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Direct Response Marketing

Seven for ’17: DR Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

1 Mar, 2017


SANTA ANA, Calif. – Response Magazine and its Advisory Board are proud to announce the inductees for 2017 class of the Direct Response Hall of Fame. The group features seven legends in the DR marketing world. They are: Michelle Cardinal, Jonathan Congdon, Carl Daikeler, Nancy Lazkani, Tim O’Leary, Lenny Sands, and Rob Woodrooffe.

“This septet of DR Hall of Fame inductees not only represents more than 30 years of industry history, but also features leaders who are still driving change in our ever-evolving space, as well, “ says Thomas Haire, editor-in-chief of Response. “Our nominating committee – the Response Advisory Board, previous Hall of Fame inductees, and Response’s executive leadership – is thrilled to welcome this fifth class of the Hall of Fame.”

The group will be honored during a series of afternoon events at Response Expo at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront on Thursday, April 27. The events will include a special panel discussion with a group of the inductees on hand, as well as the official induction event. More information on these events can be found at www.responseexpo.com.

In 2013, Response Magazine and its Advisory Board created the Direct Response Hall of Fame in order to honor those individuals whose careers in the marketing business stand as a beacon of success. The creation of the DR Hall of Fame was years in the making and championed by long-time Response Advisory Board member Richard Stacey of Northern Response Intl. Ltd., in Toronto.

“This fifth class of inductees to the DR Hall of Fame is filled with visionary leaders who have helped drive tremendous success – and billions of dollars in sales – in direct response marketing,” says John Yarrington, publisher of Response. “With more than 40 nominees submitted this year by our Advisory Board and previous Hall of Fame inductees, the talents displayed by this group truly reflect the level of success necessary to earn membership in the DR Hall of Fame.”

Here are brief biographies of this year’s inductees:

  • Michelle Cardinal, CEO and co-founder of Portland, Ore.-based R2C Group, began her career in media at KADY-TV, selling direct response media to industry veterans in the early 1990s. She then joined Williams Worldwide as a media buyer, helping launch many of the industry’s highest grossing campaigns for stalwarts including Ronco’s Food Dehydrator and Kent & Spiegel’s Miracle Blade. Cardinal turned her focus to Fortune 500 companies clamoring for more accountable marketing techniques, launching successful branded direct response campaigns for Philips, Hoover, and Braun. In 1998, she founded direct response media agency Cmedia, serving clients such as Tristar Products, Carnival Cruise Lines, and Cancer Treatment Centers of America. In 2005, Cardinal co-founded R2C Group with her husband and business partner, Tim O’Leary – together building one of the leading full-service advertising agencies in the country. R2C Group is a data-driven agency specializing in transactional brand building for many major brands and ecommerce companies, including Humana Healthcare, Bissell, Vonage, Wayfair.com, and Web.com.
  • Jonathan L. Congdon is the co-founder and president of Beachbody LLC, based in Santa Monica, Calif., and one of the fastest growing businesses in the United States. Founded in 1998, Beachbody owns the Beachbody On Demand fitness streaming service, the Beachbody Live Fitness Certification business, the Team Beachbody Coach Network (with more than 450,000 distributors or “coaches”), Shakeology, Beachbody Performance, and other nutrition lines – as well as many popular fitness brands, including P90X, 21 Day Fix, and Insanity. In its first 15 years of business, Beachbody earned many awards and accolades, including multiple Telly Awards and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The company has grown to more than $1 billion in revenue (2014), with employees working in five offices. Congdon was a finalist for Ernst & Young’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” award in 2005. He holds seats on two boards and served two terms on the Electronic Retailing Association (ERA) Board of Directors. Congdon graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, and holds a degree in political science with dual emphases in constitutional law and international relations.
  • Carl Daikeler is co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Beachbody LLC. In his pursuit to maintain his own health and fitness, and find a solution for the growing obesity epidemic, Daikeler and co-founder Jon Congdon created Beachbody in 1998. Since then, the California-based company has redefined in-home fitness with top fitness and weight-loss solutions such as Beachbody® On Demand, P90X®, 21 Day Fix®, Body Beast®, and INSANITY® – as well as the breakthrough health shake, Shakeology®. Daikeler’s focus is to help people achieve their goals and lead healthy, fulfilling lives. Through the Team Beachbody® Coach Network, his aspiration is to create the largest community of health and fitness-related peer support in the world. So, in 2007, Beachbody became the first networking marketing business focused on a holistic approach to fitness and weight loss, turning customers into brand ambassadors. With a database of more than 20 million people, it leverages more than $100 million a year in advertising – another industry first. Daikeler has more than 25 years of extensive product marketing experience, including every aspect of the direct response business – from creating products to advertising, media buying, operations, international distribution, and general management. He began his entrepreneurial career in fitness product development when he co-founded TelAmerica Media, where he created 8-Minute Abs®.
  • As a pioneer of performance-driven advertising, Nancy Lazkani founded Icon Media Direct in 2000 with a vision to innovate how media is purchased and analyzed, and to foster continual growth and success for her clients. With more than 30 years of media expertise, she’s played a pivotal role in disrupting industry norms for the benefit of advertisers and their return on investment. Lazkani has been nationally recognized with honors such as CEO of the Year, Largest Woman-Owned Business, Cynopsis’ Top Women in Digital, and Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business Women Entrepreneur Program, among others. Her passion and dedication for innovation has not only helped advance the industry, but also built some of the largest brands in the nation.
  • Tim O’Leary, author and co-founder of Portland, Ore.-based R2C Group, launched his first DRTV campaign while still in college in 1980. In 1990, he joined The Tyee Group (now a division of Havas) where he helped create the industry’s first big-brand infomercials for clients that included Apple, AT&T, Sony, H-P, Sears, Bowflex, and Philips. In 1999, he founded Respond2, producing home run campaigns, including The Ultimate Johnny Carson Collection. In 2005, he co-founded R2C Group, along with his wife and business partner Michelle Cardinal, where he continued to create branded direct response for clients that include NordicTrack, Expedia, Ancestry, Microsoft, and dozens of others. In 2014, he retired from the agency to pursue a full-time writing career. His new collection of short stories, “Dick Cheney Shot Me in the Face – And Other Tales of Men in Pain,” was released on Feb. 16.
  • Lenny Sands is chairman of Los Angeles-based Capital Brands and has been a direct-to-consumer marketer and brand builder since 1992, creating iconic brands and businesses. Sands started his career in DRTV in a joint venture with Guthy-Renker, eventually becoming a shareholder and the president of Guthy-Renker Fitness, overseeing some of the most successful fitness projects in DRTV history. Sands also was one of the founders, CEO, and chairman of Alchemy Worldwide, with programs in diet and fitness, skincare, and countertop appliances. During this period, two of the largest franchises were developed – the Magic Bullet and the Six Week Body Makeover – creating a global footprint that still exists today. Capital Brands was formed to harness and build the Bullet brand beyond television. With the advent of the NutriBullet extraction system and its line extensions, Capital Brands has evolved into a branded health and lifestyle company with sales in more 80 countries across several platforms.
  • Rob Woodrooffe founded Interwood in Canada in 1974. He pioneered a marketing concept called “Power Branding” that used direct response television commercials to create substantial consumer product awareness and drive sales through multiple channels of distribution, including retail. Woodrooffe took this successful marketing strategy and launched in the United States in 1983, across Europe in 1987, and through the rest of the world in the early 1990s. By 2000, Interwood had relationships in 115 countries. Woodrooffe was honored as Marketer of the Year in 1994 by the Canadian Marketing Association and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Electronic Retailing Association in 2007.

To be a part of the induction ceremony on April 27, please register to attend Response Expo today at www.responseexpo.com.


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