Maple Ridge Farms Adds a 19th PPAI Supplier Star Award to its Collection

Maple Ridge Farms

February 14, 2018 – Mosinee, WI – Maple Ridge has won the 2018 PPAI “Supplier Star Golden Pyramid Award”.  Jamie Johnson and Dawn Mittlesteadt accepted the award at the recent PPAI Expo in Las Vegas.  Maple Ridge Farms has won more Star Awards than any other food gift company in the history of the industry.  In addition, they won the inaugural ASI Counselor Distributors Choice “First Place” award in 2001 and have followed up by winning it an additional 16 times.

The “Supplier Star Golden Pyramid Award” is the result of a competition in which distributors vote for their favorite, most dependable suppliers.  Maple Ridge Farms provides that rare combination of excellence in customer service with extremely high quality gourmet products.

In receiving this award, company founder, Tom Riordan, remarked; “It is gratifying to know that the efforts of all our employees are being recognized in such a major way. Our bottom line has always been — distributors can be extremely confident that when they send an order to our team their customers are guaranteed to receive the freshest, most delicious food gifts.  Our thanks go out to our loyal customers and dedicated employees who made winning this award possible.”


Located in Mosinee, WI, Maple Ridge Farms, Inc., (ASI 68680, PPAI 114165, UPIC: MAPLE, SAGE 57654, founded in 1979, is the leading supplier of gourmet gifts to the promotional products industry. Recognized for outstanding freshness, the line includes a complete variety of candies, handmade chocolates, fresh-roasted nuts, baked goods, smoked meats and naturally aged cheeses presented in innovative gift boxes, gift baskets, gourmet towers, desk accessories, antique wooden vehicles and wooden collector’s boxes. For more information on the company visit

High Caliber Line Rewards Top Rep Groups

High Caliber Line logo

High Caliber Line (HCL), Irwindale, CA supplier of multi-category promotional product solutions, recognized their top Rep Groups at their annual Sales Meeting in during PPAI Expo in January.

Daniel Sachs and Dawn Kovar of West Coast Branded Solutions were awarded with the Rep of the Year Award for their excellence in representing HCL in the territory of California, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Hawaii.

Chris Sinatra of Sinatra Enterprises was awarded the Sales Achievement Award for his amazing year of sales growth in his territory of Illinois and Wisconsin.

Daniel and Dawn cover a large geographic, but you’d never know it in how frequently and intensely they communicate”, stated Les Dorfman, Executive Vice President, CAS, BASI. “They are creative, relentless and KNOW their markets; truly deserving of our Rep of the Year award”.

Daniel Sachs and Dawn Kovar of West Coast Branded Solutions

Daniel Sachs and Dawn Kovar of West Coast Branded Solutions

Chris is the ultimate grinder, and a true partner to his distributors”, commented Dorfman. “Every opportunity is worked to its’ maximum, his huge sales increase success in 2017 was cultivated and earned”.

Chris Sinatra

Chris Sinatra of Sinatra Enterprises was awarded the Sales Achievement Award

HCL, (asi43442, ppai205801, sage64740), established in 1999 and headquartered in Irwindale, CA, is a rapidly growing, powerhouse supplier with several thousand SKU’s ranging over 25+ product categories. With mastery in over 10 primary methods of product imprinting, HCL can literally fulfill any product, custom packaging and sourcing solution for any distributor multiple times per day. In addition to their 100,000 sq. ft. headquarters, HCL has recently added a new 30,000 sq.ft. imprint production center to support their rapid growth. The newest extension of their product collections is the introduction of 6 new ‘Brands of Sophistication’, allowing HCL to feature the best of their development into products of advanced quality and elegant design.


HUB Promotional Group Big Winners at ASI Orlando

HUB Promotional Group

Orlando, FL, January 2018 – HUB Promotional Group debuted to the promotional marketing community at the ASI Show in Orlando last month. Braintree based Hub Pen had acquired Beacon in late 2016 and BEST and Cooler Graphics in late 2017 forming HUB Promotional Group, “The Better Impressions People” providing the best in promotional products with award winning quality and customer service.

The ASI Show in Orlando, which celebrated its 20th anniversary, was a huge success for ASI and its distributor attendees. HUB Promotional Group booths were well attended and the group’s members were humbled to receive three awards at the event.

The Counselor Distributor Choice Awards held on January 3rd at ASI Orlando, proved a successful night for Hub Pen, as they received the Distributor Choice Award for pens, for the third straight year. Also, Hub Pen’s customer service representative Ludy Sousa was named ASI’s Customer Service Rep of the Year at the ceremony.

HUB Promotional Group newcomer BEST Promotions was a winner of the ASI Orlando Product Showcase Most Unique award for the Beer Blizzard. Available exclusively to the promotional marketing industry through BEST, it was first introduced on TV’s Shark Tank. The freezable disc can be imprinted with a logo and slips into any beverage insulator, such as BEST’s Coolie.  Beer Blizzard video

HUB Distributor Choice Award WinnerHUB Product Showcase Winner

Luda Sousa

Ludy Sousa

About Hub Pen: Boston has been described as the “Hub of the Universe” and in the Hub Pen story the same holds true. From Frank and Rita Fleming’s humble beginnings in Boston in 1954 to the 100 million pen annual operations of today, Hub Pen has grown to serve an ever -increasing national and international market. Our customers have rated us “A+” on the SAGE rating system and 5 out of 5 stars on ESP. For more information on Hub Pen, visit our website at or call customer service at 800-388-2323.

About Beacon: Beacon is a multiple Star Supplier Winner with a great reputation for service. Our customers have rated us “A+” on SAGE and 5 out of 5 stars on ESP. Beacon offers a wide selection of products, such as: calendars, table covers, housewares, tools, techie, auto, highlighters and name badges. You will also find premium leather products in our Canyon Leather line and name brand products for executive gifts and incentives. For more information on Beacon, visit our website at or call customer service at 800-628-9979.

About BEST: BEST was founded in 2007 with a passion for answering the phone with a live person, and saying YES! At its core are relationships built on trust and authenticity, strong work ethic, and having the heart of a champion. Being the second largest designer and supplier of “Coolies” in the United States, BEST prides itself in Championship Level Service and market leading product quality. Our customers have rated us “A+” on SAGE and 5 out of 5 stars on ESP. For more information on BEST, visit our website at or call customer service at 972-552-3636.

Pro Towels Promotes Kathy Benson to Key Account Manager

Pro Towels Family

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA – February 12, 2018 – The Pro Towels Family of Brands, including Pro Towels, Kanata Blanket Co., Neet Feet and Superior, is pleased to announce the promotion of Kathy Benson into the new role as Key Account Manager.

Kathy has spent the last 6 months establishing the office manager and customer liaison positions for the Pro Towels family out of their new Las Vegas facility. Her new role will be as Key Account Manager, where she will be working with various programs such as Mission Linen, Fast Platform, and Dick’s Sporting Goods. She will also continue to oversee the office and Customer Service in the Nevada facility.

Keith Lofton, Vice President of Sales, adds, “In the brief period Kathy has been on our team, she’s already putting a stamp on things at Pro Towels. She’s been instrumental in our transition on our west coast facility and helping us getting things up and running. She works fast, gets things done and brings an experience to the table that will help take the Pro Towels Family to the next level. Her personality and drive are perfect for this role and will help her to accomplish the goals of the key accounts she’ll be handling and working closely with. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for her and for us in this role.”

Kathy has many years of experience in the hospitality industry (both west coast and east coast), which includes the position as Executive Director for the Anderson Convention and Visitors Bureau. She was also owner/operator of a promotional products company that specialized in screen printing and embroidery.

Kathy Benson

Kathy Benson

About Pro Towels
Pro Towels is the largest towel supplier to the promotional product industry with locations on both the east and west coast. The company offers in-house screen printing, sublimation and embroidery services to support a broad product line of beach, golf, and sport towels.  Additionally, Pro Towels carries bathrobes and other beach accessories to complement its towel line.  The Pro Towels family of companies also includes Kanata Blanket Company, a leader in premium blankets, décor and lifestyle products, Neet Feet, a supplier of quality custom logo flip flops and premium footwear, and Superior, a leader in contract decorating for the promotional products industry for over 35 years.


Leprechaun Promotions Has Promoted Sean Kindrick to President

Sean Kindrick

Supplier Leprechaun Promotions, LLC has promoted Sean Kindrick to President. Sean has spent 10 years with the company and served in numerous roles, most recently as Director of Business Development.

Regarding his promotions, Sean stated “I am excited about the opportunity to lead Leprechaun Promotions into it’s third decade. Having established a great reputation for service and reliability, we look forward to continuing to grow our line and add to our customer base”.

In a related move, Cliff Leach, most recently General Manager at Leprechaun, has been promoted to Vice-President. In this role he will focus on materials management and special projects.

A+ Wine Designs Honored for Excellence In Product Innovation and Decoration

A+ Wine Designs logo

San Diego, CA, (February 8, 2018) –  A+ Wine Designs was recently honored as double awardee at the 2017 Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) annual awards celebration. The PPAI Awards Presentation & Reception was held on January 16, 2017 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, in conjunction with The PPAI Expo in Las Vegas. A+ Wine Designs took home two coveted Pyramid Awards.

The first award was a Gold Pyramid Award in Customized Retail- Branded Product/ Packaging. This category recognizes PPAI members for their creative decoration of a retail product not traditionally designed to be decorated. Our winning design was used as a closing gift for an apartment complex.  The name of the beer decorated coincided with the name of the residential complex, thus creating the perfect opportunity for this category.

The second award was a Gold Pyramid Award for Etching/ Engraving/ Laser.  Winning gold in this category is a true honor as we are being formally recognized for what we do best. Our winning etched wine bottle design mimicked the traditional consumer paper label seen on store shelves.  Our skilled artisans used a unique sand carving and hand painting technique to achieve this look.

“I am thrilled to congratulate A+ Wine Designs, winner of PPAI’s prestigious Pyramid Award,” said Paul Bellantone, CAE, president and CEO at PPAI. “A+ Wine Designs dedication to solution-based selling combined with creative inspiration and the ability deliver promotional strategies that resonate with customers and deliver results.”

“Receiving this recognition, for a company of our modest size, is such a huge achievement,” says Jim Ristuccia, chief operating officer, A+ Wine Designs. “It’s a real testament to the dedication of our employees and the attention to detail that they put into every order on a daily basis. We are very pleased and proud to have this recognition.”

 The PPAI Pyramid Award was first introduced in 1958 where PPAI recognizes promotional product businesses and helps shine the spotlight on the collaborative business model unique to our industry. In 2018, the Pyramid Awards celebrates its 60th anniversary. These winners were selected by a panel of industry professionals and independent, outside marketing and advertising professionals.

A+ Wine Designs receives Pyramid Awards

Michael McCarron, Lynda Lam, Kirsten Elliott

About A+ Wine Designs
A+ Wine Designs, founded in 1992 and located in San Diego, specializes in creating amazing wine gifts. The company creates custom deep-etched and custom-labeled wine, liquor, and olive oil bottles. We are proud to have just been awarded two 2018 PPAI Pyramid Awards and well as being included on the Counselor Magazine’s Best Places to Work list for 2017.  We have been ESP’s and SAGE’s top-rated wine company for over 20 years in a row. We offer award-winning customer service, quality, and design; in addition, we offer top name brand options, individual personalization, fulfillment services, nationwide delivery, and free virtual samples. Please visit our website: or call us at 800.201.9463

Crystal D Celebrates Employees at 16th Annual WOW Day


Crystal D, the Leading Supplier of Corporate Awards and Gifts, Celebrates Employees at 16th Annual WOW Day

February 5, 2018 – St. Paul, Minn. – – Crystal D celebrated its 16th annual WOW Day on January 19, 2018. The company named 18 new award winners at the event.

WOW Day was designed to recognize the hard work and dedication of Crystal D employees throughout 2017. The company honored five new Value Champions and a new Grand Value Champion at the event. These six individuals were nominated throughout the year by their peers for embodying Crystal D’s five core values. Final selections were made by the management team.

The 2017 Value Champions are:

  • Grand Value Champion
    • David Schaeppi, production department
  • Integrity Value Champion
    • Joe Christensen, art department
  • Quality Value Champion
    • Derek Edwards, production department
  • Respect Value Champion
    • Eric Wiberg, customer service department
  • Commitment Value Champion
    • Jake Calleja, customer service department
  • Passion Value Champion
    • Mike “Zito” Vitali, production department

Twelve other awards were distributed during WOW Day, including the Leadership Award, given to Rich “Fiish” Irvine, production manager. “Richie has become a true leader in this organization,” said company president Chuck Dahlgren at the event. “The organization looks to you for guidance, and we appreciate everything you do for us.”

Other winners from WOW Day include:

  • Rookies of the Year
    • Lexi Kurttila, marketing department
    • Tawauna Garner, customer service department
  • Rising Star
    • Jim Burke, business development
    • Ehgay Poe, production department
  • Expect Excellence
    • Jen Contreras, marketing department
  • Kick Ass Attitude
    • Becca Delaney, business development
  • Step Up
    • Brenda Peralta, customer service department
    • Linda Chang, production department
  • Above and Beyond
    • Tom Warkel, solutions department
    • Lee Yang, IT department
  • Volunteer of the Year
    • Darlene Sheetz, accounting department
  • Leadership Award
    • Rich “Fiish” Irvine, production department

About Crystal D
After 25 years, we know the drill. You want more! More stunning and affordable crystal awards and gifts, more creative ideas, more WOW, more crystal awesomeness. Crystal D ( delivers all of that with less fuss to over 150,000 deserving individuals every year. With 1300+ awards and gifts, 100+ new awards and gifts for 2018, and an industry-best 6-8 day production time, you can rest easy. With Crystal D, you’re in great hands. For more information, call 800-544-1131 or email

IMAGEN Brands Sponsors Regional TOM Shows


IMAGEN Brands was a proud sponsor of the 2018 Regional TOM Shows. As a sponsor, our regional sales managers presented during an educational session on “How to Create a Brand Experience.” The sponsorship also included a product donation from the Crown line, the 20oz. Brilliant Tumbler (#CDKW019).

IMAGEN Brands spoke at the TOM Shows on “How to Create a Brand Experience” and created that great experience for the attendees,” states Paul Kiewiet MAS+, Executive Director of MiPPA. “Crown Products sponsored the shows with the Brilliant Tumbler as the signature show giveaway item for 2018 with a full color imprint of our mascot, TOM Cat. The high perceived value, product usefulness and excellent quality reinforced the brand attributes of the TOM Shows as well — Where Quality Meets!

Julie Henschel-Chase at TOM Show for IMAGEN Brands

Regional Sales Manager, Julie Henschel-Chase, presenting at Regional TOM Show
in Kansas City, KS

It was an awesome opportunity to partner with all the regional associations involved in the TOM Shows,” says Dana Zezzo, Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “We knew the regionals were going to do a great job of creating quality show traffic. After great dialogue, I believe we picked the perfect product to compliment the shows and the TOM brand.”

20oz. Brilliant Tumbler #CDKW019 with full color imprint of TOM Show mascot

20oz. Brilliant Tumbler #CDKW019 with full color imprint of TOM Show mascot

PCNA Strengthens Presence in Wisconsin

PCNA logo


State Gets Dedicated Field Sales Manager

PITTSBURGH, PA — February 7, 2018 — Polyconcept North America (PCNA) is excited to announce the addition of Mary Rech as Hardgoods Field Sales Manager representing Leed’s, Bullet and Journal Books.

Mary brings almost a decade of experience to PCNA. With her sole focus on customers in Wisconsin, she’ll be using her expertise to help distributors in the state drive business.

With this addition to the sales team, PCNA continues to provide distributors with best-in-class service for the industry’s largest product collection.

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About Polyconcept North America

Polyconcept North America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Polyconcept, a global promotional products supplier. With headquarters near Pittsburgh, Pa., PCNA operates Trimark, Leed’s, Bullet and JournalBooks. As the corporate home for this diverse group of suppliers, PCNA offers customers the widest selection of products, high-impact branding and excellent service. Learn more at

Terry Town Honored for Excellence In Product Innovation and Decoration

Terry Town logo

IRVING, TX, (January 16, 2018) – Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) celebrated the 60th Anniversary of its Pyramid Award Competition awarding 44 Gold, 88 Silver, 12 Supplier Star and 10 Supplier Award of Merit winners at the PPAI Walk of Fame award ceremonies held January 16, 2018 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in conjunction with The PPAI Expo in Las Vegas, January 14-18.

Since 1958, the PPAI Pyramid Awards have recognized and honored promotional products businesses and helped shine the spotlight on the collaborative business model unique to the industry. (company name), was presented a (award level) Pyramid Award in (category) for the 2018 Pyramid Award Competition.

Leading the charge in an ever-shifting industry, Terry Town’s Sublimation printing on beach towels have completely changed the game for distributors looking to expand their product lines. Featuring glorious, full-color graphics, Terry Town’s Subli-Plush Beach Towels will turn heads on and off the beach.

“I am thrilled to congratulate Terry Town, winner of PPAI’s prestigious Pyramid Award,” said Paul Bellantone, CAE, president and CEO at PPAI. “Terry Town’s dedication to solution-based selling combined with creative inspiration and the ability deliver promotional strategies that resonate with customers and deliver results.”

These winners were selected by a panel of industry professionals and independent, outside marketing and advertising professionals. For more information about the PPAI Pyramid Awards program visit or contact the PPAI Awards and Recognition department at

 Terry Town

About PPAI
Founded in 1903, the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI; is the world’s largest and oldest not-for-profit association serving more than 15,000 corporate members of the $22 billion promotional products industry which is comprised of more than 40,500 businesses and a workforce of more than 500,000 professionals. PPAI represents the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocates on its behalf. PPAI operates The PPAI Expo, the industry’s largest trade show; provides the leading promotional products safety and compliance program, a prestigious professional development and certification program; and publishes industry trade journals and publications. The multibillion-dollar industry includes wearables, writing instruments, calendars, drinkware and many other items, usually imprinted with a company’s name, logo or message. For more information, visit and find us on Twitter @PPAI_HQ, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest.