27th Annual Silver Apple Awards Rocks Hudson Theatre

27th Annual Silver Apple Awards Rocks Hudson Theatre


2011, December

Attendees to the DMCNY’s sold-out 27th Annual Silver Apple Award gala at New York City’s Hudson Theatre on November 10 might have expected plenty of entertaining moments. But who knew the evening would get started with a scene from Direct Marketing Idol?

Co-hosts Pam Haas—newly minted at Harte-Hanks—and Scott Fenwick surprised us all with a 21st Century rendition of “Please Mr. Postman,” with live vocals, unique lyrics and dance moves that would keep pace with any early round on Dancing with the Stars. Reality TV has nothing on direct and interactive marketing!

The cameras were rolling – and we’re sure to get some clips streaming on www.dmcny.org shortly – but suffice it to say, the two emcees put everyone in a good mood during the celebration’s opening.

We were all there to honor six direct marketing leaders and one exemplary company as they received the 2011 Silver Apple — and one Golden Apple—awards. The evening’s Honorary Master of Ceremonies, Martin Baier — the Father of ZIP Code Marketing and DMA Hall of Fame member—was given a nod by Scott, preceded by outgoing DMCNY President Pegg Nadler who cited a litany of success benchmarks for the club this year (Pegg, we’re not going to let you get away so easily!). During the evening’s invocation, Jim Prendergast reminded us all that the nation’s veterans deserve our thanks—and Jim put his Irish charm on display as he paid tribute— “integrity, honesty, friendship”—to the night’s first honoree, Ralph Stevens, president of Ralph Stevens Associates.

Ralph is the third recipient of a Golden Apple, marking 50 years of contribution toward the advancement of direct market- ing alongside influence and leadership in our discipline. Who knew that before Ralph ever roasted former DMA President Jonah Gitlitz (another Hall of Famer and past Silver Apple recipient), or told an off-color story about a mobile phone call from the men’s room, or spearheaded leadership of the Mailing List Users and Suppliers Association and the Direct Mail Writers’ Guild, he actually played the piano at Carnegie Hall? Talent is boundless, and direct marketing is better for it!

No one, however, can turn the pages of a script like honoree Adrea Rubin, founder and CEO of Adrea Rubin Marketing, as she read a letter to her younger self, making sure the girl inside knew that though she wasn’t going to be a doctor or an actor, being a 37-year career woman in direct and insurance marketing surely would be more than fulfilling. Her success certainly has expanded far faster than the rise in postage, though it could never cure her self-admit- ted hypochondria. Adrea, tell us where you found that jewelry! We watch QVC all the time, and Joan Rivers can’t match it.

David Williams, chairman & CEO of Merkle, was employee #28 when he joined the company after a leveraged buyout during the 1980s. In his acceptance remarks, David let us know that Merkle recently hired employee #1500! With an average annual growth rate of 25 percent over the past 20 years, and accolades of market leadership among database service providers from Forrester Research, Merkle has certainly made its mark with David at the helm. His statement that“great people make a great company”gives us a clue why Fortune recently named David one of America’s “best bosses.” Merkle also contributes to the career development of our discipline’s next generation of marketing leaders, which is a great fit with DMCNY’s ongoing support for direct and interactive marketing student scholarships at several New York City colleges and universities.

Honoree Jerry Messer thanked his mentors from his days at Market Development Corporation and The PSA Group, which preceded his involvement with Data Services, Inc., a company he joined in 1986 and where he is now president & CEO. Data Services is also a family affair. Jerry’s son Keith keeps the data in play, and his other son Jerry, Jr., has also lent his hand part-time. Altogether, Jerry has spent 35 years in direct marketing, serving hundreds of clients and a few vodkas with Ron Sichler.

When Joe Gomez, vice president of new business development, fmi direct, Inc., took account of past Silver Apple honorees like O.E. McIntyre, Stan Rapp and John Caples, he said to himself in jest,“You’re pretty damn good, aren’t you?” Well, yes, Joe, you are! Joe was joined by many of his friends from the Direct Marketing Fundraisers Association and Mail Fulfillment Services Association/New York, but also some of his newest colleagues from the Formica family who own multi-channel marketing service provider fmi direct in greater Philadelphia. Did you notice? Joe looks just the way he did when he was a U.S. Navy sailor. Happy Veterans’ Day, Joe, and we’re glad your Mom and Dad were there to see you honored.

The “Little Apple” (Minneapolis) had a taste of the Big Apple that night. Corporate honoree Japs-Olson, one of the largest commercial print and direct mail production companies in the United States, is the largest USPS customer in Minneapolis (even with its own ZIP Code), and a long-time supporter of DMCNY. In accepting the Silver Apple on behalf of the company, Debbie Roth, senior vice president, sales and marketing, praised DMCNY’s programming and focus on education and career development. In return, we took note of Japs-Olson’s leadership in marketing sustainability—its emphasis on recycling, water conservation and energy efficiency. Perhaps that’s why the third-generation family owned and operated company is marking its 104th year—the “triple bottom line” of people, planet and profit is the key.

“You may already have won a Silver Apple,” quipped Scott when announcing honoree Tom Mastrocola, director of subscription acquisition for American Express Publishing Corporation. That’s because Tom began his career with Publishers Clearing House, before joining Time Inc., AOL Time Warner, and finally American Express. Tom has a master’s degree in quantitative analysis. Talk about being ahead of the curve in marketing measurement. We wonder if it helps him with his angles in racquetball and paddleball, too. Tom thanked many of his mentors, among them, past Silver Apple honorees Christine Slusarek and Hank Rossi, both of whom were present.

Other past Silver Apple honorees in attendance were Mitch Hisiger, Leon Henry, Kay Cassidy, Betty Anne Cooper, Dr. Marjorie Kalter, Regina Brady, Hank Hoke, Andrea Nirenberg, Jerry Cerasale, Ken Altman, Lawrence Kimmel, JoAnne Manfredi Dunn, Lois Geller, Ron Sichler, Jonah Gitlitz, William Denhard, Art Blumenfield, Stu Boysen, Susan McNamara, Ray Butkus, Tom Turner, Jim Prendergast and Ralph Stevens (yes, he had a Silver Apple before the Golden one!). And our from-the-heart thank you to event sponsors Adrea Rubin Marketing, Japs-Olson, American Express Publishing, McVicker & Higginbotham, Acxiom, Alliant, Eidolon, Epsilon, Infogroup, Merkle Inc., Paradysz, Specialists Marketing Services, Data Services, Inc., Direct Marketing Association, fmi direct, Fosina Marketing Group (what a cup of coffee!), Mazzone Marketing Group, Ralph Stevens Associates, Boardroom, Macromark, Ocean Group, Ethnic Technologies, Statlistics, Design Distributors, DM Creative Group, Lee Epstein and Mar Graphics.

And now, for the grand finale, sing along to Mr. Postman, with Pam and Scott:

Wait! Oh yes, wait just a minute, Mister Postman Wait, wait, Mister Postman.

Mister Postman, look and see If there’s an apple in your bag for me Please, Mister Postman, make it Silver, I’ll cheer Cause I’ve been waiting 25 years.

“They must get the mail today-ay” Says my client so far away Please, Mister Postman, do not delay It won’t deliver on Saturday.

My customer is waiting, Mister Postman So-o-o patiently For just an email Or some direct mail I need this campaign to justify me.

Mister Postman, look and see If there’s an apple in your bag for me? Please, Mister Postman, make it Silver, I’ll cheer Cause I’ve been waiting 25 years.

So many days I an-al-yze Then for my client I strat-e-gize To make the campaign so much better With a text, an email or letter.

Mister Postman, look and see Is there an apple, apple, for me? Make it Silver, I’ll cheer Cause I’ve been waiting 25 years.

You gotta rent it, convert it, oh yeah You gotta merge it, purge it, oh yeah You gotta sort it, print it, we’ll see Wait two months, maybe response for me.

You gotta wait a minute, wait a minute and test Wait a minute, wait a minute, assess You gotta make 2 percent, no less Only that will be a success , oh yeah.

Mister Postman, look and see Is there an apple, apple, for me? Make it Silver, I’ll cheer!

Our cheers for another wildly successful Silver Apple awards gala. See you next year!

Chet Dalzell is an independent public relations strategist and practitioner in the direct and interactive field, with more than 25 years’ experience. Reach him at chet.dalzell@yahoo.com.


Chet Dalzell
Chet Dalzell's picture

Chet Dalzell is an independent public relations strategist and practitioner in the direct and interactive field, with more than 25 years’ experience. Reach him at chet.dalzell@yahoo.com.