June 2023
Wishing all of the PPAMidwest Fathers
a wonderful, relaxing holiday!
A Message From Our PPAMidwest President......
PPAMidwest Members,
Hard to believe that we are already halfway through 2023 and June is upon us. We celebrate many things in the month of June and it is a great time to be outdoors. This month, we bring you both celebrations and a chance to socialize outside with fellow PPAMidwest members. I truly hope you are all planning on coming out for our Golf Tournament on June 22nd. It still isn’t too late to register! While I join all of you in celebrating many great things this month, including Pride, Juneteenth and our fathers, I also want to celebrate the works our members are doing. June is also the time for the NALC event with PPAI which includes LEAD. LEAD (Legislative Education and Action Day) is when our industry volunteers representing all of the regional associations advocate on our behalf in D.C. This year I send special thanks to our volunteer crew representing PPAMidwest, including our illustrious 2016 past President Brian Porter, the great Mary Dobesh and PPAI Board Member Andrew Spellman. These three are focused on returning results for Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska. Please thank them for their efforts on our behalf.

I also want to celebrate the great accomplishments of our immediate Past President Mandi Rudd & our 2019 Past President David Shultz, who along with MANY others, worked tirelessly to pull off an amazing charitable event in Big Slick KC and raised over $3.5 million for Children’s Mercy in Kansas City. I’d love to hear all the ways our members are giving back to their communities. Share with me and let me celebrate you in future newsletters!

Don’t forget the awesome events on the horizon:
  • August social events will be held the first full week of August, which will include a return to Chicken N Pickle in Overland Park, KS and a retro Arcade party in St. Louis. Details to be released soon.
  • Our Fall Showcase dates are set for September 26th in Overland Park, KS and September 28th in St. Louis.

Halfway through the year now, I remain honored to serve as your President and am looking forward to seeing all of you in person soon. Please reach out directly to me with your comments, questions, or just to chat. I can be reached via email at dennis.oglesby@go2partners.com

Yours in Service,

Dennis Oglesby, MAS
2023 PPAMidwest President
June 13, 2023 Tuesday Learning Lab: "What can the New AI-Powered Functions in SAGE do for YOU?"

Join Ben Haynes with SAGE for a special webinar covering the brand-new AI-powered functionality in SAGE Online, SAGE Web, and SAGE Website Professional Plus. We'll show you how you can use the power of AI to brainstorm product ideas for an event or promotion, create tailored content for sales presentations and projects, and generate homepage text, blogs, and more for your website with these revolutionary new features!

Learning Outcomes:
  • Learn how to Brainstorm Product Ideas.
  • Create Content for a variety of projects.
  • Generate Blogs, Post & Homepage Text
  • Tailor Sales Presentations
  • And much more!

Join your fellow Distributors, Suppliers and Multi-line reps and Guests
for PPAMidwest's Annual Golf Outing

Enoy the ultimate golf-networking experience!

When: 6/22/23, 9:00 am CDT

WhereIronhorse Golf Club,15400 Mission Rd,Leawood, KS 66224   Driving Directions 

Individual Entry Fee Includes:
  • 18 holes of Championship Golf
  • Electric Cart
  • Golfer's Goodie Bag
  • Lunch
  • 1 drink ticket 

Sponsor A Hole Option Includes:
  • Foursome for Golf including all of the above items for all players
  • Hole Sponsorship with prominent signage
  • Online promotion including company logo on pre-event marketing
  • Opportunity to include product in Golfer Goodie Bags or donate prizes

See you on the course!
June 28, 2023 Wild Wednesday Webinar: "WHAT'S NEW?"

Each season we embark on an epic journey to discover WHAT'S NEW? Not surprisingly, after several transformative years, it's understandable that our lives have shifted in many ways and A CHANGE IN PERSPECTIVE can be expected.
Preppy is back…again. We’ll explore why and what that looks like this time around in our CLUB HOUSE trend.
We'll also revisit what it takes to gear up for an increasingly active life in our trend called THE MODERNIST.
Then we'll journey into A LIFE REIMAGINED - where our health and eagerness to reconnect become tangible products we can offer our customers. We'll identify and outfit ways to BREATHE EASY and we’ll build a case as to why PLAY DATES that creatively mix work and play, could be the key to our success in 2023. These are the trends we're here to reveal on our exploration of WHAT'S NEW?

Learning Outcomes:
  • PREPPY is all about COLLEGIATE influences of the IVY LEAGUE variety, in sporty, key itemsTwo of the four pillars that structures HAPPINESS is Connectedness & Being Part of Something Bigger Than Yourself and why that is important.
  • THE MODERNIST defines a very different, yet equally important way of dressingLooking out to 2022, what will be relevant in wearables.
  • PREPARE-WARE is apparel for changeable conditions.

Mark your calendars and register to attend our
upcoming Fall Holiday Showcase!
Don't miss this year's Fall Holiday Showcase which will be held in
both Kansas City and St. Louis. Our annual end user friendly tabletop
show format will be at two fun and unique locations that you
and your customers are sure to love!

The Fiorella's
9000 West 137th Street
Overland Park, KS 66221

The Foundry Arts Centre
520 North Main Center
St. Charles, MO 63301

Exhibits Open: 10 am - 1pm

Register to exhibit or attend today!
 For event details and registration links, click here
PPAMidwest News
NC CUSTOM Names Industry Veteran Head Of Program Business

Hicksville, NY NC Custom recently announced the addition of 30-year promotional products industry veteran Scott Anderson to its senior sales team as Program Business Development Specialist. Scott has joined the team targeting specific strategic accounts with a goal of expanding NC Custom’s product placement within corporate programs. The addition of Anderson furthers the company’s continued push to expand its reach and recognition within the industry.

“We are excited to add a top talent like Scott Anderson to our sales team,” said Lance Stier, NC Custom Chairman and CEO. “Scott has a proven track record of delivering growth in programs and key strategic accounts. We are excited for him to partner closely with our sales leadership across the US and Canada to drive strategic top-line growth.”
“Scott exhibits the same traits that are consistent throughout our organization… service and communication. He will dive into the program business of many of our distributor partners and assist them in supporting their client needs in every aspect.” said David Miller, NC Custom President

Scott brings to bear over 20 years of experience working at PCNA, where he served in multiple sales roles to help foster the growth in their apparel and hard goods business. He then went on to become a key member at Facilisgroup, helping to serve the promotional products industry with technology to build new solutions for over 5,000 users.

At NC Custom, Anderson plans to bring this wealth of knowledge to bear on the vast array of products being offered. “I am so excited to be part of the NC Custom team. With a product mix that addresses 85% of product sold in our space, including apparel, and a team that will do anything possible to support their customers, the sky is the limit.” said Anderson.

NC Custom has invested heavily in building a leading domestic, multi-category manufacturing operation in the past decade. Anderson’s focus will be driving sales across this platform, including two significant recent core initiatives: ACE USA and Creatively Kitted. ACE, which NC Custom acquired in 2020, is the largest resort merchandise collections supplier, combining apparel, hard goods, and accessories. The line, offered exclusively via NC Custom in the corporate markets, differentiates itself from current market offerings in bringing a resort vibe to classic basics, plus a give back to the National Park Foundation. Creatively Kitted is the company’s best-selling kitting line, which combines products across edible, hard goods, and apparel with thematic fun branding, and on-trend design, leveraging NC Custom’s parent company’s experience in the retail markets.
In Memoriam.....PPAMidwest Member Steven Grossman

Steven Grossman, April 17, 1950 – May 18, 2023

Beloved husband of the late Tina Varney Grossman, father of Emily Joy Urda, and the late Sara Grossman. Dear grandfather of Joshua Charles Grossman and Jackson Bruce Urda. Loving brother of Diane Grossman Lewis and in-law to Terry Varney Freerks and Stanley Freerks.

He enjoyed spending time with his family and friends as well as being outdoors camping and playing golf. Steven wanted every day to be filled with love, fun and happiness.

Grossman worked as a sales representative at Advertising Premium Sales Company in St. Louis County for more than a decade. He was also raising his 17-year-old grandson before his tragic death.

Family and friends held a memorial service to pay tribute to Grossman and shared their fond memories of him.
HPG Hires Alex Symms as Evans Manufacturing’s Director of Sales  

Braintree, MA Top 8 promotional products supplier HPG announces the onboarding of industry veteran Alex Symms as Director of Sales of their Garden Grove California subsidiary Evans Manufacturing.  Symms joins HPG and Evans with a combined twenty year management background with promotional products suppliers such as Chameleon and most recently PowerStick.com. 
“I’ve had the good fortune of partnering with all functions of the manufacturing sector throughout my career, including R&D, sales and marketing and leadership and management,” says Symms. “I am excited to join an incredible team of forward-thinking leaders that take corporate branded merchandise to an enhanced level with industry leading products and award-winning service.”
Evans Manufacturing is the latest addition to HPG’s line-up of brands, and Symms plans to incorporate the latest technologies, such as AI, in his sales strategies. “I learned a long time ago that you either adapt to change, or get left behind, and that mindset pushes me to always be aware of new trends and identifying what might be coming up in the future.”
HPG CRO Trina Bicknell says, "I am very excited to add Alex to the HPG award-winning sales team and know that with his vast experience he will lead the Evans sales team to further success!"
Symms, his wife and two sons, nineteen and fifteen years old, are based in the Houston area. “My weekends usually consist of either being on the sideline of a rugby pitch or along a fence line at a baseball tournament as both my sons are very active in sports,” he says. “You can usually find me outdoors enjoying the fresh air. I am always game for a spontaneous adventure!”
PPAMidwest Members....Are You Taking Advantage
of your Membership Discount with SAGE?

Click here for details on
this and other 
Member benefits
American Solutions for Business Raises $5,000 for Lakes Area Food Shelf

Glenwood, MN American Solutions for Business raised $5,000 for non-profit, Lakes Area Food Shelf, during the 2023 Accelerate event. The funds donated will be used to purchase food, and provide resources, to underprivileged families in the surrounding towns.
“We love having the opportunity to raise donations for different organizations around the country, and getting to see the donations turn directly into food was so impactful for our attendees!” expressed ASB President, Justin Zavadil.
Beginning weeks before the event, attendees and supporters purchased paper soup cans for $20. Those donations were turned into raffle tickets that could then be placed in various boxes to win prizes. The prizes were donated by Patriot-level suppliers. The paper soup cans were displayed throughout the meeting space at Breezy Point Resort for the length of the event.
“It means so much having a large corporation from outside our area take an interest in our local friends and neighbors,” explained Lakes Area Food Shelf board member, Jean Kraft. “It was a pleasure accepting the generous donation, and sharing a quick story at Accelerate. As I once heard someone say, and believe to be absolutely true, ‘We are all perhaps one life event away from needing access to a food shelf.’” 
Want to earn points and join in on the fun?
Simply complete the easy request form to have your points credited
for the activities you participate in. For live events and activities, your attendance will automatically be recorded and points assigned, provided you are an active member of PPAMidwest. For recorded webinars, referrals and completion of PPAI Certifications or renewals, simply complete the easy request form to have your points credited.
It is that simple! (click on above image for more information).
Industry News
PPAI 2023 Women of Achievement
PPAI Media
PPAI Honors Two Industry Dynamos As 2023 Woman Of Achievement Recipients
The 2023 PPAI Woman of Achievement honor is twice as nice. The Association recently announced two recipients: Brittany David, MAS, and Patricia Dugan, MAS.

For 14 years, PPAI has awarded women who’ve spurred the industry forward. Their outstanding leadership, dedication and talent have impressed peers, empowered other women and energized entire communities. For David and Dugan, their impact is undeniable and deserving of praise.

During a special ceremony, David and Dugan will be recognized Sunday, June 25, at the opening of the 2023 PPAI Women’s Leadership Conference (WLC), taking place at Omni Viking Lakes Hotel in Eagan, Minnesota.

David is chief revenue officer for SnugZ USA and an 18-year veteran of the promotional products industry, the last 13 years with SnugZ. David is an advocate for the industry and completed a five-year term on the PPAI Board of Directors, serving as Chair in 2019.

Dugan is vice president of sales and marketing for BUDGETCARD and has worked within the promotional products industry for almost 50 years. Dugan has served in dozens of Board positions within PPAI as well as Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF) chair from 2015-2017, leading the nonprofit through a defining period of change that ultimately led to it increasing scholarships to the highest dollar amount ever awarded in a single year at that time. Click here to read the full story
10 Growth Strategies Every Business Owner Should Know
Kaloyan Gospodinov  Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor CEO & Founder at Aezir

Effective growth strategies are vital for businesses aiming to achieve sustainable growth and long-term success.
In today's competitive business landscape, achieving growth and success requires strategic planning and implementing effective growth strategies. Whether you're an entrepreneur launching a small startup or overseeing the operations of an established business, having a clear growth strategy is essential. This article will explore ten growth strategies that every business owner should know. These strategies encompass various aspects of business operations and can help drive sustainable growth and long-term success.

1. Market penetration
Market penetration entails expanding your market share by maximizing sales of your current products or services within your existing customer base. This strategy focuses on capturing more of the market through aggressive marketing and sales tactics. It may include offering special promotions, expanding distribution channels or improving customer service to encourage repeat purchases. Read More
2023 PPAI Pyramid Awards
PPAI Media
2023 PPAI Pyramid Awards: Top Branding and Self-Promotion Campaigns

The PPAI Pyramid Awards recognizes branding programs – showcasing the talent, capabilities and imagination of the promo industry – for outstanding achievement.

As the world slowly emerged from the worst of the pandemic, the promo industry helped bridge the gap between in-person and online interactions with innovative ideas and programs. The best of the best promotions earned PPAI Pyramid Awards. These exemplary marketing campaigns highlight the talent and imagination of our industry in making connections, growing sales and providing inspiration.

For 65 years, the PPAI Pyramid Awards, sponsored by Pacesetter Awards Co., has been the industry’s most coveted recognition. This year, gold and silver award winners were announced in six categories: branding, cause advocacy marketing, digital self-promotion, self-promotion, supplier sales support materials and – new this year – content marketing programs. Click here to see a list of the award winners