Promotional Products Work! Week Kicks Off In The Pencil City PPAI is joining with the Promotional Products Association Of The Mid-South (PPAMS) to kick off this yearâs Promotional Products Work! Week on Friday, May 11, in Shelbyville, Tennessee, also known as âThe Pencil City.â Billed as the official launch for the industryâs national awareness week, May 14-18, the event is being organized by PPAMS, PPAI and the Shelbyville-Bedford County Chamber of Commerce. The 33rd Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair concluded last week at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Held in conjunction with the 13th Hong Kong International Printing & Packaging Fair at AsiaWorld-Expo, the two shows drew more than 64,000 buyers from 145 countries and regions, a 3.5 percent year-on-year increase. PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE, along with PPAI Board Chair Dale Denham, MAS+, and Immediate Past Chair Mary Jo Tomasini, MAS+, were also in Hong Kong last week to speak at the show, meet with industry groups and visit companies in the area. Distributor AST Marketing Group (PPAI 627183), based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has announced that its AST E-Commerce division has launched a proprietary âe-commerce merchandise technologyâ to other distributors in the marketplace. The British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA) celebrated the accomplishments of its Trained in Promotional Merchandise (TPM) education program graduates with an event at The Royal Air Force Club in Mayfair, London, on April 24. BPMAâs Head of Education Daniela Arena and Director General Gordon Glenister presented the certificates. IMAGEN Brands Presents Its Salespersons Of The Month IMAGEN Brands, headquartered in Mason, Ohio, and the parent company of suppliers Crown Products (PPAI 113430) and Vitronic (PPAI 114197), is naming members of its sales team âSalesperson of the Monthâ throughout 2018. Jerry Bridges, regional sales manager for Georgia and Tennessee, is the January winner; Kari Rehder, regional sales manager for Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and northern Wisconsin, is the February winner; and Brandon Moon, regional sales manager for New England, is the March winner. The criteria for winning the award is based on the monthâs total sales, sales growth percentage, large orders over $50,000 or more and monthly activities including office visits, sales and growth, social media and demonstrating IMAGEN Brandsâs core values. The regional sales manager selected receives a marble plaque with their name and month awarded, and a Coleman 54-Quart Classic Steel Belted Cooler with a Salesperson of the Month logo. They also will have their name added to the perpetual plaque posted at the IMAGEN Brands headquarters. Who are the most watchable young pros among your employees, coworkers, clients, vendors, reps and fellow industry members? PPB is seeking the most innovative and ambitious young leaders in companies across the industry for recognition through its annual Rising Stars program. We need your help identifying those fresh-faced up-and-comers who are leading change and innovation and driving their businesses to higher levels of success. PPAI RAC Volunteer AwardMay 19 Volunteers are an inspiration and the lifeblood of the industry's regional associations. From coordinating events to updating members with valuable information, volunteers are the unsung heroes whose behind-the-scenes efforts keep the industry moving forward. The PPAI RAC Volunteer Award recognizes individuals who have played a dynamic role in leading their regional association. Nominate those who have shown the dedication, leadership and active participation that are deserving of the honor and recognition of the PPAI RAC Volunteer Award . Nominations close PPAI's webinars in the coming months focuses on several tools, practices and philosophies industry professionals can use to build their business. Subjects range from co-op advertising and communicating the importance of compliance to end buyers, to how to put the best foot forward as a new distributor. The schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners. All sessions are free to PPAI members and associates and include CAS credits.