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 award recipients received their awards at the club’s 23nd annual Silver Apple Award gala luncheon on November 16, 2007 at the NY Hilton and Towers in New York City.

The Direct Marketing Club of New York announces the following recipients of its 2007 Silver Apple Awards for outstanding contributions to the direct marketing industry:

Individual Recipients (see pictures and bios below)

• Mr. Pat Corpora
• Mr. Walter Neff
• Ms. Holly Pavlika
• Mr. Brian Snider
• Ms. Suzanne Taliaferro
• Mr. John Temple


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 2007 honoree is Equifax.

And, for the first time, DMCNY announces a Gold Apple Award to be given to Lee Epstein for 50 years of service to the industry.

“We couldn’t be prouder of this years Silver Apple winners — a group that represents the diverse communities within our field from education to creative, mail order to publishing,” said Ruth P. Stevens, President of the Direct Marketing Club of New York (DMCNY) who oversaw the final selection process.  “We are also thrilled to add the new ‘Golden Apple’ award this year. The Board of Directors felt that the world of direct marketing in New York has a rich history filled with long-time contributors worthy of recognition. It’s important to remember the pioneers who worked so hard to make direct marketing the global power house it is today.”

Mr. Pat Corpora, President and CEO, HCI Direct

Pat Corpora is currently President and CEO of HCI Direct, the largest direct marketer of hosiery products in the U.S.  Since joining HCI in 2003, his strategy has been to maximize the core hosiery business and Silkies brand (www.silkies.com) while developing new products for the Silkies Customer. The company has now successfully launched Silkies Enriche Anti-Aging Moisturizer (www.silkiesenriche.com), and PainVanish Pain Relieving Cream (www.painvanish.com).

Prior to joining HCI Direct, Corpora was the Senior Vice President of Marketing for America Online (AOL) from 2000 to 2003. He oversaw all the direct to consumer marketing efforts for membership registrations, including direct mail, print advertising, alternative media and Internet advertising, achieving record membership levels in 2001.

Prior to AOL, Corpora served as President of the Book Division at Rodale Inc. and Managing Director of the company’s Interactive Division. During his ten-year term as President, he grew Rodale’s Book Division from a $30 million business to a $250 million business.

Corpora, who began his career at Rodale in 1980 as a project accountant, joined the magazine division’s Circulation Department in 1981 as the circulation director for Prevention Magazine. He moved on to become the marketing director of the book division in 1984, and was appointed vice president of marketing in 1986.  He was promoted to president of the book division in 1990 and managing director of Rodale’s Interactive Division in 1999.

Corpora earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting from Moravian College. He resides in historic Bethlehem, PA with his wife Sandy, who is an artist, and their border collie, Jack. He is an avid organic gardener, runner, bicyclist and backpacker. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Direct Marketing Association’s Education Foundation and he was named Direct Marketer of the Year by Target Magazine in 2005.


Mr. Walter Neff, Professor, Mercy College

Walter Neff has worked on both sides of the desk, as well as behind the college lectern during his nearly forty-year career in direct marketing. After earning his bachelor and master degrees Walter was introduced to business-to-business direct marketing when he landed his first job at the Research Institute of America, and then to business-to-consumer marketing when he moved on to Scholastic Magazines.

Getting a taste of the publishing world Walter then launched his own self-publishing company Infosystems Publishing where his biggest seller was “How to Cut Your Mortgage In Half and Save Thousands of Dollars in Interest” using a triple-your-money-back offer that couldn’t be refused by home owners. When an opportunity to learn how all the things that vendors had been promising him they could do for him Walter took a position at Walter Karl’s computer service bureau division, List Maintenance. Walter worked with and learned from many of the marketing giants such as Barnes & Noble and Time-Warner.

Having started two small work-from-your-kitchen-table companies Walter had learned the many pitfalls of this pursuit, and decided at the time to also start offering lectures to other start-up entrepreneurs that would show them many of the time and money-saving techniques he had learned the hard way in his ventures. These lectures became known to Prof. Tom Milton, Chair of the Business Division at Mercy College, and who at the behest of one of the Board of Trustee members from The Reader’s Digest said that his division should offer some sort of direct marketing program, contacted Walter.

The rest is history, as the two worked together to create and launch the Master of Science in Direct Marketing, which several years later added Interactive to the degree name due to the rapidly and expansive growth of the Internet. Walter’s program became the second college in the country to offer such a degree. NYU already was running a similar program, but Walter saw the value of distance online learning and soon expanded into this cyber venue, making his degree program in direct and interactive marketing the only one in the country that could be earned completely online. This attracted students from not only nearly every state of the union, but also from foreign countries where students in Australia, India and Thailand could also learn the latest and cutting-edge marketing techniques from an elite faculty that Walter assembled.

All his professors were practitioners, which meant they were teaching in class or online exactly what they doing in their work-a-day lives. Due to Walter’s efforts his program has graduated true direct marketing professionals. Walter said he has yet to find even one person who got out of college and saw direct marketing as a career choice. Usually they would get a job with a company in direct marketing and learn the ropes from someone else, who had learned from someone else, often resulting in only partial or outdated methods being passed on. Walter again saw a need and filled it by creating the finest program of its kind in the country that graduates well-rounded and skilled direct marketing professionals who hit the ground running and soon become vital and valuable assets to any marketing company that hires them…which our ever increasing technically-oriented industry so sorely needs.


Ms. Holly Pavlika, Executive VP, Creative Officer, G2 Digital and Direct

Holly arrived at G2 Direct & Digital five years ago.

Her career in advertising can be traced back to one fateful day in college, when she was caught doodling during a psychology lecture. The professor suggested that she might check out an art class or two. Within hours, Holly had changed her major – and the rest, for better or worse, is history.

American Express, U.S. Trust, Saab, Mercedes-Benz, Rite Aid, and Cunard are just a smattering of the famous brands that Holly contributed to during her time at leading agencies such as McCann-Erickson and Lowe & Partners.

A perpetual striver, she went on to found two direct marketing agencies. The first was Fox Pavlika, followed by Margeotes Pavlika Direct, where she hung out her shingle for 15 successful years before being lured to G2 Direct & Digital.

Along the way, she’s acquired several shiny awards to decorate the shelves with – including Echo New York Festivals, ADDY, ANDY and Caples Awards. Holly has served on the board of the Caples.

Currently is the Chair of the DMA Creative Council and a part of the Echo committee. She has also taught direct marketing at the DMEF and the 4As. Holly’s vision is to build G2 Direct & Digital into a powerhouse that will be synonymous, worldwide, with creativity.


Mr. Brian Snider, President and CEO, The GRI Marketing Group, Inc.

Brian S. Snider is President and Chief Creative Officer of The GRI Marketing Group, a 22 year full-service marketing communications agency based in Trumbull, CT.  GRI is a multiple Folio award winner whose client list includes American Express Publishing, BMG/Columbia House, Time Consumer Marketing, Crain Communications, Dow Jones, Lillian Vernon, McGraw-Hill, Nature Publishing, Pitney Bowes, Reed Business Information, The Hartford, The Scooter Store and dozens more.

Mr. Snider has been personally involved with hundreds of campaigns for both b-to-b and b-to-c.  As President he has responsibility for agency positioning, strategy and vision.  He also heads new business development. As Chief Creative Officer, he handles the initial creative strategy and overseas the creative teams for each GRI client.

Prior to GRI, he held Sales Executive positions at Western Union and Electronic Mail Corp. of America.  During the 3 years at Western Union, he was a top producer among over 500 national sales professionals. After Western Union, he had a one-year in stint at Electronic Mail Corp. of America in sales then left to create The GRI Marketing Group.

He is a strong advocate of community and industry service. For six years, he was a board member of the Direct Marketing Club of New York and in 1996 served as its president. He has spoken at several industry functions including the DMA’s annual Exhibition copywriting and strategy roundtables, The Folio show, The Small Business Publishers’ Convention, and the DMCNY Evening Master Series Courses.  And, for the past 5 years, Brian has served as a judge for the DMA’s Echo awards.

Brian supports The Special Olympics of CT, Make a Wish Foundation, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Leukemia Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, the Bridgeport Rescue Mission and Paul Newman’s The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp.  He has managed baseball teams at the Little League and Babe Ruth levels, and boys U12 ice hockey.

He holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration from Northeastern University.  His hobbies include golf, tennis and guitar/songwriting.


Ms. Suzanne Taliaferro , President, Tolliver, Inc.

Suzanne Taliaferro began her career in direct marketing in 1970 as a copywriter for Collector’s Guild, a company selling art through the mail.  She became a part-owner in 1976 but left in 1978 to start Tolliver, Inc., a strategic catalog consulting firm, one of the first in the industry. She offered and continues to offer merchandising skills, creative production coordination, circulation strategy and implementation.

After almost 30 years, she is a veteran cataloger who has worked with a wide variety of merchandise catalogers: Cashs of Ireland, a client for 25 years… Edmund Scientific, Abbey Press, Kenneth Cole, Blair, Haband. Brylane Kitchen, Sheplers, Lipton Tea, Randon House, Hickory Farms, Sturbridge Yankee Workshop, Hanover, Petrossion Paris, Trimingham’s of Bermuda, Pfizer, Wells Fargo, Artistic Greetings, among others.

She is the winner of an Echo Award, and American Catalog Award, a Caples Award and has been a speaker at major conventions since 1974, an active Catalog Council member since its inception in 1976, DMIX board member.


Mr. John Temple, Former President & CEO, Guideposts

John F. Temple recently retired as President and CEO of the Guideposts organization.  He currently is a member of the Guidepost’s Board of Trustees.  Headquartered in Carmel, NY, Guideposts sponsors numerous outreach programs, and is one of the world’s foremost publishers of inspirational magazines, books and related products.  Mr. Temple joined Guideposts in 1973, after a distinguished career in publishing that began at Reader’s Digest, and was appointed to the post of President and CEO at Guideposts by Dr. and Mrs. Norman Vincent Peale in 1991.

Mr. Temple serves on the Board of Directors of Highlights for Children and Subsidiaries located in Columbus, OH.  He has served on the Board of Directors of the Direct Marketing Association since 1989, and was its Chairman in 1994.  He has also served on various DMA committees – including the Nominating Committee, Compensation Committee, and Executive Committee – and is a past Chair of the Circulation Marketing Committee of the Magazine Publishers of America.  Mr. Temple has also served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation, Inc.

Mr. Temple has served in many business and community associations, including the Board of Education of the Carmel (NY) Central School District, the Board of Trustees of the Northern Westchester Hospital Center, the Board of Directors of the Putnam Hospital Center in Carmel, and the Board of Directors of CURE International, headquartered in Harrisburg, PA

Mr. Temple enjoys flying small engine aircraft and other outdoor pursuits.  He has three children and two grandchildren and lives with his wife, Mary, in Carmel, NY.


Lee Epstein

Lee Epstein founded the nonprofit Direct Marketers Gateway, Inc. (formerly Direct Marketing Day Foundation) in mid-2001 to continue his longstanding belief in supporting educational pursuits to bring the best and the brightest young talent into direct and interactive marketing as potential leaders. In 2005, Direct Marketers Gateway aligned with the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation (DMEF) and The Lee Epstein Fund was created as a DMEF Endowment Trust to continue Lee’s vision.

Lee served as founder and chairman of Direct Marketing Days in New York (DMDNY) from 1966 to 2001. From 1980 onward, DMDNY, sparked by Lee’s interest in students and their educational needs, contributed over $3,000,000 to regional colleges, universities, students and the DMEF.

Lee was the president and founder of MAILMEN Inc, a volume lettershop, until he sold this business in 1992 to loyal employees.

Now Emeritus of the Postmaster General’s Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC), Lee is proud to have been one of the original industry leaders, selected at its inception, to participate. He has served as an Industry Chairman of MTAC and is a recipient of a Distinguished Service Award from the USPS.  He has testified before congressional committees and the Postal Rate Commission on industry/postal matters on innumerable occasions in support of the direct marketing industry.   A former Chairman of the Board of the Association for Postal Commerce (PostCom), (formerly AMMA), Lee was honored in 1995 by their inauguration of The Lee Epstein Award, their highest award, to be given annually to an individual in recognition of outstanding service rendered in behalf of all who use mail for business communications.

Lee has been honored by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) inducting him into their Hall of Fame, the industry’s highest accolade, in 1996. In addition, Lee was recognized as the 1984 List Leader of the Year by the DMA List Council and has Lifetime Membership in the DMA Computer Council.  In 1995, the DMEF awarded him the Edward N. Mayer Educational Leadership award and the DMEF honored Lee again in 2006 with its prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.

Lee is a past president of the Mailing & Fulfillment Service Association, formerly Mail Advertising Services Association. For his contributions to the organization and the industry, they named him Man of the Year in 1969.  He received their Outstanding Service Award for the second time in 1990.  In June 2001, Lee was honored with their Lifetime Membership Award.

The Long Island Direct Marketing Association (LIDMA) named him Man of the Year in 1982 and again in 1998.  Lee was among the first inductees in LIDMA’s Hall of Fame.

A past president of the Direct Marketing Club of New York (DMCNY), Lee served as an Advisor to their Board for many years. In 1984, the DMCNY awarded him the Mal Dunn Leadership Award and in 1986, honored him with their Silver Apple Award.

In 1999, Women in Production (WIP) recognized Lee by presenting him the Luminaire Awards, their highest honor.

For 26 years, Lee was CFO/Treasurer of the John Caples International Awards.  In 1996, he received their Andi Emerson Award for outstanding service.

Over the years, Lee has been a speaker at National Postal Forums, local Direct Marketing Clubs across the country, at DMA and DMDNY Conferences and publishing industry events.  He has lectured at the American Management Association, the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation, and NYU’s Center for Direct Marketing, Mail Advertising Association, International and PostCom.

In 2006, Lee and his wife, Rose Lansman Epstein, celebrated 60 years of marriage. Rose worked at Time, Inc. for many years in an executive capacity. They have two children, Larry and Ellen, and three grandchildren. Lee and Rose reside in New York City.



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