PPAI has named Mark S. Gilman, CAS, chairman of the board at Gill Studios (UPIC: gill), past chair of the PPAI Board of Directors and a PPAI Hall of Fame inductee, as recipient of the 2016 PPAI H. Ted Olson Humanitarian Award. Gilman’s nominators credit him for the extensive work he has done in support of education, children and the arts in his community, the state of Kansas and the promotional products industry.

Paul Lage, MAS, and Carl Gerlach, MAS, nominated Gilman for the award on behalf of Gill Studios employees. “Mark is truly one of the most caring individuals we have ever seen,” said Lage and Gerlach. “He has always been involved in some form of charitable work that gives back to the community. Mark’s passions are the arts and children. It doesn’t matter if it is in the community or through PPEF, Mark cares about helping others but he shies away from the spotlight and much of what he gives, he does anonymously.”

Named after the late H. Ted Olson, MAS, PPAI president emeritus, the award represents what Olson stood for—volunteerism inside and outside the promotional products industry. The award is presented annually to PPAI members who have shown long-standing empathy, devotion and commitment to improving quality of life and bringing about change for the betterment of a community. Those selected for the honor exhibit exemplary devotion and volunteerism to nonprofit, civic, charitable and/or educational organizations committed to the needs of the communities they serve.

Gilman has been actively involved in charitable and community endeavors for decades. He is one of the founding members of the Foundation for Shawnee Mission Medical Center, which was formed in the mid-1960s and continues today. For the past 10 years he has supported the capital campaign of TLC (Temporary Lodging for Child and Families), a Kansas organization that provides shelter and social services to children who are facing abuse, neglect or family disruption. He also led Gill Studios to becoming one of the first donors to the Promotional Products Education Foundation, making its first contribution in 1988. Gilman has contributed personally to PPEF since 1993 and he funded the first named scholarship—the Vincent J. Arena scholarship—for PPEF in 2010.

Gilman has served on numerous boards and foundations within his community. He is a member of the Johnson County Community College Foundation Board, and previously held a seat on the Kansas Association of Commerce & Industry Board of Directors. In 2001, Gov. Bill Graves appointed Gilman to a three-year term on the Kansas Arts Commission. Gilman has sat on numerous art boards, including the board of the Missouri Repertory Theatre and the Performing Arts Committee of the College Foundation Board. For more than 40 years, he’s provided pro bono printing of programs for theaters, as well as for high school theater productions. Currently, his activities focus on programming at the Carlsen Center at Johnson County Community College and fund development at Quality Hill Playhouse in Kansas City, Missouri.

Gilman’s history in the promotional products industry extends back 53 years, when he joined Gill Studios in 1962. Since then, he has held numerous roles at the supplier. In 1985, after stints as secretary and assistant treasurer, vice president and general sales manager, and executive vice president and sales manager, he was named president of the company. It’s a position he held for 20 years before moving to his current role as chairman of the board.

The presentation of the award will take place at The PPAI Expo in Las Vegas, January 10-14, 2016, during the Chairman’s Leadership Dinner. Tickets to the event can be purchased during show registration.