Hey Buddy!

In January, a story in PPB Newslink reported that IMAGEN Brands, parent company of suppliers Crown Products (PPAI 113430) and Vitronic (PPAI 114197), are honoring the memory of Francis “Fran” Ford, Jr., CAS, president of supplier Castelli, a division of Magnet, LLC, and a 2015 PPAI Hall of Fame inductee, who passed away in May 2018—with a teddy bear. Ford was known for his memorable greeting, “Hey buddy!” In remembrance of Ford’s impact on the industry, the Hey Buddy Bear was born, and with every bear sold, IMAGEN Brands will donate to the Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF) to benefit its college scholarship program.

This is an awesome thing you are doing. Fran was an absolute icon in our industry and for you to make these available to us and give back to education is a wonderful thing to do. I will be excited to share the story with my clients.

Sales Executive, Proforma A-Z Specialties
Duncanville, Texas


In Tribute To Lorraine Hempen, CAS

Lorraine Hempen, CAS, a former PPAI board member and Hall of Fame inductee, passed away in December at age 87. When she started working in the promotional products field in 1947, there were only three other women working in the industry, so her impact and leadership on future generations was legendary. In the following letter, one friend pens his final thoughts of appreciation, and another remembers her thoughtfully.

All of us appreciated you as a friend and valued vendor. You were one of the first supplier firms that I visited, and you spent the day showing us how quality pens were made and imprinted. Many thanks for your leadership and friendship.

CEO, Homer Miller
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma PPAI 106971


I knew and worked with Lorraine over the years. As a distributor, I received good counsel from her. And always such a positive attitude.

Promotional Alliance
Shoreview, Minnesota PPAI 676864


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