November 2021
November 17, 2021 Wild Wednesday Webinar:
"Stop Being the Supply House and Become the Architect" 

Anyone can sell a coffee mug or pen there are thousands of folks out there doing that. But can you honestly say you are a specialist? Think about any profession; a doctor, chef, or a builder each profession – so become the Architect not the supply house. Tips, ideas, and concepts will be shared that will help you hit the road sprinting.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Tips on how to become a specialist
  • How not to be known as the “Mug Company”
  • How to start thinking of yourself as a Professional
  • How to present & position yourself as the “Architect” 

Enjoy a fun evening out with industry friends as
we mingle, network and enjoy the holiday season

We're having a social in both Overland Park and St. Louis, so please choose your city, mark your calendar and make plans to attend.

  • Event includes 2 drink tickets, light fare and a great time!
  • Both socials begin at 5:30 pm
  • No Charge for PPAMidwest members! 
  • Non-members are welcome to register to attend but must join PPAMidwest beforehand.

In the spirit of the holiday season, PPAMidwest will be collecting donations at both socials to help support needy animals in shelters and rescues. All items collected will be provided to either Pawsitive Tails or Melissa's Second Chance Rescue. Please consider bringing an item with you to donate such as canned or dry pet food, treats, toys, leashes, collars as well as other essentials. For a list of items needed, please click on either organization linked above.

We look forward to celebrating the season with you!
PPAMidwest News
ZOOMcatalog Adds Jessica Gibbons-Rauch as Marketing Manager

Boulder, COJessica Gibbons-Rauch has been hired as the Marketing Manager for ZOOMcatalog; the industry’s leader in digital marketing technologies. Gibbons-Rauch will lead the strategic marketing direction for the brand and work with Bryony Zasman and Donna Lomazini to align product messaging with application. Gibbons-Rauch comes with robust experience in the promotional products market on both the distributor side and the service provider side of the industry.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to bring JGR onto our team. Her experience in the promotional products industry as a distributor and with digital marketing is the perfect balance for ZOOMcatalog.” – Bryony Zasman, Co-Founder.
Gibbons-Rauch, based in Chicago, has spent 16 years in the promotional products industry in positions with Top 40 distributors as an account manager, director of key accounts, and director of program development, merchandising, marketing, and vendor relations. She has served on the board and been the RAC delegate for PPAChicago, a PromoKitchen Chef, and was a 2014 PPB Rising Star. She has her MBA with a focus on strategic marketing from Northern Illinois University and has been a part of their Digital Marketing Board of Directors and an adjunct professor for the Digital Marketing Program. Recently, Gibbons-Rauch has been an independent consultant, working with distributors to build their operations, marketing, and merchandising programs. This year she has been a presenter at the PPAI Women’s Leadership Conference, SAGE Show, Shirt Lab, and Promotional Products Association Canada Conference. She has also been a guest on podcasts such as Tacos with Jay and Jeff, Promo Insider, Delivering Marketing Joy, PromoEQP Got Your Back, CommonSKU Skucast, and Order My Gear.
“I have always admired the team at ZOOMcatalog and their amazing ability to solve industry problems with a modern, cutting edge digital solution. I am so excited to be a part of their future and be able to help communicate their robust product offering," Gibbons-Rauch said.
Vantage Apparel taps Josh Appelbaum as VP, Digital Transformation

Avenel, NJVantage Apparel, the industry’s number one source for branded apparel and fulfillment, announced today the addition of industry superstar, Josh Appelbaum as its Vice President, Digital Transformation and a member of the company’s senior leadership team.
As VP, Digital Transformation, Josh will be responsible for working cross-functionally to bring strategic insight and operations expertise to the everchanging world of branded apparel, on-demand decoration and eCommerce services; a channel he has excelled for the last 11 years in the industry.
A Madison, Wisconsin resident, Josh has spent the last decade as leader in apparel and decoration on demand; working with some of the largest apparel companies in the industry. He has earned countless awards in
sales and innovation throughout his industry tenure and has spearheaded digital partnerships before they were cool.
“We’re thrilled to expand our commitment of offering world-class experiences with a faster, more intuitive ecosystem here at Vantage and having Josh join our team will allow us to realize those ambitions even faster,” says Rob Watson, Vantage’s Chief Experience Officer. “As we look to reimagine solutions that offer efficient, top quality programs in decorated apparel to our customers, Josh’s expertise in sales and technology leadership will help us deliver on that promise.”

Glenwood, MN – American Solutions for Business raised $500 for the Pope County Veterans Services in Glenwood, MN through an online fundraiser. The money raised will be used towards rides for vets to get to their appointments. The Pope County Veterans Service has highly trained professional advocates for Veterans and their families. They collaborate with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs and Veterans Service Organizations in securing benefits for veterans.
“This is a great help for those veterans that can’t drive, and this program has been a part of the county for over 30 years,” explained Hugh Reimers, Pope-Stevens County Veterans Service Officer. “This money will continue to make transportation a viable option for the veterans in our community.”
The mission of the Pope County Veterans Service Office is to work collaboratively with the Department of Veterans Affairs and to enhance the quality of the lives of Veterans through advising, counseling, claims assistance, education, advocacy, and special programs. 
If anyone is or knows a vet that is in need, please contact Hugh at 320-634-7846.
Goldstar Continues their growth Initiative by adding key roles to their Sales and Marketing teams

San Diego, CA – Following organizational restructure announcements and other key hires in July and August, Goldstar continues to follow through with their growth initiatives by announcing two new members of their management team and changes to their Inside Sales Team.

Global General Manager—Howard Cubberly commented: “It’s a lot of fun welcoming industry vets like Megan and Salina into our Goldstar family; promoting Ricardo to a global role; and building a new Inside Sales team to support our customer relationships and accelerated growth together.”
Megan Hernandez joins Goldstar as South-Central Region Sales Manager

Based out of Fort Worth, TX; Goldstar welcomes Megan Hernandez as South-Central Territory Sales Manager. Megan joins Goldstar after spending the last 5 years with two other supplier companies and will be taking responsible for spreading the message of Simplicity® to distributors throughout Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Louisiana.

National Sales Manager Parker Melvin comments—“We are excited to have Megan join the Goldstar family! As a veteran supplier sales rep, I have no doubt that she will hit the ground running at this very exciting time for our company. She shares our passion for creativity, fun, and most importantly, for people!”
Goldstar welcomes Salina Brill as North America Marketing Manager

Leading the marketing efforts across the U.S. and Canada, Goldstar also welcomes Salina Brill as North America Marketing Manager. With 15 years’ experience as both a supplier and distributor, Salina has held numerous roles in Sales and Marketing for a number of Top 40 Suppliers.

Global Marketing Manager, RJ Hagel says, “Salina is coming aboard at such an exciting time in our business as we continue making every effort our further our commitment towards Simplicity®; creating and exceptional place for our staff to work and to building a reliable partner for distributors to work with.”

Expanding partnerships through growth of Inside Sales Team

Focusing efforts on creating more cohesive relationships with their fans, Goldstar is pleased to announce the promotion of Ricardo Vieira as Inside Sales Manager and the addition of (7) new Inside Sales staff. Under Ricardo’s new leadership, he comments: “I am very excited to continue expanding our sales team to provide our distributors with a quicker and more in-depth buying experience and support them in maximizing each and every opportunity.”
Did You Know that PPAMidwest has a Job Board in our Members Only Section?

Member companies frequently advertise open positions here so make sure you check this area frequently if you know of someone in our area looking for a new position or needing to advertise for an open position.

Current Open Position: Field Sales Account Manager with Koozie Group.

American Solutions for Business's Steve Wessel receives 49th Accent on Excellence Award

Glenwood, MN – American Solutions for Business announced that sales associate, Steve Wessel, has received the 49th Accent of Excellence award on September 30th, 2021 for his efforts in sales. The annual National Sales & Marketing Executives (NSME) Accent on Excellence Event awards programs in the greater Akron/Canton region that have demonstrated the highest levels of professionalism during their careers in diverse sales and marketing roles.
“I am deeply humbled and honored to be selected as one of the outstanding Sales and Marketing Professionals,” stated Wessel. “I am thankful for all the mentors and friends that have helped me become the professional I am today.”
Wessel has been with American since 2014 and is located in Akron, OH.
“Steve has showed tremendous leadership and perseverance in his time at American. We are proud to have a representative who exemplifies the dedication through adversity that we thrive on,” explained Founder and CEO of American, Larry Zavadil.
Calling all PPAMidwest Suppliers....It's Time to Submit Your
Coupons for the 2022 Regional Coupon Book!

As a supplier in our industry, you are invited to participate in twos eparate Regional Association Digital Coupon programs for 2022. These are no-charge opportunities for you to gain exposure and earn more business from thousands of distributors across the country through our separate partnerships with ZOOMcatalog and PromoHunt.
To participate, please click on each logo below and follow the instructions given by each program.
Submission Deadline for both is December 5th
Industry News
Anderson, Taschereau And Ralston Named To The PPAI Board
PPB Newslink
PPAI Announces Its Newest Board Members
PPAI announced recently its newest board members, Chris Anderson (left), CEO of Braintree, Massachusetts-based supplier HPG; Denise Taschereau (center), co-founder and CEO of Vancouver, British Columbia-based distributor Fairware Promotional Products, and Melissa Ralston, chief revenue officer of Tampa, Florida-based supplier Koozie Group.
“We are thrilled to leverage Denise, Melissa and Chris’ talent, expertise and energy to further PPAI’s vision and mission,” says Todd Pottebaum, MAS+, PPAI board chair.
Anderson and Taschereau have been elected to the PPAI Board of Directors following approval of the slate by PPAI members in last month’s election; they will serve a four-year term. Ralston has been appointed to a two-year at-large director position on the PPAI board. All three new directors will begin their terms immediately following The PPAI Expo 2022 in January.
PPAI’s board is the Association’s governing body and plays a major role in directing its strategic activities, adopting policies and approving budgets to carry out the work of the Association.
How Employees Can Crush Remote Work and How Employers Can Help Them
Scott Bartnick  Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor Co-founder of Otter PR

Here's a quick guide to succeeding with remote work on both sides of the employer-employee relationship.

There's no doubt that the pandemic and related shutdowns have changed how we work and run businesses. More and more employers are moving their workforce to remote work permanently. Several studies conducted since 2020 have shown that remote work can result in greater productivity overall.
There are approaches that both workers and employers can take to maximize the benefits and positive results of remote work. Here's a quick guide to crushing remote work, whether you're the employer or the employee. Read More
PPAI Expo 2022
January 10 - 13, 2022 ~ Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV
Answers At Your Fingertips & ROI For Your Business
There’s just nothing like it. Countless products. Endless aisles. Infinite possibilities. When it comes to generating business-driving solutions and ideas that lead to a stronger bottom line, The PPAI Expo® is uniquely qualified to deliver.
Newbie or long-time attendee, the results are the same—unique opportunities and experiences which lead to satisfied clients. Don’t miss The PPAI Expo 2022 as we return to an in-person business experience unmatched by any in the industry. You won't find this opportunity anywhere else.
Register now to:
  •  Meet with 900+ promotional products suppliers all in one location.
  • See the latest in product innovations and trends in the market.
  • Participate in unmatched networking opportunities around every corner.
  • Be inspired by top-tier education and insight to move your business forward.