Aronowitz was previously director of business development and client services at Monster Worldwide. A 20-year veteran of the direct and interactive marketing industry, he started his career at Concepts in Color, a post-production facility. He later founded Zmichaels, a New York-based direct mail agency that later became saleoutlet.com.
"I grew up in direct marketing," said Aronowitz, adding that his marketing background and his people skills gleaned through participating in local politics will help him in his new role. "I'm a local councilman in my town [Woodbury, N.Y.]. I'll be able to deal with all the internal politics."
Aronowitz, who started his new job Sept. 7, said he has his work cut out for him. "There are many issues out there that affect Internet marketers, but going forward we need to look at the next generation of the Web, who the players will be and how that traffic returns ROI," he said. "One of my main objectives over the next 30 days is to literally speak to every member."
He said the important issues he will address include spyware legislation and search marketing. He also plans to re-evaluate all AIM's councils.
Aronowitz is the third person to hold the executive director title since the organization's inception in 1993. The post had been vacant since March, when Kevin Noonan left to become sales director of Return Path, an e-mail services provider.
Matt Blumberg, CEO of Return Path, chaired the executive search committee for the AIM post. He said the committee began evaluating candidates in the spring but that recruiting was problematic because a successor to DMA President-CEO H. Robert Wientzen had not been named.
"It was a little difficult to recruit actively because it's a fairly key position," Blumberg said. "Most candidates we talked to said they would not want to consider the job without knowing who the new DMA leader would be." The committee began rounding up candidates after John A. Greco Jr. was named to succeed Wientzen.
Blumberg said Aronowitz's background was well suited to the executive director role. "One thing that really set Michael apart was we were looking for someone with both traditional direct mail experience as well as online," Blumberg said. "He took his direct mail company and remade it into an online direct marketing fulfillment company." M