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HPPA Industry News

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  • 20 May 2022 3:50 PM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    American Solutions for Business raised $3,500 for non-profit, Reading4Research, at their inaugural Accelerate event in Minneapolis, MN. ASB’s supplier partner, The Book Company, also donated 50 children’s books in conjunction to the monetary donation.

    “We’re proud to uphold the culture of giving within ASB,” expressed Dana Zezzo, ASB’s VP of Marketing, Vendor Relations & Events. “We have established philanthropy as a foundational element of our organization and are committed to incorporating this spirit into all ASB events as well. Thank you to all suppliers and attendees who helped make this a success.”

    The donation process included a raffle in which attendees purchased tickets to enter to win their desired prizes. These prizes were donated by supporting suppliers of American Solutions for Business. These suppliers included A+ Wine Designs, BEL Promo, Compass, Elemental Bottles, Gemline, Hit Promo, HPG Brands, Idol Memory, J Charles, Links Unlimited, Refresh Glass, Rustico and S&S Activewear.

    “We are beyond grateful that American Solution for Business generously supports our mission to change the narrative for pediatric cancer patients by funding groundbreaking research at the University of Minnesota” founder of Reading4Research, Andrea Wagner stated. “Your partnership is truly exceptional, and we are so grateful. Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
  • 16 May 2022 12:48 PM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    American Solutions for Business recently hosted its first-ever Accelerate event in Minneapolis, MN on May 10-12. This format included 27 supplier partners hosting suite-style meetings with a targeted group of 60 qualifying ASB sales associates. This allowed for personalized conversations surrounding product, trends and how to best service end-user customers.

    “Early feedback indicates a positive experience for all involved,” expressed Dana Zezzo, ASB’s VP of Marketing, Vendor Relations & Events. “After relying heavily on virtual resources the last couple years, it’s so exciting to see valuable in-person engagement between ASB salespeople and our supplier partners.”

    Attendees were invited to an exclusive facility tour at personal-care product supplier, Mixie (HPG) and tasting experience at the hotel featuring Maple Ridge Farms. The event also included organized socials where attendees could network and relax after a day of education. ASB also hosted charity efforts to support non-profit organization, Reading4Research, in which attendees participated a in supplier-supported raffle.
  • 10 May 2022 9:54 PM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    Most professionals in promotional products agree that the industry needs to continue on its rapid path to digital transformation in the coming years.

    What exactly that might look like in execution, however, and the path to reaching it is more difficult to pin down from company to company, or even person to person. The inherent risk of that reality is that digital transformation remains a vague idea that is objectively positive, but never takes a specific shape.

    Turning digital transformation from an industry term into actionable methods, processes and results is a front-facing mission for PPAI. While distributors and suppliers work to make strides of their own, the Association has committed to working with business and technology services firms to facilitate the necessary advancements.

    Last week the Association took a big first step in that facilitation by way of a meeting that included some of the industry’s top business service providers. Included for the round table conversation at PPAI’s headquarters in Irving, Texas were representatives from Antera Software USA, Bright Stores, commonsku, DistributorCentral, eXtendTech, OrderMyGear, PromoLink, SAGE and ZOOMcatalog.

    Denham emphasized that PPAI’s interest in the conversation was to solve a major industry problem, and that those in the room and beyond have a hand to play in the progress that all agree is necessary.

    However, some voices in the room brought different perspectives to what solutions need to be prioritized.

    Morning discussions kicked off with an open question: “What does digital transformation mean to you?”The answers and opinions on the topic may create a template for how the change that will take shape in coming years.

    Education

    “The most important thing, I think, is to educate the distributors and suppliers,” says Robert Guler, president of Promolink.

    Many agreed that suppliers and distributors are running businesses with a focus on products, meaning that it isn’t always reasonable for them to be fully caught up on the technological tools and practices at their disposal. It’s fair to expect any individual company to simply do what “works for them,” and it might be tempting for the rest of the industry to assume those who don’t adapt will be left behind. But this thinking only slows down the growth of the industry, and in a business-to-business model, creates hurdles for everyone.

    To Guler, it’s important not to put inflexible models in front of these companies because, by nature, they want to differentiate themselves from each other.

    “The first thing is to advocate [for better digital practices],” Guler says. “Show possibilities. Flexibility is the answer.”

    Security

    No digital conversation can happen without discussing cyber security. Unfortunately, security will be an ongoing challenge in the digital space because cyber attacks are likely to continue to evolve in strategy and sophistication over time.

    Everyone in the industry needs to be aware of current and evolving best practices in digital security considering the amount of data companies entrust with one another.

    “PPAI’s role in security can be to raise awareness,” says Mike Pfeiffer, vice president of information technology at American Solutions for Business and chair of PPAI’s Technology Committee.

    Digital Transformation in this realm means staying ahead of issues before they come up. “Once you’ve been attacked, then you’re aware,” warns Pfeiffer.

    BuyerExperience

    Everyone present seemed to agree that the industry has come along way in terms of technology practices since 2019, spurned by the pandemic. Still, one word came up quite a bit in the meeting: antiquated. Doing a better job of designing things for the end-buyer’s convenience was stressed.

    “What’s different about [digital transformation] this time is the focus on the consumer experience,” says PPAI Board Chair Dawn Olds.

    One attendee who joined the industry from retail almost a decade ago said he was initially “shocked” by how complicated the ordering process is for promotional products. Others agreed.

    “I think there’s an interesting customer journey to map out,” says Dustin Downing, chief product officer of OrderMyGear. “I do think there is room for us all to work better together and provide an experience that’s a more efficient and modern way.”

    Promo Data Exchange

    Data is a huge part of digital transformation, and PPAI is moving forward this month with Promo Data Exchange (PDX), in partnership with SAGE. PDX operates as a set of rules that are meant to create a universal way to input and search data.

    Several members present at the meeting asked why PPAI launched PDX when other standards, such as PromoStandards, are currently available. PPAI addressed the reasons that PDX was launched and the fact that the Association has attempted to collaborate with others on PDX standards for the overall benefit of the industry and remains willing to do so.

    In the simplest of terms, PDX could drastically reduce the phone calls or more tedious practices that industry members might rely on to check things such as inventory. This runs parallel with the Association’s commitment to developing internal digital tools and strategies that are transparent and can be shared with the industry as it adapts, says Edwin Gonzalez, PPAI’s director of digital transformation.

  • 6 May 2022 6:15 PM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    HALO, headquartered in Sterling, Illinois, has announced the acquisition of fellow distributor BrandVia located in San Jose, California.

    • The promotional products industry’s largest distributor, HALO was expected to generate roughly $850 million in revenue in 2022 before the announcement.

    The Acquisition: BrandVia will maintain its San Jose staff and presence and supports HALO’s advances into the global technology market.

    “BrandVia plays a key role in building the brands of an elite list of major technology clients, including Salesforce, Adobe, LinkedIn, PayPal and Nvidia,” says Marc Simon, HALO Chief Executive Officer. “They have built a strong reputation based on a keen focus on innovative promotional solutions, client-centric service offerings, and a skilled sales and support team.

    “Jim Childers, BrandVia CEO, and his team will infuse insight and expertise as HALO continues our expansion in the robust tech sector. We are thrilled to have them join HALO.”

    Childers says, “HALO’s resources and capabilities will have an immediate and positive impact on our ability create a more powerful brand experience for our clients. HALO’s expertise in global sourcing and distribution aligns well with the growing global footprint of our key clients. The breadth of HALO client services will allow us to provide clients with a deeper brand connection with key stakeholders domestically and around the world.”

    Jim Stutz, HALO executive vice president of sales and business development says, “The BrandVia team has built an impressive business based on understanding the needs of the top global brands in the rapidly growing tech sector. Our synergies will add value to clients and accelerate growth.”

    HALO has undertaken several significant acquisitions in recent years to expand its geographic footprint and reach into new markets.

    • It has added several larger distributors to the fold, including Axis Promotions in January 2020, Sunrise Identity in August 2018 and Caliendo Savio Enterprises in January 2018. Other recent additions include Chamberlain Marketing Group in October 2018 and Boost Promotional Branding in January 2018. Its most recent addition, prior to BrandVia, was Captiv8 in September 2021.
    • In October 2017, HALO acquired Michael C. Fina Recognition, which it has since rebranded as HALO Recognition. The acquisition supported the company’s expansion into the recognition, rewards, and incentive program market.
  • 6 May 2022 5:37 PM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    American Solutions for Business has completed its full integration with eCommerce partner, OrderMyGear (OMG). This integration positions ASB to offer customers a quick and simple solution for credit card and gift card online stores.

    “ASB’s success has always been based on valuing strong relationships,” says Miriah Cassidy, ASB’s VP of Sales Support. “This philosophy has played a major role in this project, as without the strong partnership between OMG and ASB, a successful integration would not be possible. We are more than thrilled to be able to provide this much-needed option to our salesforce and look forward to a successful future with OMG!”

    Not only does this offer an easy-to-use experience for the user, but order processing is also streamlined by automating order creation within ASB’s backend ERP system. This results in efficient, precise fulfillment for all parties involved.

    “OrderMyGear is ecstatic about the partnership with ASB,” says Sarah Goshgarian Unruh, OMG’s VP of Business Development. “The work behind the scenes between the two teams was the key to our successful integration and the beginning of a dynamic partnership. We look forward to helping fuel the growth of ASB’s online store business and are delighted to be a part of the ASB family!

  • 6 May 2022 12:44 PM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    PPB Newslink is sharing the stories of several 2022 Pyramid Award winners to highlight their accomplishments and to learn more about what it means to secure a PPAI Pyramid win. This issue spotlights the 2022 Silver Pyramid Award won in the Technology: eCommerce Website category by supplier Showdown Displays. Submissions for the 2023 Pyramid Awards are open through May 14.

    Brooklyn Center, Minnesota-headquartered Showdown Displays has won many Pyramid Awards over the years. Kevin Walsh, president of Showdown Displays, recommends brands considering what to submit to the Pyramid Awards competition to apply an “internal filter” to their recent projects that objectively assesses the innovation of what is to be submitted.

    “Our internal threshold is whether what we’ve achieved/produced is innovative or ground-breaking advancement for our brand in the industry,” Walsh says. “In the most recent case this was Showdown Displays Virtual showroom. Showdown Displays produces scores of marketing materials to help our distributors grow their business. Our team internally assesses the relevance of the piece to establish whether it delivers a truly innovative experience.”

    In the 2022 competition, Showdown Displays took home a Silver in the Pyramid Awards competition for its Virtual Showroom. The Virtual Showroom provides an immersive and interactive product experience for distributor partners and their clients.

    Initially conceived as a method to address the transportation and presentation of physically large and cumbersome products, the initiative was accelerated by the challenges of remote presentations created by the pandemic. The Virtual Showroom platform unites multiple aspects of Showdown Displays’ branding, innovation and educational efforts into a single reference point allowing users swift and easy access. Additionally, all points within the environment were conceived as “end user” friendly to make it easier for distributors to share it with their clients.

    A Pyramid Award win emphasizes and reinforces recipients’ creativity and professionalism. Showcasing the award win in their marketing and sales efforts is the natural and common choice.

    “Showdown Displays socializes and promotes all of our industry achievements in our marketing communications and on our website,” Walsh says. “This helps to establish a third-party validation of our messaging related to industry leadership.”

    The 2023 Pyramid Award competition is accepting entries through May 14. For more information and to enter the competition, go to www.ppai.org/pyramid. If you need assistance or have additional questions email awards@ppai.org.

  • 6 May 2022 12:40 PM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    Every year, PPAI distributor members get to let their voices be heard on the best suppliers in the industry based on quality of communication, customer service, products, decorating and packaging.

    The past year presented perhaps the toughest environment in which to compete given the supply chain challenges that delayed raw materials and finished goods from reaching supplier factories, coupled with severe labor shortages that stretched workforces thin and tested their ability to meet delivery commitments. Even still, these 24 companies persevered to not only get the job done and impress their clients, but their consistent excellence won them top honors as this year’s PPAI Supplier Stars.

    These winning companies received the most votes in PPAI’s annual competition where distributors cast their votes for one supplier in each of 12 categories. The annual competition is open to all PPAI supplier members in good standing who update their sales volume every two years as required and maintain a SAGE supplier rating of A or higher.

    The Supplier Star is one of four PPAI Pyramid awards, the industry’s pinnacle of achievement since 1958. Voting for the 2023 competition opens May 23 and closes June 17. Find details at ppai.org/members/awards/company-recognition.

      
    Fill It Forward
    Guelph, Ontario

    The team at Fill it Forward believes that choosing to reuse is a simple act of generosity showing love for the planet and the people on it. The company inspires the world to reuse by creating interactive technologies, global giving initiatives and reusable tags, cups, bottles and bags smartly designed to eliminate single-use waste.


    Logojojo Custom Label Craft Coffee
    Hopkins, Minnesota

    Logojojo partners with award-winning Folly Coffee Roasters to offer high-end specialty coffee beans with full-color custom labels. The coffee is small batch, roasted to order and offered in 4- and 12-ounce stand-up resealable pouches. The venture is a mother-son collaboration between Ellie Bathe, who owns Logojojo, and her son, Rob, who owns Folly Coffee Roasters.

    Soft Stuff Creations
    Surrey, British Columbia

    Soft Stuff Creations is a custom plush toy supplier specializing in unique, fun and creative toys for retail, marketing and promotional purposes for customers worldwide. Distributors can choose from a menagerie of in-stock plush cuddlers or custom design exactly the item needed. In addition to loveable plush toys, the company offers embroidery-ready golf head covers—including one design that features a cute animal head.

    BoxUp
    Terra Haute, Indiana

    BoxUp was founded by Curt Stephens and Ward Hubbard, two box plant veterans, who saw a gap in the level of service available to small- to mid-sized businesses due to prohibitively high set-up costs for custom-imprinted corrugated boxes. They used web-to-print technology to create a wide selection of boxes and sturdy packaging that help brands tell their stories.

    Rocketbook
    Boston

    Rocketbook notebooks and planners provide a classic pen and paper experience but are built for the digital age. The products feature a synthetic paper that allows the user to write smoothly with a Pilot FriXion pen, connect to a choice of cloud services, scan the page and then wipe it clean to reuse endlessly.

    Liqui-Mark Corporation
    Hauppauge, New York

    For over 47 years Liqui-Mark has been manufacturing quality writing instruments and school and office supplies for the retail and promotional products industries. Many products are made in the USA, including pens, highlighters, dry erase, permanent and washable markers, crayons, pencils, coloring books, stylus pens and accessories. The company also offers custom packaging capabilities.

    EMT
    Indianapolis

    EMT has been delivering unforgettable brand and recognition experiences with its line of custom- made lapel pins, patches and emblematic jewelry for more than 40 years. The company says it’s committed to a singular vision: to delight, unite and inspire the world, one emblem at a time.

    A+ Wine Designs
    National City, California

    A+ Wine Designs creates unique wine gifts and wooden box gift sets featuring custom deep-etched and custom-labeled wine, liquor and olive oil products. It is a previous winner of PPAI Gold and Silver Pyramid Awards and won a 2019 Counselor Distributor Choice Award. For more than 30 years it has been the top-rated wine company in the industry, based ratings from SAGE and ESP. 

     

    Bentcil Company
    Indianapolis

    Bentcil got its start in the promotional business over 35 years ago with a unique, custom-bent pencil and today offers custom-bent pens, lighted products, calendars, magnets and edibles along with custom, full-color packaging, direct mail and fulfillment services.

    California Tattoos & Promotional Products
    Tucson, Arizona

    California Tattoos & Promotional Products specializes in custom temporary tattoos and printed promotional products, including stickers, drink coasters, scratch-off cards, watercolor paint sheets and booklets.

    Shepenco
    Shelbyville, Tennessee

    Since 1933, Shelbyville Pencil Company (Shepenco) has provided the industry with the highest quality, affordable writing instruments. The facility, located just outside of Nashville, Tennessee, is home to the four-generation, family-owned and operated company and its award-winning customer service team.

    Jornik Manufacturing
    Stamford, Connecticut

     

    Jornik is a multi‐award-winning, five‐star, A+ rated, second‐generation, family-owned and operated supplier. In 2020 it was named Counselor’s Family Business of the Year. Jornik strives to provide a fun, unique and fresh line of hardgoods, including made-in-the-USA items and packaging, that are designed, engineered, manufactured, tested and inspected to exceed all expectations.

    Raining Rose Promos
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa

    Raining Rose Promos is a full-service manufacturer and supplier of personal care products, including high-quality lip balms, hand sanitizers, sunscreens and lotions, based in America’s heartland. The company has achieved status as a Certified B Corporation, which means it meets the highest standards of accountability, transparency and social and environmental performance, and it operates by the values of service, people and planet, integrity, expertise and a focus on the future.

    HandStands*
    Salt Lake City

    Since 1983, HandStands has offered a wide variety of promotional products from phone, tablet and computer accessories to air fresheners, stress relief products and award-winning automotive accessories, and it has expanded into electronics with Bluetooth speakers, power banks, wireless chargers and much more. Handstands’ mission is to manufacture and aggressively market innovative and quality-based products.

     

    Maple Ridge Farms*
    Mosinee, Wisconsin

    When someone receives a gift from Maple Ridge Farms, they’re getting more than mouth-watering gourmet food and beautiful packaging, they’re getting a sensory experience they will remember long after they’ve enjoyed the contents. The proof is in the pudding—or, in this case, the chocolate, nuts, cheese and all of the other delicious options. Since 1979, Maple Ridge Farms has prided itself on providing high-quality food, exceptional gifts and award-winning service.

    Illini
    Vernon Hills, Illinois

    Illini is a 60-year-old family-owned, Midwest-based supplier that maintains a tradition of product quality and outstanding customer service in the promotional products industry. It offers a large selection of hard goods in 16 product categories, including wellness and eco-friendly products, with more than 80 products made-in-the-USA.

    Evans Manufacturing
    Garden Grove, California

    Evans Manufacturing specializes in “Products for Better Living” for the promotional products industry in categories including health care, household, drinkware, bags, writing instruments, pet, school, office, tech, travel, auto, outdoor and more. Nearly half of the product line is manufactured in Evans’ California facility, so it’s never out of stock on those items and the majority of its entire product line is available in three to seven days.

    Goldstar*
    San Diego

    Goldstar is a manufacturer and supplier of customized writing instruments, drinkware and bags, servicing over 5,000 promo distributors across the U.S. and Canada. The company differentiates itself with its commitment to simplicity, an award‐winning promise for easy transactions and all‐inclusive pricing with no setup charges or hidden fees.

    Gold Bond, Inc.*
    Hixson, Tennessee

    Gold Bond was founded in 1947 as a small pencil company and now has operations on two continents offering hard goods, apparel and accessories. The supplier prides itself on being large enough to handle demanding orders while small enough to be flexible in accommodating customer requests. Gold Bond says its greatest asset is its ability to adapt to the ever-changing needs of its partners, and its tagline, “More Than You Expect,” accurately represents the company’s culture. Each team member strives to exceed customer expectations at every customer touchpoint.

    Cap America*
    Fredericktown, Missouri

    Family owned and operated, Cap America has been providing quality headwear to the world for more than 35 years. It strives to make the purchase of headwear a confident and easy experience, and is dedicated to providing the best retail‐inspired headwear products in the industry. It offers a wide variety of styles to meet every headwear need and ensures that each order receives top-quality attention to detail and service. From offering free tapes and samples, to shipping just three days after sample approval, Cap America is willing to go the extra mile to earn and keep its customers’ business.

    HPG*
    Braintree, Massachusetts

    HPG has stood for value, growth and integrity since Frank and Rita Fleming began selling pens door to door in 1954. In the 68 years since, HPG has grown to serve an ever-increasing market while maintaining the multi-million-dollar operation of today. With 250 million pens sold annually and 300 talented employees on board, HPG is proud to continue delivering the highest quality product to the promotional products industry.

    Gemline
    Lawrence, Massachusetts

    Founded in 1958, Gemline is an award-winning, design-centric supplier providing high-quality branded products to the promotional products industry. The company’s product line includes bags, luggage, business accessories, drinkware, electronics, stationery, writing instruments, gourmet foods and lifestyle gifts. In addition to its strong portfolio of house brands and Gemline-branded products, the company offers other in-demand retail brands such as American Tourister, Igloo, RuMe, Samsonite, Moleskine, MiiR, Corkcicle, Modern Sprout, Paper Mate, Sharpie, Slowtide and Zebra.

    SanMar*
    Issaquah, Washington

    Family-owned since 1971, SanMar Corporation is a national supplier of 21 retail, private label and mill brands. It provides apparel and accessories to screen printers, embroiderers, promotional products distributors, athletic dealers, industrial launderers and more, whether they are outfitting a Fortune 500 corporation or the local bowling team. SanMar’s vision is to create a canvas for good using blank apparel as its canvas to improve the lives of people around the world, to positively impact its employees and to enable its customers who are often touchstones in their communities.

    PCNA*
    New Kensington, Pennsylvania

    For more than 20 years, PCNA has been a premier supplier of high-quality promotional products, with goods ranging from pens and drinkware to bags and mobile tech. With an in-house product development team and dozens of leading retail brands, PCNA continually introduces products with the look, feel and performance customers want while maintaining award-winning service and cutting-edge decoration capabilities that ensure a seamless experience from start to finish.

    *The asterisk denotes suppliers that won Supplier Star or Awards of Merit in the same category last year.

  • 6 May 2022 11:42 AM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    Los Angeles, California-based distributor BAMKO, a division of the Superior Group of Companies, has acquired substantively all the assets of Norcross, Georgia, distributor Guardian Products. The transaction closed effective as of May 1.

    Guardian Products generated approximately $23 million in revenue over the past 12 months and has built its business providing promotional products to automotive dealers nationwide. A strategic acquisition for BAMKO, the acquisition of Guardian is expected to be immediately accretive and is seen as a natural extension of its December 2021 acquisition of Sutter’s Mill Specialties, which is also focused on the automotive dealer space.

    “The acquisition of Guardian is a great fit for our expanding business,” says Jake Himelstein, president of BAMKO. “Our December acquisition of Sutter’s Mill and its production and decoration capabilities created a unique synergistic opportunity that we were eager to seize upon. With the addition of Guardian, we can further leverage the Sutter’s Mill infrastructure to immediately become the dominant player in the automotive dealer space.

    “We see this as a tremendous growth opportunity and expect significant sales opportunities to result from our unique ability to provide uniform solutions for Guardian’s existing and future customer base.”

    The acquisition delivers holistic benefits to BAMKO. Sutter’s Mill has the decoration and production capabilities, while Guardian has the sales network and customer base. Essentially, from BAMKO’s perspective, each of the acquisitions becomes more attractive by virtue of doing both of them—the whole is substantially greater than the sum of the individual parts.

    • The acquisition allows BAMKO to advance some of its technology objectives for Sutter’s Mill.
    • BAMKO can invest more into Sutter’s Mill’s production, decoration and distribution infrastructure.
    • Guardian becomes more appealing to its existing and prospective customers because production and decoration is now in-house.

    The deal is the latest acquisition for BAMKO. Prior to the Sutter’s Mill acquisition, In February 2021, it acquired the assets of Seattle-based distributor Gifts By Design, Inc. In late 2019, BAMKO expanded its footprint into Texas with the formation of a strategic partnership with Dallas-based distributor Lapgevity. BAMKO’s parent company, Superior Group of Companies, also operates in the promotional market through subsidiaries Tangerine Promotions, Ltd. and Public Identify, Inc.

    Himelstein adds, “our first and most important focus always is on culture fit. The Wise family has built a culture at Guardian that we greatly admire. It is one of trust, positivity and a lightness of spirit that meshes well with our own. We’re honored with the confidence that they have placed in us to help them continue that legacy and are thrilled to welcome them into our BAMKO family.”

    Neil Wise, Sr., founder and president of Guardian Products, says, “We knew right away that BAMKO was different. BAMKO approached this entire process with a thoughtfulness, enthusiasm, cooperative spirit, and authenticity that got us excited about building a future together. The more we learned about the vision that the BAMKO team has for the future of this industry and the incredible business that they’ve already built, the more apparent it became that this was a special opportunity for our team that we simply could not pass up.

    “This deal will secure the long-term future of Guardian Products and create opportunities for our people that are bigger and better than any they’ve ever known. We can’t wait to get started.”

    Speaking to Newslink, Himelstein says, “We are so excited to bring these two cultures together and continue building something special here. The Wise family has built a great company and they have honored us by placing their trust in us to preserve and enhance that legacy. We intend to do so.

    “We are really fired up about this opportunity and what it means for the future. BAMKO, Sutter’s Mill, and Guardian became a lot better today. We’re going to give the folks at Guardian access to tools that we’ve invested millions to develop that will supercharge their growth. By joining forces, we’ll be able to accelerate our technology and infrastructure investment timeline and further press the advantage we’ve created through BAMKO's technological superiority.”

  • 6 May 2022 9:33 AM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    American Solutions for Business (ASB) has been selected by Premier as one of the primary vendors to provide Service Awards and Promotional Products to their member organizations as well as members of Premier’s partner GPO’s.

    ASB announced that it has been re-awarded a three-year group purchasing agreement with Premier, Inc., one of the largest healthcare purchasing alliances in the United States. The agreement (PP-SV-358) names ASB as a contracted supplier of Service Awards and Promotional Products, which includes promotional products, service awards, employee recruiting and retention programs, tradeshow booths, and other items related to marketing and HR. Effective Sept 1, 2022, the new agreement allows Premier members, at their discretion, to take advantage of special pricing and terms pre-negotiated by Premier and ASB for service awards and promotional products.

    ASB has been contracted with Premier since 2013 for services, including advertising and marketing, promotional products, enterprise content management, and service awards. As one of a select few contracted vendors in this category, ASB looks forward to continuing to service Premier’s members through its model of flexibility and exceptional customer service.
  • 6 May 2022 9:13 AM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    Supplier Mixie, along with staff members of parent company HPG and customers, celebrated its grand reopening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at its upgraded 60,000 square-foot facility in Eagan, Minnesota. Mixie, previously the Webb Company, was acquired by HPG in 2020.

    The Rebranding: Mixie’s reopening ceremony is part of a comprehensive rebranding initiative overseen by HPG’s in-house creative marketing team, based in Danville, California. Along with the facility upgrade, Mixie has introduced several new brand elements:

    • A new logo
    • A website redesign
    • New fonts
    • Updated marketing collateral
    • Refreshed product photography
    • Overhaul of its entire visual identity system

    The rebranding comes as several product categories offered by Mixie enjoy resurgent growth in the promo market. In its recently published Q1 2022 Global Statistical Report, industry service provider and PPAI technology partner SAGE noted that in January-March, lip balm searches climbed in its search results, rising 13 spots to No.34 in its top 50 product searches and comparisons. And sunscreen product searches climbed 75 percent quarter-to-quarter as distributors’ clients plan campaigns for the summer months.

    The Reopening Ceremony: Mixie specializes in custom, U.S.-mixed health and wellness products. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in the company’s new product showroom and afterwards guests were taken on guided tours of the production facility. The tour showcased the company’s operations, which, following the upgrades, have more than doubled the liquid fill capacity for sanitizers, lotions, lip balms and other items.

    Mixie’s facility is available for tours. Interested parties are invited to contact Rena Ashfeld, vice president of sales, at Rena.Ashfeld@hpgbrands.com.

    “I feel enthusiastic about what’s ahead for our product lines,” says Brett Olsen, Mixie’s general manager. “We refreshed and decorated the facility from top to bottom. HPG, our parent company, has been behind us 100% of the way. We’re excited to host more visitors and our sales team has hit the road to bring Mixie to customers.”


    Trina Bicknell, HPG chief revenue officer, says, “I’m so excited about Mixie’s new brand position. We are personal care and wellness, and taking the industry by storm. Our guests were so excited to smell and touch the products along the tour, and I am just thrilled to share Mixie industry-wide.”

    Ashfield says, “Mixie continues to rapidly expand its health and wellness line to include some amazing selfcare products. We added moisture beads with vitamins A and E to our hand sanitizers, mixed up some amazing scents for our hand and body lotions, and developed a reef-friendly sunscreen for the summer. The facility upgrades have enabled us to speed up development and absorb even more wellness products to the Mixie line.”

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