Insightful LDW Brings Together Regional Association Leaders, Volunteers
Leaders from volunteer committees and the industry’s regional associations have been in Grapevine, Texas, this week for the 17th annual Leadership Development Workshop (LDW), hosted by PPAI and the Regional Association Council (RAC).
Beginning Monday with a PPAI Board of Directors meeting, the four-day event continued with training and planning for PPAI committee and advisory group chairs on Tuesday, and an extensive curriculum of seminars, panel discussions and collaborative exercises, as well as networking and consultation opportunities for regional association leaders. The program wraps up this afternoon.
“The committee chair training was a valuable opportunity to share ideas with other committee chairs and PPAI Liaisons to address challenges and facilitate meaningful committee meetings,” notes SanMar’s Mike Knapick, incoming chair of the PPAI Technology Committee.
More than 190 regional volunteers representing 27 regional associations attended LDW to participate in their choice of 25 education sessions with speakers and panelists from PPAI staff and from within and outside the promotional products industry.
“As an incoming board president, the ability to truly engage with both the executive director and fellow board members on a granular level to create the best possible experience for our members has been invaluable,” says Bill Petrie, District 2’s RAC board representative and PPAMS incoming board president.
Bob McLean, PPAI executive vice president, adds, "The new session format delivered a new level of interactivity. This event’s vital peer-to-peer involvement also really upped the game.”
Donte Shannon, CAE, joined SAAC as executive director earlier this year. He says, “As a first-time attendee to LDW, I am inspired and motivated by the amount of professional development and quality of content provided at this conference. Specifically, LDW has allowed me to gain new industry knowledge, expand my network and exchange career experiences with like-minded colleagues. The harmony exhibited by the PPAI staff is evident in every aspect of the conference from logistics to programming. As the conference comes to a close, I leave looking forward to attending next year."
At a breakfast session Wednesday morning, Shelley Row, professional engineer and former senior executive, started the day with a keynote presentation on cognition, intuition and striking the right balance in the modern business environment. Row also delivered two sessions later that afternoon.
“RAC has done an outstanding job putting this event together,” says PMANC Board Member Kenny Ved. “Everything has been flawless! The education sessions and content are extremely helpful in developing a strategic plan for the future of PMANC.”
Tuesday evening, attendees honored some of the regional community’s most accomplished members during a reception and dinner. Ted Dennison, MAS, of Houston, Texas, distributor TMJ Enterprises, and George Jackson, owner of distributor George Jackson Promotions in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, were formally recognized as the 2016 PPAI RAC Volunteers of the Year in acknowledgement of their volunteerism, leadership and contributions to their regional associations. That same evening, Jonathan Riegel, MAS, SAAGNY’s executive director, was presented with the 2016 Donna Hall Memorial Grant, which provides regional association executive directors the opportunity to advance their education and careers by providing financial support to attend education conferences and events. The night also included quick and insightful presentations from leaders with PPAChicago, SAAGNY, SAAC, PPAW and SPPA, highlighting some of their events and best practices.
Janet McMaster, MAS, is moving into the RAC president’s seat in 2017. In her assessment, there was a lot to like about the new tools and features LDW introduced this year. “The new app worked incredibly well and having the presentations embedded in it for future reference adds so much value. The IGNITE format during the opening dinner, allowing regionals to share success stories in a concise and visual manner, was well received. And modifying the sessions to be more conversational as opposed to being monologue style was a welcomed format change as well. Our 2016 LDW isn’t over yet and I'm already looking forward to 2017.”