New York, NY, February 4, 2010 — The Direct Marketing Association (DMA), the leading global trade association of businesses and nonprofit multichannel direct marketers, today named Robert (Bob) Allen, Interim President & CEO. Mr. Allen, an award winning direct marketing executive, is the former President & CEO of The Vermont Country Store, a multichannel retailer of hard-to-find products. He will assume the title of Interim President & CEO effective Friday, February 5, and be based in DMA’s New York office.
A seasoned marketing executive, Mr. Allen is a veteran of The Vermont Country Store, where he began in 1982 as assistant to the president. He advanced to president in 1994, earning the distinction of the first non-family president of the business. Mr. Allen has extensive experience with a diverse marketing background, currently serving as a director for six for-profit companies in New England: Gardeners Supply; Cuddledown; Susan Sargent Designs; JK Adams; Danforth Pewterers; and Kalow Technologies. Mr. Allen received a lifetime achievement award in 2004 from Catalog Success magazine and another in 2008 from the New England Mail Order Association. He is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island.
“Bob Allen’s in-depth knowledge of direct marketing and his multi-year experience leading a trade organization make him the natural choice to lead DMA during this time,” said Eugene R. Raitt, DMA Board Chairman. “He has successfully navigated businesses through revolutionary changes in direct marketing and will keep DMA advancing into the 21st Century. He is exactly the kind of forward-thinking leader we need.”
“I am honored to serve DMA while the board conducts a thorough search for a permanent President & CEO,” said Mr. Allen. “Direct marketing is in the middle of a period of rapid change. It will be important to maintain a balance between tried and true methods and new concepts like social media and the digital landscape; as I did when guiding The Vermont Country Store in its evolution from strictly ‘traditional’ media to digital. Successful companies will be the ones who understand and embrace both. I look forward to guiding DMA through this process.”