PPAI Announces 2020 Promotional Products Industry Pioneers

PPAI has announced its Promotional Products Pioneers for 2020. Visionaries and innovators who made their mark on the foundation of the promotional products industry, the Promotional Products Pioneers for 2020 are manufacturer and premium incentive industry architect Benjamin T. Babbitt; lithographers and offset printing creators Charles B. Goes I and Charles Harris of supplier/printer Goes Lithographic; and inventor and consultant Richard A. Waldinger, co-owner of supplier Chromatic Pen Corp. The multimedia recognition ceremony will take place in Las Vegas at The PPAI Expo 2020 during the Chairman's Leadership Dinner on January 13. Tickets can be purchased through Expo event registration.

“These industry pioneers were renowned for their innovations and foresight that led to the development of product design, manufacturing processes and technological advancements that, over the years, has contributed to the growth of the promotional products industry,” says Paul Bellantone, CAE, PPAI president and CEO. “It is an honor to celebrate their ground-breaking achievements.”

Benjamin T. Babbitt – Innovation: In 1851, Babbitt was an innovator who manufactured and distributed individually wrapped bars of soap. Wrapping the soap in attractive packaging gave it the look and feel of a quality product, turning the ordinary into a marketable piece. Using his marketing skills, Babbitt converted the soap wrappers into coupons. When the consumer collected 25 coupons, they could redeem them for a color lithograph, which launched the company into the premium incentive industry. Additionally, he was one of the first manufacturers to offer guided tours of his factory and provide samples to guests.

Charles B. Goes I and Charles Harris – Innovation: From 1902 to 1904, Goes Lithographic built and occupied its own plant in Chicago, Illinois, which is the present location of the main office and production facilities. With the addition of electric direct-current (DC) generators installed to eliminate steam and hand presses, the plant was a showplace. It was during this time that Goes and Harris agreed to develop and test what became the first successfully powered rotary offset press, kicking off the “offset” revolution in the lithographic industry.

Richard A. Waldinger – Product Design: An inventor at heart, Waldinger, who passed away in 2015, was a part-owner of Chromatic Pen Corp and became an industry consultant after the company was sold. His numerous patents for writing instruments have transformed the industry beyond functionality, allowing the pen to showcase a company’s message or logo. Some of Waldinger’s patents include the Lens Pen, a writing instrument that magnified a logo or image from inside the barrel, or even the retractable pen with a self-sealing tip to contain potential leaks.

The Promotional Products Pioneers recognition program was established to honor individuals whose business acumen or technological skill played a key role in the advancement of the industry. Promotional Products Pioneers are individuals who have distinguished themselves in the industry through their vision, drive, innovation, character and leadership, or contributed to the development of technologies that stand out in industry advancement.

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