A Conversation in My Head

It doesn’t bode well that the Direct Marketing Association can’t find anyone to head the organization. I didn’t think the industry was this bad off, but that’s how it sounds after reading last week’s press release from the DMA saying it missed the deadline to replace H. Robert Wientzen as president/CEO. However, we won’t get anything more from the DMA since “no comment” is the status quo there. Don’t the DMA’s dues-paying members deserve more answers than this?

We’re also to assume from the release that Wientzen will stay on to run things, but even that isn’t clear: “… at the time, [Wientzen] also stated that he had been asked by the board, and had agreed, to stay on longer, if needed to ensure a seamless transition.” I guess not finding a replacement is part of their “seamless transition” strategy. All this leads me to wonder exactly what is going on over there. Perhaps it’s something like this:

Me: “So, this means the DMA can’t find anyone who wants the job?”

DMA: “Sorry, Tad, you know that we have no comment.”

Me: “If Bob is going to continue to run things, how long will that be?”

DMA: “You know, it really is a beautiful day outside.”

Me: “Isn’t this search thing dragging on too long? After all, Bob gave his notice in December, and the search firm you hired has had four full months now? Was there a snag? How many people applied?”

DMA: “The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain.”

Me: “You’re not answering my questions.”

DMA: “Oh, you finally noticed. Sorry, no comment.”

Funny that the United States can hand over control of Iraq two days ahead of schedule, but the DMA can’t fill a position that paid $718,000 in salary and benefits last year. You know what, I’ll do it. Or better yet, hire me and I’ll find the best candidate. … I’ll do what I did when looking for people to induct into the Hall of Fame: I’ll get feedback from members who care about what their association does with their money. I’m sure we’ll be able to negotiate my retainer fee. Now, let’s see. There’s Benjamin Franklin. No wait, I think he’s dead.

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