PPAI Magazine March 2023

PPAI Expo 2023 | Must Read have had working with you, volunteering with you, learning from you and playing with you,” Sokalski said. The 2023 PPAI Distinguished Service Award Recipient went to Roger Burnett, CAS, founder of Ohio-based distributor Social Good Promotions. This year’s PPAI H. Ted Olson Humanitarian Award Recipient was Danny Rosin, CAS, president and co-owner of North Carolina-based distributor Brand Fuel. Late in the evening came a traditional ceremony at The PPAI Expo, the passing of the gavel from PPAI Board Chair Dawn Olds, MAS+, to incoming Chair Kevin Walsh, CAS. Olds’ term expired at the conclusion of The PPAI Expo. New Events On Tuesday, January 10, seven suppliers took center stage for “The Pitch,” promo’s version of The Voice. The participants made their best possible product pitches to win over a respected panel of veteran distributor judges. Illinois-based supplier S&S Activewear took first place with its Quikflip Apparel line product the Hero Hoodie, an easily reversible hoodie and backpack. All four judges – Amanda Clay, vice president of sales at Walker-Clay; Danny Rosin, president and co-owner of Brand Fuel; Memo Kahan, president of PromoShop; and John Vo, MAS, owner of WHOOPLA – turned their chairs to signal that they liked the product. The audience inside the Mandalay Bay Convention Center also got to vote, and 51% picked S&S as their favorite of the seven. “We have this bookbag that’s interactive, it’s fun, and it gives us the opportunity to really interact with the audience,” says Meg Erber of S&S Activewear, who helped present the product that wooed both the judges and the Exhibitors displayed more than 350,000 total products on the show floor during the week. PPAI • MARCH 2023 • 59