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DMA names Allen interim president, CEO

The Direct Marketing Association named Robert Allen, former president and CEO of the Vermont Country Store, its interim president and CEO effective February 5.

He will fill the role while the trade group searches for a permanent replacement for John Greco, who resigned as president and CEO last month.

Allen was not available for comment when DMNews contacted the DMA on February 4. He said in a statement that “direct marketing is in the middle of a period of rapid change.”

“It will be important to maintain a balance between tried and true methods and new concepts like social media and the digital landscape,” he added in the statement.

Allen joined the Vermont Country Store in 1982 as assistant to the president and became president himself in 1994. He also serves as a director for Gardeners Supply, Cuddledown, Susan Sargent Designs, JK Adams, Danforth Pewterers and Kalow Technologies.

“[Allen] has successfully navigated businesses through revolutionary changes in direct marketing and will keep DMA advancing into the 21st century,” said Eugene Raitt, DMA board chairman, in a statement. “He is exactly the kind of forward-thinking leader we need.”

Ramesh Lakshmi-Ratan, former EVP and COO of the DMA, left the organization September 18. He now leads a division at Pitney Bowes. The DMA did not fill his position.

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