The history of Panda Communications is really the story of Kellie Hoffmeister’s journey through a career in marketing. She began by designing and selling exhibits for the trade show industry. This led to the position of advertising manager for a Christian recording company. In time she became regional marketing manager, then national marketing manager for Marie Callender’s Restaurants, a chain with over 200 stores. While there, she created, produced and wrote copy for national newspaper ads, created and produced billboards, point-of-purchase in-store promotions and media plans, and coordinated grand-opening events across the country.
Feeling the need to expand her horizons, she left consumer retail marketing behind and crossed over to business-to-business marketing, landing the position of marketing communications manager for Lyons Safety, Inc., (now known as Airgas Safety) the nation’s fifth-largest distributor of safety equipment.
She and her staff of seven produced direct mail pieces, newsletters and sales promotions, and Lyons’ national four-color catalog. She also managed Lyons’ mailing lists and coordinated regional trade shows every year, including major national shows. She helped launch Lyons’ sister company, 1st Defense, by coordinating store design, and by producing a 120-page full line, four-color catalog. Her experience at Lyons Safety made her extremely knowledgeable of the safety industry.
In May of 1996, Kellie felt the time was right to break away. Not knowing what she would do, but ready for the next marketing challenge, she left Lyons. “There’s always waitressing,” she said. On the day she left Lyons, the phone rang from a good friend in the industry. This one call set the gears in motion. “I will never forget the conversation I had with my husband Todd. Well, I have these opportunities over here that will be a nice secure job, or we can go for it, mortgage the house and see what life brings.” Without hestitating Todd was on board and with our 33 megahertz PC, our attic office, and a phone line, Panda began.
We will always be grateful to those that gave Panda their start. Thank you for believing in us!
Care Safety and Supply
Cameron and Barkley
Read testimonials here.
Panda Communications Today
We’re now called Panda Group!!
During our 19 years in business, Panda has gained national recognition as the marketing leader in the Safety Industry. Our catalog programs remain strong, evidenced by the fact that we have printed over 1,000,000 safety catalogs. Often imitated but never equaled, our catalogs set the standard for quality and effectiveness, driving sales and enhancing corporate images.
And now we are considered the best in the Safety Industry when it comes to ecommerce. Panda has been involved in ecommerce for a long time and watched it evolve into an indispensable tool for the Safety Industry. In the mid-1990s we created the first syndicated platform for distributors. And we recently developed a proprietary, custom-designed, and Panda-funded ecommerce platform and content management system. We are simply ahead of the curve.
But don’t just take our word for it. It’s our loyal customer base that has been with us since the beginning. They’re the ones who can tell you the story. We call this select group of Safety Distributors FOP’s, or “Friends of Panda”. Read testimonials here.
Panda continues to flourish and grow, and we continue to use the latest technology to give our clients a significant edge in the increasingly competitive Safety Market. We mean it when we tell our clients,
We Make It Happen!