DMA Looking For New CEO — Again

April 24, 2014       Mark Hrywna      

Linda Woolley has resigned as president and CEO of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) in New York City. She leaves after less than two years at the organization’s helm and was the DMA’s fourth CEO in as many years.

The Board of Directors appointed Tom Benton as interim CEO/COO and Jane Berzan as interim president, effective immediately. Both will continue to manage their current responsibilities, Benton as chief financial officer (CFO) for the past two years, and Berzan, who joined the organization in January as senior vice president, programs.

Benton and Berzan have complimentary talents and experiences to bring to the helm of DMA, Board Chairman JoAnne Monfradi Dunn said via a statement announcing the changes.

Woolley replaced Larry Kimmel permanently in January 2013 after serving as acting president/CEO since May 2012. Kimmel succeeded Robert Allen in November 2010. John Greco, Jr. had been CEO from August 2004 until January 2010. There is no search at the moment for a permanent replacement, according to DMA spokespeople Susan Taplinger and Stephanie Miller. Woolley did not respond to email messages seeking comment.

DMA’s Board of Directors accepted Woolley’s resignation at a regularly scheduled board meeting today where Benton and Berzan were appointed, according to the spokespeople, and Monfradi Dunn informed staff today. Eight pages of talking points about the leadership transition on DMA letterhead obtained by The NonProfit Times were dated late last night.

Woolley resigned under terms of her contract, which was coming up for renewal. The spokespeople could not comment on details of the contract or any severance. After Greco left the organization in January 2010, he received $250,000 in severance payments, according to the DMA’s 2011 federal Form 990, as long as he did not revoke the agreement. Half of the severance was payable 10 days after the agreement was executed, and payments at other milestones, including 30, 60 and 90 days after the agreement’s execution.

The talking points indicated that the DMA’s finances are not public, however, the membership organization’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 990 shows reported revenue of $23.6 million for the fiscal year ending June 2012. The bulk of revenues are derived from membership dues ($10.5 million) and conferences and events ($8.8 million).

According to the 2012 Form 990, Kimmel earned $927,752, including a base of almost $500,000 and bonus and incentives of $255,000, in 2012. That year, Woolley served as senior vice president, government affairs, earning nearly $370,000, including $25,000 in bonus and incentives.