Mead Johnson Nutrition’s Head of Global Digital & Social Strategy to Speak on “Myths of Digital Marketing” on August 14, 2014

Stephen Surman – Head of Global Digital and Social Strategy, Mead Johnson Nutrition, will present his thoughts on “The 10 Biggest Myths in Digital Marketing” on August 14, 2014 at the Chicago AMA’s Sunrise Executive Series at the famous Gibsons on Rush. In an interview with Direct Marketing News, Stephen shared insight into his “myths”. Here is an excerpt:

Myth #2: “Don’t obsess about Big Data, Surman counseled. “Think about what segments you’re trying to address and what questions you’re trying to answer and go get the data you need to do the job. You’re looking for a needle in a haystack. Don’t pile on more hay before you search the pile already in front of you,” he said. “Look for the needle in the haystack closest to the needle factory.” Read the article here.

Stephen Surman, Head of Global Digital and Social Strategy, Mead Johnson NutritionBIO – Stephan has spent 15 years leading digital marketing programs for some of the world’s largest consumer goods brands. He’s served as Vice President of Digital Strategy for Anheuser-Busch, developing marketing plans to support brands like Budweiser and Bud Light. He’s led digital marketing at Procter & Gamble, responsible for brands like Tampax and Pampers. Stephen is a graduate of Cornell University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in engineering.  He also earned his MBA at the University of Chicago in Finance, Marketing, and Strategy.


Register for this event here.

Darcy Schuller, President Chicago AMA, 2014-15

A Message From Our President

We Are Ready for a Remarkable Year!


I am honored and excited to serve as the 2014-15 Chicago AMA President and to be a part of this group of dynamic leaders within our local marketing community. With Chicago as an epicenter for marketing excellence today and tomorrow, no other organization connects as many marketers with as many opportunities as the Chicago AMA. It’s certainly a great time to be a marketer and an even more exciting time to be a leader in this amazing organization.  I would like to congratulate our talented new board of officers & directors:

  • Tom Jacobs, (President, Jacobs Agency), President-Elect
  • Tara Giuliano, (Chief Marketing Officer, Sikich), Immediate Past President
  • Bonnie Reid, (Director of Marketing, Corptax), Treasurer
  • Marty Kozar, (Director of Events, Catholic Extension), Secretary/Chapter Excellence Officer
  • 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 and Brand
  • Michelle Batten, (Director of Emerging Channel Strategy and Programs, Amadeus), Vice President of Special Interest Groups
  • Martin Hill, (President, VIP Research and Evaluation), Vice President of Market Research
  • 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 Community Outreach
  • Ben Bradley, (Managing Director, Macon Raine), Director of Strategic Partnerships
  • Paul Friedman, (General Sales Manager, Chicago Public Media – WBEZ), Director of Sponsorships
  • Nicole Simonds, (Consulting – 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
  • Michael Long, (President of BeeLong Group), continues on as the Chapter’s Executive Director.

This programming year, we are focused on achieving 4 strategic goals that will allow us to make connections, foster inspiration and engage our community:


We will also continue to offer a diverse array of events and opportunities for getting involved, including:

Evening with Experts: Our “mash-up” of top tier brands and the brightest minds from Chicago’s start-up community hosted with our partner 1871.

Sunrise Executive Series: Our signature power breakfast events featuring top marketing executives in an intimate and interactive format.

BrandSmart: Chicago’s premier annual 1-day conference focused on brand & innovation in March 2015.

Momentum: Our half-day educational conference on the current and future landscape of marketing and technology in November 2014.

Special Interest Groups: Niche marketing communities that hone in on the areas that matter to marketers most.

Connex: Monthly networking and orientation events that allow our community to make connections and learn more about Chicago AMA.

Up & Comers: An inspirational group for Young Professionals to make their mark in the Chicago marketing community.

Be sure to mark your calendars for these exciting events and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube and visit our website latest news and blog to stay on top of all the great things happening at the Chicago AMA.

We cannot achieve these goals without the continued support and participation of our volunteers. Volunteers are at the heart of our association and we welcome you to become involved in one of our committees. Find out more about volunteer opportunities and get involved today!

It’s going to be a remarkable year and I look forward to seeing familiar faces, making new connections and continuing to grow our fantastic marketing community.

Please feel free to contact me directly at with your questions and feedback.

Best Regards

Darcy Schuller
2014-15 President, Chicago AMA
President/Founder, Suvonni


Into the Wilderness

By: Jennifer Gladstone, Chicago AMA Volunteer of the Year 2013-14, now Assistant Communications Director, Chicago AMA Shared Interest Groups

You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You can’t get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you’re doing. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover will be yourself. – Alan Alda

Three years ago I left my city of comfort. I was 24. I had a good job at a growing firm and from the outside things were going well. Inside, I was hungry for more and quickly running out of road ahead. I knew I needed to create more opportunities for myself to grow. When I was accepted to a graduate program in the Windy City, I packed my bags and left my family, friends, and the beautiful State of Vermont, behind. What I didn’t know was that this was not my final destination, but only the first stop on a road I unknowingly embarked upon.

The trouble with stepping into the wilderness is that you’re often directionless and alone. Fortunately for me, DePaul University allowed me to tap into a network of peers and discover a myriad of opportunities. Before long, I had landed a graduate research assistantship, accepted a position at Morningstar, and had been nominated for a role on the junior board at the League of Chicago Theatres. What had started as a quest for personal and professional growth quickly turned into more open road than I knew what to do with. I’m not talking about backcountry dirt roads; I’m talking about inner city expressways.

I always try to say yes more than I say no. In time, we all learn that one of the secrets to success is learning when to say both. No matter how focused and committed you are to your career, to lead a truly happy and fulfilling life you need to find balance and engage in endeavors that are meaningful in other ways. Volunteering for the benefit of others as well as yourself is one such avenue. What type of volunteering satisfies one’s happiness is a personal decision. For some, it might be volunteering at their synagogue, church, or a community health organization. For me, it was finding something that was directly related to my field of interest while also serving the broader community. When I was introduced to the Chicago American Marketing Association, I knew it was a time when I wanted to say “yes.”

Through my volunteer work with the Chicago AMA, I’ve found more than just another network; I’ve found a community, a family, and a home. I’ve been fortunate to work alongside some great minds, learn from them, be mentored by them, and contribute to something much bigger than myself. The Chicago AMA is a melting pot of knowledge and resources. I’m constantly discovering new insights through my work with our Shared Interest Groups (SIGs) and communications teams. The experiences I’ve gained are ones that I wouldn’t necessarily get in my day-to-day job. However, they are skills that diversify and grow my knowledge within my chosen field.

Everyone’s roadmap is different but an unfolded map isn’t going to take you anywhere.

Jennifer was honored as the chapter’s Volunteer of the Year 2013-14, in her role as Communications Chair for the Shared Interest Groups. Connect with Jennifer on LinkedIn and Twitter @jengladstone.

Jennifer Gladstone is a Marketing Specialist at Morningstar, Inc., a global leading provider of independent investment research. At Morningstar, Jennifer works in the internal marketing services agency, managing marketing campaigns and projects for the asset management audience. Jennifer is the Assistant Communications Director for the Chicago American Marketing Association’s shared interest groups and is on the Junior Board at the League of Chicago Theatres. She earned her BA from Eckerd College with a double major in business management and communication, and a MA from DePaul University in communication with an emphasis in public relations and advertising.


Head of Global Digital and Social Strategy of Mead Johnson Nutrition to Speak on August 14, 2014

Stephen Surman will speak at Chicago AMA’s Sunrise Executive Series on Thursday, August 14 on “The Biggest Myths of Digital Marketing.” For more information on this program, visit: Sunrise Executive Series

surnisespeakerStephen Surman 

Head of Global Digital and Social Strategy
Mead  Johnson Nutrition

Stephan has spent 15 years leading digital marketing programs for some of the world’s largest consumer goods brands. He’s served as Vice President of Digital Strategy for Anheuser-Busch, developing marketing plans to support brands like Budweiser and Bud Light. He’s led digital marketing at Procter & Gamble, responsible for brands like Tampax and Pampers. Stephen is a graduate of Cornell University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in engineering.  He also earned his MBA at the University of Chicago in Finance, Marketing, and Strategy.

Check out an interview with Stephen where he outlines his 10 biggest myths here: “The 10 Biggest Myths in Digital Marketing”



Chicago AMA Announces 2014-2015 Program Dates


Download the Event Calendar by Clicking on the Image

July 2014
Connex Networking—Tuesday, July 8, at Salseria Willis Tower
August 2014
Sunrise Breakfast Series—Thursday, August 14, at Gibsons
September 2014
Up & Comers Career Fair—Tuesday, September 30, at 1871
October 2014
Evening With Experts—Tuesday,
October 7, at 1871
Connex Networking—October 28,
or October 29 or October 30
November 2014
Momentum—Wednesday, November 12, Willis Tower
December 2014
Chicago AMA Gives Back Holiday Party—December 9, 10 or 11
January 2015
Connex Networking—January 7 or 8
Sunrise Breakfast Series – Thursday, January 22, at Gibsons
February 2015
Evening With Experts—Thursday, February 26, at 1871
March 2015
BrandSmart—Thursday, March 26, at Morningstar
April 2015
Connex Networking—April 21 or 22 or 23,
May 2015
Sunrise Breakfast Series—Thursday, May 14
Connex Networking—May 27 or 28
June 2015
Evening With Experts: CMO Forum—Thursday, June 11, at 1871


More Info: For more information or to register please email

Sponsor: To sponsor one of these events, please contact Michael Long, CAE, Chicago AMA Executive Director at 312-280-0449 or by email at