Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), Irving, Texas, recently announced its inaugural Promotional Products Pioneers. The 2016 Promotional Products Pioneers are Advertising Specialty Institute Chairman Norman Cohn; Norwood Promotional Products Founder Frank Krasovec; Norscot Group Founder Norm Stern; the late Forest Gill, founder of Gill Studios Inc.; and the late Ralph Thomas, executive director of Advertising Specialty National Association (ASNA).
PPAI's Promotional Products Pioneers program spotlights individuals whose business acumen or technological skills have played key roles in the advancement of the promotional products industry.
The inaugural PPAI Promotional Products Pioneers will be introduced Jan. 11 at the PPAI Expo 2016 in Las Vegas during the Chairman’s Leadership Dinner. Tickets can be purchased through registration.
Those featured in the 2016 Promotional Products Pioneers program are being spotlighted for their unique contributions:
- Norman Cohn was noted for his impact on the development of the industry, building ASI into a powerful for-profit media, marketing and education organization and service provider.
- Frank Krasovec was the first to bring private equity money into the industry and was a leader in supplier aggregation.
- Norm Stern pioneered the development of client-specific licensed merchandise programs and business-to-business direct-mail marketing, as well as the manufacture and distribution of die-cast scale model replicas.
- Forest Gill introduced influential new technologies to the industry. After World War II, Gill Studios Inc. combined fluorescent ink and self-sticking adhesive to create the self-adhesive bumper sticker.
- Ralph Thomas joined ASNA as the organization’s executive director in 1956. In 1964, he led the merger of ASNA and the Guild to form the Specialty Advertising Association—now PPAI—and was named its first president.
Promotional Products Pioneers are professionals who have distinguished themselves in the industry through their vision, drive, innovation, character and leadership, or contributed to the development of technologies that stand out in industry advancement. These individuals were selected by the Hall of Fame advisory group, which reviewed proposed individuals to gauge the true importance of each person’s role in the industry, and considered the long-term, significant contributions to the history of the promotional products industry.
For more information, visit www.ppai.org.