Honoring Stefan Pollard: Nominations Open for the 2014 EEC Email Marketing Awards

jenningspollard2Those relatively new to ClickZ may not recognize the name Stefan Pollard. Three years ago, Stefan — ClickZ columnist, husband, father, respected industry expert and friend to many of us in the industry — passed away suddenly.

The ClickZ family and the larger email marketing community lost someone very special. None of us had a chance to say goodbye or to properly thank him, not only for his positive and lasting impact on our industry but for the unwavering friendship he offered to anyone who loved email marketing as much as he did.

The Email Experience Council (EEC) offers an annual award in Stefan’s name, to honor someone whose contributions to the industry rival his. This time of year is always bittersweet for those of us who knew him. I love remembering how good he was to me; I hate the fact that he’s no longer here with us.  

I worked in the publishing industry for years and one thing I learned from my editor friends was never to bury the lead. I’ll make you a deal: I’ll include details about the awards and how to nominate someone next, as long as you promise to indulge me and read past that to learn more about my late friend Stefan Pollard.

The Email Experience Council, part of the Direct Marketing Association, is once again accepting nominations for individuals who represent the best and brightest in the email marketing industry. This year, there are two awards:

Take a moment to think about people you know in your own organization and in the industry at large. Who has such passion for email marketing that they’ve had a significant impact on the business success of their organization or their clients’ organizations? Are they also a good industry citizen, having dedicated their time and talents to forwarding the mission of effective email marketing? These people would be a perfect nominee for one of these awards.

You have to be a member of the EEC to nominate someone (join here; it’s well worth it if you are serious about email marketing). However, the person nominated does not have to belong to the EEC.

Winners will receive:

  • Complimentary registration to attend the 2014 Email Evolution Conference ($1,300+ value).
  • A luncheon in their honor at the Email Evolution Conference in Miami, from January 22-24, 2014, where they will be feted by colleagues and peers.
  • Recognition and esteem from the industry and their peers.
  • A distinguished trophy.

You can learn more about the awards and nominate someone online; the deadline for nominations is December 5, 2013. Winners will be announced at the Email Evolution Conference.

Many of us in the ClickZ community had the honor of knowing Stefan Pollard. He was a highly respected and much loved member of the industry who died suddenly in 2010.

I first met Stefan when I was speaking at a ClickZ email marketing conference. I was at the podium, trying to make eye contact with a room full of people copiously taking notes with their heads down. It was early in my speaking career and I remember being very nervous. Stefan was the only person in the room who was not only looking up but smiling at me!

At the networking hour, I made a point to seek him out and thank him. I was embarrassed that I hadn’t realized he was another ClickZ columnist. We went to dinner with a larger group of ClickZ folks, including Jordan Ayan, which cemented our industry friendship.

I always looked forward to seeing Stefan at industry events and would often call or email him when I had a question about an industry issue. He was a wonderful mix of an abundance of smarts, kindness and humble nature. If you saw or spoke with Stefan, your day immediately got brighter.

When my book first published in 2007, I saw Stefan at a conference and he congratulated me. We were in a group and he said something about getting an autographed copy. I laughed, not really thinking he was serious.

About two weeks later, when I called Stefan with a question, he mentioned that he hadn’t received his book! I apologized and explained that I thought he was kidding, then signed and sent a book to him. I am still so honored that he — someone I admired — wanted a copy of my book.

Whether or not you knew Stefan, please take a moment now to remember him. His author profile page at ClickZ is still live and includes tributes to him as well as his original articles.

The EEC award in his name serves as a memorial to Stefan and as a reminder to all of us to pass forward what he brought to the industry, not just in terms of excellent email marketing, but also in friendship and community.

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