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Marketing Students Win National Award

PLATTSBURGH, NY __ Two marketing students from the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh were recently presented the prestigious 2006 Collegiate Gold ECHO Award during the Direct Marketing Association annual convention in San Francisco, Calif.

Michelle Poirier and Christine Ilardi traveled to California and were presented the award by comedian Dana Carvey during the convention's black tie gala.

"When I found out Michelle and I won the award, I was speechless," said Ilardi, a senior marketing major and graphic design minor from Glens Falls, N.Y. "The experience couldn't have been better. It was not only exciting that I was in San Francisco, but it was exciting to be surrounded by some of the best professionals in the marketing field. I am truly honored to have won the ECHO Award. It was an experience I will never forget."

Poirier, a senior marketing major from Piecefield, N.Y., said that the team put a tremendous amount of work into the campaign project.

"Winning such a prestigious award was both very surprising and rewarding. It was an honor to receive recognition," said Poirier. "Our trip to San Francisco was fun. I enjoyed both the time spent at the convention and exploring the city."

The 2006 Direct Marketing Educational Foundation (DMEF) Leonard J. Raymond Collegiate ECHO competition, sponsored by the U.S. Postal Service, judged direct marketing campaign projects submitted by students from across the country. The SUNY Plattsburgh team was one of more than 120 entries in this year's competition.

The gold-winning SUNY Plattsburgh student team targeted marketing and advertising professionals at large organizations in the travel industry for their campaign entry, titled, "Enhance Your Campaign with Mail Moments."

Dr. Nancy Church, the students' faculty advisor and distinguished service professor and chair of marketing and entrepreneurship, said, "When I got their project in class, I knew it was the best one I've ever seen," said Church. "I said, 'This is a contender.' I was pretty excited for them and for SUNY Plattsburgh to have a winning team."

The students received a round-trip flight, accommodations and complimentary registration to the convention as part of their grand prize. Poirier and Ilardi also had the opportunity to present their award-winning campaign during a session at the convention.

Patrick O'Connell, program manager for advertising with the U.S. Postal Service said, "This entry also presented a complete budget, with appropriate monies to data processing, lettershop and production and postage. This is one of only a handful of teams that included a business reply card as a response device. This group displayed their intelligence by grasping the importance of this valuable response device and included its use. Bravo!"

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