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Janet McMaster, MAS, regional vice president at Lewiston, Maine-headquartered distributor Geiger, was honored as the 2020 PPAI RAC (Regional Association Council) Volunteer Award recipient. The award was presented in October during the 2020 Leadership Development Workshop at Home.

“The regional community is a very special one; a grassroots, roll-up-your-sleeves-and-make-things-happen one. It’s where I feel like I can make a real contribution; a real difference,” said McMaster, in accepting the award. “To be honored for volunteerism in a year where there has been virtually no opportunity to volunteer is kind of ironic. One of the things I have missed the most since the pandemic affected our lives is the opportunity to serve the regional community, side by side, with like-minded friends and colleagues. 2020 has certainly been a difficult year, and I believe 2021 will be challenging as well. Next year, it will be more important than ever to fill the seats of our regional boards with strong, innovative thinkers who will discover new revenue streams and ways of connecting distributor and supplier members in meaningful engagements. It will be exciting to watch how trade shows and events are reimagined.”

The PPAI RAC Volunteer Award is presented annually to regional association members who have demonstrated an outstanding level of volunteerism and leadership, and who have made significant and measurable contributions to a regional association. McMaster is the 18th recipient of the award that has been presented annually since 2010.

McMaster is currently a member of the Promotional Products Education Foundation’s (PPEF) Board of Trustees, having begun her three-year term in January, and has a distinguished history of service with the industry’s regional associations. She served on the Philadelphia Area Promotional Products Association (PAPPA) in 2004-2005 and in 2007-2010, and on the Carolinas Association of Advertising and Marketing Professionals (CAAMP) board in 2012-2017, where she served as board president in 2015. She was also on the RAC board in 2015-2018 and led it as president in 2017.

“During my time on the regional boards and then on the RAC board, I had the privilege of working with and being inspired by such intelligent and caring people who have made me a better leader and citizen,” said McMaster. “I am thankful for the many relationships and friendships that have blessed my life as a result of my association service. And trust me, I’m not done serving!”

She is credited with leading several significant accomplishments during her years of volunteer service. Among them are the establishment of a new education program, Rapid Fire Presentations, at the CAAMP Carolinas Connection Show in 2012 that has become an annual event that continues today and facilitating the RAC board’s creation of a new three-year strategic plan during her term as president.

Along with her service to the regional community and PPEF, McMaster has volunteered in many capacities with PPAI. She served on the Professional Development Committee in 2013-2014, the PPAI Women’s Leadership Conference Workgroup in 2013-2014, the RAC Volunteer Advisory Group in 2016 and the Donna Hall Memorial Grant Committee in 2015. She was named a PPAI Fellow in 2016.

“Janet is amazing. She has a heart of gold and the true volunteer spirit,” says Harold Wood, RAC board president. “I first met Janet about 15 years ago when I was new to the promotional products industry. She gave me insight, mentorship and a friendly ear. Janet is like that with everyone, and her warmth and genuine desire to help those around her makes her a paragon of our industry. She has tirelessly worked to grow her Geiger family and her volunteer family, and she is always working to make everyone around her, better.”

Wood adds, “Janet takes time to listen and understand all sides of any subject, and she can remove herself from the situation and give sage advice to all involved. She does all of this with grace and passion, while seeing the potential in all of those around her and drawing it out. She is one of two people in my life, I can say, I have always looked up to. She is the best at everything she does.”


James Khattak is news editor of PPB.