Londe, Sokalski Honored With PPAI Woman Of Achievement Award
On Monday night, PPAI presented its Woman of Achievement Award to Marsha Londe, owner and CEO of Tango Partners, and Mary Ellen Sokalski, MAS, CEO of creative marketing agency The Scarlett Marketer. The presentations were the highlight of the PPAI Women’s Leadership Conference welcome dinner in Hollywood, California.
First presented in 2009, the prestigious award recognizes those who lead the way in the advancement of women in the industry, exhibit outstanding leadership and make significant contributions to the industry and their community.
Londe is an accomplished industry executive, advocate, speaker, writer, volunteer and role model. A trailblazer in the industry, she has given freely of her time and knowledge, connecting peers and providing guidance and strategy to many. She has served on the PPAI Awards and PPB Editorial Advisory Committees, and has worked on numerous volunteer projects and regional events.
She has been honored as a PPAI Fellow, PPB Powerful Partner, PPB Best Boss, ASI Salesperson of the Year and member of the ASI Inaugural Class of Women in the Promotional Products Profession and recognized by the Gold Coast Promotional Products Association. Londe has won 25 PPAI Pyramid Awards and her work has also been nationally recognized for her clients’ use of promotional products.
In accepting the Woman of Achievement award from nominator Danon Middleton, vice president of Summit Group, LLC, Londe spoke about how Middleton and other women and men have inspired and mentored her. “Ours is an amazing industry for women. Through our friendships, relationships and mentorships, we unlock possibilities,” she said. “In attending this conference, you show a commitment to growing personally and in business. You bring fresh perspectives and ideas. Pay it forward. Be someone’s inspiration.” She wrapped up her comments by thanking PPAI for the honor. “Kudos to PPAI for focusing on how women can and do support each other. Recognition from one’s peers is deeply meaningful because you know what this profession entails. With a full and happy heart, I’m grateful.”
Sokalski has had a long and distinguished career in the industry as a volunteer, speaker, mentor, advocate and educator with more than 200 sessions to her credit. From 2001-2005, she served on the PPAI board as vice chair of marketing, and she has also served on the boards of the Promotional Professionals Mentoring Network, YESSA and the Specialty Advertising Counselors of the Delaware Valley (SACDV). She has also been a member of numerous PPAI committees and advisory groups and has attended WLC for the past eight years.
She has been recognized with the PPAI Distinguished Service Award, ASI Woman to Watch, PPAI Lifetime Achievement Award in Education, PPAI Facilitator Excellence Award and ASI Distinguished Woman in Promotional Products Award. She has also won eight PPAI Supplier Achievement and two PPAI Golden Pyramid Awards, the SACDV Pyramid, the President’s and Person of the Year Awards, and was inducted into the SACDV Hall of Fame in 2006.
Sokalski was introduced by Cathy Miller, MAS, regional sales manager for Geiger, who was one of several who wrote letters in support of Sokalski’s nomination. In accepting the award, Sokalski recalled her first industry show more than 20 years ago and how the fellowship she observed there inspired her to volunteer for the industry. She saw that people wearing volunteer ribbons seemed to be having the most fun and she wanted to be part of it. In her speech, she also credited several industry leaders for teaching and supporting her over the years. “I learned from these industry icons that these ribbons and pins weren’t a symbol of status … but of service,” she said. Then she challenged her listeners to open an envelope on the table and find the volunteer ribbons that match what they are doing now or want to do in the future. “Share your goals of service, of involvement, of ways you can give back,” she urged. “Because I truly believe that if you’re giving, you’re truly living.”
Londe and Sokalski join 11 other outstanding women who have earned the Woman of Achievement award. They are Carol Aastad, MAS; Margaret Custer-Ford, MAS; Margie Price, MAS; Mary Ann Farmer, MAS; Janelle Nevins; Roni Wright, MAS; Jo-an Lantz, MAS; Maribeth Sandford, CAS; Sheri Lennarson, MAS, Mary Dobsch and Teresa Moisant, MAS.
Read more about this year’s extraordinary honorees in PPB’s September issue.