Dani-Smith-LEADOn May 25-26, industry professionals from across the country will be in Washington, D.C., to meet with senators, representatives and legislative staff into discuss legislation, issues and opportunities relevant to the promotional products industry as part of the seventh annual PPAI Legislation Education and Action Day (L.E.A.D.). In the final installment of a four-part series spotlighting the industry practitioners taking PPAI’s message to Capitol Hill, PPB Newslink speaks with Dani Smith, CAS, owner of Hermiston, Oregon, distributor Third Day Creations.

PPB Newslink: What’s your story?

Dani Smith: I have been in the promotional products industry for approximately 15 years now. I have a home-based business that started out in the spare bedroom of our house and has grown to a complete office and shop for embroidery, laser engraving and vinyl printing on our personal property. I love this industry and my job. They say if you love your job you never work a day in your life. Well, I’m pretty close to that. I work very few days.

PPB Newslink: What do you hope to accomplish at L.E.A.D.?

Smith: I would like to be one of the many voices in our industry. But when we go to Washington and talk about the tax benefit of advertising, we aren’t only representing our industry and profession, we are representing our clients as well. Promotional products help create awareness in addition to advertising for sales. People like, use and need our products. We need our legislators to know that.

PPB Newslink: Why do you think programs like L.E.A.D. are important?

Smith: Our industry can be and is forgotten. People seem to think we are only about “trinkets” when we our products represent so much more. If we don’t have a voice, then we will totally be dismissed and before we know it we will be obsolete. We cannot allow that to happen.

PPB Newslink: Will this be your first time attending L.E.A.D.?

Smith: This will be my second year. I learned a lot the first year and I am looking forward to going back this year and doing a better job than last. I have learned even more over the past year and am looking forward to making an impact in Washington.

PPB Newslink: Can you share a story that stuck with you in the previous L.E.A.D. program?

Smith: We were meeting with one gentleman last year when I pointed out the promotional products in his office. He said I was very observant of that but you could tell by the way he said it and his tone that he was impressed and that hehad never considered the number of promotional products in the office. Also, because I’m from Oregon and have a college student, I noticed that the Oregon legislators had pennants from Oregon colleges and universities but some of offices were missing my daughter’s school. So this year I have already purchased several pennants that I will be taking with me to give to the ones that don’t have the Eastern Oregon University pennants.