NEW YORK — The Direct Marketing Association's board of directors said yesterday that it selected Litle & Co. founder Tim Litle, catalog marketer Ted Spiegel and Boardroom Inc. founder Martin “Marty” Edelston as its 2005 inductees into the DMA Hall of Fame.
A DMer for more than 35 years, Litle has been crucial in the growth and evolution of direct marketing. He was a pioneer in the development of payment processing and e-commerce systems for direct marketers and played a key role in creating what became the USPS Carrier Route Presort System.
Litle founded direct marketing payment processing firm Litle & Co. in 2001. He is a past member of the DMA board of directors and its executive committee. Litle also helped found the DMA's Privacy Task Force and is past chairman of the DMA's Committee on Ethical Business Practice. He is a board member of the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation.
As part of the Spiegel catalog dynasty that began in 1905, Ted Spiegel held various positions in the company between 1957 and 1987 from women's sportswear buyer to leadership roles in changing the company's image to being more upscale.
Spiegel was the founder and president of Spiegel Marketing Associates and is a partner with the Callahan Group, where he has worked as a consultant to businesses, government entities and nonprofits since 1987 with clients such as Walt Disney, Reader's Digest and the Library of Congress.
An active participant in the DMA, Spiegel also has served on the advisory board of Direct magazine and the U.S. Postal Service's marketing advisory board.
Edelston founded Boardroom Inc. 30 years ago, and today it is a multimillion-dollar publisher of newsletters such as Bottom Line/Personal, Bottom Line/Health, Tax Hotline and Bottom Line/Tomorrow. It has expanded with its Bottom Line Books division specializing in one-shot mail-order books.
Edelston's I-Power management incentive program serves as a model for many companies, including Kodak, Ford Motor Co. and Rubbermaid. His I-Power Seminars have been given to thousands of people from hundreds of U.S. companies.
“It's incredibly exciting news,” said Brian Kurtz, executive vice president at Boardroom Inc., who with fellow Boardroom employees and others in the industry has tried to get Edelston in for four years. “I know dozens of direct marketers who just have to call Marty Edelston for advice or his thoughts on something, and if it's someone he knows or somebody he knows that might be able to help him out he is very open with information. We've never been stingy with our time as a staff when it comes to volunteering, speaking and writing, and all of that is a reflection of him. If Marty didn't support us, we wouldn't be out there.”
Kurtz is in the Circulation Hall of Fame and won the List Leader of the Year Award. He is also a member of the DMA's Ethics Committee and will be a member of the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation board next year. Other Boardroom employees who contribute to the industry include Kristina Cassell, who is vice chair of the List & Database Council, and Amy Altmann, president of the Hudson Valley DMA.
Edelston was unaware of the honor until yesterday afternoon when last year's inductee, Direct Media founder/chairman and longtime Edelston friend Dave Florence, and the Boardroom staff surprised him with a party complete with champagne, a marching band and one of Edelston's favorite foods, chocolate.
“We invited Benjamin Franklin, but he couldn't come, but thank goodness we got our second choice, Dave Florence,” Kurtz said.
Franklin was inducted along with Florence last year.
The nominees will be formally inducted at this year's DMA 2005 Annual Conference & Exhibition in Atlanta.
Selection of inductees is based on nominations from DMA member companies and the industry at large. Criteria for nominees include major contributions to the theory and practice of direct marketing and major contributions to the advancement of the field above and beyond a DMer's activities.
The DMA Hall of Fame was established in 1978. A list of the previous 84 winners is available at the DMA's Web site.