Honors to Be Presented at Awards Dinner

Tuesday, June 11, in NYC

New York, NY, March 12, 2013 — The Direct Marketing Educational Foundation (DMEF) today announced the 2013 winners of its Rising Stars and Corporate Commitment Awards.  These awards recognize emerging leaders in the direct and interactive marketing field who demonstrate an extraordinary commitment to supporting the next generation of talent in this field.  These prestigious awards will be presented at the Rising Stars Awards Dinner on Tuesday, June 11, from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m., at Three Sixty° | TriBeCa in NYC. 

This year’s six Rising Stars Award winners are:

  • JP Lind, Co-Founder, SpotRight;
  • Matt McGowan, Managing Director, Americas, Incisive Media;
  • Kim Postulart, Marketing Director, Democratic National Committee;
  • Brion Roberto, Global Digital Marketing and Social Media Business Partner, Diageo;
  • Slavi Samardzija, Executive Vice President, Marketing Intelligence, Wunderman and KBM Group; and
  • John Wernz, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Wealth Enhancement Group.

This year’s Corporate Commitment Award winner is Epsilon

"The awards presented at the Rising Stars Awards acknowledge a whole new level of achievement among young professionals and corporate citizens in our field. To be named a Rising Star requires outstanding business success combined with extraordinary achievements in supporting and nurturing future generations in this field — through education, mentoring, and great generosity — setting one apart from their peers,” said Craig Wood, head of insights integration at The Futures Company and chair of the DMEF.  “It is my distinct pleasure to introduce you to this year’s award winners.”

2013 DMEF Rising Stars Award Winners

This annual award pays tribute to the most talented professionals, 40 years of age or younger, in the field of direct/interactive marketing.  Winning candidates demonstrate superior leadership abilities — including a strong track-record of outstanding results — and a stellar reputation for “giving back” through education and mentoring to support future generations in this field. 

  • JP Lind is Co-Founder of SpotRight, a leading social data startup company in Boulder, Colorado. Previously, he was vice president at Epsilon, where he launched nonprofit and publishing verticals.  Lind serves on the IAB Data Council, speaks at direct marketing industry events, and is an active volunteer with nonprofits in his community.
  • Matt McGowan is Managing Director, Americas, at Incisive Media. There, he oversees the company’s North and South American business, and has global responsibility for its Digital Marketing Portfolio, which includes, ClickZ Academy,, SES.  Previously, McGowan was Vice President at; developed an e-business strategy for Pearson Plc.; and worked at the institutional desk at Schwab Capital Markets and Trading.
  • Kim Postulart, Marketing Director for the Democratic National Committee, is responsible for the grassroots fundraising and strategy of the Democratic Party through online, merchandise, mail and telephone efforts. Postulart previously consulted for nonprofit organizations at Malchow Adams & Hussey, and helped build grassroots fundraising programs for Congresswoman Wasserman-Schultz, Edwards for President, and EMILY’s List.
  • Brion Roberto is Global Digital Marketing and Social Media Business Partner at Diageo, where he leads an international team delivering digital marketing campaigns.  A marketing innovator for over 15 years, Roberto previously served in product management roles at The Washington Post and Gartner. He also volunteers for Taproot Foundation as their Marketing Program Officer.
  • Slavi Samardzija is Executive Vice President, Marketing Intelligence, at Wunderman and KBM Group.  He has spearheaded new analytics approaches, and currently oversees the design and implementation of client solutions across data strategy and analytics disciplines, including best practices.  A frequent public speaker, Samardzija has been quoted in industry publications, and has established numerous internship and mentoring programs.
  • John Wernz is Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Wealth Enhancement Group, one of the nation’s fastest-growing financial companies. Wernz is widely recognized as an industry leader in creating and delivering results-driven marketing strategies. Prior to his work at Wealth Enhancement Group, he served as partner and chief advertising officer at Marketing Architects.

The 2013 Corporate Commitment Award Winner

This award honors companies that regularly demonstrate a commitment to excellence in all areas of direct/interactive marketing education, creating a culture that nurtures talent and education — both internally and within the broader business community. 

Epsilon ( is the global leader in delivering direct-to-customer connections that drive business performance. The company’s integrated solutions leverage the power of rich transactional and demographic marketing data, strategic insights, analytics, award-winning creative and robust digital and database marketing technologies to connect brands with consumers both online and offline. 

Press Information:  DMEF will provide complimentary Rising Stars Awards Dinner registration for editorial staff of media outlets that cover education and multichannel direct/interactive-marketing related topics.  To request a press registration, arrange for photos, or for further information on the Rising Stars winners, please email   


About Direct Marketing Educational Foundation (DMEF)

Headquartered in New York City, the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation (DMEF) works to educate, develop, grow and employ college students in the field of marketing, 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 is today a separate, 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 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.  For additional information about the DMEF, its mission, and its programs, visit

Susan Taplinger


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