To Honor Jerry Cerasale and the Contributions He Has Made for Us

Next month will mark a new beginning for Jerry Cerasale, a man whose countless contributions to marketers over the past four decades have served us immensely. After a career of public service and advocacy on behalf of direct marketing, Jerry is about to start a next chapter—more time with his family endeavors on his schedule, not those of Congress, the U.S. Postal Service or the Direct Marketing Association and coalitions in which he has represented us so brilliantly

Next month will mark a new beginning for Jerry Cerasale, a man whose countless contributions to marketers over the past four decades have served us immensely. After a career of public service and advocacy on behalf of direct marketing, Jerry is about to start a next chapter—more time with his family endeavors on his schedule, not those of Congress, the U.S. Postal Service or the Direct Marketing Association and coalitions in which he has represented us so brilliantly.

For those of us who know Jerry, we know this moment is sweet. He is a gentleman who always seems to know the score on Capitol Hill and elsewhere. Though it may be impossible to know outcomes on public policy debates with any certainty, since his joining the Direct Marketing Association’s government affairs team, we’ve had someone who is able to shape that policy or influence it in a manner that has advanced our professional practice—and to do so with fairness, clarity and a knack for building consensus. In each occasion, importantly, Jerry has also articulated how marketing ultimately serves the needs of customers and consumers, and a well-functioning, competitive and innovative marketplace. All the time, he’s engaged DMA members—and given us opportunities to participate in the lawmaking and policymaking process as citizens and as members of our business community.

Jerry first joined DMA in 1995 as senior vice president, government affairs, and had led the charge of DMA’s contact with the Congress, all federal agencies and state and local governments. There has not been a single issue – postal, privacy, the environment, use taxes, telemarketing, data security, commercial free speech, sweepstakes—where his advice and counsel has not been spot on. Not only has he been our voice before Committees of Congress, he has testified before both the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission on these and other direct marketing matters. We may not win every marketing battle, but Jerry always builds good will, because of his demeanor and respectfulness.

Prior to joining DMA, Jerry was an effective public servant—where he was the deputy general counsel for the Committee on Post Office and Civil Service, United States House of Representatives. He also served for 12 years at the Postal Rate Commission as legal advisor to Chairman Janet Steiger, and also as special assistant to the Commission. He was an attorney advisor to Federal Trade Commission Chairman Steiger in her service there. Prior to the PRC, he was employed in the law department of the Postal Service. Jerry also is a veteran of the U.S. Army, where he served our country from 1970 to 1972. He is a graduate from Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT) and earned a law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. He is the recipient of the Silver Apple and the Mal Dunn Leadership Award from the New York Direct Marketing Club and a lifetime achievement award from the Continuity Shippers Association—accolades that are prestigious, but only begin to tell the tale of Jerry’s stewardship in our field.

But what I love most about Jerry is his loyalty to wearing “Save the Children” ties as he goes about his professional work—because social responsibility always seems to be part of who he is—and always will be, no matter what his schedule. For that I am truly grateful, “Thank you, Jerry” from all of us.

Silver Apples Shine Brightly This Year

In some good (finally) news surrounding the direct and interactive world, the Direct Marketing Club of New York announced that its Silver Apple Awards 25th Anniversary Gala is sold out.

The awards, which honor industry leaders for their outstanding contributions to the New York direct and interactive marketing community, will take place at New York City’s Hudson Theatre on Nov. 12.

In some good (finally) news surrounding the direct and interactive world, the Direct Marketing Club of New York announced that its Silver Apple Awards 25th Anniversary Gala is sold out.

The awards, which honor industry leaders for their outstanding contributions to the New York direct and interactive marketing community, will take place at New York City’s Hudson Theatre on Nov. 12.

Stu Boysen, executive director of the club, told me that its maximum seating capacity of 300 was reached on the evening of Nov. 6. And tickets are not cheap: Members and previous Silver Apple honorees paid $195 a pop, while nonmembers paid $235.

Each year, the club’s past presidents gather to select individuals and a corporate honoree to receive Silver Apples. The recipients must have at least 25 years experience in the business, a commitment to volunteerism and leadership, and records of vital contributions to the growth of the industry.

Maybe it’s the recipients of the 2009 Silver Apple Awards that made it such a hot ticket. They include:

And the Corporate Silver Apple Award will go to Acxiom Corp.

Or maybe it’s because the club is planning a gala event this year to commemorate the awards’ 25th anniversary. In past years, the awards were made at a special club luncheon in Manhattan. This year, however, the optional black-tie evening event will go back in time and pay tribute to the outstanding direct marketers who’ve received the award over the past 25 years.

The gala is also a key fundraising event for the club. The organization raises money from direct marketing organizations and industry vendors to provide program support and scholarships for college-level educational programs in direct and interactive marketing. Organizers hope to raise more than $30,000 for education this year through table sales and other donations.

Whatever the reason — or reasons — it’s good news for all involved. Way to go DMCNY!