Educational Foundations Merge, Create Epstein Fund

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The Direct Marketing Educational Foundation and the Direct Marketing Gateway Foundation merged and created a Lee Epstein Fund for DM education.

The merger was approved Oct. 15 during DMA·05 in Atlanta, DMEF executive director David Chancey confirmed in an interview yesterday with DM News. He also addressed that the news had spread around the conference as rumor.

"It became final over the weekend," Chancey said. "This is not a secret but sometimes the juggernaut that is the DMA show can slow down announcements."

The official announcement is expected today.

One thing that DM Gateway brought to the merger was $1.8 million, which was turned into the Lee Epstein Fund within the DMEF. The fund was created to support programs and products for higher education in direct marketing. The now-retired Epstein is a DMA Hall of Famer and founder of Mailmen Inc.

Previously known as the Direct Marketing Day Foundation, DM Gateway was founded by Epstein and originally was part of the DMD New York Conference, of which Epstein was part owner. The Direct Marketing Association acquired the show in 2003.

At that time, DMDF was spun off from the DM Days show and Epstein set up a board of directors, did a strategic plan and began the task of raising funds, said JoAnne Monfradi Dunn, DMDF board member and CEO of Alliant Cooperative Data Solutions. That's when the idea of a merger came about.

"It became apparent that we were competing with DMEF, and it wasn't necessary to compete," Monfradi Dunn said. "It's better for us to combine our resources and our missions and really benefit the industry. We also believe that the DMEF will be the appropriate caretaker of Lee Epstein's vision."

DM Gateway board members Monfradi Dunn and Brian Kurtz, executive vice president at Boardroom Inc., joined the 35-seat board of the DMEF.

As part of DMEF, DM Gateway's many initiatives will live on.

"We're going to continue the programs that DM Gateway did, including the student career forum and the graduate seminar, which DM Gateway always did in partnership with DMEF," Chancey said.

Originally published Oct. 20, 2005

Kristen Bremner covers list news, insert media, privacy and fundraising for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting

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