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February 2009

Dick Damrow, Well-Known Marketing Expert Dies From Fall

CEDAR RAPIDS - From the Cedar Rapids Gazette and other sources.

Dick Damrow, a Cedar Rapids marketing consultant respected widely in the industry is mourned this week after dying from  injuries suffered in a fall.  Damrow  60, died Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009, at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.  Damrow, was the founder of a Cedar Rapids consulting firm

—Contract Marketing Resources, Business Propellers. He served as vice president for marketing resources at Stamats Higher Education Marketing in Cedar Rapids.   Dick was a good friend and mentor to me, as he was to so many people in the industry. 

During a 30-year career, Damrow worked with some 150 national brands at major advertising agencies, including such names as Harley-Davidson and McDonald's. At Stamats, he contributed to an expansion into brand marketing. More recently, he consulted directly with colleges and universities on marketing strategies.

Damrow's knack for networking and mentoring left a permanent impression on many people who knew him.

"He took young people under his wing and loved to mentor people, sort of help them find their niche or he networked to find them a job," said Mary Jen Bear, Damrow's wife of the last 13-1/2 years.  A Facebook group set up in Damrow's honor bore witness to his influence.

"Many people in the Cedar Rapids advertising community owe their careers to him," wrote Judy Baldwin, a Stamats colleague. "He was one of the community's most decent leaders, connectors and mentors, and a truly great guy."

Stamats CEO Guy Wendler, who created the Facebook group, posted a final thank-you to Damrow.  "You're now with the ultimate creative director," he wrote.

His network of friends, business associates, and family was immense. Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Friday at New Covenant Bible Church. Friends may call at Cedar Memorial Park Chapel of Memories from 5 to 8 tonight.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Jen Bear; a daughter, Debbie Damrow of Hastings, Neb.; four sons, Scott and wife Tracy of Omaha, Neb., Andy and wife Sara of Seoul, South Korea, Anthony and Adam, both of Des Moines; his father, Don of Lexington, Neb.; a sister, Linda Slothower (Gordon) of Springdale, Ark.; brothers, Dennis (Sherry), of Johnson Lake, Neb., and Marty (Jody) of Holdrege, Neb.; and Mary Jen's children, Erik (Cindy) Bear and Rhet (Miranda) Bear. He is also survived by grandchildren, Cody, Bryce and Simon Damrow, Alex, Mason, Olivia, Honorae, Grant, Rae and Makenna.

Dick was born Feb. 18, 1949, in Holdrege, Neb., to Don and June Damrow. He was a graduate of Holdrege High School and Hastings College, both in Nebraska. He loved to travel with Mary Jen. They enjoyed working in their yard and spending quiet times in the hammock. He was so proud of his children and delighted in time spent with his grandchildren. His work was demanding and rewarding to him, especially when he was mentoring an entrepreneur in a new business start up. He was always seeking to connect individuals and groups in his network that would benefit by knowing each other.

At the time of his death, Dick was vice president for Marketing Resources, Stamats Communications and was "captain" of Contract Marketing Resources, Business Propellers, his marketing consulting firm. During his 30 plus year career in advertising and marketing communications, he had worked with more than 150 national brands and more than 50 Fortune 500 companies. He was executive vice president of Carmichael Lynch Advertising Agency in Minneapolis before moving to Cedar Rapids in 1992 when he was recruited by Young & Rubican Global Advertising Network. Dick was a Certified Business Communicator (CBC), a Certified Professional Consultant (CPC), a former Midwest Direct Marketer of the Year, faculty member of the American Association of Advertising Agencies Advanced Advertising Institute, and was named to the Cedar Rapids Advertising Federation Hall of Fame in 2002.

Per Dick's request as a tissue donor he'll be able to help more than 100 people, one more way that Dick continues to give to others. The memorial funds are New Covenant Bible Church, where Dick was an active member, the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, and Theatre Cedar Rapids. He was on the board of each of the latter and passionate about their revitalization after the devastation of the floods of 2008.   Dick was a man of great faith and lived his life as a servant of Christ.

Please leave a message or tribute to the Damrow family on the Web page, under obituaries.

If you knew Dick, and want to talk about it here, leave a message for his fellow marketers to see and discuss.

Winners Win and Losers Lose. Time to decide!

Michael Alexander looked at me across the table at the Green Street Cafe in Pasadena, Ca., and said with all of the drive of an attorney, Marine (there are no ex-Marines), financial advisor and sales mentor, "These may not be the best of times, Jim, but we’re here and our clients have to make the most of it. When the chips are down, Winners find a way to win."

"A Loser," he continued, "Puts his head in the sand, but a Winner fights. Our clients have to make a decision if they are Winners or Losers."

That very afternoon and going forward I took the "Winners Win" pep talk into meetings with my clients and prospects who are trying to figure out what to do in this business climate.

After stating some of the obvious points of where they stand in the marketplace I gave them the Michael Alexander pep talk, "My mentor taught me that Winners Win and Losers Lose. When all is said and done today, you have a decision to make; which are you? Who will you be going forward? "

If you take a losers attitude you will most likely go down with regret, remorse and doubt. If you take a winner’s attitude and fight, you will be a winner regardless of the outcome. Everyone will know that you gave it your absolute, unconditional, unqualified best effort because that is what Winners do. Make a decision and let me know. "

Since I started taking this approach, several presidents have said to me later, "Something you said on your last visit struck me. You said Winners Win and Losers Lose. I have decided I am a Winner."

Interesting how a few words can make a difference from an inspiration leader such as Michael. If you quote this, don’t quote me, quote Michael Alexander, one of the SLMA’s advisors. If you want to meet him, you can often find him during lunch at the Green Street Café in Pasadena. Tell him you’re a friend of mine. If you’re a winner, tell him that also.

2009 Online Marketing Summit offers Financial Aid to the Marketing Community

We at the SLMA applaud Aaron P. Kahlow and the OMS for their efforts.

Marketers are caught in a catch-22: budgets are being cut but marketing is more essential than ever .   Now, thanks to the Online Marketing Summit (OMS), the premier educational event for marketing professionals, help is on the way. With its annual three-day, must-attend conference just around the corner, OMS is cutting through recession doom-and-gloom by throwing a life-line to beleaguered marketers everywhere. OMS Founder Aaron Kahlow is offering a $10,000 Bailout Plan and discounts to help even the most cash-strapped attend the 2009 OMS on February 4-7, in San Diego, California.

"Marketers are a community, and we’re all aware of the challenges each of us faces in tough economic times," said Kahlow. "And the irony is that just when people are most in need of education and resources, companies are cutting funding and individuals simply can’t afford the out-of-pocket expense. Through education, resources and networking, OMS gives marketers the tools they need to thrive even when they economy isn't, and I wanted that to be accessible to everyone."

As part of the $10,000 Bailout Plan, OMS invites marketers to apply for financial aid at, with a simple explanation of why they want to attend this year’s conference and their financial needs.   In addition, when attendees sign up with three or more colleagues or friends, each person will receive 50 percent off the conference price.

This year’s conference will place special emphasis on successful online marketing during a recession, with panels, speakers, and consulting, including the following:

• Free on-site company website analysis: Through work with an OMS-certified expert, attendees will receive a full website consultation with evaluation of current usability and search elements and a strategy for improvement.

• Viral marketing and social media strategies: Requiring only a small budget, these online marketing tools can yield high returns for those who know how to use them.

• The rebirth of email: In flush times, email wasn't nearly as exciting as an expensive direct mailer, but now email is making a resurgence. Learn how to use it well and wisely.

• Retrenching in search: Learn techniques that are more cost-effective and measurable than traditional search engine marketing.

To learn more about the 2009 Online Marketing Summit, including a list of speakers and events, visit

About the Online Marketing Summit (OMS)

The Online Marketing Summit (OMS) is truly unique from any other conference. There are no vendors, no salesmen, no exhibitors/booths and no pitching allowed. The application process ensures only attendees who are serious about trying to gain a competitive advantage through education. The environment facilitates networking and collaboration amongst like-minded marketing peers. This summer tour will be attended by at least 2000 professionals who are passionate about marketing. OMS is a not-for-profit organization with the simple mission to educate marketers on the emerging best practice of online marketing.