2011 Year in Review: Industry News
Wentworth Leaves Norwood & BIC
Quenten Wentworth, vice president and general manager of North American sales for Norwood & BIC Graphic North America, left the company in late March. His duties were absorbed by Nicolas Paillot, CEO of BIC Advertising and Promotional Products (BIC APP) which oversees both brands, and he continued managing through the integration of the two companies. "I find the increased direct contact with our customers very satisfying," Paillot told Promo Marketing. "To hear from them first-hand what works and what doesn't-and develop programs to suit their needs."
Polyconcept Acquires Trimark
Polyconcept North America, parent company to Bullet, Journalbooks/Timeplanner Calendars and Leed's, announced the acquisition of Canadian apparel supplier Trimark Sportswear Group in April. The deal marks Polyconcept's fourth promotional products supplier acquisition, its first step into the apparel market, and makes it the largest supplier in Canada.
Charley Johnson Leaves SnugZ
Charley Johnson, executive vice president of SnugZ USA, decides to leave the company he acquired with Brandon Mackay in 2008 and retire from the promotional products industry. Well known for his blogs and nonprofit work, Johnson would go on to found the Pay It Forward Experience. Mackay would acquire 100 percent of the company in August.
PPAI President and CEO G. Stephen Slagle Announces Retirement
After 15 years of service to the promotional products industry, president and CEO of PPAI, G. Stephen Slagle announced his intention to retire in April. Slagle worked for the promotional products industry's nonprofit association since 1996, following the retirement of past president H. Ted Olson. Slagle retired after 32 years in the association management profession in January 2012.
PPAI Announces Hosted Buyer Initiative, Suspends Plan One Month Later
Near the end of April, PPAI announced its "Hosted Buyer Initiative" in a press release. The plan would permit distributors to bring their end-buyers, as guests, to a limited number of events at The PPAI Expo, including access to the show floor on the final day. A strong industry backlash immediately followed, with over 70 percent of distributors opposing the decision in a Promo Marketing poll. The association would reverse the decision and suspend the initiative in June.
Kyle A. Richardson is the editorial director of Promo Marketing. He joined the company in 2006 brings more than a decade of publishing, marketing and media experience to the magazine. If you see him, buy him a drink.