Back to The Future….RMI Turns 35!

April 7th, 2020 · 2020

The Northeastern United States had just completed one of the coldest winters ever recorded and it was the Spring of 1985. John Forte, a veteran of the list industry, decided to leave his position at Walter Karl Company and set up his own company, along with his colleague and partner, Martin Stein. It was called RMI Direct Marketing. They had a vision of what list brokerage should be; where a list broker is an extension of a mailer’s marketing team, not just an order taker.

The direct marketing landscape and the world looked very different 35 years ago…

  • Ronald Reagan was in the White House
  • A US Postage Stamp cost 22 cents
  • The AIDS epidemic was ravaging the globe
  • Michael Jordan was awarded the NBA Rookie of the Year
  • The Live Aid concerts raised $50 Million dollars to combat famine in Africa.

All these years later, much has changed but some things remain constant.  RMI continues to partner with some of the best and brightest consumer and non-profit organizations to help them grow their respective businesses.  Our core values and mission centers around our people, passion and a personalized touch to deliver expertise and results.

Debbie McLain was the 6th employee, joining the company as a receptionist in June of that year. “I had no idea then that I would still be here 35 years later, much less as President of the company. Martin and John were incredible mentors. I was very fortunate to fall into this career.”

With six years of direct marketing experience under his belt, Rich Leary joined RMI in 1992 as an Account Executive, and quickly worked his way up.  "I joined RMI the same year John sold his share of the company to Martin.  RMI was a great place to work.  Martin's laidback, friendly style made it a joy to come to work every day."  Rich embraced Martin's tutelage and credits him for the company's success.  "I'd like to think Deb & I have continued Martin's legacy and if we can be half as good as he was, then we’ll be ok."