There are always people who you run across in your personal and business careers that make a lasting impact. For me, Herb Gordon was one of them. It saddens me deeply to tell you that Herb Gordon, retired former president and CEO of the Association of Directory Marketing (ADM), passed away unexpectedly of a heart attack on Saturday, May 4, 2013. Herb is survived by his wife, Annemarie, three sons, nine grandchildren, two sisters, and a large extended family.
Herb led ADM (which merger with what was then the Yellow Pages Association – YPA – more info) for eighteen years, retiring in June 2009, after the merger. During his tenure, he served on the Boards of ADM, the YPA (now Local Search Association), and Association of Directory Publishers – the only person in the industry to have the unique honor of serving on all three boards. He served at a time when the industry was just starting to experience unparalleled change.
It was during the time that he was on the YPA board that I got to work directly with Herb. Simply put, he was a gentleman no matter how passionate a discussion got, he was a masterful politician keeping the peace between publishers and CMRs who were always at each other’s throats, and he was a passionate supporter of the national channel. I can say I didn’t always agree with him, but I did have a great deal of respect for him no matter his views.
Previously, Herb held senior management positions at Ketchum Communications, including president, Ketchum Yellow Pages, and executive vice president, Ketchum Specialized Services, and was a member of the company’s executive committee and board of directors.
Herb was a well-educated man. He was a graduate of Tufts University and the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program. And he was a patriot, having served as a U.S. Air Force missile officer from 1960 to 1965, working on the country’s first inter-continental ballistic missile unit.
Following his retirement from ADM, Herb continued to write the NMD Flash newsletter. He enjoyed finding articles of interest for readers and kept up to date with the industry. In his spare time, Herb played tennis (a lot of tennis as he wasn’t a big fan of golf), cheered on Pittsburgh sports teams, traveled, played bridge, researched WWII history and enjoyed gardening.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 11, 2013, 11:00 a.m., at St. Andrew’s United Presbyterian Church, 801 Beaver Street, Sewickley, PA 15143. Contributions may be made to the Salvation Army, 700 North Bell Avenue, Carnegie, PA 15106; or the American Cancer Society, 320 Bilmar Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15205. Remembrances may be sent to the family at 310 Maple Lane, Sewickley, PA 15143.
Herb was a unique man in with a great enthusiasm and passion for life, and equally as enthusiastic and passionate about the industry. People like Herb aren’t replaceable. So he will unquestionably be missed.