Kendra Kirks McDougal, brand merchandise consultant at HALO Branded Solutions, and Mark Shinn, MAS, president of Incentives West, were honored as RAC Volunteers of the Year on Tuesday evening, during PPAI’s Leadership Development Week at the DFW Hilton in Grapevine, Texas.

The annual award recognizes regional association members who have demonstrated an outstanding level of volunteer leadership and made significant and measurable contributions to regional associations. Since the award was first presented in 2011, 12 regional leaders have been honored.

Dana Geiger, executive director for the Chesapeake Promotional Products Association (CPPA), presented the award to Kirks McDougal, praising her volunteer service, time and energy as a CPPA board member, secretary, vice president and board chair, and chair of the education committee, and trade show and marketing committee, as well as serving on the RAC board and as its president in 2010. “When you think about volunteers, you think about the joiners, the doers, the motivators, the leaders. She’s all of these and more,” Geiger said.

Kirks McDougal accepted the award thanking the 2010 RAC board, the CPPA board and regional members, and PPAI the regional relations team. She recalled her desire to volunteer after only six months in the industry—that was 14 years ago. “I’m still very passionate about this industry,” she said, adding that the first person she wanted to call when she heard she had won the award was her mentor, the late S. Houston Hale, who received the award posthumously in 2014. “Then I realized that would be a really expensive phone call to heaven.”

George Jackson, who won the award in 2016, presented the honors to Mark Shinn, MAS, a long-time volunteer leader with the Northwest Promotional Marketing Association (NWPMA). Shinn served on the NWPMA board in 2002-2006 and was its board president in 2009. He also co-chaired the Promotional Marketing Association of Northern California's (PMANC) PPAI Pyramid Award-winning “Finding Promo” committee, and served on a number of the association’s committees. In addition, Shinn was a member of the RAC board in 2004-2010 and was president in 2008, along with many other volunteer activities.

In introducing Shinn, Jackson praised his colleague’s commitment to PPAI and RAC, crediting him with helping to create the regional affiliate program and spotlighting his long-term service as a regional representative at PPAI’s Legislative Education and Action Day. In was through L.E.A.D. that the pair came to know each other well. “He’s always willing to engage with L.E.A.D. in solving the legislative issues that face us in the promotional products industry. He’s a true champion for all of us,” Jackson said, adding that Shinn is also involved as a volunteer in his local community with the Seattle Children’s Hospital, Catholic Community Charity, Habitat for Humanity and United Way.

Amid thunderous applause, Shinn stepped to the stage to accept the award thanking Jackson, and leaders within PPAI and the RAC community, as well as PPAI staff for their assistance, guidance and support over the years. “One of my best days is when someone says, ‘Mark, I’m volunteering because of something you’ve done,’ he said, “that really gets me right here.”