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HPPA Industry News

  • 17 Aug 2023 12:04 PM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    We’re one week away from Promotional Products Work! Day, which PPAI has designated as a special occasion to celebrate the power of promotional products and the value they bring to businesses and organizations.

    On August 24, PPAI – together with its members and other industry professionals – will actively recognize and promote the value, impact and effectiveness of promotional products – the most memorable form of advertising.

    • More than three quarters (78%) of consumers enjoy receiving free swag from companies and brands they love, and nearly 73% want to receive promo products more often, according to PPAI’s 2023 Consumer Survey.

    On Promotional Products Work! Day, industry professionals are encouraged to thank customers, promote the power of branded merchandise and spread awareness of the important role industry professionals play in all aspects of advertising, marketing and business.

    So, how can industry companies join in the fun? Below are nine ideas for making the most of Promotional Products Work! Day.

    1. Host an Open House

    Invite customers and prospects to visit your showroom, meet your team and learn about new products and services. If you haven’t welcomed anyone to your showroom since the COVID-19 pandemic, this would be an ideal time to open your doors.

    2. Create a Social Media Campaign

    Use Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly known as Twitter), Snapchat or whichever social media platform you have to share stories and images of successful promotional products campaigns, emphasizing the impact they’ve had on your clients. Encourage your followers to share their own success stories, too. You may also use any of the other social graphics provided within the PPW Toolkit.

    3. Offer Special Discounts

    Incentivize customers to make purchases and get ahead of the busy holiday season by offering special discounts on popular products or services. A one-day-only deal could be the extra push that a prospect needs to finally invest in promotional products.

    4. Donate to a Charitable Organization

    Partner with a local charity and donate a portion of your sales on Promotional Products Work! Day to that organization. It’s a great way to demonstrate your commitment to giving back to the community.

    5. Host a Networking Event

    Organize a networking event for local businesses and organizations to connect and learn about the latest trends in promotional products and marketing. Perhaps you could hold the open house in conjunction with the networking event as an added incentive for clients and prospects to participate.

    6. Launch a New Product or Service

    What better time to introduce a new product or service than Promotional Products Work! Day? Offer a special promotion or discount for customers who place an order for the new product during the event.

    7. Conduct a Survey

    Distributors should engage with their customers on a consistent basis to not only identify areas for improvement, but also better understand customer needs. Take advantage of Promotional Products Work! Day to send clients a survey about their favorite products, what challenges they’re currently facing and how you can help solve their problems.

    8. Host a Webinar

    Plan and host an educational webinar for customers and prospects to learn about the latest trends, best practices and newest promotional products. However, don’t let the webinar turn into a commercial – make sure you provide valuable content that can improve some aspect of your attendees’ business.

    9. Give Prizes

    To create a fun atmosphere, host a raffle or giveaway for customers who make a purchase during Promotional Products Work! Day. It’s an opportunity to showcase multiple products or services in an exciting way.

    Written by: John Corrigan

    Published with Permission from PPAI

  • 16 Aug 2023 4:24 AM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    Mike Szymczak, co-founder of Salt Lake City-based supplier Origaudio, is retiring from the promotional products industry.

    A Change In Leadership

    Origaudio, a subsidiary of HPG – ranked the No. 8 supplier in this year’s PPAI 100 – has announced that Szymczak will step down from his development and sales management role at Origaudio, as well as his vice president of business development role at HPG, on Aug. 18.

    “This industry is the absolute greatest to be a part of and I’m thankful for all the people I’ve met because of it,” says Szymczak, who will remain an HPG investor. “I’m proud to have worked alongside the HPG family as we’ve collectively grown the Origaudio brand and have every confidence they’ll continue to in my absence.”

    In a video, Szymczak announced that Nick Lateur, director of sales at HPG, will assume his development and sales management role as it relates to Origaudio.

    • Entering the promo industry in 2015, Lateur worked in national sales for San Clemente, California-based supplier AP Specialties and Mason, Ohio-based IMAGEN Brands (PPAI 114197, S10) before joining HPG as director of national accounts for HPG’s specialty channel.

    “Mike Szymczak is a true innovator and someone I deeply admire,” Lateur told PPAI Media. “While I’m (selfishly) a little bummed out about his decision to step away from the day-to-day work at HPG/Origaudio, I’m also extremely happy for Mike and his family for having the ability to continue to blaze his own path in life. He’s earned that privilege.”

    “I humbly accept the fiery-hot Origaudio torch he is now passing to me,” Lateur adds. “I’ll continue to instill creativity and innovation to the unique brand that he and Jason Lucash built 14-plus years ago, and I consider it one of my top professional honors to be the one to carry Origaudio successfully into the future.”

    Origaudio History

    In 2009, Szymczak and Lucash launched Origaudio, which has earned numerous accolades inside and outside the industry for its cutting-edge products, innovative packaging and clever go-to-market strategies.

    • In 2011, the duo appeared on Shark Tank, accepting an offer from investor Robert Herjavec, who offered the exact $150,000 for 15% deal that they hoped for.
    • In 2018, Origaudio was acquired by HPG, which was formerly named HUB Promotional Group.

    “The HPG team wishes to congratulate Mike on his success and thank him for his wonderful contribution to the entire enterprise,” says Trina Bicknell, chief revenue officer at HPG. “He has earned his stellar reputation through hard work, ingenuity and genuine kindness toward those around him. I’m delighted he won’t be far away as he remains an investor and look forward to his input in the future as we grow both Origaudio and HPG.”

    Written by John Corrigan

    Published with Permission from PPAI

  • 14 Aug 2023 1:35 PM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    A franchisee of Proforma – promo’s 5th leading supplier in this year’s PPAI 100 – has been selected to handle all merchandising needs for the 2024 Republican National Convention (RNC) in Milwaukee.

    Local distributor Proforma ScoutPromotions – a woman-owned, small business – will be providing RNC-logoed apparel, mugs and other promotional products for the political gathering next July.

    “It’s still unreal to me,” says Candace Lillund, principal of Proforma ScoutPromotions in Milwaukee. “I can’t believe how many people have reached out, like friends from college and associations. My family is on cloud nine. But I also feel that if it’s going to happen to someone, why not me? I’m hoping it opens the door to more business not only for us, but also others in my position who are small business owners in Milwaukee.”

    The Cream Rises To The Top

    A native of “The Cream City,” Lillund earned a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree in marketing and finance from the Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

    She went on to spend 20 years at Xerox, beginning as an account representative in the office products division and climbing up the company ladder to regional manager.

    • In 2003, she joined the now-defunct jeweler Silpada Designs as senior sales representative.
    • In between tenures, she and her husband welcomed their baby girl into the world.

    “I love being a mom, but I knew there had to be more,” Lillund says. “After working for different companies, I wanted my own business. I figured I can do just as good, if not a better job than these folks.”

    After spending half of her career working with print, Lillund decided to dive into the promo space, launching ScoutPromotions in 2009 and joining Proforma two years later. She initially targeted the construction market, meeting the constant need for safety items, and has since expanded to manufacturing and “quasi-government,” such as economic development corporations.

    Last year, she won the bid to help rebrand the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. “In order to win the bid, I had to get my WBE (Women’s Business Enterprise) certification, which has opened up a tremendous number of doors,” Lillund says.

    Even before her bidding hot streak, business was booming for the three-person operation, which Lillund attributes, oddly enough, to the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the rise of e-commerce during the lockdowns, ScoutPromotions pivoted to providing customers with their own online company stores. Additionally, the firm began kitting, creating personalized, printed packaging and adding customized items.

    “We still have some really nice bulk orders, but a big portion of our business now comes from stores compared to just three years ago,” Lillund says. “The pandemic created that demand for us.”

    Proforma’s Support

    Despite receiving the biggest opportunity of her career, Lillund says she hasn’t had time to celebrate because the work has already begun.

    On August 23, she’ll be displaying several products at the Convention Partner Fair, in conjunction with the RNC’s Summer Meeting and the first Republican Party presidential primary debate of the season. The fair allows up to 300 vendors to present their services and products to prospective customers, such as state delegates and the 168 executive committee members.

    With such a quick turnaround time, the pressure’s on for the 14-year industry veteran.

    “My stomach has been in knots. I’ve got spreadsheets on top of spreadsheets,” Lillund says. “Proforma has its most valuable preferred vendors, and I’ve leaned on them. Thanks to them not hurting me financially, I’m filling my booth with high-end quality products with the RNC logo. This fair could easily have cost me $5,000 to put together.”

    Michelle Dalton, vice president of strategic partner development at Proforma, says, “We take immense pride in Candace’s accomplishments and are thrilled about the opportunities this will bring to elevate her business. We’ve worked diligently to expand and strengthen our supplier relationships for the Proforma Network, and with these unique partnerships, we’re confident she will be able to deliver solutions that will wow the customers.”

    Even though the RNC is a little less than a year away, you won’t catch Lillund resting on her laurels. She’ll be making the most of her big break, which she encourages fellow distributors to do as well.

    “Take advantage of every opportunity provided to you,” she says. “Don’t say you’ll do it tomorrow, act on it now.”

    Written by: John Corrigan

    Published with Permission from PPAI

  • 14 Aug 2023 1:34 PM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    Put yourself first. Yes, you.

    Simple, yet powerful, right? Those of us in the promotional products industry know how draining the grind can be, especially during this busy travel season many of us on the supplier side have just experienced. My distributor friends, who are just now wrapping up the back-to-school push and are already focused on holiday sales, know what I’m talking about, too.

    You are selling. You are facilitating orders. You are traveling. You are running meetings. You are a parent. You are a friend. You are a relative. You are everything!

    And truth be told, you probably need a break. The good news is, it'll make you better at your job when you return.

    In this fast-paced world we live in, and especially in this busy industry that requires so much, it is too easy to lose sight of yourself, your needs and the fact that you matter. We go at breakneck speeds to close deals, and to execute everything life throws at us. We are so busy taking care of everything and everyone else that we forget to do the most important thing, the thing that allows all of those plates to keep spinning – taking care of ourselves.

    This may seem odd coming from a guy who some know for creating a personal brand on social media, but I am often way too guilty of putting me last.

           RELATED: Joshua Pospisil: 4 Ideas To Improve Your Social Media Marketing

    It was recently brought to my attention that I had not taken a day for just myself in over six months. Now, I’d taken a few vacation days for taking care of my kids, for visiting family, and for spending time with close friends. But truly those were all focused on them and their experiences, happiness and well-being.

    As the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup. It took a loved one pointing out to me that my cup was bone dry to even realize how spent I actually felt. Initially I was in denial, but when I sat back and reflected on that conversation, I knew that they were right.

    I actually had not had a taken a “me day” in forever, and it was long overdue. I’m proud to say that I made full use of last week’s vacation to recharge myself and refill my cup.

    That doesn’t mean I spent it alone in some yoga pose chanting self affirmations. But I did what wanted: I spent quality time with my kids. And we did fun kid stuff. Of course they enjoyed it, because we went to an amusement park. But because I left all my work concerns behind and allowed myself to truly unwind and just enjoy the time with them, it was the perfect way to refresh myself after a busy summer. It's what I needed.

    A full week off is great, but you can fill your own cup in even less time than that. Take the day off – I don’t mean a Saturday or Sunday filled with the usual house work or hustle to games and recitals – but an honest off day during the regular workweek, and disconnect.

    No work calls, no emails, no social media; just spend time doing something you love. It could be family time. But it could also be a guilt-free spa day, or sleeping in and taking yourself to lunch and a movie. Maybe it’s just laying in bed all day doing nothing.

    Whatever it is, you owe it to yourself. And because it will make you better once you’ve done it, you honestly owe it to your clients and colleagues, too.

    Never lose sight of yourself, who you are, the things you enjoy and care about. After all, there is just one you.

    No matter how much we may want to clone ourselves to be even more productive, that’s not happening. The good news is that refreshing yourself is a productivity hack of the highest order.

    As hard as it may be, make a promise to yourself that you will take time for yourself. I challenge you to mark it on the calendar – maybe even make it a monthly or quarterly routine.

    More importantly, I challenge you to be honest with yourself about your empty cup, before someone else notices first.

    You matter.

    Pospisil, MAS, is a national account manager at supplier Hirsch, ranked as the No. 12 supplier on the 2023 PPAI 100. He made his debut on the PPAI #Online18 list of the industry’s best follows on social media in 2023.

    Written by Josh Pospisil, MAS

    Published with permission from PPAI

  • 9 Aug 2023 9:28 AM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    Perry Ellis International has promoted Amy Mazur to national sales manager within the corporate sales division.

    • Mazur, who has been with the company for two years, has consistently exceeded sales targets, fostered strong client relationships and contributed to the growth and success of the company, says a news release.
    • In her new role, she will oversee the strategic development and execution of sales initiatives across the country, represent the company at regional and national trade shows, forge strategic partnerships and expand the brand’s reach to new markets. Additionally, she will work on all national accounts and will lead and mentor Perry Ellis’ team of 30-plus independent sales reps.

    “Amy’s promotion to national sales manager is a testament to her hard work and remarkable contributions to Perry Ellis,” says Jeff Smith, vice president of sales at Perry Ellis Corporate. “Amy brings a tremendous amount of passion and apparel knowledge to the team. We are confident that she will excel in her new role, continue to educate our customers on current trends and opportunities, and help us reach even greater heights in the competitive apparel market.”

  • 9 Aug 2023 9:27 AM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    Tekweld has hired Tom Kronberger as national account director.

    • His primary responsibilities include developing business for large accounts through strategic meetings and the use of Tekweld’s extensive product line, global sourcing, packaging solutions and advanced decorating techniques.
    • Kronberger brings experience on both sides of the industry. He was previously in a similar role at supplier Lanco and most recently was vendor relations manager and marketing coordinator at distributor Fully Promoted.

    “Tom will be an incredibly powerful asset for us,” says Scott Slade, Tekweld CEO. “His deep experience in the industry and strong ability to build relationships with customers in order to develop unique product solutions will help Tekweld maintain the solid growth trajectory we have experienced in recent years.”

  • 9 Aug 2023 9:24 AM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    At the end of June, during peak travel season, Los Angeles International Airport announced a ban on the sale of single-use plastic water bottles, making it the second U.S. (and California) airport to do so, following San Francisco in 2019.

    So far, the LAX ban applies to water containers only – not sodas, sports drinks, etc. – but SFO expanded its policy in 2021 to prohibit the sale of any beverages in plastic bottles.

    Once past the security checkpoint, travelers can still buy water in recyclable containers – or better yet, refill their own reusable containers at the hydration stations that have popped up in airports throughout the country over the past decade.

    These filtered water stations started to appear in airports around 2011 and began to spread in 2017. LAX first announced its water bottle refill stations in 2018, and the airport has installed more over the past two years to meet increased demand.

    Many refill stations feature a counter that tallies how many bottles each dispenser has saved. In a 2022 Facebook post, the Nashville International Airport in Tennessee reports that its stations have kept more than a million bottles out of landfills.

    Overall, Americans purchase about 50 billion water bottles per year, averaging about 13 bottles per month (roughly one every other day) for every person in the United States. That means one person switching to a reusable water bottle has the potential to save an average of 156 plastic bottles annually.

    Promo is here to help. With hundreds, if not thousands of brandable drinkware options, there’s something for every taste and budget, and PPAI research shows that drinkware is one of the best ways to promote your client’s brand because it’s kept longer than other promo items, yielding more than 1,400 impressions for the average item’s lifecycle.

    Here are just a few of the drinkware possibilities, from coveted prestige brands to more practical pieces for travel – including two bottles rated as top performers by Travel + Leisure magazine:

    turquoise Hydro Flask water bottle with custom logo

    Named best stainless steel bottle by T+L, the Hydro Flask Wide Mouth With Flex Sip Lid is soft to the touch with a comfortable drinking lip and an easy-to-hold handle. Its 20-oz. capacity offers plenty of hydration without getting too heavy. Available in five colors (Pacific shown).

    PCNA / PPAI 113079, S15

     black YETI water bottle with custom logo

    Another T+L favorite, the Yeti Rambler 26-Oz. Bottle with Chug Cap makes it easy to steal a sip without slowing down. It keeps beverages cold all day, plus it’s shatter-resistant and dishwasher safe. Available in six colors (black shown), laser engraving included.

    Buckeye Incentives / PPAI 786878, S1

    collapsible silicone water bottle, red with silver lid

    This ultra-portable 17-Oz. Collapsible Silicone Water Bottle is a great travel item because it shrinks from 8 inches tall down to about 4.5 inches. Made from food grade silicone, this bottle is dishwasher and microwave safe (except for the lid) and safe for liquids up to 140 degrees. Available in five colors (red shown), laser engraving of the metal cap included.

    High Caliber Line / PPAI 205801, S10

    stainless steel Contigo water bottle with push-button spout

    The Contigo Chug Chill, a 20-oz. double wall stainless steel bottle with vacuum insulation, one-touch push-button spout and carrying handle with carabiner, is ideal for staying hydrated on the go. For cold beverages only, this bottle comes in stainless (shown), white or black, with one-color imprint included.

    ETS Express / PPAI 135148, S11

    white RTIC water bottle with custom logo

    This white stainless steel, double wall insulated RTIC 26-Oz. Water Bottle keeps your drinks ice cold longer with no sweat on the outside. Price includes laser engraving with optional upgrade to digital/four-color process print. Gift box included.

    Hirsch / PPAI 221823, S10

    BPA-free plastic bottle with Cupanion QR code to track reuse

    The BPA-free Cupanion Bottle is made sustainably in New York of durable Tritan plastic and comes in 15 lid colors. The carbon emissions generated in production are offset after only two uses, and each bottle connects to an app through the QR code printed directly on the bottle so users can track the social and environmental impact of each reuse.

    Fill it Forward / PPAI 792815, S1

    Written By: Rachel Zoch

    Published with Permission from PPAI

  • 4 Aug 2023 6:31 AM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    Koozie Group – ranked the No. 10 supplier in this year’s PPAI 100 – has named Pierre Montaubin the new CEO of the Clearwater, Florida-based company, as well as its sister company IMAGEN Brands.

    Montaubin, who was a member of the PPAI Product Responsibility Advisory Group (PRAG), was named the company’s first chief product and sustainability officer in January.

    “I'm excited for the future – the sky is the limit," Montaubin told PPAI Media. "We have the team in place to grow. This market is fairly big, and we have a small market share. If we’re delivering the services, products, brands and technology that our customers are looking for, we should grab more market share.”

    With its SAGE Rating improving to an A, Koozie Group is laser focused on achieving an A+ with Montaubin prioritizing customer experience improvements, according to Melissa Ralston, chief revenue officer at Koozie Group.

    “Pierre brings 14 years of experience across multiple functions,” Ralston says. “He knows our business and how to make those continuous process improvements work cross-functionally to deliver that better experience for our customers.”

    Leadership Transition

    In July, Koozie Group announced that former CEO David Klatt had stepped down to serve as an advisor to the supplier’s board of directors.

    • Klatt was also a board member of H.I.G. Capital, the private equity firm that acquired Koozie Group (formerly known as BIC Graphic North America) in 2017.
    • Koozie Group told PPAI Media that Klatt made a “planned transition in March” after his five-year term as CEO and board member ended.

    Since Klatt’s transition, the executive team has been working directly with the executive chairman of the board to “continue implementing strategic improvements” for the benefit of customers.

    A company spokesperson told PPAI Media that Koozie Group's strategy and focus will remain the same, nodding to the board's belief in the importance of a seamless leadership transition and continuity with customers.

    Koozie Group's Next Biggest Challenge

    In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting business, as it did for every firm in the promotional products industry, Montaubin blames the labor shortage for causing issues for distributor customers. 

    "It was hard to go back into the rhythm of standard lead times and offering what was consistent with what our customers were expecting," Montaubin says. "For the last six-to-nine months, we’ve been back. We don’t want to make waves or big announcements, we just want to be consistent day in and day out, delivering products on time to our customers. The next biggest challenge for our company is having to prove ourselves to our customers."

    The first task on Montaubin's packed agenda is meeting with Koozie Group employees at all of the company's locations. Then, he'll be hitting the road, accompanying Ralston and her team as they meet with distributors they believe they can bring value to. 

    "Distributors have grown tremendously over the past couple years," Montaubin says. "Frankly, Koozie Group hasn’t grown that fast. We need to understand what we should do to be better partners to our distributors. I want to listen to them and remove the roadblocks.”

    Montaubin's Background

    Montaubin entered the promotional products industry in 2009, when he took over the Hong Kong-based sourcing operations of BIC Graphic and Norwood Promotional Products. In 2017, he moved to the United States, where he'd assume several roles at BIC Graphic North America, such as vice president of global support services and senior vice president of product management and sourcing. 

    Prior to joining the promo industry, Montaubin held operational and financial project management roles with BIC, Neuf Telecom and Unilog Management Consulting, with clients such as Louis Vuitton, Gerflor and Riso. He received his BA from the University of Provence and a Master of Management from the NEOMA Business School.

    Recent Developments

    BIC Graphic rebranded to Koozie Group in 2020. That same year, Koozie Group acquired fellow high-profile supplier IMAGEN Brands.

    Since then, the company has been working with a third party to conduct impartial end-user surveys to identify what it calls KG Factor items – products designed to lessen environmental impact through longevity.

    • The initiative is part of Koozie Group’s product strategy around its sustainability commitment called “Keep It. Give It.”
    • Today, 77% of its product assortment – a total of 1,944 items – has earned the KG Factor designation. The company’s goal was originally to reach the 50% mark by 2024.

    In a recent article in PPAI Magazine, Montaubin said of the company’s spend in Asia, 90% of it is still coming from China. In comparison, in 2016-2017, it was 97%.

    • Over the past few years, some production has been moved from China to Vietnam, Bangladesh and India, and the company has considered Mexico as an alternative source.

    Written by: John Corrigan

    Published with permission from PPAI

  • 3 Aug 2023 9:15 AM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    SAGE, the leading provider of information, marketing, and business management solutions to the promotional products industry, announces the release of SAGE Mobile 11.2. The app, available for iOS and Android devices, allows industry distributors easy access to all their critical research and business management operations while on the go.

    This update introduces over 200 new features and enhancements to search features, supplier information, presentations, CRM, project management, and order management. SAGE Mobile 11.2 users will see more fields and filters to align with the recently updated capabilities of SAGE Online™ and SAGE Web™, enabling Total Access customers to manage their business across platforms from anywhere effortlessly.

    "Our industry is always on the go. Because of that, we are committed to providing our customers with a seamless experience whether they are using SAGE Online, SAGE Web, or SAGE Mobile to give them the flexibility they need to run their businesses so they may focus on what matters most, their clients," said SAGE President David Natinsky, MAS.

    The SAGE Mobile 11.2 update brings a number of new features to the mobile app, including the ability to view recent product searches from your dashboard and further refine your product search results by color, price, or other features.

    Distributors can view whether a supplier is available to chat online right in the supplier’s profile. This will help speed up communication and make it easier for distributors to get answers when they're needed most.

    Distributors will also be able to view distributor comments and supplier responses on the supplier’s rating details page. Supplier’s general information, geographic market, order change information, cancellations, and more are now also accessible in SAGE Mobile. Additionally, distributors can quickly view what type of art formats each supplier accepts, as well as set up or proof charges, all while on the go.

    Updates to the presentation area now allow distributors to adjust pricing in their presentations, translate a presentation into French or Spanish, and even share a presentation via URL or email directly from their mobile app. No more waiting until you get back to the office when your customer needs information right away!

    Another highly anticipated addition is the ability for distributors to add projects to their client’s profiles as well as a project field in the tasks area to make it easier to create new projects and stay on top of others even when not in the office.

    SAGE also enhanced the order management area, giving distributors the option to automatically send office copies of their order forms. The order forms will now show the subtotal price, subtotal cost, and profit fields for easier itemization.

    SAGE Mobile 11.2 is available now. Current SAGE Total Access subscribers can download SAGE Mobile free from the Apple App Store, Google Play, or the Amazon App Store. The update will download automatically for users who have their app updates turned on.

  • 30 Jul 2023 3:52 PM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    Storm Creek, a leading supplier of eco-made and lifestyle apparel celebrates female owner and CEO, Teresa Fudenberg as one the recipient of ASI’s prestigious Counselor awardsBess Cohn Humanitarian of the Year.

    [ Counselor Award announcement ]

    [ video interview with Teresa ]

    Committed to Better

    Teresa is recognized for her bold commitment to donating at least $5 million to charity by 2030. What started out as an internal goal, quickly became a pillar of Storm Creek’s mission to Seek Better. “Our commitment to giving back has become front and center in conversations with our customers, employees, and partners,” Fudenberg explains. “One of the benefits of stating this boldly is that we’re accountable to it and making business decisions around it.”

    Storm Creek is well on their way to reaching the stated goal. To date, the company has donated over $1.3 million to local and national charitable organizations. See more about the impact they had in 2022 here.

    Teresa accepted the award at ASI’s Annual Counselor Awards ceremony in Chicago Wednesday evening, stating, “This isn’t a me  thing. It’s a we  thing. Our team shows up every day with a ton of passion and ton or purpose. It’s an honor to have that passion and purpose recognized by ASI on such a prestigious stage.”

    The Other Pillars of Storm Creek

    In addition to philanthropic efforts, Strom Creek is also committed to sustainable sourcing, which includes to upcycling plastic bottles into garments. By the end of 2023, the company will have prevented over 30 million bottles from ending up in oceans and landfills. “Given the pollution issues related to the fashion industry, we are absolutely responsible for producing our apparel in the most sustainable way possible and ensuring high-quality garments that last and last versus filling landfills,” stated Fudenberg. “Nearly 1 million garments leave our building every year,” she says. “If there’s an option to make it better, we can’t not do it. Plus, our market is corporations and resorts that logo their apparel for brand building. The vast majority of these organizations value and measure their environmental impact, so we do everything we can to align with their values.”

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