Above photo: Thanks to PPPC’s new strategic partnerships with PPAI and SAGE, PPPC had a strong presence at The PPAI Expo 2019 in January. From left are Paul Bellantone, CAE, PPAI president and CEO; Dale Denham, MAS+, PPAI immediate past board chair; Heidi Reimer-Epp, PPPC board chair; and Jonathan N. Strauss, PPPC president and CEO.

Last year, I stood before the Promotional Product Professionals of Canada’s membership and promised change. As the newly-elected chair of the PPPC board of directors, I committed the board to transforming PPPC into a strong, thriving association. I promised that it would become the association for promotional product professionals in Canada. And indeed, just three months later in June 2018, we announced partnerships with PPAI and SAGE to make good on that promise.

This month marks the one-year anniversary of PPPC’s strategic relationships with PPAI and SAGE to deliver a comprehensive membership solution to promotional products distributors and suppliers in the Canadian marketplace. And the success of the past 12 months is a testament to the power of partnership.

Babe Ruth once said, “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.” And in our case, the PPPC team included many different people.

First, the team included our members. What is an association without its members? We exist to serve our members, and in the case of the PPPC, it exists to lead, inspire and advance the promotional products industry members in Canada. Our members are the best of the promotional products industry, from suppliers to distributors to multi-line reps. And our members were engaged and willing to share their vision for what PPPC could be. Together with our CEO Jonathan Strauss and the other members of the board of directors, we spent many hours talking with members who were, in turn, generous with their time and advice.

The team also included our staff. For the first six months of 2018, Jonathan was our interim CEO, tasked with the mission of leading the board and the association into the next chapter of relevance. Eventually, the board chose to move to professional association management services and we said goodbye to our staff in Montreal. But as we transitioned into this new situation, the staff were there to assist and support.

And of course, the team included PPAI and SAGE. PPPC members had been looking for a technology solution that worked, and with SAGE, they now have a proven technology partner. With PPAI, PPPC now has the chance to learn from its successes and work together to grow PPPC programs and services.

I’d like to thank our members, the board of directors, our staff, PPAI and SAGE for their incredible teamwork last year, for the partnerships with PPAI and SAGE and for the many successes so far in 2019. PPPC is indeed thriving. Since the partnerships formed one year ago, we have welcomed over 450 new distributor members, our tabletop shows in February saw nearly 2,000 distributors and their clients in attendance across Canada, and our Women’s Empowerment Event grew to include over 100 participants this year. Our members regularly come together to discuss ideas for growing and evolving PPPC. And the association is indeed the association for promotional product professionals in Canada. Thank you to everyone involved and cheers to continued success.


Heidi Reimer-Epp is co-founder of Botanical PaperWorks and board chair of Promotional Product Professionals of Canada (PPPC).