Mary Dobsch Honored As 10th PPAI Woman Of Achievement


Mary Dobsch received the 2016 PPAI Woman of Achievement Award at the WLC's welcome dinner Monday.

Mary Dobsch, owner and president of Washington, Missouri-based promotional products supplier The Chest, Inc., was honored Monday evening as the 2016 PPAI Woman of Achievement award recipient. Her nominator, Ken Bebermeyer, CAS, vice president of marketing at The Chest, presented Dobsch with the award during the 2016 Women’s Leadership Conference welcome dinner at the Loews Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia.

The annual award recognizes an individual who has led the way in the advancement of women in the industry, exhibited outstanding leadership and made significant contributions to the industry and her community.

Bebermeyer recalled first meeting Dobsch when she was 18 years old and in her initial industry job. He described how she quickly made her mark on the company working alongside six territory managers—all men—and how impressed he was with her tenacity as she worked hard to prove herself and move up within the industry. “Her confidence, openness and optimism have earned her the respect of our industry,” he said.

A 39-year veteran of the promotional products industry, Dobsch served on the PPAI Board of Directors from 2008 to 2012 and was tapped to fill a vacated seat in September 2013, serving until January 2014. She has served on numerous PPAI committees and is currently serving on the PPAI Leadership Advisory Committee through 2018.


Dobsch was joined on stage by some of the many friends she's made during her 39 years in the industry.

Dobsch worked as sales coordinator for Magnet, Inc. and prior to that in customer service at Hazel, Inc. Her career took her to The Chest as the vice president of sales and marketing. In 2005, she purchased the company, and in 2012 the Woodco line was acquired and added to the product offering.

In addition, Dobsch is an active member of her community. She is a past president of the Washington Chamber of Commerce and the Washington Rotary Club, and has served on committees with Washington United Way, the Washington Area YMCA and Emmaus Homes.

As Dobsch stepped to the stage to humbly accept the award, the WLC attendees jumped to their feet and overwhelmingly cheered her selection.

“When I joined the promotional products industry in November 1975, it never seemed an issue that I was a woman,” she told her audience. “I never felt that being a female was anything to hold me back. In retrospect, perhaps I have been naïve to believe that. But perception does become reality. If you don’t believe it can hold you back, it really doesn’t.”

Dobsch is the 10th recipient of the PPAI Woman of Achievement award. Previous winners 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 and Sheri Lennarson, MAS.

Read more about Dobsch’s life and accomplishments in PPB’s September issue.

filed under industry-news | june-2016
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Comments (1)
Bob McLean
June 28, 2016

Poor Ken, always upstaged by Mary and the ladies. He is a steady, behind the scenes pillar for The Chest.

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