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DMA DIRECTO: HISPANIC MARKETING COUNCIL HONORS CHRIS RAGUSA WITH ITS PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR AWARD
NEW YORK, April 19, 2004 - The Direct Marketing Association’s (The DMA) Directo: Council for Hispanic Marketing will present Chris Ragusa, president, Estee Marketing Group, Inc., with its 2003 Hispanic Direct Marketing Professional of the Year Award during The DMA 11th Annual Directo Days Conference, being held April 19-20 at the Marriott Marquis in New York City. Ragusa will be honored during the conference’s networking and awards dinner at Victor’s Café (W. 52nd St.) the evening of April 19.
With nearly 40 million people, U.S. Hispanics are America’s fastest growing ethnic market. And with a purchasing power currently estimated at about half-trillion dollars, and bound together by a common language, Hispanics are an increasingly attractive market catching the eye of Fortune 500 companies on down.
Taking place in midtown Manhattan, this year’s Directo Days conference is being held in one of America’s largest Hispanic population centers. While census estimates are that one in five Americans will be Hispanic by 2020, Hispanics already represent more than one-quarter of the city’s population, with more than 2.1 million Hispanic New Yorkers counted in 2000, an astounding 20 percent growth-rate within a decade.
"Chris Ragusa is being recognized for her outstanding accomplishments in the field of direct marketing, especially for her exceptional leadership in the growth of the Hispanic marketing industry," said H. Robert Wientzen, president & CEO, The DMA. "Not only has she lent her expertise directing Hispanic marketing campaigns for large, household-brand companies, but she is also a veritable fund-raising guru, and has helped bring in millions of dollars to charitable causes."
"My work in Hispanic marketing in the U.S. and Puerto Rico has been extremely rewarding," said Ragusa. "I am proud to receive this award – one of the industry’s top honors – because it signifies the epitome of achievement in marketing to the America’s fastest growing ethnic group, and also in fund-raising for causes that help the Hispanic community."
The DMA Directo Council Hispanic Direct Marketing Professional of the Year award honors an individual with at least 10 years of direct marketing experience who has made significant contributions to the culture, community, education, and identity of Hispanics in the U.S. as well as the industry and/or marketplace, with breakthrough creativity and/or professional achievement.
A 19-year veteran of the direct marketing industry, Ragusa specializes in the Hispanic market and direct mail fund-raising, and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE). She has worked with such distinguished mailers as Rodale Press, Hispanic Magazine, Bookspan, People en Español, Columbia House, Reader’s Digest Selecciones, Salesian Missions, US Fund for UNICEF, International Masters Publishers and others.
Chris is a past-chair of the Directo Council, and served on its Operating Committee for more than nine years. Chris is also a member of the DMA's Nonprofit Federation, and the DMA List Leaders Group. Chris frequently speaks at DMA events and often contributes articles for numerous direct marketing trade publications.
The Directo Days conference will focus exclusively on direct marketing to the Hispanic market, the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population. Sessions will address, among other topics, how to market financial services, magazines, and pharmaceutical products.
The DMA Directo: Council for Hispanic Marketing is a professional member service organization that promotes effective, ethical use of direct and interactive marketing to the Hispanic market.
About The DMA
The DMA is the leading trade association for businesses interested in interactive and database marketing, with nearly 4,700 member companies from the United States and 53 other nations. Founded in 1917, its members include direct marketers from every business segment as well as the nonprofit and electronic marketing sectors. Included are catalogers, Internet retailers and service providers, financial services providers, book and magazine publishers, book and music clubs, retail stores, industrial manufacturers and a host of other vertical segments, including the service industries that support them. According to a DMA-commissioned economic-impact study, direct and interactive marketing sales in the United States are projected to have surpassed $1.7 trillion in 2003, including $133 billion in catalog sales and $41 billion in sales generated by the Internet. The DMA's Web site is www.the-dma.org, and its consumer Web site is www.shopthenet.org.