DMA names officers; Pike retains board spot

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The Direct Marketing Association has named Eugene Raitt, SVP for accident and health and CMO for Asia at Allied World Assurance Company, its 2010 board chairman. The group made the announcement at its annual business meeting in San Diego.

The organization also named David Williams, president and CEO of Merkle, vice chairman. It also elected as treasurer G. Steven Dapper, chairman and founder of Hawkeye; and picked as secretary Brian Wolfe, EVP of consumer marketing and sales at Time Inc. The group also named 12 new members to its board of directors.

Gerry Pike, who last month began publicly criticizing the DMA, is still a member of the organization's board, despite the DMA issuing a cease-and-desist order against him earlier this month. His site, abetterdma.org is still active but void of any content.

Pike has claimed "DMA's relevancy is fading, its membership falling and its events failing as budget-buster dues and conference fees are sending long-time DMA members heading for the exits."

"We are pleased that this was resolved cooperatively," said John Greco, president and CEO of the DMA, at the DMA09 conference and exhibition last week.

DMA board member Brian Fetherstonhaugh, chairman and global CEO of OgilvyOne Worldwide, acknowledged that Pike's comments could be a catalyst for progress in the industry.

"We've ended up with a healthy shared agenda for change. There are a lot of people like us who feel we need a direct marketing future as bright as its past," he said.

Ramesh Lakshmi-Ratan, former EVP and COO of the DMA, left his position last month.

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