneva College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1971 and he was a member of College Hill United Methodist Church.
He is survived by his wife, Joyce; son, Nick; daughter-in-law, Angie, and four grandchildren. Services for Breckenridge are pending at this time.