As first reported Wednesday in a PPB Newslink Breaking News alert, Ira Neaman, founder and president of Avenel, New Jersey, supplier Vantage Apparel (PPAI 113235), has joined the PPAI Board of Directors, effective immediately. Neaman will fill the seat vacated by Lori Kates, who has stepped down. He was appointed by PPAI Board Chair Dale Denham, MAS+, and approved by the board to fill the remainder of Kates’s term, which ends at The PPAI Expo 2022.

“I am pleased to welcome Ira to the PPAI board. He brings excellent insights and years of strategic planning and executive management experience across the promotional products industry. I look forward to his contribution,” says Dale Denham, MAS+, PPAI’s chair of the board.

Neaman graduated from Syracuse University in 1974 and earned his Master of Business Administration from Harvard in 1976. He founded Vantage in 1977. An active volunteer in the promotional products industry for more than 40 years, Neaman has served on several PPAI volunteer committees, including the Leadership Advisory Committee, the Strategic Planning Committee, and the Marketing and Research Committee, as well as the Promotional Products Education Foundation Board and several industry task forces. In 2002, he became the inaugural recipient of the PPAI Education Lifetime Achievement Award, and Counselor magazine named him its Person of the Year in 2003 and included him in its Power 50 since 2008.

“In joining the board, I plan to learn about both the challenges and opportunities facing the Association and add value to the decision-making process, with the goal to produce the best long-term outcomes,” says Neaman.

PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE, adds, “Ira’s extensive experience is a valuable addition to our board. He brings with him the critical perspective of a seasoned senior executive, and I look forward to working with Ira as we continue to build on PPAI’s strategic transformation from a transactional to a relational organization.”