Tuesday, October 12, 2010

DMEF Raises Over $425,000 at Awards Dinner/Scholarship Auction As DMA2010 Kicks Off in San Francisco

San Francisco, CA, — The Direct Marketing Educational Foundation (DMEF) gathered hundreds of direct/interactive marketing professionals for their Annual Awards Dinner on Saturday night at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.

Recognized as DMEF’s premier event of the year, the Dinner’s honorees Dr. Marjorie Kalter, clinical professor, and academic director for New York University (NYU) Master of Science, integrated marketing program, with the Edward N. Mayer, Jr. Education Leadership Award; Markus Wilhelm, CEO of AKS Marketing & Media and Chairman of Strata Solar LLC with the exclusive DMEF Vision Award; and Merkle, a primary customer relationship marketing agency with the Corporate Leadership Award.

The 2010 Annual Awards Dinner/Program & Scholarship Auction holds the record as DMEF’s highest grossing fundraising event, which included contributions from Quad/Graphics, Acxiom, Bertelsmann, Experian, KBM Group (formerly KnowledgeBase Marketing), Guthy-Renker, Litle & Co., and Merkle. A post-event contribution from Infogroup also helped raise funds to record levels. JoAnne Monfradi Dunn, DMEF Trustee and founder and chief executive officer for Alliant, served as the evening’s auctioneer.

“Thanks to the generosity of this great community – corporate leaders, academics, and students alike – DMEF continues to infuse resources into our programs to ensure that the talent pool of tomorrow is healthy and ready to serve the diverse needs of this field,” said DMEF President, Terri L. Bartlett. “DMEF’s Board and staff continue to raise the bar and as a result, 2011 promises to bring many new and enthusiastic beginners into the field.”

Edward N. Mayer, Jr. Award for Education Leadership

The Mayer Award, DMEF’s most prominent annual award, was presented to Marjorie Kalter, Ph.D., clinical professor and academic program director of NYU’s Master of Science program in integrated marketing; former DMEF Robert B. Clarke Outstanding Educator Award winner.

Kalter has the experience and knowledge that beginning direct marketers aspire to one day have themselves. She taught Columbia University’s MBA program in direct marketing for nine years before joining the staff of NYU in 2001. She has also served as executive vice president and account managing director at Wunderman (WPP Group) in New York and Paris where she led integrated marketing programs for numerous internationally known companies.

Kalter’s teaching and marketing experience make her a valuable asset to the field of marketing. Since being awarded the DMEF’s Outstanding Educator Award in 2004, she has been a member of the Board of Trustees for DMEF, a member of DMA’s ECHO Committee, chairman of DMA’s Hall of Fame Committee for 2007, and an active speaker at marketing conferences.

Corporate Leadership Award

The 2010 DMEF Corporate Leadership Award was presented to Merkle, a leading customer relationship marketing agency. (www.merkleinc.com)

Merkle believes the best way to succeed in business is to balance both quantitative and qualitative approaches to marketing. Founded in 1971, this customer relationship marketing agency identifies successful marketing as consisting of three critical components: thought leadership and strategy; a well-defined engagement model; and a fully integrated implementation approach. With locations in ten major states, Merkle’s mission is to help clients create and maintain marketing strategies that will influence consumer behavior over time. Merkle is an active marketing educator to younger generations including a two-year sponsor of DMEF’s re-branded Interactive Marketing Immersion Xperience (I-MIX) program, the first of which took place last August, and the second scheduled for August 2011.

Vision Award

This exclusive award was presented to Markus Wilhelm, chief executive officer of AKS Marketing & Media, and chairman of Strata Solar LLC.

Wilhelm started his direct marketing career working for Bertlesmann Direct and since then has served as CEO for a series of prestigious companies including Bookspan, Doubleday Canada, and Doubleday Direct. Wilhelm currently serves as CEO of AKS Marketing & Media, a direct marketing consulting agency that provides strategic and operational consulting to clients. He is also chairman of Strata Solar LLC, a recently established solar energy distribution company.

Few have demonstrated an understanding and commitment to education as manifested in Wilhelm’s idea to launch DMEF’s Next Generation Leaders program. This rotating residency for recent graduates is helping to generate attention and interest for careers in direct/interactive marketing. Working closely with both the Boards and staff of DMEF and DMA, he has been instrumental in generating industry support for the Next Generation Leaders initiative. Wilhelm has been a member of DMA’s Board of Directors for the past eight years, serving as its Chairman in 2006 and 2007. He is also a former Trustee of the DMEF Board.

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 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. 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 www.directworks.org.

# # #

Sue R.E. Geramian

Carmela M. Uzzi