Jeff Kallay of Higher Education Marketing Firm TargetX Honored as Nation's Top 'Experience' Executive

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TargetX's Jeff Kallay is revolutionizing the way colleges stage experiences for prospective students and their parents. Higher education's first "Experience Evangelist" has been recognized by the nation's experts on the Experience Economy with their top award for individual achievement.

Higher education's first "Experience Evangelist" has been recognized by the nation's experts on the Experience Economy with their top award for individual achievement.

Jeff Kallay of interactive recruiting company TargetX was honored with the 2006 Experience Management Achievement (EMA) Award by Joe Pine and Jim Gilmore, authors of the landmark 1999 book, "The Experience Economy: Work Is Theatre & Every Business a Stage."

The award was announced at the close of Pine and Gilmore's ninth annual "thinkAbout" conference, an event that brings together the foremost thinkers on the critical role that experience plays in today's business world.

"Jeff's work to help colleges and universities reinvent the on-campus visit for prospective students and their families exemplifies the kind of pinpoint efforts we want to encourage in industry after industry," said Joe Pine in announcing Kallay's award.

"It's significant that of all industries served by their growing army of experience professionals, Pine and Gilmore chose to recognize someone who serves higher education," said TargetX CEO Brian Wm. Niles. "It not only recognizes the extraordinary talent and dedication of Jeff Kallay, but also highlights the importance of the experience in recruiting students."

Kallay joined TargetX earlier this year as the first "Experience Evangelist," an unorthodox title to reflect his unique role in higher education.

"Jeff focuses on the critical function of face-to-face interaction, especially campus tours and other in-person events," explained Niles. "He stresses the importance of finding and telling stories that differentiate one school from all others. And he has a great talent for helping people think creatively and challenge the status quo."

Last year marked the first time that best-selling authors Pine and Gilmore recognized the work of individual "experience thinkers." The inaugural EMA award went to two recipients: Gary Adamson, Chief Experience Officer of health-care consultancy Starizon, and Sonia Rhodes, VP for Customer Strategy at Sharp HealthCare.

"Jeff has clearly internalized the tools and techniques we teach and made them his own," said Gilmore. "We take great delight in how he has translated the principles of excellent experience-staging into practical insights for his clients."

The announcement that Kallay had won this year’s EMA award was greeted with a standing ovation from fellow thinkAbout participants. When asked about one of his pet peeves -- tour guides who walk backwards while leading a group across campus -- he jumped from his chair to act out the “worst practices” of some tour guides, much to the amusement of the thinkAbout gathering.

In a more serious moment, Kallay expressed his desire to not only help college clients stage more engaging on-campus visits, but to integrate such experiences with more effective online interactions.

About TargetX

TargetX is the leading provider of interactive recruiting solutions to higher education, helping over 400 colleges recognize and repair the disconnect between the way they market themselves and the way students seek information ( The company offers communications planning, creative services and proprietary technology, including the most powerful email broadcasting and online chat tools in the industry. TargetX has also developed a reputation for objective and expert counsel, offering a popular series of workshops and seminars, presenting at dozens of conferences around the country, producing a weekly newsletter of tips and trends, and generating the only podcast devoted to student recruiting.

About Strategic Horizons LLP

Joe Pine and Jim Gilmore, authors of business bestseller The Experience Economy: Work Is Theatre & Every Business a Stage, founded Aurora, Ohio-based Strategic Horizons LLP, in 1996. Strategic Horizons is a thinking studio dedicated to helping companies conceive and design new ways of adding value to their economic offerings. For more information, visit or call + 1 (330) 405-2886.


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