• 02/02/2024 1:53 PM | Eliana Franklin (Administrator)


    Woodridge, IL – February 1, 2024:  Orbus Visual Communications® has been named a 2024 Best Place To Work by ASI Counselor Magazine. Orbus is North America’s largest producer and manufacturer of visual communications solutions for tradeshows and events, retail environments and workplace interiors.

    ASI Counselor Magazine identifies itself as “The Voice of the Promo Product Industry.” The Best Places to Work list is a mix of top-rated suppliers and distributors in the promotional products industry throughout the U.S. and Canada. The winners are chosen through in-depth employee surveys that rate the company in categories such as management communication, workplace culture, and work/life balance.

    Orbus was named to this list because of its commitment to employee happiness and recognition. Orbus is proud to have built a workplace culture where diversity is fostered, employees feel they are heard, and a work-life balance is of upmost importance. Our employees are our greatest asset and keep our business successful year after year.

    “We are honored to be recognized as a 2024 Best Place to Work by ASI Counselor Magazine,”said Todd Papendick, Director of Human Resources at Orbus Visual Communications. “At Orbus, we take pride in creating an environment where creativity and innovation thrives, and where employees feel happy to call it home.” 

    About Orbus Group

    Orbus Visual Communications is a market-leading group of brands in the United States and Canada that specialize in the manufacture and production of portable, modular, and custom displays used in events, exhibits, retail, and workplace interiors. Brands within the group include The Exhibitors’ Handbook®, Promo Handbook™, Nimlok®, Nimlok Canada, Fabric Images®, SEG Systems & Services®, Orbus Visual Communication Canada, and SignPro Systems®.

    Orbus is a proud member of ISA, PRINTING United Alliance, EDPA, ASI, PPAI, UPIC, and SAGE; the company boasts G7 Master IDEAlliance certification and is registered to ISO 9001:2015 for the highest manufacturing quality standards and ISO 14001:2015 for its environmental management system and “green” efforts.

    Orbus Group’s supply and manufacturing operations reside in Chicago, Las Vegas, Charlotte, and Toronto. For more information, visit

  • 01/12/2024 10:14 AM | Eliana Franklin (Administrator)

    J. Charles Welcomes Larry Frodyma, as the Southwest Region Sales Manager

    Erlanger, KY – January 10, 2024

    J. Charles is excited to announce the addition of our newest team member Larry Frodyma as Southwest Regional Sales Manager.  Larry brings a vast amount of experience and connections within the Promotions industry spanning 36+ years. 

    Larry began his Promotional Products career in 1987 with BDS Marketing in the Events/Promotional Marketing side of the industry where he quickly worked his way up to Director of Promotional Marketing Services.   Since that time, he has continued to build a highly successful career in a multitude of positions including Founder of Frodyma On-Site a National Hispanic Promotions Agency. His career also included stops as a Distributor for eight years with Southern California based Promotional Image as well as stints on the factory side with Logomark, High Caliber, Lanco/Chocolate Inn & most recently Evans Manufacturing.   

    “We are very pleased that Larry has decided to join the J. Charles team," said Kale Wallner, Vice President of Sales. "His drive and passion for the industry will continue to strengthen the legacy of amazing products and service for many years to come".

    Larry Frodyma

  • 08/28/2023 9:16 AM | Anonymous

    Driving Growth And Innovation: EME’s New Leadership Will Elevate Their Client’s Meeting Experience

    The company has brought in experienced staffing to propel the company forward in both its reach and technical capacity.

    SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA (August 25, 2023) – Exclusive Meeting Events (EME), the originator of the invitation-only, one-on-one formatted meetings that bring top distributors and suppliers from across the nation together, has brought in experienced staffing to propel the company forward in both its reach and technical capacity. EME President Eric Taras has taken a minority role in the business and will continue in an advisory capacity, while longtime EME Vice President Lauren Fox will retire November 1.

    “EME’s number-one priority is to maximize our supplier’s investment and our distributor’s valuable time out of the office. We realized in order to continue to provide unparalleled quality and service to the industry, newer processes, technology and media avenues would need to be added,” said Fox. “After reviewing and carefully selecting a new management team, we are confident that the new ideas and energy the team will bring to EME events will achieve a new level of success for our EME family members.

    The innovation and exemplary services that EME clients are accustomed to will continue and grow with its new leadership team. Carlye Wund, who has created and managed engaging corporate event experiences for 17 years, has joined the organization as director of operations. Industry veterans Vicky Tirpack and Eric Johnson, MAS, will continue in their respective roles of director of sales and director of distributor development. 

    “Being the industry leader, we take pride in our ability to bring together top-notch exhibitors and motivated distributors, and our commitment to curating premier events that empower attendees to connect, learn and grow will remain unchanged,” Wund said. “We will continue creating an unparalleled networking opportunity and providing the level of service that our clients appreciate and love.”

    While the foundation of the EME experience remains intact, there are exciting updates on the horizon. “We are adding off-site experiences to our events as well as scoping new resort locations,” Wund said. “We’re also implementing improvements in our meeting management processes, adding new tech components to our website and streamlining how we gather information from our clients.”

    EME will continue to stay true to the roots upon which the company was founded while also elevating what the exclusive EME experience is all about. “Competitors have tried to imitate what EME has been delivering to our clients for years because it truly is an experience for their business,” said Taras. “I am beyond the moon with the new team that we have implemented, and I have no doubt they will take the EME experience to the next level it deserves.”

    For more information, contact Carlye Wund at or 858-337-8133.

    About  EME:

    Exclusive Meeting Events (EME) was founded in 2007 to create first-class, innovative yet intimate trade show event experiences that produce measurable results for all clients who attend. EME curates the most elite and effective events the promotional products industry has to offer. 


    Often copied, EME is the innovator of the invitation-only, one-on-one formatted meetings that bring top distributors and the best suppliers from across the nation together at resort locations and venues throughout the country. Year over year, these elite, productive, relationship-building events deliver proven ROI for both suppliers and distributors alike.

    For more information, visit 

    I made a few additional edits within the boilerplate based on your edits to eliminate any echoes and make sure we have strong verbs.

    Since you hold multiple events each year, I used the plural of events to convey this.

  • 07/07/2022 7:25 AM | Eliana Franklin (Administrator)

    PMANC Campbell M. Brown Memorial Scholarship 2022 Recipient says Thank You


    Thank you for giving me and my family this amazing scholarship offer. This helps my single mom pay for some of my school fees at Sonoma State University. This scholarship allows me to focus a little more on school and not worrying about having to work to pay my fees. This is greatly appreciated!!! 

    Ryan Kirkbride

  • 06/15/2022 1:24 PM | Eliana Franklin (Administrator)

    PPEF Awards $299,000 In Scholarships, Passes $3 Million Mark

    IRVING, Texas, (June 15, 2022) – Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF;, a nonprofit founded to recognize and encourage scholastic excellence and academic performance among promotional products industry employees and their college-aged children, today announced 162 recipients of $299,000 in college scholarships for the 2022-2023 academic year, bringing the total amount awarded since PPEF’s founding to more than $3 million.

    “With this year’s recipients receiving the most money we’ve ever awarded, $299,000, that takes us over the $3 million mark for total scholarship awards since the inception of PPEF,” said Matt Bertram, chair of the PPEF Board of Trustees. “Continuing to help the next generation is possible due to the generous support of companies and individuals within the industry. Thank you to all of the donors who believe in the power of education and generously support PPEF’s mission.”

    This year, PPEF is awarding 130 new and 32 renewal scholarships to selected recipients who have displayed remarkable academic achievement, extracurricular participation and community service. Each will receive between $1,000 and $9,000 to support their college education.

    Funded by Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) and generous donations from companies and individuals within the promotional products industry, the scholarship program enables youth and professionals to continue their education at the collegiate level. The Association and industry patrons have a long-standing commitment of service to the promotional products industry, and this fund supports those who demonstrate the same commitment.

    The list of 2022 scholarship recipients is at

    PPEF Scholarships

    To learn more about applying for the 2023 scholarships, applicants are invited to visit and click on the Scholarships tab. The application deadline for next year is March 15, 2023. Please direct questions to Sara Besly at Donations can be made online at or mailed to PPEF, 3125 Skyway Circle North, Irving, Texas 75038.

    About PPEF

    PPEF is an industry-based non-profit organization that raises money to help students achieve their higher education goals.  PPEF was founded to recognize and encourage scholastic ability and academic performance among promotional products industry employees and their children. Since its inception in 1989, PPEF has awarded over $3.02 million in financial assistance to 1,618 recipients.

  • 06/10/2022 7:35 AM | Eliana Franklin (Administrator)


    Addison, Texas (June 14, 2022) SAGE,the leading provider of information, marketing,and business management solutions to the promotional products industry,announcesthe accumulation ofone million verified products in the SAGE Total Accessproduct database.

    SAGE has the only Verified by Supplier database in the industry. As a SAGE Advantage Member, suppliers are encouraged to verify product information and pricing throughthe SAGE Supplier Center in real-time.Products can also be verified through SAGE’s Bulk Product Update and real-time APIs. When a distributorsees the Verifiedby Supplier icon, they know they cantrust that the product’sdata and pricing are up-to-date and accurate. Over 80percent of activeproducts in the SAGE database are verified,and many distributors choose to only search for verified products.Additionally, verified products have an increased chance of showing up first in search results.

    With the supply chain issues and market fluctuations we’ve been seeing that are not likely to be resolved in the immediate future, the ability for suppliers to verify their product data and for distributors to be able to rely on that data’s accuracy for their customers is paramount for our industry,” said David Natinsky, President of SAGE.“We are thrilled to have reached a million verified products in our database,and we will continue to work with our suppliers to ensure that as many products in our database as possible remain verified.”

    Distributors can limit searches to onlyverified products in SAGE Online,SAGE Web, or SAGE Mobileby going into the product search tab and selecting the VERIFIED checkbox inthe “Other FilterOptions” at the bottom of the search screen. Within search results, verified products display a red checkmark in the right top cornerofthe tile view. To see if a product is verified, locate the red verified logo next to the product’s pricing table. To view the most recent date ofverification, hover over the verified logo.

    To learn more about SAGETotal Access,visit

    About SAGE

    SAGE, based in Addison, Texas, is the leading provider of information, marketing,and business management solutions to the promotional products industry. In addition to SAGE’s flagship SAGE Online™, SAGE Mobile™, and SAGE Web™ research and business management services, SAGE also provides the industry with other research services, order management, website,and email services, e-commerce solutions, end-usercatalogs, artwork services, payment processing, tradeshows, tradeshowmanagement services, and lead retrieval software. SAGE is also the exclusive technology provider for members of the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), the industry’s non-profit association. Formore information, please visit www.sageworld.comor call 800.925.7243.

  • 05/23/2022 7:43 AM | Eliana Franklin (Administrator)


    PPB Greatest Companies to Work For 2019

    Woodridge, IL – May 18, 2022: Orbus Exhibit & Display Group®, North America’s largest producer and manufacturer of visual communications solutions for corporate interiors, retail environments, tradeshows and events, is thrilled to share that it has been named one of PPB’s 2022 Greatest Companies to Work For. Orbus had previously received this recognition in 2019.

    Each nominee was evaluated via a survey asking full-time employees to rank the company on five specific areas: benefits, resources, culture, leadership, and company direction. Orbus is honored to be named among 47 other top promotional products suppliers, distributors and business services firms.

    “The entire world is grappling with the effects of worker disillusionment and disengagement coming out of the pandemic, and our industry is not immune,” says Josh Ellis, publisher and editor-in-chief of PPB. “Still, we see dozens of companies in promotional products that are keeping their employees happy, inspired, challenged and thriving.”

    Orbus has made the promotional industry a focus in recent years and has joined several respected industry associations such as ASI, SAGE, PPAI and more.

    “It is an honor to once again be named one of PPB’s Greatest Companies to Work For,” said Gary Keefer, CEO of Orbus Exhibit & Display Group. “We take great pride in our employees and their ability to persist and prosper during these challenging past two years.”

    Download this press release (PDF)

  • 03/07/2022 9:00 AM | Eliana Franklin (Administrator)


    Woodridge, IL – March 1, 2022: Orbus Exhibit & Display Group®, North America’s leading wholesale supplier and manufacturer of display, exhibit, graphic and event solutions is excited to announce it launched a new ecommerce store on that improves customers’ experience when ordering.

    The new ecommerce website provides customers with user-friendly ordering, expedited order processing, and more comprehensive information at their fingertips so they can better manage their client’s expectations. A key beneficial feature is that the site allows the distributor to upload artwork in the shopping cart; once uploaded, a health reading of the artwork is provided, and an E-proof is presented for approval in seconds.

    The new website delivers a great deal of information that makes it a one-stop-shop for its distributors to go to in order to estimate projects and transact. Not only does it deliver comprehensive information and an improved experience, it cuts the time for order placement and production, which we anticipate will lead to high customer satisfaction.

    Our goal is to deliver a fantastic user experience and enable our dealers to self-serve with ease,” says Gary Keefer, Orbus’ CEO. “Our new online store is built with our valued customer in mind. It provides a superior, modern shopping experience and comprehensive information that helps our client’s manage expectations and transact quickly and easily.”

    About Orbus Group

    Orbus Exhibit & Display Group is a market-leading group of brands in the United States and Canada that specialize in the manufacture and trade-only supply of portable, modular, sign and fabric structure displays used in events, exhibits and interiors. Brands within the group include  The Exhibitors’ Handbook®, Ultima® Displays Canada, The Promo Handbook™, Nimlok®, Nimlok Canada, SignPro Systems®, and Fabric Images®.

    Orbus is a proud member of ISA, SGIA, ASI, PPAI, UPIC, and SAGE; the company boasts G7 Master IDEAlliance certification and is registered to ISO 9001:2015 for the highest manufacturing quality standards and ISO 14001:2015 for its environmental management system and “green” efforts.  

    Orbus Group’s supply and manufacturing operations reside in the Greater Chicago area, Las Vegas, NV and Greater Toronto, Ontario. For more information, visit

  • 01/01/2022 1:57 PM | Eliana Franklin (Administrator)

    PMANC welcomes new Executive Director

    PMANC is pleased to welcome our new Executive    Director, Eliana Franklin. Her tenure will officially begin on January 1, 2022. PMANC's former Executive Director, Carol Murphy, will retire at the end of December after a decade of management roles with several District 5 associations, including AzPPA, NWPMA and PMANC. Eliana has been in a variety of management roles most of her career and currently serves as the Executive Director for the Carolinas Association of Advertising and Marketing Professionals (CAAMP). She resides in Waynesboro, PA. Eliana is looking forward to her new role and is eager to work with the PMANC Board to accomplish much success in 2022. 

  • 12/05/2021 10:28 AM | Eliana Franklin (Administrator)

    A message from the President, Mark Shinn, MAS

    With 2021 coming to a close I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all our PMANC members for  participating in our events this year. In particular, our board of directors helped to steer our organization and have it prepared for the return of business in the coming years. We began this year with many uncertainties in our marketplace, but through the hard work and innovation, most of you were able to keep your business going and are finally beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel as the year ends. This year, PMANC started a new way to connect with our Friday Live series of interviews, where members were able to learn from some key leaders in the industry and our association. Board members, Liver Gomez and Cassidy Shaw are busy planning 2022 interviews. In the Spring we held a parking lot show with the help of Fossa Apparel. We greatly appreciate Michelle Chen and her team who helped coordinate that outside event for us. Our Fall Showcase at the Casa Real venue was another great success. Last week, we held our annual Holiday Luncheon, where the 2022 PMANC Board of Directors took their official oath of office. I welcome them all and wish them a lot success in 2022! Throughout the year, we were able to host primarily virtual professional development events with the help of a number of other regional associations and PPAI. If you haven't joined one of our Wild Wednesday webinars, read below for information on the upcoming December presentation with Ellen Tucker of PPAI who will give a preview of the 2022 PPAI Expo. As I wrap up my year as your President, I feel honored to have helped lead the team. We have installed a stellar team for next year and I feel that Mark Fulwider and his team will do a great job taking us to the next level. Lastly, I'd like to thank Carol Murphy for her years of supporting and leading us as our executive director. I wish her well in her retirement effective January 1st. Eliana Franklin has been hired to serve as our new executive director. Eliana comes to us with service from another regional association and is ready to hit the ground running for PMANC. Thank you once again for the opportunity to serve as your President. I look forward to seeing many of you soon.

    Mark Shinn, MAS 2021

    PMANC President              


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