Wientzen Steps Aside for New DMA President

The Direct Marketing Association marks a transition in leadership today as president/CEO H. Robert Wientzen makes room for his successor, John A. Greco Jr.

Wientzen will relinquish his title but remain a part-time DMA employee through the end of the year to help Greco settle into the job. He also will serve as a consultant to the DMA for two years starting today and will assume the title of president emeritus.

Greco, who spent the past week on vacation, has been meeting with Wientzen to arrange the transition. They have discussed industry issues while getting to know DMA employees and members, Wientzen said.

Wientzen said he did not advise Greco regarding what issues should be tackled first. The DMA board of directors will set the association's strategic direction, he said, and Greco should get a view of all the issues before reaching conclusions.

“I've encouraged him to hold off until he has the opportunity to get all the feedback from me and from the board,” Wientzen said.

Greco has a series of luncheons and dinners, to which Wientzen will accompany him, scheduled between today and Sept. 1 in which he will meet more than 100 members from all segments of the DMA, Wientzen said.

As for Wientzen, he will not seek another full-time job.

“I'm not interested in another job,” he said. “I intend to spend much time with my wife and grandchildren.”

Wientzen has been president/CEO of the DMA since Jan. 1, 1997, when he replaced Jonah Gitlitz. He said he is most proud of his success in growing the DMA, increasing its influence over public policy and moving the association into the interactive arena.

As for regrets, he said the list is too long to mention everything. However, he had hoped to resolve the postal reform and spam issues — areas in which the DMA has made progress but still has work to do. He also said he wished the debate over the national no-call list had come to a different conclusion.

Wientzen plans greater involvement with charitable organizations, in which he is already active, as well as industry consulting and getting involved in corporate boards.

Greco's background includes 19 years in marketing and business development positions at AT&T from 1977 to 1996. He also served as director of AT&T's Consumer Laboratory Center of Excellence at AT&T Bell Laboratories and AT&T Consumer Communications Services in that time.

He was senior vice president of marketing and technology at R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. from 1996 to 2000. From 2000 to 2003, he served as president/CEO of the Yellow Pages Integrated Media Association. He left to co-found Greco Enterprises LLC, which is his family holding company and includes a marketing services firm and a real estate investment and management company.

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