By now, most ERA members have heard that Julie Coons has ended her tenure as president and CEO. As interim executive director, I want to reassure members that ERA is as strong and vital as it always has been—and will only continue to get stronger in the coming months.
During her seven years with ERA, Julie provided the leadership needed to return the association to profitability and add real value to membership. She built an incredible support staff, revitalized its conferences and events, and helped establish an advocacy organization that ensures the industry’s interests are represented in Washington, D.C. In short, she put ERA in a fantastic position to move forward.
I have a passion for the association and everything it does.
Throughout my 18-year career in direct response, ERA has been a constant. I’ve practically grown up with the association—it helped me transition from my first position with J.C. Penney Direct through two acquisitions, with people like Steven Feinberg, Harry Hill, and Elliott Segal offering their advice and assistance as I took on increasing responsibilities with the association and its member companies. Now, I can return the favors.
As digital platforms have emerged, ERA has subtly shifted its focus to help marketers more accustomed to television advertising embrace and exploit new selling strategies. And it is my belief that we need to make ERA even more relevant to digital-first marketers like Dollar Shave Club, Uber, and Netflix—companies that can learn from our experiences on TV even as we learn from theirs. In the months ahead, I will leverage my sales and marketing background to bring more digital companies into the fold and ultimately help our members forge mutually beneficial business relationships.
As someone who traces a lot of his success directly to his involvement with ERA, I have a passion for the association and everything it does—and now, I can give back by lending my knowledge of the digital marketplace. Change can be difficult, but ERA has survived many changes in the past, and it will survive this one. Exciting things are going to happen in the next 12 to 24 months. I welcome your feedback, comments, and suggestions, and invite you to email me directly at [email protected].
Interim Executive Director
Electronic Retailing Association