RCA names interim management contractor, executive secretary

Gerri Hopkins and Karen Clark.

RCA replaced its management contractor, Meredith & Hopkins (M&H), Eatontown, N.J., with Marketing Connection, Littleton, Colo., on March 1, 2007. The job of RCA executive secretary has passed from the owner of M&H, Gerri Hopkins, to Marketing Connections’s owner, Karen Clark.

RCA’s new address is P.O. Box 621074, Littleton, CO 80162; tel. 303-948-4921.

Several factors, including personal reasons, precipitated the change. RCA has not disclosed the details publicly. The change ends an 11-year period during which many of the Club’s administrative tasks were handled by Gerri, her employees and subcontractors. During most of that period, the post of RCA executive secretary was filled by M&H employee Lisa McCauley, who left M&H in October 2006. Gerri was named RCA’s executive secretary when M&H’s service to RCA began in February 1996, and she returned to the post when Lisa departed.

In light of the situation she saw at M&H, Karen offered to take over the management contract last month. RCA’s board of directors accepted her offer for a six-month period. During the interval, RCA will conduct a search for one or more other contractors to bid on a new contract to begin on Sept. 1, 2007. Marketing Connection is expected to submit a proposal to continue service beyond the six-month period.

Karen Clark
Karen joined RCA in 1999. She has been a director since 2003 and became a Fellow in 2004. As early as 2004, she had become co-chairman of the IWCE/APCO Conference Committee and chairman of the Website Committee.

With her company under contract with RCA, Karen has been named RCA’s interim executive secretary. Meanwhile, because RCA’s by-laws do not allow an officer or director to receive remuneration from the Club, Karen resigned as a director on March 1. She also resigned her committee chairmanships.

Marketing Connection

Marketing Connection was co-founded in 2002 by Mercy Contreras, RCA’s president for 2003-2004, and by Diane Weidenbenner. Diane had been an RCA member since 1994. She left Marketing Connection and left the Club last year. Karen joined Marketing Connection in 2005 and became Mercy’s partner last year. When Mercy exited Marketing Connection this year, Karen became its sole owner.

Marketing Connection provides services to the Communications Marketing Association (CMA), which has many members and several officers in common with RCA. Mercy is CMA’s executive director. Karen is a member of CMA’s Media/Newsletter/Website Committee, chaired by Phil Casciano, who is a current director and a past president of CMA—and also RCA’s current president. RCA’s executive vice president, Stan Reubenstein, is secretary of CMA. Several others serve both organizations in volunteer leadership positions. It is no coincidence that CMA’s membership has been a fertile ground for recruiting RCA members.

Gerri Hopkins
Gerri serves the Eatontown, N.J., borough council as a member, and the Eastern Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce as chairman-elect.

Her company, Meredith & Hopkins (previously Meredith & Henry) was founded in 1956 by George Meredith. She joined the company in 1974, later becoming a partner with Howard Henry, and now is the sole owner.

Meredith & Hopkins

In addition to the Radio Club of America, M&H previously provided services to the Premium Marketing Club of New York, which ceased operations about four years ago because of declining membership that a former member attributed in part to a shrinking industry that it served. Another M&H client, the Association of Retail Marketing Services, disbanded last year after 50 years of operation because declining membership could not support its primary activity, an annual trade show. The remaining client indicated on the M&H website is the Industrial/Commercial Real Estate Women of New Jersey.

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