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Production Day

Thursday, April 27, 2023 (8:30 AM - 5:15 PM) (EDT)


Mark your calendar! Production Day is April 27, 2023. 

New to direct mail production or simply would like a refresher? Join colleagues from across the industry for this comprehensive training seminar, led by experts steeped in print, data processing and personalization, mailshop and postage. You’ll gain the knowledge needed to produce effective campaigns from the very beginning of the process, including:

  • Matching design with print methods to achieve the best quality, schedule and budget to meet your needs
  • Understanding how good data, personalization and construction work together to produce effective mail packages
  • Controlling your postage costs and managing in-home delivery dates

PLUS! Production Day attendees are invited to Happy Hour from 4:15 - 5:15 pm, which will take place following the event at nearby 2 Silos Brewing Co., 9925 Discovery Blvd., Manassas, VA 21009. 


Parking: there will be plenty of free parking at the event and happy hour locations. 

Metro/Train: The Virginia Railway Express (VRE) has limited runs between Union Station, Alexandria, and Manassas Broad Run in the morning and late afternoon. It is a short Uber ride from the Broad Run station to the event location. Find the schedule here. 

Hotel: the closest hotel to the event and happy hour location is Tru by Hilton, 10550 Gateway Blvd., Manassas, VA 20110. 




Speaker: Meredith Piemme, Business Development Director, Production Solutions

9:10 – 9:25 AMSTATE OF THE INDUSTRY | 2022 in review and looking ahead to 2023

Speaker: Tania Rauf, Production Manager, The Harrington Agency


Speakers: Michelle Johnston, Senior Manager Strategic Development, Production Solutions, & Pat Dobson, Production Director, Lautman Maska Neill and Co.

Everything you need to know to kickstart the creation of your direct mail campaign, positioning it for success as it rolls through the process. We’ll begin with scheduling and finish with final art ready to send to a printer, touching on DM best practices and why it’s critical to involve your production partners from the start.

  • The importance of communicating with all parties.
  • Navigating schedules in the current production environment.
  • What your Production person needs to know — and why.

10:00 – 10:30 AM

Speakers: Aleka Agapitides, Account Executive, Rite Envelope, Alan Rich, President, Nova Label

The printing process is one of the single most important elements of a mailed campaign. Don’t leave it to chance. In this segment, we will discuss the current challenges of managing direct mail in 2022, different print technologies for your envelopes, labels and printed components, as well as the different production workflows you can choose. As vendors, we are your partners, and as such, your technical resource to be sure your design fits and prints efficiently within our equipment.

  • Engage with supplier partners
  • Save time and delays
  • Save potentially 1000’s of dollars in production costs
  • Minimize postage with proper planning
  • Eliminate need for rework and redesign
  • Available optional workflows and how to be more flexible in today’s volatile industry conditions

10:30 – 10:45 AMBREAK 


Speaker: Joel Kaufman, Senior Account Executive, CCG

The digital printing process, continuation from 10:00 am – 10:30 am session!


Speakers: David Padilla, President, CorePro Data Direct, Javier Del Aguila, Director of Data Services, Nexus, Joanne Meredith, CEO, NextGeniverse

This session will focus on strategies to amplify the power of your mail files so you can reach the most critical donors! Every step in the production process is important, but it all starts with the data. Who are you contacting? What response should you expect? With proven tips and tricks backed by real-world examples, we will show you how Data Processing shouldn’t just be an afterthought – it should be your FIRST thought when it comes to direct mail campaigns.

  • What are the Most Critical Details needed for complete Data Processing Specs?
  • The Five Most Common Data Processing Missteps and How to Avoid Them
  • Personalization Strategies for Speaking Directly to Donors
  • How Data Hygiene can deliver precision to your mail files
  • Discussion on the current Data Privacy environment



Speaker: Christiana Trenum, Director of Business Development, Planet Direct

During this session you will learn everything you’ve EVER wanted to know about how direct mail arrives to the mail shop and gets transformed from sheets and rolls of paper into letter packages that arrive in mailboxes across the country.

  • The importance of setting schedule expectations.
  • The print is ready and/or shipped to the mail shop. Now what?
  • Considerations during the personalization process, data processing, and quality control.
  • The final steps. Trim. Fold. Insert. Mail – sounds simple, it’s not!
  • How to make the impossible possible and get your mailing out in a few days.


Speaker: Joel Kaufman, Senior Account Executive, CCG

Fulfillment programs can encompass a wide variety of direct mail and associated printing projects. In this segment we will discuss the two major types of fulfillment programs and projects, some case studies of each type, how materials can be supplied in or turnkeyed production of everything, the most cost-effective ways to ship out the packages, some newer technology utilized in these programs and some best practices in overall managing these types of programs and projects.

2:45 – 3:45 PM


Speakers: Dave Lewis, President, SnailWorks

  • An overview of the State of the Postal Service and what we may see in the future.
  • Review of Postal Logistics Strategies.
  • How to approach planning and tracking of your mailings to meet your targeted in-home dates.
  • Tips on how to navigate some of the most frequently asked postal questions.

3:45 – 4:00 PMWRAP UP / Q&A

Speaker: Meredith Piemme, Business Development Director, Production Solutions

4:15 – 5:15 PMHAPPY HOUR

Full participation in Production Day is applicable for 4.75 points in Category 1.B – Education of the CFRE International application for initial certification and/or recertification.







Aleka Agapitudes, Account Executive, Rite Envelope

Aleka is an experienced direct marketing professional with proven success in all facets of production and sales. She is accomplished in relationship marketing, communications and being a solutions provider, along with being a self-proclaimed networker and relationship builder.

Additionally, Aleka has an extensive background with both the for profit and non-profit segments and her experience ranges from involvement in the agency world to customer service and sales for the print manufacturing, mailshop and the fulfillment industries.

Most recently, Account Executive at Rite Envelope and Graphics, her focus is on business development and sales as well as finding solutions to her clients’ ever changing print needs. She is on the frontline of where it’s at in what needs to be done and connects with key players in the direct mail world to ensure best practices being practiced always. Being a valuable consultative resource to all involved is the sales motto she lives by while striving to be of help to her network and those she serves. She is a consummate hands-on professional who visualizes and lives by the “big” picture and is definitely someone to have on your team to get proven results.

Pat Dobson, Production Director, Lautman Maska Neill and Co.

Pat brings more than 30 years of production experience to the Lautman team, including more than 15 years in the printing industry.

Before joining Lautman, Pat was responsible for meeting tight deadlines on political fundraising mailings, executing highly personalized projects and coordinating large prospecting campaigns. Over the years, she has managed production jobs both large and small, for agencies as well as commercial and non-profit clients.

As Production Director, Pat manages the production of integrated direct marketing campaigns — including estimating, scheduling, printing and delivery — for Ronald McDonald House, the New Israel Fund, The Parkinsons Foundation, United Spinal, and The Actors Fund as well as for clients in our Meals on Wheels Fundraising Co-op.

Pat is a member of the Direct Marketing Association of Washington.

Michelle Johnston, Senior Manager Strategic Development, Production Solutions

Michelle Johnston has been serving with PS since 2013. Michelle is from Woodbridge, Virginia and she telecommutes full-time from Leesburg, Virginia. Michelle has over 11 years of experience in our industry, starting on the agency side with NPO Direct Marketing in Chantilly Virginia before moving to Production Solutions in 2013. She has worked with more than 10 of PS’ clients, including the Wildlife Land Trust, National Jewish Health, Heifer International, The ALS Association, HelpMeSee and Special Olympics. Michelle works on developing PS’ strategy, building and maintaining a large sample library and keeps the PS staff and clients up to date on what is happening in the direct mail industry.

Joel Kaufman, Senior Account Executive, CCG

Joel was born into his family printing business (Presstar Printing Corporation) and worked there regularly through high school. He graduated with honors from RIT in printing management and also earned his MBA degree from Maryland. Joel started off selling, working his way up over 12 years to EVP, running the daily operations. He served on the regional printing association board, up to its presidency and has written articles for regional outlets and trade publications. Some of Joel’s clients encouraged him to start using his expertise and depth of industry knowledge to teach others. Joel has participated at dozens of DMAW and other events up and down the East Coast since.

Joel was instrumental in selling Presstar to a national print consolidator in 1996. Upon selling the business, he became a top cross-selling rep within the consolidated companies and was exposed to many different plants having different print/direct mail capabilities. In 2006, Joel reunited with his previous plant manager from Presstar and joined Chromagraphics. The two of them later became part of a new ownership group before merging Chromagraphics into CCG about a year ago.

Outside of work, Joel enjoys spending time with his family and friends, traveling with his wife, and is an accomplished wood artist and an avid golfer.

Dave Lewis, President, SnailWorks

Dave Lewis, the “other” Dave in SnailWorks' Dave and Dave team, provides the day-to-day leadership for the company's sales and marketing efforts, and establishes the vision and leadership for new product development. He is a nationally known expert on direct mail and postal matters and has spoken across the country on a variety of direct marketing topics. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Association of Marketing Service Providers (AMSP) and was the 2008 recipient of AMSP’s Luke Kaiser Award for his contributions to education in the direct mail industry.

Dave is a graduate of the University of Maryland. When he isn’t mailing and marketing stuff, Dave enjoys buying (and even occasionally playing) guitars and traveling.

Joanne Meredith, CEO, NextGeniverse

Joanne Meredith is the CEO and founder of NextGeniverse, a company that helps organizations build and implement successful direct marketing strategies by leveraging their data and segmentations for optimum engagement and financial growth.

Joanne has more than 25 years of experience in fundraising, development, and direct marketing. She has worked at public and private higher education institutions and several nonprofits, including the University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University and Medicine, the National Geographic Society, and WETA public television and radio.

In her roles, she has managed teams responsible for increasing revenue and donors via direct marketing solicitations by developing and implementing annual plans for more than 20 partners and central office programs.

Under her leadership, Joanne's teams have set new fundraising and donor records, raising nearly $100 million in revenue. For one organization, direct response marketing revenue increased by as much as 58 percent and donors by 28 percent.

Joanne is the recipient of the CASE District II Silver Award for Best Practices in Educational Fundraising, the Silver Award for Fundraising Packages–Testing Young Alumni and the data-driven CASE WealthEngine Award for Overall Improvement in Educational Fund Raising.

She has served on the Executive Boards of the Northern Virginia Postal Customer Council (NOVA PCC) and the American Advertising Federation–Baltimore.

David Padilla, President, CorePro Data Direct

David is the President and founder of CorePro Data Direct. With nearly two decades of experience in Direct Mail data processing and analysis, CorePro Data Direct has become a premium data services provider in the NOVA Metro area.

Past speaker at the 2019 Ruffalo Noel Levitz Conference and NOVA PCC’s PCC Week 2019, David has worked on thousands of non-profit organizations’ fundraising campaigns. He has also worked as an exclusive data services partner for multiple educational institutions including top-10 ranked Johns Hopkins University’s Office of Annual Giving.

David's experience includes working for a premier Direct Marketing agency in the Washington, DC Metro area that gives him a great foundation on direct mail best practices and strategies. He was later tasked with founding a full-service direct mail processing operation from the ground up. He has manned – and many times, serviced :) – personalization and bindery equipment, giving him an advantage in the field.

David's approach to data includes using unique data parsing techniques to unlock specific data patterns and try to anticipate project needs. He dislikes the "garbage-in, garbage-out" data approach and loves consistent accurate executions for his clients.

David currently sits on the Executive Board for the Northern Virginia Postal Customer Council (NOVA PCC) and is a proud DMAW Member.

Meredith Piemme, Business Development Director, Production Solutions

Lover of all things design and print, total direct mail geek. Meredith’s 25-year career spans both sides of the industry. Managing direct mail production for several nonprofits, moving directly into the commercial printing industry as a small business owner, and finally combining her love of nonprofits and direct mail at Production Solutions. When not supporting clients, industry colleagues, and supplier partners, you can find Meredith enjoying a cup of coffee while reading up on business and economics, crushing it at Orange Theory Fitness, or chasing after her 4 amazing offspring.

Christiana Trenum, Director of Business Development, Planet Direct

Christiana Trenum is the Director of Business Development at Planet Direct Mail with a focus on sales and client production strategy. She joined the Planet Direct team in 2014 in production role that included complex mail programs and full-service production. With eighteen years of experience in direct mail marketing, she has worked closely with clients, vendors, and partners alike to keep their mailings on track and on time. She’s the first to roll up her sleeves to learn how things work to communicate the best solutions for a given mailing project to her clients. She continues to follow the USPS programs and changes closely in order to make sure the most cost effective and timely mailing method is used for mailing projects. She is also a long-time member of the DMAW and enjoys volunteering and attending events with her colleagues and fellow members.

Outside of work, she spends time with her husband and two adorable dogs as possible. Entertaining and hosting gatherings for family and friends is her favorite way to spend a weekend. She’s an avid reader and is continually adding to the “to read” stack that only seems to get bigger.

Planet Direct
11050 Challenger Court
Manassas, VA 20109-4865 United States
Event Contact
Angelica Sullivan
(703) 689-3629
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Thursday, April 27, 2023 (8:30 AM - 5:15 PM) (EDT)
Education - Seminars, Workshops, Tutorials
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