Sunday, March 21, 2010

New York, NY — The Direct Marketing Educational Foundation (DMEF) today announced the four winners of its 2010 Rising Stars Awards, and the one distinguished company that has earned its 2010 Corporate Commitment Award.

This year’s four Rising Stars are: Sebastien Bilodeau, Synapse Group; Bryan Eisenberg, Eisenberg & Associates; Mitch Joel, Twist Image; and Alison Shaffer, Cisco WebEx. This year’s Corporate Commitment Award winner is Publishers Clearing House (PCH).

The Awards will be presented on Tuesday, June 15 at Bridgewaters, South Street Seaport in New York City during the Digital Marketing Days Conference & Expo, which is being held at the Hilton New York, June 14-16.

“This year’s outstanding individual and corporate award winners showcase the wide breadth of talent and innovation in this field,” said Gary S. Laben, DMEF chairman and CEO of KnowledgeBase Marketing. “Each year DMEF identifies young, impressive leaders just like Sebastien Bilodeau, Bryan Eisenberg, Mitch Joel, and Alison Shaffer, who are making their marks in this field and demonstrating their commitment to support education for future generations. It’s no surprise that PCH - with the core values of educational and leadership development, and initiatives spanning from traditional to innovative - have received this year’s corporate award.”

2010 DMEF Rising Stars 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 will have demonstrated 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.

  • Sebastien Bilodeau, Senior Vice President, Sales & Account Management, Synapse Group, Inc. — Bilodeau joined Synapse Group as a college recruit in 1997. In just 10 years, after taking on increasing responsibilities and leadership positions while delivering significant gains for the business, he was promoted to Senior Vice President — an accomplishment earned by no other employee in the history of the company.
  • Bryan Eisenberg, Managing Partner, Eisenberg & Associates — Eisenberg is a recognized authority and pioneer in online marketing and improving online conversion rates. In 1998 he co-founded FutureNow Inc. which helps businesses generate more engagements, leads, subscriptions, and sales. He is co-author of the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, USA Today, and New York Times best-selling books, Call to Action, Waiting for your Cat to Bark? and Always be Testing.
  • Mitch Joel, President, Twist Image — Joel is president of an award-winning Digital Marketing and Communications Agency. In 2008 he was named Canada’s Most Influential Male in Social Media; one of the top 100 online marketers in the world; and was awarded as one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40. His newspaper business column, “New Business – Six Pixels of Separation” runs bi-monthly in both The Montreal Gazette and Vancouver Sun, and his monthly column “Ultraportable” is featured in enRoute Magazine.
  • Alison Shaffer, Group Manager, Marketing Operations and Analytics, Cisco WebEx — Shaffer is an accomplished, data-driven, marketing operations professional with 16 years of experience. As chairman of the Cisco WebEx Data Management Organization she helps drive data management methodology training to Cisco WebEx employees. She also participates as a mentor in the Cisco Career Advancement Mentoring Program, and is an active participant at many marketing events including the SVAMA and Email Evolution Conference.

2010 DMEF Corporate Commitment Winner

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

  • Publishers Clearing House (PCH) — Founded in 1953 by DMA Hall of Fame member, Harold Mertz, PCH is a leading multichannel marketer of value-based consumer products and magazines, which offers many ways for consumers to play and win – most notably its famous sweepstakes that has awarded over $220 million in prizes. PCH, its employees and officers have a long heritage of service and leadership in both direct marketing industry initiatives and the community at large. Commitment to education, training, and leadership development are an integral part of the company culture. Among the numerous initiatives are the company’s monthly “Lunch and Learn” presentations, “Team Connection” cross-functional networking groups, and “PCH U” courses taught by internal subject matter experts, outside facilitators, e-learning, and courses “on demand.” PCH also offers a generous tuition reimbursement plan, college campus recruiting, and a dynamic summer internship program as part of their ongoing efforts to foster the education and development of newcomers to the field of direct/interactive marketing.

“We are honored that Publishers Clearing House has been recognized this year for our commitment to the training and leadership development of our employees as they grow in their careers,” said Andrew Goldberg, president and ceo, Publishers Clearing House. “Over the last two years PCH has been fortunate to hire associates from DMEF’s Next Generation Leaders program. These young professionals represent a whole new generation of business-ready up and comers able to immediately begin contributing to PCH’s success in interactive marketing. We consider DMEF a valued partner as they steer us to the most talented students entering the marketplace.”

Reserve a table at the 2010 Rising Stars Awards Dinner here.

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 press registration or for photos or 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 attract, educate, and place top college students in the business of direct/interactive marketing and, 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, companies and associations. Funds raised go toward a broad range of world-class educational programs.

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 2,000 professors have participated in DMEF programs. Thanks in significant part to the Foundation’s four decades of work, today approximately 255 colleges and universities offer courses in direct/interactive marketing, 31 of which now offer specific direct marketing degrees and certificate programs. For additional information about the DMEF, its mission, and its programs, visit

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Sue R.E. Geramian

Carmela M. Uzzi