Dr. Charles W. Stryker

(Posthumous Award)
Venture Development Center

Dr. Charles Stryker — “Charlie” — was a prominent entrepreneur in the data industry, who died unexpectedly following an accident. His late career, through the company he founded, helped give rise to ad tech and mar tech startups and companies that help brands and organizations capitalize on “Big Data” and data-driven customer engagement across online and offline channels.

Dr. Stryker received the B.S. and M.S. in electrical engineering and a Ph.D. in computer science in 1975, from New York University. Yet his dedication to advancing marketing practice, and professional development in our field, was lifelong.

He worked at AT&T within its Bell Labs unit, developing application of technology to address large-scale business marketing problems. His interest in complex statistics models led him to form Trinet in the mid-70s, a Parsippany-based consulting firm providing data-driven analytics to large corporations.

Dr. Stryker was a president of InfoGroup, was on the faculty of the Wharton School, and served on many boards of both public and private information companies. In 2014, he was recognized as the Data Innovator of the Year by the direct marketing field, and presented at a TED conference where he described the future of “Big Data.”

In 1996, Dr. Stryker founded Venture Development Center, LLC, where he served as chairman and chief executive officer. VDC is a preeminent advisory firm for the information services industry, and the leading provider of data strategy, data monetization, and custom data sourcing initiatives, supporting many of the major information services providers and representing over 120 other, lesser known but highly valuable, sources of unique and transformative data.