PPAI has hired Nick DiNicola to the role of digital transformation manager, leading the Association’s efforts in that area.

DiNicola’s primary focus will be PPAI’s Promo Data Exchange (PDX) initiative, free and available to all PPAI members, which helps streamline communication between suppliers and distributors. He will also lead a PPAI technology committee in 2023 that will look for ways to leverage technology that supports members’ businesses in the most efficient ways possible.

“We as an industry spend way too much time using the phone and visiting websites, where if we shared data effectively, we’d save that time and have more time to sell and grow our businesses,” DiNicola says.

DiNicola joined the promotional products industry in 1996, launching research tools. He joined ASI in 2000 to launch ASITransact, the company’s online order status function. He held a variety of roles there over the next 20 years, including event planning and tradeshows.

In 2020, DiNicola joined Florida-based distributor Kool Stuff as its executive director of sales and marketing. Having worked on both sides of the industry, DiNicola has a deep understanding of the daily problems members face.

“As a distributor I found myself spending way too much time calling suppliers and visiting their websites trying to confirm inventory levels to sell products,” he says. “Sometimes I would have an apparel order and needed to utilize several vendors to obtain proper inventory. It took a lot of time, or we had to use our back-end people who spent the better part of their days doing this. 

“Distributors want to spend time with our prospects and customers and find that a struggle due to inefficiencies. PDX will greatly help with this.”

At The PPAI Expo 2023, DiNicola will lead a breakout session discussing PDX and the ongoing goal of digital transformation in the industry.

Outside the office, DiNicola is a huge fan of ‘70s and ‘80s music and enjoys seeing his favorite bands from those eras while they’re still touring. An avid gardener, he also enjoys cooking his homegrown ingredients with good music in the background.