Evening With An Expert is a series of events curated by AMA Chicago to bring marketers together with industry leaders and experts. Held in an intimate setting, this series focuses on the latest issues that marketers face in today’s fast-changing landscape.

Interested in applying to be one of our experts? View our speaker application form

Upcoming Evening with an Expert events

There are no Evening with an Expert events scheduled at this time. View our upcoming events, and join our e-news list to be notified about the cutting-edge programming AMA Chicago offers year-round.

Past Evening with an Expert events

March 28, 2019 – Fireside Chat: Courageous perspectives on delivering marketing ROI

Thursday, March 28
5:30 to 8:00 p.m.

IIT Institute of Design
Kaplan Institute
3137 S Federal St, 2nd Floor
Chicago, IL 60616
View parking info

Sponsored by:

To fuel winning strategies in 2019, marketers must continue to refine and hone smarter data collection, measurement, reporting, and attribution methods. Despite all the hype about big data and AI, collecting and synthesizing data from multiple methods and disparate sources in meaningful, actionable ways is a real challenge. Not to mention the push for demonstrating MROI to leadership. All this requires that marketers incorporate research and analytics further upstream in the strategic planning process, as opposed to the tactical execution level. To meet MROI demands we must identify smarter, perhaps even unconventional ways to fuel insights that efficiently and effectively inform strategy.

Key takeaways:

  • Hear points of view from thought leaders at the hub of defining innovation covering perspectives from academia, brand management, strategy and advertising
  • Be a part of a conversational debate around new ways to inform strategic planning in an increasingly complex digital environment
  • Walk away with tactical, hands-on tools and tips ready for immediate implementation within your organization



Jamie Howe   |   Director, Datassential   |   LinkedIn

Jamie has been working with food and beverage companies for 20 years in a variety of roles, but one constant has been helping client partners make sense of big data and integrate it into their business decisions. Most of Jamie’s career was spent working with retail POS and panel data, helping consumer packaged goods manufacturers across virtually every category leverage longitudinal tracking data for strategic, marketing, and advanced analytics. She joined Datassential in 2016 where she leads a product excellence and client service function, focusing on applying her deep analytic background to re-imagine the possibilities of restaurant tracking data for both foodservice and retail professionals. Jamie is passionate about finding the story in big data and helping clients move their innovation and planning process forward with simple, but powerful data driven solutions. Jamie holds a bachelor of science from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Steven M. Cooley, PhD   |   Associate Vice President, Strategic Market Research, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas   |   LinkedIn

Steven Cooley is Associate Vice President, Strategic Market Research at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, where he is responsible for market insights for the enterprise and local Plans. Steve has spent the past 28 years examining consumer behavior and business issues in health insurance and related industries. Prior to the Blues, he spent three years at Motorola supporting the market information needs of several new products, product line extensions and marketing operations. He holds a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from DePaul University, where he also received an M.A. in Psychology and a B.S. in Psychology and Mathematics. Steve represents the Blues as a member of the External Advisory Board for the A.C. Nielsen Center for Marketing Research at the University of Wisconsin and the J.D. Power Health Insurance Advisory Board and is a 30-year member of the AMA Chicago Chapter.

Andria Long   |   Growth & Innovation Advisor   |   LinkedIn

Andria is a leading growth expert and transformational innovator who has successfully driven strategic growth at 5 Fortune 1000 companies in the intensely competitive CPG space across food, beverage and personal care. She has held senior executive leadership positions for both public and private companies, including Vice President of Innovation & Strategy at Sara Lee and Vice President of Innovation & Consumer Insights at Johnsonville.

After 20+ years of working on some of the world’s most recognized and valuable brands like Sara Lee, Cheez-It, Huggies, St. Ives, Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm, Ball Park, and Johnsonville, Andria has synthesized her learnings and developed her own proven approach to deliver sustainable innovation. Andria shares her wealth of knowledge and extensive industry experience by providing advisory services to companies looking to accelerate growth and speaking on cutting edge topics in the industry.

January 22, 2019 – Futureproof: 7 key pillars for digital transformation success

Futureproof: 7 key pillars for digital transformation success

Tuesday, January 22
5:30 to 8:00 p.m.

Loyola University Chicago
Quinlan School of Business
16 E. Pearson St., Chicago

AMA Chicago will provide a copy of Daniel’s book to attendees who pre-register by January 18.

More than ever before, well-established companies are succumbing to wave after wave of disruption from new entrants, new technologies and new customer expectations. The pressure is on to adapt, and digital transformation is the key to survival in the age of technology-driven business.

Digital transformation is not merely a technology investment play. There is a larger operational vision, and the world’s most adaptable companies have already figured out what it is. Broken down into its core components, it consists of 7 operational pillars that help organizations accelerate digital transformation, manage change, and turn disruption into a tireless engine of opportunity.

Author, CEO and analyst Daniel Newman will guide us through the 7 future-proofing pillars that drive a digitally-transformed enterprise. Everyone who registers by January 18 and then attends will receive a free copy of his book.

Key takeaways:
• Learn the 7 future-proofing pillars that drive digital transformation, and why companies that focus on experience design are so much more successful than those that don’t.
• Understand why culture is the most important building block of a future-proof business, and how you can shape yours as you recruit, develop and motivate the workforce of the future.
• See how stalled organizations can unlock their innovation potential and become game-changers in their own right.
• Receive a free copy of Daniel’s book, Futureproof: 7 key pillars for digital transformation success courtesy of AMA Chicago. You must register by January 18 and attend the event to receive the book.


5:30 – 6:30 p.m.: Registration
5:45 – 6:15 p.m.: Speed Networking
6:30 – 8:00 p.m.: Program and Q & A
Light supper will be served.

Our Speaker

Daniel Newman is the Principal Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. From Big Data to IoT to Cloud Computing, Newman makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology projects, which leads to his ideas regularly being cited in The London Times, CIO Review, CNBC and hundreds of other sites across the world. A 6x Best Selling Author including his most recent Futureproof: 7 Key Pillars For Digital Transformation Success, Daniel is also a Forbes and MarketWatch contributor. MBA and Graduate Adjunct Professor, Daniel Newman is a Chicago native and his speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018 – Made in Chicago: Marketing from the CEO’s Perspective

Made in Chicago: Marketing from the CEO’s Perspective

Wednesday, October 17
5:30 to 8:00 p.m.

FCB Chicago
875 N. Michigan Ave.
Floor 20
Chicago, IL 60611

This event is in John Hancock Center. Enter from Chestnut, go to the security desk, and let them know you are attending the AMA Chicago event.

Sponsored by:

Hear from brands who have grown up right in our backyard. CEOs and other leaders will share their insights and experiences building brands and organizations through thoughtful marketing.

They will discuss how they leverage marketing as a key component of their growth, including their collaborative approach to marketing, how they determine their strategies and their lessons learned. Join us for this insider perspective on creating, shaping and expanding your brand right here in Chicago.

To register for free, join AMA Chicago or renew your membership before you register.


5:30 – 6:30 p.m.: Registration and Networking
6:30 – 8:00 p.m.: Program and Q & A
Light supper will be served.

Key takeaways
– How to work for and collaborate with your CEO
– What CEOs care about when it comes to marketing, how to identify KPIs and showcase ROI
– What marketing strategies have worked for fast-growing local brands


Katlin Smith
Founder & CEO
Simple Mills

Paul Everton

Matt Matros
Founder & CEO

Tuesday, June 7, 2018 – Sales and Marketing: Can’t we all just get along?

Sales and Marketing: Can’t we all just get along?

Date: Thursday, June 7
Time: 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.
NEW VENUE: Multiple, Inc., 845 W Washington Blvd, 4th Floor, Chicago, IL 60607

In 2018, we will see an increasingly blurred line between marketing and sales. The question is, who truly holds ownership for moving the dial and increasing overall revenue?

All too often, marketing is held accountable for delivering leads and then they complain when sales is not converting these prospects into closed deals. Similarly, sales will balk at the quality or type of lead that is generated and use that as an excuse for the lack of conversion.
Marketing and sales have the same goal: increase revenue.

Ideally, if management supports alignment, marketing and sales make agreements on how each department can help the other which is the first step to reach a positive and productive culture. It seems logical that both departments align more closely in an effort to optimize customer acquisition.

So how do we accomplish this alignment and what real value can we hope to attain as a result of better alignment? Join us for this Evening with an Expert to learn more.

5:30 – 6:30 p.m.: Registration and Networking
6:30 – 8:00 p.m.: Program and Q&A
Light supper will be served.

To register for free, join AMA Chicago or renew your membership.

Our Speakers

Kristin Cho
Vice President of Marketing, SpotHero

With a strong agency background, Kristen currently heads up marketing for SpotHero, the nation’s leading parking reservation service. At SpotHero, Kristen sits on the executive team and oversees the startup’s marketing practice from strategy to execution, including B2C customer acquisition and retention, B2B marketing, and brand and creative strategy. Her strengths include developing and executing integrated B2C and B2B marketing strategies, utilizing insights-based media planning to drive business results, leveraging digital and traditional media, increasing brand awareness with a focus on the customer experience and engagement, and developing cross-functional, data-driven marketing teams.

Andy Eltzroth
Principal / Business Development, Multiple, Inc

Andy Eltzroth served as a designer, project manager and account executive in San Francisco and the Midwest prior to co-founding Tandemodus in 2006.

An Indiana University graduate with a BFA in graphic design, Andy has provided strategic direction for a wide range of organizations including Eli Lilly, Dow AgroSciences, the Center for Leadership at Northwestern University, Pearson Education and True Value Hardware. He’s a current board member of Chicago-based Goodcity, an organization dedicated to identifying and supporting high potential community-based entrepreneurs in under-resourced communities, and an adjunct professor in the communication design program at Harrington College of Design.

Mark Shevitz
EVP, Director of Client Strategy and Planning of CBD Marketing
Founded 30 years ago, CBD Marketing is an award winning integrated marketing agency based in Chicago with an emphasis on B2B and B2B2C clients.

Mark works with companies to help them better understand and articulate how they are differentiated from their competition in ways that are meaningful to their marketplaces. This creates the foundation for effective brand, marketing and sales strategies, as well as provides his clients with a pathway to move forward as an organization. His experience includes companies such as Career Builder, James Hardie, Illinois Toolworks and many others.

Laura Petee
Director of Marketing – Brand Experience of Dometic
With both an agency and corporate background with Whirlpool previously, Laura understands the power of relationships and the importance of communication. Using these insights, she has built marketing strategies and campaigns that customers can relate to and tell a truly unique story for the company, brands and products she’s worked with.

Her responsibilities have included developing and executing comprehensive channel marketing strategies across all primary segments and target influencers, continually identifying new opportunities and developing tools and collateral to support the selling organization.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 – Personal Branding Workshop

Personal Branding Workshop
Date: Tuesday, February 27
Time: 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Location: Make Offices, 350 North Orleans Street #9000n, Chicago, IL

As marketers, our day jobs entail getting the word out about the brands we represent or service. What happens to our own brand? It often gets lost because we find ourselves layers deep in an organization (as employees or business owners) and when it’s time to shine, we are left behind on opportunities & beyond.

Career-marketer Tania Haigh is the founder & CEO of marketing agency, Magnolia Insights and creator of GET NOTICED workshops for women. She also writes about personal branding for Chicago Woman magazine.

Join this session to help you define and shape your personal brand.

5:30 – 6:30 p.m.: Registration and Networking
6:30 p.m.: Program, with Q&A to follow

Drinks and light supper will be served.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018 - The Five Mega Trends Shaping Marketing in 2018 and Beyond

The Five Mega Trends Shaping Marketing in 2018 and Beyond
Sponsored by: 

Date: Tuesday, January 23
Time: 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Location: Salesforce
111 W. Illinois St., Chicago

The future of marketing is bright, but not in the way you may imagine. Mathew Sweezey, Principal of Marketing Insights at Salesforce and writer for Forbes, shows us the five megatrends shaping our future, including the new model for PR based on recent political examples, why Chatbots will take over, and what Marketing Automation 2.0 is.

Expect to learn marketing’s new role in creating experiences – not messages – and how this plays out for brands such as Starbucks and Tesla. Find out why Purpose is the new heart of marketing, as showcased through brand new research Matthew conducted with the Economist as well as the future of the marketing technology landscape and public relations.

This presentation will supercharge your upcoming year, and it is not one to be missed!

Our Speaker

Mathew is Principal of Marketing Insights for Salesforce.com and is regarded as one of the top minds on the future of Marketing. A consummate researcher and thinker, Mathew’s work is often cited leading publications such as Mashable, VentureBeat, PCWorld, CMO.com, Information Week, Forbes, Huffington Post, and numerous others. Mathew is a frequent speaker at conferences around the world and routinely works with the world’s largest and most well-respected brands including: NATO, MIT, UPS, HomeDepot, NASCAR, Verizon, and Dell.

A consummate writer, he authors a columns for multiple publications, such as Moz, Mashable, DemandGen Report and his work is often quoted in books including “The Digital Marketer,” “The ReTargeting Playbook,” and the forward to “The Complete Guide to B2B Marketing.” Mathew also is the author of Marketing Automation for Dummies, with his next book “Context,” published by Harvard.

Twitter | LinkedIn

October 19, 2017 – MillerCoors

Thursday, October 19, 2017 | 4:30 – 7:00 pm

Miller High Life:
Reinventing a 110-year-old Brand

An Evening with an Expert

MillerCoors, 250 S. Wacker Dr. Chicago, IL

Miller High Life, the champagne of beers, is an American Icon – but the last decade has not been kind. Ryan Marek from MillerCoors shares how Miller High Life found its mojo again, thanks to an integrated campaign that has revitalized the brand and its authentic heritage with both older beer loyalists as well as the next generation of beer drinkers.

This event will appeal to professionals interested in brand management, retail marketing, and food and beverage marketing. Following the presentation, we will gather at Fred & Adolph’s Pub for complimentary refreshments and networking.

Registration: 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Presentation: 5:00-6:00 p.m.
Networking: 6:00-7:00 p.m.

NOTE: You must be at least 21 years old to attend this event. Due to space limitations, event attendance will be capped at 75 people.

Our Presenter

Ryan Marek is the Director of MillerCoors’ Economy Portfolio, overseeing strategy, marketing communications and in-market execution of iconic value brands such as Miller High Life, Keystone, Hamm’s and Mickey’s. Prior to joining MillerCoors in 2013, Ryan “cut his teeth” in the beauty industry, helping to manage a wide range of hair care and skin care brands including TRESemmé, Nexxus and St. Ives. Ryan hails from the Chicagoland area and holds an MBA from DePaul University’s Kellstadt School of Management.

March 21, 2017 - Building A Brand Experientially

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 | 5:30 – 8:00 pm

Building A Brand Experientially

An Evening with Marketing Experts

Sponsored by Chicago Scenic Studios

360 CHICAGO, 875 N. Michigan Ave, 94th Floor, Chicago

Enjoy a behind the scenes discussion of how the new 360 Chicago came to life. Learn the objectives, issues and opportunities behind the 360 Chicago brand and effort, as well as the strategic thinking behind the experience developed.

January 17, 2017 - Essential Skills for Today’s Marketers

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 | 5:30 – 8:00 pm

Essential Skills for Today’s Marketers

An Evening with Marketing Experts

1871 Chicago, 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite 1212

Advancements in technology have resulted in unprecedented change for the marketing industry. Over the last decade, the skills necessary for marketing have seismically shifted, and the tremors aren’t letting up. To remain competitive, companies are re-thinking their marketing strategies, shifting budgets, and identifying gaps where their career marketers’ expertise doesn’t make use of the latest practices.

In an Adobe survey, 64% of marketers expected their role to change in the next year and 40% of marketers said they wanted to reinvent themselves—but only 14% of those marketers actually knew how to go about it. The Chicago AMA has assembled a panel to help marketers at all career levels seize this opportunity to assess their current skills and identify additional skills they should add to their portfolio.

Attend this panel to learn:

                    •  Skills you need to succeed in today’s marketing environment
                    • How to acquire and hone those skills
                    • What hiring managers look for when searching for their next marketing talent

Thanks to everyone who joined us!