PPAI recently welcomed Jill Begun to the Association’s staff as its new professional development manager. Part of the member engagement team, she will lend her experience and expertise in support of PPAI’s professional development programs and members’ career education needs.

Begun is a graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University and has extensive recruiting experience. She brings a background in working with professional and nonprofit clients to solve their staffing needs to her new role at PPAI.

“Prior to PPAI, I worked at a staffing agency, Dicker Staffing Services, from January 1994 to July 2022,” says Begun. “I started as an interviewer and held several positions during my time at the company. My last role was senior area operations manager. A large part of what I did throughout my time at Dicker involved recruiting for various positions for our clients.”

The business-to-business services world can sometimes be a small one. Begun first learned of PPAI as one of Dicker’s clients. She says, “Our temporaries enjoyed working at the Association and they were always treated like they were a part of the team. When my previous company announced they would be closing, I had heard about the professional development manager role.

“This position excited me because of the industry, the reputation of the Association, and the new challenges and motivations it would bring. Even though the position and industry are new to me, I was able to carry over some of the skills and knowledge I gained from my previous roles.”

Begun’s initial focus at PPAI is filling in the gaps in her understanding of PPAI and the promotional products industry.

“My initial objective for the position is meeting the members, getting to know them, and finding out what is important and a priority for them,” says Begun. “Another objective is learning about the industry and what is on everyone’s mind. The more I know about the industry and our members’ needs, the better I can assist with professional development.”

Outside the office, volunteerism plays a big part in Begun’s life.

“I enjoy getting together with friends and family, traveling and volunteering,” says Begun. “I recently returned from Puerto Rico, volunteering with The Fuller Center for Housing and helping to rebuild a home damaged by Hurricane Maria. I also volunteer with Make-A-Wish North Texas and prior to COVID, I volunteered with Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village program.”