Cover Story: Direct Marketer of the Year: Marisa Anne Edmund
"Our people are the voice of the company," Marisa Edmund says. "And you know the biggest voice of our company is our technical support lines. So these are our youngest engineers—right out of school—and typically they come in and learn all of the products on our website and in our catalog and are helping customers immediately solve problems and applications. And they're the lifeblood of the company, because they talk to customers and to the engineers at the first step of a project and have the ability to really get that first win and to get our part into a prototype that might ultimately result in a volume opportunity for us.
"And so we try to keep that particular group of application engineers involved in everything we do as a company, and empower them to be the voice of the company and to help us with things like the social media," she continues. "They're oftentimes the people that are going to tradeshows and working directly with customers, and then they might be the folks, too, that are going out on customer visits."
Even while she built up this engineering force, Marisa Edmund kept one hand directly in the marketing mix. She earned a master's degree in 2002 in business studies, emphasizing marketing and information systems, from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. Then, while she was learning another discipline at EO from 2002 to 2004 as the director of the major account sales team, she worked as an adjunct professor of management and marketing at Richard Stockton College.
She also signed EO up for memberships in trade organizations beginning in 1998, including the Optical Society of America (OSA), where EO sponsors chapters in Asia so EO can get to know talented students; and SPIE, the now full name of the organization once known as the Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers. Then, from October 2009 to October 2011, she served on the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation (DMEF) Board of Trustees.