Ralph Stevens, President, Ralph Stevens & Associates, LLC

Some people may know Ralph Stevens as the Direct Marketing Club of New York’s Master of Ceremonies from more than a dozen Silver Apples Awards programs over many years. Others may remember him as the MC for a number of “roasts” that included Direct Marketing Hall of Fame members such as Jonah Gitlitz, Hank “Pete” Hoke, Jr., Robert “Bob” Delay, among many others. Others may recognize Stevens as a leader and pioneer in the mailing list business for more than 40 years, and a renowned direct marketer and copywriter prior to that.

Stevens is currently President of Ralph Stevens & Associates, LLC, a direct marketing consulting company focused on providing high level list brokerage, list management, data processing and data base management services for a handful of select clients.

Prior to this, Stevens was President and CEO of Stevens-Knox & Associates, Inc., a multidivisional and multinational mailing list media company originally founded in 1972 as Woodruff-Stevens & Associates, Inc. Stevens’ company was acquired by a public corporation, MSGI, in 1999. MSGI later became MKTG Services and kept Stevens on board as its Senior Vice President through 2005.

Stevens’ previous involvement in the direct marketing industry consisted of positions as vice president of marketing of Funk & Wagnalls’s, advertising director of Famous Artists Schools International, advertising manager of Institute for Business Planning (a division of Prentice Hall), and mail order copywriter for the Grey Advertising and Fairfax advertising agencies.

Stevens is a former president of the Direct Marketing Club of New York (1987-1988), former president of the Mailing List Users and Suppliers Association (1984-1989), as well as a former president of the Direct Mail Writers Guild (1968). He also initiated and was chairman of the Exhibits Committee of Direct Marketing Day in New York for 10 years (1980-1990), and was chairman of the List Acquisition Committee for the Caples Awards for 15 years (1984-1999). He has written dozens of articles on direct mail practices, direct marketing and mailing lists during the course of his career, and has lectured at such institutions as NYU and Fordham University.


2011 Silver Apple Award Honorees


Joseph W. Gomez, Vice President of New Business Development, fmi Direct, Inc.

Joseph “Joe” Gomez is the vice president of new business development of fmi Direct. fmi is a leading marketing service provider, with roots deep in direct mail that has grown to launch multi-channel campaigns to also include email, web and mobile.

Always in the service sector, Gomez started his career as an account representative for Tyme Direct Mail, and then formed J.R. Gomez & Sons with his father and two brothers. After selling the family business, he went into production as the night manager for Mailmen Inc., and later managed the “Chase Mellon Shareholder Services” division of DIMAC Direct. Moving to account management, Gomez has helped execute marketing campaigns for clients of Cherry Lane Litho and Federal Direct.

Gomez currently serves as president of the New York Chapter of the Mail Fulfillment Services Association. During the years, he has been involved with many associations including the Long Island Postal Customer Council, nine years as a board member of the Direct Marketing Fundraisers Association, and the Direct Marketing Club of New York, where he recently served as Board secretary.


Tom Mastrocola, Director, Subscription Acquisition, American Express Publishing Corporation

Tom Mastrocola is director of subscription acquisition at American Express Publishing Corporation, an authoritative content company which produces the Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine, Departures, and Executive Travel brands in addition to print and digital products and services in the affluent lifestyle space.

A senior executive with extensive direct marketing experience, American Express Publishing has generated record-breaking audience growth and expanded its branded books and clubs business during Mastrocola’s tenure. Currently, he oversees magazine direct mail and email acquisition which has increased net subscriptions and decreased acquisition cost per new subscriber. Tom has directed new business acquisition for the company since 2005 and was director of branded products and services when he first joined the company in 2003.

Prior to American Express Publishing, Tom worked for AOL Time Warner Inc. as vice president of marketing where he was responsible for memberships, subscriptions and registrations across the channels of all AOL Time Warner divisions. Previously, Mastrocola spent nine years at Time Inc. in various marketing and management positions and was president of Time Inc. Home Entertainment during this time. Mastrocola began his career at Publishers Clearing House.

Mastrocola also is a recipient of the prestigious Time Inc. President’s Award (1993). He is a graduate of Bernard M. Baruch College of City University of New York and received his Master’s in Business Administration in Quantitative Analysis from St. John’s University.


Gerald F. Messer, President & Chief Executive Officer, Data Services, Inc.

Gerald F. (Jerry) Messer is president & CEO of Data Services, Inc., headquartered in Salisbury, MD. Data Services specializes in U.S., Canadian and international direct mail data processing, database and email campaign services. International Market Link, a division of Data Services, provides consulting, logistical support and assistance with Canadian and International mailing services.

Messer’s career spans more than 40 years in the direct marketing field specializing in data processing, email, and list and mailing service areas. Before becoming involved with Data Services, Inc., in 1986, he held positions with Market Development Corporation and The PSA Group.

Messer is an active member of many national and international organizations, among them the Direct Marketing Association, the Specialized Information Publishers Association, the Canadian Marketing Association, the Federation of European Direct Marketing Associations, and International Mailers’ Advisory Group, as well as numerous regional direct marketing associations such as the Direct Marketing Club of New York, the Hudson Valley Direct Marketing Association, the Direct Marketing Association of Washington (DC) and the Chicago Association of Direct Marketing. He is past chairman of DMA’s International Council operating committee, and is a member of various other DMA councils. He has participated as a speaker and panelist at many events during his career. Messer was graduated from Ohio State University and is a U.S. Navy veteran.


Adrea Rubin, Chief Executive Officer, Adrea Rubin Marketing and Management

Adrea Rubin, chief executive officer, Adrea Rubin Marketing and Management, has been involved in the direct marketing field since 1974 when she took her first job as the Direct Mail Marketing Association’s (now Direct Marketing Association) Insurance Council administrator. While spearheading the DMIC, Rubin was hired as a list brokerage account executive by Names Unlimited which was owned by Colonial Penn Insurance Company. Rubin was hired to learn insurance direct marketing and handled the data acquisition for American Association of Retired Persons membership and its insurance products, which solely were endorsed by Colonial Penn. Her first client, Colonial Penn Insurance Company is still a client of the firm 37 years later. In 1976, she was recruited by Direct Media to open its New York City branch office. During her tenure as executive vice president at Direct Media, she was named “Salesperson of the Year” from the award’s inception until 1988. Rubin became the first female member of the company’s board of directors and was one of Direct Media’s original shareholders.

Ms. Rubin capitalized on her entrepreneurial spirit and opened Adrea Rubin Marketing in 1990 and Adrea Rubin Management in 1992. As a testimonial to her abilities, her entire client base continued to utilize her list brokerage services in the new venture. At present, the average tenure of the firm’s client base is in excess of 20 years. As a result of her vast knowledge of the insurance industry, Rubin has worked as a marketing advisor for more than 30+ insurance carriers in the life, health, and property and casualty arenas. Rubin is proud to have worked with clients such as Mutual of Omaha, Citibank, AARP, International Masters Products, Inc., JPMorganChase, Physicians Mutual Insurance Company, Colonial Penn, Fingerhut, Figi’s, to name but a few.

Rubin has successfully merged the concept of traditional customer acquisition utilizing data with new multi-channel media strategies. Today, Rubin is a marketing strategist involved in creating new products, developing digital and offline marketing strategies, creative consultation, developing retention and reactivation solutions, modeling and analytics, and building online and call center lead generation programs to drive business growth. She is instrumental in evolving the firm’s product offerings, and now brings social media and mobile marketing concepts to clients.

Rubin is a long-standing member of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and received the prestigious List Leader of the Year award in 2009. She has served as a finalist judge in the financial services/insurance category of the International ECHO Awards in 2009, 2010 and 2011. She has been an avid supporter of the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation and has volunteered her time to help organize DMEF’s annual dinner. Rubin is certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise Council as a diversity vendor. She is an active member in the Women Presidents’ Organization, Direct Marketing Club of New York, The Direct Marketing Idea Xchange, and the DMA Financial Services and Insert Media Councils.


David Williams, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Merkle, Inc.

David Williams is chairman and chief executive officer of Merkle, Inc. He purchased the company then known as Merkle Computer Systems, Inc., in 1988 and became its 24th employee. Today, Merkle has more than 1200 employees in locations in the United States and China and is today the nation’s largest and fastest-growing independent customer relationship marketing (CRM) agency.

Williams oversees the creation and delivery of quantitative information-based integrated customer marketing solutions for nationally recognized clients including GEICO, DirecTV, P&G, Capital One, Microsoft, Disney, NIKE, DELL, Sanofi Aventis, Samsung and American Cancer Society, among many others.

Under Williams’s leadership, Merkle has sustained 25% annual growth during the last 20 years and was recognized as a market leader by Forrester Research in 2003, 2006 and 2007. Advertising Age ranked Merkle as the 15th largest marketing services agency in the U.S. and 7th largest marketing services agency specializing in direct marketing. Williams was recognized by Winning Workplaces and Fortune Magazine as one of America’s Best Bosses of 2006, and was the 2007 Maryland Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Williams currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Direct Marketing Association where he also serves on its Executive Committee. He also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees at the Howard County General Hospital: A Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine. Williams is a frequent speaker at industry events and has written numerous articles and white papers about topics such as CRM, database marketing and analytics, digital media and marketing technology. He began his career at Butcher & Singer, a Philadelphia-based investment bank, and holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania.


2011 Silver Apple Award Corporate Honoree


Japs-Olson Company, Corporate Honoree

Japs-Olson Company is one of the largest commercial print and direct mail production companies in the United States. More than 875 million pieces of mail were produced and mailed last year for their clients. Customers put their utmost trust in Japs-Olson’s ability to print, personalize, insert and mail their most complex direct mail programs with expert care and individual attention. Celebrating more than 104 years of service, this is a third-generation family-owned and operated company.

Japs-Olson maintains a leading edge in the marketplace by proactively investing millions of dollars every year to equip its facility with the best technology available in addition to supporting professional associations such as the Direct Marketing Club of New York. As a proud corporate DMCNY member for more than 25 years, Japs-Olson recognizes the critical role that this association offers to enhance direct marketing professionals with cutting-edge industry education, networking opportunities and its funding for direct marketing with higher education institutions.