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HPPA Industry News

  • 19 Jan 2022 2:53 PM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    Last week at its booth on The PPAI Expo show floor, supplier Sweda celebrated another banner year of support for the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) with a $115,000 donation. On January 11, Sweda Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Kellie Claudio presented Julie Soares, warrior support/corporate partnerships/ resource development manager for the WWP, and Dan Nevins, Basecamp® and WWP Brand Ambassador, with the donation surrounded by Sweda and Snugz USA team members, distributors and friends. To date, Sweda has donated more than $285,000 in money and product to support the WWP, helping over 1 million veterans reclaim their lives and bring independence back to the nation’s most severely wounded.

    Nevins, an Iraq war veteran and double amputee, conducts retreats all over the country for veterans and their families. A nationally recognized yoga master and motivational speaker, Nevins shares his practice with warriors giving them a safe space to heal mentally and spiritually. He is also the official brand ambassador for Basecamp, a Sweda adventure brand featuring products like backpacks, bear-tested coolers, drinkware, multi-tools, weatherproof Bluetooth speakers, hammocks and tents.

    Wounded Warrior Project is a charity and veterans service organization that offers a variety of programs, services and events for wounded veterans of the military actions following September 11, 2001. It operates as a nonprofit 501 organization.

    Earlier this month, it was announced that Sweda had been acquired by West Jordan, Utah-based supplier SnugZ USA (PPAI 112982, S11). SnugZ USA President and CEO Brandon Mackay, MAS, will serve as CEO of the combined company while Jim Hagan will stay on as president of Sweda. Business is expected to be “as usual” for both companies.

  • 13 Jan 2022 11:30 AM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    Cintas Corporation has been named to Newsweek’s 2022 America’s Most Responsible Companies list. The magazine’s corporate social responsibility ranking is based on a “holistic view of corporate responsibility” and considers equally businesses’ environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) rankings.

    “We believe that ESG is central to Cintas and it’s influenced our sustainable business model since our company’s origins during the Great Depression,” says Todd Schneider, Cintas president and CEO. “Environmental, social and governance concepts are engrained in our company and we appreciate the recognition for our recent performance in these areas.

    The 2022 edition of the list marks the company’s debut on Newsweek’s third-annual rankings, which began in 2020. Cintas was selected for Newsweek’s list following a four-phase review of the 2,000 largest public companies in the U.S.

    “Cintas has made a tremendous effort to reduce our environmental impact; foster an inclusive, supportive atmosphere for our employee-partners; and establish ourselves as a moral and ethical company,” adds Schneider. “Our corporate culture is based on doing what’s right and using positive discontent to push ourselves to be better. Being recognized for our success to date is certainly gratifying, but we also acknowledge that we must continue to challenge ourselves to make stronger impacts in these areas while continuing to do so in an admirable way.”

  • 11 Jan 2022 1:11 PM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    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.

  • 10 Jan 2022 10:38 AM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    First announced Friday in a PPB Newslink Breaking News alert, Daron Hines has been named president of Overland Park, Kansas-based distributor Staples Promotional Products (PPAI 108945, D15), a subsidiary of office retail company Staples, Inc. Hines is an executive with more than 20 years of experience with numerous well-known brands, including General Mills, the J.M. Smucker Company and most recently, Morton Salt.

    In a statement announcing his appointment, Hines said, “I couldn’t be more excited to join Staples Promotional Products (SPP). SPP is an industry leader with an incredibly innovative team and an unparalleled global supplier network. I look forward to working alongside the team to build upon SPP’s successful track record of creating meaningful brand experiences for employees, consumers and stakeholders.”

    At Staples, Hines is a member of Staples’ executive leadership team, reporting directly to its CEO. With a focus on the general management and profit-and-loss responsibilities of the promotional products business, he will work with customers and suppliers to develop brand experiences for employees, consumers and stakeholders.

    Hines’ background includes roles in general management, commercial strategy development, brand building, innovation, trade marketing, direct account and customer relationship management, category management, retail operations and organization structure design. Prior to joining Staples in December 2021, he served as vice president, consumer and industrial, Americas, at Morton Salt. There, Hines led the sales and marketing teams supporting the company’s Morton, Windsor and Lobos brands and applications in North and South America. Earlier, at J.M. Smucker, he was the vice president of sales, channels, and the vice president of trade marketing.

  • 7 Jan 2022 1:07 PM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    An affiliate of NC Custom has acquired the continental U.S. business of ACE USA. ACE USA was established in Alaska in 1955 as a wholesale supplier of custom-designed apparel and hard goods for the gift and tourist industry. It joins promotional products brands Chocolate Inn, Taylor & Grant, Lanco and SPD Shoreline under the umbrella of Hicksville, New York-based NC Custom.

    With in‐house design, screen-printing, embroidery and pad-printing capabilities, ACE USA delivers customized and coordinating product collections. It will be combining its production operations with NC Custom’s state-of-the-art 200,000 square feet of customization manufacturing. The product line will also give back a portion of the proceeds to the National Park Foundation.

    “The acquisition of ACE USA continues our vision of building out a leadership platform in the souvenir and resort business with top-notch product, design and development,” says Lance Stier, CEO of NC Custom. “We are honored to build upon the tremendous legacy of the ACE USA business and are excited to work closely with many of ACE USA’s team members to continue to build this great business.”

    Becky Ourso, president of Arctic Circle Enterprises (ACE USA), says, “NC Custom is a great fit for our treasured customers. I am thrilled they will be able to continue to offer top‐notch designs on a curated product line developed specifically for the gift and souvenir industry.”

    The acquisition was completed December 15.

  • 7 Jan 2022 1:05 PM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    American Solutions for Business pledged $8,315 during their annual United Way scavenger hunt. Held during the second week of November, 39 American Solutions for Business employee pledges help achieve the massive goal.

    With virtual events held November 8th-12th, The United Way of Pope and Douglas Counties used their annual campaign to support their local community and spread the important work that their organization does.

    “The annual campaign is a way for our company to support our community and spread the word about the important work that is done by the United Way of Pope and Douglas Counties,” explained Web Application Support Specialist, Michelle Pfeiffer. “Employees that participated in the events were eligible to win prizes. We had 39 employees this year who pledged a total of $8,315.”

    United Way fosters and promotes an inclusive environment that leverages the unique contributions of diverse individuals and organizations so that we can collectively and effectively create opportunities for a better life for all.
  • 14 Dec 2021 12:45 PM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    Mark Gammon, CAS, currently president and chief operating officer of Cap America (PPAI 111597, S10), has been appointed CEO of the Fredericktown, Missouri, supplier. He will assume the new role on January 1, 2022, the start of the company’s new fiscal year.

    Gammon succeeds founder and current CEO Phil Page, who will transition to chairman of the board for the company. Cap America board members include Phil Page, Mary Page, Mark Gammon, Jon Page, Cory Cissell, Curt Carr and Wes Royer.

    “I am honored to assume this role and grateful to Phil for his influence and guidance through this process,” says Gammon. “It has been an incredible five years. We are well-positioned to expand opportunities for our clients and associates moving forward. This is a terrific opportunity that any leader would welcome.”

  • 10 Dec 2021 6:10 PM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    American Solutions for Business has announced new board members joining their Vendor Advisory Board, effective January 1, 2022.

    This advisory board is an exclusive group of trusted partners who provide valuable feedback and guidance regarding decisions that affect the prosperity of ASB’s sales associates, customers and partners. The group advises in an array of areas including events, budgeting, branding, product trends, technology, marketing strategy and more. Members moving forward serve a total of two years.

    “This board has been instrumental in contributing to ASB’s success,” says Dana Zezzo, VP of Marketing, Vendor Relations & Events. “We are incredibly grateful to our board members who have provided guidance and support over the last two years and are excited to welcome our incoming board members to this dynamic group."

    Incoming members for 2022-2024 include: Marc Held (Alphabroder/Prime), Dan Taylor (BamBams), Mike Szymczak (Hub Promotional Group), Melissa Ralston (Koozie Group), Beth Marston (Navitor), Jarod Thorndike (SAGE), Kevin Walsh (Showdown Displays), Roni Wright (The Book Company) and Bob Saunders (Wise).

    They will join a select portion of the original board members rolling over for their final term ending in 2023, including Steve Osterloh (Ennis), Scott Leonard (Hit Promotional Products), Miles Wadsworth (Logo Mats) and Phil Sperling (Printco).

    Members rolling off the board after having served from 2019-2021 include: Mike D'Ottoviano (ASI), Adam McNeill (CE Printed Products), Charles Duggan (Goldstar), Mark Mallory (ID Images), Stuart McLelland (Phenix Direct), Rob Newell (SanMar) and Megan Zezzo (S&S Activewear).
  • 23 Nov 2021 11:17 AM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    Staples Promotional Products (PPAI 108945) has been named the official licensee of U.S. Ski & Snowboard, the Olympic national governing body of ski and snowboard sports in the U.S., based in Park City, Utah. Staples will manage its new line of branded merchandise, ecommerce website and its partners’ and affiliates’ promotional merchandise programs.

    “We couldn’t be happier to partner with SPP to bring U.S. Ski & Snowboard consumer merchandise to the next level,” says U.S. Ski & Snowboard Chief Revenue Officer Michael O’Conor. “The company’s industry-leading promotional products are creative and exciting, and this is the next step in branded merchandising and ecommerce for U.S. Ski & Snowboard. We’re also excited to offer an enhanced consumer shopping experience that will inspire fans to support the team with branded gear through the Olympic season and beyond.”

    Staples Promotional Products has worked with the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee for nearly 30 years on sponsorship merchandise programs. Its Olympic merchandising team will continue to work closely with U.S. Ski & Snowboard to expand its curated seasonal retail collections.

    “Staples is thrilled to be part of the U.S. Ski & Snowboard family,” says Donna Armstrong, director of Olympic partnerships at Staples Promotional Products. “As we lead up to the Beijing Olympic Games, SPP looks forward to supporting the fans with exciting U.S. Ski & Snowboard merchandise. I have been a part of the Olympic and Paralympic movement since 1999, and I couldn’t be more delighted to partner with one of the premier U.S. National Governing Bodies.”

    Hosted on the U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s website, the ecommerce microsite will include branded retail collections of men’s, women’s and children’s apparel, and a branded accessory line.

  • 23 Nov 2021 11:16 AM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has suspended its activities related to the implementation and enforcement of its COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), published on November 5, after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted a motion to stay the ETS.

    Applicable to employers with 100 or more employees, the ETS had mandated that, by January 4, 2022, all staff be fully vaccinated or undergo weekly testing. It also specified that unvaccinated employees are required to wear masks at all times and anyone who tests positive must leave the workplace immediately.

    While OSHA says that it “remains confident in its authority to protect workers in emergencies,” activities related to the ETS are pending future developments in the litigation.

    For a summary of OSHA’s ETS, click here. FAQs can be found here.

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