June 2024

Wishing all of the CPPA Fathers

a wonderful, relaxing weekend!

A Message From Our PPAMidwest President......


PPAMidwest Members,

Summer’s here and the time is right for selling swag in the streets! While many are looking forward to family vacations, relaxing by the pool, or weekend getaways, your board of directors remains hard at work to provide you with the best possible value to your membership with PPAMidwest.

Next week, on Monday the 17th, we will host our annual KC Golf Tournament. We are still accepting teams for this fun and competitive event. Sadly, earlier this month, the Board was forced to cancel our planned St. Louis Golf Tournament to honor our Past President Jay Shucart. While the lack of interest in the event came as a shock to us, it also brought to mind a critical need for continuous and frequent feedback from our membership. As we work to plan events and activities, we need to hear from you on what you like or don’t like, why you choose to attend events or decide to skip them. The two-way communication is necessary for your Board and Events Committee to provide the best possible slate of activities in the future. Please share with us the good, the bad and the ugly without restraint. Your feedback is invaluable.

In July and August, we will be hosting the Rivalry Baseball Nights in STL (on July 9th) and KC (on August 9th). These events have been quite popular in the past, and we chose to bring them back for you this year. Plenty of tickets are still available and these are open to friends and family, so grab as many tickets as you can now. Supplies are limited for both cities.

Don’t forget to mark your calendars:

  • The return of our Pickleball Tournament in September. This year we are exploring a tournament in both KC and STL. Dates will be announced soon. Are you excited for this one? Let us know.
  • Fall Holiday Showcases on 10/8 in KC and 10/10 in STL. We will return to the same locations as our Spring Shows.

I hope your summer season is bright and festive, and profitable. As always 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

2024 PPAMidwest President

Get ready to swing into action!

It's time to tee off and have some fun on the fairways with PPAMidwest, your co-workers, family and friends!


Ironhorse Golf Club

15400 Mission Rd, Leawood, KS 66224

Whether you're a seasoned golfer or a beginner, this event promises a fantastic opportunity to unwind, enjoy the outdoors, and connect with colleagues, family, and friends in a relaxed and beautiful setting with top-notch amenities.

Tournament Details:

*Registration/Check in - 8 am

*Shotgun Start - 9 am 

*Golfer Entry Fee - $150 per person/$600 per team which includes:

  • 18 holes of Championship Golf
  • Electric Cart
  • Coffee/Donuts for Breakfast and Buffet Lunch
  • Golfer's Goodie Bag
  • Bragging rights and prizes in various categories, including 1st and 2nd place teams, Longest Drive, Closest to the Pin, and Longest Putt.

*Sponsorship Opportunities:

  • Beverage Cart Sponsor - $1500 
  • Lunch Sponsor - $1500 
  • Hole Sponsor - $50

All Sponsorships include prominent signage at the course, online promotion including company logo on pre-event marketing and the opportunity to include product in Golfer Goodie Bags or donate prizes.

Register Today!

June 26, 2024 Wild Wednesday Webinar: “AI Demystified: Practical Insights on Leveraging AI for Marketers”

This Artificial Intelligence (AI) is reshaping the world as we know it, but what does this mean for you? This session is designed for marketers with limited AI knowledge who are eager to understand the potential of AI for marketing.

Join us and embark on a journey to understand how AI is not just a tool of the future, but a revolutionary force shaping our present. 

Learning Outcomes:

  • Introduction to Fundamental AI Concepts & Applications
  • Gain a Solid Foundation to Navigate & Leverage AI
  • How to use this Transformative Technology in your Marketing Efforts

Read more and register

Join PPAMidwest at the Ballpark!

2 Games/Dates to Choose From!

Join us at either Busch Stadium or Kauffman Stadium as we cheer on these great teams and enjoy a little regional rivalry!

Tickets will sell out fast so make sure to mark your calendar for the date and game that suits you best (or both) and reserve your tickets today! 

7/9/2024 - Royals vs Cardinals at Busch Stadium

700 Clark Street, St. Louis, MO 63102

First Pitch: 6:45 pm

Game tickets: $40 

Tickets are located in Big Mac Land, Section 271

8/9/2024 - Cardinals vs Royals at Kauffman Stadium

1 Royal Way, Kansas City, MO 64129 

First Pitch: 7:10 pm

Game tickets: $50 

Tickets are located in Section 209, Rows BB - FF

Register Today!

2 Great Cities/2 Great Shows!

These end user friendly tabletop shows will once again be at two fun

and unique locations that you and your customers are sure to love!

Our annual Fall Holiday Showcase will be held in Kansas City on 10/8/24 and then in

St. Louis on 10/10/24. We will also be hosting a social on 10/9/24 in St. Louis.

PPAMidwest News

ASB Raises $5,500 for Ronald McDonald House Charities of St. Louis

Glenwood, MN – American Solutions for Business raised $5,500 for Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of St. Louis. These efforts were made at ASB’s recent Accelerate event, hosting 150 attendees made up of vendor partners, sales associates, and home office team members. RHMC provides a home-away-from-home for families of seriously ill or injured children so that parents can be close to their child while they are being treated. With donations, RHMC can provide a place to rest, eat, shower, or even do laundry without having to leave their child.


“The whole ASB community stepped up and chipped in to support Ronald McDonald House Charities. At every ASB event we host around the country, our team makes a conscious effort to give back to the community in which we host. We’re lucky to have the opportunity to raise money for a great organization,” expressed Dana Zezzo, VP of Vendor Relations, Marketing & Events.


Beginning weeks before the event, attendees and supporters purchased floor decals for $25. For every $25 donation, donors received a floor decal with their name on it. These floor decals were displayed throughout the event space at Accelerate.


“I want to personally thank everyone for the generous donation,” Shared Meredith Siegfried, Corporate and Foundations Coordinator with Ronald McDonald House Charities of St. Louis. “Every single day our mission is to provide a home-away-from-home for families with seriously ill or injured children. Your generous donation will go toward supporting a wide variety of programs, but specifically opening a new Ronald McDonald House in St. Louis. This house will allow us to serve 400 more families annually”. 

SAGE Launches New Curated Product Pages

Addison, TX – SAGE, a provider of information, marketing, and business management solutions for the promotional products industry, is excited to announce the latest feature addition to its SAGE Website Professional Plus platform: Curated Product Pages. This innovative enhancement offers clients the ability to feature theme-based webpages with curated content and products, aimed at increasing SEO rankings and driving more traffic to their websites.


The Curated Product Pages allow businesses to highlight specific product themes, including popular categories such as the 4th of July, 5k Races, Aviation, Back to School, Banking, and many more. These themes cater to various events and industries, providing a focused and engaging user experience for visitors.


Key benefits of the new Curated Product Pages include:

·    Enhanced SEO: By featuring specific themes, businesses can optimize their websites for relevant keywords, improving search engine rankings and visibility.

·    Customizability: Each theme can be completely customized, allowing businesses to tailor their content and products to match their unique brand and audience preferences.

·    Increased Website Traffic: The curated pages offer a more engaging experience for visitors, encouraging them to explore additional products and stay on the website longer.


“We are thrilled to introduce the Curated Product Pages as part of our SAGE Website Professional Plus platform,” said Chris Sumpter, Vice President of Web Development of SAGE. “This new feature empowers businesses to showcase their products in a more targeted and appealing way, ultimately enhancing their online presence and driving customer engagement.”

Heather Smartt Named Goldstar’s New Global Leader

San Diego, CA – Top 40 supplier Goldstar has made a change at the top. Howard Cubberly is leaving the role of global general manager and departing the company, and Heather Smartt is taking over as global head of the firm.

Smartt, who has about 18 years of promo industry experience, had been serving as Goldstar’s director of merchandising, product development and sustainability since September 2023.


“I am so grateful for this opportunity to continue with the amazing work Howard did in his time here at Goldstar,” said Smartt. “We have a great foundation, and I am looking forward to enhancing our services and bringing more social and environmental awareness across the company as we continue global expansion.”


Cubberly was with Goldstar for 10 years, beginning as general manager of the supplier’s North American business and then rising to global leader in the summer of 2019.


Company executives said that Goldstar made major progress under his leadership, adding new product categories, expanding business in North America and Europe, and debuting on the Counselor Top 40 list in 2023 thanks to a near 75% annual sales rise in 2022.


“We are deeply grateful for Howard's vision and leadership, which was foundational to our success over the past decade,” the Goldstar management team said in a joint statement. “He will be deeply missed. We wish him nothing but the very best in his future endeavors.”

Charles River Welcomes New Sales Team Members

Sharon, MA – Charles River recently welcomed Nicola McLeod as director of outside sales and Candice Chancellor as territory account manager for the Mid-Atlantic region. They join Sharon Steed, who was promoted to director of sales last summer.


McLeod has more than two decades of experience working with product, sales and marketing teams at footwear, apparel and accessories brands, from startups to major corporations. She’s also well-versed in distributor relationships in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.


“Nicola’s enthusiasm, combined with her deep understanding of apparel, will undoubtedly enhance our relationships with customers and drive our sales representatives toward even greater success,” said Barry Lipsett, CEO of Charles River Apparel.


“I’m so grateful for the opportunity to work with Charles River Apparel’s talented sales team,” said McLeod. “It’s incredibly important to continue developing strong relationships that will cultivate a culture of trust and partnership both within our sales team and with our customers. I look forward to learning about the business of our clients and understanding how we can be a better partner to them.”


Likewise, Chancellor has more than 20 years of experience in sales and marketing across a variety of industries, and will provide sales support for Maryland, Virginia and surrounding states.

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

2024 PPAI Greatest Companies to Work For

PPAI Media

The 2024 PPAI Greatest Companies to Work For Competition is Now Open

  • Qualified members have until Tuesday, June 24 at 11:59 p.m. (CT) to nominate a company to be considered for the 2024 PPAI Greatest Companies To Work For list.
  • All PPAI member companies in the U. S., Canada and Mexico who meet the requirements may be nominated, including those who have been honored in the past. Only one nomination per company is needed to enter the competition.
  • When filling out the nomination form, please be prepared to include the following: company logo (.png), a high-resolution team photo, and a complete roster of full-time employees, including their email addresses.


Employees will receive a link to a survey to rate their company in five areas: benefits, resources, culture, leadership and direction. The survey is available in English, French and Spanish.


The scoring from those survey results will determine this year's list of the Greatest Companies To Work For. The selected companies will receive assets to publicize the honor and be featured via PPAI Media online and in the September issue of PPAI Magazine.

Nominate Your Company

Stop Sabotaging Your Own Success - Kick Unproductive Thinking to the Curb With These Tip

Nancy Solari  Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor CEO of Living Full Out

Want to streamline your business and take it to new heights? You need to learn to stop the negative thought processes that lead to unproductive thinking. Here's how

As business leaders, we can become overwhelmed by the constant drive to excel against all odds, from economic downturns to staffing problems. However, at any point on the journey, we may find that our own perspective can get in the way of the vision we had for our company from the start.


Here are three ways to stop sabotaging your success and the growth of your company — plus tips on how to break free from this unproductive way of thinking.


1. Check your ego and stop setting unrealistic expectations

2. Think before you react

3. Stop the cycle of self-doubt

Read More

PPAI Product Responsibility Summit

Alexandria, VA ~ September 22-24, 2024

PPAI Product Responsibility Summit

PA must-attend event for any promo professional or company trying to navigate compliance regulations in the industry, the PPAI Product Responsibility Summit is centered on critical sustainability and safety concerns.


Explore the associated business implications, challenges and opportunities across unique areas of interest, connect with fellow compliance and sustainability pros, and chart a course for your company’s continued progress. 

Register Now

Connect with us on Facebook!