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written by Milton “Milt” Olekson

Kudos to staff, board, committees, and sponsors of the recent DMAW Annual Meeting and Keynote Presentation.

The reigns were passed from Kristin McCurry of MINDset Direct to Hilary Baar of The Lukens Company.   Hilary did a great job of introducing and recognizing current and past board members and their contributions.  It was easy to recognize the contributions of the DMAW staff by the sheer smoothness and success of this (and other) events.  Thanks to all of you!

And wow, the Keynote Presentation—what can I say—was both “neat” and “creepy,” to borrow a couple of descriptives from the presenter, Mark D. Rash.  In a word from me, it was spellbinding!  Mr. Rash is director of cyber security and privacy at CSC Consulting, and if you get the opportunity to hear his presentation, I would highly recommend it.   In fact, I would welcome the opportunity to hear it again.

His presentation conjured up excitement as well as concern as he shared how data can—and is—being used to track us both physically as well as habitually.  From cell phones, websites, telephone, navigation systems, E-Z pass ID’s, facial recognition, and a wide array of other devices and techniques, Mark brought to light just how easily someone could track and catalog us all.   Although we declare and believe in our rights to privacy, in general, we knowingly provide a wealth of information that is happily gathered by others.

Being a direct marketer I understand the “neat” part of the equation.  Being able to target prospects and present useful and applicable products and services is a win-win scenario.  However, I understand Mark’s frequent and passionate advice to be straightforward about how we use collected information.  Although visitors often agree to terms and acknowledge the privacy policies when they visit websites, more often than not these policies are not completely perused.  So be up-front and treat all information with care.  And, don’t be “creepy.”

The evening ended with the pièce de résistance: some wonderful food, friends, and networking opportunities.

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Milton “Milt” Olekson is President & CEO of AMi Direct, a top-notch direct-marketing service provider located in Alexandria, VA.  AMi has successfully partnered with non-profit, commercial, and governmental clients since the early 1970s. AMi provides data management, fulfillment services, print and logistics management, personalization, mailing services, convention bag/kit assembly, special projects & programming, and more! You can reach Milt at 800-663-2415 x122 or milt@amidirect.com.