Know The Nominees: Dan Pantano
(Editor’s Note: Amid the ongoing voting for the new slate of nominees for the PPAI Board of Directors, PPAI Media is profiling each potential new addition. Be sure to also check out today's introduction to BAMKO head of strategy Joshua White.)
Dan Pantano, alphabroder|Prime Line’s president and CEO, joined the company in January 2013 after spending 20 years working for prominent health care businesses.
“My first week on the job was Las Vegas [for The PPAI Expo],” Pantano remembers. “It was a way to truly get connected in the industry and start to build relationships.”
Pantano joined alphabroder|Prime Line as president, leading the commercial side of the business. He played an integral role in multiple corporate acquisitions and became the company’s CEO in spring of 2021. Even with multiple decades of experience in another field, promotional products have turned out to be exactly where he wants to be.
“Once you come into this industry, it’s really hard to leave,” Pantano says. “Hard to believe it’s almost been a decade.”
It’s fitting that the nearly 10-year industry vet got his crash course at The PPAI Expo, as he is now nominated as a candidate for PPAI’s incoming board of director’s class, due to serve the industry from January of 2023 until 2027. The two-person slate includes Pantano and Joshua White, BAMKO’s head of strategy. The election to approve Pantano and White runs from August 29 until September 6.
Serving on PPAI’s board is a significant time commitment considering how much is already expected of Pantano in his current role at alphabroder|Prime Line, but he sees it as a contribution to the goal to make the entire industry stronger, including his own company.
“The work that PPAI does on behalf of its membership, whether you’re a distributor or a supplier, I think it’s critical,” Pantano says. “It’s kind of the glue that holds the industry together.”
Pantano’s thoughts on the future of the industry largely overlap with missions that PPAI already has outlined for the coming years. He refers to “solution-selling” within the industry; the process of selling a solution to a client’s needs rather than simply a product.
That requires a growing utilization of technology that line up with PPAI’s mission for digital transformation, including incorporating virtual trade shows, similar to PPW Expo.
“Reaching people digitally, to me, that’s the future of trying to continue to grow the membership and engage the members,” Pantano says.
Serving on the PPAI Board for Pantano would mean listening to members and prioritizing issues. “PPAI can’t do everything,” he admits. “We can’t solve all the problems, but we have to be really clear what those key issues are for membership and that’s what we have to address and attack.”
Ultimately, though, PPAI is a resource meant to understand what companies are collectively trying to solve within their own walls and at the very least providing education.
“I think a lot of companies, ourselves included, are looking to learn more to drive CSR within our own business,” Pantano says. “PPAI should be a resource or tool or provider of those solutions and ideas so that we can all share those best practices.”
Pantano, who spends most of the free time he can afford fishing in his home state of Florida, is excited about the potential opportunity to serve on the PPAI board and work to serve companies small and large in the industry. A healthy industry benefits everyone, and for Pantano, that means PPAI and all its members being on the same page.
“We have to be very transparent and communicative with membership on what we’re doing to affect change and how we’re doing it.”