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November / December 2018 Print

President's Column

UMAPP Members,

WOW!  I can hardly believe it is time to write my final letter as President of UMAPP for 2018.

I am truly grateful for the members' approval and having me as your President this past year.  I am very thankful for your listening ear as I go on about volunteerism, positive thinking and goal setting!   Three of my favorite things!  I appreciate your patience with me as I truly grew into this role along the way.

I want to thank the many leaders that came before me and helped guide me through this year.  My one resounding piece of advice given to me from a former President was “You must always do what is best for the membership”.  This was the one core idea that helped me make many decisions this year.   Each of these decisions truly belongs to the association members, not to me or the Executive Board.  We are just the voice of the members.

A big thank you also goes out to our Executive Board, committee chairs and committee members.  We tried some new things this year and I feel we truly grew as an association.  We took some leaps of faith that helped us move in a new direction and be strong enough as a team to dig in and make it happen.   These people also lived through my email and text messages being “hacked” and receiving some rather “odd” messages my me!!   But some fun did come out of this ordeal that helped to keep things light and also built some great deeper friendships.

A big THANK YOU to Sue Selseth!   As usual, she rose to the challenge and took great care of me as I tried to step into this role to serve the members.  She is a great asset to our association and keeps us all on track! 

As President Carter Sharp stated last year, “Gosh, just when I was getting the hang of this, it’s time to move on.”  This is such a true statement!  But move on I must.  We have to remember to do our best, mentor new leaders, and move out of the way.

At the end of the year, it will be time to hand the gavel to Chris Thies.   Chris will step into this roll and bring us a fresh, younger outlook that every association is looking for.  He has done an excellent job engaging the membership with the CONNECTS committee and getting members out for casual conversation and fun events. 

I am excited for what new challenges are in store for UMAPP and proud of what we accomplished this year. 

Thank you all for the opportunity to learn and grow as your UMAPP President 2018.

All the very best, today and always,



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Calendar of Events


CAS / MAS Scholarship Applications - September

Do you find it challenging to get enough CEUs to sit for your exam?  UMAPP offers staff of its member companies a chance to win a $1,500 scholarship to attend one of PPAI's major educational events.  New for 2019!  The SPARK event in Charlotte, North Carolina, has been added to the event options for this scholarship.  

Read More/Apply


Award Nominations

  • Hall of Fame - UMAPP Hall of Fame Award is given to a person that has achieved outstanding honors within UMAPP Regional Association for their contributions.

  • Lifetime Achievement  - To give recognition to outstanding promotional product individuals who have demonstrated  long?time and successful commitment to their careers and communities. These individuals have made a strong impact through enthusiastic dedication in the promotional
    products industry over their lifetime.

  • Super Star -  To recognize a person within their company who has proven to be invaluable and consistently goes above and beyond what is expected.  These people are often invisible to the industry outside of the company and UMAPP would like to give member companies an opportunity to show support for these heros.  Examples could include someone in the support staff area, customer service, accounting, factory, etc. 

All submissions are due by Thursday, January 24. 


The UMAPP Room Show - February 25, 2019 

New location!   | Marriott Airport Bloomington

Distributor registration opening soon.  

2019 Exhibitors 
Ball Pro/Diversified Quality Kitchenware
BIC Graphic
CPS / Keystone 
ETS Express
Evans Manufacturing
HUB Promotional Group 

The Fire & Ice Show - May 22, 2019 

Returning to Easy at Canterbury Park's Expo Center

Free parking  | Quick access to show floor  | Easy load in and load out  | No stairs! | No security checks!  

Exhibitor registration will open after Thanksgiving.   Register early for the discount.  

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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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Guest Column

Top-Shelf Tip No. 196:

"Power is so characteristically calm, that calmness, in itself, has the aspect of strength."

Edward Bulwer-Lytton


Three Ways To Be A Persuasive Communicator

Reprinted with permission from Promotional Consultant Today.

The ability to communicate effectively can make or break a person's assessment of your intelligence, competence and authenticity. Just look at today's political landscape as an example. President Donald Trump has a brash, tell-it-like-it is style of communicating that is highly controversial but resonates with many supporters. In contrast, former President Barack Obama is often hailed as one
of our nation's greatest orators for his poise and eloquence although detractors often found fault with the message.

In a recent article, Thrive Global staff writer, Stephanie Fairyington turned to communication expert Geoffrey Tumlin to explain how certain speakers are poised with certain skills to make them appear more powerful and persuasive. Tumlin, who is the author of Stop Talking, Start Communicating, puts Oprah Winfrey and
Madeleine Albright in the same communicator category. "Oprah," he says, "is a great example of connection plus preparation and someone who lets you really see who she is."  

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Tumlin's three musts for powerful and persuasive communication, highlighted in Fairyington's recent article.
1. Be Still. Learning to harness uncontrolled energy and erratic movements while talking, whether in a meeting at work or on stage in an auditorium, will give the impression that you are calm and in command. "There's a lot of good research that suggests that we project influence and status on people when they aren't fidgeting around a lot when they are talking to people," Tumlin says. According to Tumlin, Obama is a master communicator because he has the skill of stillness. He projects a sense of calm. Tumlin says that there is something soothing and powerful about someone who can project a sense of calmness and composure.

2. Steady Your Emotions and Be Prepared. It doesn't matter if you're preparing for a one-on-one meeting or presenting a TED Talk, it helps to do your homework before opening your mouth. When there's an intense underlying emotion beneath the desire to communicate something, we tend to hyper-express a messy tangle of words that fail to capture what we're really trying to say. Instead, take time to find your center, perhaps with a breathing exercise or five minutes of meditation, and

As Tumlin points out, we tend to spend a great deal of time preparing for public speaking engagements out of fear of looking unprepared. However, our most critical dialog often comes in the form of one-to-one conversation, for which we often don't practice or prepare. When it's a serious conversation that involves family or friends, we usually don't prepare because we don't have the same fear of these conversations as we do with public speaking. However, as Tumlin points out,
those are often where the most important dialog happens. So, prepare for it. Period."

3. Be Yourself. Tumlin says that the goal of interpersonal communication is to be yourself, and when you appear authentic, then you drive influence. Again, he points to Obama and Oprah Winfrey has examples of highly influential people who come across as very authentic. And he points out that authenticity can bring you unexpectedly high returns. 

Whether you have a presentation or an important one-on-one conversation, use these skills to drive influence.

Source: Stephanie Fairyington is a staff writer at Thrive Global. A New York-based journalist, her work has appeared in The New York Times , The Atlantic (online), The New Republic (online), The Boston Globe, and several other publications. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her spouse Sabrina and daughter Marty.

Compiled by Cassandra Johnson





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Did you know?


. . .  the brain may have a spirituality location?  Scientists have found that activity in the parietal cortex – an area involved in self-awareness and attention – seems to be associated with spiritual experiences.  Marc Potenza, PhD, MD, professor of psychiatry, Yale Child Study Center, New Haven, Connecticut, and coauthor of a study published in Cerebral Cortex

. . . Walmart helps curb opioid abuse?  An opioid disposal packet is now given free when opioid prescriptions are filled at any of the chain’s pharmacies.  Customers add DisposeRx to the leftover pills and mix with water.  This turns any opioid into a disposable gel that cannot be turned back into a usable drug.  If you don’t use Walmart, ask your pharmacy for safe-disposal options.  USA Today. 

. . .  grilled vegetables do not raise cancer risk?  Grilling meat over high heat creates chemicals that are thought to be cancer-causing in large amounts.  But vegetables contain antioxidants that can help counteract the effects of those chemicals, even when the vegetables are grilled the same way.  Fruit is fine to grill, too.  Elisabetta Politi, RD, nutrition director, Duke Diet and Fitness Center, Durham, North Carolina, quoted in Men’s Health

“Courage doesn’t always roar.  Sometimes, courage is the little voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’”           Mary Anne Radmacher, American author.

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Guest Column II

Top-Shelf Tip No. 140:

"Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust."

Zig Ziglar

Better Sales, Better Profits

Reprinted with permission from Promotional Consultant Today. 

Sales success doesn't always come from the ability to close a sale. It can also come from the ability to network and to upsell. These skills come from one common thread—a great salesforce.  When sales managers are asked what makes a great salesforce they'll often cite characteristics like great products and services, excellent strategies, sound processes and systems, and being in the right place at the right time.

Although these elements are important, there is one element that highly successful sales leaders have in common—an attitude that puts salespeople first. 

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we are sharing three ways sales leaders can move forward to building better employee and customer  relationships that impact the bottom line, from business writer John Waid.

Salespeople First, Customers Second, Money Third. Most companies set their priorities where money comes first, the customer comes second and finally the  salesforce comes third. According to Waid, this order leads to less profit, upset customers and high employee turnover. What would happen if we changed the
order in which employees come first, customers second and money third?

Waid shares the example of Richard Anderson, the former CEO of Delta Airlines, who realized that if his company was to survive (he helped bring two airlines, Delta and Northwest, out of bankruptcy) it was going to be because of the people. During his tenure at Delta he focused his time and communication on employees and making sure they followed the company founder's values and behaviors. To do this, Anderson found an employee manual from the 1940s and rewrote it into what
became the driving principles at Delta. This led to a rebirth in a sales and service culture which led to record profits. 

Sales Culture First, Structure Second, Strategy Third. Traditionally, companies will focus first on the target sales, then on the company strategy and sales structure to achieve this strategy.  However, this has not been productive, in general, as it led to less involved and engaged employees. Make your sales culture the focus of your efforts and then look at the structures and strategies to support that culture. This will lead to highly productive and happy salespeople who  customers love and buy more from. A good culture to start out with is one based on the C.A.P. values—curiosity,  accountability and people skills.

Sales Leaders First, Coaching Second and Managing Third. A leader focuses on salespeople and sales culture, a coach on sales processes and a manager on sales strategies and results. It is important as a sales leader to focus on all three of these areas, in the order listed, as people need to first be inspired and have a culture to live, then be in a structure that grows and finally to be held accountable for producing great results.

In most organizations there are too many sales managers, only a few sales coaches and hardly any sales leaders. This places a heavy emphasis on managing the salesforce with quotas and consequences for not meeting quotas. When you lead first, coach second and manage third you will have a salesforce that likes and is successful at selling, treats customers well and produces great results. Consider shifting your sales priorities to drive a sales-centered culture first and foremost.
Source: John Waid is the founder of C-3 Corporate Culture Consulting, a keynote speaker and author of the book, Reinventing Ralph. With a specialty and passion for corporate culture, sales and global business, Waid believes culture is the engine that drives companies to better results, higher morale and increased profitability. An active speaker, trainer and subject matter expert, Waid holds an enduring belief that corporate culture is the key to success for companies.

Compiled by Cassandra Johnson

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Industry News

HUB Promotional Group announces that a deal was finalized in September 2018 to acquire BCG Creations ( and OrigAudio ( 

.   HUB is now comprised of seven A+ rated suppliers:

  • HUB Pen Company ( • Beacon ( • Best Promotions ( • Cooler Graphics ( • Debco Bag Distributors ( • BCG Creations ( • OrigAudio (

American Solutions for Business recently donated over $600 and three boxes of school supplies to the Minnewaska Little Lakers Pre-School.  The money was raised by our local employees who participated and donated during a recent Alley Party event, with a lunch and raffle. Supplies were collected in each office over the last month.  “We’re pleased to have the opportunity to get involved in our community,” commented Larry Zavadil, American Solutions for Business Founder & CEO. “Education is near and dear to our hearts, and the ability to influence our youngest members of the local community makes me incredibly proud.”

HUB Promotional Group has taken on two new web developers, David Medeiros, Web and Ecommerce Developer and Tyler Hines, Jr. Web Developer.  Also Business Systems Analyst Terese Cook was promoted to Enterprise Software Manager.  Also, customer service representative Colleen Bibby has been named one of 2018 PPB Magazine Service Superheroes. Colleen joined Hub Pen over five years ago, where she quickly became an integral part of the customer service team.  Just three years later she was named the SAAGNY Customer Service Rep of the year by her customers in New York.   

In 2006, Allen/ColorCraft partnered with CamelBak® as the original custom decorator of CamelBak bottles with the introduction of the original Better Bottle design. We are pleased to have been the exclusive decorating partner for CamelBak® throughout the last 12 years. Please know that we will continue to be your CamelBak supplier/custom decorator through 2018. Place orders by 12/31/18 for shipment by 1/31/19.

Terry Town (asi90913, ppai230911, sage66966), award winning supplier of towels, blankets, robes and spa/home accessories announces it will open its doors to a new, larger, state of the art facility in Southern California on October 12th. The larger facility will increase Terry Town’s decorating capabilities & distribution capacity. 

Beacon Promotions, Inc. of New Ulm, MN is a supporter of their local Brown County United Way.  The programs supported are primarily in the areas of education, health, self-sufficiency and basic needs.  

The week started with a presentation from several United Way representatives.  The presenters talked about just two of the 30+ non-profit agencies that are supported by United Way.  The two non-profits featured this year were NUMAS House, which provides emergency shelter and support services to homeless women and children in the Brown County area.  The 2nd agency is CADA (Committee Against Domestic Abuse), which provides safety and healing to victims of domestic and sexual violence through support, education, advocacy and shelter. 

At the end of September, Jerome Hoxton, president of Tru Art Advertising Calendars, retired after 7 years with the company.  Hoxton had a total of 46 years in the industry, which he loved. Over the years, he served in various roles on both the supplier and distributor sides, working in sales, marketing, and product development. He is looking forward to spending time with his children and grandchildren in his retirement, as well as attending football and volleyball games and enjoying family gatherings. The Tru Art family said a fond farewell to Hoxton with a catered luncheon on Sept. 28.

Earlier in the month, Tru Art Advertising Calendars announced the appointment of Eric Myers as Chief Sales Officer. Myers holds a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership and offers Tru Art numerous years of experience in print and sales leadership.  Myers will be leading the Tru Art sales team in providing exceptional service to current clients as well as growing the company’s reach and developing new revenue streams. He loves partnering with clients to devise unique, creative solutions.

IMAGEN Brands (Crown and Vitronic), is proud to announce the recent partnership of ShedRain Umbrellas.  As part of IMAGEN Brands continuing expansion strategy, partnering with ShedRain will improve business growth while honoring the quality brand that their customers have come to rely on with 24-hour lead-times.

Stan W. A. Dohan, MAS, MASI, President, COO of The Allen Company is pleased to announce the promotion of Judy Richardson to General Manager.  Judy has previously served in the position of Collegiate and Retail Brands Manager. “Judy has come up through our organization starting out in Customer Service in (insert year…need to check with HR Records). Judy really helped guide our growth and became a Manager in Brands in 2013 when I segmented our ASI/ PPAI; Collegiate; and Outdoor Retail/ Housewares business units. Judy is a can do, solution and team oriented star in our organization, and terrific in building inter-departmental consensus for the overall best interests of the Allen Company. She is very deserving of this promotion and title.”    

Towel Specialties announced this week that Sarah Harris has been promoted to the position of Inside Sales Coordinator. She will be responsible for assisting customers primarily in parts of the Southeast and Midwest.   Sarah started with Towel Specialties in 2013 in order entry.  “We’re very happy that Sarah has accepted this position,” says Shawn Kanak, Vice President of Sales. “

Will Francois, Vice President of Creative Services at Tru Art Advertising Calendars (PPAI 113720, ASI 92255, UPIC TRUART) passed away on October 25 at the age of 67 after a courageous battle with cancer.

Will began his career in the promotional products industry in 1989. He played a prominent role in expanding the Tru Art line from just Year-In-Views® and commercial styles to a well-rounded offering of appointments, large billboards, pockets, multi-sheets, and executive styles. His speculative proposals helped distributor partners establish relationships with countless customers.

A statement from Tru Art reads, “Will remained relentlessly positive, hard-working, and dedicated to his work. His passion for calendar advertising was almost unequaled. We were fortunate to enjoy nearly three decades of Will’s talent, friendship, dedication, and much more with our companies. He was a true professional devoted to the value of calendar advertising and our industry. His sincere passion for most everything with which he was involved benefited most everyone with whom he came in contact.”

Will is survived by his wife Judy; sons Rob and Michael, who are both associated with Tru Art; and three grandchildren. Services were held on October 30 at the River Community Church in Iowa City.

Kirsten Olson, of Showdown Displays, Brooklyn Center, MN, earned the certification of Master Advertising Specialist (MAS) administered by Promotional Products Association International (PPAI;, the largest international not-for-profit association for more than 15,000 members of the $21-plus billion promotional products industry.    

The Certified Advertising Specialist (CAS), Master Advertising Specialist (MAS) and Master Advertising Specialist Plus (MAS+) Certifications are the promotional products industry's premier professional designations. Individuals with a PPAI Certification are industry leaders—those who have attained a higher standard of professional competence, knowledge and experience. PPAI industry certification is acquired through a combination of: required certification classes, demonstrated years of employment in the industry, education, industry contributions and a successful demonstration of expertise. Certification is maintained through continuing education to ensure current knowledge and leading-edge professional skills.











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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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