Sunday, January 8, 2012

Bob Allen, David Diamond, and Jeff Gundersen Join DMEF Board

New York, NY, January 9, 2012 — The Direct Marketing Educational Foundation (DMEF) Board today announced three new trustees, brought on to fill positions vacated due to resignations. The incoming trustees are Robert W. Allen, former president & CEO of The Vermont Country Store; David Diamond, vice president, dELiA*s; and Jeff Gundersen, founder & CEO of Executive Connections LLC. All three have terms expiring in June 2013, at which time they will be eligible to be re-elected for a three-year term.

“The driving force of the DMEF is found in its Board of Trustees, which is why I am particularly proud to welcome these highly respected and accomplished professionals who bring such diverse skills and background to our Board,” said Terri L. Bartlett president, DMEF. “Their contributions will certainly strengthen and advance our mission to attract, educate, and place college students in direct/interactive marketing careers.”

Robert W. Allen

Robert W. Allen (Bob) retired in 2005 as president and chief executive officer of The Vermont Country Store, a multichannel retailer of hard-to-find products. He had been with the company since 1982 and served as an adviser until 2008. During his tenure, the company grew from $4 million to $100 million, and transitioned from a traditional catalog retailer to a major player in the online and digital space. Allen held the positions of vice president of merchandising, executive vice president, and chief operating officer, and was selected as the first non-family president of the business in 1994. He was promoted to chief executive officer in 1996 and led the company through its first strategic planning process.

Throughout his career, Allen has served on for- and non-profit boards. Presently, he is a director for six for-profit companies in New England — Gardeners Supply, Cuddledown, Susan Sargent Designs, JK Adams, Danforth Pewterers, and Kalow Technologies. Two of the businesses are Vermont-based employee owned companies (ESOPs). He served on the board of the New England Mail Order Association for 10 years, and was its president from 2002 to 2004. In 2010, he served for eight months as the interim president/CEO of the Direct Marketing Association.

David Diamond

David Diamond serves as the vice president of dELiA*s, Inc., reporting to the CEO, a position he has held since January 2004. dELiA*s, Inc. is a publicly traded direct marketing and retail company comprised of two lifestyle brands primarily targeting teenage girls and young women. Its brands – dELiA*s and Alloy – generate revenue by selling apparel, accessories, footwear, and room furnishings to consumers through direct mail catalogs, websites, and dELiA*s mall-based specialty retail stores across the country. Since joining dELiA*s, Diamond has overseen all human resource functions, including compensation and benefits, staffing and recruiting, organizational structure, training and development, employee relations, and payroll for all divisions of the company.

Prior to joining dELiA*s, from 1996 through 2003, Diamond was an executive recruiter focused on the retail and e-commerce industries. Initially, Diamond was vice president at Levy-Kerson where he co-launched their e-commerce practice before the firm was sold to Korn/Ferry International. He then became an executive director with Russell Reynolds Associates and moved on to become a partner with Whitehead Mann and Highland Partners.

Jeff Gundersen

Jeff Gundersen, founder & CEO of Executive Connections LLC, has built a loyal following for developing outstanding digital business and marketing leaders. His boutique firm’s competitive edge is based upon the long-term C-level partnerships Gundersen has cultivated, paired with EC’s innovative solutions that blend executive search, transition consulting, and personal branding. Global CEOs — seeking to build “best in class” marketing and media businesses and personal brands — have made him their trusted advisor. They rely on his proven connections, depth of marketing, media sector experience, and record of delivering high-touch support for the long-term success of their businesses and the executives placed.

A sought-after speaker on the forefront of digital marketing and new media talent acquisition and development, Gundersen is involved with leading digital and direct marketing industry associations including the DMA, IAB, AdTech, MMA, and AMA. A champion and advocate for high-achieving children and young adults through providing higher education and internship opportunities, he is committed to programs such as Future Possibilities, DMEF, and EC’s Rising Stars.

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 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. For additional information about the DMEF, its mission, and its programs, visit

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Susan Taplinger