Direct Media founder/chairman Dave Florence has achieved much in his nearly 50-year career in the list and data processing industries. After successful stints as a sales data processing sales rep for IBM and Royal McBee Corp., Florence went on to found Direct Media in 1969, and the rest is history. But when he’s writing his memoirs one day, perhaps Florence’s honor as a Direct Marketing Association Hall of Fame inductee will stand out the most—not only for the honor itself, but also for the company he’s sharing in this year’s induction: Benjamin Franklin.
The DMA announced on June 10 that in addition to Florence, it would posthumously induct Franklin. Although textbooks focus on Franklin’s scientific experiments and his career as a statesman, the DMA is inducting Franklin for his contributions to the mail order industry. In 1744, he produced what is believed to be the first catalog in the U.S., which sold scientific and academic books. In 1775, Franklin became the first postmaster general of the U.S.
As for Florence’s numerous other achievements, he is a trustee of the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation (DMEF), and he served on the DMA Board of Directors from 1987 to 1993 and the DMA Hall of Fame nominating committee from 2001-04. Florence will be formally inducted during the DMA’s Annual Conference in New Orleans on Oct. 19. Unfortunately, Franklin won’t be able to join him there.