Off Topic – Received an email for Professional Who’s Who Brand


By Robert Voss

Recently, I received an email about Professional Who’s Who brand from Joan Riley ( The email subject line reads, “(Your name), congratulations! You have been nominated.” I was wondering how they found me? I have not heard about Who’s Who in a long time. I did not know they still existed.

Back in late 90’s, I received the Who’s Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges, which was published by Randall Publishing Company of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. This is not the same publisher as the A.N. Marquis & Co or Who’s Who in America. Back then, I purchased a hardbound book with my name inside along with the wall plaque too. Today, I still have both. I rarely look at this book. It just sits on my bookshelf collecting dust. It was cool to have my name in it.

Who is Who’s Who? [“Who’s Who” references are publications that generally contain biographical information about noteworthy people. Many are highly reputable, and some are published by professional organizations to recognize outstanding achievement in their field, using very selective parameters.] Information by

Upon researching this person and website of Joan Riley with Here is what I found that this website does not exist. It is believed that Riley works for a third party emarketing company called Executive Leads Inc. This information may not be accurate because she is listed as a Editor-in-Chief for Professional Who’s Who on She may have multiple company titles. At this time, this information can not be confirmed.

This email advertisement copy reads [Dear Valued Candidate, This letter serves to formally identify you as a biographical candidate for inclusion in our most lauded publication.]

[Since our first publication over 120 years ago, we have chronicled the lives and accomplishment of distinguished Americans. Today, our publication, along with a robust online database, enables people from around the world to learn about the great contributions made by these notable individuals.]

[Current world events have forced professionals to shift focus to ensure that their businesses can survive in a world of limited personal interaction. Online Branding is more important now than ever before. Having one’s name listed in out highly-respected database of world-class professionals will serve to greatly enhance the credibility and visibility of your brand during these turbulent times and well after this storm passed.]

[Please complete your biographical data from by clicking on the link below. This is the next step toward becoming a featured listed.]

The link that they have provide goes to and was re-directed viewers to

[Once we have received your information, we will confirm your acceptance and your biographical details will become accessible via our online database. This means that people from the United States and beyond will be able to learn about you and your praiseworthy endeavors. You are to be commended for the effects that have brought your name to our attention. We wish you continued success]

There is an orange button with “Click to get here” (Link goes to

Closing with [Sincerely, John Sartoris, Editor-in-Chief, Whos Who in America]

On the footer of the page one will find [Please note: if you previously submitted your biography to Who’s Who in America, or been included in any prior Publications, you may disregard this message. The above is an advertisement sent by Executive Leads, Inc. 626 RXR Plaza Uniondale, NY 11556. If you wish to unsubscribe from all future mailings, please click here (link to ] The unsubscribe link with title Global Who’s Who.

After reading this article, this advertisement did not provide all the information that I was looking for. So I checked out Here is what I found.

[Professional Who’s Who is a professional branding and networking matching service. Our objective is to help professionals get connected with companies that can help them gain access to other executives in their profession, gain access to career development tools, get exposure and help build their brand through multiple marketing channels. Professional Who’s Who will match your profile information to only one company that can provide these services to you. Professional Who’s Who is not affiliated with any of the businesses offering services. We are an organization providing a free matching service to people who are interested in building their brand and networking. * Not offered by all partners] Information from this service provider website.

Finally, if you’re looking to have your name in a professional publication and or database please do your homework first. Always go directly to the company providing a service instead through an marketing company. Good Luck.

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  1. I recently received a similar email, however, mine was from a John Sartoris editor in chief of who’s who. I have been trying to get some info on it and google search led me to you. So if I read correctly, they are pretty much a head hunting outfit that hooks you up with an employer?
    Mat Griffin


    • Who who makes money by posting professional business persons information and try to sell certicates and books with your name on them. Is it worth the price they are asking? This is something you will have to decide. Thanks


    • Thank you for this article. I have received this email in past about 4-5 years ago and I was curious then and more so now. Was really wondering who nominated me and/or how did they get my information? Luckily I didn’t have to search far or long to find this amazing article. Again, thank you.

      Most appreciative!!


  2. Sorry to break the news to you, but many (probably all) Who’s Who book offers are simply a way to appeal to either very gullible people or an individual’s self-absorbed vanity, for the purpose of separating fools from their money. If they were really honoring you, don’t you think that they would have sent you the book and other items at no charge?? Send me $500 and I’ll honor you too!


  3. Several years ago my Dad rec’d his copy of the Who’s Who book with his name in it. The cost had been several hundred dollars at a time when that kind of price would buy a set of World Book Encyclopedias. He was an accomplished man in his field and I’m sure – at the time – he suspected nothing wrong with the arrangement. It was only after a year or two and nothing whatsoever happened that he begin to sense there was a scamishness about it. It was the last time he was interested in being recognized in that manner.

    I rec’d a similar invitation today and my careers have never been too noteworthy. I suspect I will take the lesson from my Father and pass.


  4. Mine was a woman who wanted me to pay her to write my own story and get my professional headshots published in her magazine. When i asked her who so the magazines. She stammered a lane offices around the world. I laughed. She calls me at least once a year, offfering me another chance.


  5. I knew it was a scam when they misspelled the word forty as fourty. (That hurts my brain) They should call themselves, Who’s Scamming Who.


  6. I just received it mine came from an Joan Riley I was excited about it but I didn’t click on it cause i wanted to do more research before I did anything she even included it didn’t cost me anything


    • Oh, youll pay alright.
      She will ask you to write your iwn bio and then come in for a photo shoot and then pay 250.00 ir more to be published in their magazine thats seen in waiting rooms all over the world.
      When i asked to name even one business that i could go to in person to see this magazine, she couldnt do it.
      She still has the gall to call me once a year with her “ offer”


  7. Continuing the trend, I received one as well. I am a guy from a small town in the middle of nowhere who works as an aide at a school to pay for college. So either the meaning of “highly regarded” and “professional” is at an all time low, or I have yet another free cruise offer to go with my car’s extended warranty…


  8. Continuing the trend, I received one as well. I am a guy from a small town in the middle of nowhere who works as an aide at a school to pay for college. So either the meaning of “highly regarded” and “professional” is at an all time low, or I have yet another free cruise offer to go with my car’s extended warranty…


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