Monday evening, during the Chair’s Leadership Dinner at The PPAI Expo in Las Vegas, PPAI awarded its highest honor, induction into the Hall of Fame, to Sherri C. Lennarson, MAS, retired senior vice president of business development at Bankers Advertising Company and Cliff Quicksell, MAS+, president of Cliff Quicksell Associates.
The annual award gives permanent recognition to individuals selected for their generous and monumental contributions of time and talent to the Association and industry. Eighty-nine individuals have previously been inducted into the Hall of Fame since its formation in 1977.
In addition to the Hall of Fame Awards, PPAI also presented its H. Ted Olson Humanitarian Award to Peter Hirsch, MAS, president of Hirsch Gift, and its Distinguished Service Award to Brandon Mackay, MAS, president of SnugZ USA and David Regan, MAS, vice president of sales and marketing at The Vernon Company.
Also celebrated posthumously at the event were the 2022 recipients of PPAI’s Promotional Products Pioneers with trophies provided by supplier Bruce Fox. Those honored were Tom Constantino, who formed Noteworthy Co. in 1954, Ronald L. Cook of Glass Graphics and Edward Halperin of Perin Product Corp. Since 2016, the program has honored individuals whose business acumen or technological skill played a key role in the advancement of the promotional products industry.
Since The PPAI Expo 2021 was not held, the dinner also marked the first opportunity for in-person recognition of PPAI’s 2021 award winners. Each award winner was recognized, including Hall of Fame recipient Teresa Moisant, MAS; Humanitarian Award recipient Bob Waldorf, CAS; and Distinguished Service Award recipient Mark Ables, MAS. Ables was on hand to thank PPAI again for the recognition.
Held in the ballroom of the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, the elegantly appointed occasion drew an influential crowd of who’s who among industry and business leaders, volunteers, former recipients and friends and family of this year’s winners. PPAI’s Chair Todd Pottebaum, MAS, was the evening’s master of ceremonies.
“Volunteering brings many levels of satisfaction. One opportunity to volunteer almost always leads to another,” Sherri Lennarson said in accepting the Hall of Fame trophy crafted by St Regis Group and presented by Anne Stone, CAE, PPAI’s director of advocacy, engagement and education.
“Universally, we must ask ourselves, if not me, then who? And if not now, then when? I believe each of us is prepared and ready to serve for such a time as this. And to quote lyrics from the musical Wicked, ‘People come into our lives for a reason, bringing something we must learn, and we are led to those who help us most to grow, if we let them and help them in return.’ I’m who I am today because of you—the countless industry peers and friends, members, volunteers and staff who have indeed helped me to grow. You’ve left a handprint on my heart.”
Lennarson began her career nearly 40 years ago with Bankers Advertising Company and went on to lead the company as president, along with key leadership roles with PPAI, including board chair in 2009. Read more about Lennarson’s career and contributions in PPB’s January issue.
Paul Kiewiet, MAS+, a previous Hall of Fame inductee and Cliff Quicksell’s nominator, presented the award to honor his friend’s nearly four decades of service on both sides of the industry as well as numerous contributions as an industry speaker and consultant. Read more about Quicksell in PPB’s January issue. During his acceptance, Quicksell spoke about why he volunteers and thanked the many who helped him along the way. “One day, I read a quote by Lily Tomlin where she said, ‘I always wondered why someone didn’t do something about that, and then I realized, I am someone.’ That quote had an amazing impact on me. I wanted to become an agent of change, a disruptor, and I made the conscious decision, at that point, to start giving back, so I can help people succeed.
“I believe we can do something to make change happen by helping others succeed. It is an overall game changer—for our industry, for the individual and it lifts us up, too,” Quicksell said.
The H. Ted Olson Humanitarian Award and its custom trophy by Visions were presented to recipient Peter Hirsch, MAS, by nominator Leslie Roark, CAS, president of PromoPros, in recognition of his passionate commitment and generous contributions to his community and industry, especially during times of great need. Read more about Hirsch in PPB’s December issue.
PPAI’s Distinguished Service Award recognizes individuals who give back to PPAI and the industry by volunteering their time and talent. This year’s recognition of Brandon Mackay, MAS, and David Regan, MAS, reiterated the value and importance of volunteers to PPAI’s success.
Eric Ekstrand, MAS, regional VP at HALO and Mackay’s nominator, introduced Mackay, noting his extensive volunteer commitment as a former member of PPAI’s board of directors and his service on numerous committees including the Terminology, Technology and Standards Committee and the Suppliers Committee, among many other activities.
Nominator Chris Vernon, MAS, chairman/CEO of The Vernon Company, presented the honor to David Regan, MAS, to recognize his many years of selfless volunteerism on multiple PPAI committees including the Leadership Advisory Committee, Distributors Committee and as a member of the North American Leadership Conference Workgroup, as well for his involvement in PPAI’s legislative activity and as a frequent industry speaker and presenter. Regan could not be in Las Vegas but gratefully accepted the award via a pre-recorded video.
Both individuals received a custom trophy provided by St Regis Group. Read more about the contributions of both Distinguished Service Award recipients in PPB’s March issue.
The Chair’s Leadership Dinner was also the setting to commemorate the landmark PPAI membership anniversaries of 79 industry companies with the presentation of PPAI’s Milestone Awards.