PromoKitchen Podcast #123 | The PPAI SPARK Story

Welcome to the PromoKitchen podcast. Chefs Bill Petrie and Kirby Hasseman.

PPAI has a long history of executing education and networking events to foster growth within the promotional products industry. Recently, PPAI held an event in Denver targeted at young promo professionals called SPARK. This event was created by – and targeted to – millennials who comprise the largest portion of the workforce in the United States. Led by Seth Barnett, PPAI’s Diversity Development and Engagement Manager, SPARK is designed to give millennials an opportunity to become engaged, educated, and connected with topics that are specific to the beginning stages of starting a successful career in the promotional products industry.

On a recent unScripted podcast, Kirby and Bill discussed SPARK and, while applauding the overall initiative and success of the event, they expressed some concern about the optics coming out of SPARK and how it might be viewed from an outsider’s perspective. Specifically, the lack of the young professional’s story during and immediately following the event. We know there is a story – and important story – to tell and PromoKitchen asked two attendees of the event to share the SPARK story, their way.

First, we have John Cudahy who is the Senior National Account Manager at Prime Resources. John has over 15 years of industry experience and is the current President of SAAGNY. John also participated on the SPARK workgroup which helped shape the overall event. We also have Kelsey Cunningham who is the Regional Sales Manager for Imagen Brands (Crown and Vitronic). She grew up in the industry as her family’s distributorship before moving to the supplier side 10 years ago.