Your guides to great learning

Cat-U Deans and Co-Founders are industry veterans with years of experience.

When Catalog University began, the founders reached out to the leaders of the industry and asked them to be Deans at Cat-U. As a group they have worked for, or with, almost every major catalog in the industry. Names like L.L. Bean, Lands’ End, Disney, J. Crew, The Vermont Country Store, Home Depot Direct, Wolferman’s and many more. These extraordinary people keep an eye out for new trends and find top professionals to teach the classes you’ll find on the Catalog University course list. They are a valuable resource subscribers can tap for questions and information.

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Electronic Check Processing
NEMOA Member 2018

Lois Brayfield

Dean of Creative

J. Schmid & Assoc. Inc.

Lois Brayfield, has been making a difference in direct marketing for 30 years. She has worked with Hallmark, American Express(UK), HoneyBaked Ham, Wolfermans, IKEA, Sears (Canada), Ezibuy (Australia) and Marks & Spencer (UK.) She is a frequent speaker at conferences including the DMA Annual Conference, and NEMOA, a contributing writer for Multi-Channel Merchant, and serves on the boards of NEMOA, the ACMA, and the Editorial board for Target Marketing.

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Chris Middings

Dean of E-commerce

President and Founder, NPG
Chris is president of NPG, a consulting firm specializing in paid search and social media marketing. With over 20 years of experience in digital and direct marketing, Chris offers the best of both worlds — copywriting honed through writing thousands of online ads, Facebook & Twitter posts, and direct mail headlines & copy, along with analytics on what converts into action.

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Gina Valentino

Dean of Marketing

Hemisphere Marketing

Gina’s 20 years in the catalog industry leverages experience and multi-channel disciplines. She has worked with catalogers such as Road Runner Sports, Disney Direct, Barrie Pace, Spiegel, See’s Candies, Home Depot Direct, Hickory Farms, and Spanx. Gina is a featured writer for MultiChannel Merchant Magazine. She serves as a judge for the Annual Catalog Awards and is also a member of the Printery House Advisory Board.

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George Mollo

Dean of Merchandising

George Mollo
GJM Associates, Inc.

A 30+ year veteran of the direct marketing, wholesale and retail industries, George has served in senior executive positions for several direct mail companies, including start-ups and turn-arounds. These companies included Lillian Vernon Corporation, Genesis Direct, Disney Direct, and J. Crew Group, Inc.. George has hands-on experience at all levels of management, including financial, operational, systems and merchandising.

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Scot Barker

Dean of Operations

Holt Barker Management Consultants
Scot Barker

Scot lives in Burlington, Vermont with his wife and daughter, and runs Holt Barker Management Consultants, a firm specializing in operations, process, and creating change through social impact.
He brings more than 20 years of leadership experience in operations and customer service to Catalog University. As a passionate leader, coach, and mentor, he is inspired by curiosity and learning and is driven to bring that knowledge to everything he does. Scot has spent his career in industries as diverse as publishing, healthcare technology, and e-commerce and has seen his work take him all over the world.

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Picture of Scot Barker

Sarah Fletcher


Sarah Fletcher
President/Creative Director
Catalog Design Studios Inc.

Sarah, whose mother was an art director, literally grew up in the art department of an advertising agency. After a brief rebellion she began her career at age six, stripping boards and organizing type. To date she has worked in almost every capacity of the business, from production assistant, to copywriter, to photographer, to creative director. Her main focus for the past twenty years has been catalog design and development. Her clients have included The DMA, The National E-tailing & Mailing Organization of America (NEMOA), International Paper, Scholastic, Mrs. Beasley’s, Harrington’s of Vermont, The Vermont Country Store, Smith+Noble, Junonia, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, SmartPak Equine and Penn State Industries. Her articles have appeared in Catalog Success Magazine, Multichannel Merchant, and DM News. She has spoken at The Annual Catalog Conference, The National E-tailing & Mailing Organization of America (NEMOA) conference and the GCIC/GPC. Sarah is a judge for both the MCM Awards and the International Echo Awards.

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Janie Downey


Publishing Consultant

Janie’s focus is on the production side of direct marketing. She is an expert at print and paper process best practices, and contract negotiations. And she has a special love of digital systems and workflow that help save time and money. She started off her career in the Boston advertising community working with a number of top retail clients.

She discovered the world of catalogs when she was recruited by Appleseed’s to bring their catalog production in-house in the late 1980s. She took her print/paper and system skills to L.L.Bean in 1994 where she oversaw production of up to 90 catalog titles, and was part of the creative web start up team.

She worked for four years as the Executive Director of NEMOA (the National E-tailing and Mailing Organization of America), and now works as a consultant to direct marketers across the United States.

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Why We Started Catalog University

The Co-Founders of Catalog University, Janie Downey and Sarah Fletcher, met while they were working at L.L. Bean. Years later they taught a catalog intensive course together at the DMA’s last Catalog Conference. It was clear that the industry needed a way to share best practices, new ideas, and the kind of knowledge you only get from years of experience.
Janie and Sarah started Catalog University to bring catalogers the top quality information they need to succeed. Here you will find real world content from the best and brightest in our industry. You can take any class, in any college, whenever you want, as often as you want.

In cataloging, the best indicator of whether a customer will buy from a catalog is if they have previously purchased anything from any catalog, which is why catalogers share information—the better any of us do, the better we all do. Let Catalog University help you work smarter, engage customers, and increase sales.

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Why Choose Cat-U?

  • Classes taught by industry experts.
  • Learn where you want to; at your desk, at home, even on your phone while you commute.
  • Learn when you want to 24/7
  • Affordable solutions for any budget
  • Group rates for corporations

From the Catalog Blog

Yes, It’s REMOTELY Possible!

The following post was written by Jeff Gerber, Senior Product Manager for Marketer’s Studio at Quad/Graphics. Jeff has more than 20 years’ experience in the publishing industry. He started out as a newspaper editor, then worked to implement workflow solutions at magazines and catalogs, and now leads a team at Quad/Graphics that designs, develops and […]

So what should you cut from your budget?

We got a great question this week about photography, but it’s bigger than just photography. This time of year, the nice folks in the big offices, make budgets for the coming year and look for things to cut. It’s a great practice, and keeping things lean keeps things profitable. But creative is a bit of […]

Yes, Understanding and Applying Technology is Required!

The following post was written by Jeff Gerber, Senior Product Manager for Marketer’s Studio at Quad/Graphics. Jeff has more than 20 years’ experience in the publishing industry. He started out as a newspaper editor, then worked to implement workflow solutions at magazines and catalogs, and now leads a team at Quad/Graphics that designs, develops and […]