The DMA Marketer of the year Award accolade honors the achievement, innovation, and inspiring leadership of an individual or company whose work represents the very best in the data-driven direct marketing industry. The individual or company being considered will have exhibited corporate and social responsibility through the innovation and implementation of new products, services, processes and growth within the last 12 months.
Do you work with a talented individual that has revitalized data-driven direct marketing and the process? Is there a company that you believe is at the forefront of innovation? Has the company exhibited corporate and social responsibility? It’s these innovators in direct marketing that continue driving our business and pave the way for the future thought leaders.
Here is your opportunity to acknowledge the many successful efforts by nominating an individual or company for DMA Marketer of the Year.
The DMA Marketer of the Year Award accolade honors the achievement, innovation, and inspiring leadership of an individual or company whose work represents the very best in data-driven marketing industry. The individual or company being considered will have exhibited corporate and social responsibility through the innovation an implementation of new products, services, processes and growth within the last 12 months.
For companies to be considered for Marketer of the Year, factors considered include:
- Will have shown an impact on the multichannel direct marketing using data and results.
- Represents innovation, marketplace success, and direct response impact within the community.
- Involve new concepts, methods/models, and use of direct marketing processes.
- Successfully implement the use of direct marketing for optimal customer communications, response, and retention
- Outstanding loyalty marketing and customer service measured by return rate and retention.
- Results achieved within the last 12 months.
- Exhibited corporate and social responsibility
For an individual to be considered for the Marketer of the Year, factors considered include:
- Demonstrated leadership through the innovation and implementation of new products or services, processes, or personal growth using data-driven marketing and show results.
- Utilization of data and technology to showcase their contribution within the marketing community
- Have a proven commitment to enhancing the direct marketing community.
- Ability to influence the direct marketing community and elevate status quo.
- Has had an impact on the data-driven within the last 12 months.
- Exhibited corporate and social responsibility.
Up to 5 nominees who met the criteria will be submitted to the Advisory Committee for review. The individual or company may be chosen at the discretion of the Advisory Committee who has contributed to direct marketing excellence in the last 12 months, and has exhibited corporate and social responsibility. One award will be presented annually. It is not necessary to present an an award each year and the Advisory Committee may recommend and vote not to give it all in any given year.
The Nomination Process will OPEN on
January 13, 2014 and will CLOSE on June 2, 2014
Contact Jenny Abreu, CMP, Director, Awards & Recognition Programs at 202.861.2496 or email@example.com.
For sponsorship information or Program Book Ad Placements:
please contact Kevin Fox at 212-790-1459 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marketer of the Year Award Celebration
Join us for the Celebration on October 28, 2014, San Diego, CA
Established in 1968, the DMA Marketer of the Year Award accolade honors the achievement, innovation, and innovation, and inspiring leadership of an individual or company whose work represents the very best in the data driven marketing industry. The individual or company being considered will have exhibited corporate and social responsibility through the innovation and implementation of new products, services, processes and growth within the last 12 months.
Those being considered have had a positive impact on the marketing community and excelled at connecting data and the consumer through data-driven marketing.
To see videos of past ceremonies, please click here
2014 Marketer of the Year
Tuesday, October 28, 2013
DMA2014 Conference & Exhibition
San Diego, CA
The Nomination Process will OPEN on
January 13, 2014 and will CLOSE on June 2, 2014
Contact Jenny Abreu, CMP, Director, Awards & Recognition Programs at 202.861.2496 or email@example.com.
For sponsorship information or Program Book Ad Placements:
please contact Kevin Fox at 212-790-1459 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most Recent Honorees
Past DMA Marketers of the Year include:
2013 – Linkedin and T-Mobile
2012 – Macy’s
2011 – Gilt Groupe
2010 – GEICO
2009 – Best Buy and Zurich Financial Services
2008 – eBay
2007 – Microsoft-MSN
2006 – Yahoo! Inc.
2005 – David Neeleman, JetBlue Airways
2004 – Jason Ackerman, FreshDirect
2003 – Lowell W. “Bud” Paxson, Paxson Communications Corporation
2002 – Shelly Lazarus, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide
2001 – Thomas O. Ryder, The Reader’s Digest Association
2000 – Janice Brandt, America Online, Inc.
More than one-third of the professionals on the planet are LinkedIn. We’ve become the world’s largest professional network by helping our members become more productive and more successful at all of the stages of their careers.
In our continued mission to make the world’s professionals more productive and successful, we have invested over the past few years to evolve LinkedIn into the definitive professional publishing platform driven by unique data and insights filtered through the world’s professional graph. LinkedIn members share news from 1.5 million publishers, and consume content from the more than 300 notable professional luminaries who contribute original essays through our Influencer program. With more than 3 million Company Pages on LinkedIn, companies have emerged as highly valued sources of relevant content on LinkedIn.
Brands can now go beyond simply reaching professionals, to building relationships with them. On LinkedIn, brands build relationships with the world’s professionals by using accurate targeting to deliver relevant content. We help marketers build relationships by using LinkedIn to Target, Publish and Extend.
As today’s connected professionals seek out ideas and insights from the people and brands they trust, marketers use LinkedIn to target advertising and publish relevant content in a professional context. Brands extend their reach through the social sharing that occurs naturally on LinkedIn, as well as by extending LinkedIn data to their site and brand experiences through APIs.
The newest LinkedIn Marketing Solutions offering, Sponsored Updates, enables companies to build relationships by delivering their content into the homepage feed of members beyond those who are following their company. In developing Sponsored Updates, we’ve taken a measured and methodical approach to create an experience that strikes the right balance for our members and companies.
Marketers are increasingly leveraging content to inform, educate, and inspire their current and prospective customers. But the high quality content they’ve produced – slideshows, articles, videos, and whitepapers – does not always achieve enough reach and engagement on their own channels. With Sponsored Updates, marketers are able to distribute this content directly to relevant professionals in a place their customers and prospects are already consuming professionally relevant content. Marketers can target Sponsored Updates to any segment of our premium audience based on professional profile data across more than 225 million members.
Over the past year, T-Mobile has revolutionized the wireless industry through the game-changing “Un-carrier” initiatives. Recognizing the burdens and unwieldy commitments the wireless industry has shackled its customers with in the name of profits, T-Mobile established itself as the only carrier daring enough to do away with them. T-Mobile did the unthinkable by liberating people from the confining long-term contracts, complex rate plans, inflexible phone-upgrade cycles, and silly service restrictions that make most people despise both the wireless industry as a whole and their own carrier in particular. All the while, the company quietly overhauled virtually every direct-to-customer communication channel, once again putting the customer’s needs and interests first. The transformation from also-ran to category innovator has been remarkable, and data-driven direct marketing continues to play a starring role as the story continues to unfold.
At Macy’s, the customer is paramount. Over the last few years, customer-centric strategies have been employed across our company – from localizing merchandise mix to enhancing how Macy’s associates engage with customers both in store and online. In the last couple of years, Macy’s has also extended their customer-centricity vision into their marketing plans, specifically by creating more personal and relevant 1:1 communications with their best and most loyal customers.
Working with dunnhumby USA, Macy’s has employed advanced modeling and statistical techniques to segment and define our key customer groups, and to test and learn the best ways to interact with those core customers. Macy’s customer-centric direct marketing has leveraged a multi-channel approach, including: storewide mailings, category-focused mailings, emails and online display advertising
Founded in 2007, Gilt Groupe, www.gilt.com, is an innovative online shopping destination offering its members special access to the most inspiring merchandise, culinary offerings, and experiences every day, many at insider prices. Since its inception, Gilt has expanded to include men’s, children’s, and home sales. In 2009, the company extended its global reach, by launching Gilt JAPAN. This year, Gilt Groupe continued its growth with the launch of Gilt TASTE, its new culinary site; Park & Bond, a full-price men’s retail site; and its expanded Gilt HOME site.
Gilt continually searches the world for the most coveted brands and products, including fashion for women, men, and children; home décor; artisanal ingredients; hotels and travel experiences on every continent; and unique activities in a growing list of cities and destinations. The company believes that every day is “an opportunity to inspire and be inspired.”
For 60 years, starting in the 1930s, GEICO was a relatively unknown automobile insurer targeting federal government employees and noncommissioned military officers with direct-mail pitches. By concentrating on customers with sterling driving records, GEICO was able to offer low rates and carve out a profitable niche in the marketplace. In the 1990s GEICO, by then the seventh-largest auto insurer in the United States, looked to expand its client base and become more nationally known. In 1994 the company hired The Martin Agency to create its advertising. The public company soon came into the orbit of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., controlled by legendary investor Warren Buffett, who had owned GEICO stock since 1951. He took GEICO private in 1996 and made it a Hathaway subsidiary.
Commercials for car insurance were traditionally straightforward, serious appeals featuring crash scenes and somber voiceovers. To make GEICO stand out in this low-involvement category – insurance is a product people have to buy but hope never to use — GEICO and The Martin Agency decided to simplify and humanize the experience, focus on price as the driver of purchasing decisions, and – here’s the truly risky part – rely on humor to deliver the message. The team developed a brand promise in a slogan that would be reinforced campaign after campaign: “Fifteen minutes could save you 15 percent or more on car insurance.”
Inherent in the “15/15″ promise was another key element in GEICO’s marketing strategy: a call to action. Because GEICO insurance is not sold through brokers, customers have to be moved to call a toll-free phone number, or, with the advent of the Internet, visit the company’s website. GEICO’s roots are as a direct marketing company, and this tradition continues in the company’s advertising today. Every communication is designed to build “sales overnight, brand over time.”
Humor helped to humanize the company, but there was still the challenge to put a “face” on the GEICO brand itself. In 1999 the creative team at The Martin Agency considered the common mispronunciation of GEICO as “gecko,” the small tropical lizard. This brainstorming session led to a single 15-second television spot, which gave birth to a beloved advertising icon and initiated a long-term campaign for GEICO.
In 2004 GEICO wanted to engage consumers to use its Web site. Again it turned to The Martin Agency to help craft the message. The Cavemen appeared, reluctantly driving home the point that using geico.com was “so easy even a caveman could do it.”
And more recently, a third icon has been added to the GEICO marketing mix. Kash, the stack of money with googly eyes, continues to emphasize the car insurer’s money-saving message.
GEICO advertises through a wide variety of media, including print, television, and radio. But as these spaces become increasingly inundated with advertising, GEICO has found other creative ways to deliver their savings message by moving into online, digital and mobile marketing. With a broad market – virtually anyone who owns a car – GEICO melds traditional and new direct marketing to appeal to all demographics. GEICO strategically utilizes a variety of icons, targeted messaging and media placement while maintaining the consistent brand promise of “Fifteen minutes could save you 15 percent or more on car insurance.” GEICO places ads that are humorous and catchy, fusing brand with entertainment, in an attempt to draw people’s attention to the products and services the insurance company offers. These highly effective, highly entertaining commercials, combined with GEICO’s low-cost insurance options and focus on exceptional customer service, are some of the reasons behind the company’s success.
Today, with nearly 10 million policy holders across all 50 states, GEICO is the 3rd largest private-passenger auto insurer, #1 in several states, and fastest growing in the last 5 years. GEICO not only offers auto insurance to meet the needs of all drivers, but also helps customers protect their homes, boats, motorcycles, and other vehicles.
Since its inception in 1966, Best Buy Co., Inc. has grown steadily and enhanced its business through inspired innovations. They are continually transforming into a dynamic, customer-driven, talent-powered company that focuses on enhancing customers’ enjoyment of technology. Today, Best Buy operates a global portfolio of brands with a commitment to growth and innovation. They are committed to constant innovation, new ideas, new ways to delight customers and new ways to work together.
Barry Judge, CMO of Best Buy has been instrumental in making Best Buy a retail leader in “social media” over the last year through the development and implementation of Twelpforce, targeting baby boomers and xgenerationers.
Barry consistently demonstrates though leadership, the ability to execute and market innovation. He has consistently shown vision and fortitude in the myriad experiments, (BlueShirt Nation, True Stories, Best Buy Ideax, and BarryJudge.com and communicating with his team–largely in the open–on Twitter), he sponsors which wholly or in part have positioned his team to execute in front of the curve. Twelpforce is the latest, most visible example of that courage and his open, social approach to marketing.
Twelpforce is more than a marketing idea it is whole company idea. It is a service guided by the vision of using “social technology” to directly deliver Best Buy’s most important value proposition – their people. Staffed by Best Buy employees from across all operations, including BlueShirts and Geek Squad agents, Twelpforce answers product questions, troubleshoots technology challenges and solves customer service issues, all from the comfort of the users’ keyboard or mobile phone.
In the eight weeks since it began the Twelpforce has:
- garnered over 10,000 followers
- generated over 5000 tweets from over 1600 ambassadors
- is answering an average of 122 customer questions a day to the delight of the customer
Zurich Financial Services’ innovative marketing and communications operations, which are led by Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Arun Sinha, are helping transform the image, perception and brand of the company from to being a traditional insurance provider to a customer-centric enterprise.
On September 22, 2008 Zurich Financial Services Group formally announced its global brand repositioning campaign – HelpPoint. One of the largest most technically driven global marketing initiatives to date in terms of size and scope, the HelpPoint global brand campaign has spanned more than 140 countries, over six media channels, and utilizes the same cutting-edge filming techniques and technology applied in “Batman: The Dark Knight,” as well as during the Euro 2008 soccer tournament.
The initial campaign launch was recognized as well by journalists through earned media coverage. In its first month alone, the campaign was written about in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, MediaPost and PR Week. Also in April of 2009, Marketing Week featured HelpPoint in a six-page cover story.
The campaign is based upon extensive market research to enable a precise understanding of insurance customers’ wants and needs. In total, the research involved more than 39,000 customers in 12 countries, representing all of the company’s business areas.
The term Zurich HelpPoint captures the company’s new brand commitment of ‘delivering when it matters’ in an easy-to-understand, highly recognizable approach that would be meaningful to customers across all lines of business and geographies. Zurich is placing greater emphasis on tangible examples of how Zurich delivers what matters to customers, consistently and reliably.
- Zurich brand measures improved across the board compared to pre-launch benchmarks:
- Average Aided Awareness lift: + 7.4%
- Average Branded Communication lift: + 26.7 %
- Average Brand Consideration lift: +41.1 %
- Zurich.com website visits increased 2X during launch period
- Online engagement time increased an average of 27.2% post-launch
- Online marketing achieved click-through rates 1.5x industry norms
- The reputation of the company grew to be ranked the #1 insurance company in the world
- The brand value grew substantially to be one of the top brands in the world
- Pan European direct marketing effort grew the top line by 6%
- It was a very bold move to continue with the launch during the stock market crash. When many financial services companies were radically pulling back, Zurich proceeded with the global launch. The prediction (later proven correct) is that strong companies can build share during tough times
- During the course of 2009, Arun’s team embarked on two additional initiatives – the creation of the Zurich Connect direct distribution channel in Western Europe and Latin America, and a comprehensive digital CRM pilot program in the US, both of which have multi-billion global roll-out potential
- The Zurich HelpPoint initiative has been so successful that its category competitors are now trying to catch up by actively adopting “customer-centric” philosophies. And the international business school IMD (Lausanne, Switzerland) selected Zurich HelpPoint for an MBA case study
eBay drives customer traffic to our site through a variety of channels and advertising formats including:
- Paid Search
- Natural Search
- Graphical Ads
- Comparison Shopping Engines
- Direct Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Outbound Customer Support Calls
eBay’s goal is to show relevant ads to our customers across all mediums to deepen customer relationships and, in turn, drive value for the company. We do this by leveraging our deep customer data pared with innovative, optimizing technology platforms which deliver personalized, targeted messaging that maximizes ROI while furthering responsible marketing best practices. We are pioneering responsible advertising, as evidenced by our market leading Ad Choice program, allowing customers to opt out of targeted advertising on partner sites.
Ebay Marketing highlights from 2008 included our Disney-eBay “Win your Dreams” promotion, a unique sweepstake promotion combining the synergies of two of the world’s best known brands both recognized for our focus on customer satisfaction. In late summer, Microsoft announced its Live Search CashBack promotion, teaming together with eBay and other top ecommerce sites to offer cash back incentives to customers.
Lastly, we continue to place an emphasis on community as evidenced by our creation of new online marketplaces and microfinance sites like World of Good, MicroPlace, Community Gives as well as environmental stewardship, exemplified by our latest Green LEED Certified office building in San Jose.
Joanne Bradford of Microsoft believes in the power of the Internet, the power of community and especially, the power of MSN. Championing creative content with complementing advertising initiatives and precedent-setting entertainment experiences, she is connecting brands with millions of people around the world. And in true Microsoft spirit, she embraces challenge—and took on established heavyweights Google and Yahoo in the paid search arena with Microsoft adCenter, a platform that enables small businesses to place search ads, manage campaigns and obtain reports, and outperforms its well established rivals.
Microsoft consistently demonstrates thought leadership, the ability to execute and market innovation. It addresses both sides of the marketing equation – consumer and business-to-business – while retaining user-friendly and practical approach that delivers results. In addition, it upholds the DMA tenants of being a relevant, responsible and results-oriented organization.
MSN is now one of the most visited Internet destinations in the world reaching more that 465 million people in 42 markets and 21 languages. MSN has emerged as the credible source on the Web offering informative, interactive and entertaining content and we make your Internet experience effortless and fun. It is the premier online media network giving voice to the events, curiosity and dreams of a global audience. In 10 years of being a portal for programmed content for consumers, MSN has learned that relevant, timely, and informative content is key to keeping consumers engaged on the network.
Microsoft adCenter is an online tool that lets businesses place paid search ads on the results pages of Live Search. Businesses bid on keywords related to what they have to sell and are charged only when search users click on their ads. In short, it drives commerce.
Microsoft adCenter – Finding itself in unfamiliar territory as the underdog, Microsoft carved a niche in small business and a positioning as a friendly face and a helpful voice the traditionally impersonal self-serve category of paid-search. The goal was to create a profitable business with a substantial customer base in just 12 months. Using sophisticated modeling and analytics, Microsoft set out to reach Google and Yahoo customers most likely to convert to a Microsoft’s platform.
Microsoft adCenter gave small businesses a platform to place search ads, manage campaigns, and get reports at their fingertips. For Microsoft, paid search represented an extension to small business of the advertising model already offered to agencies. Direct Marketing was critical in acquiring Microsoft’s adCenter’s initial customer base—CRM for data management and campaign execution, robust prospect segmentation, multi-channel campaigns, media planning/buying and major investments in database, market research, segmentation and modeling.
A fully integrated creative campaign (Search Master Steve) launched Microsoft adCenter and continues to build the brand. The campaign differentiated the brand as the “helpful alternative” in the paid search market. Reflective of today’s marketing requirements, the successful campaign embraced every aspect of relationship market: search, affiliate marketing, banners, national print advertising, direct mail, variable print on demand (to optimize offers, formats and content) and sophisticated analytics to determine its efficacy in prospecting for new customers. The result not only differentiated the brand but highlighted Microsoft adCenter’s powerful way to drive commerce.
Joanne’s passion for Microsoft adCenter and its use during the largest web streamed event, Live Earth, helped motivate and steer her team in the direction that resulted in a customer experience that was widely applauded by our customers, as well as external influentials. The live online video coverage was nearly flawless – a testament to the team’s extensive planning – and a monumental achievement that had never been attempted at global scale with so much content to deliver (nearly 12,000 videos distributed around the world for both the live and on-demand experience within 42 hours). The results are powerful:
- 244M+ global Live Earth PVs delivered to date
- 65M+ total global video streams delivered to date.
- During the exclusive live coverage on MSN, 8+ million people globally watched 15+ million streams, with peak simultaneous viewership of 237,000 people, making it the most watched entertainment event in online history.
MSN was able to drive significant press coverage around its participation therefore raising awareness about Live Earth overall and a way for people around the world to get involved. The scope of press coverage included:
- Print and blog totals: 466 (256 unique articles, 210 reposts)
- Broadcast totals: 212 TV broadcast mentions: total estimated audience: over 4 million
- Radio totals: 21,293,000
- Trailer video: 50,000 views online
“Hello MSN, You did a fantastic job covering the most important issue facing all societies…how to live sustainably and leave future generations with a chance of having a quality of life that we currently enjoy. Changing our climate is not just an environmental issue, it’s economic and it’s morality issues as well. The poorest societies are being hit hardest and will get hit even harder in the near future. Thanks for raising awareness of the climate crisis within your viewing & listening audience! Please keep up the effort to help education everyone about the need to take meaningful action….right away”! – Pierre, Sacramento, CA
The success of Microsoft adCenter continues to grow. Over the course of the year, the Search Master Steve campaign helped build the Microsoft adCenter by delivering millions impressions, direct mail, pieces and thousands e-mails while creating a recognizable brand icon (Search Master Steve).
By providing an online home for this content, MSN was able to deliver the climate change cause to people around the world. The Live Earth site on MSN provided tips and education on energy conservation and climate change, allowed users to register for concert updates and newsletters, and make a pledge to take specific actions to combat climate change. Joanne Bradford made it clear at the launch of the initiative that this would be a full experience that will continue throughout the network. “This isn’t just one day for us; this is about creating change and giving to people the education to change it,” she said in interviews in January 2007 (Information Week). Joanne used this initiative as a way to kick off a Green Channel on MSN which will be available long after Live Earth.
In addition to the broad corporate-wide efforts at Microsoft to reduce waste and recycle, Joanne took this opportunity to pursue additional ideas within MSN. She encouraged her team to do their part too. One effort included asking that people no longer print presentations for meetings anymore. Instead of bringing a 40 page deck to review, she recommends people to review the materials on their laptops. She believes that there are all sorts of little things people and corporations can do every single day that add up to make a big impact.
Yahoo! was awarded this recognition due to thought leadership, ability to execute and market innovation, and upholding the DMA tenants of being a relevant, responsible and results oriented entity.
Yahoo! constantly strives to implement new and exciting marketing initiatives that push the industry standard as well as spread important messages across the world, from its dazzling direct mail campaign to delighting users with free coffee, to promoting creative ways to tackle worldwide problems such as poverty and global warming. In 2006 Yahoo!’s successful marketing campaigns have ranged from an industry-first partnership with Sheraton Hotels and Resorts, to an innovative celebrity-filled forum to answer the world’s biggest questions, to the launch of a brand new Yahoo! Homepage.
Yahoo! Marketing kicked off 2006 with the launch Yahoo! Link @ Sheraton, a unique branding alliance with Sheraton Hotels & Resorts that exposes thousands of travelers to Yahoo!’s fund brand and essential Internet services. Yahoo! Marketing helped drive the Yahoo! Answers “Ask the Planet” event, a fun and socially responsible campaign, which set out to explore some of the world’s most important issues.
One of the biggest challenges Yahoo! Marketing faced in 2006 involved creating a campaign to celebrate the launch of the new Yahoo.com, the most significant re-design ever of the Yahoo! Home page. Putting consumers at the center of their Web experience, the new yahoo.com page lets them get things done quickly and stay up-to-date on the latest news, trends and buzz about what’s going on in the world. To market this launch, Yahoo! turned to those who know the brand best – Yahoo! users. In celebration of the new page, Yahoo! launched a site featuring short videos created by students from renowned film schools to humorously tell the world that Yahoo! is changing. In addition, Yahoo! invited all users to submit original videos through Yahoo! Video (video.yahoo.com) with their own creative take on the theme.
Yahoo! will continue to celebrate the new home page with the launch of a multi-mullion dollar integrated marketing campaign that includes television, radio, cinema and online advertisements portraying an irreverent and playful look at life with and without the essential benefits of Yahoo!’s Internet services. The campaign resurrects Yahoo!’s signature “Do You Yahoo!? tagline.
JetBlue Airways was honored for the airline’s exceptional customer service achievements, innovative marketing strategies, unique branding and leadership among heavy competition.
As Chairman and CEO of JetBlue Airways, David Neeleman has launched his third successful aviation business and is realizing his desire to bring humanity back to air travel, by offering passengers low fares, friendly service and a high quality product.
JetBlue Airways began operations in February, 2000 from its base at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and now, five years later, serves 29 cities across the U.S and the Caribbean with a fleet of 73 new Airbus A320 aircraft.
David’s career in the airline industry began in 1984 when he co-founded a low-fare carrier called Morris Air with June Morris, the owner of Salt Lake City-based travel agency Morris Travel. As President of Morris Air, David implemented the industry’s first electronic ticketing system and pioneered a home reservationists system that is now the foundation of JetBlue’s unique call center: all calls to JetBlue’s reservation number are handled by reservationists working out of their homes. Following the sale of Morris Air and a short period with Southwest Airlines, David took the electronic ticketing system that he had initiated at Morris Air and developed it into Open Skies, the world’s simplest airline reservation system. David sold Open Skies to Hewlett Packard in 1999. Also during this period, David acted as a consultant to WestJet Airlines, the successful Canadian low-fare start-up airline.
In 1999, after the conclusion of his five-year non-compete agreement with Southwest Airlines, David decided the time was right to bring his successful airline formula – innovative, high quality service plus low fares equals a strong and loyal market – to one of the country’s largest aviation markets, New York City. He assembled a hand-picked management team of airline industry veterans and secured $130 million in capital funding from investors such as Weston Presidio Capital, George Soros and Chase Capital, now JP Morgan.
JetBlue was recently ranked number one in quality and overall performance of U.S. airlines in the annual Airline Quality Ratings by the University of Nebraska at Omaha Aviation Institute and W. Frank Barton School of Business at Wichita State University. In 2004, for the third consecutive year, JetBlue was rated “Best Domestic Airline” at Conde Nast Traveler’s 2004 Readers’ Choice Awards. JetBlue was also rated runner-up for “Best Domestic Airline” at Travel & Leisure magazine’s 2004 World’s Best Awards, the third consecutive year receiving the award.
Jason Ackerman is a specialist in recognizing opportunity. A founding partner of Crown Capital Group, he identifies high-potential investments, then provides the disciplined management and organization-development skills required to realize aggressive investment objectives. That recognition led him to Joe Fedele in 1999, and convinced him to team with Fedele to launch FreshDirect. Since 1999, he has led the development of the FreshDirect business plan, and helped build the team that today executes that plan. In 2003 Ackerman’s efforts and contributions at FreshDirect earned him the recognition and award as Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year for Metropolitan New York in the Consumer Food Products Category.
Prior to FreshDirect, Ackerman honed his management skills as Senior Vice President in the corporate finance department of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, where he managed a string of successful high-yield financings and financial restructurings for corporate clients, primarily in the supermarket and specialty retail industries. Today, he applies that investment and management experience to the task of leading FreshDirect.
Lowell “Bud” Paxson, Chairman and CEO of Paxson Communications Corporation, is a media industry pioneer whose broadcast career spans more than 48 years. He was the creator and co-founder and is president emeritus of the Home Shopping Network and Silver King Communications, was the creator and co-founder of Christian Network, Inc., and is author of the book “Threading the Needle”. Paxson Communications Corporation, formed in 1991, owns and operates the nation’s largest broadcast television station group with the rights to distribute programming to over 22 million cable and satellite customers reaching 88% of US households.
Paxson is the recipient of numerous awards and was inducted into the 12th Annual Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame in 2002. His crowning achievement is the creation of PAX TV, which in 1998 had the widest household reach of any launch in network television history. PAX represents a new economic paradigm for a new age of television.