by Leo Jakobson | June 22, 2011
The Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) has announced that Paul Bellantone will succeed Steve Slagle, who in April announced his forthcoming retirement  as the organization’s president and CEO.

Bellantone, a longtime PPAI executive, has served as executive vice president of the trade group since 2007. Bellantone’s appointment is effective July 1, the PPAI said in a statement. Slagle, who in April announced he would retire at the end of this year, will continue working on various projects for the organization until July as former president and CEO, according to a spokesperson.

“As the industry’s leading authority, it is crucial that we maintain consistency in our operating philosophy, our delivery capabilities, and our focus on attracting members and serving their needs,” said Eric Ekstrand, chairman of board of the association, which has 8,500 member companies. “With our planned growth, it is imperative we have someone dedicated to making sure the association is best positioned to help our industry maximize its place as a highly effective advertising medium. I am pleased knowing Paul is that person.”

Bellantone first joined PPAI in 1998 as director of exhibitions and meetings, rebuilding that department and developing and implementing a number of sweeping pre-show and on-site operational enhancements, according to PPAI. After a short time at the International Association for Exhibitions and Events, where he served as vice president of conventions and exhibitions, Bellantone returned to PPAI in 2001 as vice president of marketing and communications. In 2004, he was appointed vice president of marketing and business development.

“PPAI has become the industry’s largest international not-for-profit promotional products membership association by leveraging the critical thinking of its volunteers, leadership team, and talented staff to drive breakthrough results for the industry and its members,” said Bellantone. “I’m excited for the opportunity to support PPAI’s future growth, as we continue to help our industry become a preferred medium among advertisers.”

Bellantone has a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University in New Jersey and an MBA from the School of Management at Texas Woman’s University. He is a member of the board of trustees of the Forum: Business Results Through People (formerly the Forum for People Performance Management and Measurement), an incentive industry research organization. He is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) and an active member of the American Society of Association Executives, the Dallas/Fort Worth Association Executives, the American Marketing Association, and the Dallas/Fort Worth-AMA.