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May/June Newsletter Print

President's Column


I am writing this just days after we closed the Fire & Ice Show at the US Bank Stadium.  WOW!  What an experience the Tailgate party, Professional Development and Show itself brought to our membership.

The Executive Board would like to send a BIG shout out and "thank you" to all of our sponsors, distributors, suppliers, committee members and, of course, to Sue Selseth, our Executive Director.  Without all of you, this event could have never happened.

More than a year ago, we started this journey of changing things up around this show.  Our goal was to step out of our comfort zone and produce a one of a kind “experience” for all.  We are always looking for ways to continue to bring new ideas and events to benefit our members and stay relevant in today’s everchanging business market place. 

We had heard from many members that the venue we had used for this show the last few years could use a fresh approach.   Listening to membership concerns, we started looking at new venues for the Fire and Ice show. We also reviewed what had been successful for other regional associations.  Many were using large venues, especially sports arenas.  With the Super Bowl being held here in February, we thought US Bank Stadium would be just the venue we’d try to add some excitement and energy to our show!  So, we moved forward with planning measures. 

When they say “it takes a village” this was definitely one of those times.  I’d like to thank the many members of the committee itself and all others that pitched in to make this happen!

We have heard feedback from many of you on this show and venue.  We appreciate all your thoughts and comments as we start planning for the 2019 show.

While most of the feedback was positive or helpful, some of you had a different opinion and have offered many suggestions.  We are so fortunate to have a membership that is engaged and eager to give feedback.

While feedback is great, we’d also like to see our members put their suggestions into motion.  Join us in planning the 2019 show!  So many thoughts and ideas have been shared with us; we’d love to see you implement those ideas yourselves and help to create the next Fire & Ice show experience!

Please feel free to email me to be invited to the next Fire & Ice show committee meeting or to join us at a board meeting!  Getting involved at the regional level is a great way to have your voice heard and to give back to the industry that supports us all.



Sandy Nichols, MAS
UMAPP President

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Fire & Ice Show

The 2018 UMAPP Fire & Ice Show 
Tailgate Party and Professional Development Seminar 

May 8-9, 2018 


It was an exciting day, especially for those who hadn't visited the Stadium before and were arriving as well to attend the Fire & Ice Show.  Flag signs, donated by Showdown Displays, were outside the Verizon Gate signaling the entrance to this great event.  Registration was ready . . . the exhibitors were waiting . . .  our seminar with Maureen Bausch, CEO of the Super Bowl Host Committee, was being held . . . and to top it off, spring had finally arrived in Minnesota!  

UMAPP's president, Sandy Nichols, in her president's column for this newsletter issue, wrote about the reasons and thought process behind the switch in venues to US Bank Stadium.  

"More than a year ago we started this journey of changing things up around this show.  Our goal was to step out of our comfort zone and produce a one of a kind “experience” for all.  We are always looking for ways to continue to bring new ideas and events to benefit our members and stay relevant in today’s everchanging business market place."

Some members say it was a great move, and others felt it was a one-time experience. Have you taken our survey to provide your feedback about what a trade show experience means to you?  Would it be an end-buyer show, or maybe a smaller-style show in an easy-in and out-venue?  There's still time! 

The Tailgate Party the evening before the show was a big hit with nearly 200 people in attendance.   The Photo Booth boasted many people taking funny and entertaining pictures.  CLICK HERE to view.  Password:  fireice.  

Maureen Bausch's seminar was well attended and the feedback was that her speech held an amazing amount of information about the planning and details that went into hosting the Super Bowl at the Stadium in 2018.   This was knowledge that would not have been known by the average person; we felt lucky that Maureen was willing to talk to our group about her experiences.  

To view all the show, tailgate party, and seminar photos, visit UMAPP's Facebook page.

Many thanks to our volunteers

Carter Sharp (Gator Garb Minnesota), show chair, who took this project from the humble beginnings of various discussions and put it into action!  A large committee was recruited, tours of the stadium were arranged, stragetic planning meetings arranged, and details executed.  Many, many thanks to Carter for his leadership skills in taking this event from the ground up all the way to show day. 

Kim Hamlin (American Solutions for Business), tailgate party chair, took a formerly lightly-attended event on a regular show day to an impressive 200 people with music, beverages, appetizers, a photo booth, and sold out stadium tours!   

Sandy Nichols (Hareid Marketing), professional development chair for this event, worked with our speaker, Maureen Bausch, to map out plans and details for presenting an informative and exciting seminar.  Many thanks to Samantha Graf (Sofia's Cookies) for her assistance in securing our awesome speaker.  It pays to know people and have great volunteers!  

Grateful thanks also go to:   Ruth Ann Pederson, Patrick Watercott, Amy Lamb, Tessa Trumble, Tessa Flanary, Kent Dunham, Rena Ashfeld (chair of Product Pavilion) for their assistance at the tailgate party or seminar.  For show registration, appreciation goes to Mary Glock, Jodi Boylan, Dawn Lucchesi, Ruth Ann Pederson, Pam Demmer, Elroy Vesta, Kent Dunham, and Rose Wallin.  Assistance from the committee included:  Sarah DeJarnett, Jamie Johnson, and Mason Linn.  


Did you see the Hot Products Pavilion in the registration area of the show?

 CLICK HERE to view the photos of the entries.    


Appreciation for our Sponsors:  


Touchdown Show Sponsors 
Photo Booth Sponsors
Professional Development Sponsors
Product Sponsors 


Many thanks also to the coupon sponsors (VIP Badges at the Tailgate Party):  

The Magnet Group 
The Chest
Maple Ridge Farms 



UMAPP appreciates all of the support to bring this Fire & Ice Show to the members.  We hope you plan to join us in 2019 for all of our events. 



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Promotional Products Work! Week

Promotional Products Work! Week is May 14 - 18, 2018


Promotional Products Work! Week Goals 

*  Ensure that the promotional products industry remains vibrant and dynamic

*  Empower promotional products professionals to educate current and prospective clients and communities about the power of promotional products

*  Work with regional associations to energize and localize campaign penetration into all markets

*  Recognize businesses that creatively use promotional products in successful marketing communications campaigns

*  Reach national and local legislators to share the strength of the industry and its impact on the U.S. and global economies

*  Inform, educate and recruit future marketers at schools and universities

*  Unite the industry, boost morale and motivation

*  Raise awareness, educate, inform and recognize

*  Increase the use of promotional products


What can YOU do?  CLICK HERE for some ideas and then post your PPW!W activities to social media to get the word out.  

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Collegiate Scholarship

Every year, a benefit of UMAPP membership is put to good use by awarding college-bound students a $1,500 scholarship.   For the 2018-2019 academic year, two scholarships were awarded.  

Please join us in congratulating:

Alexandra Balfour, daughter of Vilia Bloom of UMAPP Member Bloom Enterprises 


Nicholas Anderson, son of Michelle Altobelli, MAS, of UMAPP Member Altobelli Advantage. 

More information about these outstanding students will be posted on UMAPP's website ( soon.  


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Calendar of Events

Holiday Showcase & End Buyer Expo 

Wednesday, August 15 

Jimmy's Conference Center, Vadnais Heights, MN 

Exhibitor and distributor/end buyer registration will open in early June.  



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Coupon Book

Have you been using the 2018 Coupon Book?  

Did you know about this feature for UMAPP members?  The Coupon Book contains HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS of savings and can be used over and over by any staff of any member company.   How do you access this incredible book of savings? 


  • From the UMAPP website , click "Login" and sign in with your email address and the password you created when setting up your account.   Or click the graphic to the right to go directly to the member area to sign in.  

  • Do you work for a UMAPP member company, and don't have a website account?  CLICK HERE to create one.  Note:  New website accounts must be approved before they are useable.  You will receive a "welcome" email once approved (usually is done right away).  

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Welcome New Members



Renee Pursley Embroidery & Design, Distributor

Renee Pursley

801 S. Marshall Avenue

Litchfield, MN  55355



Total Imaging, Distributor

William Erickson

3051 25th Street S., Suite H

Fargo, ND  58103



Mrs. Calls Candy (Cancyco LLC), Supplier

Adrianne Radmall

356 W 1000 S

Heber City, UT  84032



American Made Cutlery, Supplier

Dan Kielman

P.O. Box 850

Waverly, Iowa  50677



DHG Communications, d/b/a Copy Cat, Distributor

Dennis Goering

3011 Forest Avenue

Des Moines, Iowa  50311



Expert Brand, Supplier

Sion Shaman

3101 E. 26th Street

Vernon, CA  90058



ImageOne Uniforms, Distributor

Ryan Yingling

1423 N. 8th Street, Suite 112

Superior, WI  54880



Wowline, Supplier

James Morris

141 Eileen Way

Syosset, New York  11791



Pop!Promos, Supplier

Kelly Shermer

810 N. Hancock Street, Unit 12

Philadelphia, PA  19123



High Caliber Line, Supplier

Les Dorfman

6250 N. Irwindale Avenue

Irwindale, CA  91702



Visions/Awardcraft, Supplier

Michelle Vires

1 Visions Parkway

Celina, OH  45822



Linden Sweden, Supplier

Gina Carlson

7609 Washington Avenue South

Edina, MN  55439



Swisspens/Prodir and Premec, Supplier

Nikki Klein

4500 Highlands Parkway, SE

Smyrna, GA  30082



Notes, Inc., Supplier

6761 Thompson Road North

Syrracuse, NY  13211


B&K Embroidery, Distributor

Brooks Anderson

PO Box 73

Laurens, IA  50554



Hirsch Gift, Supplier

Sharon Steed

5121 Ashbrook Drive

Houston, TX  77081



Epilog Laser, Supplier

Debra Salley

16371 Table Mountain Parkway

Golden, CO  80403



The Haberdashery Corporate Apparel, Distributor

Ryan Wixo

1150 Prairie Parkway, No. 103

West Fargo, ND  58078




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Guest Column

Top-Shelf Tip No. 62:

"Effort and courage are not enough without purpose and direction."

John F. Kennedy

Transform Your Life In 15 Minutes A Day

Used with permission from Promotional Consultant Today. 

Have you ever made a big change in your life? Did the change happen overnight? In most cases, probably not. It took time. Each of us shares at least one thing in common: We all have at our disposal 1,440 minutes in a single day. What we do with that time; however, is what ultimately makes us different.

What would happen if you took just one percent of those 1,440 minutes, just 14 minutes and 24 seconds—about 15 minutes a day—and consciously tried to change your life? In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, you'll learn how those 15 minutes could transform your business, with these insights on micro-shifting from Gary Jansen, senior editor of Penguin Random House.

Jansen explains how he took action to change his life in just 15 minutes a day: "I had always wanted to be a writer, but I never wrote a single word. I was scared to take action, and I was afraid of failure. But once I started thinking about this idea of micro-shifting, I realized I could take something daunting like writing a book and break it down into bite-size pieces. Once I did that, I didn't feel so intimidated anymore.

"So even though I had a high-pressure job as an editor, a wife, a son and a long commute from the suburbs to the city every day, I got serious and committed to writing for 15 minutes every day. I did this consistently for one year. It was tough, and a lot of times I wanted to give up. And most of what I wrote was garbage. But, in the end, it didn't matter. I was building writing muscles by making the time and being consistent.

"And you know what? I ended up writing a book on something I was really passionate about—prayer and spirituality. It ended up getting published, which led to writing more books down the road. And along the way, I ended up becoming an editor to one of my writing heroes, none other than Deepak Chopra."

What if you used this same strategy? Does 15 minutes of working toward your goal sound too daunting? Start off by spending one minute each day focusing on the future. Do that for a week, and then increase it by half a minute every day for about 30 days. In very little time, you'll be giving one percent of your life to your future goal. Think of it like this: If you're consistent in this practice, in 12 months you will have spent more than 5,000 minutes towards your goal. Jensen calls these 15-minute bursts "micro-shifts," and they can change your life.

What are some micro-shifts you can do in 15 minutes that can change your life? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Create a daily ritual where you can cultivate silence, read, pray or meditate.
  • Go for a walk or get a set of dumbbells and start lifting weights.
  • Reach out to a mentor or serve as a mentee.
  • Work on a side project for work.
  • Practice an instrument. You might not become Mozart or Taylor Swift, but in one year's time, you'll be able to play songs on a piano or guitar.
  • Get up 15 minutes earlier so you're not rushed in the morning or go to sleep 15 minutes earlier every night.
  • Call someone you love.

We all know that life can be overwhelming. But making a micro-shift of 15 minutes a day to cultivate yourself, your business or a relationship will lead to more excitement, balance and happiness in your life. Try it, and see what happens.

Source: Gary Jansen is a senior editor of Penguin Random House where he has published books by Deepak Chopra, Michael A. Singer, Kimberly Snyder and Pope Francis. He is the author ofLife Everlasting: Catholic Devotions for the Everyday Seeker and The Fifteen Minute Prayer Solution.

Compiled by Cassandra Johnson


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Did you know?


. . .  coffee can make you crave something sweet?   Coffee suppresses adenosine receptors, which help generate feelings of sleepiness.  By suppressing those receptors, coffee makes people feel more alert, but it also dampens the ability to taste sweetness.  Being unable to taste sweetness makes the brain crave it more.  Study of 107 people by researchers at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, published in Journal of Food Science.  

. . . more homes are selling for cash?   As of late 2017, 28.8% of US home sales were sold for cash - up from 28.6% in 2016 and much higher than the 20% in the early 2000s.  The Wall Street Journal.  

. . .  airlines collected as much as $4.4 billion in baggage fees in 2017?   The Department of Transportation is still calculating the final figures, but carriers scored $3.4 billion in baggage charges through the third quarter of 2017, putting them on target to beat last year's record of $4.2 billion.  Bureau of Transportation Statistics, US Department of Transportation.  

. . .  another reason for kids to spend more time outdoors is it make make them less likely to need eyeglasses.  First graders who spent 40 additional minutes daily in outdoor activities for three years were less likely to be nearsighted at the end of the study than those whose routine did not include the extra outdoor time.  Study of 950 students at 12 schools led by researchers at Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China, published in JAMA.  

"If human beings are perceived as potentials rather than problems . . . then they thrive and grow to their capabilities."  

Barbara Bush, former First Lady of the United States, 1925-2018.



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Guest Column II

Top-Shelf Tip No. 64:

"One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation."

Arthur Ashe

You Nailed The Job Interview. Now What?

Used with permission from Promotional Consultant Today. 

I was recently speaking with a friend who owns four children's swim schools. As part of his business, he hires (and fires) a lot of young employees for front desk administration, lifeguarding and swim instruction. He told me the person who usually gets the interview (and the job) is the one who sends him a thank-you note. And apparently, this doesn't happen very often.

We've all found ourselves in this situation: You just nailed the in-person interview for your dream job. You're coming down from your adrenaline rush and a nagging question pops into your head: Now what? What do I do next?

What's the best way to follow up on your job interview?

1. Say Thank You. During the interview, ask for a business card from every contact you make and send each a thank-you email. Schedule your email to arrive in their inbox first thing in the morning on the day following your interview. It will get more attention at this time. Do not wait to send these as they can quickly be forgotten or pushed aside.

2. Follow Directions. Many companies will give you a homework assignment or lay out next steps for the interview process. Listen carefully and follow directions. Your ability to stick to the agreed upon plan will tell employers a lot about what it will be like to work with you.

3. Show Your Interest. Follow up with your company contact to see where things are. Understand the timeline for a decision or the next steps in the process. Be professional and show your passion for the opportunity. Sell yourself as a great fit for the role. Don't be a pest but let the hiring manager know you are interested.

4. Stay On Point. Just because your interview is over doesn't mean that your evaluation is. Stay professional in every interaction you have with your potential employer. If you're sending them paperwork, make it prompt, crisp and legible. If you're speaking with them on the phone, be sure that you are somewhere you can be easily heard and understood. Keep it professional at all times.

Great job interview follow-up is all about putting your best foot forward and keeping it there. Follow these simple steps and you'll succeed in showing your gratitude and knowledge of business etiquette, illustrating how diligent a co-worker you'd make, sell yourself for the opportunity with passion and reinforce the strong impression you made in your interview.

Source: Patrick McHargue is the director of talent at PromoPlacement, an industry search and placement firm. He grew up in the promotional product industry, earned an MBA in international business, and managed a $35 million sales territory before focusing on the development of tools and services to benefit the promotional product industry.

Compiled by Cassandra Johnson


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Industry News


Hub Pen Company is pleased to announce the addition of Associate Account Executive Mitch Warren to their inside sales team.  Warren has promotional marketing in his blood:  His father is a distributor in his hometown of Scituate Massachusetts, and Mitch started his own small marketing business while attending University of New Hampshire.  Since graduating he worked for a promotional marketing and advertising firm, helping with the rebranding program of a large healthcare company.

Terry Town (asi90913, ppai230911, sage66966), frequently awarded Supplier of Towels, Blankets, Robes and related accessories, congratulates Chris Sinatra, owner of Sinatra Enterprises on being awarded “Best Multi-Line Rep” by PPAI. Sinatra reps Terry Town in the states of Illinois and Wisconsin.

HUB Promotional Group’s Hub Pen Company of Braintree, Massachusetts, has been named both Supplier of the Year - Non-Apparel and New England Supplier of the Year by the New England Promotional Products Association (NEPPA). The award presentations took place at NEPPA's Opening Reception and Awards Dinner at Scorpion Bar, Patriot Place, Foxboro, on April 9, the evening before the NEPPA Season Opener Expo.

The Magnet Group, today announced that it has been named one of the promotional products industry’s 2018 Greatest Companies To Work For by PPB (Promotional Products Business) magazine. PPB is the industry’s flagship publication published by Promotional Products Association International (PPAI;, the not-for-profit association for 500,000 industry professionals and more than 15,000 corporate members of the $23.3 billion promotional products industry.

IMAGEN Brands is proud to award every month the “Salesperson of the Month” in 2018. The criteria for winning this distinctive award is based on the month’s total sales, sales growth percentage, large orders over $50,000 or more, and monthly activities including office visits, Focus 5 sales and growth, social media, and demonstrating IMAGEN Brands core values. The regional sales manager selected receives a beautiful marble plaque with their name and month awarded, and a Coleman® 54-Quart Classic Steel Belted Cooler with a Salesperson of the Month logo. They also will have their name added to the perpetual plaque posted at the IMAGEN Brands Headquarters in Mason, Ohio.  

Please join us in congratulating Jerry Bridges, GA/TN – January 2018, Kari Rehder, MN, IA, ND, SD, N WI – February 2018, and Brandon Moon – March 2018.

Titan Custom Products of Dallas, is pleased to announce its recent
acquisition of industry leader, VisionUSA. After 30 successful years in
New Jersey, VisionUSA will relocate its manufacturing, printing and
sales efforts to Titan Custom Products, Inc in Dallas, TX. VisionUSA
remains one of the few suppliers who have a full line of proprietary USA
Made drinkware and deskware. VisionUSA website, phone and emails
will remain the same. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Heidi Forsythe comes to AAkron with a wealth of industry knowledge. Her 20 years  of experience in the Promotional Products industry will be an asset to our customers in the central states. She has a passion for her clients, and finding useful and meaningful ways to utilize products to best serve their customers.  We’re excited to have her a part of our team.

Quality Certification Alliance (QCA) and ZOOMcatalog have partnered to help industry distributors easily search catalogs from suppliers with verified responsible sourcing best practices. ZOOMcatalog has created a page that allows distributors to refine their search results to only show catalogs from those suppliers that currently hold the honor of QCA Accreditation. As a bonus, distributors will be able to create custom catalogs for their clients that only contain products from accredited sources.

Distributor Bankers Advertising Company (PPAI 101972; ASI 131650; UPIC BACADV) recently gathered sales partners and supplier representatives together for their 2018 Gathering of the Stars National Sales Meeting in Galena, IL.

The meeting, themed “Soaring to Success,” was held at Galena’s Eagle Ridge Resort. The meeting began with a reception and dinner for more than 75 Bankers representatives, guests, suppliers and employees who attend the annual event.

The meeting included education sessions, networking with suppliers, a product-trend tradeshow and awards ceremonies celebrating the career achievements of Bankers’ Top Sales Partners. Additionally, attendees enjoyed a Historic Galena trolley tour and a delicious meal at the historic DeSoto House, which was once frequented by Abraham Lincoln and Civil War hero Ulysses S. Grant.

HUB Promotional Group’s Hub Pen Company is pleased to announce the addition of Carol Nickerson to their award winning customer service team. The Brockton native comes to Hub with over 12 years of customer service experience in the promotional products industry with a New England greeting card supplier.  “They were really nice people, like the people here at Hub,” Carol says. “Everyone is so friendly and helpful, and I love working with the customers on their orders.  I’m really impressed with the amount of pens we sell and how quickly they go out.”


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This is a newsletter provided by the Upper Midwest Association of Promotional Professionals.  UMAPP is a professional trade association for companies in the promotional products industry.  UMAPP covers the states of Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Iowa, and Western Wisconsin.  Membership is by company, but all staff are included under the umbrella of the company membership.  

For more information, contact the UMAPP office at:  

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