CEO, Executive Consultant
Proven Leader and Advisor
Drives substantial value through strategic clarity and tactical knowledge. He focuses the enterprise on how to move the metrics that matter, increasing revenue, profitability. He energizes people through compelling salesmanship and commitment to excellence. He is a skilled social scientist, marketer, analytics architect, segmentation expert, conjoint and product researcher.
20 years in strategy, marketing, customer service, research, analysis, and innovation; CEO, entrepreneur; small, medium and big company leader; success in start-ups and turnarounds; valued adviser to America’s executives. Dennis has confronted all types of daunting challenges and has been consistently and remarkably effective. He has helped create two multi-billion-dollar industries, personally sold over $300MM in contracts, guided hundreds of top executives, led thousands of employees, hit performance targets in 75 out of 80 quarters, sold his three start-ups to industry leaders for top value; he took a venerated but broken 40-year-old firm and returned its reputation and financial strength. Dennis has range, is sharp, engaging and a strong, proven leader.
Valedictorian Graduate of Austin College (1983) with BS in Political Science; Hatton Sumners and Esmark Foundation Scholar. Graduate work in Social Science at Institute of Urban Studies, Univ. of Texas. Over 15 years on Board of Trustees, Austin College (austincollege.edu); Chairman of Osgood Center, Wash. D.C.; Texas Debate and Oratory Champion.
Mr. Gonier is one of America’s top business strategists and leaders. From 2006 – 2013, he applied his leadership skills and tradecraft to TARP Worldwide as Chief Executive Officer. Dennis was recruited to rescue the firm which had pioneered customer satisfaction 40+ years ago. He starting with essentially no revenue and left the firm with annual sales over $10MM and CAGR over 20% during his term (including years of great recession). His clients applaud his work and style. He extended his reputation as a unique leader who builds businesses, customer value, and brands.
At the start of the Internet revolution, Mr. Gonier was on the inside of America Online. In his last role there as Executive Vice President, America Online, he was credited with helping lead the dramatic turnaround of AOL after the TW merger and thru 2005. Mr. Gonier drove change in AOL’s business practices and delivered over $1BB in incremental profit in 3 years. He cut churn, increased customer value, improved service and helped put the first 1MM U.S. HHs on broadband. He served on an elite team that changed AOL while the world around AOL changed.
Mr. Gonier was the Founder and CEO of Digital Marketing Services (DMS) the first successful online marketing services company that pioneered loyalty programs grounded in digital strategies; he also patented and launched online research as an alternative to phone surveys. His firm was a rock star during the Internet boom – profitable and conscientious. AOL bought DMS in 1999. After the TW merger, leadership asked Dennis to direct AOL’s approach to keeping customers. Success followed.
Before his Internet pioneer days, Mr. Gonier played a pivotal leadership role in the growth and success of The M/A/R/C Group as Senior Partner; he helped establish the firm as the premier provider of marketing research and strategic database marketing services. In his last six years there, he co-found, stood up and helped run Targetbase Marketing, one of the first and now premier database marketing agencies. Mr. Gonier established the firm’s positioning, created big partnerships and led the agency in selling analytically-based relationship / database marketing programs. The M/A/R/C Group recognized his Dennis’ achievements numerous times: Innovator’s Award (1987), Leadership Award (1989), Strategic Sales Achievement (1992), and prestigious Founder’s Award (1992). In 2000, Omnicom bought The M/A/R/C Group. 1984 – 1995
Mr. Gonier was named one of “Top Ten 21st Century Stars who are changing the face of consumer intelligence and marketing” by American Demographics. He has been quoted in periodicals like the New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Advertising Age, BrandWeek, AdWeek, Direct Marketing Magazine, several books, and various research journals. He is frequently invited to speak at major conferences and to lecture at premier academic institutions.