DistributorCentral Thanks Key Employees

DistributorCentral Logo

DistributorCentral recently won three technology awards from PPAI.  When a company is recognized for awards like this, it is a team effort.  Everyone is involved from executive level planning and direction, to the sales and support teams voicing feedback and requests from customers.  However, there are also the people who take ownership of the project and do the legwork necessary for it to excel.  For us, this year, those people who worked tirelessly was Charlie Cochran and Rachel Dykes.

Charlie Cochran is our Web Developer who worked on creating our mobile-responsive website platform.  Rachel Dykes is our Web Designer who created DistributorCentral’s company website.

Thank you Charlie & Rachel!

Charlie Cochran (left), Jason Nokes (middle), Rachel Dykes (right)

Charlie Cochran (left), Jason Nokes (middle), Rachel Dykes (right)


Leed’s Named 2016 Supplier of the Year by Facilisgroup


PITTSBURGH — February 7, 2017 — Leed’s, a leading promotional products supplier, was named 2016 Supplier of the Year by promotional products distributor Facilisgroup. The award was presented when Facilisgroup partners and suppliers met in Las Vegas during the PPAI show for their 2017 Winter Summit.

“We’re honored that Facilisgroup named us Supplier of the Year,” said Leanne Finney, PCNA Vice President of Marketing. “We work hard to build strong, lasting relationships with our customers.”

“Our summits bring our partners and suppliers together to catch up and share best practices. The sense of community our partners develop from these meetings is remarkable,” said Chuck Fandos, CEO of Facilisgroup.

Leed’s was also named a Top Supplier of 2016 by BrandVia, a marketing agency and promotional products distributor based in San Jose, CA.

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About Leed’s
Leed’s is the premier supplier of high-quality promotional products, with goods ranging from pens and drinkware to bags and mobile tech. With an in-house product development team and dozens of leading retail brands, Leed’s continually introduces products with the look, feel and performance customers want, while our award-winning service and cutting-edge decoration capabilities provide a seamless experience from start to finish. As a founding member of the Quality Certification Alliance (QCA), Leed’s promotes quality, safety and integrity among suppliers and has been the recipient of many honors, including 2014 Top Supplier of the Year by Promotional Product Professionals of Canada (PPPC) and dozens of ASI Distributor Choice Awards. With global operations headquartered in New Kensington, Pennsylvania, Leed’s has been synonymous with excellence for more than 20 years.

Brian O’Gara
PCNA Marketing Specialist
Polyconcept North America
400 Hunt Valley Road
New Kensington, PA  15068
PH:  888-476-5962, ext. 2382

A+ Wine Designs Honored for Excellence in Customer Service and Quality

A+ Wine Designs
SAN DIEGO, CA (January 23, 2017) – A+ Wine Designs was recently honored as double awardee at the 2017 Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) annual awards celebration.  A+ Wine Designs took home the coveted Supplier Star Award for outstanding customer service, as well as an Achievement Award (Silver) for design in the Etching/ Engraving/ Laser category.

The PPAI Awards Presentation & Reception was held on January 9, 2017 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, in conjunction with The PPAI Expo in Las Vegas. A+ Wine Designs, based in San Diego, was one of less than a handful of companies to garner multiple awards, and one of eleven suppliers to receive the Supplier Star award.

The PPAI Supplier Star competition brings annual recognition to supplier members for excelling in communication, service and quality as voted on by over 14,000 PPAI member distributors. The PPAI Supplier Star is one of the most sought after and prestigious awards for supplier members and is the mark of a true professional partner that delivers excellence in product, decoration and overall customer service to their distributor customers.

“Supplier Star winners offer truly outstanding promotional products solutions combined with the highest level of customer service excellence,” said Paul Bellantone, CAE, president and CEO at PPAI. “We congratulate A+ Wine Designs as one of the industry’s top-performing companies of the year.”

Additionally, the company also received a supplier Achievement Award (Silver) for its excellent etching quality. A+ Wine Designs was the only company recognized with an award in the “Etching, Engraving and Laser” category.

“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.”  

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 a 2017 Supplier Star Award, as well as being included on the Counselor Magazine’s Best Places to Work list for 2016.  Also, we have been rated the top wine company on ESP and SAGE for over 20 years in a row by offer award-winning customer service, quality, and design. We offer top name brand options, individual personalization, fulfillment services, nationwide delivery, and free virtual samples. Please visit our website: www.apluswinedesigns.com or call us at 800.201.9463

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 14,000 corporate members of the $20.8 billion promotional products industry which is comprised of more than 33,700 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 periodicals. The multi-billion-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 about the PPAI awards program visit www.ppai.org/awards or contact the PPAI Awards and Recognition department at awards@ppai.org.

Maintaining Supplier Relationships After a Merger

It seems that supplier consolidation is a daily occurrence in the promotional products industry. In January 2017 alone, J. America Wholesale merged with Top of the World, FEY Promotional Products acquired Magna-Tel, Ball Pro acquired Diversified-Adtee, and Ennis acquired Independent Printing Company. With that kind of activity in the first month of the year, 2017 will likely be a record one for supplier consolidation.

While these mergers and acquisitions create cost efficiencies for the suppliers, many times it leads to confusion among distributor clients. Think of it as the law of unintended consequences – no supplier knowingly creates turbulence for distributors, but when a merger of two companies takes place, this is often the case.

Instead of waiting for communication from the supplier that’s been acquired, take the bull by the proverbial horns and drive the conversation. To ensure your business as a distributor isn’t negatively impacted, focus on the following when working with a supplier that has recently been part of a merger or acquisition:

  • Updated Terms – It’s critical to understand whether your terms with the company changed and, more importantly, if it impact any current orders. Finding out after an event date has been missed that a new policy suddenly put you over your limit may cause you to lose a valuable client.
  • Updated Documentation – Related to updated terms, find out if they need any updated documentation from you to ensure transactions continue to flow in a smooth manner. Do they need an updated credit application or resale certificate? Don’t rely on the supplier to ask you.
  • Don’t Blame Employees – It’s far too easy to vent to a front-line employee how things “used to be so much better.” Remember, they are also going through a transition which may include learning new systems, policies, and procedures. Giving the customer service representative grief about how the merger has impacted you won’t help the situation.
  • Provide Realistic Lead Times – Distributors who form the best relationships with suppliers for the long haul – especially after an acquisition – don’t abuse a rush order policy. During a transition, it’s imperative to give suppliers as much lead time as possible and keep them abreast of any significant changes to the timeline.

Developing and maintaining good relationships with a supplier after a merger is not a complicated process. Drive communication, ask important questions, don’t point fingers, and be realistic with lead times. Like the old saying goes, “treat others how you would like to be treated.” It really is just that simple.

Bill Petrie

About brandivate

Bill has over 15 years working in executive leadership positions at leading promotional products distributorships. In 2014, he launched brandivate – the first executive outsourcing company solely focused on helping small and medium sized promotional products enterprises responsibly grow their business.

A featured speaker at numerous industry events, a serial creator of content marketing, Vice President for the Promotional Products Association of the Mid-South (PPAMS), and PromoKitchen chef, Bill has extensive experience coaching sales teams, creating successful marketing campaigns, developing operational policies and procedures, creating and developing winning RFP responses, and presenting winning promotional products solutions to Fortune 500 clients.

Royal Industries Acquires DLX Industries and The Pamcolite Line

Royal Line Logo

Brooklyn, NY – Ari Ruden, VP of Royal Industries (ASI/83770, SAGE/56220, PPAI/113838, DC/100280) has announced the acquisition of DLX Industries and The Pamcolite Line (ASI/48000).  Ruden goes on to say that this acquisition is the perfect compliment to Royal’s line of USA and Union made line of vinyl heat-sealed products and expands the scope of products Royal can now offer to distributors.  Mark Stewart CEO of DLX states Royal and DLX have been friendly competitors for many years, and feels Royal will continue offering top quality products and service that has been a standard of DLX.

All files, equipment and dies are now being moved to Royal’s Brooklyn, NY facility and Ruden assures DLX customers the move will be seamless.

Royal asks that distributors direct all DLX and Pamcolite inquiries and orders to Royal Industries, 225 25th St, Brooklyn, NY 11232, phone 718-369-3046, fax 718-369-3067, e-mail sales@royalindustires.com or cs@royalindustries.com, website www.royalindustries.com

IMAGEN Brands Adds Two New Colleagues

Imagen Brands

Mason, OH – January 31st, 2017 – We are pleased to introduce Kelsey Cunningham and Ryan Meulemans to the IMAGEN Brands team.

IMAGEN Brands would like to extend a warm welcome to our new colleagues, Kelsey Cunningham and Ryan Meulemans. We are excited to have both of them on board and watch them grow in their success.

Kelsey Cunningham

Kelsey Cunningham

 Kelsey Cunningham – Regional Sales Manager – Texas

Kelsey is the new IMAGEN Brands Regional Sales Manager representing both Crown and Vitronic in the Texas territory. Kelsey has 20 years of experience in the promotional products industry. “I am proud to join IMAGEN Brands as we begin to bring together two strong companies bridging the gap of price points, product selection and industry presence,” states Kelsey.

Ryan Meulemans

Ryan Meulemans

Ryan Meulemans – District Sales Manager – West, Southwest, & Southeast

Ryan is the new IMAGEN Brands District Sales Manager in the West, Southwest, and Southeast Regions. “I am very excited to join the IMAGEN Brands team. I feel they are an industry leader that is on the rise,” states Ryan.  Ryan is a 14 year industry veteran having worked in inside sales management, outside territory sales, and most recently national accounts.




Editors: please contact Lindsey Schultz at 513-234-8241 For clarifications and additional information e-mail lschultz@ImagenBrands.com

Daniel Pendleton Joins PWS


Announcing Daniel Pendleton as new Southeast Regional Sales Manager

January 23, 2017


PWS, Brea, Calif – PWS has announced the hiring of Daniel Pendleton as their new Southeast Regional Sales Manager.

Andrea Pennington, VP of Customer Relations, expressed her excitement over Pendleton joining the sales team. “We are thrilled to have the wealth of industry experience that Daniel brings to PWS and we know he will contribute a lot to
our valued distributors!” Lyndsey Tidwell agreed adding that, “Pendleton will be a strong force on the East Coast, propelling PWS nationwide.”

Pendleton will be based out of Atlanta and lead sales development efforts in AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA and WV. Pendleton is entering his twentieth year in the promotional products industry with extensive sales and marketing
experience on both the distributor and supplier side.

“I am excited about the growth opportunity for PWS in the Southeast as a result of the new state-of-the-art Tennessee production facility,” Pendleton said. “PWS has built an infrastructure, team and set of services to become the leading
bag and packaging source for distributors in the Southeast. My goal is to be highly visible within the territory and to articulate and reinforce the unique PWS value proposition daily,” Pendleton added.

Daniel Pendleton

Daniel Pendleton
Southeast Regional Sales Manager
Phone: (678) 677-3432

For more information on PWS, visit www.gopwsproducts.com.

For more information regarding this announcement, feel free to contact:
Rachel Tuhro
Marketing Director
Tel: 1-800-582-8288 Ext. 211
Email: rachelt@gopwsproducts.com

Uniflex Opens New Portland Facility

Uniflex Logo

Uniflex (asi/92480) recently opened a new 20,000-square-foot production, warehousing, and distribution facility in Portland, OR. The addition of this location, combined with current warehouses in LA, Tampa, and Philadelphia, allows Uniflex to ship anywhere in the U.S. in two days or less! This facility also houses state-of-the-art printing machines for both hot stamp and ink printing, allowing us to better serve our West Coast clients with printed product. We are very excited to offer our customers faster shipping times and lower freight costs.

Goldstar Promotes Charles Duggan to National Key Accounts Manager West

Goldstar Logo

Goldstar announced the promotion of Charles G. Duggan II, MAS+ as National and Strategic Key Accounts Manager West.  “We are excited to have Charles as National Key Accounts Manager, he has done a great job developing relationships at our core National Accounts and he will now be in a position to dedicate his time to best serve and further develop these partnerships.” says Howard Cubberly, General Manager Goldstar North America.

Charles DugganCharles brings over 24 years of industry experience as a supplier, holding various sales and management positions including Alexander Mfg, Magna-tel, and Greystone.  Duggan is an active industry volunteer, currently serving as RAC Delegate – PPAMidwest and is both past President of PPAMidwest and former Board of Directors member for PPAI.  He labeled his hands on client approach as his “Key” to success.

Duggan comments: “It great to be back to my roots in the Midwest and I’m thrilled to focus on our Key Accounts. Our message of Simple and Fun is what we need in our work life and I am excited about sharing our approach of being the easiest pen supplier in the industry.  We go the distance for our distributor partners and I am anxious to tell you what it means to me about being an Ironman Supplier.” 


Charles G. Duggan II, MAS+
National and Strategic Accounts Manager Midwest/West, Goldstar
800-553-9649 x2369

For more information about Goldstar, visit GoldstarPens.com or call them at 800-553-9646.   

Crown wins GOLD for Most Creative Product

Crown Logo

Crown Press Release
For immediate release

Mason, OH – January 25, 2016 – Crown wins GOLD for Most Creative Product – 32oz. Flip Bottle.

Crown was awarded the GOLD for the Most Creative Product, 32oz. Flip Bottle, at the 2017 PPAI Suppliers Achievement Award Competition. The awards ceremony was held Monday, January 9th during the PPAI Expo at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“I was inspired to create the 32oz. Flip Bottle in response to all of the novelty plastic tumblers with the upside down beer bottle inside,” stated Matt Johnson, Product Development Manager. “If we figured out a way to reverse the inner bottle shape, then our customers would get a two for one, bottle and tumbler, with some real utility.”


Flip Bottle

Flip Bottle Collapsed




Gold Supplier Achievement Award