Lester Wunderman

Lester Wunderman was born in the Bronx and educated at New York City public schools. He attended classes at each of New York City’s colleges and universities so he could create his own “degree.” Though highly educated, he still does not hold a formal college degree.

In 1947, he was hired as a copywriter at Maxwell Sackheim & Co. While there, he noted that their “mail order” accounts had the potential to be built into a broader line of business. He introduced a “direct marketing” approach to service them, using the medium of clients’ mailboxes as a way to develop a more personal connection with potential customers than general advertising had previously found possible.

To expand the direct marketing approach, Mr. Wunderman and his brother Irving, along with two colleagues, Ed Ricotta and Harry Kline, met on August 20, 1958, in Lester’s new “office” — a $30-a-night room at the Hotel Winslow in New York City — and with combined assets of $60,000 founded their own agency, Wunderman, Ricotta & Kline. In 1958, Wunderman, Ricotta & Kline opened its doors in New York City with a staff of seven. There were no clients. Nevertheless, WR&K attracted more than $2 million in billings during its first year. WR&K (later acquired by Young & Rubicam and eventually called Wunderman) was responsible for developing and/or promoting the Columbia Record Club, the magazine subscription card, and the postal ZIP code system. A long-time relationship with American Express also led to the first customer rewards program—a breakthrough means of keeping customers loyal to a brand that has since transformed the travel and retail industries as well.

Mr. Wunderman was elected to the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame in 1983, honored in 1985 with the Direct Marketing Club of New York Silver Apple, and the Advertising Hall of Fame in 1998. He received an honorary doctorate from Brooklyn College, City University of New York in 1984. He was named one of twenty “Advertising Legends and Leaders” by Adweek in 1998. In the July 23, 2001, issue of Time magazine, Mr. Wunderman (along with David Ogilvy and Sergio Zyman) was heralded as “Great Pitchmen Over the Years.”

Mirroring his eclectic college education, Wunderman has lectured at a host of schools, including Columbia University, Fordham University, Boston University, Sorbonne in Paris, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and New York University.  His book Being Direct: Making Advertising Pay was published in January 1997 and republished with new material in 2004. An ebook version, which includes a new introduction from the author, was published in 2011.

An avid art collector, he has donated nearly 300 works of Dogon artifacts to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the balance of his Dogon collection to the Louvre Museum in Paris, France. He has been an exhibited photographer for many years. He studied photography at the New School for Social Research and then with private instructors. Fifty of his photographs of his Dogon art are part of the permanent collection of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and thirteen other museums. His work has been represented by galleries in New York and the village of Mougins, France. He, Jacqueline Kennedy, Karl Katz, and Cornell Capa helped found the International Center of Photography in New York. His book of photographs, named “Wunderman”, has been published and distributed in 2008 by the global advertising agency that bears his name.

Mr. Wunderman brought engineers to Mali to help the Dogon people build water catchments and instruct them in water purification. For this, he was inducted as a tribal chief and was given the name (“Amma Sagou” or Beloved of God).

Beginning in 2010, a collection of Mr. Wunderman’s papers has been housed at the Rubenstein Library at Duke University.

He currently serves as chairman emeritus of Wunderman. He lives with his wife Sue in New York City.

Twitter: @LesterWunderman @Wunderman





Robert M. Cohn

Robert Cohn serves with Bonnier Corporation’s Men’s group, where he orchestrates consumer marketing strategy and activities for major magazine titles, including Popular Science, Field & Stream, Outdoor Life, and Saveur. He is in charge of acquiring new subscribers, retaining existing subscribers, retail sales, iPad applications and database marketing activities.

He joined Bonnier full-time in March 2007. Previously, as a consultant, he played a key role in the establishment of Bonnier Corporation’s U.S. operations and its acquisition and integration of 18 magazine titles from Time Inc.

As an independent publishing consultant from 2001 through 2006, he also played a key role in the creation of Active Interest Media and the sale of Weider Publications to American Media Inc.

Earlier in his career, he served as: vice president, consumer marketing for Times Mirror Magazines (1995-2001); president and publisher of Horticulture Magazine (1991-1995); senior vice president, consumer marketing for Magazine Publishers of America (1990-1991); executive publisher, American Health Magazine (1987-1990); and vice president, Policy Development Corporation (one of the pioneer circulation modeling companies) (1979-1985).

He began his publishing career at CBS Publications in the early 1970s, where he played a key role in that company’s entry and growth in consumer magazine publishing – and where he learned the fundamentals of fulfillment, direct mail, and computer modeling.

Subsequently he served as circulation director of New York Magazine and supervised the TimeMagazine account at direct marketing agency Wunderman, Ricotta, and Kline. As vice president of PDC – one of the earliest computer modeling companies — he worked with the publishers of more than 120 different consumer magazines, developing circulation business plans and strategies. In that role, he helped train many clients who went on to significant careers in magazine circulation and fulfillment.

Bob has also been active in magazine industry activities – participating as a frequent speaker at industry events and serving on the Digital Advisory Committee and the Vision Task Force for the Alliance for Audited Media and a member of the Consumer Marketing Committee for the Association of Magazine Media.

Bob earned an AB degree from Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH, and an MBA from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, where he was an Edward Tuck Scholar and editor-in-chief of the school newspaper. In 2011, he was inducted into the Direct Marketing Association’s Circulation Hall of Fame, and in 2013 the Fulfillment Management Association awarded him its Lee C. Williams Award.

Twitter: @bonnier


Ginger Conlon

As former editor-in-chief of Direct Marketing News, Ginger Conlon directed its editorial vision and content strategy. She is president of the New York chapter of the American Society of Business Publications Editors and a founding board member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association. She was cited as one of the “Top 100 Most Social Customer Service Pros on Twitter,” by Huffington Post contributor Vala Afshar, chief marketing officer and chief communications officer at Enterasys Networks. She also was selected as one of the “Top 25 CRM Influencers You Should Be Following” by Zoho.

Ginger—who admittedly obsesses over marketing and customer experience—has covered marketing, customer service, and sales strategies and technologies since starting her journalism career more than 25 years ago. She has served as editorial director of 1to1 Media, editor-in-chief of CRM magazine, and managing editor of Sales & Marketing Management magazine. In addition, Ginger has contributed to several business books, including Capitalizing on the Voice of the Customer, CyberSelling, and the online chapters of CRM at the Speed of Light, 4th Edition; she is quoted in two chapters of Big Data Marketing, by Teradata Applications CMO Lisa Arthur. She has also worked as a business book editor for such authors as Lior Arussy, Jay Conrad Levinson and George Colombo.

Ginger graduated with a BA in advertising from Penn State University.

Twitter: @customeralchemy


Chet Dalzell

It was 1988 when Chet’s car got a flat tire in Times Square, and while he was off to find a tow truck, all his radio audition tapes were stolen from the glove compartment: So ended Chet’s attempts to become a DJ. He was about to accept an assignment with a PR firm in Clinton, NJ, when the Direct Marketing Association called to “save him” from faraway Manhattan skyline views. He had a first interview at 9 am, and then, when called back at 4 pm, was offered the job while wearing Bermuda shorts – the first of many career dress code indiscretions.

Chet had little idea about “direct marketing” – but in time DMA provided him plentiful opportunities to defend commercial free speech and related enterprise as its primary media contact:  junk mail filling up landfills, sweepstakes preying on the elderly, use taxes and “what is nexus?,” annoying telemarketing calls at dinner, spam-spam-SPAM, 60 Minutes exposes, data breach notifications, and why our business is not the same as government surveillance. Flipside, to this day, he dwells in the all-wonder house of responsible data collection and use in advertising and its empowering effects on our lives.  From DMA he joined Harte Hanks and then, on his own, supported Alliant, Relevate (now DataMentors), UMarketing, Marketing EDGE, and a handful of enterprises from e-commerce startups to boutique banks in various PR efforts.  The years flowed like Big Data.  Today, his love for self-regulation has led to his current assignment with the Digital Advertising Alliance, the program behind “Your Ad Choices” and an Icon that is served globally more than 1 trillion times every month.

Chet’s volunteer engagements with DMA ECHO Award Board of Governors, DMA’s former Committee on the Environment and Social Responsibility, Direct Marketing Club of New York Board of Advisors, Direct Marketing Idea eXchange Board of Directors, and USPS Life-Cycle of Mail Task Force, among others, have spanned the Quality Movement, Earth Day 1990, CRM, Y2K, Digital Disruptions 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0, The Great Recession, Exigency, Climate Change and our current fascination with Omnichannel. He is a contributing blogger in Target Marketing, guest teaches on PR, and has authored many articles in trade and business publications. He’s a better communications professional because of all the change we’ve run to and embraced. He holds a BA in journalism from the University of Connecticut.

Nothing in achievement is possible without generous knowledge shared that is a hallmark of this field, and the journey friendships that inform and enrich.  Chet says thank you to all DMCNY Silver Apples winners of yesterday, today and tomorrow, and to a bevy of colleagues all smarter than him.  What’s Next?

Twitter: @chetdalzell @daausa


Peg Kuman

Peg Kuman is a senior executive with more than 45 years of professional experience in Direct and Digital Marketing. She is considered an expert in the use of data and information for commerce, matters of privacy, compliance, and voice communications, and has testified on matters of consumer privacy and information business practices before Congress and the Federal Trade Commission. Her broad experience includes the design and development of data and information-based logic and matching systems for business and consumer marketing across numerous sectors, including telecommunications; energy; manufacturing; publishing; retail; consumer package goods; financial services; banking; insurance; and health care, among others.

Peg currently serves as vice chairman of Relevate d/b/a DataMentors, a leading data and primary content company that specializes in business and consumer marketing insight, DaaS [Data as a Service] solutions including classic and digital marketing. In addition, Peg manages DataMentors’ Digital Practice.  Peg also serves as vice chairman of FarmMarketID, a leading provider of agriculture-related information for data-driven marketing. She previously managed business units for several brand marketers, including Publishers Clearing House (PCH) and Fingerhut Corporation.

Peg also provides data strategy consulting for DataMentors clients. In addition to her marketing expertise, she is considered a thought leader on matters of data management, privacy compliance, information security and data governance.

Peg serves on several corporate boards, and is a former board member of both the Direct Marketing Association and Marketing EDGE, where she served as chairman of the DMA Government Affairs Committee, chairman of DMA Ethics Policy Committee, and chairman of Marketing EDGE’s Finance and Investment Committee (when Marketing EDGE was known as the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation), and an Executive Committee member of DMA’s Board. Currently, she is the lead instructor for the DMA’s Institute for Marketing Data Governance and Certification, in addition to authoring numerous articles and white papers on the subject. She is a certified privacy professional, with an International Association of Privacy Professionals CIPM [certification in information privacy management]. Earlier in her career, she participated as a speaker in DMEF Professors’ Institute and Collegiate Institute programs — teaching alongside direct marketing visionaries such as Bob Stone, John Yeck and Paul Sampson.

Twitter: @PegKuman @DataMentors @RelevateGroup @farmmarketid


Tim Prunk

Tim Prunk is a direct marketer who, in his words, has had the good fortune to live through the startling evolution from the early applications of “multi-channel” marketing – direct mail with phone follow-up – to reinventing marketing in this new era of cross-device, consumer-centric, always-on digital marketing. Tim loves this challenging and ever-changing business, where a marketer’s ability to truly do 1:1 marketing is no longer limited by technology. Now it’s limited only by the imagination.

Tim is executive vice president of global marketing at Epsilon leading the global marketing organization for the country’s largest digital, customer relationship management and direct response agency. His team is focused on shaping the Epsilon and Conversant brands as well as supporting 11 product families in 15 market segments across 70 global offices.

His role leverages decades of experience in the evolving addressable marketing business. Prior to Epsilon, Tim served as industry strategy leader at Acxiom, where he won its Marketing Leadership Award. Earlier, as president of MatchLogic, he helped deliver, measure and optimize the digital advertising for eight of the Fortune 10 firms globally. He was chief executive officer of National Demographics and Lifestyles, proving that with analytics, “non-traditional” data could work at scale in direct marketing, and president of InfoBase (when it was a joint venture with Acxiom and Wunderman).

Tim’s diverse leadership background has generated the passionate belief that companies can significantly improve their business results by focusing first on delivering real value for each end consumer and relentlessly using data insights to deliver a personalized and engaging customer experience.

Tim has been active in the direct marketing community his entire career. A two-term trustee of the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation (now Marketing EDGE), he served two additional terms as the Foundation’s Treasurer. He has been a frequent speaker and advisory board member at marketing events globally. Rocky Mountain Direct Marketing Association named him “Direct Marketer of the Year” and the Denver Advertising Federation named him “Advertising Professional of the Year.” Tim is also a past president of the RMDMA.

Tim loves a challenge and for the last twenty straight years, has helped lead a team of cyclists up and over Colorado’s highest passable mountains in raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for Children’s Hospital in the Courage Classic bike tour. Tim lives in Denver, CO, with Bonnie, his wife of 43 years, 2 grown daughters and 3 precious grandchildren.

Twitter: @EpsilonMktg


Charlie Swift

Charlie is accountable for overseeing Hearst Magazine’s Customer Data Management programs, platforms, modeling and analysis for both Consumer Marketing and Advertising. Charlie also has responsibility for Hearst’s marketing operations and execution, email marketing, newsstand channel, magazine circulation planning, finance and strategy, order fulfillment, customer service and list rental activities.

Prior to Hearst, Charlie served as vice president, consumer marketing, for LexisNexis, where he oversaw consumer marketing and market research efforts for the company’s U.S. Legal Markets division from 2006 to 2008. Swift served as vice president, business analysis, at Columbia House Company from 2003 to 2005 and held several management positions at American Express Company from 1996 to 2003, including vice president, information and analysis, and vice president, business development. Prior to American Express, Charlie was with Booz Allen Hamilton.

Charlie is a current board member of Princeton Alumni Weekly magazine, Marketing EDGE, Mojn, Social Mail and the Seeger Bartlett Foundation. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and his team was the winner of the 2014 Direct Marketing Association Marketer of the Year Award.

Twitter: @HearstMags @HearstCorp


CORPORATE Honoree – Ethnic Technologies

Ethnic Technologies is a global leader in digital multicultural marketing and related research, data enhancement, segmentation, modeling and analytics. The EthniCenter ® from Ethnic Technologies is the result of more than 40 years of continuous multicultural, religious and language preference research.

Ethnic Technologies is the leading provider of multicultural marketing information to Fortune 500 companies to help them reach Hispanic, African American and Asian customers, as well as more than 180 other ethnicities.

The company’s flagship product, E-Tech, appends the following elements to their clients’ customer data:  ethnicity, ethnic group, language preference, religion and Hispanic country of origin.  E-Tech employs all name intelligence, proprietary and culturally sensitive expert system logic and Enhanced Neighborhood Analytics (ENA) technology, the firm’s granular geographic data system. It has expanded its product suite to also include the following important elements: assimilation, affluence, gender and Hispanic-connected. Most recently, it has built international versions of its flagship E-Tech product that extend to E-Tech Canada, E-Tech Brazil and E-Tech United Kingdom.

While Ethnic Technologies is proud of its products, its greatest source of pride is in its associates’ interaction with clients, customers and partners where they often hear that Ethnic Technologies products are the most accurate, provide the highest coverage and generate response. Yet what they love most are the many times partners say how easy the firm is to work with and that it always has clients’ best interests at heart!