In its annual spotlight on the industry’s up-and-coming leaders, PPB has named 20 individuals as 2017 Rising Stars. The magazine’s annual recognition program seeks out and spotlights the industry’s most watchable young pros based on nominations related to their accomplishments, leadership potential and involvement in their industry and community.

More than 80 individuals were nominated this year, a record for the program that was introduced in 2010 and has proven to be one of the most popular and sought-after honors in the industry.

Each of the 10 suppliers and 10 distributors selected will be recognized during the PPAI North American Leadership Conference in Austin, Texas, August 13-15, 2017, and profiled in PPB’s September issue.

“The quality of this year’s PPB Rising Stars is exceptionally high,” says Editor Tina Berres Filipski, who manages the program. “There were many outstanding nominations to consider which, I think, is representative of the growing number of remarkable young people who are entering our industry and making strong and memorable contributions to their companies, their regional associations and to their profession as a whole. It’s our honor to spotlight these outstanding individuals.”

Congratulations to the PPB 2017 Rising Stars:


Maggie Cox, HALO Branded Solutions

Jacob Fletcher, Image Source, Inc.

Tiffany Gomas, Elevate Brand Marketing

Kate Harthan, Corporate Recognition

Max Levavi, BAMKO

Edward Martin, Proforma Media & Print Solutions

Anna Nguyen, Monarch & Company

Eric Schmaltz, OmniSource Marketing Group, Inc.

Brittan Stiff, Bates-Wells, Inc.

Marci Schwartz Taran, Bradley Company


John Cudahy, Prime Line

Nicole Deen, Trimark Apparel/PCNA

Doug Donnell, Hit Promotional Products

Charity Gibson, Peerless Umbrella Co.

Jason Haft, alphabroder

Bryan Kiel, Edwards Garment

Carrie Laufenburg, MAS, The Magnet Group

Scott Leonard, Hit Promotional Products

Nate Robson, Raining Rose, Inc.

Chris Vinci, AAkron