Virgin's Sir Richard Branson to Keynote DMA06
April 21, 2006 – The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) has announced that Richard Branson, founder and chairman of the Virgin Group, will be the opening keynote at DMA06, which is taking place in San Francisco at Moscone Convention Center October 14-18.
“Sir Richard’s brilliant marketing strategies have resulted in one of today’s most legendary success stories,” said John A. Greco, Jr., president & CEO, DMA. “The success of his billion-dollar empire, which began as a direct mail retailer, is illustrative of how a multichannel marketing strategy is essential to achieving results-driven business goals.”
Richard Branson has expanded the interests of the Virgin Group into an international "Megastore" that includes music, air travel, mobile, financial, retail, music, Internet, drinks, rail, resorts and leisure, through some 200 companies in over 30 countries.
Branson founded Virgin as a mail-order record retailer in 1970 and shortly thereafter opened a record shop on London’s Oxford Street. In 1972, a recording studio was built in Oxfordshire where the first Virgin artist, Mike Oldfield, recorded "Tubular Bells," which was released in 1973. Virgin Records’ first album went on to sell over 5 million copies. Since then, many household names - including Belinda Carlisle, Genesis, Phil Collins, Janet Jackson and The Rolling Stones - have recorded on the Virgin label. In 1992 the equity of Virgin Music Group, which included record labels, music publishing, and recording studios, was sold to THORN EMI in a billion-dollar deal.
In 1994, Branson formed Virgin Atlantic Airways. Today the airline is the second largest British long-haul international airline and operates a fleet of Boeing 747 and Airbus A340 aircraft to New York, Miami, Boston, Los Angeles, Orlando, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Tokyo, Las Vegas, Delhi, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Shanghai, and the Caribbean.
In addition to his own business activities, Richard is a trustee of several charities, including the Virgin Healthcare Foundation, a leading health care charity which was responsible for the 1987 launch of a health education campaign relating to AIDS. In Summer 2004, Richard launched Virgin Unite as a vehicle to pull together all the resources of the Virgin Group internationally to tackle some of the tougher challenges facing the world today - in particular, Malaria, HIV/AIDS, and TB.
Since 1985, Richard has been involved in a number of world record-breaking adventure attempts. In 1986 his boat, "Virgin Atlantic Challenger II" rekindled the spirit of the Blue Riband by crossing the Atlantic Ocean in the fastest ever recorded time. This was followed a year later by the epic hot air balloon crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in "Virgin Atlantic Flyer," which was not only the first hot-air balloon to cross the Atlantic but was the largest ever flown at 2.3 million cubic feet capacity and reached speeds in excess of 130 miles per hour (209 k/ph).
In January 1991, Branson crossed the Pacific Ocean from Japan to Arctic Canada, the furthest distance of 6,700 miles - again breaking all existing records with speeds of up to 245 miles -per hour, in a balloon of 2.6 million cubic feet.
Awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s millennium New Year’s honours list for “services to entrepreneurship” in 1999, Sir Richard currently lives in London and Oxfordshire and is married with two children.
DMA06, the largest gathering of direct marketing professionals, is DMA’s annual conference and exhibition. DMA06 will featuring more than 100 educational sessions and its exhibit hall will feature more than 500 exhibiting companies. For more information on DMA06 and to register, please visit www.dma06.org.
DMA06 Program Advisory Committee
The members of DMA06’s Program Advisory Committee are: Steve Berg; Michael Della Penna, chief marketing officer, Epsilon Interactive; Herschell Gordon Lewis, president, Lewis Enterprises; Dr. Marjorie Kalter, graduate program director, clinical professor, Master’s Program in Direct and Interactive Marketing, New York University; Spyro Kourtis, president, The Hacker Group; Heather Lloyd-Martin, CEO, SuccessWorks Search Marketing Solutions; Chuck McLeester, managing partner, Roska Direct; Tammy R. Nelson, director, Marketing Ameriprise Auto & Home Insurance; Diane Rinaldo, director, Retail Category Yahoo! Search Marketing; Ernan Roman, president, Ernan Roman Direct Marketing (ERDM); Richard Rosen, president & CEO, Alloy Red; Stephan Spencer; founder & president, Netconcepts; Ole Stangerup, support manager, Post Denmark A/s; and Steve Tamke, senior vice president, Mokrynskidirect.
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