Voting is under way for the PPAI Board of Directors Class of 2023, and the election will run through September 17. Supplier candidates are Dan Edge, director of sales for Peerless Umbrella Company, and Bill Mahre, president of ADG Promotional Products. Distributor candidates are R. Renée Jones, MAS+, CEO of A Creative Touch, Inc., and Craig Reese, senior vice president of Jack Nadel International. One candidate from each category will be elected by the membership and will begin a four-year board term immediately following The PPAI Expo 2019.

Over the next several issues PPB Newslink is taking a closer look at each of the candidates and begins the series today with Bill Mahre.

Mahre has worked in the promotional products industry for more than 10 years, and he has assisted with multiple startups and turnaround ventures throughout his career. Prior to his promotional products work, Mahre worked with Procter & Gamble, Minnesota Twins Baseball Business Operations, HealthEast Care System and Minnesota Diversified Industries.

A member of the Product Responsibility Advisory Group (PRAG), Mahre is an active member of Upper Midwest Promotional Professionals (UMAPP) and also lends leadership and volunteer skills to a number of community organizations. He is past president of the board of trustees for Merrick Inc., which provides employment opportunities for people with disabilities; is on the board of directors for the Minneapolis Convention and Visitors Association; is a youth sports coach and board member in the White Bear Lake community; and, he has led the fundraising auction and events for the St. Odilia Fall Festival Committee.

Mahre holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from St. Thomas University. He has been married for 39 years to his junior high sweetheart, and they have two children and three granddaughters. In his spare time, he enjoys golf, fishing, basketball and boating.

When asked how PPAI can best use its limited resources to fulfill the Association’s mission of protecting and growing the industry, while simultaneously ensuring the success of a diverse and sometimes disparate constituency, Mahre says, “PPAI’s role is not to ensure success for every member—the marketplace will decide that outcome. Today, our industry’s business model has us spending an inordinate amount of time and resources selling internally to each other, when ultimately all activities should be focused on providing high-quality products at a fair price in the most efficient manner to prospective end buyers/customers.

“Strategically, PPAI’s focus should be on: One, maintaining a consistent, cost-effective supply chain that ensures safe, compliant products. Two, recruiting and training distributors and suppliers for success (specific pre-determined criteria) which allows for maintaining industry membership and access to PPAI’s valuable data systems. Three, leading the education of community and business decision makers on how promotional products enhance marketing and communication activities to reach their recognition and branding goals.”

The PPAI Board of Directors election gives industry members the opportunity to select the leaders that can transform the Association. To learn more about the candidates, visit and follow PPB Newslink for updates on the election.