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The Promotional Products Industry

My More than Four Decades in Promotional Products

By January 7, 2022January 26th, 2022No Comments

2015 PPAI Las Vegas celebration marks 40 years in the industry

In January 2015, Mary Calcagno and I celebrated our years in the Promotional Products Industry sponsored by main suppliers in the industry and attended by many of our students and friends through the years at the Las Vegas Annual PPAI show at the House of Blues. My colleague and dear friend, Mary Calcagno and I both started in 1975 and rose to the top in the Synanon/Adgap organization helping each other thrive through the years, until we both left and created our own paths always connected and always staying in the Promo Products industry.

I started my career at 22 years old learning to cold canvas sell” door to door in business areas offering calendars, pens, and a line of promo products to fund raise for Synanon, the first drug therapeutic community.  The offer was: spend your business dollar TWICE.. you get your promo product with your company name and this supports the Synanon community and teaches a profession to many who came for help. 

I became a project saleswoman, a sales trainer and, eventually by 1980s, a Vice President of Sales and Marketing. I was managing and training many different groups of people in the trade. The high point of my 14 years there was my opening of a sale office and Synanon home in Houston Texas in the 1980s. It trained many successful sales people to this day.

I then went to Impax Marketing Group, a small ad agency in Philadelphia as VP of Sales to develop the promotional products division of the agency. There, I created a whole Philadelphia Hospitality sector as well as continued to develop: Wendy’s Safety Boutique working with the developing Health, Safety and Environmental Managers with recognition awards and promoting their objectives within their companies.

In 2008, I joined one of my old friends, Jerry Rost, from my California days at Adgap, who asked me to partner with him East Coast/West Coast and join JR Resources,  He founded JR Resources in 1990 successfully, based on his operations experience, with a top-notch support staff to back up the  sales. That partnership is thriving to this day, which gave me the opportunity of major ownership to develop a Woman-Owned business, and a new world of opportunity working with Corporate Diversity Managers!

Wendy Williams

Author Wendy Williams

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