PPAI Magazine May 2024

Coolest Non-Nerdy Tech Person Jeison Ortega of Charles River Apparel may only have worked in promo for seven years, but he’s made strides in bringing the latest technology, including website chats and AI, to the industry in the name of improving the customer experience. And as a volunteer with PPAI’s Technology Committee, he’s sharing that knowledge and expertise with the wider promo community. Coolest Association Leader More than just the founder of a successful distributorship, former PPAI Board Chair, marathoner and someone who’s climbed Mount Ararat and Mount Kilimanjaro, Paul Kiewiet, MAS+, is the executive director of the Michigan Promotional Professionals Association. There, he’s led numerous programs to connect suppliers and distributors, forge relationships with neighboring associations and PPAI, and represented the industry’s needs to Michigan’s legislature. (Sorry, Dale!) Coolest Celebrity (Non-Industry Category) Walker-Clay’s Abby Burke made it to No. 8 on PPAI Media’s 2024 #Online18 through her funny, informative and unique videos. The national account executive has developed her skills in the crucible of TikTok, at first making cake decorating videos during the pandemic and growing her @its_abby_abigail account to more than 350,000 followers and 94 million views. Her focus now is on user-generated content for brands, and reviewing products available through TikTok Shop. (Editor’s note: There’s a TikTok Shop now?) The Coolest Stuff In Promo | Must Read Coolest Do-Gooder Brianna Mazze with supplier St Regis has dedicated herself to advancing the industry’s CSR and DEI efforts, and she is a wealth of knowledge on the subjects. Wimbush adds, “She walks the walk, too, volunteering with animal rescue groups and organizing give-back programs for local communities at work.” Coolest Business Traveler He may now be national sales manager at Rupt, but when Quinn Bui first came to PPAI Media’s attention, he was traveling the country in his van, taking the promo world with him. #Vanlife isn’t just Instagram accounts and a pipedream; Bui showed that it can be a great vehicle – pun intended – for connecting with clients and showcasing how promo can meet their needs. PPAI • MAY 2024 • 49