PPAI has added a new face to its editorial team, with Rachel Zoch joining the PPAI Media staff as its associate SEO editor. Her first day was July 19.

As associate editor, Zoch will contribute to all aspects of PPAI’s publications. This includes reporting, editing and writing for PPB magazine and PPAI Media’s online platform and its newsletters. She will also contribute to PromotionalProductsWork.com and work on PPAI Media’s search engine optimization efforts.

Zoch has had a diverse professional career. And while she’s an experienced association pro, her path began with a stint in the space program.

“My first job out of college was processing documents for a NASA contractor charged with documentation for the Space Shuttle program,” Zoch says. “This was back when they were building the International Space Station, so the mission documents included things like the Canadarm and other payloads. That wasn’t the kind of editing I wanted to do, however, so I returned to school specifically for journalism and entered the newspaper world just as it began to contract severely. That’s when I discovered the world of associations and association publications.”

She wrote, edited, designed and took photos for the Houston Apartment Association magazine, ABODE, for almost 12 years.

“Once that commute became an hour or more each way, I needed a change and took a fully remote position building a branded content team with a public safety media company,” Zoch says.

While new to the promotional products industry, Zoch’s role at PPAI returns her to her association background.

“I’m happy to be back in the association world, working on content that helps people make connections, do their jobs more effectively, and showcase the successes in the industry,” Zoch says. “First things are to learn the ins and outs of the industry and get acquainted with some of the membership. I’m also excited to be part of a collaborative editorial team again.”

When not slinging ink, Zoch has been known to go on beloved nationally syndicated gameshows—Jeopardy!, specifically—and repeatedly win—three times, specifically. She also enjoys gardening and watching the backyard wildlife—except for when the squirrels get too close to the birdfeeder—maintaining a diverse reading list and spending time with her ancient but energetic cat. She’s also a keen traveler and music lover.

“I’m still pretty covid-cautious, but I’m looking forward to getting back out to hear live music and travel that isn’t family-related,” says Zoch. “I’ve been to Scotland and Ireland both three times. Somewhere in China, there is a photo of me and my mom posing in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle with a Chinese tourist who must have thought we were locals, because she demanded (despite not speaking English) that we take a photo with her.

“Also, I’m a huge U2 fan—that’s how I got a scar at Cowboys Stadium—and I’ve kissed the Blarney Stone, but Ancestry.com says I’m not a speck Irish. I am, however, roughly a quarter Scottish, so that explains my reddish hair and my love for the skirl of the bagpipe. Slainte mhath!”