Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
David acquired Merkle in 1988 and became its 24th employee. Today, Merkle has more than 1600 employees in locations in the United States, China and London, 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 2012, Advertising Age ranked Merkle as the 24th largest agency of any discipline worldwide and the 6th 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 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 currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees at the Howard County General Hospital: A Member of Johns 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.
Alongside Patrick Hennessey, Tim jointly leads and manages Merkle’s business. 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. In addition to leading and managing the company, Tim and Patrick work 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.
As co-president, Patrick leads Merkle’s business together with Tim Berry. 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, 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 and Tim have developed a working relationship that has produced greater results than if they worked independently – essentially, a ‘one-plus-one equals three’ approach.
Patrick attended University of Arizona and lives in Clarksville, MD.
EVP, CMO and Customer Experience Group Leader
Craig’s responsibilities are three-fold: marketing, corporate development and management of Merkle’s customer experience business unit. In this role, Craig is charged with developing the enterprise marketing strategy and overseeing the team that manages all of Merkle’s marketing activities, encompassing demand generation, industry marketing, product marketing and marketing communications functions that include public relations, events and advertising. He also leads Merkle’s corporate development ventures, including the evaluation of acquisition opportunities, as well as championing the company's innovation initiatives, in which new capabilities are incubated and developed. Additionally, Craig manages the customer experience group, a business unit comprised of digital media capabilities including social, search, display, email and mobile, as well as creative and communication services which encompass experience design, communications consulting, and direct/digital marketing studio and production.
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.
Executive Vice President, Business Development
Dave Paulus is executive vice president of business development for Merkle and has led Merkle’s new business development strategies for the past 9 years. In his position, Dave creates and leads Merkle’s sales strategies and is responsible for the global pursuit of new business across all vertical markets. Dave also oversees the on-boarding of Merkle’s newest clients and the delivery of all services throughout this process.
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, Dave 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.
Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer
Zhengda “Z” Shen oversees Merkle’s analytics, data and technology businesses, core pillars of Merkle's capabilities and value proposition. Z provides oversight for delivery of integrated marketing solutions using data, analytics, and technology to Merkle clients and is responsible for developing the business unit’s future direction and growth strategy.
Z joined Merkle in 2000 and has served the company in a variety of positions. Prior to his current role, Z held the position of senior vice president of Quantitative Solutions Group. Earlier, Z was vice president and client group leader for Merkle’s financial services and insurance vertical markets.
Z has a MS in Applied Statistics from The Ohio State University and a MBA from Johns Hopkins University.
Executive Vice President, Client and Advisory Services
Steve leads Merkle's client leadership teams, account managers and consulting practitioners across the full breadth of our industries served. He is focused on driving client value through Merkle services that embed advanced customer insight into customer strategies, marketing and customer operations. He brings to Merkle a strong background building and leading consulting practices at IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting, and AT Kearney.
Steve joined Merkle in January 2011 and has more than 25 years' experience in direct marketing and CRM/analytics strategy consulting. He spent over 8 years at IBM Global Business Services, where his most senior level held was Global Leader, Business Analytics and Optimization Strategy Services. Prior to that, he served as Partner for PwC Consulting, AT Kearney and Chadwicks of Boston. He has been published extensively on the topics of CRM and analytics.
Steve is a graduate of The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Chief People Officer
Jim is Merkle's first ever Chief People Officer and joined the company in 2010. Undaunted by joining a company that proudly had no human resources function, Jim's focus is on making Merkle a "talent factory" and leveraging the company's unique corporate culture to support its expansion and breakout as a leading CRM agency.
Under Jim's leadership, Merkle hires over 300 top marketing professionals annually. He heads the company's learning initiatives under the umbrella of Merkle University, where he also serves as Dean of the School of People & Culture. Jim initiated Merkle's unique coaching-based approach to performance management and oversees the company's total rewards program.
Jim's career in human resources spans three decades working as a corporate officer and senior executive in Fortune 500 corporations, mid-sized and emerging companies. His experience includes start-ups, mergers & acquisitions, turnarounds, IPO and fast growth companies. He's created award winning HR Programs that have received national recognition and is known for his non-traditional approach to human resources management, customer-oriented management style and for being an open, straightforward communicator. Jim earned a Master's degree in Human Resources Management from the American University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Politics from The Catholic University of America. He is a frequent speaker and has taught in the graduate programs of Johns Hopkins University and Marymount University.
Senior Vice President & General Counsel
Jason oversees Merkle’s legal affairs, including commercial transactions, general corporate, employment, litigation and intellectual property matters. He also provides strategic and legal advice and counsel regarding the company’s strategies, practices and processes.
Jason joined Merkle in 2007 and brings more than 16 years of experience to his position. Previously, he was a partner at a global law firm where he served as primary outside general corporate counsel to a variety of domestic and international public and private companies. He was lead counsel in more than 100 merger and acquisition transactions for public and private companies and investors, and regularly counseled clients on matters involving corporate governance, equity and debt financing, litigation, labor and employment, strategic alliances, intellectual property, and other matters.
He received his J.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo and earned a BS in environmental science and political science from the University of Michigan. He is a member of numerous state bar associations, including New York, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and Texas.
Senior Vice President, Vertical Markets
John leads Merkle’s industry practices in Insurance and Wealth Management, Life Sciences, 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.