Virginia Promotional Products Association

Industry News

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  • 23 Jul 2013 11:11 AM | Dana Geiger (Administrator)

    (Baltimore, MD) – For the second straight year -- and 4th time in the last 6 years -- Towel Specialties is the Gold Winner in Promo Marketing Magazine's Supplier Excellence Award as "Favorite Towels & Textiles Supplier".

    Towel Specialties previously received the Gold Award in 2008, 2010 and 2012, while gaining Silver Awards in 2009 and 2011.

    Winners are selected via online balloting by the thousands of PromoMarketing readers. 

    TOWEL SPECIALTIES 800-938-6935 or

  • 28 May 2013 5:51 PM | Dana Geiger (Administrator)

    Alexander Manufacturing is pleased to announce the recent hire of multi-line representatives Bo Turner and Tina Jameson-Brown of Turner & Associates (formerly Brad Watson & Associates).  Bo Turner has been representing 5 star suppliers in the southeast for 15 years and is happy to be adding another one. He will be covering Tennessee, Mississippi Alabama, Georgia and Florida. He is joined with his associate, Tina Jameson-Brown, who has been working with Bo for three years.  Tina will be covering Virginia, North and South Carolina. Tina brings to Alexander not only the experience working for a supplier, but also as a distributor in the promotional products industry. She is the current VP of the CAAMP Association and chairs the membership committee. Tina states, “With our combined years of experience in the industry, we understand the challenges that each branch of this industry faces to succeed. We are committed to build strong partnerships between our suppliers and distributors.”

    Michael O’Connell, President of Alexander, added that “I am confident that with the addition of Turner & Associates as Alexander’s multi-line representative in the southeast, our customers will continue to receive the highest level of customer service. We are very excited to have Bo and Tina as a key member of the Alexander team.”

    Bo and Tina are thrilled for the new addition and are already working on sharing all the great perks Alexander offers their customers. Bo believes that “Alexander’s quality product line up, coupled with incredible service has been a too well kept secret. If a distributor has not reviewed the line recently they are missing an awesome profit center and partner.”

    Alexander Manufacturing has been a leading promotional products supplier for more than 70 years. The company is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri with manufacturing facility in Towanda, IL. Alexander is a Five Star ASI supplier, a SAGE A Class Supplier and a 2012 Distributor Central winner. More information can be found at

    Contact:          Bo Turner at ­| 205-218-1132

    Tina Jameson-Brown at | 828-406-2480

    Theresa Vail, Marketing and Merchandising Manager for Alexander Manufacturing | | 314-270-7916

  • 08 May 2013 4:21 PM | Dana Geiger (Administrator)

    Virginia Beach, VA (May 7, 2013) The six Regional Associations sponsoring Expo East have announced the winners of their Expo East Distributor Promotion. The campaign was sponsored by VAPPA, CPPA, NEPPA, PAPPA, SAAGNY, and TRASA to promote Distributor registration and attendance at Expo East in Atlantic City, NJ from May 20-22.

    Five daily drawings for $100 American Express gift cards were held, drawing from the pool of Distributor association members who submitted proof of their Expo East registration during the contest. Then, all Distributors who entered the daily drawing were placed in the grand prize drawing for a 32GB iPad. Distributors may pick up their prizes at the Regional Partner Booth at Expo East.

    Congratulations to the winners:

    Daily winners of $100 American Express gift cards:


    Cheryl Allen                 SunBay Advertising (VAPPA)                       

    Kathi Duprey               Designs Unlimited   (NEPPA)

    Debra May                   Millennium Marketing Solutions (CPPA)          

    Susan Shelton             SBS Promos (CPPA)                                     

    Sharon Layne             Freedom Designs     (TRASA) 


    Grand Prize winner of 32GB iPad:


    Ellen Bernstein             Accent on Promotions (VAPPA and SAAGNY)   

  • 23 Apr 2013 10:20 AM | Dana Geiger (Administrator)
    After nearly three years to complete the process, the company’s proprietary catalog management system is protected by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

    BOULDER, COLORADO (April 22, 2013) – ZOOMcatalog, an aggregated internet based portal for digital catalogs in the promotional products industry, has received United States Patent 8,407,197 B2 for a system and method to research documents in online libraries. The process was completed nearly three years after application for the patent was submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in 2010.

    This patent was written to protect the company’s proprietary catalog management system including and, both of which significantly reduce printing and mailing costs associated with traditional catalogs. For, the patent addresses storing, searching and distributing digital catalogs by product category, theme and keywordundefinedincluding product type, item number, supplier name as well as line and brand names. For, the patent covers the ability for distributors to personalize digital catalogs instantaneously and on-demand from participating suppliers catalogs. Complete details of the patent can be found at

    The time to complete the patenting process varies, depending on the technical field of the invention and the workload of the USPTO. In general, it takes a number of years for the examination and to obtain final deliberation for an application, although in the area of technology the process can take considerably longer. During the entire patent prosecution process, which ZOOMcatalog filed in 2010, the invention as contained within the application was considered “patent pending.” On March 26, 2013, the application was approved and ZOOMcatalog was awarded a patent for its innovative catalog management system.

    ZOOMcatalog President Noleen Zasman, like many entrepreneurs, came up with the company’s concept out of necessity. As a veteran promotional products distributor, she was frustrated with the time-consuming and laborious process of not only finding promotional products of interest for her clients but also keeping and storing up-to-date catalogs from all her suppliers. This process was difficult and inefficient, slowed down the sales cycle, and made finding new, creative and cost-effective ideas difficult. Zasman knew she wasn’t the only one who felt this way, so she began developing a solution.

    “We put a team together with a unique combination of skills that comprised how catalogs work in the promotional products industry, knowledge of how startup companies operate and a deep experience in managing large digital media libraries gained through working with a Stephen Spielberg foundation,” said Zasman. “We also understood how to streamline workflows through our effort in automating digital TV broadcast stations at Channel 9 in New York and combined this with a vast array of applications involving rich digital media (i.e. media containing data, images, video and audio). By applying these principles, we were able to create the concepts to manage industry specific catalogs in the cloud and then design the systems. Once we transitioned these concepts into a successful catalog cloud management system and service, we realized that not only had we truly invented a unique product but we also successfully implemented these innovations and developmentsundefinedand we began the process to obtain the patent to protect our intellectual property.”

    About ZOOMcatalog LLC:
    Based in Boulder, Colorado, ZOOMcatalog™ is the first and only fully searchable online library of digitized supplier catalogs, created to benefit suppliers, distributors and end-users by reducing the time, cost and environmental impact associated with the industry's print catalog practices. is open to everyone and is free to search, browse and share. 

    Much more than just a digital catalog company, ZOOMcatalog focuses on search and distribution to increase exposure and usage of supplier digital catalogs. All ZOOMcatalogs are end-user safe and completely searchable by keyword, category, theme, supplier/company name and line nameundefinedmaking product research faster and easier than ever before.

    Additionally, ZOOMcatalog recently launched ZOOMcustom, a free program that allows distributors to personalize online supplier catalogs with their own logo and contact information.

    To stay up-to-date on all ZOOMcatalog news, become a ZOOMcatalog fan on Facebook and follow @ZOOMcatalog and @ZOOMcatalog_Bry on Twitter.

    For more information or to schedule a demo, visit, e-mail or call 877-966-6228.

  • 04 Mar 2013 1:04 PM | Dana Geiger (Administrator)


    Photos of the Event

    Award Winners

    Board of Directors

    Celebrating Promotional Products Work Week with the Harlem Shake

    VIRGINIA (March 12, 2013) The Virginia Promotional Products Association (VAPPA) hosted on the 2013 Spring EXPO in Newport News, VA on Feb 26th and Roanoke, VA on February 28th.

    This two-day event was packed full of work and fun. The show connected members, featured the debut of the Promotional Products Harlem Shake, and allowed a platform to acknowledge the best in the region. Additionally, the show was the official launch of the new brand of the association formerly known as MAPPA (The Mid-Atlantic Promotional Products Association). “The rebranding of the association is a necessary step to make the association more representative of the area we serve”, said 2013 Board President Bob Heintz of Vitronic Promotional Group.

    The Pinnacle Awards, held on Feb 25th, welcomed members with a warm reception. Emcee, Tim Rosica, entertained the crowd while acknowledging the 2103 Board of Directors (click here to see the Board) as well as 6 award winners in the region. A member vote is held in January and the 2013 winners are as follows: Distributor of the Year – NewClients, Inc. , Distributor Rep of the Year – Larry Arntz,  Larry Arntz, Inc.  Supplier Company of the Year – LEEDS , Supplier Rep of the Year – Harold Wood , Norwood BIC Graphic NA, Multi-line Rep of the Year – Sequel Inc. and Humanitarian of the Year Awards had a tie: John Bennis of Sequel, Inc. and Teki Hall of NewClients, Inc.


    Over two days the show brought out a total of 206 distributors (108 in Newport News and 98 in Roanoke). In Roanoke, distributor members worked side by side with suppliers to engage more than 60 end-buyers by highlighting items that are specific to projects in place.  Virginia is a powerful force in the industry producing $64 million in revenue and is home to 599 promotional product companies. Those who support the region know that Virginia is a place to prosper.

     The Spring EXPO featured 70 stellar suppliers and multi-line companies with the presenting sponsors PPAI and Vitronic Promotional Group providing additional support.

    The Virginia Promotional Products Association (VAPPA) is an organization that through trade shows, social events and education, works to foster the relationships of Suppliers and Distributors to continue to grow the business in these areas. VAPPA also works to include our end-users in this process by offering end-user tradeshows. We want to help you build your business by offering Exclusive Tradeshows, Networking Opportunities, Industry Connections and Professional Development. For more information about MAPPA, call (757) 491-3114 or visit  HYPERLINK ""  today.

    - end -

  • 23 Jan 2013 3:31 PM | Dana Geiger (Administrator)

    VIRGINIA (January 21, 2013) The Mid-Atlantic Promotional Products Association (MAPPA) has big plans for 2013 starting with a rebranding initiative that will be launched officially February 25, 2013 in conjunction with the region’s Annual Meeting and Pinnacle Awards that are celebrated on the eve of the Spring EXPO.

    MAPPA was formed in 1986 with the mission of serving promotional products professionals throughout the state of Virginia. MAPPA leadership feels strongly that awareness of the association would be elevated with a name that is more identifiable with the state.  The Virginia Promotional Products Association (VAPPA) seems to better represent the membership and provides less ambiguity for those outside the general region.

    MAPPA Board President Bob Heintz says, “ Rebranding the association at this point in time just makes sense. Our profile amongst our members is very good, but this name change will help us reach those who are simply unfamiliar with our region.  I am so excited to see what the future holds with this new brand. “

    VAPPA represents a membership of distributors responsible for upward of 65 million dollars annually in the industry. The 2013 MAPPA Board of Directors is excited to unveil the new brand at the Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony next month.

    This year marks a turning point for the association in many ways. Along with the rebrand, the association will be hosting the second year of the Pinnacle Awards, a program designed to recognize the best in the region, and will be taking on new challenges providing innovative member benefits for the constituents, evaluating and redefining the regional show structure in coming years and will continue to help educate the general public to the power of promotional products as the most affective form of advertising available.

    The Mid-Atlantic Promotional Products Association (MAPPA) is an organization that through trade shows, social events and education, works to foster the relationships of Suppliers and Distributors to continue to grow the business in these areas. MAPPA also works to include our end-users in this process by offering end-user tradeshows. We want to help you build your business by offering Exclusive Tradeshows, Networking Opportunities, Industry Connections and Professional Development. For more information about MAPPA, call (757) 491-3114 or visit today.

    - end -

  • 09 Nov 2012 2:14 PM | Dana Geiger (Administrator)
    GRAND ISLAND, NY November 9, 2012 Starline just donated over 100 flashlights and lanterns to the SAAGNY Foundation for those that are
    still affected by hurricane Sandy and those that may be affected by the Nor’easter storm.

    The SAAGNY Foundation (the non-profit division of SAAGNY) started collecting jackets and clothes for people residing in the areas that were hit the hardest.
    As the days went by and the cleanup efforts started, the need for other items increased. SAAGNY is reaching out to its local membership to create 5 local shipping
    points for the gathering and dispersal of needed items. Many of the SAAGNY members are participating with offers of products, warehouse space to receive items
    and preparing food for shelters.

    The SAAGNY Board of Directors continues to receive email updates on what is still needed to help the communities. Please contact SAAGNY or the
    SAAGNY Foundation if there is something your company can assist with.

    About Starline
    Starline is a top Supplier in the $20 billion dollar Promotional Products Industry. We design, manufacture and decorate more than 800 retail quality gifts
    and promotional giveaways in six industry leading categories: Drinkware; ToolZone™ including Knives, Multi-Tools, Flashlights, Performance Eyewear and
    Mechanic Gloves; HomeStyles™; Bags; Lifestyles including Golf, and Business including Magnets. Starline also offers our distributor partners Business Peace
    of Mind with our Material Safety Compliance, and Social Compliance Programs. Starline is the innovator of QuickPick™ and Idea Board. Information about Starline is available on
  • 24 Jul 2012 8:05 AM | Dana Geiger (Administrator)


    July 18, 2012 -- (WOODCLIFF LAKE, NJ) The SAAGNY Foundation Volunteers spent   Wednesday, July 18th at Happiness is Camping in Blairstown, NJ.  This is the 12th year that the Foundation Volunteers are participating in the camp’s annual "Pirates Day" festivities.


    Volunteers dress up as Pirates, distribute goodie bags filled with custom logo’s items donated by many of the Promotional Products Industries leading vendors and always look to bring a special surprise.  This year, the Foundation is bringing a photo booth! 


    For SAAGNY, this is a signature event among many and one of their most highly anticipated. Eric Rackoff, Account Manager-Northeast/Tri-State of Staples Promotional Products, a member of the SAAGNY Board of Directors and the Chair of the Happiness is Camping event for the 4th year stated, "For me running the event is very personal.  Having lost a sister and brother to cancer when they were kids, over forty years ago, I do this in their memory.  I was also taught by my father to “give back”, especially to children.”


    Jessie L Tyson, Camp Director says “Our kids look forward to the SAAGNY Pirates Day every year - it's always a favorite day! The compassion and generosity of the SAAGNY volunteers makes for a memorable treat long after the summer has drawn to a close."

    Donations have been received from some of the Promotional Products Industries most generous suppliers:

    • Aakron Rule
    • American Ad Bag
    • Ariel
    • Blue Monster
    • California Tattoos
    • Clegg
    • Galaxy Balloons
    • Jetline, Jornik
    • Maple Ridge
    • National Premium
    • Pro Towels
    • Sports Products
    • Sweda
    • Tekweld.

    Originally founded in 1980, Happiness is Camping provides a total of 400 girls and boys ages 6-15 with a free overnight camping experience that varies in time depending on their health.  The camp supported by donations and is staffed by volunteers. The medical staff of doctors and nurses come from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Montefiore and other fine local facilities that provide medical supervision of the highest quality for kids requiring chemotherapy, children at risk of bleeding and infection or with significant physical disabilities.  Happiness Is Camping has the simple mission of looking to have every participating child say "That was the best week of my life!".

    About The SAAGNY Foundation:

    The SAAGNY Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization under section 501(C)(3) of the Internal Revenue code.  The SAAGNY Foundation was established in 1995 with help from the Specialty Advertising Association of Greater New York (SAAGNY). The mission of The SAAGNY Foundation is to provide education grants to members of the SAAGNY professional community and their dependents; to participate in events and support organizations that work with children with special health and/or physical needs with the goal of creating as many smiles as possible; and to aid and assist members of the SAAGNY professional community in times of need with financial and charitable support.  To learn more about the Foundation go to

  • 19 Jul 2012 10:19 AM | Dana Geiger (Administrator)

    Barton Nelson, Inc., Gordon Sinclair, Prime Resources Corp. and Sweda Company LLC have completed the necessary requirements to maintain their QCA Certified status.

    CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (July 18, 2012) – Compliance is a journey, not a destination. And while it’s significant that companies make the original commitment to becoming accredited by Quality Certification Alliance (QCA), the promotional product industry’s only independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping companies provide safe products, what’s even more important is that companies make compliance part of their long-term, ongoing processes and continue to maintain the high standards required to be a QCA Certified Supplier.


    Unlike other certifications, QCA Accreditation requires ongoing quarterly maintenance audits. Additionally, every two years companies must complete full reaccreditation requirements, which often take up to six months to finish and include independent, third-party audits of the company’s headquarters as well as three factories in its supply chain.

    Four more companies have completed the QCA reaccreditation process, allowing them to maintain their QCA Certified status. They are:

    ·      Barton Nelson, Inc., based in Kansas City, Missouri

    ·      Prime Resources Corp., based in Bridgeport, Connecticut

    ·      Sweda Company LLC, based in City of Industry, California


    ·      Gordon Sinclair, based in New Hyde Park, New York

    “QCA has been a huge part of Prime’s very fabric since the organization’s inception in 2009,” said Rick Brenner, Prime Resources CEO. “If promotional products are viewed as a risky in the eyes of the end buyers, then it harms us all. That’s why we have not only embraced what QCA embodies, but we have also put strict testing protocols in place since 2007 and have instituted an in-house lab. At the end of the day, product safety and compliance have become a big part of why distributors have the peace of mind when choosing to work with Prime and our other QCA Certified counterparts.”

    The purpose of reaccreditation is for QCA Certified Companies to show continuous improvement and ongoing vigilance to ensure compliance is a daily best practice. This is especially important to end buyers, who expect compliance to be a proactive part of the normal course of business rather than reactive and only when they ask for it. Having an ongoing system of checks and balances reinforces that compliance is a journey not a destination and demonstrates our industry is getting better every year.


    “We truly look at QCA Certification as a journey rather than as a destination because it is ongoing effort,” said Jennifer Gluck, director of marketing for Gordon Sinclair. “I love that the whole process of reaccreditation is required every two years to maintain QCA Certification because it keeps us in check. It ensures that all the processes and procedures that we built and put in place are still working and being improved upon. Compliance is a part of the lifestyle we embrace in our factories and headquarters. The QCA Accreditation standard is a tough one to meet, and it certainly raises the bar for other suppliers that are not part of QCA.”

    While maintaining QCA Certification is certainly important for all QCA Accredited Companies, Brent Stone, QCA executive director – operations, said the story doesn’t stop there. “Perhaps the most significant aspect of these companies’ successful QCA reaccreditation efforts is the confirmation of their organizational commitment to protecting and enhancing the relationships their distributor partners have with end-buyer clients,” he explained. “Compliance programs are not a casual effort, nor are they a box that can be checked on an RFP. Rather, comprehensive compliance programs require a long-term commitment that permeates all business practices, and these companies demonstrate their depth by meeting the continuous improvement philosophy that is the cornerstone of the QCA Certification Program.”

    For more information about QCA Accreditation and to inquire about the process and benefits received, contact

    About QCA:

    Chicago, Illinois-based Quality Certification Alliance is an independent, accreditation organization whose mission is to elevate the standards by which industry firms that import and/or manufacture promotional products provide consistently safe, high-quality, socially compliant and environmentally conscientious merchandise. QCA Accreditation is granted to companies who complete an independent third-party audit and comply with stringent standards, which are based upon a combination of state and national laws, international standards and industry-accepted best practices that are recognized for their strength and effectiveness by QCA Accredited companies, the promotional products industry and end-user clients.


    QCA was formed in July 2008, and today 19 companies have met the rigorous qualifications to achieve QCA AccreditationundefinedBAG MAKERS, Inc.; Barton Nelson, Inc.; BDA Inc.; Broder Bros.; Bullet Line LLC; Cutter & Buck; Dard Products, Inc.; Garyline, Gemline; Gordon Sinclair; Hit Promotional Prouducts; Jetline; JournalBooks/TimePlanner Calendars; Leed’s; Logomark, Inc.; MMI; Prime Resources Corp.; SnugZ USA; and Sweda Company LLCundefinedwith others soon to complete the process.


    In May 2012, the QCA Distributor Advocacy Council Charter was created to formalize the relationship the organization has with distributors who understand the value compliance programs have in building stronger relationships with suppliers, creating competitive advantage in the marketplace and building loyalty with their end-buyer clients. It is currently comprised of 15 companies, which represent more than $800 million in annual promotional products sales.


    D E (Denise) Fenton serves as executive director – compliance, and Brent Stone serves as executive director – operations.


    For more information, visit





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