PPAI Magazine May 2024

Inside PPAI | Community The Regional Relations Committee’s Big Plans For 2024 The membership restructuring process and communicating the details to industry members shows that perhaps now more than ever, the regional associations are aligned with PPAI on the collaborative goals of pushing the promo community forward. In 2024, PPAI’s Regional Relations Committee has big plans for that push, some of which involve the Association’s involvement. Kara Keister, MAS, RRC delegate to the PPAI Board of Directors and owner of Social Good Promotions, compares regional associations to a localized version of PPAI. “Basically, it’s a smallerscale version of PPAI,” Keister says. “They provide trade shows, industry education and networking opportunitie,s but in your backyard.” For Steven Lazarus, MAS, the RRC chair and VP of sales and marketing at Promotional Breezes, volunteering with a regional association is a way of giving back that becomes your own personal resource. “I would consider it like your local chamber of commerce for the promotional products industry,” Lazarus says. At its meeting earlier this year at The PPAI Expo 2024, the RRC set forth three major initiatives to focus on in 2024. These big-tent issues will be addressed by work groups within the RRC. 1. Membership Regional associations are strengthened and made possible by the very people they serve. “It’s important that the RRC stay on top of what challenges our members are facing, as well as the successes they are experiencing, to ensure their benefits as PPAI members remain relevant,” Lazarus says. By becoming members of PPAI as business service providers last year, regional associations received a long list of new benefits. The relationship also fosters ongoing alignment with PPAI, facilitating collaboration on initiatives and programs. 2. Professional Development. PPAI has long served as the leader in industry education, which leaves plenty of opportunities to work with regional associations on learning sessions that are tailored to regional challenges. The RRC’s work group is collaborating with PPAI’s professional development team to curate content for the Leadership Development Workshop held each fall. 3. Regional Collaboration In an ideal world, no regional association is an island and each shares lessons and best practices with its peer organizations in the promotional products community. Collaboration among regionals is not a new concept. Executive directors and association boards have often shared their knowledge and information. The RRC is working to foster and maintain these relationships. “The RRC aims to encourage this type of collaboration and is facilitating conversations to gather information, create playbooks and even encourage regionals to communicate successes and struggles so we can learn from each other,” Keister says. This sort of collaboration is a macro version of what regionals offer their members as they work together to create a more seamless promo landscape. “Friendly competitors share ideas and help each other out through regional associations,” says Lazarus. The 2024 PPAI Regional Relations Committee Steven Lazarus, MAS, committee chair Kara Keister, MAS, regional liaison to the PPAI Board Kendra Kirks-McDougal, MAS, HALO Rocky Moreno, executive director, GCPPA, PPAMS, SPPA KJ Summers, BAMKO Jillian Fralick, MAS, SnugZ USA Laura Munari, MAS, executive director, RMRPPA, AzPPA Dana Porter, MAS, SAGE Kate Alvarez, PromoShop Quinn Bui, Rupt Shannon Johnson, PPAI staff liaison Stacey Felice, PPACW executive director and PPAI staff liaison PPAI • MAY 2024 • 77