STARLINE NAMES BRIAN PORTER SENIOR VP OF SALES & MARKETING

Starline

Grand Island, New York; December 5, 2017 Starline USA is pleased to announce the addition of Brian Porter to its Senior Management Team as Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing.

Brian brings with him over 20 years of promotional products experience to the Starline family and remains an active volunteer in the industry. He most recently served as VP of North American Sales at ProTowels. Prior to that, Brian held positions at Spector & Co. and Barton Nelson (Bebco).

Brian currently serves on the Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF) Board of Trustees. He is also a long-time volunteer for the Promotional Products Association of the Midwest (PPAM) regional association, having served as its President in 2016.

“We are thrilled to have Brian join the Starline family,” says Daniel Norris, Starline President. “Our partnership reflects Starline’s dedication to  enhancing current client relationships and exposing our expansive offerings to a larger client base.”

“For years, I’ve watched Starline become the leader in so many categories,” says Brian. “With an exceptional management team in place and as a forerunner in the technological future of our industry, I am beyond excited about joining this organization!”

Brian will oversee the USA and Canadian Sales and Marketing Teams. Reporting to Brian will be Alex Jovetic, VP of Canadian Sales and Julie Fritsch, Director of Marketing.

Brian Porter

Brian Porter

 

ABOUT STARLINE | Starline is a Top 50 supplier in the Promotional Products Industry specializing in quality, high-end gifts. Starline is the home of the patented and award winning TruColor™ digital decoration technique. With locations in Grand Island, NY and Concord, Ontario, Starline remains committed to seamlessly servicing the needs of its North American distributor base. For more information, please visit our website www.starline.com.

Sweda Welcomes Craig Wallace as New National Accounts Rep

Sweda logo

(CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif., December 1, 2017) – Sweda Company, LLC (ASI 90305, PPAI 113914, SAGE 56805, UPIC SWEDA)

Sweda is proud to announce the hiring of Craig Wallace as a new National Accounts Executive. Craig joins Sweda most recently from OMNi Apparel where he served as the Business Development Manager, representing many of the accounts he will work with at Sweda. Prior to working with OMNi, Craig spent 11 years with Staples Promotional Products in a variety of roles including Field Sales Manager. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Craig on board Team Sweda,” says Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Kellie Claudio. In his position at Sweda, Craig will be managing a portfolio of national accounts.

Craig Wallace

Craig Wallace

ABOUT SWEDA: Founded in 1976, Sweda Company, LLC is the preferred choice of innovative marketing solutions for the advertising specialties industry. Sweda is a founding member of Quality Certification Alliance (QCA) and an ASI 5-Star Supplier, offering complete services, competitive pricing and quality customer care to its distributor customers. Sweda’s product offering covers 18 categories including: bags, drinkware, headwear, gifts, home and office, outdoors, gift sets, stationery, technology, time and writing instruments.

Admatch Announces Holiday Closure

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ADMATCH COPORATION will be on a holiday break starting Friday December 22, 2017 continuing through Tuesday January 2nd, 2018. They will be re-opening on Wednesday January 3rd, 2018. During the break, their offices and operations will be closed. Please ensure all inquiries and time-sensitive matters are handled well before this holiday closure begins.

PF Concept International B.V. Acquires UK-Based SPS (EU) Limited

Polyconcept Logo

PF Concept International B.V. Acquires UK-Based SPS (EU) Limited
Acquisition Strengthens PF Concept’s Presence in European Market

New Kensington, PA – December 4, 2017 — Polyconcept, a global leader in the promotional products industry, announced today the acquisition by its European subsidiary, PF Concept International B.V. (PF) of the entire share capital of SPS (EU) Limited (SPS). Based in Blackpool, UK, SPS is a leading manufacturer and marketer of promotional products serving the UK, Ireland and Europe markets.

PF Concept is Europe’s leading marketer of promotional, premium and corporate gift products. With this transaction, PF expands its product offering throughout Europe and strengthens its market position in the UK. “We are excited about the growth opportunities that the SPS product line and production
capabilities bring to PF and we welcome the SPS team to the Polyconcept family,” said Ralf Oster, CEO of PF.

“We are delighted to join hands with PF to deliver the best solutions to our customers all over Europe. The two companies complement each other well and we are excited about our future together,” remarked Phil Morgan, CEO of SPS.

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About Polyconcept
Polyconcept is the world’s largest supplier of corporate and promotional merchandise, operating on five continents and selling to over 100 countries around the globe. With main offices in the US, Europe, Hong Kong, Canada and China, the company supplies a wide range of promotional, lifestyle and gift products to several hundred thousand companies ranging from small enterprises to global corporations, through a network of advertising specialty distributors. Further information is available at www.polyconcept.com.

About PF Concept
PF Concept is the leading promotional products supplier to the European market. PF Concept combines the widest product mix in the industry with a range of pan-European services that provide unique value to distributors. The company’s entrepreneurial spirit enables it to sustain and increase its leadership
position in each local market. PF Concept is the preferred one-stop-shopping solution for 9,200 promotional products distributors in more than 60 countries. It is headquartered in Roelofarendsveen, near Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and operates from 17 sales offices throughout Europe. Further information is available at www.pfconcept.com.

About SPS (EU) Limited
SPS is a UK leading hard goods value segment supplier based in Blackpool, UK. Established in 1990, SPS specializes in highly automated plastic injection molding and differentiated in-mold decoration. SPS has approximately 353 employees across 3 manufacturing facilities in Blackpool, Banbury and Swadlincote, UK. The company is renowned for its custom made innovative promotional products which include the highly popular Americano drinkware range. SPS serves customers in over 40 countries around the globe. Further information is available at www.spseu.com.

Gemline Announces Strategic Partnership with RuMe

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Gemline Named the Exclusive Supplier of RuMe Products for the Promotional Products Industry Effective Early 2018

Lawrence, MA (November 30, 2017) – Gemline, a leading supplier of promotional bags, business accessories, drinkware, gifts and writing instruments, announced today their long-term, strategic partnership with RuMe. Gemline will assume the entire RuMe BrandSuite business for the promotional products market. Under this new partnership, Gemline will offer RuMe totes, backpacks and accessories – including Made in the USA product lines.

RuMe is a provider of quality everyday bags and accessories boasting eye-catching, on-trend patterns. Colorado-based RuMe, short for ReUseMe, designs consumer products that aim to satisfy the environmentally conscious consumers who refuse to sacrifice style and functionality for sustainability. The RuMe brand originated in the retail marketplace first appearing in gift shops and boutiques and quickly expanded into leading retailers including The Container Store, Whole Foods, and Target. In 2014, RuMe entered the promotional products industry and has quickly become one of the fastest growing suppliers.

“We are very excited about our strategic partnership with RuMe,” said Jonathan Isaacson, President of Gemline. “The RuMe brand is a natural complement to Gemline’s design and quality centric product offering, allowing our customers to enhance their brand portfolio with RuMe’s stylish product solutions.”

“As RuMe continues to grow in a variety of retail channels, partnering with a highly respected promotional products supplier such as Gemline was critical given our strong brand reputation,” said Jae Lee, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder of RuMe. “It was important to choose a supplier with a strong track record for brand stewardship, that understands fashion, and can deliver exceptional customer service.”

About Gemline
Gemline is the industry’s premiere supplier of bags, business accessories, drinkware, gifts and writing instruments and is ranked as the 17th largest industry supplier by the Advertising Specialty Institute. Gemline and Gemline service names are registered trademarks of The Gem Group, Inc.  For more information about Gemline, visit the company’s website at www.gemline.com or 1-800-800-3200. Find Gemline on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About RuMe
RuMe is a provider of premium, everyday accessories geared toward creating an organized way of living. Launched on Earth Day, Colorado-based RuMe, designs consumer products that deliver on the growing needs of environmentally conscious consumers who don’t want to sacrifice style and functionality for sustainability. RuMe’s products are the choice of leading retailers including Target, The Container Store, Whole Foods and Shutterfly. Premier corporate brands such as Facebook, Ebay, Google, and Chase use RuMe’s branded products as a platform to showcase their own. www.myrume.com

The Proinnovative Line Merges with Zenith Promotions

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The parent company of the Proinnovative Line has reached an agreement to acquire the assets of Zenith Promotions. Zenith, located in New York, is also known in the industry by the line name Child Treasures, The Fun Place, and the corporate entity The Last Straw, Inc. The agreement is expected to be complete at year end, at which time operations will be consolidated with The Proinnovative Line, located in Arizona. Until closing, Zenith Promotions will continue separate operations and industry identifiers. Terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.

“We are excited to expand our line with Zenith’s fun and unique products” said Andrew Reichlin of The Proinnovative Line. “Their culture of ethical practices and focus on the customer is an excellent fit with our core principals. We are also excited by the potential of bringing greater marketing and product support as well as inventory investment to Zenith products. Because we have common overseas suppliers, we know the supply chain will be seamless during the transition.”

Sharon Hecht, President of Zenith Promotions said: “My children and grandchildren are spread throughout the country and I look forward to spending more time with them. I want to leave our customers with the same “talk to the owner” ability that they had with me and I know that Andy and his team are the right people to take care of our customers. I have known Andy for some time and I value the fact that he shares the same hands-on, do what it takes attitude as I do. I will continue assisting Proinnovative for a smooth transfer for our customers.”

Based in Phoenix, Arizona, The Proinnovative Line has a wide variety of stress relievers, toys, desk accessories, tech products, household commodities and pens. It’s commitment to top-notch quality and service is evidenced by consistent A+ and 5-Star rankings by industry distributors.

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Bay State Specialty Company, Inc. Acquires Americanna Line

Bay State Specialty Company logo

LAKEVILLE, MA (November 20, 2017) – Bay State Specialty announces the acquisition of Americanna Line, an industry supplier, specializing in rubber, vinyl, recycled, and cork products. Americanna, based in Plymouth, MA has been a family-owned promotional products company providing top quality products and service for over 30 years. The Americanna Line will continue to operate under it’s own name as a division of Bay State Specialty Company. Americanna’s corporate offices, manufacturing and shipping operations, including all employees, will eventually move to Bay State’s Lakeville facility to streamline processes, but for now, Americanna will continue to operate from its Plymouth location and distributors should see no disruption in service.

Michael Moore, President of Bay State stated, “We have been friendly competitors with Americanna for years and have always had a keen interest in the well-run company. We jumped at the opportunity when presented to us. We are excited to be able to continue the family business tradition of Americanna with this acquisition.” Moore went on to say, “Americanna has been successful on it’s own for more than three decades and we don’t want to disrupt that. We are very fortunate that all current employees have been retained, and will continue to provide the quality, speed, and excellent customer service Americanna’s customers have counted on for over 30 years. As a family run business of more than 60 years ourselves, we are thrilled that our family continues to grow.”

About Bay State Specialty Company, Inc.
Since 1954 Bay State, with headquarters in Lakeville, MA, has been a leader in affordable and innovative promotional products. The company prides itself on great customer service regularly earning ASI 5 Star and Sage A+ ratings and consistently being nominated for the PPAI Star Supplier Awards.

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DistributorCentral President, Jason Nokes, Named One of Industry’s Best Bosses

DistributorCentral

PPB Magazine recently announced the 14 Best Bosses of 2017. DistributorCentral’s own president and supervisor Jason Nokes is included on the list.

Gardner, KS – At DistributorCentral, Jason Nokes takes his role as president and supervisor very seriously. He uses this platform—and his impressive strategic foresight—to shape a new generation of technical, support, and sales leaders. Everyone who has worked with Jason has many good things to say about his worth ethic and his management skills, but his charisma and personality as well.

“Jason has always fully understood where the organization has come from and where it’s going. His excitement of his vision for its future is infectious. Jason actively embraces education and out-of-the-box thinking. Everyone in the company feels that they could walk into his office to talk about an idea or a problem because Jason always actively encourages people to pitch ideas, test new features, and give input at any stage of a project.” –Angela Taylor, Marketing Director

Jason is always looking to the future with a positive attitude. He uses delegation to promote efficiency and focus, and so that everyone has a role that they are suited to. Jason’s mentality is that if a project succeeds, then everyone wins. However, if the project does not succeed, he identifies the mistakes within the failure and uses these mistakes to come out the other side as an overall better team and company.

Jason’s employees also say that he actively promotes both industry education and non-promotional product conferences. This varied approach gives DistributorCentral employees a better understanding of their customers’ problems while seeing technology solutions from other industries. He is a strong believer in giving back to the community and supporting volunteerism—as he volunteers weekly himself.

 

About DistributorCentral
DistributorCentral is an award-winning technology company for the promotional products industry, offering a range of cost-effective online resources, including: the industry’s first intelligent product search engine, ecommerce websites, order management, email blasts, and artwork services. DistributorCentral offers the only free-to-use product database for distributors and suppliers in the industry.

DistributorCentral Hires New Software Engineer, Adam Mertz

DistributorCentral

DistributorCentral has recently added Adam Mertz to its technology team.

Gardner, KS – Adam Mertz, an accomplished and experienced software engineer, is the newest member of the DistributorCentral team. Adam has an assortment of skills including creating internal dashboards, analysis of big data, QA development, and web application development, that make him a perfect fit for the position of software engineer.

Adam has a diverse background of positions at companies such as Codero Hosting, and ARRIS. “I have worked in various roles in both the business side as well as the engineering/development side,” explains Adam. “I believe that this will be of great use for me as I start at DistributorCentral.”

“Adam is a great addition to the DistributorCentral team. With his experience and background, Adam is going to help our company run smoother and stay functional by making sure our software works effectively.” –Chris Schlemmer, Vice President, Technology

 

About DistributorCentral
DistributorCentral is an award-winning technology company for the promotional products industry, offering a range of cost-effective online resources, including: the industry’s first intelligent product search engine, ecommerce websites, order management, email blasts, and artwork services. DistributorCentral offers the only free-to-use product database for distributors and suppliers in the industry.

DistributorCentral Announces New Search Engine

DistributorCentral

DistributorCentral has launched the Promotional Products Industry’s first ever intelligent search engine and the fastest product search platform in the industry.

Gardner, KS – DistributorCentral has launched the Promotional Product Industry’s first intelligent search engine. The system learns with each product search to provide faster, more relevant results and includes easy-to-use guided navigation and faceted filtering, integrated ecommerce functionality and user-friendly detail pages, and a quick email function to send product ideas to customers and coworkers.

The release, codenamed “Prophet”, is a significant milestone as part of a long-term plan to modernize the Promotional Product Industry and culminates years of focused development. In early 2015, DistributorCentral transitioned from a co-located server system to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and leverages their serverless architecture. This step removed constraints like bandwidth and server maintenance. AWS automatically spins up more computing power based on demand, allowing DistributorCentral’s new search to be infinitely scalable. DistributorCentral moved from a server-based system of hundreds of queries down to one API call, creating the fastest product search in the industry.

Customers are taking notice of the new search engine. “I really love the speed and how easy it is to find anything my customers are looking for.” says Amy Cox from Promo Sherpas. Jami Daugherty from Huskador Print says, “I like it so far. I really appreciate all the search defining options being in that left side panel in plain sight.”

“We are seeing incredible results. Our system has peaked at 16,000 requests per second and we are on pace to handle over 1 billion promotional product searches this year from customers and search engine indexing. And, since we are running entirely on the AWS platform, it has enabled us to leverage the entire suite of AWS products including Alexa and machine learning tools. Our search can be accessed from web, mobile, voice (Alexa), and chat (Facebook Messenger). Distributors will no longer be chained to their desks when searching for products.” –Jason Nokes, President

The new product search has been launched within the DistributorCentral dashboard and is accessible by their 10,000 distributor users and across the thousands of websites built on DistributorCentral’s award-winning, mobile-responsive platform.

 

About DistributorCentral
DistributorCentral is an award winning technology service provider for the Promotional Products Industry, offering a range of cost-effective online resources, including: the industry’s fastest product search, ecommerce websites, order management, email blasts, and artwork services. DistributorCentral offers the only free-to-use product database for distributors and suppliers in the industry.