Awards & Engraving

November '17

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8 • A&E NOVEMBER 2017 THE LATEST INFORMATION ABOUT PEOPLE AND PLACES News Send your news items, along with accompanying photos, in a concise press release to Natalie Jane Frels, Digital Content Editor, at Photos should be in a tiff or jpeg format with a minimum resolu- tion of 300ppi, and a minimum size of 5 inches wide. For more news items, check out Plastic Dress-Up Company, Continental Awards & Trophies Inc. Announce Merger Dennis Funk, chief operating officer (COO) of Plastic Dress-Up Company (PDU), and Derrick Calcote, President from Continental Awards & Trophies Inc. (CAT) announce a definitive merger agreement of the two companies resulting in a new company now named PDU CAT. With the merger, the company will expand to 17 company-controlled warehouses in the U.S. with the ability to service a majority of the industry with same-day or next-day service, according to a company press release. "This merger accelerates our strategy of offering customers the highest quality products at the best possible price while continuing to provide great service," says Funk. "The union of PDU and CAT vaults us into a leadership role and together we will shape the future of the industry for years to come." Calcote adds, "As we start out on this journey together as one family, we look forward to a bright future being able to serve the needs of our customers better than ever before. PDU and CAT have a long history of partnership, so this merger seemed like the next logical step for us both. The combined company will have significantly improved strength, innovation, and flexibility with the ability to deliver a broader range of products to service customers." PDU CAT will be headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, with corporate offices located in South El Monte, California. The managing officers of PDU CAT will be Derrick Calcote as president and Dennis Funk as chief operating officer. It will take some time before all locations are offering the complete line. The merger is effective as of today, although the companies won't begin to merge operations until later this year. Customers are advised to continue to interact with each brand as they always have, placing orders through the chan- nels of their preference. Sublimation for Beginners and Beyond Partners with Condé for Weekly Facebook Live Sessions With the growing popularity of the Facebook Live feature, sublimators are finding growing resources to help hone in on their skills. Earlier this year, Cheryl Kuchek, founder and moderator of the Sublimation for Beginners and Beyond Facebook group, saw an opportunity to take advantage of the tool and has been hosting weekly sessions for the group ever since. "What sparked the idea was seeing how popular and fascinated people were with anything that was live," Kuchek tells A&E magazine. She would soon find a valuable collaborator for the Facebook Live sessions in sublimation expert David Gross, president of Condé Systems. Gross and the Condé team are well-versed in video and Facebook Live, frequently hosting live sessions on the Condé Facebook page and posting informative videos on its YouTube channel, CondeTV. "From the start, David and Condé Systems have been a great partner in terms of giving the group a discount and always willing to help a customer, even when they aren't his own," Kuchek recalls. "So, I decided to ask (Gross) to be a part of my live Facebook sessions." Every Friday at 4 p.m. EDT/2 p.m. MDT, the duo air their informative, interactive sessions covering a variety of topics such as sublimation tips and tricks, new products, and marketing strategies, to name a few. "I will generally ask the group what they want to talk about or what they need answers to," she notes, adding that viewers can ask questions in real time. "The benefit is a 'hands-on' approach to the group where they can ask questions live and get both of our perspectives." When Kuchek launched Sublimation for Beginners and Beyond—the very first Facebook group focused on all things sublimation—it had a following of just 10 members. Now, the group boasts 7,247 active members who interact daily. Each Friday, the Facebook Live session broadcasts to anywhere from 400-1,200 live viewers and is also made available to the group to view at any time. "The feedback has been awesome. They are very grateful for the information and want us to continue to educate them," Kuchek adds. "With (Gross) as a partner, I hope we keep evolving and keep up with changes as the industry continues to grow." Join the Sublimation for Beginners and Beyond group on Facebook to tune into these weekly ses- sions every Friday at 4 p.m. EDT/2 p.m. MDT. R

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