Membership (click to download membership application)
The Year was 1985. A small group of local industry practitioners wanted to find a way to bring the area's distributors and suppliers together. Their vision was simple - provide a quality trade show for the area's distributors, provide an opportunity for competitors to meet and know each other and provide a venue to bring industry education to south Florida.
That "vision" became a reality thanks to that first group of local distributors and suppliers. Led by Charlie Hoffman, the first Board of Directors included Larry Kunken, Irwin Feldman, Arline & Franco Pacifici, Irne Baron, Issy Cassuto, Chuck Field and Mike Snow. The original meeting locations were member's homes. The original name of the organization was The Gold Coast Specialty Advertising Association. The first trade show--held in 1986--was staged at a Holiday Inn and consisted of less than 25 tables.
The Association grew rapidly and now consists of hundreds of members. That "25 table" tabletop show also grew rapidly, and eventually turned into a 200 booth show held at the Ft. Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center. The show also became one of the leading end-user trade shows in our industry. Along the way, the Association also changed its name to The Gold Coast Promotional Products Association, to reflect the growing professionalism within our industry.
Over the years, the Association has provided over one hundred educational programs for the membership, enabling numerous members to attain their CAS/MAS designations. We have provided scholarships to PPAI educational programs, fought for member's business rights in the legal and political arena and, probably most importantly, have continued to offer a forum where local members/competitors can come together and meet to discuss issues of local and national importance to themselves and their business.