2018 Hot List: Joshua White, BAMKO

Meet the new stars shaking up the promo market with their ambition, empathy and passion to be the very best.

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Joshua White

BAMKO (asi/131431)

Joshua White buzzes with energy and curiosity. They radiate from him in waves, driving an eagerness for exploration. In 2013, that keenness for adventure compelled the attorney to leave behind a lucrative private law practice and join BAMKO, a Los Angeles-based distributor that hired him as a kind of executive utility infielder, performing a variety of business roles.

For White, the job has never failed to excite, testing him daily with its diverse challenges that inspire him past limits. For BAMKO, scoring White has proved a huge win. The young executive has been instrumental in propelling the distributorship to powerhouse status in the promo industry. “I’m very lucky,” says White, “to work with extremely smart entrepreneurs who’ve given me the freedom and support to bring value.”

White was one of several BAMKO leaders who negotiated the deal that saw the LA promo firm acquired by publicly-traded Superior Uniform Group (asi/339857) in 2016. The partnership bulked up BAMKO with ample capital and support for next-level growth. White has been at the center of that expansion. He played a key role in spearheading BAMKO’s 2017 acquisitions of Public Identity Inc., a branded merchandise agency, and Tangerine Promotions (asi/341609), a Top 40 promo distributor.

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“We acquired companies with vibrant cultures that match our own,” says White. “These deals have improved our capabilities and made us a better company.”

And a higher-grossing one.

BAMKO’s 2018 revenue, White says, should triple the tally achieved just a couple years ago. “When the dust settles, these acquisitions are expected to put us among the top 20 largest distributors in the industry,” says Stephanie Bass, senior manager of global human resources at BAMKO.

While impressive, White’s pioneering work at BAMKO extends well beyond the acquisitions. As general counsel and SVP of strategic partnerships, he’s continually interacting with vendors and customers to drive improvements, vetting potential acquisition and partnership opportunities, using his legal expertise to craft key contracts, writing RFPs, penning marketing communications and negotiating with overseas factories.

Especially close to his heart: His efforts to help build BAMKO’s culture of “relentless optimism,” where everyone is engaged and excited to do their best. “I love what I do. I love this industry,” says White. “I feel like every day I get to do things that matter and have an impact.”