PPAI Magazine September 2023

Inside PPAI | Community WLC Reenergized And Empowered Promo Pros PPAI’S WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE is one of the most pivotal industry events of the year. Women in every stage of their careers gathered to share empowering business advice, triumphs and their hopes for the future. Mary Jo Tomasini, MAS+, CEO of Michigan-based distributor Competitive Edge, says, “The event was overall extremely inspiring. It was so great to meet so many new women. The relationship aspect is what I love.” This year’s WLC took place at Omni Viking Lakes Hotel in Eagan, Minnesota, on June 25-28. About 153 first-timers and veterans took part in sessions that encouraged new ideas and better habits and mingled during roundtable discussions, sharing their missteps and successes. Over group dinners, cocktails and morning yoga, lifelong friends reconnected and new connections were made. First-time attendee Kelly Nussbaum, director of client success at distributor Imprint Engine, says her biggest takeaway was realizing the power she has. “A lot of the speakers today were talking about our negotiating power, the influence we have and how we can mentor other people. There were a lot of times I was taking notes on what I can do and the changes I can make.” Despite promo being a maledominated industry, Nussbaum looks forward to more women attending WLC. “The bigger the event gets, the powerful the women in the room get who attend, the more inspirational it is,” she says. Six-year attendee and WLC workgroup member Amelia Madl, vice president of sales at PromoCorner, couldn’t believe the conference was already over. “I didn’t get to talk to half the room!” Madl enjoyed the professional speakers and the dinearound groups. She says, “My biggest takeaway is that we are all continuously learning. We have to continue to push and elevate each other.” For Madl, WLC has changed her life. “I’ve made lifelong friendships here. One of my besties, Lori Bolton, and I met at this event six years ago. It just popped up in my memories. You meet and make relationships that last forever.” Thanking attendees, WLC workgroup chair Kate Alavez says, “You have made this such a special place to be.” PPAI • SEPTEMBER 2023 • 89