Meet Our Staff Liaisons

Awards & Recognition Committee

Carol Gauger, MAS
 — As Director of Member Engagement & Regional Relations, Carol oversees all volunteer experiences, member loyalty and awards and recognition programs as part of PPAI’s member engagement initiatives as well as all activities between PPAI, the RAC Board and the 27 regional associations ranging from strategic planning, LDW and EDLF and regional tradeshow participation. She loves to crochet and is the consummate foodie. Photos of her culinary expertise can be viewed on Facebook.

 

 

Christina Sanders — As the Recognition Programs Coordinator, Christina manages communications and entry processes and tracks judging processes, collateral and winners' toolkits for eleven member awards programs alongs with providing administrative support for association volunteer programs and management of IDEA Source strategy and content. In her downtime, she enjoys reading, cross-stitch, patio gardening and spending time teaching and enjoying her amazing daughter.

 



Certification Committee

 

 

 

Julie Alcaro — As the Manager of Curriculum Development and Certification, Julie is responsible for the strategic oversight of PPAI’s Certification Programs, along with ensuring consistency in curricula across PPAI’s professional development programs. Julie holds a BS in English Education from West Chester University, has taught both middle school and high school, before moving into corporate education. Julie likes to spend time with friends and family, read, shop for shoes and travel with her husband Ryan.

Rachel Robichaud -- As the Director of Professional Development, Rachel oversees the educational programming and content for all live education events, online learning and certification programs. Rachel is an Aggie through and through; enjoys spending every possible moment with her two daughters, Rylee and Raegan and husband Ricky; and tries to escape to the mountains for snow skiing as much as possible.

 



Distributors Committee
 

Tina Filipski — Tina is Editor and heads up PPAI’s Publications team which is responsible for producing PPB, PPB Newslink, Promotional Consultant Today, The Expo Daily and Expo East Daily. She’s also staff liaison to the Distributors Committee. A Dallas native, she likes to spend her spare time with family, friends and dachshund puppy Abby.

Ellen Tucker -- Ellen is the Manager of Business Development. 

 



Government Relations Advisory Council (GRAC)

Seth Barnett - As Government Relations Manager, Seth is responsible for the legislative workings of PPAI; this includes monitoring state and federal legislation and communicating to members based on legislative need. In his free time, he enjoys spending time outside with his dog Wrigley and going to Rangers games.

Anne Lardner-Stone — Anne is the Director of Public Affairs and is responsible for guiding PPAI’s legislative and government relations efforts—including taking a contingent of PPAI members to Washington, DC, to advocate directly to US lawmakers on issues important to the promotional products industry. Anne also oversees the Association’s product responsibility programs including the development of industry best practices and the PPAI Product Safety Summit—a two-day education event focused specifically on product responsibility issues. She currently serves as staff liaison to both the Government Relations Advisory Council and the Product Responsibility Advisory Group.

 



Leadership Advisory Committee (LAC)

Lisa Beck — Lisa celebrated her 29th anniversary with PPAI in March 2015. Her expertise has touched most departments inside PPAI from Marketing to Awards to PPEF. For the past 17 years, she has worked with the PPAI Board of Directors, committees, councils and other volunteer leaders. Lisa and her husband Kevin celebrated 27 years of marriage earlier this year. Together, they have two very successful sons and a daughter-in-law and enjoy being empty nesters.

 



Marketing Information & Research Committee








Keith Vincent — Keith is Director of Marketing and Communications and currently serves as the staff liaison to the Research Committee. Keith has been with PPAI for 11 years. Prior to joining PPAI, Keith worked for the International Association of Exposition Management. He is a product of the great state of Louisiana and the “City That Care Forgot”—New Orleans.

 



Membership Services Committee

Natalie Clark -- As Manager of Membership Services, Natalie oversees the member experience throughout a members life cycle.  The Membership Services Department includes a sales team for on-boarding new members, a member care team who assists members with their account management needs, a telemarketing representative who assists with EXPO and EXPO East registrations, the member benefits specialist who coordinates communications and services with our Affinity Partners, and a supervisor who oversees the day-to-day telephone escalations and scheduling needs of the team.  In her free time, Natalie enjoys spending time with her newest hobbies, which include her husband of 7 years and painting.

Kari Banner -- As the Affinity Program Specialist, Kari is responsible for the relationships between our business partners and how they perform. Day to day she works to deliver a better experience to PPAI members. A native Texan, Kari can be seen spending time with her family and taking too many pictures of her Boston Terrier, Chester.

 



PPB Editorial Advisory Committee

Julie Richie — As Associate Editor of PPB magazine, Julie researches, writes and edits articles relating to the promotional products industry, and is specifically responsible for the Editor’s Picks, Eye on Apparel, Profile, Close Up and Question columns. She enjoys spending time being active outdoors with her husband and two teenage boys.

James Khattak — James is the News Editor on PPAI’s Publications team and is responsible for PPB Newslink as well as contributions to PPB, The Expo Daily and Expo East Daily. He is also staff liaison to the Suppliers Committee. When not at the office, he enjoys pursuing his photography enthusiasm, travelingwith his wife and assuring the family cat Molly that the alarm clock will wake him up just fine, thanks.

 


Product Responsibility Advisory Group (PRAG) 

Tim Brown, MAS - 
As Product Responsibility Manager, Tim is responsible for the corporate responsible sourcing (product, environmental and social) efforts at PPAI; this includes education and awareness outreach in addition to providing member guidance. He is a proud husband and father. In his free time he enjoys futbol (soccer) and home brewing.  

Anne Lardner-Stone Anne is the Director of Public Affairs and is responsible for guiding PPAI’s legislative and government relations efforts—including taking a contingent of PPAI members to Washington, DC, to advocate directly to US lawmakers on issues important to the promotional products industry. Anne also oversees the Association’s product responsibility programs including the development of industry best practices and the PPAI Product Safety Summit—a two-day education event focused specifically on product responsibility issues. She currently serves as staff liaison to both the Government Relations Advisory Council and the Product Responsibility Advisory Group. 


  
Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF)

Sara Besly — As PPEF Manager, Sara works with the 18-member PPEF Board of Trustees to award college scholarships to industry families and to secure funding from companies and individuals to provide these scholarships. When not at work, Sara can be found chasing her two daughters or working with her husband on the renovation of their almost 100-year-old house.

 



Professional Development Committee (PD)

Stacy Riddler 
As Associate Manager of Professional Development, Stacy manages the educational programming, content, speakers and logistics for the annual PPAI EXPO, the Women’s Leadership Conference as well as assists with the educational programming and logistics for the North American Leadership Conference. Stacy is also the liaison for the Women’s Leadership Action Group. Stacy started her career in educational training, then worked as a Director of Human Resources for twelve years. She recently returned to training and development which is her true passion.  When not working, she enjoys spending her time with family and friends.



Rachel Robichaud -- As the Director of Professional Development, Rachel oversees the educational programming and content for all live education events, online learning and certification programs. Rachel is an Aggie through and through; enjoys spending every possible moment with her two daughters, Rylee and Raegan and husband Ricky; and tries to escape to the mountains for snow skiing as much as possible.


Public Relations Committee (PR)

Kim Todora — As PPAI Public Relations Manager, Kim is responsible for the direction of comprehensive integrated public relations strategies and implementation, including social media strategy and execution, media relations, buyer-targeted initiatives and tradeshows and such industry awareness programs as the ADvocate Program, PromotionalProductsWork.org and the new industry awareness campaign, Promotional Products Work! Week.

Gretchen Demke -- Gretchen is the Manager of Creative Services. 

 



Regional Association Council (RAC)

 

Melissa Weber — Melissa currently serves as Regional Programs Manager and works with the 27 regional associations in the promotional products industry on a wide variety of issues including governance, Board management and tradeshows. In her free time, you can find Melissa curled up with her husband and two dogs, her head stuck in a book, or enjoying a nice glass of wine on the patio.

 


 



Suppliers Committee

Sandy Mendoza As Team Lead for the Business Analytics Group, Sandy is responsible for reporting, billing, contract processing and data analysis projects as needed from the management team. In her free time, she enjoys playing soccer, outdoor activities and spending time with family and friends.

Robert McLean, CPA — Bob is PPAI’s Executive Vice President. He was hired in June 2008 as CFO and is responsible for Finance & Administration, Information Technology and the Promotional Products Education Foundation. In October 2011, Bob was promoted to EVP and assumed responsibility for all the revenue-producing products and services at PPAI. These include Business Development, Membership Sales, Tradeshows, Publications, Education and Certification departments. His goal is to integrate fully the way the Association goes to market by approaching each sale in a consultative manner by first understanding the needs and wants of the member.

 



Technology Committee

 

Paul Elfstrom — Paul is the Director of Information Technology for PPAI and is responsible for the management, strategy and execution of IT infrastructure for the Association. He also oversees technical projects that align with PPAI’s strategic plan to ensure effective delivery of Association programs. Currently, he serves as staff liaison to the Technology Committee. In his spare time, he enjoys family activities and playing guitar.

Vicki Sypien — Vicki serves as IT Project Manager for PPAI’s web and infrastructure projects and acts as a co-liaison for the Technology Committee. In her free time, she serves as PTA President at her daughter’s school and enjoys playing classic board games on the weekends with her family.



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