PPB July 2022

American Style USA-Made Apparel P. 36 Red, White & New Hard Goods From The Homeland P. 46 Shopping Spree Promotional Products Work In Retail P. 54 Modern Makeover The Pillars Of Digital Transformation P. 72 When it comes to company culture, employee support, enriching professional development and team-building experiences, these promotional products firms are nailing it. P. 14


14 THE 47 GREATEST COMPANIES TO WORK FOR When it comes to company culture, employee support, enriching professional development and team-building experiences, these promotional products firms are nailing it. 4 Perspectives Making It Simple 8 Feedback 11 INNOVATE 12 Question My Client Is Price Shopping. Are They Worth My Time? 36 Eye On Apparel American-Made 45 GROW 50 Profile Chris Anderson, HPG 54 Promotional Products Work Retail 61 THINK 62 Viewpoint Unlearn And Relearn 65 Fast Forward Johnny vs. Amber 70 Five Minutes With Joyce Anglin, IMAGEN Brands 72 Digital Transformation Pillar Planning 75 CONNECT 76 PPPC Communiqué 79 Inside PPAI 87 New Members 91 Datebook 96 The Creative Calendar 46 RED, WHITE & NEW Global supply chain pressure have left U.S. manufacturing struggling to keep up with demands for countless products. It’s a predicament the country never wants to be in again. Now, the push for more domestic manufacturing and USA-made products is on the upswing. contents Promotional Products Business The Official Business Monthly of Promotional Products Association International JULY 2022 | JULY 2022 | 3

Dale Denham, MAS+ President And CEO One implementation, 45,000 consumers of data. That is a lot fewer phone calls for order status or inventory. perspectives Making It Simple PPAI’s Promo Data Exchange (PDX) standard is designed to take industry efficiency to the next level. At some point, “the way we’ve always done it” isn’t good enough. Especially when there are simpler alternatives available to everyone in the promotional products marketplace. Consider the regular scenarios of needing to know how much inventory is available, or the status of an order, or the tracking number of an order that was shipped. Historically, the most common method for a distributor to get this information was by placing a phone call to a supplier. This was the peak of efficiency for businesses a couple of generations ago, but technology has evolved to the point that phone calls are now truly a waste of time for both organizations. The problem is that little has been done to make things more efficient for both suppliers and distributors. Industry distributors have long been frustrated by the lack of information, but since the pandemic began spurring supply chain disruptions, many distributors told me they spend as much as 50% of their day calling to attain the most basic information. Suppliers were overwhelmed with the phone calls and spent too much of their time supplying answers that should’ve been readily available for the distributors. When we speak about the need for digital transformation in the industry, these are exactly the kinds of problems PPAI is working to address. The full focus of our recently launched Promo Data Exchange (PDX) initiative is increasing efficiency caused by lack of information which should be readily available to all industry participants. PDX is now available to be utilized by all PPAI members as part of your PPAI membership. All of this data can be easily shared electronically, drastically improving the efficiency of the industry and reserving phone calls for situations that need human to human interaction. PDX consists of several data standards (essentially agreements between all participants on things like formatting, definitions, structuring, tagging, manipulation, management of data and so on) to address different inefficiencies, such as: • Inventory • Order Status • Purchase Orders (coming in 2024) • Invoicing (coming in 2024) Among the most important values is that a supplier can leverage PDX with a single implementation with PPAI exclusive technology partner SAGE and have the information available to 45,000 SAGE users. One implementation, 45,000 consumers of data. That is a lot fewer phone calls for order status or inventory. In addition, by implementing PDX with SAGE, members receive technical support on the implementation at no cost. At the same time, PDX can be leveraged by any PPAI member to work directly with other PPAI members—good for those who prefer to work directly with your trading partner. This allows you to leverage your initial investment beyond the 45,000 users of SAGE with other industry firms, including other service providers. The initial PDX standards are designed specifically for suppliers to provide the data to SAGE, leveraging SAGE to distribute the information to the 45,000 users. Along with being a single implementation for the supplier, distributors using SAGE do not have to do any additional work to access the data. For those distributors that want the data in their own ERP or order management systems, the PPAI Technology Committee is working on documentation for PPAI member service providers and distributors to pull the data (order status and inventory) from SAGE into their own systems at no cost. Every distributor should have immediate access to this information from any system they are using, and PPAI’s effort will ensure this information is available to every member company. PDX is a very important initiative for PPAI and one of many efforts we have in progress to facilitate digital transformation within the industry, as announced during The PPAI Expo 2022. You can read about more of our plans on page 72 of this issue. For more information on PDX, email pdx@ppai.org. 4 | JULY 2022 |

PRESIDENT & CEO Dale Denham, MAS+ 888-I-AM-PPAI EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT Robert I. McLean, Jr., CPA, CAE, CEM VICE PRESIDENT, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Alan Peterson DIRECTOR OF FINANCE Brigitte Rousseau, CPA, MBA DIRECTOR OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY Paul Elfstrom DIRECTOR OF ADVOCACY, EDUCATION AND MEMBER ENGAGEMENT Anne Stone, CAE DIRECTOR OF MARKETING Keith Vincent DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION Edwin Gonzalez PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Josh Ellis 972-258-3028 JoshE@ppai.org NEWS EDITORS James Khattak 972-258-3052 JamesK@ppai.org Jonny Auping 972-258-3044 JonnyA@ppai.org ASSOCIATE EDITORS Danielle Renda DanielleR@ppai.org Kristina Valdez 972-258-3094 KristinaV@ppai.org ART DIRECTION SPARK Publications SPARKpublications.com 704-844-6080 ADVERTISING MANAGEMENT DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AND EXPOSITIONS Ellen Tucker, CAE 972-258-3095 EllenT@ppai.org SALES MANAGER AND NATIONAL ACCOUNTS Melissa Massey 972-258-3029 MelissaM@ppai.org ACCOUNT MANAGERS Connie Brazil 972-258-3064 ConnieB@ppai.org Taylor Coward 972-258-3033 TaylorC@ppai.org ADVERTISING CONTACT Mimi Duong 972-258-3025 MimiD@ppai.org BOARD OFFICERS CHAIR OF THE BOARD Dawn Olds, MAS HALO IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIR Todd Pottebaum, MAS+ Quality Resource Group, Inc. CHAIR-ELECT OF THE BOARD Kevin Walsh, CAS Showdown Displays VICE CHAIR, FINANCE SERVICES Andrew Spellman, CAS Therabody BOARD MEMBERS TERMS EXPIRING 2023 R. Renée Jones, MAS+ A Creative Touch David Nicholson Polyconcept NA TERMS EXPIRING 2024 Dawn Olds, MAS HALO Kevin Walsh, CAS Showdown Displays TERMS EXPIRING 2025 Noah Lapine Lapine Associates, Inc. Andrew Spellman Therabody TERMS EXPIRING 2026 Chris Anderson HPG Denise Taschereau Fairware AT-LARGE DIRECTOR TERM EXPIRING 2024 Melissa Ralston, Koozie Group REGIONAL ASSOCIATION COUNCIL DELEGATE TERM EXPIRING 2023 Lindsey Davis, MAS Raining Rose, Inc. PPAI HEADQUARTERS 3125 Skyway Circle North, Irving, Texas 75038-3526 Phone: 888-IAM-PPAI (426-7724) www.ppai.org, pubs.ppai.org READER RESOURCES SUBSCRIBE TO PPB: Subscribe online at pubs.ppai.org or send your name, title, company name and mailing address, along with phone and fax, to PPB Subscriptions, 3125 Skyway Circle North, Irving, Texas 75038. Or phone in your subscription to 972-258-3019. Include payment with your order. Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted, along with checks. Additional member subscriptions are $58 for PPAI member companies (U.S.), $70 (Canada and Mexico) and $75 (international). Nonmember subscriptions are $72 (U.S.), $82 (Canada and Mexico) and $92 (international). Please allow four to six weeks for start of subscription. ADVERTISE IN PPB: Download a media kit with rates and specs for all PPAI print and digital publications at pubs.ppai.org, or call 972-258-3019 or e-mail mediasales@ppai.org. WRITE FOR PPB: The magazine regularly accepts articles from both professional writers and industry experts—like yourself. Find out everything you need to know about submitting an article or an idea by reading PPB’s Writer’s Guidelines available at pubs.ppai.org/submit-content. 6 | JULY 2022 |

feedback Send feedback on articles in PPB or opinions on industry issues to JamesK@ppai.org. Moonrock / shutterstock.com Avoiding Sales Rep Faux Pas Some people don’t like working with sales reps. The May 25 installment of Promotional Consultant Today, “Seven Ways You May Be Driving Away Potential Buyers,” shared some pointers on how not to inadvertently repel customers. After reading this, I realized that I already do almost all these things. It makes me feel good and explains why I have been in business so long and why I hate the traditional salesperson. Great insight and great advice. Thanks for sharing. MIKE RIGGS Owner Monarch Direct, LLC Carson City, Nevada PPAI 791194, D2 A Fond Farewell Tina Berres Filipski, former director of publications and editor at PPAI, left the Association in January. The May issue of PPB featured an interview with Filipski on her time with PPAI and her thoughts on the promo industry. Fabulous interview. There is no question that you were beloved by many and are also missed by many. It was fun walking down memory lane and recalling the many significant contributions you made to the industry over your career. Good to know you are enjoying the “next chapter.” CHRISTINE A. LOVELL Vice President/Sales & Marketing Advertising Specialty Institute Trevose, Pennsylvania Shaping The Industry’s Value In his April Perspectives column in PPB, PPAI President and CEO Dale Denham, MAS+, advised that it was time to recognize the value added by all the firms in the promotional products industry and ensure the terms it uses reflect this value while also reducing confusion for the clients who purchase promotional products. Through its Promotional Products Work initiative—learn more about it at PromotionalProductsWork.com —PPAI is expanding its messaging to reach out to and educate buyers on the industry’s value. It is time. The value add that distributors contribute in creativity, packaging and presentation from small and large organizations is demonstrating the change that is taking place in the industry. So many things in the industry are changing to be relevant and on trend for what is happening in the environment. HILLARY FEDER President Hillary’s, LLC Hopkins, Minnesota PPAI 238444, D2 8 | JULY 2022 | INNOVATE

INNOVATE Only In America From greener fabrication to shorter timelines and superior customer service, there are many benefits to using Americanmade products in campaigns, which apply to end users, clients and distributors alike. With supply-chain disruptions persisting, wearables made in the USA serve as practical (and appreciated) solutions. page 36 12QUESTION: MY CLIENT IS PRICE SHOPPING. ARE THEY WORTH MY TIME? The 47 Greatest Companies To Work For When it comes to company culture, employee support, enriching professional development and team-building experiences, these promotional products firms are nailing it. page 16 ANEK SANGKAMANEE / bbernard / Ortis / Shutterstock.com | JULY 2022 | 11

Diana Herashchenko / Shutterstock.com compiled by Danielle Renda My Client Is Price Shopping. Are They Worth My Time? To avoid paying a deposit on a fairly sized order, a long-term client of mine began shopping for comparable products on their own, which would lower the cost of the order by thousands. Should I meet them in the middle or move on? QA Distributor Asks: I recently told a client of 10 years that we needed to hurry along or risk losing stock on an order. The client wanted the order to be delivered in a month, so a deposit was required. To avoid paying the deposit, the client went to a retail chain that sells office supply products and found cheaper prices on half of the items quoted, which would bring the order from $25,000 to under $9,000. I want to express my disappointment on this outcome, considering the time and amount (we’ve spent hundreds in samples for this client) we have dedicated to this project. How would you move forward on this? I question if it’s “apples to apples” as we know that something can look similar but be very different. For instance, tumblers can be single-wall and snap-on lid with a straw and you may have quoted a doublewall screw-on lid. Maybe go back and see if you quoted products that could have a cheaper counterpart. I would tell them not to assume it’s the same. This logic has saved orders while the client receives what they wanted or have seen. ADRIENNE BARKER, MAS Supplier Representative Le Tour de Spice Daytona, Florida Any time you find yourself willing to be held hostage by a client over inventory or price, you are already losing. Price wars are a race to the bottom, and unless you draw the line, you’ll end up without profit and without the customer anyway. ART REMSIK B2B Marketing Consultant Arts Ads Peoria, Illinois PPAI 103148, D12 I definitely would not lower my price. It’s very likely they will not get the level of service and the discounters generally seem to screw stuff up in orders at a high rate. You should never be in a position where a company dictates how you run your business. Did you provide a fair and honest price from the start? Are you willing to lower your standards, ethics and integrity? Because it sounds like that is what the customer is wanting you to do. It’s painful, but if they are heavily shopping you at this point, it sounds like this will be a repetitive situation. CHRIS POLLAN President and owner Pollan Promos Starkville, Mississippi PPAI 276409, D2 You need to do what’s right for your business. When someone shows you how they want to work (by shopping items you sourced) is that really your target customer? Only you can answer that. Other things to consider: • Is the long-term value of this customer worth it? • Do I want to set a precedent that I’ll be forced to deal with going forward? • Is the revenue from this one order make-it-or-break-it for my biz? VICKIE MACFADDEN Owner PROMOrx Greenville, South Carolina PPAI 396628, D3 12 | JULY 2022 | INNOVATE

Instead of lowering your price, say something along the lines of: Our prices reflect the services we provide that [retail chain] does not, including discovery about your needs, researching products that fit your needs and your branding, and saving you valuable time so you do not need to do the research and product-matching yourself. Don’t lower your price or they are going to price-match you on everything. Instead, tell them your worth and why you are worth what you charge. DANIELLE LUM, MAS, MASI Senior Brand Strategist American Solutions for Business Aiea, Hawaii PPAI 101656, D12 Is this a client that you do ongoing business and have a history with? If the answer is yes, why would you need a deposit? If they agreed to pay upon delivery, most venders give 30-day terms, so by pushing back you created an opening for them to look elsewhere. All my customers understand the tremendous value I bring to them and it is a given. LOUIS KAPLAN President Brandwear Designs, LLC Sacramento, California. Do You Have An Answer? A Distributor Asks: I have a new client requesting net 90-day terms on an order for 200 t-shirts, which seems unusually long to me. My standard terms are that clients prepay on the first order. Distributors, do you have suggestions on how to encourage this client to pay in a more “reasonable” timeframe? A Distributor Asks: I received an email from a senior marketing manager of a large firm with nationwide branches, to request a credit application, as the client will be spending around $100K. I checked the accuracy of the information found in his signature and his LinkedIn profile and Google-searched him and his company’s address, which all look legitimate. I also told the client that prepayment is required on first-time orders. What else should I do to verify this client isn’t a scammer? Email your response(s) to Question@ppai.org for the chance to be featured in a future issue of PPB magazine. Renda is an associate editor at PPAI. | JULY 2022 | 13 INNOVATE

FEATURE | Greatest Companies To Work For 14 | JULY 2022 |

Svetolk / Shutterstock.com Greatest Companies To Work For | FEATURE When it comes to company culture, employee support, enriching professional development and team-building experiences, these promotional products suppliers, distributors and business services firms are nailing it. Here’s more on what makes these businesses the greatest in the eyes of those who make it all possible: their employees. by Danielle Renda Still faced with ongoing challenges from the pandemic, many promotional products suppliers, distributors and business services firms made employees a top priority this year, with internal development geared toward nurturing, supporting and encouraging teammembers to do and be their best. Common sentiments expressed by employees of the 47 companies named to the 2022 list of PPB’s Greatest Companies To Work For were appreciation for an uplifting and motivating workplace culture with a family-like environment, and worklife balance perks such as flexible scheduling and team-building activities that carry over this value. Despite the disruptive nature of supply-chain issues, order delays and tariffs, these companies show that it’s possible to successfully ride the waves of change by becoming stronger together. Made up of “micro” companies with as few as five employees, to large firms with teams numbering north of 1,000, this leading group of industry businesses from across the U.S. and Canada is reimagining how to bring employees together, particularly in work environments with in-person, hybrid and remote workers. Whether they’re logging in from a home or company office, employees feel “fully supported in expanding my knowledge and skills,” per one response, “provided with so much education and feedback,” says another, and have the “freedom” to express ideas and needs, whether personal or professional. “Although the survey questions of employees and the standards for qualification were the same, fewer companies met the bar this year— from 52 in 2021 down to 47 this year,” says Josh Ellis, publisher and editorin-chief of PPB. “The entire world is grappling with the effects of worker disillusionment and disengagement coming out of the pandemic, and our industry is not immune. “Still, we see dozens of companies in promotional products that are keeping their employees happy, inspired, challenged and thriving. The achievement of these 47 companies is even more impressive considering the environment.” Since reinstating the annual competition last year, which has run annually since 2011, industry leaders and employees alike have demonstrated an unmistakable priority to back one another throughout. PPB congratulates this year’s Greatest Companies To Work For. Read more about them below. HowThis Survey Is Conducted Companies are required to have a minimum of five full-time employees to participate in the PPB Greatest Companies To Work For competition. Companies included had to be nominated by an employee. Nominated companies submitted their team rosters of full-time employees, with each listed employee receiving a 15-question survey to rate their company in five areas: benefits, resources, culture, leadership and company direction. Companies were also required to meet a percentage of completed surveys. The survey results were then tabulated and compared to a pre-established threshold to reveal this year’s winners. | JULY 2022 | 15

FEATURE | Greatest Companies To Work For THE GREATEST COMPANIES TO WORK FOR (In alphabetical order by size) Top Micro Companies (Five to nine employees) 1338Tryon City Apparel Imagen, Inc. MARCO Ideas Unlimited, Inc. North Georgia Promotions Printable Promotions Promo Assets Southwest Solutions Wall Street Greetings, LLC Ward Promotional Marketing Solutions Inc. Top Small Companies (10-25 employees) Blue Dog Merch Flywheel Brands Inc. Identify Yourself MediaTree Scrub Authority Specialty Incentives Stowebridge Promotions Group Inc. Toddy Gear Walker-Clay, Inc. You Name It Specialties, Inc. Top Midsize Companies (26-75 employees) Bel Promo Chameleon Like, Inc. commonsku Concord Marketing Solutions Cooley Group, Inc. Goldner Associates, Inc. MyBrandPromo Inc. Peerless Umbrella Co. Picnic Time Family of Brands PromoCentric, Inc. Storm Creek TPS Promotions & Incentives Top Large Companies (More than 75 employees) American Solutions For Business Boundless BrandVia Alliance Crystal D EPromos Promotional Products Facilisgroup Gemline GO2 Partners Goldstar HPG Indoff, Inc. Orbus Exhibit & Display Group Proforma SAGE Spector & Co. 16 | JULY 2022 |

Greatest Companies To Work For | FEATURE TOP MICRO COMPANIES 1338Tryon City Apparel Imagen, Inc. Marco Ideas Unlimited, Inc. Employee counts reflect full-time employees as of February and March 2022, when rosters were submitted. 1338Tryon PPAI 649357, D4 Category: Distributor Top executive: Heather Comerford, president and CEO Headquarters: Portland, Oregon Founded: 2014 Employees: 6 Website: 1338tryon.com Benefits/unique perks: Company cell phones, showers, bike racks and paid parking What employees say: “I am fully supported in expanding my knowledge and skills. I am challenged to find inventive solutions for my clients and my coworkers which keeps the work fresh.” City Apparel PPAI 242048, D5 Category: Distributor Top executive(s): Andrea Kramer, president Headquarters: Findlay, Ohio Founded: 2000 Employees: 9 Website: cityapparel.net Benefits/unique perks: 80% of medical is covered by company, 40 hours allotted per year for employees to perform community service, company-sponsored development opportunities What employees say: “I find working for City Apparel to be thoroughly rewarding.… I don’t dread Mondays and I don’t work for the weekend. It’s great to have a job that compensates me well for my time and also respects and encourages time away from the office.” Imagen, Inc. PPAI 427416, D5 Category: Distributor Top executive(s): Ken Leslie, president, and Paul Bower, CEO Headquarters: Glendora, California Founded: 2009 Employees: 6 Website: imagenagency.com Benefits/unique perks: Three to five weeks of PTO; 401(k) with employer matching; fitness and gym reimbursement, flexible scheduling, sit/stand desks What employees say: “I have been provided with so much education and feedback in the promo world. I can’t believe the difference in my knowledge from just a year ago!... Myself and my coworkers feel very valued and can tell by the excellent way we are treated at work.” MARCO Ideas Unlimited, Inc. PPAI 106680, D5 Category: Distributor Top executive: Nancy Gudekunst, president Headquarters: Portland, Oregon Founded: 1959 Employees: 8 Website: marcopdx.com Benefits/unique perks: Full benefits, vacation and sick leave, and company-wide events, such as community tree-planting What employees say: “The atmosphere is casual yet professional, friendly but not intrusive. There is a focus on family-friendliness. There is flexibility if an employee needs to take care of a personal situation. Employees are empowered to make the best decision for our clients.” | JULY 2022 | 17

FEATURE | Greatest Companies To Work For North Georgia Promotions dba NGA Promotions PPAI 511186, D3 Category: Distributor Top executive: Shawn LaFave, MAS, president, owner and chief branding officer Headquarters: Alpharetta, Georgia Founded: 2010 Employees: 5 Website: ngapromotions.com Benefits/unique perks: Flexible scheduling, PTO, employee purchase program, health stipend What employees say: “North Georgia Promotions is a very driven company that works hard and takes care of each other like a team.” Printable Promotions PPAI 102841, D4 Category: Distributor Top executive(s): Mitch Silver, vice president of sales and marketing Headquarters: Chicago Founded: 1993 Employees: 9 Website: printablepromotions.com Benefits/unique perks: profit-sharing, unlimited PTO, quarterly bonuses and years-of-service bonuses, reduced summer work hours, flexible and remote scheduling, massage therapist services; listening to VP Mitch Silver’s “dad jokes” What employees say: “Printable Promotions is a results-only work environment, and where and when you work is flexible and supported.… We have fun together and have built a culture that makes me want to come to work every day to succeed together as a team.” Promo Assets PPAI 567862, D1 Category: Distributor Top executive(s): Nick Pfister, founder and brand experience director Headquarters: Lexington, Kentucky Founded: 2013 Employees: 5 Website: promoassets.com Benefits/unique perks: Paid holidays with optional holiday switch (to trade-off time for holidays that best suit personal needs), remote and hybrid work options, dog-friendly office, education and certification reimbursement, monthly outings What employees say: “Promo Assets has given me the freedom to make mistakes and grow from them. I really appreciate the mindset of progress over perfection. I’ve also been given the chance to voice my concerns and opinions regarding the company, from company values and vision to benefits.” Southwest Solutions PPAI 615323, D3 Category: Distributor Top executive(s): Vera Minot, co-owner and creative director Headquarters: Tucson, Arizona Founded: 2014 Employees: 6 Website: swstucson.com Benefits/unique perks: early leave on Fridays; up to two wellness visits per month, doctor or therapy, that don’t count against PTO; dog-friendly workplace, wardrobe flexibility, bonuses throughout the year What employees say: “Working at Southwest Solutions has changed my life.…The owners are hard workers but realize you need to balance that with fun. We gather every Monday for our weekly meeting but it always starts with what we all did over the weekend.” TOP MICRO COMPANIES North Georgia Promotions dba NGA Promotions Southwest Solutions Printable Promotions Promo Assets 18 | JULY 2022 |


Greatest Companies To Work For | FEATURE Wall Street Greetings, LLC PPAI 469710, S3 Category: Supplier Top executive(s): Susan Rice, national accounts specialist Headquarters: Versailles, Kentucky Founded: 1991 Employees: 8 Website: wallstreetgreetings.com Benefits/unique perks: 401(k) plan with company match, end-of-theyear bonus based on company and employee performance What employees say: “It’s nice working for a company where it doesn’t feel like you’re coming in to work every day. We all share a responsibility as a growing small business to encourage each other and bring our best every day.” Ward Promotional Marketing Solutions Inc. PPAI 288446, D6 Category: Distributor Top executive: Laura Ward, president and CEO Headquarters: Modesto, California Founded: 2001 Employees: 7 Website: wardpromotional.com Benefits/unique perks: Health care, retirement plan, PTO and sick leave What employees say: “Our team is the prime example of how one should operate. Although we’re a small group, everyone collaborates and supports each other to make sure that we can be as efficient and productive as possible.” TOP MICRO COMPANIES TOP SMALL COMPANIES Wall Street Greetings, LLC Flywheel Brands Inc. Blue Dog Merch Ward Promotional Marketing Solutions Inc. (10-25 employees) Blue Dog Merch PPAI 358255, D2 Category: Distributor Top executive: Ryan Small, president and CEO Headquarters: Nashville, Tennessee Founded: 1998 Employees: 11 Website: bluedogmerch.com Benefits/unique perks: Remote work option, flexible hours and professional development opportunities What employees say: “Blue Dog Merch is a fantastic place to work. The team is charged to do their jobs and take care of our clients, and encouraged to ask for whatever is needed in order to accomplish our goals. In addition, the company genuinely cares about their staff and appreciates all of the things they do.” Flywheel Brands Inc. PPAI 342144, D7 Category: Distributor Top executive(s): Bart Simpson, president Headquarters: Hixson, Tennessee Founded: 1981 Employees: 13 Website: flywheelbrands.com Benefits/unique perks: paid volunteer hours, 401(k) with employer match, performance bonuses What employees say: “My workplace offers a very safe, welcoming and uplifting environment. The leaders are passionate about their business and motivate all the employees constantly. It is very much a team atmosphere and everyone works together with a common goal in mind.” | JULY 2022 | 21

FEATURE | Greatest Companies To Work For Identify Yourself PPAI 281720, D1 Category: Distributor Top executive(s): Joseph Ausband, brand manager Headquarters: Kitty Hawk, North Carolina Founded: 2002 Employees: 11 Website: idyourself.com Benefits/unique perks: Remote work option and flexible scheduling, 401(k) employer matching, bonuses What employees say: “Identify Yourself is a family-owned and operated company with trusted values and work ethic. I am happy to be associated with a company that provides honest marketing solutions to its clients with the highest regard and commitment to its customers.” MediaTree PPAI 192068, S6 Category: Supplier Top executive: Brian Duran, vice president, sales and marketing Headquarters: Parsippany, New Jersey Founded: 1995 Employees: 20 Website: mediatreerewards.com Benefits/unique perks: 401(k), hybrid workplace and remote flexibility, annual company performance and merit bonus, monthly team-building events, company-subsidized meals or snacks, paid parental leave What employees say: “The team is overwhelmingly positive and always encouraging personal and professional growth. There are always opportunities to learn new skills and grow, all while having a great culture and work environment.” Scrub Authority PPAI 387935, S6 Category: Supplier Top executive(s): Rob Mossman, CEO Headquarters: Littleton, Colorado Founded: 2009 Employees: 15 Website: scrubauthority.com Benefits/unique perks: 401(k) with employer match and profitsharing plan What employees say: “Scrub Authority is the best place I have ever worked. It has a culture of attracting and retaining people with very high ownership in their work, which means we have a strong network of talented professionals who can depend on each other.” Specialty Incentives PPAI 104275, D8 Category: Distributor Top executive(s): Drew Davis, president Headquarters: Denver Founded: 1981 Employees: 19 Website: specialtyinc.com Benefits/unique perks: 401(k) profitsharing and employer matching, tuition reimbursement and health insurance benefits What employees say: “Over the years, Specialty Incentives has given me the flexibility to support my family as needed, the freedom to craft my workday and set my own priorities, and the confidence to make mistakes while trying new ideas.” Scrub Authority Identify Yourself Specialty Incentives MediaTree TOP SMALL COMPANIES 22 | JULY 2022 |

Greatest Companies To Work For | FEATURE Stowebridge Promotions Group Inc. PPAI 166854, D5 Category: Distributor Top executive(s): Kathy Thomas, president Headquarters: Chandler, Arizona Founded: 1994 Employees: 19 Website: stowebridge.com Benefits/unique perks: Flexible scheduling and family-first attitude, 401(k) with employer match, surprise recognition and bonuses, company lunches and in-house happy hours, extra days off, occasional spending money What employees say: “I love my job and I love the culture. I am appreciated, compensated fairly and treated very well. I can’t see myself working anywhere else for the foreseeable future. You cannot buy or find culture like this in very many places.” Toddy Gear PPAI 516677, S6 Category: Supplier Top executive(s): Jason Emery, vice president Headquarters: Bolingbrook, Illinois Founded: 2010 Employees: 20 Website: toddypromo.com Benefits/unique perks: Health, vision and dental insurance, paid vacation and sick time, flexible work environment What employees say: “Having the ability to do what I think is right and being able to see the results and adjust my strategies and tactics have always attracted me to my role. The company is willing to let you grow…. The people are amazing.” Walker-Clay, Inc. PPAI 109398, D6 Category: Distributor Top executive(s): Bill Clay, president Headquarters: Hanson, Massachusetts Founded: 1956 Employees: 19 Website: walker-clay.com What employees say: “This is the first company I’ve been with that has a welcoming environment where I feel comfortable being myself. The team is incredible and leadership is beyond supportive of the employees.” You Name It Specialties, Inc. PPAI 102673, D5 Category: Distributor Top executive(s): Josh King, CEO Headquarters: San Antonio Founded: 1990 Employees: 10 Website: younameitspecialties.com Benefits/unique perks: Quarterly happy hours and social outings, quarterly staff lunches (minus leadership), catered food, community service activities What employees say: “The culture that is cultivated at You Name It Specialties is the healthiest and most encouraging I have been around in my professional life. They equip and motivate everyone to do their best. It really feels as though we are a team striving to meet our goals.” Walker-Clay, Inc. Stowebridge Promotions Group Inc. You Name It Specialties, Inc. Toddy Gear TOP SMALL COMPANIES | JULY 2022 | 23

TOP MIDSIZE COMPANIES FEATURE | Greatest Companies To Work For (26-75 employees) Bel Promo PPAI 362224, S10 Category: Supplier Top executive: Susan Lewandowski, general manager Headquarters: Medley, Florida Founded: 2008 Employees: 35 Website: belpromo.com Benefits/unique perks: Remote work option, companywide recognition and incentives, increased PTO, monthly lunches to celebrate accomplishments What employees say: “Working at Bel Promo has been a great experience. If I can sum it up in one word, the company is a family. The support you receive on a daily basis is encouraging. I can’t say enough about how amazing the culture is.” Chameleon Like, Inc. PPAI 209189, S6 Category: Supplier Top executive: Camila Lindaweaver, general manager, PACKED by Chameleon Like Headquarters: Gilroy, California Founded: 1998 Employees: 64 Website: chameleonlike.com Benefits/unique perks: 401(k) with matching up to 5%, three weeks’ vacation after five years, PTO for birthdays, tuition reimbursement, personal development opportunities What employees say: “We pride ourselves on being ‘makers with style’ with a huge emphasis on collaboration internally as a team. There are many companies that talk about company culture, but Chameleon Like really lives by that.” commonsku PPAI 552077 Category: Business services Top executive(s): Catherine Graham, CEO, and Mark Graham, president and chief brand officer Headquarters: Toronto Founded: 2005 Employees: 30 Website: commonsku.com Benefits/unique perks: Work-fromanywhere environment, quarterly company retreats, office closed between Christmas and New Year’s Day, in addition to vacation time, half-day Fridays before long weekends in the summer, full health benefits What employees say: “The owners, Catherine and Mark Graham, have a massive passion for the promotional products industry, entrepreneurship and helping people and companies become their best selves. All of these traits trickle down through the rest of the company.… The company empowers me to make my own decisions and my own mistakes, and invests in not only my professional development as a leader, but also as a person.” Bel Promo Chameleon Like, Inc. commonsku 26 | JULY 2022 |

TOP MIDSIZE COMPANIES Greatest Companies To Work For | FEATURE Goldner Associates, Inc. Concord Marketing Solutions MyBrandPromo Inc. Cooley Group, Inc. Concord Marketing Solutions PPAI 609714, D1 Category: Distributor Top executive(s): Robert Conte, president, and Kirk Graves, CEO Headquarters: Glendale Heights, Illinois Founded: 1993 Employees: 62 Website: www.concordmarketingsolutions.com Benefits/unique perks: Two floating holidays; $1,000 referral bonus program for anyone who is referred to the company, payout 60 days of employment; employer-sponsored HRA benefit plan What employees say: “Concord is such a great place to work. I always feel appreciated for the work that I do and what I contribute toward the company’s success. The directors make everyone feel that no matter what their job is, it is equally important to making the company a success.” Cooley Group, Inc. PPAI 278317, D3 Category: Distributor Top executive: Phil Yawman, president Headquarters: New York Mills, New York Founded: 1945 Employees: 26 Website: cooleybrand.com Benefits/unique perks: Flexible scheduling and remote work option; profit-sharing, bonus program and tuition reimbursement; one day PTO to participate in community service for Cooley Cares Program; opportunity for employee ownership What employees say: “I have uncapped earning potential, flexibility to achieve work-life balance and the company continues to invest in systems and platforms to further strengthen our abilities to deliver great client experiences. The company has a great reputation in the market and I have control of my own success here.” Goldner Associates, Inc. PPAI 105311, D10 Category: Distributor Top executive(s): Andy Strauss, president and fourth-generation owner Headquarters: Nashville, Tennessee Founded: 1951 Employees: 68 Website: goldnerassociates.com Benefits/unique perks: 401(k) with matching, fully remote or hybrid scheduling options, generous PTO policy, peer-to-peer recognition What employees say: Goldner is a fun, energetic place to work and I love the freedom and flexibility they give me to do my job. There is a focus on teamwork and creative collaboration, and we’re always seeing new product ideas to share with our customers.” MyBrandPromo Inc. PPAI 611273, D1 Category: Distributor Top executive(s): Tena Frank, vice president of operations Headquarters: St. Louis, Missouri Founded: 2009 Employees: 26 Website: mybrandpromo.com Benefits/unique perks: 3% nonelective 401(k) contribution, hybrid scheduling and remote work option, professional development, parental leave What employees say: “MyBrandPromo is such a special place to work. There is never a day that goes by that I do not feel appreciated and encouraged to grow into the next best version of myself.” | JULY 2022 | 27

TOP MIDSIZE COMPANIES FEATURE | Greatest Companies To Work For Peerless Umbrella Co. PPAI 112666, S10 Category: Supplier Top executive(s): Dan Edge, president Headquarters: Newark, New Jersey Founded: 1927 Employees: 37 Website: peerlessumbrella.com Benefits/unique perks: Weekly happy hours, monthly barbecues and office parties/lunches, themed office days, flexible scheduling when volume allows What employees say: “Working at Peerless Umbrella Co. has given me the opportunity to grow professionally. My direct manager is a great leader who not only makes sure everything is going in the correct way, but also cares on a personal level for each of us, which makes my work experience smoother and satisfactory.” Picnic Time Family of Brands PPAI 143980, S6 Category: Supplier Top executive(s): Paul Cosaro, managing partner and “captain picnic” Headquarters: Moorpark, California Founded: 1982 Employees: 64 Website: picnicpromotions.com Benefits/unique perks: a make-up time program where employees can take time off and make it up later in the week; SPAM, an employeemanaged group that organizes events; tuition reimbursement, remote and hybrid scheduling, on-site carwash What employees say: “Our leadership team is always open to new ideas of how to approach age-old questions. My input feels valued and every scenario is a learning opportunity. Yes, there are busy days and hectic situations, but I’d be hard-pressed to find a time when I didn’t have the full support of my team.” PromoCentric, Inc. PPAI 332985, D3 Category: Distributor Top executive(s): Justin Gray, president and owner Headquarters: Newmarket, New Hampshire Founded: 2000 Employees: 53 Website: promocentric.com Benefits/unique perks: PromoCentric pays 50% of medical insurance, catered lunch once a week, onsite gym, one telecommute day per week for qualified employees; entrepreneurial operating system What employees say: “I work with an incredible group of people and we’re growing like crazy. I have unlimited earning potential and I’m getting the resources and team around me that’s allowing me to grow rapidly. This is an exciting place to be right now.” Peerless Umbrella Co. Picnic Time Family of Brands PromoCentric, Inc. 28 | JULY 2022 |

TOP MIDSIZE COMPANIES TOP LARGE COMPANIES Greatest Companies To Work For | FEATURE Storm Creek PPAI 438091, S6 Category: Supplier Top executive(s): Teresa Fudenberg, CEO Headquarters: Eagan, Minnesota Founded: 2006 Employees: 36 Website: stormcreek.com Benefits/unique perks: 401(k) and employer contribution, professional development, volunteer service day, shared success bonus program, entrepreneurial operating system What employees say: “It’s a great place to work. I love the fact that we give back to our community in the form of clothing donation, sales that benefit charities and partnerships with nonprofits.” TPS Promotions & Incentives PPAI 147935, D3 Category: Distributor Top executive(s): Aaron Moscoe, CEO, and Andrew Rotenberg, president Headquarters: Markham, Ontario Founded: 1988 Employees: 52 Website: tpscan.com Benefits/unique perks: Work-fromhome option, tuition reimbursement, bonus program, dog-friendly workplace, paid birthdays off, summer hours What employees say: “The support I receive toward my role and the support surrounding my personal life is outstanding. The owners do anything they can to accommodate and assist with heavy workloads, hectic seasons and rush/urgent projects. No one in this company is above providing assistance to ensure projects are completed on time.” Storm Creek American Solutions For Business TPS Promotions & Incentives 76 and more employees American Solutions For Business PPAI 101656, D12 Category: Distributor Top executive(s): Larry Zavadil, founder and CEO, and Justin Zavadil, president Headquarters: Glenwood, Minnesota Founded: 1981 Employees: 1,001 Website: americanbus.com Benefits/unique perks: Employee ownership, volunteer time off, work-from-home option, education assistance What employees say: “The company has great values and a willingness to help employees succeed and grow. They have flexibility to balance work and personal life within reason. The employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) is a great motivator for employees to do their best to help the company grow along with other benefits. The leadership team works hard to ensure information and tools are available for all positions to ensure success.” | JULY 2022 | 29

TOP LARGE COMPANIES FEATURE | Greatest Companies To Work For Boundless PPAI 267078, D11 Category: Distributor Top executive: Charley Dean, president Headquarters: Austin, Texas Founded: 2005 Employees: 128 Website: boundlessnetwork.com Benefits/unique perks: Remote work options, paid parental leave benefiting all types of parents and caregivers, discounts and perks via BenefitHub What employees say: “There is a lot of flexibility and understanding provided to me as an employee. The managers understand that we are people who have lives outside of work and sometimes need time to handle appointments and personal matters. We are given the tools to succeed and there is always someone to help if there are any issues.” BrandVia Alliance, Inc., powered by HALO PPAI 105536, D10 Category: Distributor Top executive(s): Jim Childers, president Headquarters: San Jose, California Founded: 2003 Employees: 145 Website: brandvia.com Benefits/unique perks: Remote work and flexible scheduling; vacation, sick pay and paid holidays, 401(k) plan What employees say: “BrandVia is a person-focused company with a small-company atmosphere that we have not lost as we’ve grown larger. New positions and roles have been developed to focus on new hires and employee growth and success. Lastly, we never forget about having fun.” Crystal D PPAI 112326, S8 Category: Supplier Top executive: Chuck Dahlgren, president and CEO Headquarters: Saint Paul, Minnesota Founded: 1993 Employees: 96 Website: crystal-d.com Benefits/unique perks: Two floating holidays, employees allowed time to accompany kids to their first day of school, 401(k) with employer match, generous PTO, company outings, scholarships What employees say: “The company is very transparent in how they work and gives you a very good idea of how every department operates. Because we understand the important roles of each department, even if we are not in that department, we rely on reach other.” Boundless BrandVia Alliance, Inc.,powered by HALO Crystal D 30 | JULY 2022 |

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TOP LARGE COMPANIES Greatest Companies To Work For | FEATURE EPromos Promotional Products Overture Facilisgroup LLC Gemline GO2 Partners EPromos Promotional Products PPAI 212648, D11 Category: Distributor Top executive: Tamara Borello, chief operating officer Headquarters: St. Cloud, Minnesota Founded: 1998 Employees: 129 Website: epromos.com Benefits/unique perks: FSA and/or HSA with employer contribution, 401(k) with employer match, nationwide employee discount program What employees say: “I would describe working at ePromos as fun and unexpected. Every day is different and you never know what challenge a client will put in front of you. Internal processes are ever-changing to try and make the daily flow more efficient and less time-consuming.” Facilisgroup PPAI 493664 Category: Business services Top executive(s): Ashley McCune, president Headquarters: Brentwood, Missouri Founded: 2006 Employees: 86 Website: facilisgroup.com Benefits/unique perks: Flexible scheduling, 401(k) matching, 20 days PTO What employees say: “I’ve never been more challenged and fulfilled at the same time. It’s the perfect balance of developing professionally while allowing my unique skillset to shine. Our culture promotes hard work and balance while making time to have fun and connect on a personal level.” Gemline PPAI 113948, S11 Category: Supplier Top executive(s): Jonathan Isaacson, CEO, and Frank Carpenito, president Headquarters: Lawrence, Massachusetts Founded: 1958 Employees: 337 Website: gemline.com Benefits/unique perks: 401(k) employer matching, hybrid work schedules, volunteer PTO, company-sponsored events, sabbatical leave; diversity, equity and inclusion committees What employees say: “I really like what I do at work and who I do it for. It makes going to work easy, in a sense. The work itself is challenging and engaging but something I look forward to with purpose. I’m glad to know that I am valued and appreciated for the work I do and its level and quality.” GO2 Partners PPAI 240324, D7 Category: Distributor Top executive: Charley Lombardo, president Headquarters: Des Plaines, Illinois Founded: 1995 Employees: 169 Website: go2partners.com Benefits/unique perks: Flexible scheduling and remote work options, profit-sharing, tuition reimbursement, PTO for charitable work, professional development reimbursement What employees say: “I have never worked for another company that has made me feel more appreciated than GO2 Partners. I am often verbally thanked for a job well done and appreciate little surprises like a gift card left on my desk—which makes me want to work harder for them!” | JULY 2022 | 33

TOP LARGE COMPANIES FEATURE | Greatest Companies To Work For Goldstar PPAI 114031, S10 Category: Supplier Top executive(s): Howard Cubberly, general manager, global Headquarters: San Diego Founded: 1970 Employees: 119 Website: goldstarpens.com Benefits/unique perks: A “remotefirst” work policy for many locations, monthly work-fromhome utility reimbursement, 401(k) with employer match, tuition reimbursement What employees say: “Goldstar is one of the first truly healthy work environments I’ve ever experienced. Despite the fact that I came from a company dedicated to employee recognition, I’ve never felt as genuinely appreciated before. Every team member I’ve had the pleasure of working with has been genuinely kind and supportive, which is rare to find.” HPG PPAI 110772, S10 Category: Supplier Top executive: Chris Anderson, CEO Headquarters: Boston Founded: 2017 Employees: 391 Website: hubpen.com Benefits/unique perks: Employee assistance program, 401(k), advancement opportunities based on performance What employees say: “We are full of honest, supportive and encouraging people at all levels throughout the company. No day is ever perfect anywhere, but management will always take the time out of their day to offer support and guidance when needed.” Indoff, Inc. PPAI 225638, D7 Category: Distributor Top executive(s): Jeff Ross, president Headquarters: St. Louis, Missouri Founded: 1971 Employees: 92 Website: indoff.com Benefits/unique perks: Health, vision and life insurance, and 401(k) employer matching What employees say: “I would describe working at Indoff as a laidback work environment with a lot of autonomy to complete my workload. I love the open-door policy and being able to speak to the leadership team at any time. I feel appreciated for the work that I do and love that the CEO greets everyone by name daily.” Orbus Exhibit & Display Group PPAI 418128, S7 Category: Supplier Top executive(s): Gary Keefer, CEO Headquarters: Woodridge, Illinois Founded: 2001 Employees: 195 Website: orbus.com Benefits/unique perks: Flexible scheduling and remote work option, profit-sharing and bonuses, tuition reimbursement, personal and professional development, social gatherings What employees say: “I have gained a lot of professional experience while working at Orbus.… It has been admirable to see Orbus go through the struggles and challenges of the pandemic and come out strong and with a bright future.” Indoff, Inc. Goldstar Orbus Exhibit & Display Group HPG 34 | JULY 2022 |