Evening With Experts: CMO Forum Panelists Announced!

Chicago AMA Announces CMO panelists for its Tuesday, June 17, 2014 Evening With Experts CMO Forum “Perspectives on the Future of Marketing.” For more information on this program, visit: Chicago AMA’s Evening With Experts Series.


John Anton, Vice-President and General Manager, Valspar

John Anton started his career in sales at Nabisco, later became a strategy consultant for Kurt Salmon, and then spent eight years in marketing at Mars Petcare. In 2010, he joined Valspar to lead that company’s shift from a largely private-label brand to one of the leading consumer paint brands in the U.S. He is a frequent speaker with CMO Collective, on their Governing Body, ANA Marketing Masters and published in AdAge, Adweek to name a few.


Christopher Kohn

Christopher Krohn, CMO and President, Restaurant.com

Restaurant.com President and Chief Marketing Officer Christopher Krohn oversees the growth and development of the nation’s largest restaurant deals site. With direct oversight of the company’s information technology and marketing teams, Krohn is focused on optimizing the consumer experience to drive the business and brand forward. A veteran e-commerce leader, Krohn has extensive experience scaling businesses and cultivating strong consumer-facing brands and teams.

Prior to joining Restaurant.com, Krohn served as the chief marketing officer and vice president of business development at Whitney Automotive Group marketing the business’ multiple consumer-facing brands. He also has served in key marketing leadership roles at Harrah’s Entertainment and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, building consumer loyalty and brand equity. Krohn marries his marketing skills with a background in information technology and strategy, and has done consulting work for Bain & Company, Hewitt Associates and Accenture.

Previously an instructor of computer science at Northwestern University and adjunct assistant professor of marketing at the Chicago Booth School of Business, Krohn holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern University and an MBA from the University of Chicago.


Rodrigo Sierra, Chief Marketing Officer, American Medical Association

Rodrigo has a history of being a brand repositioning, media and public affairs expert with a proven record of developing innovative solutions. And now during a time of dramatic change with new healthcare legislation, he is tasked with re-aligning the organization, changing their brand purpose and marketing focus across all constituents.

With a distinctive and award winning career, Sierra has been instrumental in achieving meaningful results in high-profile corporate, media, government and regulatory positions. His brand & crisis management expertise and experience in strategy, policy and organizational issues have equipped him to create and implement proactive initiatives that effect positive change and sustainable impact.


FeilHeadshotsquareKim Feil, President , CMO Club – Chicago Chapter

Kim Feil leads in transformations by identifying profitable consumer, channel and marketing directions to tap unrealized competitive advantage. She has been a retailer, general manager, consultant and ecommerce leader in marketing, sales and strategy at OfficeMax, Walgreens, Sara Lee, Kimberly-Clark, Information Resources Inc, CadburySchweppes and Frito-Lay, giving her a unique 360-degree and multichannel perspective. As EVP, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer for OfficeMax, she led marketing and innovation growth strategies for this $6 billion multi-channel retailer as it merged with Office Depot in 2013, including the national launch of its new business Services platform. As the first Chief Marketing Officer for Walgreens, she created a new marketing center of excellence to position the company as a leading community health and daily living destination for the company’s six million daily customers, delivering new retail, pharmacy, health and cause-based growth programs. The “ArmYourself” flu campaign earned the 2011 Grand Reggie and recognition as the 2011 top global retailer campaign by Oracle World Congress.

She has been named a “Woman to Watch” by Ad Age, Crain’s Chicago Business, Consumer Goods & Technology and Diversity Journal magazines; dubbed a “futurist” by Fortune Magazine in its nomination of her to their 2011 “Executive Dream Team”; recognized by Advertising Women of New York in 2010 for “Changing the Game” and inducted into the In-StoreMarketing Institute Hall of Fame. She is president of the CMO Club Chicago chapter, serves on the Global Retail Marketing Association Advisory Board and is active in the American Heart Association Go Red for Women campaign andthe Network of Executive Women.


Tim Moran is currently the Editor in Chief of CMO.com by Adobe, the company’s thought leadership site for digital marketing insights, expertise, and inspiration for and by marketing leaders. He was among the team who founded the site more than five years ago. Prior to that, Moran spent 20+ years as editorial management in the B2B technology press, including EE Times, InformationWeek, and TechWeb.


MediaMath to Sponsor CMO Forum

Today, MediaMath, a global technology company leading the movement to revolutionize traditional marketing and drive transformative results through its TerminalOne Marketing Operating System™, announced it would be sponsoring Chicago AMA’s Evening With Experts: CMO Forum – Perspectives on the Future of Marketing.

MediaMath’s TerminalOne Marketing Operating System™ activates data, automates execution, and optimizes interactions across all addressable media, delivering superior performance, transparency, and control to all marketers and better, more individualized experiences for consumers. Powering the operations for thousands of marketers, including those representing 55 percent of the Fortune 100, TerminalOne enables its users to drive transformative business results across the entire digital ecosystem. Key clients include every major agency holding company, operating agencies, and top brands across verticals.

We are excited to have such a cutting-edge digital marketing technology firm sponsoring this event. It speaks great volumes about the quality of programs and speakers Chicago AMA continues to bring it’s constituents.” – Michael Long, Chicago AMA Executive Director

MediaMath Chicago Contact:
Ben Beal
Director, Sales – MediaMath
445 N. Wells #301, Chicago, IL 60654
bbeal@mediamath.com / mobile 312-399-5696 / desk 312-800-9226
Headshotdigital_squareChicago AMA Contact:
Michael Long, MPA, CAE
Executive Director – Chicago AMA
645 N Michigan Avenue, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 280-0449 office

Chicago AMA Announces 2014-2015 Board of Directors

Chicago, IL – Today, the Chicago Chapter of the American Marketing Association (Chicago AMA) announced it has elected its board of directors for the 2014-2015 fiscal year. The 21-member board is comprised of an elite team of top Chicago marketers who will oversee one of the oldest and largest marketing organizations in the world.

Download a copy of the press release here.

11 Elected and Voting Officers:

  • Darcy Schuller, President and Founder, Suvonni – President
  • Tom Jacobs, President, Jacobs Agency – President Elect
  • Tara Giuliano, Chief Marketing Officer, Sikich – Past President
  • Bonnie Reid, Director of Marketing, Corptax  -Treasurer
  • Marty Kozar, Director of Events, Catholic Extension – Secretary
  • Brad Messinger, Director of Marketing, Rise Interactive -Vice President of Programming
  • Paula Kapacinskas, Advertising and Marketing Consultant – Vice President of Membership
  • John Bruhnke, Director, PSC Group -Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Relations
  • Judi Myers, Marketing Consultant, Becker Professional Education – Vice President of Communications
  • Michelle Batten, Director of Emerging Channel Strategy & Programs, Amadeus, Vice President of Special Interest Groups
  • Martin Hill, President, VIP Research and Evaluation – Vice President of Market Research

10 Appointed Non-voting Directors:

  • Michael Wall, Associate Director of Digital Strategy, Rise Interactive – Director of Programming
  • Mark Sterne, Chief Operating Officer, Print & Marketing Solutions Group – Director of Membership Value
  • Jill Goldstein, Partner, GO Promotions – Director of Membership & Volunteer Engagement
  • Stepheny Lauer, Regional Vice President of Marketing, Coldwell Banker -Director of CommunityOutreach
  • Ben Bradley, Managing Director, Macon Raine – Director of Strategic Partnerships
  • Paul Friedman, General Sales Manager, Chicago Public Media – WBEZ – Director of sponsorships
  • Nicole Simonds, VP, Client Services, MtoM Consulting – Director of Digital Media
  • Victor Lim, Digital Product Marketing Manager, Tribune Company – Director of Email and Mobile Marketing
  • Pon Angara, Principal and Creative Director, Barkada Circle – Director of Special Interest Groups
  • Patrick Steffes, Marketing and Operations Specialist – Director of Event Operations

 Ex Officio Board Member and Executive Director:

  • Michael Long, MPA, CAE, President, BeeLong Association Management Group – Executive Director

The board will assume these responsibilities July 1, 2014 and continue through June 30, 2015.


Tim Moran, Editor of CMO.com Visits Chicago AMA

Having just published, CMO Impact Study: 9 Key Learnings,  Tim Moran, Editor-in-Chief, CMO.com, will join the Chicago AMA on June 17 for Evening With Experts: CMO Forum: “Perspectives on the Future of Marketing” to be our special guest moderator of the CMO Panel to lead the discussion surrounding:

  • how the CMO role is changing to adapt to the landscape
  • increased collaboration with CIOs and CTOs
  • thoughts on talent/marketing organization implications; and
  • what CMOs are looking for in hiring their next gen teams

As an added bonus, all attendees will receive a copy of the CMO Impact Study: 9 Key Learnings, which reveals the strong correlation between a firm’s marketing capability to its overall performance, among other tenets.

Darcy Schuller, President Chicago AMA, 2014-15

There Has Never Been A Better Time To Be A Marketer

Insights from the American Marketing Association’s Annual Leadership Summit

Screen Shot 2014-05-09 at 12.46.14 PMOver 450 marketers from around the country convened in Chicago on May 3rd for the American Marketing Association’s annual leadership conference: Ignite – Fueling Leadership at Summit 2014. The conference brings together an elite set of marketers who provide leadership at the chapter level. The 3-day Summit is designed to educate, inspire and connect marketing leaders and to officially kick off strategic planning for the new fiscal year for the AMA, which begins July 1. The Chicago AMA was strongly represented, with 12 Board members participating in the Summit this year.

This information packed weekend was full of networking, learning and fun. Below, are some of the key highlights from the event:

Chicago AMA Recognized for Chapter Excellence 

Chicago CEAThe Chicago AMA chapter was recognized and awarded Chapter Excellence Awards for Leadership Overall Excellence, Programming Overall Excellence and Communications Excellence for our efforts in the 2012-13 fiscal year. This is a wonderful accomplishment for our Chapter and we thank all of our dedicated and hard-working volunteers for making the Chicago AMA a premier marketing association.


What the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Can Teach Marketers About the Value of Innovation

al-callierA powerful opening keynote by Al Collier, VP Strategic Innovation & Emerging Technology, Universal Parks & Resorts, gave marketing leaders insights as to how they can help foster a culture of innovation for their chapters. Al discussed the importance of nailing the basics and building from there. A solid campaign should be built like a pyramid, where the base is built on sound guaranteed practices, moving up to the pinnacle for new, innovative ideas. He stressed that there is no existing playbook for being an innovator. Rather, in the world of innovation, we’re constantly writing that playbook. Innovation is about bringing discipline to unexpected things. It’s actionable, achievable and repeatable. Innovation is a movement, and we as marketers must be a part of that movement.

Top CMOs Share Insights on the Future of Marketing 

CMOPanelDennis Dunlap, CEO of the AMA, moderated a panel featuring Kim Feil, President of the CMO Club, Mary Garrett, VP of Marketing & Communications, Global Sales & Distribution at IBM and Rob Malcom, who sits on the board at Heshey’s, Logitech and the AMA. This experienced panel shared their insights on everything from the role of the CMO, to big data and where marketing will have the biggest impact in the future. A few of the more notable soundbites from this session:

  • “IBM Study reveals that two-thirds of CMOs feel underprepared to deal with the continuous rise of Social Media”
  • “According to the most recent IBM study, 82% of CMOs feel unprepared for big data”
  • “We are now marketing to individuals, not masses. Knowing your customers is critical”
  • “The brand and culture of your organization must be authentically one”
  • “Top marketing spend in the next 5 years: data, analytics and mobile”
  • “By 2017, CMOs will outspend CIOs on technology”
  • “There has never been a better time to be a marketer than today”
  • “Infobesity: We have so much data… and we don’t know what to do with it all”
  • “The time a CEO spends with a CMO is now comparable to the time a CEO spends with a CFO. Marketers have a full seat at the table… and are driving the discussions”
  • “Marketers are now the stewards of an organizations most valuable asset: customer data. Sharing and acting upon it are keys to success”
  • “Find the right balance between reliability and disruption: developing today to deliver tomorrow”

When You Have A Room Full of Marketers… Things Will Happen On Twitter

Ignite TorchesA couple of mock torches (used as props) that went missing kicked these marketers into high-gear. The twitter handle @IgniteTorches was swiftly created and sparked a whole new dynamic to the conference.  Be sure to check out the #AMASummit stream for insights into the lively conversations that were happening in real time.

Shift Your Brilliance (And Get Out Of Your Own Way)

SimonTBaileyTo round out the Summit, the energetic and exuberant Simon T. Bailey gave a motivational and inspirational closing keynote on how marketers must shift their brilliance to achieve success… because in times of change, the shifters will rule the world. Simon had a plethora of great insights:

  • Build your life around who will cry at your funeral – that’s what is truly important.
  • Release your inner salmon and swim upstream. Take a quantum leap. Become comfortable being uncomfortable.
  • Brilliance is released and ignited when you are in an environment where you are celebrated rather than tolerated.
  • Stop communicating and start connecting.
  • It’s not who you are that holds you back… it’s who you think you are not.

Chicago AMA is Poised to Be Remarkable! 

IMG_5615At the conclusion of Leadership Summit, the Chicago AMA Board immediately started the strategic planning for our new year, beginning July 2014. Our theme for the year is simply to Be Remarkable. For the leaders of our chapter, this means to be remarkable in our brand values of offering cutting-edge programming, connecting marketers, promoting professional development and providing overall marketing leadership. Look for continued great things from the Chicago AMA as we unite together to celebrate all things marketing. Want to be part of our journey? Our members and volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization. Explore the many ways to get involved in the Chicago AMA and reach out to us today!

Darcy Schuller is President and Founder of digital marketing agency Suvonni, and currently serves as the President Elect at the Chicago AMA. Darcy will assume responsibilities of President of the Chicago AMA in July 2014.

5 Good Reasons Why You Should Join a Professional Association

Professional associations have been pivotal to my career and success.  Unfortunately, far too many professionals in the marketing/advertising/public relations industry feel that they are too busy to engage with a professional association. As a marketing executive I am always busy— but am actually less stressed on a day-to-day basis as a result of what I get in return from my professional associations.  I have mentors and colleagues who I can talk to about all things related to my profession at any time, I have a wealth of resources at my fingertips, I am well-versed on the latest marketing techniques, I have career opportunities popping up constantly along with a pipeline of potential candidates who would love to work with me.  Most importantly, I have the leadership ability and confidence to give every day as a marketer my absolute best.  Take it from someone who worked full-time as a Marketing Director while going to graduate school, mothering a one-year-old, serving as President of the American Marketing Association Chicago, and contributing to several other associations—you are never too busy to focus on building a better “you.” Here are five reasons why you should be part of a professional association to help build a better “you”:

1.      Build an awesome network. Due to spending time outside of the workplace interacting with others through professional associations, my network consists of thousands of people that can help me on a regular basis.  I have no limit to the amount of mentors, respected peers, marketing experts, future managers, recruiters, potential clients, agencies, vendor partners, future team members, business leaders, and the like who I can call upon to aid me in all my endeavors. 

2.     Attain a career opportunity (even when you aren’t looking). Two of the biggest career moves of my life are thanks to my involvement with professional associations and the recommendations that I received because of them.  I have just announced that I will be taking the helm as Chief Marketing Officer at Sikich—a role that a fellow American Marketing Association Board Member has held and recommended me for.  I c ouldn’t be more thrilled to achieve a top leadership role at a respected company at this point in my career.  The benefits that I have received by being part of the American Marketing Association are key to why I was selected for the job.

3.     Develop and grow professionally. Professional associations often offer members ways to get hands on experience within their field.  This can be a great way to build your resume with skills that you do not receive in your day job.  For example, the majority of experience I have gained in mobile and social marketing has been through my associations since these tactics aren’t heavily used in my industry.

4.     Boost your personal brand. Through professional networking, I have perfected my elevator pitch of who I am as a brand.  This has led to countless opportunities for me in the way of speaking engagements, mentoring arrangements, guest blogging and even a magazine feature that I obtained through meeting the editor at the Professional Women’s Club of Chicago (click here to review).

5.     Be at the cutting-edge of your practice Marketing as a practice has evolved more in the last 10 years than in the previous 100 years combined.  During its search for a new marketing leader, my new employer was clear that they needed someone who has evolved with the marketing evolution. I could confidently say that because of all the programs, conferences, books, social engagement, and expert interaction I have had with my professional associations, I am that marketer.

Tara Giuliano

Tara Giuliano, 2013-2014 President, Chicago AMA, and CMO, Sikich

Don’t sit on the sidelines and wait until you need a job or a resource to get involved with an association.  Build a better “you” today! Tara Giuliano is the Chief Marketing Officer at Sikich, a top 35 accounting and professional services firm.  She also serves as the President of the Chicago American Marketing Association.  In 2008, Tara published her advice for young professional women in a self-help book, Little Helpful Guide on How to Have Everything.

Keeping It Simple

The Chicago AMA Financial Services Special Interest Group held, “Pizza and Perspectives: Financial Advisors Share Strategies for Reaching Mass Affluent and Affluent Investors,” earlier this month.  The SIGnature event provided an opportunity to hear from three financial services professionals including, Patrick Cote, Founder and CEO at AssetGrade LLC; Todd Johnson, Financial Advisor at New England Securities; and Michelle Dunigan, Financial Advisor, BMO Harris Financial Advisors, as they discussed financial services marketing, best practices, challenges, and what’s missing. The evening was moderated by Pam Passon, Vice President and Senior Marketing Manager, U.S. Wealth Management, BMO Financial Group.

Marketing messages that followed a story line is a best practice that resonated with all three panelists. Storytelling is effective because it allows prospects to visualize how facts and numbers are related to a bigger picture, instead of just presenting key facts and numbers and relying on the audience to make the connection. An example of this is Fidelity’s Follow the Green Line campaign:

A challenge faced by every marketer in the financial industry is the language barrier. Although we might be marketing in the same language, there is a lot of industry jargon and vocabulary that can lose our audiences’ attention and interest. The key to overcoming this obstacle is to use simple, concise language that is easy for everyone to understand, but words insightful enough not to lose any meaning.

What’s missing in the financial services industry is branding and the shift from traditional marketing. Right now financial advisors rely heavily on traditional practices of relationship, brochures, and grassroots marketing. What would be interesting to see is how and when financial services will start to leverage the opportunities of digital marketing.

What do you think, what will it take to make this transition?

Join the conversation with #camafinserv and visit https://amachicago.org/sigs/ for a complete listing of our upcoming SIGnature events.

Written By: Yanja Batbaatar and Ben Cirillo

yanjaYanja Batbaatar currently works as Marketing and Communications Manager at RTS Realtime Systems.  She can be reached via EMAIL.

benBen Cirillo currently works as Marketing Communications Manager for ManagCare.  He can be reached via EMAIL.