Darcy Schuller, President Chicago AMA, 2014-15

Thanks for a Remarkable Year

Chicago AMA

As we wind down the 2014-15 programming term, I can’t help but to look back at all the accomplishments we achieved this year. We set out one year ago as a Board to help ensure the Chicago AMA continues to explore exciting ways to connect, inspire and engage with our marketing community. We rallied around a simple, yet powerful theme: Be Remarkable!

Thank you to the 2014-15 Board of Directors and Volunteers for everything you did to make this year such a resounding success.  I invite you to watch my year-end video summarizing our goals and accomplishments.

A few highlights include:

  • Over 50 events featuring CMOs, VPs and Directors from prominent brands and agencies such as Ulta, DSW, United, Mead-Johnson, Deloitte, TransUnion, IPG Mediabrands, Prophet, Kraft, Beam-Suntory and many more.
  • Published findings from our own research, including ‘Chicago’s Most Recognizable Brands‘ and ‘The Role of a Professional Association‘.
  • Raised nearly $9,000 for UCAN at our Chicago AMA Gives Back charitable event, supporting youth, who have suffered trauma in their lives, to become our future leaders.
  • Established the Chicago AMA Grant Program, awarding a one-year membership to three outstanding marketers in our community who embody what our organization stands for.
  • Engaged, inspired and connected a marketing community of over 10,000 marketing professionals, 1,000+ members, 150+ volunteers and 22 board members through thought leadership, programming and networking opportunities.

Thank you to our 2014-15 Board of Directors: Tara Giuliano, Tom Jacobs, Marty Kozar, Marty Hill, Michelle Batten, Judi Myers, Brad Messenger, John Bruhnke, Paula Kapacinskas, Mark Sterne, Suky Lawlor, Victor Lim, Scott Green, John Armstrong, Paul Friedman, Michael Wall, Patrick Steffes, Stepheny Lauer, Pon Angara, Bonnie Reid and Ashlee Earl. Also, a special thanks to our Executive Director, Michael Long, for his dedication and hard-work in keeping our organization running strong year after year.

Congratulations and best of luck to our 2015-16 Board of Directors under the leadership of Tom Jacobs as the President of the Chicago AMA: Ashlee Earl, Bonnie Massa, Claire Slattery, Darcy Schuller, Jenna Redline, John Armstrong, Mark Sterne, Jennifer Gladstone, Jill Goldstein, Joe Wright, Katie Badeusz, Martin McGovern, Marty Kozar, Michelle Batten, Jordan Rittenberry, Carey Kogol, Tim Boudos and Pon Angara.

It has been my honor and pleasure to serve as the Chicago AMA President for the 2014-15 term. I look continuing to connect with this great marketing community.

Be Remarkable!

Darcy Schuller, President, Chicago AMA, 2014-15

Darcy SchullerDarcy Schuller has been on the Board of Directors of the Chicago AMA since 2011. Outside of the Chicago AMA, Darcy is the President/Founder and lead Digital and Brand Strategist at Suvonni, a boutique digital marketing and brand strategy agency. Connect with Darcy on Linkedin and Twitter



Chicago AMA names 2015 All-Stars: Our Board Member and Volunteer of the Year

Last Thursday on one of our now common dreary, rainy days, 75 chapter volunteers brought some pent-up cheer to Clayco Headquarters to celebrate their hard work in 2015 at our annual Volunteer Appreciation party.

The beautiful, modern and bright space was the perfect venue for drinks, tasty nosh and the presentation of our Volunteer of the Year and Board Member of the Year. As Chicago AMA is a volunteer-run organization, this event is extremely important in recognizing the many people who have done incredible work to help improve and grow the chapter.

Volunteer of the Year

2015 cama bmoy

2015 Volunteer of Year Tammy DeMarco, center.

Volunteer of the Year went to Tammy DeMarco, our committee chair for the highly successful BrandSmart event. As the largest annual event in Chicago AMA’s large portfolio of programming, it’s a high stakes production that relies on long hours, many meetings and tireless efforts to execute effectively. We’re grateful for her donation of such time and energy to Chicago AMA.



Board Member of the Year

2015 Board Member of Year Michelle Batten, center.

2015 Board Member of Year Michelle Batten, center.

Board Member of the Year was given to Michelle Batten, VP of the Special Interest Groups which have become one of the most robust and valuable communities within the chapter. Her work in organizing dozens of events across many marketing disciplines brought attendees and volunteers together in a way that was unique to many associations in the city and has grown this valuable element of AMA Membership.


A Few More Thanks

In addition to the appreciation for our many 2015 volunteers, a big thanks goes out to Clayco for sponsoring the venue and Lagunita’s Brewing Company for providing a Little

Sumpin’ Sumpin’ (the beer) for our attendees.

Get Involved and Become a Volunteer:

The best way to become involved and meet the many of the best marketers in the city is by volunteering. Visit our volunteer page and submit your interest to our volunteer coordinator, Michele Fournier, to begin the quick process.

After that, we’ll see you at the next Volunteer Appreciation party in June of 2016!

Chicago AMA Reports Out 2014 Member Survey Results

The Chicago AMA is always looking forward to how we can improve and enhance our programs. To this end we surveyed our members in 2014 and prepared this revealing report on what we do well and where we can do better. Some of the results may surprise you, others confirm your own feelings about the organization. But all will increase our value to our members and the industry we serve. Download the Report here.



Sunrise Series Event Recap: ULTA’s Beauty Experience

daveAt the June 22 Sunrise Executive Breakfast Dave Kimbell revealed how ULTA is raising awareness of its brand by making beauty a fun experience for women across the nation.

David Kimbell, Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer of ULTA, presented the evolution of ULTA’s latest marketing campaign at the first suburban Sunrise Executive Breakfast, held at Gibsons Bar and Steakhouse in Rosemont on June 22.

As ULTA’s CMO, Dave has the formidable task of making sure that this innovative company continues to grow within the context of a unique vision.  Established 25 years ago, ULTA was built on a new business model inspired by an insight about the buying behavior of cosmetics’ consumers. The company’s  founders realized that contrary to conventional marketing of cosmetic products previously, women didn’t buy just one brand of beauty products. Nor did they limit their purchases to one type of store. Instead, they bought what they liked when they needed it from drug stores as well as department stores. Furthermore, they felt as confident about their selections made at the grocery store as they did about those purchased from high-end salons.

Today, under Kimbell’s leadership, the company continues to be guided by the attitudes, needs and desires of its primary audience – “Beauty Enthusiasts.”  This group, largely suburban women between the ages of 35 and 55, view ULTA stores as a special place to explore new cosmetic trends, learn about new beauty techniques, access a wide range of products and enjoy sharing this experience with like-minded friends and family members.

Since 1990, ULTA has grown from its original store in Chicago to 800 locations in 48 states. Yet, despite the fact that it’s now the largest specialty retailer in its category, ULTA’s brand awareness is only 70% compared to that of its competitors who score 90 to 100%.

This realization led to the development of a new customer-centric marketing strategy that includes selling much of its product online, offering more in-store services and a highly successful loyalty program. Currently the company’s 15 million rewards members not only account for 80% of its sales, they offer ULTA access to detailed data on which to base future strategies.

To sum up, Dave described the steps ULTA took to pay off the premise that at ULTA – “Beauty is a fun adventure.” Here they are:

  • Study the marketplace. Find out what the competition is doing, what’s working, what’s not. Where do the opportunities lie to grow your own business at all levels.
  • Define your target. Make sure you know where your primary focus should be. In ULTA’s case it was “Beauty Enthusiasts.”
  • Integrate all the elements of your company. These include how you communicate, what you sell, how you sell it and internal communications to support your efforts. Also the infrastructure needed to support your current programs and future growth.
  •  Build a strong culture. One that will support your brand and enable you to successfully meet your goals.
  • Be open to learning and change. Being able to adapt quickly to trends already developing and knowing enough about the market to create your own new trends will mark your company as a leader.

Dave’s presentation was well received and led to several lively table discussions as audience members considered how to apply his insights to their own work.

The Sunrise Executive Breakfast Series will return in August. Look for announcements of upcoming programs under events and in the Chicago AMA blog.  In the meantime, have a wonderful summer!


Jonathan Copulsky CMO, Deloitte Consulting LLP to Speak for Chicago AMA on August 12

Jonathan Copulsky, joins Chicago AMA on August 12, for the Sunrise Executive Series to present: How to Create Powerful Content & Extend Reach with Emerging Platforms

Key pillars to his presentation are:

1.      Understand the role that content marketing can play in creating a powerful brand
2.      Identify what it takes to build and sustain a compelling content marketing program
3.      Discover emerging platforms for connecting your content with customers

deloittelogoJonathan Copulsky serves as Chief Content Officer for Deloitte LLP and Chief Marketing Officer for Deloitte Consulting LLP.   In these roles, he leads the creation of iconic content that communicates Deloitte’s unique attributes of leadership, trust and confidence and development of marketing programsthat enable Deloitte to clearly differentiate itself in a crowded and increasingly noisy market.   Jonathan recently launched Deloitte’s highly successful and award-winning advertising campaign.

Jonathan speaks and writes frequently on issues related to sales and marketing strategy.   His critically acclaimed book, “Brand Resilience:   Managing Risk and Recovery in a High-Speed World,” was published by Palgrave Macmillan in May 2011.   The book identifies the strategies and tactics that senior executives can employ to prevent their brands from falling prey to deliberate and inadvertent acts of brand sabotage.

Prior to joining Deloitte as a partner in 1997, Jonathan was the Chief Marketing and Sales Officer and member of the executive committee at CCH, a NYSE-listed professional publishing and software company.

Outside of work, Jonathan is an avid long-distance runner, a devotee of public radio, a long-time Chicago Public Media Board member, and an adjunct faculty member at Northwestern University, where he teaches courses on branding, customer loyalty, and customer experience.

Visit the Sunrise Executive Series webpage for more information.

Read Jonathan Copulsky’s interview with Chicago AMA.

Evening With Experts Event Recap I: CMO Panel

image1On June 11th the Chicago AMA brought together a panel of three industry leading CMOs to tackle the audience’s toughest questions and provide insight on their past experiences and current challenges as marketers. Our panelists stressed the importance of integrating a marketing strategy that focuses on multiple media outlets. Moderator Pete Krainik of the CMO Club stated, “The idea of integrated marketing has not gone away.”

Megan Bueschel, CMO of Mario Tricoci Hair Salons, led the discussion on media channels stating as we see the marketing landscape change more media channels are merging. Our CMOs believe the future holds more one on one media channels. As more media channels emerge and merge Bueschel told attendees that it is essential to prioritize media channels to be relevant to your audience.

Patrick Bernardi, CMO of Hu-Friedy Manufacturing, summed up our evening with the comment, “It’s the CMO’s job to show them what’s possible.” He also stated “… as a CMO you have to be honest with what’s working and what’s not working.” Daniel Ash, CMO of the Chicago Community Trust gave an example of this with insight on the trust’s content strategy. Ash knew Chicago Community Trust’s strategy needed “to be responsive to the community instead of expecting the community to respond to content that was being pushed out to them.” Ash concluded the evening with some final words of wisdom, “Pay attention to the extremes and you will learn how to move people to your brand.”

Andrea MinhasWritten by Andrea Minhas, Co-Chair of Communications, CMO Panel

Evening With Experts Event Recap II: CMO Panel: Current Trends and The Future of Marketing

On June 11th the Chicago AMA brought together a dynamic panel of distinguished CMOs to engage on changing media, customer behaviors, technology platforms, and the value of talent for organizational success.

Moderator Pete Krainik delved into the discussion by asking what are the different ways of finding the future. CMO Daniel Ash commented on his experience with The Chicago Community Trust and outreach campaign On The Table celebrating community philanthropy. It is important to encourage community building and put the community first by modeling the desired outcome. Megan Bueschel, CMO of Mario Tricoci Hair Salons and Day Spas, added the necessity of prioritizing channels and asking where is your audience and what is your brand. Patrick Bernardi, CMO of Hu-Friedy Mfg. Co., stressed the importance of distribution and community advocacy for timage1he brand and the obligation of marketing efforts to align with the brand.

Current marketing trends show emotional and customer experiences are vital to the future of marketing and long-term growth of an organization. Bernardi sees technology enabling an enriched customer experience though the need to know why you are in business must be answered. Ash believes content journalism and human emotion are key to all we do. Customer insight and data have shown social consciousness has disrupted business. Mission matters and legacy brands have an opportunity to enter this space and develop a deeper narrative around the brand. Bueschel agreed with Ash adding social consciousness is the best thing to come from the millennial marketplace and the right direction to go. Mario Tricoci’s campaign Mario Make Me a Model is part reality television with an opportunity to launch thriving modeling careers. Bueschel loves traditional marketing and sees beacons, hotspots, and entrepreneurial channels on the rise. Integrated marketing Krainik observed, is not going away.

An audience breakout session included sharing ideas on what amazing changes will happen in the upcoming three years. Groups determined hyper personalization, beacons, and weaving brands into the consumer story to be significant. Empowering advocates with content as well as curation and data will continue to be strong. YouTube, hashtags, and employee ambassadors should be utilized. Budgets should not hinder video content nor video quality.  Zappos does a great job and an excellent example in quality content.

Talent will set your organization up for success. With all the data available, Ash highlighted a need for respect of consumer privacy and an environment for people to exchange ideas and set a leadership tone. Krainik considered nuanced skill sets for culture. Bueschel emphasized a demand for excellent writing and communication proficiency. Bernardi found contributions from opinioned thinkers and risk takers factor greatly into an organization’s success.

Final thoughts on marketing, Krainik, go with what works. Bernardi, what do you want your audience to understand. Bueschel, find a call to action either through a mystery or gamble. Ash, keep in mind design thinking and extreme users, marketers have to understand both.

Krainik concluded the discussion offering to have the biggest impact, if there is not enough anxiety it is not big enough.


Written by Jackie Maman, Co-Chair of Communications, CMO Panel

Evening With Experts:  The CMO Panel – The Future of Marketing

On June 11th our industry leading CMOs Megan Bueschel, Sandy Kolkey, Patrick Bernardi, and Daniel Ash are ready to take on your questions.  Join Pete Krainik, Founder and CEO of the CMO Club as he moderates on today’s ever-changing marketing landscape. 

Get to know the panel

Megan Bueschel, SVP/Chief Marketing Officer at Mario Tricoci Hair Salons & Day Spas enhances brand awareness through the “Mario, Make Me a Model” program and established the company’s robust mobile marketing and membership programs Mario PLUS Massage & Facial.  Additionally she also directs public relations strategies and manages new product and service development for the 15 location salon and spa group.

Sandy Kolkey, Chief Marketing Officer at Turtle Wax, Inc. leads the development and launch of a full integrated branding program including broadcast, cable, digital, social, search, ratings and reviews, email and website.

Patrick Bernardi is Chief Marketing Officer at Hu-Friedy Mfg. Co., LLC, navigating in global branding, CRM, distributor communications and online strategies for the world’s principal manufacturer of dental instruments.

Daniel Ash is Chief Marketing Officer for The Chicago Community Trust.  As The Chicago Community Trust commemorates its 100th anniversary, Ash leads marketing communications, and public and government relations strategies that enrich the Trust’s mission.  Ash’s esteemed career in the nonprofit sector aims to advance social causes.

Join the conversation on twitter @chicagoama #camaexpert #cmo

For more information and registration, please visit:  https://amachicago.org/evening-series/