Chairperson's Letter 2018

George Thacker  

The countless gifts of random kindness I received as a young puppy in marketing still astonish me.  At the time, my age and arrogance caused me to be blind to that generosity.  Nevertheless, those good-natured marketing leaders, agency partners, and sales managers took extra time to encourage me along the smarter path. I’m so grateful to those tireless, invisible hands steering me towards success.

Every person I know who’s been lucky enough to succeed in business has similar anecdotes to share. For that reason, I love working with Marketing EDGE to deploy programs nurturing the next generation of marketing leaders. Each year we engage with thousands of students.  Their enthusiasm for marketing is contagious, and the passion I see is invigorating. 

Community is such a basic human need. That’s what causes my addiction to Marketing EDGE. Whether you’re the CEO/CMO of a mega-corporation, mid-career professional or a college student seeking an intern or entry-level position, the importance of community remains constant. Marketing EDGE does ‘community’ better than any other non-profit I’ve encountered. The DNA of Marketing EDGE weaves three target audiences together: In-market professionals, typically corporate-types; undergraduate students, and practicing professors of marketing and analytics. Our board is constructed of like-minded individuals committed to advancing the marketing industry.

We’ve been connecting students and academics with industry leaders for 52 years. That’s a long time and proves two significant things: Marketing is a truly dynamic field constantly calling for others to open the doors to the current and future landscape; and second, we are a foundation with a solid strategic backbone. We know who we are, and we are myopic on our mission. We’ve helped so many young people realize their potential. We’re dedicated to expanding our programs to ensure thousands more young professionals enter the workforce well prepared to make impactful contributions to the world of marketing and business.

A key to marketing is having a healthy dissatisfaction with the status quo.  As I survey the marketing field today, I’m dissatisfied with:
  • Insufficient representation of ‘first generation’ college students who consider and enter our field.  Diversity drives innovation — just ask Tina Fey and Thomas Edison.
  • Skills in marketing data analytics are lagging in comparison to the demands of the industry.
  • Our nonprofit’s financial resources do not fully match the demand for our programs.
As your Chairman, I’ll be partnering with President Terri Bartlett to make material progress to improve on these and other challenges.
I invite you to join me in honoring and building the marketing profession. To start, participate in one of our programs. Please contact me and I’ll suggest one for you.  You’ll find the enthusiasm contagious, plus engaging with such amazing young people, infinitely rewarding.  
With gratitude, 
George Thacker
George Thacker


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