Reciprocity Road PPEF Scholarship Awarded

We are delighted to announce that the Reciprocity Road “Roadie” PPEF Scholarship has been awarded to Nathaniel Jahns of Milwaukee, WI. Nathaniel’s father, Joel, is a Territory Manager for our good friends at SanMar.

The scholarship will assist Nathaniel in his effort to earn a degree in Industrial Engineering at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. Nathaniel currently works at Mid-States Aluminum Corporation as a summer intern where he is under the mentorship of a Mechanical Process Engineer. Nathaniel wrote in to tell us that this experience along with classes taken at Winnebago Lutheran Academy has confirmed that he belongs in the engineering field. What a fantastic way to begin what we hope will be a fulfilling and successful career! Nathan also writes,

I would like to thank everyone involved once again for this scholarship… My college education will serve as a springboard for the rest of my life, and this scholarship will be an important part of that.

It’s an honor to play such an important part in the development of such promising individuals. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for Nathaniel.

SwervePoint Joins BDA

Reciprocity Road Partner, SwervePoint, based in Boston, has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Seattle based BDA. Reciprocity Road is excited for Jamie and Kevin of SwervePoint and offer our sincere congratulations, although saddened to lose them as Partners in RR. We will be updating our preferred partners network after the deal has closed. Read the press release here.

Image Source Partners With Their Team to “BrandGood” for Exotic Animals

In 2017 Image Source surveyed their employees to discover what causes resonate within their team. They were able to narrow down four non-profit partners for quarterly fundraising and volunteering of their time. Image Source’s commitment to their pay it forward mission allows employees to volunteer 8 hours of work time each year.

Image Source’s second quarter community partner was Sara’s Sanctuary, a non-profit exotic animal rescue organization. Sara’s Sanctuary advocates for the safety, well-being, and quality of life for all animals. They provide a safe and secure lifetime haven for captive born wild animals.

12 Image Source employees were able to take a half day off to help out on location. They painted, cleaned, and prepped meals. “It was great to be able to help with such a good cause and to see how much they really needed our help,” says Image Source’s Katie Braaten. If you would like to learn more and find out how you can help, visit

Badger Graphic Systems Joins Quality Resource Group

This week Reciprocity Road member Quality Resource Group announced that Badger Graphic Systems has joined their family of companies. Fellow Reciprocity Road member and CFO Managing Director at Made to Order, Rod Brown, welcomed the news saying,

“Reciprocity Road is so pleased to see QRG expanding its reach. We are proud and pleased to have QRG as such an important partner on the Road Crew at RR and could not be more thrilled to grow with this exciting expansion of QRG.”

The full press release is below.

Badger Graphic Systems Joins Quality Resource Group

Plymouth, MN (June 1, 2017) – Quality Resource Group (QRG) proudly announces that Badger Graphic Systems of Madison, Wisconsin has joined the QRG family of companies. With the addition of Badger Graphics, a full-service print management and marketing company, QRG sales now exceed $40 million. Financial terms of the transaction were not released.

Todd Pottebaum, QRG President, noted, “Gene Davis has built a remarkable company that’s deeply rooted in core values, process, and the desire to exceed client expectations. We look forward to offering scale and resources to Badger Graphics’ esteemed client base. Our vision for continued growth and building value means the best people on our team offering innovative services and support for our clients. We’re excited to have Badger Graphics become part of the growing QRG brand.”

Badger Graphics CEO, Gene Davis, added, “Our partnership with QRG fuels our ability to drive value while maintaining our client-focused culture. We are excited about the enhanced services we will now be able to provide our clients and team.”

Badger Graphic Systems sales office and manufacturing facility will remain in Madison Wisconsin, and Davis will stay on with QRG in a leadership position.

About QRG
Recently named one of PPB Magazine’s Greatest Companies To Work For in 2017, QRG is ranked among the top 1% of all promotional products distributors and is the 8th largest independent print company in the United States.  Headquartered in the Twin Cities, QRG serves clients nationally and internationally with offices and/or distribution centers in eight cities.  QRG’s passion is empowering brands with trendy lifestyle merchandise, stylish logo apparel, impactful incentives, meaningful recognition, and full service digital & offset printing. QRG is led by the core values of professionalism, perseverance, doing the right thing, caring, and reliability. Recognized for donating time and resources to more than 200 worthwhile causes, QRG believes in giving back to the communities in which its employees live and work.


Reciprocity Road Members Represent in DC

Toby Zacks and Rick Brenner (past CEO of Prime) in front of the Capital Bldg. at L.E.A.D.

Recently, Reciprocity Road Members Tom Goos (Image Source) and Toby Zacks (Zagwear) visited our nation’s capitol to advocate for our industry and small businesses as a part of PPAI’s Legislative Education and Action Day (L.E.A.D.). Tom and Toby along with 78 industry leaders held over 250 meetings with our elected officials or their staff.

When asked about the experience, Toby stated, “This opportunity gave me a renewed commitment to the value our industry brings to the marketplace. I would encourage others to get involved on legislative issues that will protect our industry.”

Discussions focused on three legislative issues that could greatly impact the industry and have a ripple effect on job creation.

  • Border Tax
  • Independent Contractor Status
  • Advertising deductions

Toby continues, “The entire experience was meaningful, fulfilling and time well spent. Not only were we spending time to help causes which affect our industry, but it was also great to meet others from our industry and discuss these matters in person.”

Tom says, “PPAI’s Legislative Education & Action Day (L.E.A.D.) is critical to the future success of our industry. Our elected officials need to hear the impact of promotional products and how effective they are in the marketplace as well as how their legislature decisions effect our businesses.”

View the PPAI L.E.A.D. agenda here.

Brand Fuel Featured in PPB Magazine’s Forces For Good

In the June issue of PPB, Reciprocity Roadie Danny Rosin discusses the culture of BrandGood that they’ve fostered at Brand Fuel.

At Brand Fuel, we believe we can improve the world through promotional products. Robert Fiveash, my business partner, and I call the business of benevolence “BrandGood.” Beyond the positivity that gets connected to our brand, it gives us a shared sense of purpose. That purpose of giving back outside the office is directly tied to morale, culture, friendships, retention, teamwork and generosity in the office.

Read the entire article here.

The Icebox Brands Good by Making Everyday More Pleasant for Those Who Need it Most.

The Icebox prides itself in giving back and entrenching itself in Atlanta’s philanthropic community. When the opportunity arose to BrandGood with The Foundation for Hospital Art’s, PaintFest, we jumped to sponsor their events across the country, and sent a team of employees to volunteer at their local event at Emory Hospital here in Atlanta.

Walking through a traditional hospital can be a drab experience. You typically see white walls and a décor resembling vanilla ice cream. In 1975, John Feight, a volunteer at Northside Hospital, in Atlanta, Georgia, decided to change that by decorating the hospital walls with meaningful artwork. His vision was to give visitors, staff and patients a more visually pleasant experience while they were there.

In 1984 The Foundation for Hospital Art, was officially established and remains dedicated to involving patients, staff and volunteers worldwide to create colorful visual artwork for hospitals. The donated pieces of art help to mitigate the often stressful hospital experience.

Today over 1,000,000 volunteers have collaborated in a joint effort to create over 44,000 paintings for over 4,000 hospitals around the world. John’s son, Scott, now carries on his father’s legacy and carries his father’s vision to create and spread visual cheer in places where the simplest things can go a long way.

The team at The Icebox felt really good about what they were doing by sponsoring and volunteering to paint at PaintFest. Not only was it a therapeutic and enjoyable experience, but it was also a great opportunity to spend  quality time making the world we live in just a little bit better and brighter for everyone. The next time your company could use a little team building while Branding Good, look no further than the Foundation for Hospital Art.

Brand Fuel and Friends BrandGood by Helping to Feed their Community.

At Reciprocity Road, one of our most important goals is to be a force for good in the communities in which we work and play.

Brand Fuel started the year off by doing just that in their own neighborhood. On January 23rd, Brand Fuel introduced the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s Backpack Buddies Program and Trophy Brewing Co. to their clients at a BrandGood event that included handcrafted brew and a little hustle to outfit backpacks with the vittles required nourish active brains. Check out their photo album on Facebook.

BackPack Buddies provides children from food-insecure homes with healthy weekend meals during the school year. The children, selected by school principals, guidance counselors, and supervisors of various after school programs, receive a backpack containing six balanced meals and two healthy snacks at the end of every week. Local corporations like Brand Fuel and Trophy Brewing Co. help collect and pack bags with kid-friendly non-perishable food.

Inter-Faith Food Shuttle is an innovative hunger-relief organization serving seven counties in and around the Triangle.

We believe hunger IS fixable if the community works together to do two things: create sources of healthy food in every low-income neighborhood and grow opportunities for people to provide for themselves by learning job skills or growing their own food.

At Reciprocity Road, we couldn’t be more proud of the efforts that each of our nine distributors take to better their own communities.


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Reciprocity Road Supports PPEF’s Mission With $7,500 Donation

Reciprocity Road, an industry buying group that is celebrating its one-year anniversary this week at The PPAI Expo, made a $7,500 donation to the Promotional Products Education Foundation at its breakfast meeting this morning. Pat Dugan, MAS, PPEF chair and Sara Besly, PPEF Foundation manager, were on hand to accept the check.

The generous donation was supported through contributions from two supplier partners, Hit Promotional Products and SanMar. It will benefit PPEF’s mission of providing college scholarships to the children of industry practitioners.

This year, PPEF has pledged to provide $175,000 worth of scholarships—its largest pledge since the foundation was formed in 1989.

Reciprocity Road provides its members with a forum to exchange ideas, offer creative collaboration and provide support for mutual benefit, progress and business success.

Photo: Reciprocity Road’s Rod Brown, MAS, CFO of MadeToOrder (left) and Jeremy Lott, president of SanMar, present a check for PPEF to Sara Besly, PPEF Foundation manager and Pat Dugan, MAS, PPEF chair, during The PPAI Expo.

Source: PPAI Publications

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