DMEF Announces Annual Awards Recipients

Dinner to Honor Gary S. Laben, CEO of KBM Group and DIRECTV Will be Held on Sunday Evening, October 14 During DMA2012 in Las Vegas


New York, NY — The Direct Marketing Educational Foundation (DMEF) has announced that Gary S Laben, CEO of KBM Group will receive the Edward N. Mayer, Jr. Education Leadership Award and DIRECTV will be presented with the Corporate Leadership Award.


In an effort to include more members of the direct/interactive marketing business attending DMA2012, this year’s DMEF Annual Awards Dinner has been set for Sunday evening, October 14, 2012. This prestigious event presents both marketing professionals and academics with the unique opportunity to gather together to celebrate the growth of multichannel marketing, stress the importance of education and entry-level placement in the greater community, and help advance cutting-edge direct/interactive marketing educational resources. The dinner, which is the Foundation’s premier annual event, will be held during the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) DMA2012 Conference & Exhibition, the Global Event for Real-Time Marketers, which will run October 13-18 in Las Vegas.


“DMEF’s Annual Awards Dinner is known as the place to connect with top marketing leaders and influencers in the industry. Attendees recognize how vital DMEF’s outstanding programs are to educators and to the next generation of marketers,” said Craig Wood, DMEF’s Chair. “This year, we are thrilled to pay tribute to two exemplary honorees: Gary S. Laben and DIRECTV. This is a must-attend event, and I am certain that this year's Annual Awards Dinner will be our most successful to date.”


Edward N. Mayer, Jr. Award for Education Leadership


The 2012 Edward N. Mayer, Jr. Award for Education Leadership will be presented to Gary S. Laben, CEO, KBM Group.


Recognized as DMEF’s most prominent award, honors individuals who demonstrate the highest level of personal commitment to helping create effective programs, concepts, teaching methods, or materials for the instruction of college students or professors; providing personal and corporate financial assistance; and executing other contributions that effectively assist or promote the DMEF’s mission and objectives.


  Gary S. Laben is a 25-year veteran of the information marketing industry, and has been with KBM Group (formerly KnowledgeBase Marketing) since 2000. He is a Past Chair of the DMEF, and serves on the Direct Marketing Association's Board of Directors. He has just been named to the DMEF’s Chair’s Advisory Council and currently is Chairman-Elect of the Executive Advisory Board of The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing (Taylor Institute) and Suarez Laboratories for Applied Marketing Research at the University of Akron. In 2010, Laben was named to BtoB Magazine’s Who’s Who in Direct Marketing, and in 2009, was named Direct Marketer of the Year by The Taylor Institute. Laben is a graduate of The Johns Hopkins University with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.


Mayer Award nominations are submitted by peers and reviewed by DMEF’s board of trustees, which selects the honoree. Previous Mayer recipients include Beth Smith, Smith Browning Direct, Inc.; Jon Roska, Roska Ideas; Tim Litle, Litle & Co.; David W. Florence, Direct Media, Inc.; Dick and Mary Cabela, Cabela’s Inc.; Katie Muldoon, Muldoon & Baer, Inc.; Stephen Polk, Polk & Co.; Markus Wilhelm, Strata Solar LLC; David Shepard, David Shepard Associates, Inc.; Dr. Marjorie Kalter, NYU; and Dr. John Deighton, Harvard Business School.


Corporate Leadership Award


The 2012 DMEF Corporate Leadership Award will be presented to DIRECTV.


This unique and significant award honors businesses that champion education on all levels — including internal and external audiences — as they consistently demonstrate a commitment to excellence industry wide.



DIRECTV is committed to developing educational opportunities for up-and-coming direct/interactive marketing talent. The company has been a long-time supporter and partner of DMEF and a participant in DMEF's Next Generation Leaders Program for the past five years. DIRECTV delivers satellite-based television services to US customers in homes and businesses. They have received eight Emmy Awards and hundreds of US patent filings for innovations related to HD programming, interactive features, digital video recorder services, quality customer service, and their electronic program guide.


Past DMEF Corporate Leadership Award recipients include Scholastic, Draftfcb, The Martin Agency, Acxiom, Merkle, and Guthy-Renker, to name just a few.


About the DMEF Annual Awards Dinner


In addition to memorable tributes to the award winners, the DMEF’s recognized Program & Scholarship Auction is a major activity during the evening, with dinner attendees contributing generously to support DMEF’s ability to serve students, professors and corporations throughout the year. The 2012 Annual Awards Dinner will be held Sunday, October 14, 2012, at the Keep Memory Alive Event Center in Las Vegas.


To access the reservation form online, please click here. For additional information on table sponsorships and tickets to the DMEF Annual Awards Dinner, please contact DMEF Director of Development Jeanne K. Murphy at 212.790.1481 or email


About DMA2012 Conference & Exhibition


The DMA2012 Annual Conference & Exhibition, The Global Event for Real-Time Marketers is the world’s largest gathering of cross-media/channel marketing professionals. DMA2012, held October 13-18 in Las Vegas, will feature keynote presentations, educational sessions, roundtables, case studies, white papers, and research reports. DMA2012’s exhibit hall will feature hundreds of exhibiting companies. For additional information, or to register for the six-day multichannel marketing event of the year, please visit


For information about DMA2012 exhibition and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Kevin Fox at 212.790.1468 or


About Direct Marketing Educational Foundation (DMEF)


Headquartered in New York City, the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation (DMEF) works to attract, educate, and place college students in direct/interactive marketing careers, thereby expanding and enriching the talent pool of trained, market-ready marketers. Established in 1966 by members of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) who wanted to give something back to the community, DMEF continues to be an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that is supported solely by tax-deductible contributions from individuals and companies. Tax-deductible contributions are the lifeblood of the DMEF; funds raised at the Annual Awards Dinner and throughout the year support a broad range of world-class educational programs and scholarships.


Since its founding, thousands of students have taken advantage of DMEF’s educational programs, entering the field with the competitive edge of being “workplace-ready.” Many have gone on to become today’s marketing leaders, an indication of the Foundation’s success. In addition, more than 3,000 professors have participated in DMEF programs. For additional information about the DMEF, its mission, and its programs, visit


Susan Taplinger


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