David Williams is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Merkle Inc. He acquired Merkle in 1988 and became its 24th employee. Today, Merkle has more than 2,000 employees in locations in the United States, China and United Kingdom, and is the nation’s largest and fastest-growing independent Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM) agency.
Under David’s leadership, Merkle has sustained 25% annual growth over the last 20 years and was recognized as a market leader by Forrester Research in 2003, 2006 and 2007. In 2013, Advertising Age ranked Merkle as the 22nd largest agency of any discipline worldwide and the 7th largest CRM/Direct agency in the U.S. Also in 2012, Merkle was named to the “Ten Agencies to Watch” list in Advertising Age’s A-List Issue. David was recognized by Winning Workplaces and Fortune Magazine as one of America’s Best Bosses of 2006, and was the 2007 Maryland Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
David is the author of the book, Connected CRM: Implementing a Data-Driven, Customer-Centric Business Strategy, which was published in 2014 by Wiley Publishing. In the book, he shares his knowledge and experience, with the intent of helping world-class brands build stronger, more profitable relationships with their customers.
David served for 6 years (2006-2011) on the Board of Directors of the Direct Marketing Association where he also served on its Executive Committee. He also served for 3 years (2010-2013) as a member of the Board of Trustees at the Howard County General Hospital: A Member of John Hopkins Medicine. David is a frequent speaker at industry events and has written numerous articles and white papers about topics such as Customer Relationship Marketing, Database Marketing and Analytics, Digital Media and Marketing Technology.
He began his career at Butcher & Singer, a Philadelphia-based investment bank, and holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania.
Tim leads and manages Merkle’s CRM solutions. He brings more than 20 years of experience in database marketing and customer relationship management. Tim has worked to build and implement database marketing programs and strategies in a wide variety of industries for leading companies such as American Express, Continental Airlines, DirecTV, GEICO, and Hyatt Hotels, to name a few.
Prior to joining Merkle, Tim worked for AT&T Bell Laboratories as a consultant from 1990 to 1995. He was formerly with direct marketing agency Rapp Collins Worldwide where he built and led the analytical group. Tim joined Merkle in 1997 to build its analytical group, and joined with Patrick Hennessey to grow the company’s Data Solutions Group to annual revenues of $30M.
In 2007, Tim led Merkle’s entire Client Management Group, including analytics and data services, where he built the analytics group to more than 100 statisticians. In 2009, he was named to lead Merkle as co-president, together with Patrick Hennessey, working with Merkle chief executive officer David Williams to set Merkle’s vision and customer relationship marketing approach.
Tim holds a Master’s degree in statistics from the University of Minnesota.
Patrick leads Merkle’s Vertical Market groups. Patrick joined Merkle in 1997 as an account executive. Two successful years later, he was promoted to vice president of sales and marketing, where he and Tim worked hand-in-hand to oversee the delivery of data-driven marketing solutions to Merkle’s clients. Over the years, he has served the company in a wide range of vital roles. Patrick is an avid student of business management, always searching for new tools and approaches that can help the company continue to grow.
Along with Tim Berry, President, CRM Capabilities, Patrick led the development and enterprise-wide socialization of Merkle's unique approach to recruiting, hiring, and retaining the best people in the industry. He also drove the definition of Merkle's innovative Reference-ability 2.0, a program that ensures client satisfaction and he has been a leader in identifying key meeting rhythms that has allowed the company to operate in an optimal mode.
Patrick attended University of Arizona and lives in Clarksville, MD.
Jean is responsible for the finance function at Merkle and brings more than 28 years of financial and operational experience in global services companies to her role as CFO. Jean is a proven business transformational leader who has worked across multiple functions at an enterprise level. Jean's approach is collaborative and results oriented.
Jean's experience in financial and operational management with global services companies was most recently as the Senior Vice President of Operations at Quintiles. Quintiles is the global market leader of biopharmaceutical development and commercial outsourcing services. At Quintiles, Jean led an enterprise business transformation program to change core business and operating models, processes and systems.
Prior to Quintiles, Jean spent more than 25 years in a variety of financial and operational positions at Accenture, one of the world's leading consulting companies. Throughout her tenure with Accenture, Jean was responsible for instilling financial and operational rigor through dynamic operating management models which met emerging business demands and supported the strategy of the company. In addition, she drove large scale change implementations for core business processes, key financial processes and specific enterprise transformations.
Jean has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Libby Barden oversees Merkle’s corporate human resources function, value proposition, and capabilities, which span recruiting and on-boarding new staff; employee development and engagement; reward and recognition programs; performance management; and compensation and benefits.
Libby is a recognized industry leader with a solid background in building teams that perform effectively within rapidly changing organizations. She joined Merkle in 2014 from Accenture, one of the world’s leading consulting companies, where she spent more than 20 years in a variety of senior level positions. Most recently, as the North America Area HR managing director, Libby was responsible for partnering with the executive leadership team to provide strategic direction and drive the people agenda/talent plan for the business, ensuring that the HR strategy properly reflected the business strategy. Prior to this role, Barden was the global management consulting HR managing director where she helped create a unique culture and value proposition within Accenture to drive growth in direct competition with other strategic management consulting organizations.
She holds a BA in mass communications and journalism from University of Colorado and an MBA from the University of Colorado Leeds Business School.
Matt leads Merkle’s Enterprise Technology Group and has 20 years of IT experience with 16 years focused on marketing technologies. Merkle’s Enterprise Technology Group is focused on marketing technology innovations that enable Merkle’s clients to achieve Connected CRM. These innovations are focused around Connected Recognition, cross-channel event management, real-time interaction management, and delivering personalized optimized consumer experiences.
He has helped clients evolve and improve their marketing efforts around multi-channel customer relationship management, and he has specific experience from traditional data warehousing to big data management and from analysis to channel execution. These efforts have included the integration of traditional channels to digital channels and media in order to support acquisition, retention, and loyalty.
Prior to joining Merkle, Matt was a senior executive with other leading marketing service providers. In those roles, he managed client marketing solutions, enterprise decision management, and marketing consulting practices. For one of those marketing service providers, Matt established and led the European consulting practice that provided strategic marketing advisory services covering marketing strategy, advanced analytics, and marketing technology. He has provided these services across multiple industries: financial services, retail, telecommunications, travel, and entertainment.
Matt was a member of the United States Air Force.
Craig leads Merkle's Digital Agency Services Group. In this role, Craig manages the customer experience group, a business unit comprised of digital strategy; media capabilities, which include social, search, display, email and mobile; customer engagement; and experience design.
Previously, Craig was corporate vice president of Merkle’s Content Solutions Group and led a team that further established Merkle’s proprietary data solutions and offerings. He has also served as co-leader of the company’s Quantitative Solutions Group, a core pillar of Merkle’s strategy.
Prior to joining Merkle in 2006, Craig had a long career at Metromail, and then Experian (which acquired Metromail in the late 1990s). Among his positions there were vice president of data licensing, director of market development, director of interactive marketing, and various sales management positions. Craig joined Merkle after serving as senior vice president of sales and account management for Experian Marketing Services.
Craig holds a political science degree from Hofstra University.
Zhengda "Z" Shen oversees Merkle's analytics and data businesses, core pillars of Merkle's connected CRM capabilities and value proposition. Z provides oversight for delivery of quantitative marketing solutions to Merkle clients and is responsible for developing the operating group's future direction and growth strategy.
Z also serves as the President of Merkle's Asia Pacific business overseeing Merkle's global delivery centers in China as well as the development of businesses in the APAC region.
Z joined Merkle in 2000 and has served the company in a variety of leadership positions. Prior to his current role, Z held the position of EVP, Chief Operating Officer overseeing technology and operations. Earlier, he held leadership positions as SVP of Quantitative Solutions Group and Client Group Leader for Merkle's financial services and insurance vertical markets.
Zhengda holds a Master's degree in Applied Statistics from The Ohio State University and a Master of Business Administrative degree from The Johns Hopkins University.
Tony has overall responsibility for the delivery of foundational marketing platform and ongoing operational support for Merkle’s technology clients. With teams in Columbia, MD, Marlborough MA, Denver CO, Little Rock AR and Shanghai China, he is responsible for the deployment and operation of marketing solutions including database operations, campaign execution, business intelligence support, email execution and marketing system integration.
Tony is an experienced executive with more than 25 years of global professional services experience in the information management field in the areas of business intelligence, data warehousing, customer relationship management and program management. He has significant work experience in the financial services, life sciences, and automotive sectors. Tony has extensive international experience in Australia, Thailand, Turkey, England, and living in Japan.
Tony joins Merkle from IBM’s Business Analytics and Optimization Practice, where he spent 18 years in a variety of senior-level positions. Most recently, Tony led IBM’s BAO Japan Service Line. He also held IBM’s BAO Global Leader for Banking and Financial Markets, Enterprise Information Management Service Line for North America, and Financial Services BAO Partner roles. Prior to IBM and PricewaterhouseCooper’s Tony held consulting roles in Oracle.
Tony holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Wayne State University in Detroit, majoring in accounting, and a Bachelor of Business from Walsh College, majoring in Computer Information Systems.
As leader of Merkle’s Management Consulting practice, Tony Steel is focused on building strong consultative partnerships with world-class brands. His team is responsible for articulating Merkle’s unique, strategically led Connected CRM (cCRM)® approach, which helps clients build and sustain profitable customer relationships and competitive advantage.
Tony is a seasoned executive with extensive experience in CRM and consulting. Prior to joining Merkle, he spent more than ten years with IBM Global Services, holding several executive positions including the North American leader for IBM’s Smarter Commerce Growth Initiative and Managing Partner for South East Asian Growth Market. Prior to IBM, Tony spent ten years with PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting (PwC) as a Partner, leading the Sales Productivity consulting practice and working with leading organizations to transform CRM functions.
Hailing from the UK, Tony holds a BS in physics from University of Bath.
Dave leads Merkle’s vertical market practice for High Tech & B-to-B. As a seasoned executive with more than twenty years of CRM agency experience, he has oversight of Merkle’s new business development strategies, client relationships, and delivery of services. Dave is part of Merkle’s senior management team and currently serves on Merkle’s executive committee.
Prior to joining Merkle in 2002, Dave helped develop and launch Return Path, Inc., a provider of strategic email solutions. As that company’s vice president of sales and business development, he drove direct sales efforts and coordinated reseller partnerships. He previously served as vice president of new market development at DoubleClick/Abacus, responsible for developing new products from the Abacus database and launching them into markets outside the traditional and core catalog clients. Dave began his career at TransUnion, where he worked in various roles within several divisions of the company for thirteen years, including vice president and general manager of TransUnion’s insurance division and vice president of sales and client management within TransUnion’s direct marketing division, PerformanceData. Dave earned a BA from Clemson University.
John leads Merkle’s industry practices in Insurance and Wealth Management and Travel, Media, and Entertainment. John has more than 16 years of agency, management consulting, and industry-side experience in digital media, marketing strategy, technology, and analytics. John has been a part of the senior management team since 2008 and currently serves on Merkle’s executive committee.
Prior to joining Merkle, John played executive roles in marketing, distribution and technology in Liberty Mutual’s Personal Markets division. He was previously a senior manager in CapGemini’s Financial Services consulting practice. John has also held agency management positions with Razorfish and Rapp Collins Worldwide. Some of John’s most significant clients have included MetLife, Travelers, WellPoint, American Express, US Bank, GlaxoSmithkline, and AARP.
John is a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College and lives in Wellesley, MA.
Will leads Merkle's vertical market practices for Retail Banking, Consumer Finance, and Non-Profit. He is responsible for delivery of services to existing clients, growth and profitability of the business, and the continued application of Merkle's core value proposition to the challenges and opportunities of these industries. Will has more than 16 years experience in the delivery of digital agency services, marketing technology, and management consulting. Joining in 2008, Will is a member of the senior management team, leads the New York office, and serves on Merkle's executive committee.
Before joining Merkle, Will spent five years in senior leadership roles in the Asia Pacific for Acxiom Corporation, leading growth and development for China, Australia and New Zealand, and establishing offices in Singapore. Will worked with innovative global brands in the region to advance the development of customer driven business strategies, and to integrate Acxiom's local acquisitions into an organized regional footprint. Prior to that Will held various roles with Acxiom in the US.
Will holds a BS in international economics from Louisiana State University.
Mike is a seasoned executive with more than 23 years of professional services experience across a broad spectrum of disciplines including client account leadership, sales, and consulting delivery. He also has significant operations experience through roles in client relationship management, business development, technology management, and business alliances Mike has also worked globally with retail and consumer products clients that are expanding into European and Asian markets.
In his role at Merkle, Mike’s focus is on articulating how Merkle’s industry-specific approach to delivering Connected CRM™ solutions is an important enabler to retailers aiming to make smarter business decisions and more effectively use customer insights.
Mike joins Merkle from Accenture, where he spent 13 years in a variety of senior level positions. Most recently, he was Managing Director in Accenture’s North American Retail Practice, where he was responsible for client account leadership; managing retail ERP sales and delivery; defining retail and IT strategy; and delivering outsourcing services. Prior to Accenture, Mike spent 11 years with IBM Corporation where he was a Principal with IBM Global Services.
Mike holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Notre Dame where he majored in management information systems..