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Upcoming Professional Development Sessions

PPAI Online Education offers live webinars, virtual sessions and events throughout the year. Our webinars provide the most up-to-date and relevant content to the promotional products industry, presented by expert speakers. The on-demand version will be posted immediately after the live presentation. We recommend utilizing the Chrome or Firefox browser and not Internet Explorer.


7 Results

  • Building a DEI Framework for Your Organization

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits Includes a Live Web Event on 10/12/2021 at 1:00 PM (CDT)

    Many organizations get caught up in how to solve for the “right now” DE&I challenges but fail to think about the long-game and how to sustain their DE&I efforts into the future. This session will explore how to move beyond “right now” thinking and reactive responses to DE&I and help you determine the right-fit strategy, framework, and structures to future-proof your DE&I journey. Sponsored by Kaeser & Blair

    Many organizations get caught up in how to solve for the “right now” DE&I challenges but fail to think about the long-game and how to sustain their DE&I efforts into the future. This session will explore how to move beyond “right now” thinking and reactive responses to DE&I and help you determine the right-fit strategy, framework, and structures to future-proof your DE&I journey.

    Sponsored by Kaeser & Blair

    Nickoria Johnson

    Chief Diversity Officer

    Credera

    Nickoria Johnson is a strategic, results-oriented professional with 25+ years of experience in Technology Leadership, Management Consulting and Portfolio Management. She has a proven track record for leading digital and cloud transformation efforts, optimizing multi-million dollar technology portfolios, defining and implementing change management initiatives, and establishing deep partnerships with business teams and vendor partners. Nickoria brings to the table a “people first” approach to leading teams, investing in culture and diversity, and building collaborative environments. In her current role as Chief Diversity Officer at Credera, she is responsible for accelerating the mission of amplifying voices of underrepresented groups and synergizing diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts toward unified goals to ensure accessibility, focus, and visibility of DE&I for the firm. 

    Nickoria is a respected speaker on both DE&I issues and in the technology strategy space, speaking on the topics of leadership, business transformation, and career development across the country. Johnson is a national board member for High Tech High Heels, on the advisory board for Tomorrow's Scientists, Technicians, and Managers (TSTM), and an advisor for the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas. Johnson attended Howard University and completed her bachelor's degree in business administration with an emphasis in management and organizational behavior from Benedictine University.

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    1 Point

    1. Register and watch the session. Please note it will open in a new window. Please do not close the session launch page.

    2. Please make sure your pop-up blocker is turned off in order to access the session once you select it.

    3. Once you have completed the session, please close the event recording or webinar window and proceed to the session launch page for the Online Education Survey to receive credit. Please note, it will not be on your event recording or webinar window.

  • DEI and Intersectionality: What Do They Bring to Diversity Management

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits Includes a Live Web Event on 10/19/2021 at 1:00 PM (CDT)

    This webinar will focus on exploring and understanding different aspects of diversity and intersectionality. Participants will reflect upon the influences of diversity on their own identity. This session will explore the definition of diversity and intersectionality, personal identities, and aspects of diversity through an interactive discussion and conclude with reflections on how diversity and intersectionality play an essential role in engagement. In this workshop, diversity will include exposure to many different types including ability, class, ethnicity/race, gender, nationality, religion, and sexual orientation.

    This webinar will focus on exploring and understanding different aspects of diversity and intersectionality. Participants will reflect upon the influences of diversity on their own identity. This session will explore the definition of diversity and intersectionality, personal identities, and aspects of diversity through an interactive discussion and conclude with reflections on how diversity and intersectionality play an essential role in engagement. In this workshop, diversity will include exposure to many different types including ability, class, ethnicity/race, gender, nationality, religion, and sexual orientation.

    Charita McClellan

    Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Manager

    Alteryx

    Charita McClellan’s career has been primarily centered in the finance/accounting world. It was through her volunteer work within employee resource groups while working at Bank of America that she found her passion for DEI. In the past Charita has served as the Professional Development Chair for the Black Professionals Group as well as the Community Engagement Chair and Richardson and Dallas site leads for North Texas LGBT+ Pride. Additionally, Charita had the privilege of presenting a product, “Bi, POC and Womxn – 3 Strikes” at the 2020 Out and Equal Workplace Summit.


    Charita has the privilege of being the first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion manager at Alteryx, a data analytics software company. She is responsible for creating and implementing plans as well as leading efforts to promote DEI within all areas of the organization. This includes collaborating with Talent Acquisition to ensure the talent pool is diverse and the organization maintains equitable hiring practices, working with leaders to create an inclusive workspace and assisting learning and development to incorporate DEI elements into the fabric of the training modules. Additionally, Charita leads the ERG efforts ensuring all associates have a place to belong.


    Charita has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of North Texas, a Masters of Business Administration from New York Institute of Technology and a certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University.

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    1 Point

    1. Register and watch the session. Please note it will open in a new window. Please do not close the session launch page.

    2. Please make sure your pop-up blocker is turned off in order to access the session once you select it.

    3. Once you have completed the session, please close the event recording or webinar window and proceed to the session launch page for the Online Education Survey to receive credit. Please note, it will not be on your event recording or webinar window.

  • DEI Roundtable Discussion Series

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits Includes a Live Web Event on 10/27/2021 at 4:00 PM (CDT)

    This conversation series will create a community for industry professionals who are interested in various DEI-related topics. Instead of another lecture, each group discussion will provide a safe space to share experiences and ask questions we may be hesitant to ask elsewhere. The sessions will be facilitated by members of PPAI’s DEI Task Force. We invite everyone from all diverse categories to join - including demographic diversity, experiential diversity, and cognitive diversity. The conversations will provide opportunities for mutual support through shared knowledge and resources. Of course, there will also be plenty of occasions for networking with our peers who are trying to navigate the DEI space. Some of the topics we will discuss during these sessions include: • Supplier diversity • Unconscious bias • Inclusive workplaces • Breaking down barriers • Making DEI initiatives compulsory

    This conversation series will create a community for industry professionals who are interested in various DEI-related topics. Instead of another lecture, each group discussion will provide a safe space to share experiences and ask questions we may be hesitant to ask elsewhere. The sessions will be facilitated by members of PPAI’s DEI Task Force. We invite everyone from all diverse categories to join-including demographic diversity, experiential diversity, and cognitive diversity. The conversations will provide opportunities for mutual support through shared knowledge and resources. Of course, there will also be plenty of occasions for networking with our peers who are trying to navigate the DEI space. Some of the topics we will discuss during these sessions include:
    • Supplier diversity
    • Unconscious bias
    • Inclusive workplaces
    • Breaking down barriers
    • Making DEI initiatives compulsory

    Kathy Cheng

    President and Founder

    Kathy Cheng is the President of WS & Co., one of Canada’s leading full-service apparel manufacturers, and the founder of its in-stock apparel line, Redwood Classics Apparel, which provides promotional and retail resellers with high-quality garments that are handcrafted in North America. 

    With the innumerable recognitions and awards that Kathy has been accredited for over the years, she was most notably named on Inc. Magazine’s 100 Female Founders List and was recognized for her significant contributions in Supplier Diversity, receiving the WBE President’s Award and the LGBTQ+ Ambassador of the Year Award for 2020. 

    As a result of Kathy’s contributions to women-focused efforts, she was presented with the prestigious Counselor Supplier Woman of Distinction Award by ASI (Advertising Specialty Institute®) in 2016, was one of three Canadians inducted into The EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ program in 2014, and was on WXN (Women’s Executive Network)’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada list in 2013.

    Cindy Tsuji

    Senior Account Executive

    Image Source

    Cindy Tsuji is a senior account executive with Image Source in Kirkland, Washington, who discovered the promo industry after 20 years in corporate sales. Tsuji has a passion and love for hospitality, healthcare, being of service to others and spreading joy through thoughtfully crafted merchandise experiences. Committed to seeing a more diverse and inclusive promo industry in the future, Tsuji is a Promo-Kitchen volunteer, PPAI DEI Task Force member, and she leads Image Source’s DEI Council. A passionate global traveler and endurance athlete, she has completed a half marathon on all seven continents. If not traveling, running or in hot yoga studio, she enjoys time with her dog Emi and supporting causes dear to her heart.

    Ed Hammer

    Owner

    Howling Print and Promo

    Ed Hamner, CAS is the owner of Howling Print and Promo, an independent distributor based outside of Cleveland, Ohio.  He has been in the industry for approximately 10 years, however can trace his Print and Promo origin story back to the 5th grade.

    As the owner of a certified LGBT business enterprise, Ed is a proponent of DEI initiatives in supply chains and corporate HR. In his free time, you’ll probably catch him hiding away at the local coffee shop (pre-covid) with his ear pods in, book in hand.

    Johanna Gottlieb

    VP of Sales, Midwest

    Axis

    Johanna, a New Yorker at heart, lives in Chicago with her husband (who she met through work) and proudest accomplishments, her daughters, Olivia Bella and Lola Grace. Johanna, known as Jo, loves working out, family time, and practicing gratitude and a positive mindset daily. Her unwavering belief in the importance of connections and work ethic have helped mold her career into a love of hers, as well.

    Over 15 years ago, Johanna began at Axis, an award-winning promotional products agency, as an associate account manager. With her enthusiastic, fun-loving attitude and in-depth understanding of account management, she rose to her current role as VP of Sales, Midwest. Her impressive work ethic and love of her industry have opened the doors to key roles in many projects, such as new business development at Axis and opening and heading the Axis Chicago office. Named to Advertising Specialty Institute’s “Hot List” in 2017, Johanna’s optimistic worldview and love of her work earned her the identifier of, “who we all want as the spokesperson for the promo industry”.  

    Despite her incredibly busy, rewarding work at Axis, Johanna makes time to chair two teams that are important to her values: PromoKitchen (2019) and the PPAI (Promotional Products Association International) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force (2021). Johanna is involved in speaking engagements nationwide to discuss two topics near to her heart: best business practices and diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. Her passion for promotional products and persistence for excellence have created genuinely fulfilling career opportunities for years with no sign of slowing down in the future.

    Nenette Gray

    Lemonade Creative Marketing

    Nenette Gray is the Founder/CEO of Lemonade Creative Marketing, LLC, a branded promotional merchandise agency. Her company focuses on helping businesses excite, engage and inspire while maximizing their brand. Nenette spent nearly 20 years working with Fortune 500 companies in Marketing Management and as an award-winning sales consultant.

     

    In 2010, the pharmaceutical company she worked for laid off her along with 1,400 colleagues. At that time, she decided to turn the lemons of losing her pharmaceutical career into lemonade! In September 2010, she founded Lemonade Creative Marketing, LLC where she brings her positive energy and zest for marketing to her clients.

     

    Nenette was most recently named by Women’s Enterprise Magazine 2021 Nationally as a Top 50 WBE CEO. Nenette has a commitment to helping foster diversity equity & inclusion not only in the promotional products industry but in business overall.  Outside of the office she can be found traveling, experiencing new cuisine, and exploring the great outdoors, hiking and kayaking. 

    Hugh Lawson

    Staples Promotional Products

    Hugh Lawson is the Director of Business Development for Staples Promotional Products (SPP), a subsidiary of Staples Inc. with offices in Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia and the United States. 

    He has over 20 years of experience helping clients globally drive brand engagement and improved business results by designing and executing custom merchandise, incentive, recognition, gifting, uniform and promotional programs involving their employees, channel partners, and customers. 

    Hugh currently manages and leads strategic teams for Global new business prospecting, RFP responses, proactive proposals, competitive intelligence, future-trends identification, and business enhancement initiatives.

    He is also a Member of SPP’s Senior Leadership team that oversees organizational strategic plans, succession planning, process improvements, and growth objectives for the Canadian division.

    Maurice Norris (Moderator)

    PPAI

    Maurice Norris is the public affairs manager for Promotional Products Association International (PPAI). Currently, Maurice manages the government relations and product responsibility programs at PPAI. In these roles, he monitors legislative and regulatory developments affecting the promotional products industry. Maurice also assists members with compliance challenges facing their businesses and helps them advocate for their companies with various aspects and levels of government. Maurice also serves on the board of the Graphic Communications Workforce Coalition.

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    1 Point

    1. Register and watch the session. Please note it will open in a new window. Please do not close the session launch page.

    2. Please make sure your pop-up blocker is turned off in order to access the session once you select it.

    3. Once you have completed the session, please close the event recording or webinar window and proceed to the session launch page for the Online Education Survey to receive credit. Please note, it will not be on your event recording or webinar window.

  • Strategies for Advancing People of Color in the Promo Industry

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits Includes a Live Web Event on 11/02/2021 at 1:00 PM (CDT)

    This highly engaging discussion will focus on the importance of building diverse strategic alliances. The panelists will explore the process for building engagement that meets the business needs of communities of color in the promotional products industry. Ethnic minorities are growing in the U.S. and they will represent up to $6.1 trillion in purchasing power by the year 2045 (U.S. Small Business Administration, 2007). This discussion will highlight the challenges of breaking through systematic barriers and share best practices for creating a diverse network while leveraging resources for successful engagement.

    This highly engaging discussion will focus on the importance of building diverse strategic alliances. The panelists will explore the process for building engagement that meets the business needs of communities of color in the promotional products industry.  Ethnic minorities are growing in the U.S. and they will represent up to $6.1 trillion in purchasing power by the year 2045 (U.S. Small Business Administration, 2007). This discussion will highlight the challenges of breaking through systematic barriers and share best practices for creating a diverse network while leveraging resources for successful engagement.

    June Jenkins

    Owner

    CFJ Legacy Group

    June Perdue Jenkins is the owner of CFJ Legacy Group, a technology and marketing consulting firm located in Plano, Texas. She holds a BS degree in Math and Computer Science from Stephens College; Columbia, Missouri and has over 35 years of experience in marketing and IT consulting. June’s employment at Electronic Data Systems (EDS) provided her the opportunity to develop application systems for a $5 billion book of business for clients in the insurance, banking, and telecommunications industries. June’s success in these areas earned her a coveted UIA award presented by EDS’s CEO for outstanding leadership and technology innovation. Recently, she has received awards and recognition from Collin County Black Chamber of Commerce, Junior League of Collin County, Greater North Dallas Business and Professional Women’s Club, and Plano magazine. In addition, she received the Woman of Color Award in Sales and Marketing Leadership from  US Black Engineering magazine. June is a graduate of Leadership Texas and Leadership Dallas. She served as the first chair of the National Technology Task Force for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. for 13 years. She has also served on the board of directors for Promotional Products Association Southwest, Community Math and Science Group, the Infant and Toddler Intervention Program of North Texas, National Sales Network, and Collin County Black Chamber of Commerce. Active in the business community, June has served in leadership roles with Business  Networking  International (BNI), Empress Exchange Women’s Network, and Women of Visionary Influence (WOVI). Currently, she is a member of the Junior League of Collin County and the Plano Metro Rotary Club. She is the past president of the Metropolitan Dallas Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. where under her leadership she helped develop a health services program for low-income families in the area; a self-development program for young ladies; awarded over $50K in scholarships for local students; and developed an entrepreneurship program for women.


    June’s passion is serving the Black community. She was married to the late Charles Jenkins, who was the manager of the City of Plano jail. Her husband used his knowledge of the criminal justice system through his church’s jail ministry program, to help assist African Americans who were incarcerated. This spurred June’s initiative to lead the efforts to re-activate the Collin  County Branch of the NAACP where she is currently serving her third term as branch president. Under her leadership, they hosted a free Legal Aid Clinic for low-income families in Collin County,  hosted a back-to-school drive, and worked with the Collin County District Attorney on an Expungement Initiative. The branch organized the African American Coalition of Collin County for collaborative efforts of groups across Collin County to empower, engage, and educate the community during the 2020 Census and 2020 Elections. During the pandemic, June has helped lead volunteer efforts to provide free COVID-19 testing and food to families in need. Most recently, June has founded The Equity Factor, a nonprofit organization that will identify factors in a  community that helps create equity and build access to resources for people of color through awareness, education, communication, programs, events, and training.


    In her spare time, June plays golf, solves crossword puzzles, and reads. She uses her connections in the promotional products industry to help donate and give back to her community. She is the proud mother of MacKenzie, a recent graduate of Southern Methodist University with a degree in Human & Civil Rights pursuing a legal career in education advocacy. 

    Cindy Tsuji

    Senior Account Executive

    Image Source

    Cindy Tsuji is a senior account executive with Image Source in Kirkland, Washington, who discovered the promo industry after 20 years in corporate sales. Tsuji has a passion and love for hospitality, healthcare, being of service to others and spreading joy through thoughtfully crafted merchandise experiences. Committed to seeing a more diverse and inclusive promo industry in the future, Tsuji is a Promo-Kitchen volunteer, PPAI DEI Task Force member, and she leads Image Source’s DEI Council. A passionate global traveler and endurance athlete, she has completed a half marathon on all seven continents. If not traveling, running or in hot yoga studio, she enjoys time with her dog Emi and supporting causes dear to her heart.

    Bob McLean, CPA (Moderator)

    Executive Vice President

    PPAI

    Bob McLean, CPA, is PPAI's executive vice president. He was hired in June 2008 as chief financial officer and is responsible for finance and administration, information technology and the Promotional Products Education Foundation. In October 2011, Bob was promoted to EVP and assumed responsibility for all revenue-producing products and services at PPAI. These include the business development, membership sales, trade shows, publications, and education and certification departments. Bob has an MBA in finance from the University of Miami in Florida and a bachelor's degree in accounting from Drexel University in Philadelphia. He is a member of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events and serves on its budget and finance committee. He is also a member of the American and Florida Institutes of Certified Public Accountants.

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    1 Point

    1. Register and watch the session. Please note it will open in a new window. Please do not close the session launch page.

    2. Please make sure your pop-up blocker is turned off in order to access the session once you select it.

    3. Once you have completed the session, please close the event recording or webinar window and proceed to the session launch page for the Online Education Survey to receive credit. Please note, it will not be on your event recording or webinar window.

  • Implicit or Unconscious Bias - Disrupting Everyday Bias

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits Includes a Live Web Event on 11/30/2021 at 1:00 PM (CST)

    Implicit or unconscious bias refers to unintentional stereotypes and judgments (either positive or negative) we have toward certain groups of people, based on categories such as gender, race, class, interests they have, and a lot more. Every person has unconscious bias—it’s the way the human brain processes and categorizes vast amounts of information. Research from neurologist Sigmund Freud states that unconscious thoughts have the largest influences on human behavior. However, if left unchecked, unconscious biases can lead to unfair or discriminatory behavior with negative consequences. An understanding of unconscious bias is an invitation to a new level of engagement about diversity issues. Sponsored by Kaeser & Blair

    Implicit or unconscious bias refers to unintentional stereotypes and judgments (either positive or negative) we have toward certain groups of people, based on categories such as gender, race, class, interests they have, and a lot more. Every person has unconscious bias—it’s the way the human brain processes and categorizes vast amounts of information. Research from neurologist Sigmund Freud states that unconscious thoughts have the largest influences on human behavior. However, if left unchecked, unconscious biases can lead to unfair or discriminatory behavior with negative consequences. An understanding of unconscious bias is an invitation to a new level of engagement about diversity issues. 

    Sponsored by Kaeser & Blair

    Karuna Thomas

    Founder & CEO

    Karuna Thomas Coaching & Consulting, LLC

    Karuna Thomas is the Founder and CEO of Karuna Thomas Coaching and Consulting, LLC. As a dynamic leader with an extensive global portfolio, she specializes in Supply Chain, International Business, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I), Training and Development, and Professional Coaching. She holds a two-decade successful stint in the Foodservice industry, which includes the launch, development, and expansion of a US global restaurant brand in 35+ countries. She mobilized supplier operations in all five inhabited continents while orchestrating sustainable supply chain networks to scale. Karuna’s work earned her global recognition from the various stakeholders. Her journey into DE&I was organically embedded in her international role and ambassadorship, plus she holds multiple certifications in this domain. She has since been dedicating her global intelligence and cultural competence to conduct talks and workshops in various forums from Lean In, Power To Fly, Connect4Women, Returnships.org etc. on empowering women in the workplace, #IamRemarkable, volunteerism, and DE&I initiatives. In 2021, she officially stepped into the world of Consulting and Coaching, bringing a distinctive mix of real-life experiences, research, and practitioner expertise. She helps clients develop diversity,  inclusion, and equity dialogue starters, strategize proactive and inclusive workplace practices, foster culturally responsive organizational change, create employee resource groups, and more. Karuna also graduated from the distinctive ICF accredited coaching program as a Senior Certified Professional Coach and is incredibly passionate about coaching professional leaders and executives realize their goals. Her approach equips leaders develop a growth mindset, capitalize on their strengths, cultivate emotional and cultural intelligence, and uncover their ‘Thrive- Version’. She advocates that BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) are not just for organizations but also for leaders striving to make a difference. Karuna is a serial community builder, catalyzing societal change that supports children and women. She is a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer advocating for the best interest of foster children. She also leads women-empowerment initiatives at Lean In North Dallas, is a certified #IamRemarkable Facilitator and an active member of Junior League of Collin County.

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    1 Point

    1. Register and watch the session. Please note it will open in a new window. Please do not close the session launch page.

    2. Please make sure your pop-up blocker is turned off in order to access the session once you select it.

    3. Once you have completed the session, please close the event recording or webinar window and proceed to the session launch page for the Online Education Survey to receive credit. Please note, it will not be on your event recording or webinar window.

  • Best Practices for Building a Supplier Diversity Program

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits Includes a Live Web Event on 12/07/2021 at 1:00 PM (CST)

    Supplier Diversity is a program that is used by organizations and corporations to purchase products and services from companies that are owned, operated and controlled by minorities, women, veterans, LGBTQs and disabled individuals. The social unrest issues from 2020 has increased the awareness and desire to launch supplier diversity programs.

    Supplier Diversity is a program that is used by organizations and corporations to purchase products and services from companies that are owned, operated and controlled by minorities, women, veterans, LGBTQs and disabled individuals. The social unrest issues from 2020 has increased the awareness and desire to launch supplier diversity programs. 

    Lamont Robinson

    Lamont Robinson was born in Chicago, Illinois. He attended Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Pennsylvania through the A Better Chance college preparatory program. He then returned to Illinois to attend Lake Forest College, in Lake Forest, Illinois. After graduating from LFC, he went on to work for the Lake County Forest Preserves while obtaining his MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management. After receiving his MBA, he moved on to work for Abbott Laboratories in 2000 as a Senior Purchasing Agent. In 2004, Lamont was part of Abbott’s spin-off, Hospira, as a
    Senior Purchasing Agent and Small Business Liaison Officer.


    In September 2004, Lamont joined Cardinal Health as the Corporate Director of Supplier Diversity where he was responsible for assisting Group Purchasing Organizations with their supplier diversity programs. He then relocated from Illinois to Texas in 2007 to join VHA, Inc. (a national healthcare alliance), to create its supplier diversity program as their Director of Business Development and Supplier Diversity. In 2009, he was promoted as the Senior Director of Supplier Diversity for Novation. At Novation, Lamont directly oversaw the supplier diversity programs for Novation, VHA, and Provista (Novation’s sister company), as well as provided support to UHC. Lamont was then recruited and accepted the position as Vice President of Supplier Diversity for Nielsen, where he served from 2012 to 2018.


    Lamont has been a leader in supplier diversity for the past 14 years after receiving a plethora of national awards and acknowledgments for every supplier diversity program he oversaw. His most treasured achievement is receiving the 2010 Corris Boyd Leadership and Diversity award from the Federation of American Hospitals, which recognizes an individual or company that has made an outstanding contribution in fostering leadership and workplace diversity in the health care industry. 

    Lamont initially launched RLC in 2012 but focused more on its growth in 2017 when he was awarded a subcontracting opportunity to launch the supplier diversity program for a large New Jersey-based health system. RLC is a minority-owned and certified diverse firm that specializes in launching exemplary supplier diversity programs, connecting diverse suppliers to procurement opportunities while developing those organizations, assisting professional athletes and entertainers with transitioning into business ownership through the usage of diversity, and assisting clients with responding to community pressures pertaining to diversity.


    In 2014, Lamont authored his autobiography “TransformNational: Journey of a Bastard” which details his personal experiences in overcoming challenges on Chicago’s violent West Side to achieve success.

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    1 Point

    1. Register and watch the session. Please note it will open in a new window. Please do not close the session launch page.

    2. Please make sure your pop-up blocker is turned off in order to access the session once you select it.

    3. Once you have completed the session, please close the event recording or webinar window and proceed to the session launch page for the Online Education Survey to receive credit. Please note, it will not be on your event recording or webinar window.

  • DEI Roundtable Discussion Series

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits Includes a Live Web Event on 12/08/2021 at 4:00 PM (CST)

    This conversation series will create a community for industry professionals who are interested in various DEI-related topics. Instead of another lecture, each group discussion will provide a safe space to share experiences and ask questions we may be hesitant to ask elsewhere. The sessions will be facilitated by members of PPAI’s DEI Task Force. We invite everyone from all diverse categories to join - including demographic diversity, experiential diversity, and cognitive diversity. The conversations will provide opportunities for mutual support through shared knowledge and resources. Of course, there will also be plenty of occasions for networking with our peers who are trying to navigate the DEI space. Some of the topics we will discuss during these sessions include: • Supplier diversity • Unconscious bias • Inclusive workplaces • Breaking down barriers • Making DEI initiatives compulsory

    This conversation series will create a community for industry professionals who are interested in various DEI-related topics. Instead of another lecture, each group discussion will provide a safe space to share experiences and ask questions we may be hesitant to ask elsewhere. The sessions will be facilitated by members of PPAI’s DEI Task Force. We invite everyone from all diverse categories to join-including demographic diversity, experiential diversity, and cognitive diversity. The conversations will provide opportunities for mutual support through shared knowledge and resources. Of course, there will also be plenty of occasions for networking with our peers who are trying to navigate the DEI space. Some of the topics we will discuss during these sessions include:
    • Supplier diversity
    • Unconscious bias
    • Inclusive workplaces
    • Breaking down barriers
    • Making DEI initiatives compulsory

    Kathy Cheng

    President and Founder

    Kathy Cheng is the President of WS & Co., one of Canada’s leading full-service apparel manufacturers, and the founder of its in-stock apparel line, Redwood Classics Apparel, which provides promotional and retail resellers with high-quality garments that are handcrafted in North America. 

    With the innumerable recognitions and awards that Kathy has been accredited for over the years, she was most notably named on Inc. Magazine’s 100 Female Founders List and was recognized for her significant contributions in Supplier Diversity, receiving the WBE President’s Award and the LGBTQ+ Ambassador of the Year Award for 2020. 

    As a result of Kathy’s contributions to women-focused efforts, she was presented with the prestigious Counselor Supplier Woman of Distinction Award by ASI (Advertising Specialty Institute®) in 2016, was one of three Canadians inducted into The EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ program in 2014, and was on WXN (Women’s Executive Network)’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada list in 2013.

    Cindy Tsuji

    Senior Account Executive

    Image Source

    Cindy Tsuji is a senior account executive with Image Source in Kirkland, Washington, who discovered the promo industry after 20 years in corporate sales. Tsuji has a passion and love for hospitality, healthcare, being of service to others and spreading joy through thoughtfully crafted merchandise experiences. Committed to seeing a more diverse and inclusive promo industry in the future, Tsuji is a Promo-Kitchen volunteer, PPAI DEI Task Force member, and she leads Image Source’s DEI Council. A passionate global traveler and endurance athlete, she has completed a half marathon on all seven continents. If not traveling, running or in hot yoga studio, she enjoys time with her dog Emi and supporting causes dear to her heart.

    Ed Hammer

    Owner

    Howling Print and Promo

    Ed Hamner, CAS is the owner of Howling Print and Promo, an independent distributor based outside of Cleveland, Ohio.  He has been in the industry for approximately 10 years, however can trace his Print and Promo origin story back to the 5th grade.

    As the owner of a certified LGBT business enterprise, Ed is a proponent of DEI initiatives in supply chains and corporate HR. In his free time, you’ll probably catch him hiding away at the local coffee shop (pre-covid) with his ear pods in, book in hand.

    Johanna Gottlieb

    VP of Sales, Midwest

    Axis

    Johanna, a New Yorker at heart, lives in Chicago with her husband (who she met through work) and proudest accomplishments, her daughters, Olivia Bella and Lola Grace. Johanna, known as Jo, loves working out, family time, and practicing gratitude and a positive mindset daily. Her unwavering belief in the importance of connections and work ethic have helped mold her career into a love of hers, as well.

    Over 15 years ago, Johanna began at Axis, an award-winning promotional products agency, as an associate account manager. With her enthusiastic, fun-loving attitude and in-depth understanding of account management, she rose to her current role as VP of Sales, Midwest. Her impressive work ethic and love of her industry have opened the doors to key roles in many projects, such as new business development at Axis and opening and heading the Axis Chicago office. Named to Advertising Specialty Institute’s “Hot List” in 2017, Johanna’s optimistic worldview and love of her work earned her the identifier of, “who we all want as the spokesperson for the promo industry”.  

    Despite her incredibly busy, rewarding work at Axis, Johanna makes time to chair two teams that are important to her values: PromoKitchen (2019) and the PPAI (Promotional Products Association International) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force (2021). Johanna is involved in speaking engagements nationwide to discuss two topics near to her heart: best business practices and diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. Her passion for promotional products and persistence for excellence have created genuinely fulfilling career opportunities for years with no sign of slowing down in the future.

    Nenette Gray

    Lemonade Creative Marketing

    Nenette Gray is the Founder/CEO of Lemonade Creative Marketing, LLC, a branded promotional merchandise agency. Her company focuses on helping businesses excite, engage and inspire while maximizing their brand. Nenette spent nearly 20 years working with Fortune 500 companies in Marketing Management and as an award-winning sales consultant.

     

    In 2010, the pharmaceutical company she worked for laid off her along with 1,400 colleagues. At that time, she decided to turn the lemons of losing her pharmaceutical career into lemonade! In September 2010, she founded Lemonade Creative Marketing, LLC where she brings her positive energy and zest for marketing to her clients.

     

    Nenette was most recently named by Women’s Enterprise Magazine 2021 Nationally as a Top 50 WBE CEO. Nenette has a commitment to helping foster diversity equity & inclusion not only in the promotional products industry but in business overall.  Outside of the office she can be found traveling, experiencing new cuisine, and exploring the great outdoors, hiking and kayaking. 

    Hugh Lawson

    Staples Promotional Products

    Hugh Lawson is the Director of Business Development for Staples Promotional Products (SPP), a subsidiary of Staples Inc. with offices in Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia and the United States. 

    He has over 20 years of experience helping clients globally drive brand engagement and improved business results by designing and executing custom merchandise, incentive, recognition, gifting, uniform and promotional programs involving their employees, channel partners, and customers. 

    Hugh currently manages and leads strategic teams for Global new business prospecting, RFP responses, proactive proposals, competitive intelligence, future-trends identification, and business enhancement initiatives.

    He is also a Member of SPP’s Senior Leadership team that oversees organizational strategic plans, succession planning, process improvements, and growth objectives for the Canadian division.

    Maurice Norris (Moderator)

    PPAI

    Maurice Norris is the public affairs manager for Promotional Products Association International (PPAI). Currently, Maurice manages the government relations and product responsibility programs at PPAI. In these roles, he monitors legislative and regulatory developments affecting the promotional products industry. Maurice also assists members with compliance challenges facing their businesses and helps them advocate for their companies with various aspects and levels of government. Maurice also serves on the board of the Graphic Communications Workforce Coalition.

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