Jan Brandt, Andi Emerson, W. Howard Lester, Charles Williams Inducted into DMA's 2008 Hall of Fame During DMA08
October 14, 2008 — The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) today announced its 2008 Hall of Fame inductees: Jan Brandt, member, Pilot Group and chairman of North American Membership Group; the late Andi Emerson, founder, president, and board chair, John Caples International Awards; W. Howard Lester, chairman of the board and chief executive officer, Williams-Sonoma; and Charles Williams, founder and director emeritus, Williams-Sonoma.
All four marketing veterans were inducted into DMA’s 2008 Hall of Fame during a luncheon earlier today at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Established in 1978, the DMA Hall of Fame honors direct marketing professionals whose outstanding career contributions have led to the practice, growth, and stature of the direct marketing community. Each year, individuals are chosen to receive this prestigious honor for their accomplishments in marketing to customers, donors, and/or prospects, and for breaking new ground with creative, response techniques, and/or analytic measurement capabilities. A committee of judges reviews each nominee and gives recommendations to the DMA Board of Directors.
Member, Pilot Group and Chairman, North American Membership Group
Jan Brandt is currently a member of Pilot Group, an investment fund co-founded by Robert W. Pittman, and chairman of North American Membership Group, a portfolio company of Pilot Group. Prior to this, Brandt served as vice chair and chief marketing officer for America Online, Inc. where she oversaw the companywide strategic focus on marketing for America Online and the entire family of brands, including CompuServe, Netscape, ICQ, and AOL Instant Messenger.
Brandt was responsible for growing AOL's worldwide membership from 250,000 in 1993, when she joined the company as an officer and vice president of marketing, to more than 30 million. By 1997 she was already named president of marketing. Known as the most innovative marketer in the online world, Brandt retired from active management at AOL in 2003 and was named vice chair emeritus.
Brandt was named one of Fortune Magazine's “Most Powerful Women in American Business” in 1999 and 2000. Also in 2000, she was inducted into the Marketing Hall of Fame by the American Marketing Association. Brandt was Upside Magazine's Marketer of the Year in 1997 and has received DMA’s ECHO Award for excellence in direct marketing, as well as the Folio Gold Mailbox Award.
Additionally, Brandt has been active in both national and international philanthropy and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Women for Women International. She served on the DMA Board of Directors for seven years, and is currently working with a select group of start-up companies in the private sector.
Founder, President & Board Chair, John Caples International Awards
Andi Emerson, who passed away February 13, 2008, did more to raise the level of creativity in direct response advertising — on a global level — than perhaps anyone else in the direct marketing field as founder, president and board chair of the John Caples International Awards.
Now in its 31st year, and with international chairs in 53 countries, the Caples Awards is funded by industry agencies, clients and suppliers; run by industry volunteers; and judged by over 100 active, senior-level, international creatives. The annual awards — named for John Caples, an outstandingly successful direct response copywriter and internationally acclaimed author — go to individuals comprising the teams that have created the most brilliant advertising solutions to real-time marketing problems.
Emerson traveled the world, presenting speeches and seminars on direct response creativity as illustrated by Caples Award winning entries, and in doing so brought together creative directors from around the world to share their thoughts and opinions. Emerson and her Caples Committee created an international network of senior creative talent, second to none.
In recognition of her tireless efforts, the Caples Group introduced the Andi Emerson Award to honor an industry leader for a lifetime of service to the direct marketing community at large... Emerson was the award's first recipient.
Also a leader in direct marketing education, Emerson wrote and published articles, taught classes at New York University, and lectured at universities around the globe.
W. Howard Lester
Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Williams-Sonoma
W. Howard Lester purchased Williams-Sonoma in November 1978. Since then he has held numerous positions within the company, including president, chief executive officer, and chairman of the board. Lester was reappointed as CEO in July 2006, following a previous term from 1979-2001.
Before entering retail, Lester spent 15 years in the computer operations industry. During his extensive experience he served 6 years with Computer Sciences Corporation, and was executive vice president of Bradford National Corporation.
Lester has served on many industry and philanthropic boards during his esteemed career, including the International Association of Shopping Centers, the Retail Institute of Santa Clara University, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Boy Scouts of America.
He presently serves on the Executive Council of University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, and the Advisory Board of the Walter A. Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1991, he endowed The Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation within the Haas School.
Founder and Director Emeritus, Williams-Sonoma
Charles Williams purchased a hardware store in Sonoma, California in 1956 with the intention of converting it into a store specializing in French cookware. Within two years Williams-Sonoma was born and had quickly become the country’s first retailer to carry a collection of French cookware.
The company continued to grow, and in 1971, Williams created its first catalog that was mailed to 5,000 homes. In 1973 a second California store was opened, and today, the company operates more than 250 Williams-Sonoma stores across the United States and Canada.
Williams plays an active role in many aspects of the business, including providing advice for catalog production and photography. He has been involved with the production of over 200 Williams-Sonoma cookbooks, acting as the general editor for the Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library series, the New American Cooking series, the Savoring series, and the Mastering series.
He has served on the Board of the American Institute of Wine and Food, the Board of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), and has contributed a personal collection of cooking artifacts to the West Coast CIA branch at Greystone in St. Helena. He has also has made numerous scholarships available through the CIA and other organizations. In 2002, he was inducted into the CIA's Hall of Fame.
In 1994, the James Beard Foundation named Williams to the Who's Who of Food and Beverage and awarded him its highest honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995. Bon Appetit magazine named him the Tastemaker of the Year for 1999; he was awarded the International Association of Culinary Professionals’ 2001 Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2003, he was recognized by the Housewares Foundation as Humanitarian of the Year. In 2006, he was honored as a Visionary Retailer at the seventh annual Giants of Design Awards, which was presented by House Beautiful in New York City.
In 2007, both Charles Williams and W. Howard Lester received the Inc. Magazine Bernard A. Goldhirsh Lifetime Achievement Award, an acknowledgement to those who honor the values and virtues of American entrepreneurship.
About the DMA Hall of Fame
DMA’s Hall of Fame honors those who have made outstanding contributions to the practice, growth, and stature of direct marketing. Since it was established in 1978, DMA has honored 93 men and women whose vision and leadership have helped shape today’s data driven, multichannel marketing profession. For more information, including a full list of 1978-2007 honorees, visit www.the-dma.org/awards/hof.
About DMA08 Conference & Exhibition
The DMA08 Annual Conference & Exhibition, the Global Event for Integrated Marketing, is the world’s largest gathering of multichannel marketing professionals. DMA08, held October 11-16 in Las Vegas, features keynote presentations, educational sessions, roundtables, case studies, white papers, and research reports. DMA08’s exhibit hall features 575 exhibiting companies. For additional information, or to register for the six-day multichannel marketing event of the year, please visit www.dma08.org.
# # #
back to top