The purpose of CASA is to achieve the highest level of professionalism in the Promotional Products Industry and to foster growth within our membership through trade shows, networking, idea exchange, advocacy, professional development, and to advance awareness about promotional products as an effective advertising medium.
Our History from PRASA to CASA
In the mid 1980’s a group of distributors, Neal Hall, Frank Castro and José Molina, discussed the possibility of having a Regional Association in Puerto Rico. They decided to present the initiative to Mr. Ted Olson, SAAI’s (today know as PPAI) president during a national show in Dallas. Mr. Olson was thrilled, as well as many suppliers who were excited about the idea, and in 1987 the journey began.
Back in Puerto Rico Neal Hall, CAS and Frankie Castro, MAS followed up on the idea. The group confronted major hurdles in order to establish the association. The first issue was financial, how to fund the venture, and secondly that the association would be administrated solely by distributors, since there were no suppliers on the Island.
A couple of months went by and during a traveling expo the group decided to further discuss and pursue the idea of establishing a Regional Association in Puerto Rico. A meeting was called, and people were happy for the initiative and pledge money to fund the venture in order to incorporate a non-for-profit association in Puerto Rico and a Founders Club was created.
Our founders aimed to bring people together who shared the same goal and vision. They started a fabulous journey were our beloved industry of promotional products or advertising specialties has grown and positioned itself in our local market.
R. Neal Hall
David Bravo Jr.
José A. Ruano
Frank V. Castro
The First General Assembly
The day prior to the first show, the By-laws were presented and were approved by the Assembly. That is when the Puerto Rico Advertising Specialties Association (now Caribbean Advertising Specialties Association) was born, The first Regional Association from PPAI outside of the continental USA. Also, the First Board of Directors was elected:
President: R. Neal Hall
Vice President: José Molina
Secretary: Margarita Burgos
Treasurer: Rosa Rolón
Frank V. Castro
The Association had also seven committees: (1) Advertising and Public Relations, (2) Education, (3) Finance, (4) Long Range Planning, (5) Membership, (6) Show and (7) Newsletter editor.
The First Tropical Show
The Association held its First Annual Expo in March 1990 at the Caribe Hilton Hotel. Mr. Molina was in charge and responsible of getting 50 suppliers to travel to Puerto Rico, negotiating the hotel, and coordinated multiple events in just 4 months (a time record!).
The show committee did not anticipate the immense work it would require setting up an event of such magnitude. With Jerry Delgado’s help they handled hundreds of boxes from suppliers with catalogs and samples (they spent close to 8 hours unloading and setting up the room!). At the end, the show was a great success gathering and getting the support of well-known suppliers within the industry.
Today, CASA enforces and communicates the importance of education, because it impacts our industry, our members and the association. We truly believe that knowledge, the continuous studies and achieving the certifications set apart the professional in the marketplace; being relevant on the workplace. On March 2007, CASA signed an agreement with Regional Association Council (RAC) which provide to our Association and members great benefits.