The most difficult judging process in competition history has wrapped, and PPAI Media is finally ready to announce the promotional products industry’s Rising Stars of 2023.

This year, more than 170 nominees vied for PPAI Rising Stars honors – a record for the annual contest, which began in 2010 and has recognized nearly 200 past recipients. A number of past winners have gone on to C-level roles, PPAI Board of Directors positions and even internet celebrity status.

This year’s 12 emerging leaders were chosen based on their accomplishments, demonstrated leadership and volunteerism in the marketplace and their communities. Nominators described what makes each candidate impressive, their contributions on behalf of clients and the challenges they’ve overcome.

Each honoree earns the chance to be on the cover of PPAI Magazine along with a full profile in the December issue, plus a special invitation to the Association’s Leadership Development Workshop this fall.

Along with comments from their nominators, we now introduce the 2023 PPAI Rising Stars:

Quinn Bui
Owner/Multi-line Rep, n9ner Marketing

“Using photography, video, and social media he has been able to tell the story of promo as lifestyle products.”
-Charity Gibson

Emily Codner
Director, Affiliate Services, iPROMOTEu

“Emily exemplifies a leader who continues to take on more responsibility and influence both within iPROMOTEu and the industry.”
-Lori Bauer

Mykayla Goodwin
Vice President of Strategy, OrderMyGear

“Her passion for and understanding of the Promotional Products market has entirely reshaped OrderMyGear and her involvement / thought-leadership with PPAI has brought a unique perspective about not just the market but where the market is going.”
-Dustin Downing

Katie Grimes
Account Executive, Red Promotions

“Katie is an inspiration to our entire team. She is always sharing new, creative product ideas for different teams’ client needs.”
-Shelley Stewart

Maddie Hardy
Senior Account Manager, Whitestone Branding

“She has developed a sincere candor with her clients and is known amongst our team as a professional who consistently exceeds her sales targets; recognized for her ability to foster strong client relationships and follow through to closing deals.”
-Nikki Rampick

Simi Kasakwe-Welsch
Public Relations Specialist, American Solutions for Business

“Simi’s positive attitude and desire to learn all about the promotional products industry is infectious and unmatched. She dives in head-first.”
-Christine Fischer

Kathryn Peach
Senior Account Manager, Promotional Source

“Kathryn was hired during Covid remotely and was onboarded virtually. Most of her accomplishments are self-taught as she has never worked in a promotional products office.”
-Brian Leigh

Tori Thomas
Director of Marketing, Bella + Canvas

“She is unique in that she is a storyteller with a creative mind, but she is an executer.”
-Megan Spire

Nadav Raviv
Senior National Account Executive, GBS

“I’ve always appreciated Nadav’s willingness to mentor young and old newcomers to the industry and shepherd them to their own levels of success.”
-Mike Szymczak

Katie Whitehead
Director of Marketing, HALO

“Katie is beloved and trusted by hundreds of Account Executives and sales teams. And she has directly helped fuel our growth.”
-Jeffrey Wurtzel

Chelsea Williams
CEO, Spark Branded Solutions

“Under Chelsea’s astute guidance, her company has experienced tremendous growth, expanding from a mere two-person team to a robust workforce of six individuals in a remarkably short span of fewer than ten months.”
-Michelle Burke

Alex Paschal
President, Warwick Publishing

“Although he’s only been in the industry a short time, he’s really been part of it all his life because he is fifth generation.”
-Phil Martin

PPAI congratulates all the nominees and invites the industry to share in the celebration for these 12 winners.