PPAI Magazine March 2023

Must Read | Award Winners The Power Of Collaboration As this year’s Distinguished Service Award recipient, Roger Burnett, CAS, is the frontman for a special band of promotional products professionals who have made the industry better than when they started. By Rob Phillips AS A KID, ROGER BURNETT, CAS, was like most of us. He wanted to be a rock star. Like almost all of us, it didn’t happen. He couldn’t sing. He couldn’t make a single sound with the cornet, his instrument of choice. What he could do was bring happiness to others with words. He learned over time that he possessed another gift beyond writing. “The power of collaboration,” says Burnett, founder of Ohio-based distributor Social Good Promotions. For close to 20 years, Burnett has given back to the promotional products industry, aligning with peers to advance the industry and boost the community around it. At The PPAI Expo in January, Burnett was presented with the 2023 PPAI Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes a member who consistently contributes their skills and expertise toward the betterment of PPAI through volunteer service or leadership within the Association. “In standing up for our efforts to be seen as a worthy marketing investment, he brings passion, creativity and a strong vision to execute on what needs to be done today, while keeping a healthy eye on the future,” says Danny Rosin, CAS, president and coowner of North Carolina-based distributor Brand Fuel and this year’s PPAI H. Ted Olson Humanitarian Award recipient. “His efforts have inspired countless others to action, and his willingness to stay ahead of topics gives us all the opportunity to learn from those efforts.” A Tireless Advocate Before Burnett started Social Good Promotions in 2019, he’d been a 15-year industry veteran as a distributor and supplier. As the national director of promotional marketing, he helped WorkflowOne reach over $100 million in annual promo sales. He moved to the supplier side as a vice president for iClick and later co-founded supplier Branded Logistics, which brought the OtterBox product line to the promo marketplace. Throughout those accomplishments, Burnett has always valued the essential requirements for promo to become, and be viewed as, a viable and trustworthy industry: corporate social responsibility. Burnett launched Social Good Promotions with Kara Keister four years ago with the mission that “no company should willingly partake in an exercise that makes our planet worse off.” 66 • MARCH 2023 • PPAI