Virginia Promotional Products Association



Articles of Interest

  • 30 Apr 2018 7:47 AM | Dana Geiger (Administrator)

    April 30, 2018   


    The Virginia Promotional Products Association (VAPPA) is pleased to announce Lisa Bibb, MAS will serve as the association’s Executive Director effective May 1,2018. 

    Bibb is an industry veteran with 30 years of experience in the industry. She was a distributor before beginning her career in association management in 2009. She served the regional community as a volunteer and staff is the current Executive Director for Georgia Promotional Products Professionals (GAPPP). Additionally, Bibb is the founder of the Promotional Products Professionals Facebook page that hails over 6,500 members and a proud PPAI Fellow. Her deep understanding of the industry and her experience as a regional association Executive Director will help VAPPA focus on strategic growth as we look to the future. 

    When the Atlanta native is not serving the industry, she spends as much time in her garden as possible with her beloved “fur babies”. Lisa and her husband of 33 years have two grown children and reside in Lawrenceville, GA.

    In addition to welcoming Lisa, the Board of Directors extends gratitude and well-wishes to long-time Executive Director Dana Geiger. Geiger served the association for eight years with dedication.

    VAPPA Board President Craig Dickens commented, “We are delighted to welcome Lisa Bibb as our new Executive Director. Her strong background in association management and deep roots in the industry makes her a perfect fit for our group. She has been a helping at our trade shows for a number of years and is already familiar with many VAPPA members. Please join me in welcoming Lisa to the VAPPA family ”


    Virginia Promotional Products Association (VAPPA) is a non-profit trade association formed in 1986 to advance the image of promotional products and their use in Virginia.Through trade shows, social events and education, we work to foster the relationships of Suppliers and Distributors to continue to grow the business in these areas. We also work to educate and include end-users in this process by offering end-user tradeshows.


  • 02 Mar 2018 12:29 PM | Dana Geiger (Administrator)


    Contact: Harriet Gatter   610-715-2852  |

    Accounting Support, LLC

    Charlotte, March 1, 2018 – Harriet Gatter, founder of Accounting Support, LLC announces reduced pricing of QuickBooks Training On Demand, video instruction specifically for Ad Specialty Distributors and bookkeepers to use QuickBooks correctly, and to its full capacity.

    QuickBooks is the predominant accounting software for small businesses, which makes it easier for business owners to hire bookkeepers, CPAs and to more easily present your financials to investors, lenders or potential buyers. QuickBooks is being used by businesses of all types and it has many features that can be selected and de-selected depending on the industry. For the Ad Specialty distributor, there is a version that is best suited depending on your sales volume and it will need to be appropriately pre-set. With the correct version, properly set-up, then easy and accurate accounting and order management is a matter of correct keystrokes in the correct order as orders progress.

    Harriet Gatter was an Ad Specialty Distributor for 23 years, running the business by herself and doing her own accounting, using QuickBooks. She knows well the intricacies of order management and the complexities of accounting in the Ad Specialty Business. Having also taught Accounting, she is a unique mix of subject matter expertise in Accounting and experience in Ad Specialty Distribution.

    QuickBooks Training On Demand is a series of brief video tutorials that show the correct order of data input and the actual keystrokes needed to manage efficiently an order from beginning to end. Harriet commented, “When QuickBooks is used correctly and in the correct order, the full power of the QuickBooks software is captured, errors are minimized, time is saved and you can be 100% confident in your numbers.”

    The tutorials can be accessed at for terms of 3 months (for $295) or 6 months (for $395). The access terms are limited so the tutorials can be updated as needed, and outdated versions will be kept out of circulation. Drawing on her own small business experience, Harriet said, “As a small business owner, I always preferred a fixed term and price rather than an ongoing subscription, which I might easily forget to turn off.” 

    The Ad Specialty Distributor business is complex. Orders are full of details and the accounting is unique. There is no accounting software designed exactly for Ad Specialty Distributors but QuickBooks comes very close to a customized solution when set up and used correctly. These video instructions are specifically for Ad Specialty Distributors and bookkeepers to use QuickBooks, correctly.

    Harriet is a QuickBooks ProAdvisor and she created Accounting Support, LLC specifically to serve Ad Specialty Distributors, to simplify and improve their accounting and bookkeeping efforts with the efficient use of QuickBooks.

    Visit to access QuickBooks Training On Demand and learn more about how Accounting Support, LLC can simplify and streamline your order management and Accounting systems.


  • 22 Nov 2016 4:33 PM | Dana Geiger (Administrator)

     VIRGINIA (November 22, 2016) The Virginia Promotional Products Association (VAPPA) is pleased to announce that Joy Jacobs (Bag Makers) and Ashley Marsee (Heritage Sportswear) will be joining the VAPPA Board of Directors Jan 1, 2017. In addition to the new members the Board also welcomes back Ron Baellow (Bright Ideas) for a second term.

    A letter of congratulations from Governor McAuliffe's Office congratulating VAPPA on 30 years of service.  Secretary of Administration Nancy Rodrigues presents Harold Wood, VAPPA Board President, with a letter of congratulations from Governor McAuliffe. 2017 Board Members joined the current VAPPA team for a full day of strategic analysis and planning on Nov 17, 2017 in Richmond, VA.

    The incoming class joined the current VAPPA Board for a day of strategic analysis and planning on November 17, 2016 in Richmond. The meeting began poignantly with a presentation of a letter from Governor McAuliffe’s Office congratulating VAPPA on celebrating 30 years of service. Melissa Weber (PPAI) served as facilitator leading the group through activities highlighting the association’s strengths, illuminating areas of opportunity and ultimately revealing goals for the year ahead.

    “VAPPA has been so fortunate to have the commitment of some of the industry’s best serving on the VAPPA Board in previous years. The collaboration of the current team with the new members in our strategic planning meeting indicated that the bar continues to be set higher and higher each year. Both Joy and Ashley bring a fresh energy and perspective while Ron continues to bring a voice of continuity and tenure to the team. Together we are committed to delivering even more value to our membership as we work to strengthen the already strong foothold of the industry in Virginia. ”
    – Harold Wood, 2016 Board President.


    Virginia Promotional Products Association (VAPPA) is a non-profit trade association formed in 1986 to advance the image of promotional products and their use in Virginia.Through trade shows, social events and education, we work to foster the relationships of Suppliers and Distributors to continue to grow the business in these areas. We also work to educate and include end-users in this process by offering end-user tradeshows.


  • 18 Mar 2016 12:43 PM | Dana Geiger (Administrator)

    VIRGINIA (March 16, 2016) VAPPA held the annual Pinnacle Award Ceremony and Member Appreciation Event sponsored by J.Charles Crystalworks on March 8, 2016 in Richmond VA. This annual event is an opportunity to acknowledge regional industry leaders. Approximately 60 people attended this year’s event that highlighted nominees and award recipients selected by member ballot. VAPPA is pleased to congratulate this year’s winners and we thank them for their tremendous efforts in the industry.

    Distributor of the Year  – NewClients, Inc.

    Distributor Rep of the Year – Joseph Ausband, Identify Yourself

    Supplier of the Year – Bag Makers

    Supplier Rep of the Year – Amanda Delaney, SanMar

    Multi-line Rep of the Year – Sequel, Inc

    Humanitarian of the Year -  John Bennis, Sequel Inc.

    The annual awards ceremony kicked of a two-day end-buyer event with tradeshows in Richmond and in Roanoke. Pre-show education included end-buyers and highlighted industry statistics and case studies in the top five categories of products. The shows welcomed approximately 275 distributors and 400 end-buyers. Virginia is a powerful force in the industry producing $284 million in distributor revenue and is home to 661 promotional product companies. Those who support the region know that Virginia is a place to prosper.

    “The VAPPA Spring EXPO has continued to grow over the years. We are committed to helping our distributors educate their clients and in turn have seen an evolution of extremely qualified buyers attending these shows. It is also the perfect place to take pause and honor our Pinnacle Award winners for all they do in the region.“  - Harold Wood, VAPPA Board President. 

    The Virginia Promotional Products Association (VAPPA) was formed to advance the image of promotional products and their use in Virginia. VAPPA fosters the development of professionalism and business ethics through education, certification and the exchange of ideas in a variety of business and social environments. For more information about VAPPA, call (757) 491-3114 or visit .

    - end -

  • 29 Jan 2016 9:53 AM | Dana Geiger (Administrator)



    Kim R. Todora, PPAI

     PPEF Logo.jpg


    PPEF 2016 Scholarship Period Now Open

    Promotional Products Education Foundation now accepting scholarship applications through March 15, 2016


    IRVING, Tex., (January 28, 2016) – Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF;, is pleased  to announce that the 2016 PPEF scholarship program is now taking applications for the 2016-2017 school year with $150,000 in scholarships available. Since its inception in 1989, PPEF has awarded approximately $1,417,000 in financial assistance.


    Funded by Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) and donations from the promotional products industry, the scholarship program enables youth and professionals to continue their education on a collegiate level.  The Association and industry patrons have a long-standing commitment of service to the promotional products industry and this fund supports those who demonstrate the same commitment.


    “PPEF will award $150,000 to 74 new and 29 renewal scholars in 2016,” said, PPEF Chair, Patricia Dugan, MAS. “PPEF is proud to have increased our commitment to families with the greatest financial need by changing the structure to award larger payments to need-based recipients. It is wonderful to hear comments from students mentioning that they are the first ones in their families to go to college—truly life changing!


    The 2016-2017 scholarship application period is now open and the submission deadline is Tuesday, March 15, 2016.


    Academic Scholarships Offered


    §   Four-Year Scholarship – ($8,000, awarded $2,000 per year; need-based)

    §   Four-Year  Merit Scholarship – ($4,000, awarded $1,000 annually for four years)

    §   Chairman’s Scholarship – ($5,000, awarded $2,500 annually for Junior and Senior years)

    §   One-Year Scholarship – ($2,000; need-based, nonrenewable)

    §   One-Year Merit Scholarship – ($1,000, nonrenewable)

    §   Friends of PPMN Scholarship – ($1,000, nonrenewable for industry employees only)

    PPEF Scholarships Information

    Application forms and guidelines are available at Application information can also be obtained by contacting Sara Besly at Applications must be submitted by Tuesday, March 15, 2016. Winners of the scholarships will be announced in May. Donations can be mailed to PPEF, 3125 Skyway Circle North, Irving, Texas 75038.


    About PPEF

    PPEF is an industry-based non-profit organization that raises money to help students achieve their higher education goals.  PPEF was founded to recognize and encourage scholastic ability and academic performance among promotional products industry employees and their children. Since its inception in 1989, PPEF has awarded approximately $1,417,000 in financial assistance.


    About PPAI
    Founded in 1903, the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) is the world’s largest and oldest not-for-profit association serving more than 11,000 corporate members of the $20 billion promotional products industry which is comprised of more than 33,700 businesses and a workforce of more than 500,000 professionals. PPAI represents the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocates on its behalf. PPAI operates The PPAI Expo, the industry’s largest trade show; provides the leading promotional products safety and compliance program, a prestigious professional development and certification program; and publishes industry trade journals and periodicals. The multi-billion-dollar industry includes wearables, writing instruments, calendars, drinkware and many other items, usually imprinted with a company’s name, logo or message. For more information, visit and find us on Twitter @PPAI_HQFacebookYouTube and Pinterest.


  • 05 May 2015 6:04 PM | Dana Geiger (Administrator)


    By Psychologist, Bruce Christopher


    So much of what we consider success in life simply is how we look at things.   The story has been told of parents who had two identical twin boys.  They were identical in everyway except for their temperaments.  One of the boys was a hope filled optimist, “Everything is coming up roses!”, he would always say.  The other twin was a sad and hopeless pessimist; in fact, he was so pessimistic, he thought that the guy who invented “Murphy’s Law” (i.e., anything that can go wrong – probably will) was an optimist. 

    So, the worried parents brought their twin boys to the local psychologist in order to balance out their personalities.  “On their next birthday”, the psychologist said to them, “put them in separate rooms to open their gifts.  Buy the pessimist the best toys you can possibly afford, but give the optimist a box of manure.”

    Well, the parents followed these weird instructions and carefully observed the results.  On their next birthday, which fell on the same day – because they were twins of course, the parents opened the door of their pessimist and heard him audibly complaining about the great toys he had received, “I don’t like this game!  I’ll betcha this computer will break!  I know somebody who has got a bigger toy car than this!”  Tiptoeing across the hallway, the parents opened the door to their little optimist and they saw him laughing and giggling, gleefully taking the manure in his hands and throwing it up into the air!  And they heard him say, “Mom and dad, you can’t fool me, where there’s this much crap . . . there’s got to be a pony!”

    This story underscores the difference between OPTIMISTS and PESSIMISTS; where most of us would only see a nasty pile of manure, optimists see something else, they see potential “hidden ponies.”  As a clinical psychologist and professional speaker, this is what I try to teach people in my audiences whenever I speak – how to find hidden ponies in the trials and negative circumstances of our lives.  Optimists know how to do this intuitively, and they practice this skill in their professions and in their interpersonal interactions.  When I have the privilege of speaking to a group of professionals in your industry, I always ask them this million dollar question:

    Are you an OPTIMIST or a PESSIMIST?  The answer to that question may have profound impact on your life, career, and relationships.  But what does it really mean to be an optimist?  I have a friend and colleague whom I often tease because everything seems to turn out right for him and go his way.  Once we were out for lunch and he bumped his iced-tea with his hand, the glass wavered precariously back and forth, the tea sloshing around and coming dangerously close to going all over him.  And of course, as is his destiny, not a single drop is spilt.  I said to him, “Jeff, what just happened is a metaphor for your life.  If that had been me, that drink would have ended up in my lap!   Everything just works out for you doesn’t it?”  He smiled and looked at me and said, “Yeah, I guess it does.”  

    Is my friend Jeff an optimist or a pessimist because everything seems to go his way?  No, Jeff is just lucky.  Optimism has nothing to do with luck, good karma, or how the planets are aligned.  Optimism has everything to do with how we respond and react when things don’t go our way.  Anyone can be positive when things are going great, but the real test is:  how do we act when things don’t go according to plan?

    The Attitude Axiom: The most important thing about you is NOT what happens to you, it is how you talk to yourself about what happens to you.  You see, we all talk to ourselves, and this is called thinking; thinking is an internal dialogue that we have going on inside of ourselves all the time, and how we think creates our attitude and approach to life.  Your attitude is the most essential skill which you can practice because not only does it energize you, but it energizes those around you as well.

    In this brief article, let me share with you two reasons why a positive attitude is vitally important for you. . .

    1st.  Attitude Predicts Success 

    In psychology, one of the things we are really interested in are the variables which predict success; our focus used to be on traditional measuring methods like I.Q. or academic performance in school.   Those of you who have children in school who might be struggling a little bit, take heart, because there is not a strong link between academic performance and I.Q. with success in life and work. 

    Psychologists now look at another variable which has been called “Emotional Intelligence” as a primary predictor of success.  Emotional intelligence has to do with your attitudes, how well you deal with setbacks and failures, and your ability to interact effectively and empathetically with people. 

    Many studies and reviews have demonstrated the importance of attitude for success in business.  In fact, research reveals that the more you love what you do the better you will do it and the more successful you will be.  One longitudinal study underscores this point:  researchers followed a group of 1,500 people over a period of 20 years.  At the starting point of the study, the group was divided into Group A, 83% of the sample, who had started their career path based upon it’s potential for making money in the immediate future in order to do what they really wanted to do later, and Group B, the remaining 17% of the sample, had done the exact opposite.  They decided to pursue a career that they loved to do now and worry about the money later. 

    Check this out:  After 20 years, 101 of the original 1,500 had become millionaires.  One came from Group A, the other 100 had come from Group B, the people who had chosen to do what they loved!  Clearly this points out the dramatic power of attitude; people who do what they love tend to become more successful because they approach what they do with vigor, energy, and vision. 

    The National Retail Merchants Association conducted a survey to gather data on why businesses lose customers:  Competition, moving, or death was only 9%; Lower prices elsewhere, only 9%; Unadjusted complaints, 14%; and poor attitude of the personnel was a significant 68%.  Adding the last two figures together indicates that upward of 80% of people who choose to leave “doing business” with your organization, do it because of poor attitudes from the staff.

     Dr. Martin Seligman, professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and author of the best selling book, Learned Optimism, has demonstrated in several experiments that individuals who are highly optimistic, but  are not as competent and trained in the techniques of selling as others, significantly outperform those who are more highly trained, but score lower on assessments of optimism.  He proposes that perhaps the most predictive factor for successful outcomes in our businesses is NOT our finely tuned technical skills, but rather the intangible importance of our attitudes.

    2nd Attitude is contagious

    Imagine the power of this concept; that you are a communicable disease.  You are infecting all those around you with your own attitude.  Why does this happen?  It’s because there is a psychological principle which is active in our lives which I call The Projection Principle.

    The Projection Principle is this:  The attitude I GIVE to you, I GET reflected back to me in performance and behavior.  I would see this dynamic many times in the counseling office; a father might come in with his teenage son and he would talk to me about his child in a tone of anger and detachment, “This kid is so stubborn and negative!,” he would yell at me, “Can you figure out where he gets this bad attitude from!?”  Hmmm, I think to myself, I wonder.  It seems to me that the father and child are mere reflections of one another; father yells, “Clean your room!”  Kid yells back, “No!”  They sound just like one another as they mirror each others behavior.

    What do you want from your staff? Your customers?  Your spouse?  Your kids?  You first might want to take a look at what you are projecting onto them; because chances are that they are simply reflecting your own attitude back through their performance and behavior.  Now, certainly I am not suggesting that we are responsible for the attitude and actions of others, but on the other hand, there is a body of research which demonstrates that emotions are quite contagious and that other people tend to mirror or match the emotional energy that we give off.

    In his book, Emotional Intelligence, Dr. Daniel Goleman talks about the subtlety with which emotions pass from one person to another.  In a simple experiment, two people fill out a pre-test of their current moods and emotional state in the moment, then simply sat facing each other while the experimenter went out of the room to score their tests.  After a few minutes the experimenter returns with another mood checklist and asks them to it out again.  The pairs were purposely composed of one person who was highly expressive of emotion and the other who was deadpan.  Invariably, the post-test of emotional state had shown how the mood of the more expressive individual had been transferred to the more passive partner.

    Someone once said, “Attitude is everything.”  And according to the latest research which is being done on the subject, this seems to be the case.  When it comes to re-energizing your staff, you must realize that it all starts with you and your own attitude; for the attitude that you project to your staff and your patients will be assimilated by them and reflected back to you in behavior, performance, and actions.  Unfortunately, most of us are “blind” to the attitude-projections that we give off to others.  Try saying to an explosive person that they are yelling at you, and you may here them say, “I am not yelling at you!!”, as they tear your head off with a verbal barrage that makes you cower in fear of what they might do.

    Wouldn’t it be revealing to have a secret video camera on us as we go through our workday; most of us might not really like what we see.  “Who is that?” we might say to ourselves, “I had no idea that I looked so scowl and serious.”

    Don’t worry, you don’t need a secret video camera on you – just ask your staff, they already know.

     For more information on Psychologist, Bruce Christopher’s seminars, call, write, or visit his website: 

    Bruce Christopher Seminars

    11124 Abbott Lane

    Minnetonka, MN 55343









831 Windsor Oak Cir.
Lawrenceville, GA 30045

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software