Once a year direct marketing professionals meet for a very special event — the presentation of the prestigious Silver Apple Awards given for 25 years of distinguished service to the New York direct marketing community.

The Direct Marketing Club of New York announces the following recipients of its 2006 Silver Apple Awards for outstanding contributions to the direct marketing industry:

 

Individual Recipients (see pictures and bios below)

• Margaret Raven Ginns

• Gordon Grossman

• Liz Kislik

• Larry May

• Don Mokrynski

• Lee Marc Stein

 

Each year a special Corporate Silver Apple Award is presented to a company that has enthusiastically supported the Club and direct marketing in New York. The 2006 honoree is Leon Henry, Inc.
“This year’s recipients reflect the best qualities of our industry. Not only have they had outstanding and sustained careers, all have generously given back to the industry by volunteering, mentoring, and myriad other ways,” said Jane Weber, Immediate Past-President of the Direct Marketing Club of New York (DMCNY) who oversaw the final selection process.

The award recipients received their awards at the club’s 22nd annual Silver Apple Award gala luncheon on November 10, 2006 at the NY Hilton and Towers in New York City.


Margaret Raven Ginns, List Process Management Company

Margaret was born and educated in the United Kingdom and came toAmerica in 1964.  Because of the visa restrictions for English secretaries, Margaret came as a domestic, a cook – who could not!

Margaret’s first experience in direct marketing was in 1965 with The Kleid Company, and her first assignment was to be executive secretary to Lewis Kleid.  His response at the interview when she explained that she had been a cook was “then you can handle direct marketing!”   Margaret left The Kleid Company as an account executive and went on to The Coolidge Company as general manager for their Management Division.

She moved to Woodruff-Stevens & Associates, a division of The Computer Directions Group.  When the company’s partners split Margaret moved on to Stevens-Knox.  Margaret was with these organizations for 22 years.  Margaret held the position of Executive Vice President of the Management Division until her departure.

Margaret pioneered many management reporting procedures that are now used in the industry.  Stevens-Knox was one of the leading management companies with a London office and this gave Margaret the opportunity to visit the old country.  Margaret is a past Chairperson of the DMA’s List Council.

In the private sector, she received a citation from the then Mayor Koch for her contribution to a program she led at her Episcopalian Church in Manhattan, which fed 100 people every Sunday.   While living in New York City she was involved in Miracle House, an outreach program to families of Aids patients.

Margaret now works part-time for List Process Management Company in their Sarasota Office.   She lives in Sarasota, Florida with her husband, Jim Knox (Mr. “Hotline” and a 1996 Silver Apple Recipient) and their bichon frize.

 

Gordon Grossman, Gordon W. Grossman, Inc.

This month is exactly 50 years from the day that Gordon Grossman was hired as a copywriter by Reader’s Digest. He worked for the Digest for some 18 years. He was Circulation Director of the Digest, U.S. and International, for some six years and was Marketing Director from 1971-1974. As Marketing Director, he was responsible for managing all consumer  marketing activities. Corporate responsibilities included membership on the Board of Directors and Senior Vice President.

Among the innovations developed at RDA, he was particularly pleased with the success of the first direct mail sweepstakes in 1962 (hey, it lasted for almost four decades), and the first use of regression analysis in direct marketing a year later. As a consultant, he developed the regression-based customer selection systems for both Time-Life Books and Rodale Press (working with a mathematician). These systems are still very much in use today.

He was inducted into the DMA Hall of Fame in October of 1995, and the DMA Circulation Hall of Fame in February of 1994.

As a consultant, his clients have run a considerable gamut, from American Express to Xerox. Since he has worked for some 85 different clients, and now works only for Boardroom, this gives him the somewhat dubious distinction of having been fired 84 times (The Digest doesn’t count, because he quit that job).

Anyone interested in more (much more) about GWG will find it in his book Confessions of a Direct Mail Guy, which was published in October.

 

Liz Kislik, President, Liz Kislik Associates

Liz Kislik is President of Liz Kislik Associates LLC, a consulting firm that focuses on customer satisfaction and employee success as the building blocks of a resilient, effective enterprise.

Liz’s professional development began with summer jobs in a call center. After receiving her BA from Yale, she started out as an account executive with CCI Telemarketing, one of the first telemarketing agencies in the U.S., and worked her way up to executive vice president. During this time she earned an MBA from New York University. In 1987 she opened her own consultancy.

Today she works with organizations of all sizes and business segments to help managers cope with complex organizational problems, particularly in the areas of customer care and employee development. Liz is credible and trusted both in the board room and on the operations floor, by CEOs as well as contact center reps and supervisors.

She is recognized as one of the top contact center consultants in the country, and in 1994, Liz received the DMA’s Telephone Marketing Excellence award, presented annually to “an individual or company who exhibits leadership and quality; maintains professionalism; shares knowledge with others; serves as a model or benchmark; employs consistent innovation; has a proven track record and displays the highest ethical standards.”

An extremely active member of the DMA, Liz is deeply involved in current issues of ethics and consumer affairs. She chaired the Committee on Ethical Business Practices, the Teleservices Ethics Committee, the Teleservices Council, and served on the DMA Board of Directors for six years and its Executive Committee for two. She testified before Congress on behalf of the Association’s self-regulatory programs in the area of privacy. She currently sits on the DMA’s Committee for Social Responsibility.

Liz is a Board Member and an instructor for the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation and chairs its Strategic Planning Subcommittee. She also served as adjunct faculty at both New York University and Hofstra University. She is a member of the editorial boards for Catalog Success and Target Marketing magazines, writes a column for Multichannel Merchant, and speaks frequently about customer care, effective marketing techniques, and successful management practices.

 

Larry May, CEO, Direct Media

Larry is CEO of Direct Media Inc., the leading list brokerage and management firm in the nation. DMI specializes in list brokerage, management, database services, alternative media, analysis and modeling, international list services, complete fundraising direct mail, and e-commerce services.

DMI’s clients include many of the most successful direct marketers in America, in the catalog, publishing, b2b, fundraising and financial service areas.  Each year, DMI is involved in more than 10% of all standard rate mail.

In 1993, Larry founded May Development Services, a division Direct Media, Inc., located in Greenwich, CT.  MDS provides direct mail fundraising services to a variety of non-profit organizations, specializing in health, social service and religious appeals.   Last year, MDS participated in over 350,000,000 pieces of fund raising mail, making it the largest list brokerage for nonprofits in the industry.

In 1980, he joined Walter Karl, Inc. as copywriter for its Qualified Lists division.  During his 13 years at WKI, he moved to Account Executive and ultimately to President of the WKI Fundraising Division.

Larry currently serves as a Trustee of the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation, and on the DMA Ethical Business Practices Committee.  He has served as a board member and officer for the DMA Nonprofit Federation, the Association of Direct Response Fundraising Counsel, and Greater New York Chapter of the National Catholic Development Conference and the National Federation of Nonprofits.  Larry is a frequent speaker at industry events.

He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from New York University in 1977.  He has held the Certified Fund Raising Executive credential from the Association of Fund Raising Professionals since 1986.

He and his wife Debby have three children and live in Westchester County, NY.

 

Donald Mokrynski, Founder and Former Chairman, Mokrynskidirect

In 1978, Don Mokrynski founded Mokrynskidirect  which is now one of the leading full service Marketing Companies in the industry.  In June, 2006 the company was acquired by infoUSA.

Don began his company at a time when the modern catalog industry was just coming into its own. Don embraced this opportunity, and created a company with a major focus on helping catalog companies grow and prosper. He brought in professionals who themselves were mailers, and whose knowledge would encompass all facets of the client’s business and span beyond just list experience.

Today, Mokrynskidirect employs over 110 people and is a full service marketing company specializing in customer acquisition and retention strategies for online merchants, fundraisers, publishers, pharmaceutical and Fortune 500 companies.  Mokrynskidirect integrates clients’ marketing efforts across all sales channels through Domestic and International List Brokerage, Management and Insert Media; Search Engine Marketing; Email Campaign Management; Research & Analysis and Space Advertising.

Don’s knowledge and experience have developed from over 40 years of direct marketing experience, beginning at The Sperry Hutchinson Company (S&H Green Stamps), where he was involved in the development and acquisition of mail order and mailing list businesses.

Don’s extensive experience and his investment in quality and professional employees over the years enabled him to create a unique company that has set a standard in the industry.  His total commitment to the company, its personnel and client base has been the foundation of its success and continued growth.  His reputation for professional integrity won him the respected position as the  2004 “DMA’s List Leader of the Year Award.”

Over the years, Don acted as trusted advisor, consultant and friend to numerous catalog/web companies and their senior management teams. He has advised on literally hundreds of start-up companies, many of which are industry leaders today.

Don has served on numerous Program Advisory Committees for Conferences, and for over 17 years was a very active member of the DMA’s Catalog and Multichannel Marketing Council’s Operating Committee.   He has been a frequent speaker and moderator at industry functions and a published author of numerous articles for trade journals.

 

Lee Marc Stein, Lee Marc Stein Ltd.

Lee Marc Stein began his direct marketing career as a copywriter at Prentice-Hall 42 years ago.  He has served on the client, agency and consulting sides of the industry.  His responsibilities have included developing marketing and test plans, creative development and execution, list and media planning, supervising order processing and fulfillment, database generation, and response and profitability analysis.

As a consultant and copywriter, he works with a variety of consumer and business marketers directly and through their agencies.  In the past few years, these have included national marketers like American Express Publishing, Entertainment Publications, Humana, Postal Commemorative Society, and Sage Software.  He has extensive creative experience in the publishing, insurance and financial services, business-to-business, software, and nonprofit arenas.

Before resuming his consulting practice in 1997, Lee had been Senior Vice President Direct of Earle Palmer Brown New York.  He was involved in strategic planning on U.S. Airways’ Frequent Traveler Program, The Money Store (he wrote the plan that launched this financial marketer into profitable use of direct mail), and Colonial Penn Auto Insurance.

Prior agency experience included Rosenfield Sirowitz Humphrey & Strauss, Modular Marketing, and March Advertising.  Lee also served on the client side at Standard & Poor’s, Business Week and McGraw-Hill.

Lee taught extensively at NYU’s Center for Direct Marketing, and at Hofstra University and C.W.Post where he established new courses.  He has appeared more than 100 times as a speaker or panelist at industry conferences from New England to New Zealand.  His articles appear on numerous marketing web sites and he is a columnist for Inside Direct Mail, and contributes both articles and interviews to the DMA’s Circulation Council Newsletter. He is on the Board of Directors of the Direct Marketing Association of Long Island, and served as Editor for the DMA’s Financial Services Council Newsletter.  He has contributed his talents to a number of nonprofit organizations including Island Harvest and the Long Island Children’s Museum.

 

Leon Henry, Chairman & CEO, Leon Henry

Leon Henry, Hartsdale, NY, advertising space broker, practically invented the package insert business, as we know it. In his past 50 years selling unique advertising media, he feels “The players have changed, but the game has been the same. Our approach is to find a given marketing situation and see if there is an opportunity for another marketer to partnership for mutual profit.”

Since receiving his master’s degree from Columbia School of Business, and an undergraduate degree from the Wharton School, of the University of Pennsylvania, Leon has pursued the entrepreneur’s dream.

Leon Henry Inc. now represents over 1500 insert distribution programs, from American Stationery to Zoysia Grass plugs, along with leading retail stores which accept inserts in their packages, circulars and customer statements and banks that enclose inserts in their MasterCard/Visa statements among many other venues.

Leon is a 35+year member of the DMA. He has served on the Board of Directors of the New York Direct Mail Club of which he has been a member since it was called the 100 Million Club and the Hudson Valley Direct Mail Club (past President). He is a member of the New England Mail Order Association, VT/NH Direct Mail Club along with other industry groups.

In 1991, Leon was honored by Target Magazine as one of the industry Top 200. In 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1995, Leon Henry Inc. was nominated as one of the “top 50” privately owned firms in Westchester County by the Westchester County Chamber of Commerce. Leon received a Silver Apple from the New York Direct Mail Club in November 1992. He was also named a finalist of the 1992, 1994, 1999 and 2002 Westchester County Entrepreneur of the Year Competition. On December 6, 2002, Leon received the first Founder’s Award from the Hudson Valley Direct Marketing Club.

In 2002, Leon spearheaded an industry effort to change the name of Alternative Media to Insert Media. Subsequently, the first ever Insert Media Day was successfully launched in September 2003.

Leon and his wife and business partner, Thelma, have three daughters and eight grandchildren.