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Direct Group Launches Compliance & Critical Communications Business Unit

Press release from the issuing company

Pennington, N.J. -- Direct Group, a fully integrated direct marketing services provider, announced that direct marketing and communications veteran Jeffrey S. Jurick and privacy expert Kendall C. Walsh have joined the company to form a new Compliance & Critical Communications Business Unit.  This team will focus on helping clients – and their insurance companies and legal advisors – prepare plans for quickly and efficiently executing compliance communications in response to data-breach incidents involving identity- or privacy-related information.
The new unit will also assist clients with the dissemination of other time-sensitive compliance, notification, or regulation-mandated notices, often supporting government communication initiatives and requirements on both the state and federal levels.  Industries that commonly use these services include pharmaceuticals, healthcare, retail, automotive, insurance and financial services.
According to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), reports of data breaches increased 47 percent in 2008, with a total of 656 reported breaches compared to 446 in 2007.  However, many companies dealing with sensitive consumer data do not have plans in place to communicate with customers quickly in the event of a security breach or other situation requiring widespread notification.  Such scenarios may include compromised credit/financial data, automotive safety notifications, or product recalls.  Jurick and Walsh have an excellent track record working with insurance underwriters to help clients who might face such scenarios mitigate risk, communicate quickly, and protect their reputations or brand equity.  Putting an established preparedness plan in place also helps clients control costs should an incident occur.  
“We are very pleased to have Jeff and Kendall on board to help launch this important service for our clients,” said Don McKenzie, Direct Group President and CEO.  “Their expertise in preparing clients for data-breach incidents – and arming clients and their legal and insurance advisors with the right plans for compliance communications – is second to none in the industry.”
Jurick and Walsh each bring more than 20 years of experience, Jurick in direct marketing and Walsh in information technology.  Most recently at The Jurick Group, the two successfully established themselves at the forefront of the data breach and privacy protection field, working with leading insurance attorneys, insurance carriers, underwriters and security firms to create turnkey programs for clients.  They have worked with companies in the financial services, healthcare and education sectors, and they also have experience working with both private and public corporations and institutions.
Previously, Jurick was CEO of Fala Direct Marketing, Inc., a direct mail marketing firm founded by his grandmother in 1916.  While at the helm of Fala, Jurick built the company from $1 million to $75 million in revenues, developing it into a full-service direct marketing production house serving Fortune 500 clients and major advertising agencies.  Clients included Capital One, Chase, Citibank, AT&T, American Express, General Motors, General Electric, Grey Direct, Draft, JWT, Wunderman and Digitas.  Since selling Fala in 2005, Jurick has focused on comprehensive data-breach preparedness and compliance communications.
“Direct Group is the ideal home to provide the sophisticated communication requirements our clients require. Kendall and I are excited to be working with our new team here as well as with Direct Group clients,” said Jurick.  “In addition, Direct Group’s comprehensive, one-stop shop capabilities in both print and electronic messaging is a critical asset that meets clients’ needs. Compliance communications continues to grow at an extraordinary rate and message management is imperative for flexibility, accuracy and speed in execution.” 
Kendall Walsh brings extensive experience and knowledge in all facets of information technology, communications and business processes.  In particular, he is an authority on the application of advanced technology solutions and processes that protect data and advance client business objectives.  Walsh’s career includes senior executive and consulting positions in information technology for TEK Systems (working with Paychex), PDR Inc. (working with Fidelity Investments), American Express and Fala Direct Marketing, Inc.  Walsh is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) and holds a Black Belt in Six Sigma.
“The great thing about becoming part of Direct Group is that we now have an industry-leading platform of operating procedures from which to deliver our compliance communications solutions,” said Walsh.  “Direct Group’s emphasis on quality, as evidenced by their recent ISO-9001 certification, Six Sigma and other total quality management principles, means that clients are assured highly consistent execution that is focused on excellence.”  
Direct Group’s Compliance & Critical Communications Business Unit will be housed at the company’s Swedesboro, N.J., location, the most advanced and comprehensive full-service direct marketing campus in North America.