PPAI Business Development Manager Ellen Tucker and her staff have been on the road in recent weeks. She and Business Development Account Manager Brandon Dunaway traveled to Minnesota to meet with suppliers Anagram (PPAI 310564) in Eden Prairie, Best Way Promotions in Houston (PPAI 177839) and Apogree Commeratives in Crystal. Tucker also visited Logo Mats (PPAI 243322) in Lagrange, Georgia, and PromoMatting (PPAI 161332) in Cartersville along with Business Development Account Manager Connie Brazil. These visits were opportunities to meet with the companies’ leadership and staff, learn more about their operations and discuss how the Association can better serve their needs..

The conversations with these industry members covered a wide range of subjects, from new products and services, to the upcoming PPAI Expo and to the suppliers’ facilities. Cathy Sampson, sales manager at Anagram, and Miles Wadsworth, president of Logo Mats, both touched on green initiatives during the visits.

“Our parent company, Party City Holdings, has a big initiative to make sure we are as green as possible in all of areas,” says Sampson. “At Anagram, we sell our scrap plastic to companies that make plastic planters or melt it down to put into railroad ties. We are also very involved with groups working to clean up the oceans. We strive to be better and better.”

Wadsworth also spoke on how recycling is applied in Logo Mats’ operations. “We have four factories in our town and we make the rubber that goes into the finished product of our mats. When we produce mats, we press either carpet or fabric to these rubber backings and at the end of that process, there’s some excess rubber. We use it in future rubber mats. About 20 percent of all of our products have that recycled material in it.”

Frankie Gashler, marketing director at PromoMatting, shared why the company enjoys having distributors visit the factory. “I think a lot about understanding our product and who we are as a manufacturer is to understand how much we manufacture. We custom make each piece, so going through this process, [distributors] see all the machinery out there and know that things aren’t just pulled off a rack and pad printed, painted or flocked. To see that we make these from the fibers, and that we lay the vinyl, to really see the whole process of this happening, really opens up distributors’ eyes that this is a true custom piece that they are giving their clients.”

Gashler also spoke on why they pulled back from automating some processes. “Take our flocking. We thought we could automate that but when we looked at it, the clarity wasn’t there, the personal touch wasn’t there. It didn’t look like one of our pieces. So, we decided to stay with our handcrafted portions and keep making them like we have for years.”