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John F. Hoffman III, a leader and innovative marketer in the telefundaising industry has died. He was 54. Hoffman died Jan. 6 from a brain tumor. Funeral services were today in Akron, Ohio.

He began his career at telefundraising firm InfoCision and stayed there nearly 13 years before launching Hoffman Marketing Group International, which he led for nearly 16 years. He also worked with Donor Care Center.

Long-time friend Nick Starvaz, founder and president of Synergy Direct Marketing Solutions, recalled Hoffman as a “really serious guy who really loved working with clients.” A particularly favorite group was fraternities. “He was always laughing and telling jokes,” said Stavarz.

Stavarz said he met Hoffman while the two worked at a drive-in hamburger stand. “He eventually got me a job working with him at InfoCision,” said Stavarz.

Another industry person who worked with Hoffman at InfoCision is Paul Noonan, president of International Data Management in Akron, Ohio. “He was one of those tireless guys who worked until the end of the day and then through the night for a client,” said Noonan. “There were no small details to John.”

Kelly Browning, chief executive officer of the American Institute for Cancer Research in Washington, D.C., was one of Hoffman’s clients. “He was real innovator in a time when telephone fundraising was really just developing the sophistication required for the success its had for the past 20 years,” said Browning. “He was a pioneer.”

A graduate of the University of Akron, he was a member of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Akron. He also was a member of a night golf league. Survivors include his parents; his wife of 26 years, Nina (Moskos); son, John F. Hoffman IV; and daughter, Gabrielle; brothers, Dirk and David; sisters, Kim (Marty) Rogers and Tanya Seibel.

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