BTB Pioneer Wins '04 DMA Teleservices Award

PALM BEACH, FL — Larry Kaplan, a pioneer in business-to-business telemarketing, received the 2004 Direct Marketing Association Teleservices Award yesterday.

Kaplan accepted the award in a ceremony at the annual DMA Teleservices Conference here at The Breakers hotel. He called the prize the “Academy Award” of the teleservices industry.

“Before autodialers, before scripts, before headsets, he was the pioneer that recognized the opportunity in B2B telemarketing,” said Sandy Pernick, a past winner who presented the award to Kaplan. Pernick began her career as the second employee hired by Kaplan more than 20 years ago and now operates her own teleservices consultancy.

As founder/CEO of Tele Business USA, Northbrook, IL, in the early 1980s, Kaplan played mentor to some of the best-known players in teleservices today, including Pernick. He is known for developing the “virtual office” concept in which a call center provider employs agents who work from home but are networked into the company's central computer systems.

“I started my career with DialAmerica in 1975,” Kaplan said. “Now, telemarketing is the longest dirty work in the dictionary. I know we're going through some very tough times, but I have to believe that we will survive.”

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