Staff Changes – A Focus on Member, Industry and Association Success

Later today we will announce a few important staff changes at PPAI Headquarters through PPB Newslink and other industry media.  Here is an advance copy of the release. If you have any questions, comments or concerns about this or any association business, feel free to contact me at 972-258-3050 or  Thanks in advance for your support!

PPAI Announces Leadership Changes 

Focus On Member, Industry and Association Success

IRVING, Tex. (October 19, 2011) – Promotional Products Association International (PPAI;, the not-for-profit association for more than 9,000 member companies of the $16.5 billion promotional products industry has made proactive, progressive changes to its leadership team in order to focus on member and volunteer engagement and recognition, public affairs – including product responsibility and government affairs – and the Association’s financial success.

 “We’re reorganizing our staff and leadership structure to better focus on the needs of the thousands of small business owners that make up our membership and industry. We will be positioned to make sure they have both the tools to
compete in a competitive and challenging business environment; and an educated marketplace that recognizes the value and power of promotional products and the benefits of working through industry professionals,” said Paul Bellantone, CAE, PPAI President and CEO.  “The changes will drive and ensure the long-term viability, visibility and credibility of our membership, the industry and the Association.”

PPAI Chief Financial Officer, Bob McLean, has been promoted to Executive Vice President. McLean, in addition to his leadership of finance, information technology and the Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF) will now oversee all revenue-generating areas of the Association including expositions, membership sales, professional development, and integrated media.

A new Director of Business Development position, reporting to Bob McLean, has
been created to identify opportunities for PPAI to produce and deliver products
and services that will help our members to grow their businesses. All Association-wide sales-related activities and staff members will ultimately report to or through the Director of Business Development—a strategic shift from the departmental approach to sales and business development. The Association is currently interviewing qualified internal and external candidates for the position of Director of Business Development.

Michele Packard-Milam, CAE, will now serve as Director of Member Engagement, a position Bellantone created in order to more effectively meet the diverse needs of the Association’s members. Regional relations, volunteer leadership and member recognition will now fall under Packard-Milam’s management.

Carol Gauger, MAS, has been promoted to Senior Manager of Volunteer Engagement and Recognition. In this newly created position, Gauger will focus on enhancing the volunteer experience, increasing member appreciation and recognizing members’ exceptional business and personal performance.

Additionally, there will be a reallocation of existing staff resources to better manage PPAI’s public affairs efforts. Bellantone added, “PPAI’s government relations and product responsibility activities continue to grow exponentially. By adding resources to this area we position ourselves to proactively address and
positively affect the issues of product safety, compliance and regulatory and
government affairs, thus fulfilling our commitment to creating a healthy
business landscape for our members and the industry to grow.”

“The changes we’ve made address the needs of an evolving and challenging business environment and allow PPAI to execute the goals outlined in its strategic plan: to advocate the power and value of promotional products and deliver products, services, experiences and a community essential for member success,” stated Bellantone.

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