• May 24, 2022 7:41 AM | Donna-Jean Plante

    The Specialty Advertising Association of Greater New York (SAAGNY) hosted their eighth annual Summer Showcase for promotional products distributors and their clients this past Tuesday. 

    Traffic on the show floor was brisk from the time the show opened at 10:30 am until it closed at 3:00 pm with over 400 attendees in total at the show.  SAAGNY and the Summer Show returned to New York City for the first time since 2019 and the energy and excitement was palpable.


    SAAGNY President Rachel Levin remarked, “The sentiment is still holding that now more than ever it is great seeing people in-person, engaging, smiling, and networking all in one place. The energy was contagious with all of the laughter, smiles, and fun while educating the buyers themselves on quality promotional products. Seeing the individuals in attendance that came from across the country was awe-inspiring, to say the least.”

    The Show included a “Best In Show” display, featuring favorite items from exhibiting suppliers, a gourmet lunch for all in attendance, an ice cream cart for a sweet afternoon treat, and gift bags for the end-users, filled with promotional products from exhibiting suppliers.


    Thank you to all who assisted The SAAGNY Foundation in their sock collection for Housing Works Chelsea.  Five large boxes of new socks were donated to Housing Works, a healing community of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS whose mission is to end the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS through relentless advocacy, the provision of lifesaving services, and entrepreneurial businesses that sustain our efforts.

    The SAAGNY Foundation Chair Sara Levinson, MAS, noted, “The SAAGNY Foundation is grateful to have had the privilege to work with Housing Works to re-purpose promotional merchandise that was produced and not used.  We are so thankful to everyone in our community that was at the SAAGNY Summer Show and purchased/donated socks to contribute to this effort.” 

    Remarked SAAGNY Executive Director Donna-Jean Plante, CAE, “It was gratifying to see the hard work of the volunteers, board, and staff come together to make the Summer Show another successful SAAGNY show.  I look forward to seeing even more distributors and more of their clients at next year’s event.”

  • May 23, 2022 6:19 AM | Donna-Jean Plante

    In the weekly podcast, industry professionals Jeff Franklin of Headwear USA, Stephen McFadden of Perfect Promotions & More, and Meg Erber of S&S Activewear, discuss, dissect, and debate one topic that impacts the promotional products industry from every angle.

    This week they talk with Rachel Levin Mc Eneaney about Promotions East! 

    Listen in to Rachel's very FIRST podcast!  The Industry Insider crew, will also be live on the Promotions East show floor.

    More fun Promo Fomo Tours will be featured as we get closer to the show! Keep your eyes and ears open as you don’t want to miss any teasers and news regarding the NEW Promotions East Show, AKA, the “Beast of the East”!

    Register today to stay in the know! 

  • May 09, 2022 9:57 AM | Donna-Jean Plante


    Temple Beth-El

    70 Orchard Ave.

    Providence, RI. 

    We regret to inform you of the passing of our member, Arthur Hilton Richter, cherished husband of Peter Neivert, devoted father of Larry (Connie), and Michael Richter, adored grandfather of Maxwell, Tyler and Jake Richter, brother of Barbara Richter-Bolan and brother in-law of Henry Bolan on May 1, 2022/30 Nisan 5782.  Services will be held at Temple Beth El on Friday, May 13 at noon.  Please, no mourning attire. Dress as if you were attending a party at Arthur and Peter's home.  For the safety of all guests, please wear face masks.  Burial will be private. May his memory be a blessing.

    Link to live stream of the service:
    Arthur Hilton Richter of Barrington, Rhode Island passed away suddenly on Sunday May 1st, 2022. Arthur was born on April 11, 1939 to Mollie Stanzler Richter and Leonard Richter. He graduated from Hope High School and completed his Bachelors in Business from Boston University. After completing his degree he worked in the import/export business, traveling extensively throughout Asia.

    As a devoted father and grandfather, his family was critically important to him. His son Larry and daughter in law, Connie, reside in Fort Lauderdale, Florida while his son Michael resides in San Diego, California. He adored his grandsons Maxwell, Tyler, and Jake Richter and has been with his beloved husband, Peter Neivert, since 2005. He is also survived by his sister, Barbara Richter-Bolan and brother in-law Henry Bolan.

    Arthur had no acquaintances, only friends. He was insatiably curious about other people and was always a devoted friend, cheerleader, and confidante, to literally hundreds of people.

    Arthur retired early to pursue his passions and spend time with his family. Throughout his life he was enthusiastically engaged in his work with the Human Rights Campaign to further LGBTQ activism on a local and national level. He has also served as a passionate leader in lifelong learning; leading classes covering all aspects of theater, film, architecture, and the arts. Arthur is known to host extravagant gatherings onboard his pontoon boat in Narragansett Bay.

    Arthur’s love for travel, the arts, and the state of Rhode Island, combined with his personability, drive, love for others, and overall joy for life, epitomize the fabulous way he hoped to live.

    If you would like, you may donate to Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island or The Wilbury Theatre Group in Arthur’s memory.

  • April 09, 2022 9:06 AM | Donna-Jean Plante

      Click here to get the latest from SAAGNY.        

  • February 10, 2022 10:29 AM | Donna-Jean Plante

    The February SAAGNY Life 
    Has Arrived

    Click here to get the latest.

  • February 09, 2022 1:41 PM | Donna-Jean Plante

    Your Booth is BROKEN: Attack Trade Show
    Opportunities like a BOSS

    Join SAAGNY for A New State of The Art Three-Part Webinar 

    February 2: The Pre-Show Experience is Just as Important as Being at the Show

    February 9: What YOU Should be Doing At the Show

    February 16:  Are YOU Making the MOST of YOUR Post-Show Experience

    Maximizing Every Trade Show Investment & Return

    The Pandemic and the necessity of Virtual Meetings have forever altered the way Trade Shows are produced and the ROI they bring back. Forget about “We always do it this way!”. “That way” is broken. These three 30 minute sessions will give you a playbook on how to generate activity PRE SHOW, keep your booth hopping during the event, and maximizing ROI when you’re back in the office. Turn those scans into sales, and that investment into real returns!

    Who should attend these webinars?

    Your booth staff, marketing, CSR team, and company leaders. 

    Recording for February 2 installment:

    Recording for Feb 9 installment:

  • February 07, 2022 11:44 AM | Donna-Jean Plante

    From Maine to Chesapeake and NYC to Harrisburg we had you covered!  The Chesapeake Promotional Products Association (CPPA), New England Promotional Products Association (NEPPA), Philadelphia Area Promotional Products Association (PAPPA), and Specialty Advertising Association of Greater New York (SAAGNY) are proud to announce the success of their first annual Power of District “1” Shows collaboration which was held January 24-27 with over 500 distributor attendees.

    CPPA, NEPPA, PAPPA, and SAAGNY, all members of District 1’s regional association community, have worked together to foster communication and cooperation between their associations and their community of members. Each day of the week a different regional hosted a thought-provoking educational component which featured Cliff Quicksell, MAS+.  Cliff was able to share his expertise and enthusiasm for the Promotional Product industry with over 200 attendees throughout the week.  One distributor remarked, "As always, Cliff brings an amazing level of energy and insight to his topic.  Very enjoyable and thought provoking!"  

    NEPPA began the week hosting its first ever Winter Expo in Rocky Hill, CT.  Loren Cayer, CAS, NEPPA President and Show Chair, was very pleased with the turnout, stating, “This first ever show was extremely well supported and a tremendous success.  The energy was spectacular, and it was clear people were happy to be back together again rekindling those Distributor/Supplier partnerships and friendships.”

    Adding to the show experience, NEPPA Cares held a Winter Warm-up Food Drive and was thrilled to make a generous donation along with several boxes of food and helpful items to the Connecticut Food Bank.

    Cayer further noted, “Being part of the Power of District “1” Shows week was a terrific experience.  2022 stands to be a tremendous year for Regionals and we’re excited to continue our partnership.  Uniting to ensure our future is secure will be a priority and in the best interest of current and future members.”

    Dan Edge, SAAGNY Director, remarked “These regional shows, whether ours or others, are truly the best way to get in front of people right now (speaking from a supplier’s point of view).  And I have to imagine from a distributors view, it’s a great way to see and touch products, which is so valuable. With fewer people in offices and doing in person meetings, these smaller shows are a safe and inviting environment to meet.” 

    SAAGNY President, Rachel Levin, further noted, “Since the beginning term of my position as the President of SAAGNY, it has always been a mission to work closely, collaborate, and connect with our fellow regionals. We all share the same goals which are focused on our members. The first annual Power of District “1” Shows is just the beginning where we combine resources, values, and communities that will allow us to connect and share best practices amongst the Northeast geographical region of our industry.”       

    PAPPA was very pleased to take part in the Power of District “1” Show week. Celebrating our 50th Anniversary this year, PAPPA past presidents and members attended a pre-show Cocktail Reception on January 25. According to PAPPA President Staci Whittington, “The show was busy from the “get go” on January 26 with a line of distributors checking in when the doors opened and staying for the whole show.” There were 141 distributors in attendance and several prizes were given away in recognition of the 50th Anniversary.  Staci also noted, “PAPPA shifted to a three-hour show model from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in 2021 and this has kept the shows busy from beginning to end.”

    In the spirit of giving back, PAPPA members also provided a van-full of product and clothing donations to the Mitzvah Circle Foundation to help those in need in the Philadelphia area.         

    “I was delighted to be part of this great collaboration on two fronts, one as President of CPPA, and second, the traveling speaker at each of the four shows. The excitement of ALL the attendees, suppliers and marketing professionals was so encouraging to see. People are so ready to back to business and it showed by the high-attendance rates and positive engagement. I am so proud of ALL the Executive Directors and fellow presidents who had the foresight to put this great event together. Job Well-Done”, noted Cliff Quicksell, MAS+.        

    Stay tuned for the dates for the 2023 Power of District “1” Shows Tour!


  • February 04, 2022 10:30 AM | Donna-Jean Plante

    Did you know that according to a recent LinkedIn Survey - 80% said having a mentor was important, but only 20% actually had a mentor at one point in their career?

    SAAGNY is pleased to announce the launch of a new program, SAAGNY Mentoring Circles. Mentoring has always been a prominent, yet informal, aspect of what SAAGNY does, through networking events, committee participation and engagement, and our trade shows.  In light of how the Promotional Products industry has pivoted in the face of the COVID pandemic, SAAGNY has developed a more comprehensive mentoring framework that fits the needs of ALL of our Members during these changing times.

    What Are Mentoring Circles?

    Mentoring circles are a form of group mentoring that encourages participants from all employment levels of SAAGNY to propose and own a topic of interest. This unique setup gives members an avenue to grow within their profession to find or create a circle that motivates them. These circles can occur virtually or in person depending on the participants and Covid restrictions.

    With the growth of Sheryl Sandberg’s lean-in philosophy and community meet ups, mentoring circles have become an increasingly popular way for individuals to grow within their profession. Leading a mentoring circle is a great way to grow as a leader because you learn and practice influencing and facilitation skills.

    What Are the Benefits of Mentoring Circles?

    With mentoring circles, participants can build more robust networks and connections they can turn to for support in new roles, projects, and future activities.  Participants can learn about various skills and tools that can help them grow in their current roles and advance within their career.  From management skills and customer relationship management best practices to handling customer conflict and ethics, mentoring circles can impart knowledge to participants through others’ experiences and lessons learned.

    The group style of mentoring circles elevates accountability for all involved. This type of interaction builds trust between members, which allows them to come together in support of each other’s goals while seeking to achieve their own. It also relies on participants to show up and interact. This group commitment keeps members engaged.  These connections can create and build a more productive path to collaboration, and eventually greater innovation within the participants and industry.

    Mentoring Goals

    Everyone has their own but below are a few that SAAGNY will suggest for the mentoring circles.

    • ·        Leadership skills
    • ·        Confidence skills
    • ·        Public speaking/presentation skills
    • ·        Life/work balance
    • ·        Becoming a better manager/working with teams
    • ·        Career trajectories/next steps/5-year plans
    • ·        People skills
    • ·        Short-term and long-term goals 
    • ·        Accountability

    Tell Me About SAAGNY Mentoring Circles.
    Each SAAGNY Mentoring Circle will be comprised of 5-7 people, led by a single mentor matched with 4-6 mentees. The Mentoring Circle will become a small community, in which mentors and mentees will develop individual mentorship relationships and the Circle as a whole will function to address a larger need for community, connection, and professional development.
    SAAGNY does not intend for groups to grow much larger, as participants speak up less and provide fewer individual contributions.

    It is SAAGNY’s hope that there will be occasions where everyone in the program will gather together virtually and in-person, to allow cross-Circle interactions and leverage the knowledge-base and relationships of all our mentors. Mentoring circles will meet once every two months, or more frequently at the discretion of each Circle. In addition, mentors will be asked to have at least one one-on-one meeting with each of their mentees during each two-month period.

    Mentoring circles allow industry colleagues to learn from one another in a supportive format, and also drive knowledge transfer and engagement. It’s a new spin on a long-valued learning technique. And whether groups want to come together to provide mutual support, build professional networks, or develop specific skills, SAAGNY’s mentoring circles program is a creative new addition to our member benefits.

    Click here for the application.

  • January 13, 2022 7:43 AM | Donna-Jean Plante

    John Joseph Kelly, 70, of Jamison, passed away in his sleep on Sunday January 9, 2022. He was the husband of Gloria (Cap) Kelly.  Born in Philadelphia in March of 1951, he was the son of the late Joseph and Veronica (McGarry) Kelly.

    John was a proud alumnus of Saint Cecilia School and Cardinal Dougherty High School.

    John and Cap met on a blind date and were married in 1978. The couple resided in Jamison where they raised their sons, Ryan and Grady.

    John was Manager of Team Sales for Gold Medal Sporting Goods Stores and most recently John worked as a sales rep for MV Sport. In the 80s and 90s John volunteered as a soccer coach for Buckingham AA and baseball and basketball coach for DAA. He also volunteered his time with Redeemer Lutheran Cub Scouts as well as Troop 52 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

    In recent years John enjoyed playing in two softball leagues and during the pandemic, John enjoyed many long walks on local trails with his wife and sons. Above all else, John enjoyed time spent with his beloved family and friends.

    He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother: Joe Kelly of Philadelphia, his sister: Betty Anne Forte of Warminster as well as his pets: Chance, Oliver, Milo and Otis.

    In addition to his wife, he is survived by sons: Ryan Kelly of California and Grady Kelly of New York; siblings: Frank Kelly of Philadelphia; Bill (Pat) Kelly of New Jersey; Tom (Bobbie) Kelly of New Jersey; Ronnie (John) McKenna of Huntington Valley along with numerous nieces and nephews.

    Relatives and friends are invited to his visitation from 10-11 a.m. Friday January 14, 2022 at Reed and Steinbach Funeral Home, 2335 Lower State Road, Doylestown. Services and interment will be private.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in John's name may be made to: Kin Wellness and Support Center, 2325 Heritage Center, Suite 113, Furlong, PA 18925 or