Founder and Chairman of Hawthorne Direct, graduated cum laude from Harvard University in 1973, majoring in Psychology. After gaining substantial expertise in documentary production with CBS in Minneapolis and NBC in Philadelphia, he founded Hawthorne Productions in 1980. Moving to LA in 1982, his clientele included “Real People,” “That’s Incredible!,” “You Asked For It,” “Ripley’s Believe It or Not,” “Entertainment Tonight” and the Cable Health Network.
In October of 1984, Tim moved from LA to Fairfield, Iowa to co-found and become president of Fairfield Television Enterprises, Inc., a television direct-response marketing company. With just a $15,000 budget, he executive-produced the fourth Long Form commercial ever to air in the modern era – one that dominated this new Long Form DRTV industry in 1985 and 1986, grossing over $60 million in sales in just 15 months.
In July of 1986, Tim founded Hawthorne Communications (now Hawthorne Direct) the first full service DRTV Long Form advertising agency. Hawthorne produces and places on air for its clients Infomercials and Short Form spots, which sell a wide variety of goods and services. Since its inception, the company has managed over 600 DRTV campaigns and grossed nearly a billion dollars in sales for its clients. As one of the pioneers of the Infomercial industry, Hawthornecontinues to expand the boundaries of possibilities of “selling more by telling more.”
The Fairfield, Iowa-based company employs 75 professionals in the areas of research, creative/production, media buying/analysis and campaign management. The agency has a West Coast office in Los Angeles and regional account offices in San Francisco, CA; Phoenix and Sedona, AZ; Lakeland, FL; Colorado Springs, CO; St. Simons Island, GA; and Alexandria, VA. Past and current clients include Time-Life, Apple, Nissan, Oreck, Discover Card, AARP, U.S. Navy, Bosch Tools, Nikon, Braun, Aero Products, Jenny Craig, TaylorMade Golf, Orange Glo, Bose and many more.
Tim’s book, The Complete Guide to Infomercial Marketing was published by NTC Business Books/McGraw Hill in1997 and was reprinted in 2005. He is working on a fully updated version and has other books in the works. He is a regular columnist for industry magazines such as Response and Electronic Retailer. He has contributed chapters to books including Infomercial Insights by Frank Cannella, eMarketing by Seth Godwin, Direct Marketing by Edward Nash and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Direct Marketing by Robert Bly.
Tim is a co-founder, member of the Founders’ Circle, and has served as a board member for six years for the Electronic Retailing Association (ERA – formerly NIMA International). In September 2006, Tim was awarded the ERA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a 20-year member of the Film/Television Directors Guild of America. Tim’s continued creative leadership has garnered over 300 industry awards for advertising excellence. His reputation and knowledge have made him one of the nation’s leading expert witnesses on Infomercial marketing. He is called regularly to address business groups as well as colleges, and has delivered more than 75 lectures and speeches as chairman, co-chairman, keynote or breakout session speaker – delivered domestically and internationally – including Hong Kong, Milan, London, Dublin, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Mexico City, San Juan and Barcelona.
Tim was named one of the “Entrepreneurs of the Year” for Iowa/Nebraska by USA Today and Ernst & Young, and has been recognized as one of the “25 Most Influential People In DRTV” by Response Magazine. Tim’s long-term leadership in the DRTV field prompted Rapp and Collins to dub him “King of the Infomercial” in their book titled The Great Marketing Turnaround.
Tim is well-known for sharing his time, talents and resources to support many non-profit organizations as part of his company’s mission statement, and regularly supports organizations such as the American Red Cross, Ronald McDonald House, Make-A-Wish Foundation and others including World Teach. Tim and his wife, Laya, have traveled around the world, visiting countries including Costa Rica, Ecuador, South Africa, South Korea and China, to produce a 45-minute pro bono documentary for World Teach, a program that sends college graduates overseas to teach English and live with the local residents for one year. The completed documentary premierd at the famed Brattle Theater near Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts and is used widely in education. Tim and his creative team also volunteer many hours and donate resources to high school, college and community theatre and musical groups to support continued education in these areas.