Alan Rimm-Kaufman, 41, Succumbs to Leukemia; His Search Firm Forges Ahead
Dr. Alan Rimm-Kaufman, a longtime catalog marketer and former Catalog Success columnist who leveraged a successful career as vice president of marketing with the Crutchfield catalog to run a trailblazing paid search management agency, died on July 18 at age 41 after a 16-year battle with leukemia.
Rimm-Kaufman lived in Charlottesville, Va., where he'd established his firm, the Rimm-Kaufman Group, in 2003. He began writing for Catalog Success (now All About ROI) a year later until last year, when the leukemia came out of remission.
“Alan was a man of integrity, intelligence and humility, which he combined with nearly boundless energy and a joy of life few can match,” said George Michie, who for the past year has served as acting CEO of the Rimm-Kaufman Group (RKG). Last year, the firm was ranked 315 in the Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America, and 24th in the Advertising & Marketing segment.
Michie, who was named permanent CEO of RKG on July 1, further noted in a statement he released on July 20 that the firm will continue with him and its veteran leadership team indefinitely. “We have no debt, and we are soundly profitable,” he noted. “Neither our name, nor our commitment to excellence will change."
A Yale University grad who got his Ph.D. in operations research from M.I.T.’s Sloan School of Management, Rimm-Kaufman was also a visiting professor in the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration and a Fellow at the Center for Management of Information Technology at the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia.
“Everyone who interacted with Alan realized he was one of the brightest people they’d ever met,” said Mark Lee, president of the consulting firm The Mark Lee Group. Lee, who also worked at Crutchfield just before Rimm-Kaufman started there, was a friend and Charlottesville neighbor. “He had a way of putting people at ease. He wasn’t just intelligent, but was also focused and enthusiastic. He specifically enjoyed sharing what he knew with others — and it wasn’t just meant to show how smart he was, but rather because he really enjoyed helping people and teaching. I learned a lot from him.”
On a personal note, throughout my years of researching articles on catalog/multichannel and internet marketing, as well as paid search, Rimm-Kaufman always delivered complete and well-thought-out responses to my interview questions. His columns in our magazine required minimal editing, and he was always a pleasure to work with.
Alan is survived by his wife, Sara, and children, Sam and Davida. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Alan Rimm-Kaufman Legacy Fund, CBI Preschool, 501 East Jefferson Street, Charlottesville, Va., 22902, and that individuals consider joining the national bone marrow registry at www.marrow.org.