(Editor’s Note: PromoWire by PPAI Media is a running digest of news releases and updates submitted from organizations around the industry. PPAI Media edits these only slightly, including for length, and will consider newsworthy entries from any member organization.)

July 11, 2022

Outdoor Cap Taps Jermaine Oldham to Accelerate Digital Transformation

Outdoor Cap, one of the world's largest providers of headwear, has enlisted Jermaine Oldham to lead technology and transformation efforts as the new Head of Technology for the company. Jermaine joins Outdoor Cap to provide executive technology leadership and enable accelerated growth for each of its businesses in Retail, Team Sports, and Promotional Products. Building on over 20 years of technology experience, Jermaine will focus on Outdoor Cap's continuing digital transformation and systems integrations.

Jermaine brings over 15 years of experience leading technology teams at J.B. Hunt, Flexential (previously Peak 10), and Tempur Sealy. He is also a veteran who served in various technology roles for the United States Air Force both domestically and abroad. Mr. Oldham holds a Master of Information Systems and an MBA in Technology Management.

“We are thrilled to have Jermaine join the team,” said Jeanelle Harris, CEO of Outdoor Cap. “His leadership and experience in the IT space will strengthen our team and accelerate growth on multiple fronts. I am confident, as we focus on employee and customer experience, Jermaine’s presence will help drive us toward being best-in-class.”

"I am thrilled to join the Outdoor Cap team as the Head of Technology. The chance to lead technology at one of the most respected private companies in our region was impossible to pass up and a great opportunity to help drive business growth. I see many opportunities here and am thankful for the chance to leverage all my experience from other industries to build on the work the team has already put in to their enterprise ERP, platforms, and custom applications."

Jermaine will oversee all technology teams and resources across Outdoor Cap and its subsidiaries but will also bring his vision for accelerating technological innovation to the company.

Jermaine enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter doing outdoor activities including fishing, grilling, and attending live sporting events. In addition to his passion for technology, Jermaine also has a passion for giving back to the community and volunteers at local community events.

Cap America Hires New Representation For Illinois And Wisconsin

Cap America, Inc. announced the addition of Valerie Spiller of Elite Marketing and Chris Yoder of 5Y Marketing to the company’s multi-line sales representatives. Elite Marketing will serve distributors and team dealers in the state of Illinois, while 5Y Marketing will work with their customers in Wisconsin.

Spiller is a graduate of DePaul University and a Chicago native. She has over 20 years of sales and marketing experience, beginning her career in the sporting goods industry and transitioning to primarily promotional products. Spiller states, “I found my niche in sales. It nurtures my competitive spirit and my need to serve others. I am excited to join Cap America’s winning team to provide distributors with innovative headwear solutions.”

Vice President of Sales, Grace Schettler, oversees the company’s multi-rep sales team. She states, “We are excited to add Valerie to our growing sales rep team. She will be a valuable asset that understands the importance of top-quality service when providing promotional headwear to our industry.”

Yoder is a 24-year industry veteran than began his career as a distributor in Wisconsin in the Green Bay and Milwaukee area. He became a supplier rep in 2006 and started 5Y Marketing in 2016 with four other partners to cover Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North and South Dakota. Yoder has continued to grow his supplier relationships to include companies like Stormtech and Perry Ellis. He states, “I am truly excited to be a part of the Cap America family and I look forward to representing this outstanding company and team for many years to come.”

Vice President of Sales, Grace Schettler, oversees the company’s multi-rep sales team. Schettler states, “We are excited to add Chris to our growing sales rep force as we broaden our reach across the industry. We are dedicated to providing the best service to our customers and the addition of Chris and 5Y Marketing will help us to continue to deliver the best headwear experience possible.”

IMAGEN Brands Announces Giveback Program To Benefit 4 Paws For Ability

IMAGEN Brands announced today a partnership with 4 Paws for Ability to donate 1% of all stock plush sales. This cause marketing effort begins July 15, 2022, and is part of IMAGEN Brands’ goal to leave a positive, lasting impact in the communities where it operates.

“Back in 2019 we launched Hey Buddy™ Bear, and we make a donation to an education foundation for every bear sold,” stated Lisa LeMond, Vice President of Sales and Customer Service. “We are excited to extend our reach by supporting 4 Paws for Ability. The organization’s mission to enrich the lives of people with disabilities by partnering them with life-changing service dogs aligns with our values as an organization. We hope to make a big impact with this giveback program.”

Since 1998, 4 Paws for Ability has placed over 1,500 highly specialized service dogs with those in need. Their dogs help individuals with autism, diabetes, epilepsy, mobility issues, and more. Kelly Camm, Development Director at 4 Paws for Ability explained, “It costs between $40,000 and $60,000 to raise, train, and place a single service dog. Monetary donations are essential to cover all the associated expenses, such as food, equipment, supplies, veterinary care, and the professional training required to place these dogs with the children and veterans waiting for their often lifesaving four-pawed friends. Without the help of generous corporate donors such as IMAGEN Brands, we wouldn’t be able to carry out our important mission.”

Distributors will need to reference code PLUSHGB22 when placing their orders. (Offers cannot be combined.)

Lansing Regional Chamber Of Commerce Recognizes Accomplishments Of A. Dean Watkins Company

Last week, Michigan-based distributor A. Dean Watkins Company received the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce Legacy Award for 66 years as a member and its long-term commitment to economic growth and community investment in the Lansing region.

Bob Watkins, the company’s president, accepted the speech at the LRCC’s June 16 event. He has been with the company since he was a teenager, helping his father when he needed extra help with various jobs. He became a full-time employee in 1980 after graduating Central Michigan University. His wife Jayne later joined the business as has their son Shawn, also a CMU graduate.

Speaking to the LRCC’s Focus magazine, he said, “All of us at A. Dean Watkins Company were very surprised and honored for being selected for the Legacy Award. When I see some of the names of the past award winners, I feel elated to be recognized and in that special group of businesses.”

In the 1950s, the insurance industry was A. Dean Watkins Company’s largest customer and primarily sought calendars, pens and matches. It’s offers, and customer-base, have since expanded, and the distributor provides clients with a range of incentive gifts, apparel, office suppliers and other goods.

July 8, 2022

iPROMOTEu Announces New Senior Marketing Manager
Talented industry veteran, Stacey McConnell, joins iPROMOTEu

iPROMOTEu, one of the largest and fastest-growing distributor organizations in the promotional products industry, has hired Stacey McConnell as Senior Marketing Manager.

McConnell will be responsible for iPROMOTEu’s event operations and logistics as well as project management of marketing initiatives. In addition to planning exclusive iPROMOTEu events, McConnell will lend her industry knowledge to developing innovative marketing tools, including digital catalogs, direct mail campaigns, and more.

“After being away from the industry for a year, I am thrilled to jump back in with such a thriving and successful organization as iPROMOTEu. With its strong leadership, I am excited to be a part of the creative journey that will positively impact the Affiliates we serve and the relationships we hold with our Supplier partners,” said McConnell on joining the team.

Throughout her impressive 20+ year career, McConnell has managed a breadth of marketing and event planning teams at AIA Corporation, AIM Smarter LLC, and Promo Marketing Media Group. McConnell has a proven track record of planning, developing, and executing innovative marketing campaigns and successful events.

“Stacey is very well respected in the industry and is known for building and strengthening strategic relationships at all levels. With her marketing expertise, positive outlook and dynamic personality, I am confident Stacey will be an asset to the iPROMOTEu team,” says Lori Bauer, Senior Vice President of Affiliate Sales and Support. “With experienced industry marketing executive, Laura High, now overseeing all marketing efforts, as well as the addition of Stacey, we are positioned to quickly accelerate Affiliate marketing initiatives and could not be more excited about the creative thought-leaders at the helm.”

July 7, 2022

AIA Elevates and Grows Owner Success Team with Promotion and New Hires
AIA’s expansion of Owner Success team demonstrates continued support of Owners’ growth and enrichment opportunities

AIA Corporation (AIA) recently announced the promotion of Andres Blanco to Vice President of Owner Success and welcomed Kali Zecy and Kelli Bernd as new Owner Success Managers. These positions will further expand the Owner Success team’s resources and talent to support AIA’s growing Owner Community.

“AIA is dedicated to investing in the success of our Owners,” said Rich Berg, Senior Vice President of Owner Success. “This team serves as trusted advisors to our distributors, as they play a crucial role in providing personalized support, coaching and training. I’m thrilled to have Andres step into this new role and am excited to welcome Kali and Kelli to the team as their robust industry experience and professional accomplishments will further enrich the growth and profitability of our Owners’ businesses.”

Blanco joined AIA in 2019 as an Owner Success Manager and was later promoted to Director given his proven track record of helping Owners accelerate their business growth. In this new role, he will work in partnership with Greg Burpee, Vice President of Owner Success, to create deeper Owner relationships and focus on the development of cross-functional initiatives including new tools and services to build Owners’ businesses. Blanco will report to Berg.

“Having spent the last three years at AIA and more than two decades in the industry, I have a vast understanding of the needs of our Owners,” said Blanco. “I’m excited to take this knowledge to the next level at AIA, helping our team create individual success plans for our Owners and always enhancing our cadence of resources to meet their evolving needs.”

Zecy has a strong background in customer success, having worked at Staples Promotional Products, Bardavon Health Innovations, and as a consultant advising clients on promotional product procurement, vendor relationships and global shipping during the pandemic. She will utilize her 15 years of industry experience to become ingrained in the Owners’ businesses, gaining a clear understanding of their business model and the resources needed to help move the company forward.

Bernd brings 20 years of distributor experience and joins AIA from INM Marketing Group where she served as the Director of Marketing. She managed all social platforms and blog content, developed custom marketing kits, and created multiple sales tools for the business development team. Bernd’s past knowledge will benefit Owners as she works closely with them to develop customized business plans that fit their specific needs and preferences.


New Multiline Representatives “Tour and Talk” at Quinn Headquarters
Supplier Quinn offers in person educational meeting

Quinn, supplier of flags and other promotional items, brought in newly signed on Multiline Reps- Patrick Reinecker and Dan Pauley of Reinecker Marketing Associates (Southern Midwest region), Dave Hunzelman of DMH Marketing (Northern Midwest) and Dave Mattson (New England). The representatives were trained on the entire, on-site process as well as walked through a full line review, new and top products and concepted future endeavors with Quinn.