With a sense of accomplishment, Harry Hill recently left his position as chairman of the Electronic Retailing Association (ERA) Board, paving the way for new Chairman Elliott Segal to lead in the year ahead. During his term, Hill and the Board continued the ERA CEO Summit, offering top industry revenue-generators the opportunity to share their views on the state of the market and express their concerns as to which industry challenges the association should respond; one important offshoot was the establishment of the Anti-Counterfeit Coalition.
“I believe that I led a transition of the Board to focus more on strategic matters rather than the operational matters,” Hill says. “Julie [Coons, president and CEO] and staff have made a tremendous transition of the association to restore it to fiscal health. I believe the current Board is in a very good position from the perspective that ERA is financially much more sound than it has been for several years, and the Board is able to focus on big, strategic issues that face the industry.”
“As our industry changes, it will be critically important to look forward and to anticipate how the association must evolve to meet the needs of the membership.”
–Christopher Hearing, president, Direct Holdings Global
The 2013–2014 ERA Board welcomes nine new members, comprised of an eclectic group of marketers, retailers, and suppliers with a wealth of industry experience. Electronic Retailer reached out to new and returning Board members to discuss their reasons for serving, key issues they hope to address during their tenures, and what they believe will ensure future growth for the association.
Electronic Retailer: ERA has made great strides in recent years. As a newly appointed ERA Board member, what goals have you set for yourself to help it continue to grow?
Christopher Hearing: Short-term, I want to get up to speed with the workings of the Board and challenges to be met. Longer-term, I want to have a more strategic focus. As our industry changes, ERA must change, too, and it will be critically important to look forward and to anticipate how the association must evolve to meet the needs of the membership.
Collette Liantonio: To integrate DRTV practices with interactive Web-based marketing for a higher-performing hybrid. DRTV should be perceived as a vital part of the Internet age.
Gerald A. Bagg: I am looking forward to collaborating with all of the Board members to advance the relevance and credibility of ERA inside and outside of its current member base. My primary focus will be to engage in the corporate sphere, communicating the relevance of ERA to corporate players. I would also like to encourage ERA to become a stronger resource for agencies and marketers who are working hard to crack the code on analytics. This is not something that is talked about enough. As part of this effort, I would like to see ERA expand its scope to more wholistic direct marketing with a stronger emphasis put on digital—reaching well beyond television alone.
Jeff Campbell: I think the key will be to focus on initiatives that are actionable and relevant to the issues that we are facing currently.
Richard Wechsler: My No. 1 goal is to serve the association and membership as openly and fairly as possible. I believe that there is a disconnect between the Board and the membership. My goal is to increase the Board’s and the membership’s understanding of their respective and mutual goals and in so doing, enable ERA to better serve its membership.