by Leo Jakobson | April 08, 2014
The Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) named Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) its 2014 Legislator of the Year today.

The announcement came in advance of the Irving, TX-based association's annual Legislative Education and Action Day (L.E.A.D.) in Washington, D.C. More than 70 industry professionals will travel to the nation's capital tomorrow, April 9, for nearly 300 meetings with members of the Senate and House of Representatives, as well as their legislative staff members, to discuss legislation and other issues important to the promotional products industry.

PPAI, which represents the $18.5-billion promotional products industry, has been collaborating with the Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) for years. January's annual PPAI Expo in Las Vegas includes the "brand." pavilion of incentive-quality merchandise, which has taken on growing important in the incentive merchandise channel following the termination of the Motivation Show.

The PPAI Legislator of the Year Award recognizes members of Congress who have shown a commitment to small-business interests and success, a willingness to meet with industry professionals, and have given their support to issues critical to the promotional products industry.

"Congresswoman Ellmers' efforts to create a 'government-out-of-the-way environment allowing small businesses to get back to innovation and hiring,' is commendable," said Paul Bellantone, president and CEO of PPAI, in a statement. "She is a dedicated and stalwart small business champion."

For her part, Ellmers said in a statement: "I'm humbled by this distinction and grateful that PPAI has recognized my work in Congress to protect the free enterprise system, individual liberty, and the American values that makes our nation strong. I will continue to fight for common sense policies that will put the American people back to work, increase energy production, remove costly regulations that are crippling our small businesses, and balance our budget so that we can help families across the country."