Stu's wife Carol, along with their son Doug, accepted this award, which was presented on the same night that Elmer Smith received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the industry. There is little question that Elmer was a strong and thoughtful industry leader who made a difference in every area of the Yellow Pages business he touched. The industry will miss him in his retirement after 40 years of service.
The achievements of many people in the Yellow Pages industry are not as widely known as those of industry leaders. We were asked to write a letter supporting Stu Stanze's nomination, and we happily obliged. But the words we used don't come close to what Denny Payne said: "More than any single person, Stu is responsible for the directory industry's paradigm shift to a business model based on a sense of urgency, clear customer focus and revenue generation."
I wish we had written these words because it is this kind of effort that makes the Yellow Pages such a strong medium and will allow the industry to survive in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Denny said that Stu broke "through years of habit and ingrained mindset…to create a better way of doing things. It was more than efficiencies he produced through technology and innovation…he changed how we do business."
For several years, Amdocs, where Stu worked after SBCDO, submitted nominations to The Kelsey Group to provide recognition to Stu. Other deserving candidates won the award, perhaps because of Stu's relative youth. I am pleased that the YPA recognized that one person really can make a difference.