Volunteer of the Month

American Marketing Association Chicago Chapter is managed by more than 100 volunteers.

Every level of our organization is led by chapter members who volunteer their time on our committees, events teams and board of directors.

Through their careers and their service to AMA Chicago, our volunteers give back to the community and make our mission possible, and we appreciate their dedication throughout the year. Each month, we highlight a special volunteer who has gone above and beyond to make a meaningful impact on member value through skill- or relationship-building.

June 2021

Volunteer Management Team

“AMA Chicago’s extraordinary volunteer management team is our Volunteer of the Month because of their dedicated commitment to our volunteers over the last 12 months and both of the inspiring volunteer house parties they produced! Thank you Lauren Banks, Laís Titton and Maggie Bahler Rizzio!”

– Karolyn Raphael

VP, Communications

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Previous Honorees

  • May 2021: Karen Hatfield

    President & Chief Marketing Muse, Pythia LLC | BrandSmart Planning Committee

    “Karen Hatfield joined the BrandSmart committee in the fall of 2020 and made huge contributions. She used her experience, connections, and branding prowess to help make BrandSmart a powerful event, securing several key speakers, and organizing the pre-conference networking event. She moderated several sessions with poise and panache. She is a fantastic strategist and committee rock star!” – Cindy Bond VP, Executive Programming

  • April 2021: Marketing Insights Team

    “This month’s award goes to an entire team of dedicated volunteers who stay on top of a never-ending stream of data to inform Chapter initiatives. This past quarter, the team was instrumental in the finalization of a new Member Journey initiative and providing insights into Email Marketing initiatives that led to new strategies for streamlining member communications. The team is led by Kathy Alexander and Carolyn Crafts, supported by team members Beth Marshall, Peter Mitchell, Sajna Razi, Andrew Samaniego, and Christian Terry.” – Kathy Alexander VP, Marketing Insights

  • March 2021: Trudi Gentry and Sarah Hirsch

    “Trudi Gentry and Sarah Hirsch have been exceptional volunteers for the AMA Chicago, Communications Committee. The pair dove in with tenacity on a special project for member acquisition and have demonstrated true leadership by tackling the research and campaign creation without much precedent. Affectively known as the “Membership Campaign Co-chairs,” we are very grateful to have their perseverance and commitment.” – Chris Ertel VP, Communications, AMA Chicago

  • February 2021: LinkedIn Live Team

    “AMA Chicago has a strong, talented and cohesive team of volunteers to lead our LinkedIn Live events. Thank you to Allison Summers, Sima Dahl, Leslie Marshall and Tracy Crane for developing our strategy and launching this new series without a hitch. We appreciate your leadership and execution!” – Chris Ertel VP, Communications, AMA Chicago

  • January 2021: Laís Titton

    Marketing and Sales Specialist, StratusComm | Membership Volunteer, AMA Chicago

    “Laís has been a wonderful addition to the Membership team! Her energetic work style is contagious as she consistently cheers on team members, always wiling to take on a new task when needed. She brings creativity and enthusiasm to everything she does and her passion for AMA Chicago is evident – even as she works from her office in Brazil! Thank you, Lais, for being such a valued member of the team!” – Doug Davila VP, Membership, AMA Chicago

  • December 2020: Karolyn Raphael

    President, Winger Marketing | Communications Volunteer, AMA Chicago

    “Karolyn is a true team player and valued asset to the Communications team and the Chicago Chapter. Karolyn inspires creative ideas and insightful approaches to our commitment to deliver value to the members of our community. A true brand steward, Karolyn ensures our communications reflect the tone, character and energy of our chapter and our team. Thank you, Karolyn, for all of your contributions. We are happy to have you!” – Chris Ertel VP, Communications, AMA Chicago

  • November 2020: Peter Mitchell

    President, Strategic Intent, LLC | Marketing Insights Volunteer, AMA Chicago

    “As an integral member of the AMA Chicago Marketing Insights team, Peter led the recent update to our Member Journey Map, working with committee members and the AMAC Board to develop a highly intuitive and engaging model. His approachable and collaborative style brings teams to consensus and keeps projects moving forward. Peter is quick to share his wealth of experience in using data and insights to refine strategy within our marketing community. Thanks Peter, for all you do!” – Kathy Alexander VP, Marketing Insights, AMA Chicago

  • October 2020: Tracy Crane

    Social Media Strategist, StudioNorth | Social Media Volunteer, AMA Chicago

    “Core to the Chicago Chapter of the AMA is our value in content, community and opportunity. Tracy Crane exemplifies all aspects of those values. Tracy has been an integral part of our social media efforts. Her dedication to timely, quality content keeps the AMA Chicago a fundamental resource for our members. She brings tremendous acumen to our strategy and planning initiatives. Her energy and commitment are both inspirational and infectious. Thank you, Tracy, for all you do to advance our community of marketers!” – Chris Ertel VP, Communications, AMA Chicago

  • September 2020: Carolyn Crafts

    Partner, FullSurge | Google Analytics Volunteer, AMA Chicago

    “Carolyn has been instrumental in wrangling the deluge of Google Analytics data into meaningful insights to help our Communications and Membership committees understand the impact of their efforts. An enthusiastic member of the team, Carolyn is always ready to tackle new issues and quickly respond to ad-hoc requests. She brings a wealth of expertise and experience in brand insights and strategy to her role on the Marketing Insight Committee, including positions with Cars.com, Entertainment Cruises and Tribune. Thanks Carolyn, for your dedication and commitment to AMA Chicago!” – Kathy Alexander VP, Marketing Insights, AMA Chicago

  • August 2020: Sue Ter Maat

    SEO Content Strategist & Writer | Blog Manager, AMA Chicago

    “Sue’s blog efforts this past fiscal year helped us to achieve some of the Communications Committee’s more audacious goals of providing an increase of consistent value-added content for our community. Even during unprecedented times these past few months, she continued to write 1.5 relevant posts per month. She was also instrumental in helping us craft and distribute our stance against racism in early June in the form of blog and social media, with a post titled Dear Chicago. Her recent 3-part blog series focused on our workshop speaker Dan Golden and shared valuable information on SEO. Thank you, Sue, for sharing your writing talents with our community, and for your continued commitment to the AMA Chicago.” – Shannon Lee President-Elect, AMA Chicago

  • July 2020: Cindy Bond

    Principal & Founder, Bond Digital | VP, Executive Programming, AMA Chicago

    “We honor Cindy Bond as AMA Chicago’s Volunteer of Month for her continued dedication and perseverance. 2020 has certainly proven to be a challenging year for us all, and no less for Cindy and the Executive Programming Committee. Through Cindy’s leadership, the team persevered through the cancellation of the in-person BrandSmart conference, pivoting to a wonderful two-day virtual event of amazing programming, speakers and sponsors. Hats off to Cindy who has now agreed to anchor BrandSmart 2021!” – Allison Summers President, AMA Chicago

  • June 2020: Elina Yufa, Bernie Verwiel, Lidia Varesco Racoma & Lauren Banks

    Volunteer Management Team, AMA Chicago

    “Each of you has been named our Volunteer of the Month as our team of brilliant Zoom House Party planners for our first-ever virtual volunteer recognition event. I am so honored to have the opportunity to work with each of you individually and in our high-performing Volunteer Management project team. You all came together quickly with your creativity, ingenuity and top planning skills to bang out a vision and execution that resulted in an amazing and unique evening to celebrate our volunteers during an unprecedented time.” – Judi Myers Director, Volunteer Engagement , AMA Chicago

  • May 2020: Barbara Kalicki

    Digital Analytics Consultant, InfoTrust, LLC | Programming Volunteer, AMA Chicago

    “Barbara has been integral in converting our programs to virtual events, providing the tools, expertise and back-end operations to create seamless experiences for our marketers to connect. Her commitment to our program development and delivery is outstanding; this is her second time being honored as a volunteer of the month in 2020!” – Bonnie Massa Executive Director, AMA Chicago

  • April 2020: Dean Petrulakis, Chris McGuire, Julia Parisot & Nichole Mumford

    Sponsorship Team, AMA Chicago

    “We are calling out Dean Petrulakis, VP of Sponsorship, and his team Chris McGuire, Julia Parisot and Nichole Mumford as our volunteers of the month for their exemplary effort and dedication this fiscal year in strengthening the chapter’s partnerships with agencies and marketing service providers in our Chicago area marketing community. They are each a consummate professional, and the chapter is grateful for their passion and volunteer spirit.” – Bonnie Massa Executive Director, AMA Chicago

  • March 2020: Shari Matras

    BrandSmart Volunteer, AMA Chicago

    “Shari has been instrumental in shaping our BrandSmart conference for the last two years. Not only does she have her finger on the pulse of marketing today, but she has a remarkable ability to identify thought-leaders with a fresh and compelling point of view and engage them to become part of our conference. Thank you, Shari. We’re so lucky to have you on the team.” – Cindy Bond VP, Executive Programming, AMA Chicago

  • February 2020: Sue Ter Maat

    SEO Content Strategist & Writer | Blog Manager, AMA Chicago

    “Sue is a master blogger and blog manager! Her unique topics, timely content and keen brand representation have brought us a consistent stream of evergreen content to our website, which is driving high engagement and increasing SEO results. Thank you, Sue! We’re so honored to have you!” – Shannon Lee VP, Communications, AMA Chicago

  • January 2020: Barbara Kalicki

    Digital Analytics Consultant, InfoTrust, LLC | Programming Volunteer, AMA Chicago

    “Barbara has shown excellent commitment and dedication to the programming committee, our chapter and her position as chair of the Digital Trends for 2020 event. Her experience and abilities shined with an impressive panel of subject matter experts, actionable content and great event execution that made this an overall, high impact experience for our members!” – Michael DiFranco Director, Programming, AMA Chicago

  • December 2019: Lauren Banks

    VP, Account Services, Creative Marketing Resources | Membership Volunteer, AMA Chicago

    “Lauren brings a positive attitude and her incredible organizational skills to her role as a connector on the membership committee. She interacts with members, new and established, and makes them feel welcome and connected to the organization. She is constantly recruiting volunteers and making sure individual needs are met through introductions and follow-up. Lauren is willing to help out with any task and we appreciate her commitment to the membership team.” – Maggie Bahler, Director, Member Engagement, AMA Chicago

  • November 2019: Jeff Segal

    Communications Volunteer, AMA Chicago

    “Jeff has been an enthusiastic contributor for content this past year for AMA Chicago. While he regularly creates engaging social media copy for the chapter, he also wrote all BrandSmart 2019 communications this year, and he has contributed to several blog posts. Jeff is a pleasure to have on the committee, not only for his clever words but because he’s fun to work with! He embraces the AMA Chicago brand voice and understands how to emotionally connect with our broad marketing community. It’s a true privilege to volunteer with Jeff on the Communications Committee, and he is very much appreciated.” – Shannon Lee, VP, Communications, AMA Chicago

  • October 2019: Maggie Bahler

    Director, Member Engagement

    “Maggie is a new board member and has jumped in with a great deal of enthusiasm. She is often the first person new members meet, either via a welcome note or during New Member Orientation. She is skilled at driving interest in volunteering and encouraging new members to get more involved in AMA Chicago!” – Doug Davila, VP, Membership Relations, AMA Chicago

  • September 2019: Beth Marshall

    Senior Manager, Marketing Communications, Ariel Investments

    “Organizational transitions are never easy, especially when working with volunteer committee members transitioning from year-to-year. Not only is Beth dedicated to providing quality insights each month, she also played an integral role in ensuring a seamless transition of board leadership within the Marketing Insights committee. Her enthusiasm for providing the board with the information they need to guide the direction of our Chapter is infectious. Thanks Beth for all you do!” – Kathy Alexander, VP, Marketing Insights, AMA Chicago

  • August 2019: Michael DiFranco

    Director of Program Development NVISION

    “Michael has been a valuable contributor to the Chapter working diligently and strategically in recruiting committed volunteers to fulfill our committee needs. He has ambitiously stepped up beyond his position to successfully produce two signature programs to demonstrate his breadth and depth of commitment and experience to add value to the Chapter and deepen its footprint in the marketing community.” – Judi Myers, Director, Volunteer Talent Management, AMA Chicago

  • July 2019: Doug Scherer

    CATI Supervisor, CPR Inc. | Marketing Insights Volunteer, AMA Chicago

    “Doug has been instrumental in programming our annual member survey this year. With a strong attention to detail and a can do attitude, Doug is great to work with. I really love that he is always ready to help find a new way to ask a question and uncover better insights.” – Kathy Alexander, VP, Marketing Insights, AMA Chicago

  • June 2019: Tom Palmer

    Founder & Owner, Kindel Insights | BrandSmart Volunteer, AMA Chicago

    “Tom was a key member of the BrandSmart team, helping to strategically review and vet speaker RFP submissions. He also worked hard to plan breakout sessions, identify additional speakers, secure keynote speakers and so much more. Thank you for helping to make BrandSmart a success!” – Cindy Bond, VP, Executive Programming, AMA Chicago

  • May 2019: Rene Reiter

    Marketing Manager, Adage Technologies | Event Volunteer, AMA Chicago

    “Rene has been a significant contributor to our events as a lead event volunteer, most notably at BrandSmart and Career Smart. Over the last several weeks, Rene has gone above and beyond to provide exceptional registration and intake at our key events, greeting attendees and guests with professionalism, efficiency, and warmth. She has helped new volunteer recruits learn the ropes and given our event and program coordinators peace of mind in providing more than registration to ensure a successful event end-to-end.” – Judi Myers, Director, Volunteer Talent Management, AMA Chicago

  • April 2019: Chris McGuire

    Director of Client Growth and Engagement, McGuffin Creative Group, Inc. | Volunteer, AMA Chicago

    “Chris McGuire is the AMA Chicago chapter Volunteer of the Month in recognition of his energy and thoughtful approach to recruiting partners for the chapter’s Career Smart events. Chris is a new member, and yet he jumped into the project quickly and demonstrated his ability to find opportunities for all involved to succeed. Plus he is a genuinely nice man and fun to work with!” – Bonnie Massa, President, AMA Chicago

  • March 2019: Kathy Alexander

    Founder & Chief Strategist, Beagle Insight, Inc | Chair, Community Programming, AMA Chicago

    “I was blown away at how Kathy took charge to get our March 28 event (Fireside Chat: Courageous perspectives on delivering marketing ROI) pulled together beautifully. Besides being an awesome collaborator, Kathy is incredibly organized and has a broad understanding of what it takes to unite professionals with varying research backgrounds under a common theme.” – Chris Cacci, President-Elect, AMA Chicago

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