What is The Society?

The following documents, as well as the Historical Perspective below, describe the background, purpose and rules of the society.

Historical Perspective

In mid October of 1993, professionals from all over the United States representing 40 companies from throughout the US gathered in Minneapolis to address the challenges, frustrations and opportunities of developing marketing communications for a maturing marketplace. Central among their concerns was how to counter the stereotypes of older consumers that dominate the perceptions of corporate America and Madison Avenue.

Our plan was to create the nation's first Virtual Professional Association. After much discussion, it was decided to call our group The Society. Founding members expressed aspirations of creating a closely-knit group that would allow them to improve their personal skills, foster spiritual growth while addressing the need for a major paradigm shift in marketing materials and approaches.

Early on the first day of the meeting, attendees abandoned the agenda in order to learn from the experiences of each other. As expressed by Doug Harrison of Thrifty Rental Car, "This is the largest panel I have ever been on…and every single member is uniquely qualified to be here."

The meeting originated as the result of several students of the writings and teachings of David B. Wolfe and organized and hosted by Dick Ambrosius, then president of Phoenix Systems. Since that first meeting, we have watched and participated in David's development of a new paradigm to be fully detailed in his upcoming book, Firms of Endearment. In the process, Society members and guests have formed lasting friendships…close personal friendships. In the beginning, Patrick Harrison of Buick described The Society as "a collective portfolio that cuts across industries. It is leading edge marketing." Today, we gather as a growing circle of professionals committed to personal, professional and spiritual growth.

To date, we have gathered in Phoenix, Minneapolis, The Black Hills of South Dakota (twice), St. Paul, Hilton Head Island, Orlando, Jacksonville, Tucson, Charleston, Tucson, Santa Monica, New York, Boston, Mystic CT, Denver, Las Vegas, and Sarasota. There are currently 53 members..

We welcome our guests and hope this brief historical perspective will help you better understand our unique group. We invite you to join in as we continue telling the stories that help us process our lives.

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