NEW YORK — Will the real List Leader please stand up? This year's List Leader received two plaques: one to Ben Perez — the other to Benny Perez, a nickname from years gone by.
Perez, president of Millard Group Inc., Peterborough, NH, accepted the List Leader of the Year award from the Direct Marketing Association's List & Database Council at a banquet last night at The Sky Club.
Perez said it was ironic to win the award during difficult times for the industry. However, he noted that the current financial slowdown is his third since his entry into direct marketing and that the industry has the strength to pull through it.
“I've worked 25 years in this industry and I'm very proud of this 25 years,” he said.
Perez acknowledged Millard Group founder Steve Millard, a mentor and a father figure.
“His name remains on the shingle, and I hope it always will,” said Perez, who bought the company from Millard in 1991 with Linda McAleer, Millard's executive vice president.
Perez has been with Millard since 1984 and sits on the DMA Catalog Council's operating committee. He also serves on the board of directors as treasurer of the DMA.
The award was presented by last year's List Leader, Brian Kurtz, execuive vice president of marketing at Boardroom Inc., Greenwich, CT.
The List Leader of the Year award is given to a list professional with a minimum of 10 years in the list industry. The recipient must also be active in one or more of the following list-related areas: ethics, education, list practices and standards, privacy issues, postal reform, communication or environmental concerns.
The banquet followed the DMA's List Vision 2001 conference at the Grand Hyatt.