This year’s PPAI Legislative Education and Action Day (L.E.A.D.) will bring together a mix of veteran attendees and first-timers to meet with members of Congress and their staff on Capitol Hill to discuss pending legislation and issues relevant to the promotional products industry.

The top priority for many promo pros, such as first-timer Glenn Miotke, president of Ann Arbor, Michigan-based distributor Unfolding Communications, is the independent contractor issue.

On May 13-14, Miotke hopes to share his concerns with lawmakers regarding the recent ruling when he attends L.E.A.D. at the request of Tony Shereda, president of the Michigan Promotional Professionals Association (MiPPA).

“MiPPA strives to be the premiere regional promotional products association and whenever I can help MiPPA and our industry as a whole I’ll be there,” Miotke says. “L.E.A.D. 2024 is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of the industry and its specific issues on a national level.”

Advocating For Promo

As L.E.A.D.’s name suggests, the first objective is always to inform legislators and their staffs about the size and importance of the promo industry, which represents a $26 billion sales market in the United States and employs roughly half a million Americans.

“It's so important for us to be advocating for not only the industry, but also how we, as small business owners, operate on a daily basis,” says Austin Moody, account director at Lenexa, Kansas-based distributor Grapevine Designs.

Moody, who has sat on many committees and boards through PPAI, will be attending L.E.A.D. for the first time this year. He’s hoping to discuss the power of promotional products, as well as sustainability and material sourcing. 

“Having a voice to represent the promotional products industry in Washington, D.C. is a huge honor that I'm looking forward to being a part of,” Moody says.

L.E.A.D. Veteran

George Jackson, owner of Pittsburgh-based distributor George Jackson Promotions, has been involved in politics since 1972, when he was first able to vote.

After working on several campaigns on both the local and national level, joining the Government Relations Advisory Council (GRAC) and attending L.E.A.D., which he’s done since its inception, was the natural progression.

“L.E.A.D. is important because it allows members of PPAI to meet with our members of Congress and explain, face to face, the issues that have already or may impact our industry and our people,” Jackson says.

“It gives us the ability to remind them that we employ a lot of people who are also voters, and that we’re an industry that needs to be listened to. By joining with other similar industries and lobbying groups, we have continued to keep PPAI and our issues in front of Congress.”