PPAI Magazine November 2023

trends impacting the industry. She will also work with member committees, task forces and subject matter experts to implement new ideas, review current offers and design and create curriculum. “My deep passion for providing professional development for members of the industry made this an ideal match for the position,” GibbonsRauch says. “I will [first] be focusing on updating all required courses, getting feedback from our members on what is needed and improving the education management system to make the execution of coursework easier for everyone. But that will just be the start. Amazing things will be coming.” Gibbons-Rauch has an accomplished history in the promotional products industry. She has 15 years of experience working with distributors in roles such as account manager, sales manager and marketing, and vendor relations at companies including Concord Marketing Solutions, AIM Smarter and others. Additionally, in 2014, she was named a 2014 Rising Star and has served on the boards of PPAChicago and PromoKitchen. Even with all those promo achievements, there was another passion tugging at her as continued education remained on her mind. “One of the things I absolutely adore about this industry is our ability to forge our own unique path and create something amazing, and I have absolutely done that,” says Gibbons-Rauch. After using a scholarship for her MBA with an emphasis in strategic marketing, Gibbons-Rauch worked in various consulting roles, eventually becoming a marketing manager at ZOOMcatalog, a SaaS company focused on the promotional products industry. She balanced this with a position as an adjunct professor at Northern Illinois University in their digital marketing and MBA programs. “This is truly where I found my love of professional development and education,” Gibbons-Rauch says. She adds, “[The professional development manager role] blends my unique industry background with my teaching experience and will allow me to build a robust program to make sure we are providing the education needed for the industry members, both what we need now and looking ahead to what will be needed in the future.” Based in the Chicago area, GibbonsRauch lives with her husband, daughter and their two cats. Community | Inside PPAI 90 • NOVEMBER 2023 • PPAI