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Suzanne Lampognana, left, and Judith Maloy are the directors of Polaris Direct. (COURTESY)

Hooksett's Polaris Direct earns pair of firsts for enterprising work

HOOKSETT - Polaris Direct and its owner are the first New Hampshire business to be named Business Enterprise Stars by a national women's business council. The 10-year-old direct marketing company was recently honored for its direct marketing campaigns.

Judith Maloy, director of Polaris Direct, was named a 2013 Business Enterprise Star by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council at its annual Salute to Women's Business Enterprises event March 14 in Baltimore, Md.

The event recognized Maloy and Polaris Direct for providing "nationally acclaimed . innovative direct marketing solutions."

Maloy was recognized for "her leadership in business, her inspiration to other women, and her active role at the helm of Polaris Direct."

"Judith Maloy is an outstanding leader whose strategic and innovative approach benefits her clients and her company," said WBENC President and CEO Pamela Prince-Eason. "She demonstrates the power of women's businesses in driving sustainable economic growth."

Polaris Direct is the first New Hampshire company to receive the recognition, a fact which Maloy said left her "truly honored" and "very proud."

Polaris Direct, founded in 2003, is a lettershop and print management company specializing in high-volume direct marketing campaigns for Fortune 500 companies and marketing agencies. Polaris Direct advises clients on design, production and shipping procedures.

The business started in Manchester 10 years ago with a handful of employees. It has since grown to more than 90 employees sharing a 78,000-square-foot facility on Technology Drive in Hooksett.

Polaris Direct has collected a list of clients spanning sectors, including telecommunications, financial services, health care and nonprofits, with campaigns developed for the likes of Mercedes-Benz North America, Bristol Myers and Chase Manhattan Bank.

"If one pulls back on their mail campaign, we have the support of other clients to continue to sustain our growth and our business," Malloy said.

The company's success might also be attributed to what Maloy sees as the current strength of the direct marketing sector. Maloy notes that when marketing budgets eventually began to rise after the steep cuts of 2008-2009, companies increasingly looked at new technologies and methods.

Far from being the bad omen to direct mail marketing that it might appear, Maloy argues new technologies have helped improve the mail industry.

"Mail is a truly a traditional channel," she said. "It's been around for a very long time. . What they found is, the mail still works. It's really still a wonderful tool, and people like to get the mail, especially existing customers from corporations, banks for example. Surveying those customers, you'd find they wanted to hear from the bank by getting something in the mail. It's more trusted. For that reason, dollars started to come back in to support the mail industry."

Maloy sees the position of women in the business world optimistically, saying that while there's room to grow, such growth has no shortage of momentum.

"I think that women-owned businesses are one of fastest-growing segments of small business out there," she said. "There's been incredible progress made for women in corporate America. There's certainly more room for this industry to grow. Having talked to a women that were just starting out, and listening to their stories and their passion, I can only think that women are going to continue growing the small business sector."

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