ALC Expands Satellite Network

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With a systems and technology overhaul complete, American List Counsel is embarking on a growth strategy centered on the establishment of satellite offices across the United States.

ALC recently opened an ALC New England office in Stamford, CT, that will complement its existing offices in New York, Peterborough, NH, and Corte Madera, CA. Chairman/CEO Donn Rappaport said satellite offices enable ALC to be closer to its clients and recruit the most talented people, regardless of their location.

"We want to be where our clients need us to be," Rappaport said. "With all the new communications technology, we run the danger as an industry of losing sight of the value of face-to-face contact."

Rappaport said the technology investment allows the company to support satellites all over the world from the home base in Princeton, NJ. While it will consider setting up a satellite wherever staff or clients are based, ALC is specifically targeting Miami, Denver, Chicago and Los Angeles for expansion. Such offices would focus strictly on sales and account management with all other business services handled in Princeton.

The existing offices each have a specialty -- catalogs in New York, hi-tech and financial services in Corte Madera, publishing in Stamford and interactive in Peterborough -- but each office is expected to become evenly balanced and maintain a significant interactive component. The Stamford office now oversees e-mail list management with Peterborough focused on e-mail list brokerage.

The growth of the Internet, databases and other technologies makes now a good time to be recruiting, Rappaport said.

"There are significant changes taking place in the business formerly known as the list business," he said. "There are major players seeing those changes and who are receptive to the idea of joining forces with change."

As competitors continue to be acquired by large, public corporations, Rappaport said it's a challenge to remain a stand-alone, privately held company. Although he said taking ALC public is "an interesting and exciting option," it's not something he is ready to consider right now. Rappaport has spread the wealth from four years of 35 percent annual growth by increasing the number of partners in ALC from one to 21 and the overall company size to more than 200 employees.

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