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John A. Greco, Jr. Named President And CEO Of The Direct Marketing Association
New York City and Washington, DC, July 7, 2004 – The Direct Marketing Association (The DMA) today announced that John A. Greco, Jr., who has nearly three decades of marketing and technology leadership at some of the nation’s leading companies as well as association management experience, will be the next president and chief executive officer to lead the direct and interactive marketing industry’s largest trade association into the future.
Greco will take over The DMA’s helm on August 16, succeeding H. Robert Wientzen, who will retire following nearly eight years as the Association’s chief.
"Today is an exciting and promise-filled day for The DMA, its members, and our industry," said Rebecca L. Jewett, Vice Chairman, Norm Thompson Outfitters, Inc. and Chairman of the Board, The DMA. "John is uniquely qualified to assume the mantle of leadership at The DMA. His marketing, technological, and corporate as well as association management backgrounds made him the unanimous choice of the Executive Search Committee. In addition, we were impressed with his superb leadership capabilities."
"Among his strengths, John brings leadership skills honed at large, complex organizations," said Jewett. "While at AT&T Corporation, he led a team of over 100 professionals to create a $20 million leading-edge marketing research facility that directed over $30 million in annual funding. He calls this experience one of his most important consensus-building experiences, having to bridge gaps between scientists and marketers to create initiatives that in 1994 won the Malcolm Baldridge Quality Award."
"In addition," Jewett continued, "John has excellent industry and political knowledge. While at the Yellow Pages Integrated Media Association, he spent between 30 and 40 percent of his time on regulatory and legislative initiatives."
"Because The DMA is integral to its members’ success and a leading voice for them on Main Street, in state capitals, in Washington, around the globe, as well as in the press, there was intense interest in the position," said Jewett. "After a thorough search over the past six months, we believe that John is the best of the many superbly qualified candidates we reviewed. With his years of corporate and association management experience and his strong background in marketing technology, John will be able to successfully navigate The DMA through challenges that lay ahead while seizing the many opportunities that the future will present."
"The DMA’s Executive Search Committee had set out to identify an individual who can bring to bear to this challenging position experience in both corporate and association management worlds," said Michael P. Sherman, Vice Chairman, Crosstown Traders, Inc. and Chairman of The DMA’s Executive Search Committee. "I am confident that we have succeeded on both counts."
"As a former marketer and technologist, John has an excellent understanding of the key issues facing our business, both on the business-to-consumer and business-to-business sides, has had considerable involvement with association and nonprofit management, and will provide The DMA the direction and vision needed to adapt to a rapidly evolving marketplace," said Wientzen.
"John is focused on building on the successes that The DMA has achieved while creating new initiatives that can generate positive, tangible value for members – as he has done in the past," added Wientzen.
The DMA’s Executive Search Committee, comprised of seven current and former members of The DMA Board of Directors, was formed in December 2003 to identify a successor for Wientzen, who has served as DMA president and CEO since October 1996. The committee worked with SpencerStuart, which identified more than 150 qualified candidates for the position.
John A. Greco, Jr.’s Statement
Commenting on his appointment, Greco said, "it is my sincere pleasure to accept this great opportunity." "The DMA, its members, subsidiaries, and staff are at an exciting point in their history," he said. "I plan to be a strong advocate for the entire industry as we face myriad political challenges and strategic opportunities, which I believe can be harnessed to advance and grow the direct and interactive marketing industry."
"I believe that my background in marketing, technology, and association management provide me unique perspectives to help adapt The DMA to meet the demands of today’s highly competitive and rapidly changing marketplace," said Greco.
"In looking to the future, The DMA, under my watch, will be vigilant in working to maintain an environment in which direct and interactive marketers can continue to bring value to America’s – and indeed, the world’s – customers in the most cost-effective manner," Greco added.
John A. Greco, Jr.’s Biography
Following three years – from 1974 to 1977 – as a design engineer and a market and product manager at RCA Company, Greco spent 19 years – from 1977 to 1996 – at AT&T Corporation, holding a broad range of marketing and business development positions.
Between 1991 and 1996, Greco served as the director of AT&T’s Consumer Laboratory Center of Excellence at AT&T Bell Laboratories and AT&T Consumer Communications Services. During these years, the Consumer Lab did extensive work understanding the early applications of the Internet, home networks, wireless devices, and interactive television – including those for home shopping and home banking – for all of AT&T’s business units prior to the AT&T/Lucent split.
In this role, Greco led a unique combination of marketing scientists and technology simulation and prototype specialists focused on bringing the "voice of the consumer" to new product/service and business development processes and creating maximum value at the intersection of people and technology.
Among other things, AT&T’s Consumer Lab worked closely with the MIT Media Lab and other leading laboratories, including Stanford University, Microsoft, Apple, Xerox PARC, General Magic, and Disney Imagineering, with whom it partnered to develop its interactive market research "mall intercept living labs" at Disney World’s Epcot Center as well as in Disney’s Town of Celebration. The lab also was responsible for developing and maintaining the segmentation and targeting models that were used by the AT&T Consumer Business Unit in all of its direct marketing initiatives. The lab played a key role in helping AT&T’s Consumer Services Business Unit win the Malcolm Baldridge Quality Award in 1994.
Prior to this, Greco held a number of AT&T positions, including division manager for the Consumer Communications Services Business Unit, sales vice president for Business Communications Services Alternate Channels, division manager of Business Communications Services Business Planning, division manager of Business Markets Group, branch manager of Information Systems, and division manager of IS Headquarters, among others.
Between 1996 and 2000, Greco served as a marketing executive at R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company, a world leader in printing and a longtime DMA member company. Between 1996 and 1999, he was senior vice president of marketing and technology, and in 1999 he was named senior vice president of marketing and business development for Donnelley’s Financial Business Unit, which serves customers worldwide who need to produce and distribute information with flexible solutions for content/document management and distribution.
In these positions, Greco played a key role in the company’s strategy/new business development, marketing operations, product management/new product development, software/system development, technical services, integrated media laboratory, and planning and operations.
From 2000 to 2003, Greco served as president and CEO of the Yellow Pages Integrated Media Association where he provided the overall vision for the $25 billion global Yellow Pages industry as well as leadership for the 350-member association. He successfully launched the Yellow Pages "I Am" campaign, which was targeted to major national advertisers, and expanded the association’s public policy program in Washington, DC.
In addition, he created the Yellow Pages Research Institute, the Electronic Yellow Pages Council, and replatformed the national order-processing system. Moreover, under his leadership, the association revised its membership benefits through creative affinity partnerships and organized and delivered what was hailed as "the best conference in the history of the industry."
Immediately prior to being named The DMA’s CEO, Greco was co-founder of Greco Enterprises LLC, a family holding company based in Watchung, NJ that includes Greco Associates, a marketing, business development, and association management services company, and Greco Development and Construction, a real estate investment and management company.
Greco holds an MBA from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronic Engineering from Monmouth University. He, his wife Carol, and their three children reside in Watchung, NJ.
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.