G. Stephen Slagle, CAE, PPAI President And CEO Announces Retirement


Kim R. Todora

IRVING, Tex. (April 8, 2011) – G. Stephen Slagle, CAE, president and CEO of Promotional Products Association International (PPAI; ppai.org) today announced his intention to retire after 15 years of service to the Association and his 32-year association management career. He will retire in January 2012.

Board Chairman, Eric E. Ekstrand, MAS, thanked Mr. Slagle for his outstanding service to the Association and the promotional products industry at large, saying, “You have worked with the board over the years to make PPAI a truly first-class association and promotional products a viable and thriving cornerstone of the advertising and communications industry.

Under his leadership of 15 years, PPAI has set the standard with The PPAI Expo, the industry’s premier event, and most recently the strategic alliance with SAGE, which will bring much-needed business development resources to our industry, members and affiliates. Steve is a strong bridge builder and respected leader and he will be missed by all of us.”

In announcing his retirement, Mr. Slagle said, “I am very thankful for the opportunity and the support the Board has given me over the years to lead an incredible organization such as Promotional Products Association International. Association management is a business that I have dedicated my life to, and I can’t think of a better place to have been during these recent years of dramatic change and challenges to our industry. We have met these challenges because of the leadership of the board and the efforts of our tremendous group of employees. They are truly the backbone of PPAI, and they make their mark every day on the service we provide to our members and the industry worldwide.”

Mr. Slagle joined PPAI in 1996 as the president and chief executive officer. He was selected by the board to serve as president and CEO following the retirement of H. Ted Olson, MAS, president of PPAI, previously known as Specialty Advertising Association International. Olson served as president from 1979 to 1996.

Prior to joining PPAI, Mr. Slagle served as executive director of the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) headquartered in Columbia, South Carolina, for 13 years as well as director of communications for four years. He also served as an account executive for an advertising and public relations firm, general manager of a direct marketing company, commercial printing company account executive, and retail merchandising associate. He earned the designation of Certified Association Executive (CAE) from the American Society of Association Executives in 1991.

During his tenure with PPAI, he has been a member of the American Society of Association Executives since 1983 and chaired ASAE’s Education Committee for 1997-98. He served on ASAE’s Strategic Leadership Forum Committee in 1994-96; seven years on the South Carolina Society of Association Board of Directors; and as SCSAE’s President in 1993; chairman of the Incentive Industry Federation Board of Directors for 1999-2001, and is past chairman of the Small Business Legislative Council’s Board of Directors.

He is a member of the Dallas-Fort Worth Society of Association Executives, the Texas Society of Association Executives (ASAE), the Professional Convention Management Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce, and the Irving Chamber of Commerce. He is president and a founding board member of the International Federation of Promotional Products Associations.

The Board of Directors search committee, headed by Eric Ekstrand, MAS, will conduct a comprehensive search for the position of president and CEO. JDG Associates of Rockville, MD has been engaged to conduct a national search for the position of president and CEO. A board announcement is expected by early July 2011.

About PPAI
PPAI – the promotional products industry’s only international not-for-profit trade association – offers education, tradeshows, business products and services, mentoring, technology and legislative support to its more than 8,000 global members. Promotional products are a multi-billion-dollar industry and include wearables, writing instruments, calendars, drinkware and many other items, usually imprinted with a company’s name, logo or message. PPAI created and maintains the UPIC (Universal Promotional Identification Code), the industry’s only free identification system and universal company database. For information regarding Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) or to learn more about the proven power of promotional products (including research and case studies), visit the PPAI website at www.ppai.org or contact PPAI at 888-426-7724.




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