A Letter From Vets 4 Veterans

Recently, Reciprocity Road completed another BrandGood quarterly initiative with a donation to Vets 4 Veterans. We received the following in a letter from their President, Tommy Hilzendeger:

Dear Vets 4 Veterans Supporter,

Thank you for your generous donation to the programs of Vets 4 Veterans.

Your support is very important to us, and to local veterans who sometimes need a hand up to stabilize their lives. Your donation allows us to continue providing vital services through our ongoing programs. It is with your help that Vets 4 Veterans will continue to make a positive impact on the lives of our Antelope Valley Veterans.

If you are interested in learning more about Vets 4 Veterans, please visit their website at avvets4veterans.org.

Reciprocity Road Donates $500 To Veterans Organization

Reciprocity Road, a buying group with a philanthropic focus, has announced the fourth recipient of its BrandGood Give Back Contest. A new philanthropic initiative from Reciprocity Road, BrandGood empowers employees to support their favorite causes through quarterly donations.

Bridget Ray, sales coordinator at Brand Fuel and BrandGood Ambassador, said the initiative’s goal is simple.

“BrandGood is a motivator of acts of kindness and giving back to causes that matter to our staff members,” Ray says. “During the hustle and bustle of the work day, BrandGood is a reminder of what matters most in this life.”

Each quarter, BrandGood Ambassadors from the eight Reciprocity Road distributorships review stories and photos submitted by their colleagues. Of the eight submissions received in the fourth quarter of 2018, the BrandGood team selected Vets for Veterans to receive a donation of $500.

Vets 4 Veterans is a grassroots non-profit 501(c)3 dedicated to empowering local veterans who are suffering the physical and psychological wounds of war to successfully reintegrate into the life of the community. Vets 4 Veterans was founded by a group of Vietnam combat veterans who were attending a PTSD therapy group at the Antelope Valley Vet Center.

“We learned through our own healing process that staying busy, doing good, and helping others was helping us. We learned the meaning and the action of the word altruism.”

“We learned through our own healing process that staying busy, doing good, and helping others was helping us. We learned the meaning and the action of the word altruism,” says Tom Hilzendeger, Vets 4 Veterans president.

Kevin Sanders of Made to Order who submitted Vets 4 Veterans’ application, says, “To me, a veteran is anyone past or present who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check payable to the United States of America, for an amount up to and including their life. It warms my heart deeply when I see a community, a business association, or government agency reach out to help our veterans. We truly appreciate the support from all the members of Reciprocity Road!”

Kevin’s full submission is below:

I am involved with Vets 4 Veterans because they do more for local veterans in need than anyone else I’ve ever met. 100% of money raised goes directly to help local veterans. All officers, members, and volunteers donate their time to this honorable charity because we see how much it helps veterans who don’t have anyone else to turn to. Our founder and president Tom Hilzendeger is a Vietnam vet who has learned to deal with the experiences he had there and has developed programs to help other veterans do the same. We provide counseling, classes, group activities, transportation, scholarships and financial aid to local vets in need.

One local veteran who was an officer in the war couldn’t find work when he returned home so decided to go back to Kabul Afghanistan as a civilian. After 2 years there, he once again returned home in late 2017 to find his wife wanting a divorce. He became instantly homeless and penniless. He had nothing but the cash in his pocket, a car, and a cell phone. A hero, a warrior, sleeping in his car with nowhere to go and no one to help him. Heartbreaking. He heard about Vets 4 Veterans and in desperation made the call. We provided him with some money and a few days lodging while looking for a more permanent solution. At least he had some food and a warm bed. But most importantly, he had hope.

Fast forward one year, that man is now a federal police officer, has settled his divorce amicably, is stable and re-acclimated into society. He has his own apartment and a girlfriend. I see him volunteering and giving back often to help others. You see, I know this story firsthand because this man lived in my house for that year. We became close friends. I’m proud of who he is today and how far he’s come. Having been on two deployments during my four years as a Marine, and 6 years during the war as a civilian in the Middle East and Europe, I knew what is was like to return home to a home that was not as I left it. I spent a lot of time with him, I watched him closely, I listened to him, shared stories, and we did lots of activities together. Sometimes all we need is a friend to reach out and help us.

In July 2018, I put together an outdoor event for veterans that was very successful.

In Sept. 2018, we closed escrow on a house that will become a transition home for 2 single homeless veterans or one veteran family who has the need and desire to get back on their feet.

Everyone at Reciprocity Road wishes Vets 4 Veterans future success. We also encourage all employees of Reciprocity Road distributors to submit non-profit candidates here.

Give Back Contest Awards $500 to Cavett Kids Foundation

Reciprocity Road is excited to announce the winner of the second-ever BrandGood Give Back Contest! Out of 9 submissions from our eight distributors, the recipient of the second quarter award is the Cavett Kids Foundation.

Reciprocity Road will donate $500 to help support Cavett Kids Foundation, an Oklahoma City-based nonprofit aimed at making life as normal as possible for children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses.

A valuable partnership, a decade in the making.

The Cavett Kids Foundation was nominated by Eric Granata of ROBYN, who cited a long-lasting, personal relationship with the organization.

“Ten years ago, Cavett Kids served members of the ROBYN family through their camps for children with life-threatening and chronic illnesses,” Eric said. “These camps are a necessity for children who are facing medical problems and feel disconnected and alone.”

To give back, ROBYN has participated in volunteer work and offered discounted merchandise and apparel to the Cavett Kids Foundation.

“Together with the help of volunteers from the medical community and beyond, Cavett Kids provides support for kids battling life-threatening illnesses,” Eric said. “It’s an honor for the ROBYN family to help play a role in that.”

Where illness does not define the child.

The Cavett Kids Foundation offers camps, ongoing programs and annual events for 12,000 children and their families. Additionally, they provide valuable support through diversionary play, dialysis rewards, therapy dogs and leadership programs.

Ashley Simpson, Executive Director of the Cavett Kids Foundation, said the organization’s goal is to ensure children are not defined by their illnesses.

“The mission of the Cavett Kids Foundation is to provide character, coping and connection for kids battling life-threatening illnesses,” Ashley said. “We aim to teach our Three Cs in everything we do.”

More than just a donation.

Reciprocity Road is proud to support the Cavett Kids Foundation as they continue changing the lives of children in need. With this donation, Cavett Kids will be able to serve more kids who may otherwise miss out on the normalcies of childhood—like sleepovers, sports and summer camp.

“Your dollars aren’t just a donation. They change lives,” Ashley said. “At our camps, kids feel normal and accepted for once…They aren’t embarrassed by their scars. They aren’t trying to hide their loads of medication.

“Thanks to donors like you, we can create a safe place for sick children to be free and feel like a kid.”

Doing good, giving back.

While the Give Back Contest may be new, the idea of BrandGood is not.

According to Eric, BrandGood is a core value at ROBYN, as well as a pillar of all Reciprocity Road organizations. “It’s part of our culture,” he said. “It gives us an opportunity to serve our communities and feel good about our contributions.”

Danny Rosin, co-president of Brand Fuel and BrandGood Ambassador, explained that BrandGood aims to be the connective tissue between organizations and the communities they serve.

“BrandGood is a motivator of acts of kindness and giving back to causes that matter to our staff members,” Danny said.


“During the hustle and bustle of the work day, BrandGood is a reminder of what matters most in this life.”

Is there a cause that’s close to your heart?

Each quarter, BrandGood Ambassadors from each Reciprocity Road distributorship review and evaluable submissions to determine one $500 winner.

To nominate an organization for the next quarterly gift, complete your submission by September 30, 2018. If you’d like to know more about how your company “brands good,” contact your BrandGood Ambassador:

Made to Order


C&S Sales



Image Source

The Ice Box

Brand Fuel


A Letter from Autism Speaks

Recently, Reciprocity Road completed out first BrandGood quarterly initiative with a donation to Autism Speaks. We received the following letter from their President and CEO, Angela Geiger:

Autism Speaks is honored to receive your support as we seek to enhance lives today and accelerate a spectrum of solutions for tomorrow. On behalf of Autism Speaks, thank you for your generous donation of $500.

Since Autism Speaks was founded more than a decade ago, we have learned that there is not one autism, but many subtypes, and each person can have unique strengths and challenges. Our goal is to address the needs of children, teens and adults with autism across the spectrum and throughout their lives.

You make progress possible. Thanks to supporters like you, Autism Speaks is able to expand advocacy and supports, increase understanding and acceptance, and advance research into causes and better interventions for people with autism spectrum disorder and related conditions.

We are grateful for your contribution in support of our mission, and we hope you will continue to collaborate with us in the future. Thank you for joining us on this journey.

If you are interested in learning more about Austism Speaks, please autismspeaks.org.

Reciprocity Road $500 Give Back Contest: Autism Speaks

We are proud to report that we have selected a recipient for our first “BrandGood Give Back Contest.” With 10 submissions from our 8 distributors, the story of BrandGood that moved us most came from Cathy Dorazio of Zagwear! Reciprocity Road will help support this important cause by writing a check to Autism Speaks for $500.


Cathy’s Story

This is for the children who are nonverbal. For the parents who struggle daily yearning for a hug or to be able to touch their child without rebuttal. For the siblings, family members affected to what is perceived at what should be normal. For the unknown and fear of the future. My world came crashing down in 2005.



Today I can proudly say he is the most remarkable young man I have ever met. Through constant therapy and services, he has made tremendous strides and has become my shining star.



When asked about what this gift means to her and Autism Speaks, Cathy shared, “This gift brings me joy knowing that it will go towards a cause to help families in need manage the disability, offering support, strategies, resources, education, research and much more. I was recently asked by a new friend if my son has Autism. I honestly couldn’t answer the question. Technically, the answer is “yes” but I see AJ, my son, as making tremendous strides and becoming an active member of our community. It means the world to me to give other parents hope to know that, with early Autism intervention, anything is possible.”


Cathy specifically requested the money go towards the organizations family services initiative, Autism Speaks Care Program, which focuses on helping with therapy services and catastrophic life events geared towards underprivileged families. The grant program helps families cover costs associated with the critical expenses related to the well-being of their family member with autism on a case-by-case basis.


“I think the BrandGood Initiative is a great way to get involved on so many levels by incorporating what we do best in our careers, while aiming to bring awareness to grander causes. It gives us an opportunity to feel good about what we do daily knowing that we have the power to not only provide excellent service to our clients but to also give back to our communities.” –Cathy Dorazio, Zagwear


Jena Schneider, Sr. Director of Field Development at Autism Speaks says, “Autism Speaks is grateful for Zagwear and Reciprocity Road’s support. This donation will help Autism Speaks to enhance lives today and accelerate a spectrum of solutions for tomorrow.”


Each quarter, BrandGood Ambassadors from each Reciprocity Road distributorship evaluate submissions of stories and photos from their fellow Roadies and choose one to receive $500 for the cause it represents.




Cathy continues, “I hope with each quarter we grow in spirit and touch many more lives.”


“The BrandGood Ambassadors are the big-hearted doers of the community work Reciprocity Road is committed to supporting,” says Danny Rosin of Brand Fuel. “It is such a powerful feeling to watch what would typically be a scenario with companies competing, become a team effort with a focus on using our collective distributor businesses/brands as a force for good. We hope the cause-related work we are doing, such as 1.5% of all rebates going to nonprofits, will inspire the rest of the industry to do same or similar efforts. I’m reminded of the African proverb, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.'”


Submit your entry for your favorite cause here no later than May 31st, 2018 to be considered for our next gift. If you’d like to know more about how your company brands good, get in touch with your BrandGood Ambassador.


Made to Order


C&S Sales



Image Source

The Ice Box

Brand Fuel



Submit Your Entry

Reciprocity Road Makes $7,500 Donation to PPEF

Reciprocity Road, an industry collective in its second year, made a $7,500 donation to the Promotional Products Education Foundation at its annual breakfast meeting held during the PPAI EXPO in Las Vegas. PPEF Foundation Manager, Sara Besly and Board Chair, Lori Bauer, were on hand to accept the check and share the stories of students who are improving their future through the industry-based scholarship program. This donation will run through the Reciprocity Road Roadies Scholarship Fund.

This year, PPEF has pledged to provide $200,000 worth of scholarships.
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 Robert Fiveash, Danny Rosin, Toby Zacks, Scott Alterman, Todd Pottebaum, PPEF Foundation Manager Sara Besly, Reciprocity Road’s Brian Haner, PPEFBoard Chair Lori Bauer, Reciprocity Road’s Tom Goos, Eric Granata, Brad Storms and Barbara Brown.

Reciprocity Road Members Meet Up at Power Summit

This past week, a handful of Reciprocity Road members had the opportunity to spend time together at ASI’s Power Summit 2017 in San Diego, CA. It was an inspiring few days amongst some of the industries’ most influential thinkers including many of our Supplier Partners!

From left: Rod Brown (CFO, Made to Order), Barbara Brown (CEO, Made to Order), Tom Goos (President, Image Source), Robert Fiveash (President, Brand Fuel) and Eric Granata (VP Business Development, ROBYN).

Reciprocity Road Member, Todd Pottebaum, Elected to PPAI Board

PPAI has announced the election of Todd Pottebaum, Reciprocity Road member and President of Quality Resource Group, to the PPAI Board of Directors.

On his campaign Facebook page, Todd wrote,

“I’m incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support that enabled me to earn the PPAI Board Seat and the opportunity to make a difference. I will forever cherish your initial vote of confidence and work diligently to retain it. I’m also grateful to Steve Levschuck and Dan Frailey for running incredible campaigns. These gentlemen deserve the industry’s heartfelt gratitude for their efforts and dedication.”

Todd brings 17 years of experience and influence to the PPAI Board and his fellow Reciprocity Road distributor members look forward to his continued contribution to the promotional products industry.

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.