Company News

Corporate Specialties Goes To Washington

Each April, promotional products professionals gather on Capital Hill to meet with elected officials as a part of PPAI’s Legislative Education and Action Day (L.E.A.D.). This year, I was invited to be one of more than 70 industry volunteers from 30 states that met with senators, congressional representatives and their legislative staffs to discuss current judicial issues affecting the promotional products industry.

PPAI L.E.A.D. Meetings on Capitol Hill with Chaundra Haynes, Valerie Hayman Sklar, Congressman Dan Kildee and Dave DeWitt.
PPAI L.E.A.D. Meetings on Capitol Hill with Chaundra Haynes, Valerie Hayman Sklar, Congressman Dan Kildee and Dave DeWitt.

As a first time participant, I found learning more about the legislative process very educational. It’s empowering to have an opportunity to engage with lawmakers to build relationships, share stories and speak directly on issues important to me. When one congressman said that legislators need small businesses to tell them about what won’t work in a bill, it made me think that I could make a difference. Just imagine what could be accomplished with our legislators if each of us takes the time to be part of the process!

Advocating for the promotional products industry with Dave DeWitt, Valerie Hayman Sklar, Congressman Gary Peters and Chaundra Haynes.
Advocating for the promotional products industry with Dave DeWitt, Valerie Hayman Sklar, Congressman Gary Peters and Chaundra Haynes.

This was the fifth anniversary of the event, which spanned two days and had volunteers conducting approximately 250 meetings to advocate on behalf of the industry. For the meetings I attended, I was teamed up with two fellow promotional products pros: Chaundra Haynes and Dave DeWitt. Being able to meet other promotional products practitioners during the trip was not only enjoyable but also an important part of our industry coming together to collectively talk about the issues. To be agents of change, we all must join the conversation and talk about why promotional products are an important and essential part of any business, corporation or nonprofit’s marketing plan.

Having fun at PPAI L.E.A.D. Gotta take a selfie at The Capitol!
Having fun at PPAI L.E.A.D. Gotta take a selfie at The Capitol!

Overall, it was a great experience and I am honored to represent my industry and Promotional Products Association International on a national level.

If you’d like to know more about PPAI L.E.A.D., read the coverage by PPB magazine, including my quote in the article, by clicking here.