PPAI Magazine January 2024

Must Read | Icon Awards Leading And Giving Bill Petrie entered the promotional products industry with a job at HALO because someone else didn’t show up for their first day. Managing the Sterling, Illinois-based company’s sales force, he parlayed that opportunity into a 23-year (and counting) career in promo, brimming with ingenuity, generosity and leadership. “I was never the best athlete, the smartest person in the room or the most creative, but I learned that if I partnered with people, I could go further,” says Petrie, founder and creative director of brandivate, a business services agency based in Hendersonville, Tennessee. “As I gained knowledge, experience and maybe even bordering on expertise, I realized that if people partnered with me, I could help them go higher.” At The PPAI Expo in January, Petrie will be presented with the 2024 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. “Bill Petrie is a giver and leader in the promotional products space,” says Kirby Hasseman, CEO of Coshocton, Ohiobased Hasseman Marketing & Communications, Petrie’s co-host on the Promo UPFront podcast and who nominated Petrie for the award. “Bill works tirelessly to elevate the industry through creating valuable content and through mentoring. In addition, Bill is a leader who’s willing to say the challenging thing in order to make things better,” adds Hasseman. “While that can be a thankless role, it’s imperative. The promotional products space is lucky to have Bill Petrie, and I am honored to call him my friend.” Giving Back A longtime advocate for the industry, Petrie has been giving back for more than a decade. Currently a Promotional Products Education Foundation trustee and incoming vice chair for 2024, he has served in various roles on the boards of both the Promotional Products Association of the Mid-South (PPAMS) and the Regional Association Council, and he has volunteered with many PPAI committees. “A ton of people would tell you I’m not the greatest leader in the world, but in those moments, someone needed to step up,” Petrie says. “You can make a lot of money by working in this industry, but you take yourself and your organization to the next level when you intentionally become part of the industry. Volunteerism is near and dear to my heart. I would like to see more people set aside time to do it.” Petrie has been a Legislative Education and Action Day (L.E.A.D.) participant on Capitol Hill and a frequent speaker at PPAI and regional events, as well. In 2016, he was named a PPAI Fellow. The founder and creative director of brandivate, Bill Petrie is honored for his volunteerism, mentorship and education in the promo industry. By John Corrigan 58 • JANUARY 2024 • PPAI