Roy Arbeit Executive Director The Domain Name Association
Describe your company and how long you have been there?
The Domain Name Association or the DNA is a non-profit industry trade association representing the interests of the entire domain name industry and advocating for the use, adoption and expansion of domain names as the primary tool for users to navigate the Internet. Launched a little more than two years ago, the DNA provides a forum in which industry members can collaborate, exchange ideas, educate and raise awareness of domain name‐related issues.
I just joined the DNA in mid-March. I have over 25 years of experience in senior marketing and business management positions with the last 15 years in non-profit associations. My role is to take this successful industry-led organization and help bring it to the next level of influence and membership.
Can you tell us about how your service or product helps deliver value to your customers?
As with many things in today’s world, the only constant about the Internet is change. The DNA aims to stay one step ahead of this change by providing industry-leading educational opportunities to increase awareness of domain name choices and usage. Education is a priority for us. It is a key area where we have begun to focus and deliver value to our members, the industry as a whole and to end-users. Some other benefits we offer include: original market research, materials for use in communicating with key influencer (user) communities including the ever-popular InTheWild.Domains – where we track and document the use of creative domain names in public spaces and advertising. We also conduct webinars and prepare Power Point presentations and other content to help spread awareness and useful information about the benefits and utility of domain names, as well as to share and encourage best practices amongst and beyond our members.
What are your thoughts on the new TLDs?
The new domain extensions are an exciting part of the ongoing evolution in the domain name space. Top Level Domains in general have a growing importance to play in the general business environment. The opening up of new domain extensions creates opportunities for brands, organizations, services and individuals – everyone and anyone with an online presence. But what is most exciting in my mind is the expansion of creative possibilities and innovation that the combined use of old and new domain extensions offers to marketers and other business and service providers.
What kinds of changes do you foresee within the industry in the next year? 5 years?
Over the next few years we expect to see continued use of traditional top level domains along with the integration, acceptance and usage of the new extensions and Internationalized domain names into online identities. We further expect to see a continued maturation of the domain name space, with some of the more innovative product changes taking root and some of the outliers falling off.
What are you most looking forward to at the upcoming NamesCon?
I’m looking forward to meeting some of the industry’s most influential thought leaders at NamesCon 2017 in Las Vegas. NamesCon provides an excellent opportunity to meet with a variety of people from across the Domain Name industry. I’m eager to have the chance to leverage the experience and knowledge represented to better understand how the DNA can meet the needs of its members and the industry at large. Attendees in turn can learn how the DNA is helping to promote the domain name industry. And the chance to get out of the New York’s January snow and absorb some Las Vegas sunshine is a great bonus too!
How would you describe what you do in a single sentence to a stranger?
As Executive Director of the DNA I work with our volunteer leadership and members to promote, advance and support the common interests of the Domain Name industry.
Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did that person teach you?
The gentleman that hired me into Ernst & Young as a Marketing Director, Tim Gregory became a mentor and friend and certainly had a significant influence on my business career. One of the smartest business executives I ever worked with, he taught me what strategic marketing was all about.
What are you proudest of in your life?
My three children – a girl and two boys. The amazing thing is that they actually survived me as their father!
Latest and greatest accomplishment in your career?
I actually view my being named to the Executive Director role at the DNA to be my latest accomplishment and an exciting challenge. The industry is exciting, the people I’ve met and begun working with are smart and fun to work with.
Where is your favourite place to escape?
MetLife Stadium, home of the NY Giants (American football) and Yankee Stadium (baseball)!