Antispam Group SpamCon Foundation Names Executives

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Antispam group SpamCon Foundation yesterday named Daniel Birchall as executive director and Laura Atkins as president of the nine-month old group, replacing founder Tom Geller, who formerly held both positions. Geller will remain with the foundation as media relations director and secretary.

Birchall was a Web application developer and Unix systems administrator for online travel portal Cheap Tickets. Atkins was one of the founders of antispam group Forum for Responsible and Ethical E-Mail and a consultant for Mail Abuse Prevention System LLC.

"It's been a scary, exciting ride," Geller wrote in the SpamCon Foundation's newsletter about his tenure running the organization. "One day we'd get a three-figure donation, the next, we'd get a four-figure legal or accounting bill. While that was happening, we still had to create public services and justify our existence. We asked ourselves over and over: Did the world really need a central antispam organization? Would people support it? Would anybody care?"

The SpamCon Foundation, based in San Francisco and with a Web site at, officially opened for business in August 2001. The organization's mission is to protect e-mail as a communications and marketing vehicle. Geller, is founder of the anti-spam organization The Suespammers Project and director of industry affairs at the Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial E-Mail.

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