Hello there, I'm Kara Barker, treasurer of PPAF!
My career started out back in 2000 when I had just graduated College with a Computer Science and Communications degree. A Chicago girl looking for her big girl career and a way to pay rent in my very small, yet expensive apartment that I shared with a High School friend in the Windy city. I was searching for a career when I stumbled upon Nimlok. A Project Manager position was open and it was creating exhibits through CAD. I thought it would be fun and a nice stepping stone in my career and learning new software programs is always a plus. Well, 20 years later I’m STILL in the tradeshow world! After 10 years as a PM I went into Inside Sales for a few years when Nimlok and Orbus merged together. Then my family and I moved down to Florida about 8 years ago in which lead to my career as an Outside Business Development Rep for the State of Florida. What a wild ride it has been. Each year gets better, shows get more creative, products get cooler and imaginations run free and without limits. There is nothing like bringing a client’s vision of their company to life in their tradeshow exhibit. With Orbus, there are no limits only challenges that we gladly accept and thrive for!
Covid has definitely hit our industry, hard, but we are alive, flourishing and ready for that next project. Orbus would not take failure, we came up with a whole new line of PPE products that we made in Chicago and Las Vegas with our materials that we would build exhibits out of! How many companies can say that they did a complete 180 during a global pandemic, thought outside the box and made it! Not only did we survive, but we helped our clients to be able to sell something that helped THEM stay open as well. What keeps me here is our world is small but essential, all projects are different and there isn’t a type of company or industry we can’t work with. I’ve created exhibits for local business all the way to celebrities! We wanted more. We learned about Promo Products a while back and when we joined forces, wow, they get the hustle and bustle of it all, tradeshow and promo just are each others yin to the yang!
Running around Chicago had to stop when I met a cute boy that ended up being my husband. We have been married now for almost 16 years and have 3 great kiddos! On the weekends you’ll find me on the soccer fields with my 11 year old son or watching a dance competition for my oldest daughter or singing Disney songs with my 4 year old. We try to sneak away to the water as much as possible when our kids aren’t running our lives. Florida is a great lifestyle and we enjoy every minute of it. PPAF has only brought me closer to the Promo world and I’m learning and collaborating on how to make Promo and Tradeshow work together. Plus, have your heard about this phenomenal tradeshow that takes place here in Florida? It's called, PPAF EXPO and we are so excited to be back in-person with everyone. Mark your calendars to attend the EXPO on August 26-27, 2021, in Orlando. If you’re looking for some motivation reach out, if you want to offer more to your clients, reach out, if you want to meet up for a glass (or 2) or wine, reach out! The board is here to help YOU, I’m here to help YOU! Let’s dominate this small world we call Tradeshow and Promotional Products!
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