Five Questions with Paul Bellantone, PPAI President and CEO
The Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) board of directors named Paul Bellantone, CAE, as the organization's new president and chief executive officer on June 22. Having spent the past decade with PPAI serving in various positions, most recently as executive vice president since 2007, he has a strong background within the promotional products industry and a commanding grasp of PPAI's inner workings.
Following last month's announcement of his move to CEO, which occurred on July 1, Promo Marketing caught up with Bellantone to discuss how the appointment came about, what his plans are for PPAI, and his thoughts on the industry's future.
Promo Marketing: When did you learn you were being considered for the position of PPAI president and chief executive officer? What did you think when you heard?
Paul Bellantone: Last April, when the board announced the formal search would begin, I threw my hat in the ring immediately. Because I was but one applicant in an active national search for a CEO, it took a bit of time before I felt comfortable that I was being considered a top candidate. I was thrilled when the decision was made. I believed all along that I could do a great job as the next leader of PPAI, but I must admit, when selected, I was moved by the warm reception of the staff, board and the industry.
PM: With past president and CEO G. Stephen Slagle, CAE, set to retire in the beginning of 2012, how will the transition occur over the next six months?
PB: The association is in great shape and this is a great place to start.
My official duties as president/CEO began July 1, and working closely with Steve for the past 10 years put me in a position to hit the ground running. I've presented the board with my own 30-60-90 day plan and a number of my longer term goals will be set during this period. Steve has influenced and revitalized a 108-year-old association and the industry over his 15-year tenure, and together we will continue to work over the next few months on board-driven association and industry advocacy as we work through our transition.