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

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



Daniel Newman

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.

Past Evening with an Expert events

Wednesday, October 17 – 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 – 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 - 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!

September 20, 2016 - Convos from the She-Suite

Photo of 6 speakers for She-Suite

Convos from the She-Suite:

Women in Senior Leadership

Tuesday, September 20, 2016 | 5:30 – 9:00 pm

If you aspire to the c-suite, you’ll be inspired by the success stories from these top marketing executives.

            • Dorri McWhorter, CEO, YWCA Metro Chicago
            • Lisa Petrilli, Chief Operating, Marketing & Strategy Officer, The Thread
            • Sandra Wilson, COO, Wheels Inc.
            • Toni Irving, Executive Director, Get In Chicago
            • Wendy DuBoe, President, CEO, United Way of Metro Chicago
            • Moderated by Susan Rosenstein, President, Susan Rosenstein Executive Search Limited

Thanks to everyone who joined us!

June 14, 2016 - Applied Google Analytics: Insights & Action

AndyCrest  Take a deep dive into Google Analytics to make better decisions.

Andy shows us 12 reports within Google Analytics to help you better understand your audience and your content performance so you can improve your site’s effectiveness.

View more info on this event, HERE

March 22, 2016 - Applied Google Analytics: Insights and Actions from 12 Reports


6:00 – 7:00 PM
Registration, networking, heavy appetizers and wine, beer, and sodas

7:00 – 8:30 PM
Presentation and Q&A

Take a deep dive into Google Analytics to make better decisions. Andy will show you 12 reports within Google Analytics to help you better understand your audience and your content performance so you can improve your site’s effectiveness.

If you have a website – this is a must-attend event!

The majority of websites use Google Analytics. It’s ubiquitous. But are marketers using it properly? Not really. Many marketers are using it only for reporting, not analysis. A lot of marketers are using Analytics wrong.

In this lesson, we’ll look at specific ways to use Analytics to do real analysis, to answer questions and draw conclusions.

    • Reporting vs. Analysis: How most marketers get Analytics wrong
    • Turning ideas into questions
    • Analytics Insights

February 23, 2016 - Marketing Slam 2016 "6 Keys to Unlocking Engagment"

Marketing Slam visualA special Chicago AMA Evening with the Experts “5 Overlooked Keys to Unlocking Engagement.” Our speakers 10-minute presentations uncover five different perspectives, techniques, and opportunities for enhancing customer engagement that others may not be aware of, or not sufficiently understand.

Take a look at the SIX presentations here.

October 22, 2015 - Optimize Marketing Automation to Drive Revenue

Program: 6:00 – 9:00 PM

Registration and Networking: 6:00 – 7:00 PM (Includes beer, wine, & appetizers)

Presentation: 7:00 – 8:30 PM

Location: 1871, 222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza, 12th Floor, Chicago, 60654

FullSizeRenderSpeaker: Hubspot Recommended, Kent Ecklor, Global Digital Marketing Director, CDK Global

Be the destination and let your target audience reach you through inbound marketing.  HubSpot recommended CMS (Content Management System) expert, Kent Ecklor of CDK Global, will help us navigate the enterprise of marketing automation.  Kent’s CDK case study and his insight on tools and applications will leave you confident in selecting and structuring a marketing automation system that grow sales, boosts market presence, and analyzes performance.

You will also learn about:
– Considerations for structuring your inbound marketing strategies
– Structuring your CMS to generate, nurture & manage sales leads
– Create a lead scoring system within your CMS
– Understand the future of CMS and inbound marketing platforms

CDK Global is a B2B company that provides integrated technology solutions to over 26,500 Auto, Truck, Motorcycle, Marine, Recreational Vehicle and Heavy Equipment dealers throughout the world.

September 29, 2015 Experiential Rolling Tour: Creating a Hands-On Brand Experience

Mark_Fenne_reduced_weberlogo2Program: 6:00 – 8:30 PM

Registration and Networking: 6:00 – 7:00 PM (Includes beer, wine, & appetizers)

Presentation: 7:00 – 8:30 PM

Location: Weber Grill, 539 N State St , Chicago, IL 60654

The event registration table will be in the lobby of Hilton Garden Inn at the entrance to Weber Grill. Hilton Garden Inn Valet parking will be validated by Weber Grill and cost $16.

Speaker: Mark Fenne, Director of Channel Marketing, Weber Stephen Products. Read his bio here.

Attendees Will Learn:

1. How to employ the strategy of Test, Refine, Scale to a experiential marketing platform
2. How to create a hands-on-brand experience that drives results
3. How let the consumer data drive where your marketing investment is made

June 11, 2015 - CMO Panel - The Future of Marketing

Significant shifts are happening within the marketing landscape which are dramatically influencing how marketing leaders strategize and prioritize for success. While there’s lots of uncertainty, the only thing that is clear is that sticking to the status quo will likely result in failure.

Increasingly, marketers must evaluate changing media, customer behaviors, technology platforms and talent to set their organizations up for success in the near-term future. They must also consider altering the way in which they promote their brands, incorporate new outlets, collaborate with internal teams and external partners to create more dynamic and efficient marketing teams that drive results.

Chicago AMA brings together a panel of leading CMOs to discuss:
1) Digital disruption
2) Changing demographics and customer behaviors
3) Data-driven marketing
4) Content marketing and ROI


Megan Bueschel

Megan Bueschel

SVP/Chief Marketing Officer

Mario Tricoci Hair Salons & Day Spas

Sandy Kolkey

Sandy Kolkey

Chief Marketing Officer

Turtle Wax, Inc

Patrick Bernardi

Patrick Bernardi

Chief Marketing Officer

Hu-Friedy Mfg. Co.

Daniel Ash

Daniel Ash

Chief Marketing Officer

The Chicago Community Trust


Pete Krainik

Pete Krainik

Founder and CEO

The CMO Club

February 26, 2015 - U.S. Cellular® Brings Shark Tank to Main Street

The Art & Science of Partner Affiliation to Elevate and Expand Your Brand Story
Join us on 2/26 as we host another thought-provoking event in our Evening with Experts series. This time it’s Cristel Turner, Director of Brand Advertising, Strategy and Business Marketing walking us through U.S. Cellular’s strategic partnership with Shark Tank.

Learn branding & partnership best practices and network with your marketing peers at the uber cool 1871 Chicago. Come to be inspired, make connections and get applicable takeaways to enhance your own brand, marketing and partner strategies.


Being the 5th largest national wireless carrier, U.S. Cellular has 23 markets of operation where they need to build awareness and credibility amongst business owners. Their regional spot buys have historically prohibited them from executing large-scale national partnerships that their competitors have successfully leveraged to drive visibility and credibility (NFL, The Voice, NCAA, VMAs)… partnerships that would never even begin to pay for themselves for U.S. Cellular.


How can U.S. Cellular crack the code and find someone with big enough shoulders for the brand to stand on to scale their brand exposure, while still staying committed to the smaller markets they choose to serve?


Go to your consumers vs. getting them to come to you! It was clear that access was the missing link for business owners in their markets. Like the brand, they too were “the underdog” in comparison to the startup culture in major urban centers, lacking the mentorship/advice, knowledge, and resources to take their business ideas to the next level.

They saw an opportunity to positively impact the lives of business owners in their markets as “the champions of small-town entrepreneurial access.” And against all odds as a regional buyer, U.S. Cellular knew just the partner to bring their vision to life.

Introducing…Shark Tank…one of the most sought-after properties by brands. In today’s ‘start-up era,’ it has exploded into pop culture. Its Sharks have become national celebrities and idols for aspiring entrepreneurs. The program has seen tremendous audience growth entering its 6th Season and caters to a loyal, business savvy fan base.

The Results:

Borrowed equity from Shark Tank moved the needle for U.S. Cellular and then some. Their regionally-targeted program generated national exposure beyond just their footprint, granting them visibility and credibility on the same level playing field as their competitors. These results can’t be bought, especially from a standard media buy.

Speaker: Cristel Turner, Director, Brand Advertising, Strategy & Business Marketing, U.S. Cellular®

Cristel TurnerCristel Turner, Director, Brand Advertising, Strategy & Business Marketing, U.S. Cellular®

A seasoned Brand and Communications Strategist with both consumer and B2B experience across CPG and retail technology sectors. Well known as an “unconventional creative thinker”, with a strong muscle for leading and collaborating on: brand turnarounds, launching new initiatives, new product positioning and integrated marketing communications planning & content development.

I have extensive agency management experience and well versed in creative content development across disciplines including digital. I have vast leadership experiences across consumer insights, CRM, marketing communications, and innovation “white space” scoping within a variety of food categories: Cheese, Beverages, Desserts, Enhancers, Meals/Frozen.

Jazzed by the fuzzy front-end of problem solving; I enjoy applying innovative thinking to unlock consumer opportunity through creative messaging, new product/service scoping or refreshing brand strategies.

Valued as a thought leader inside of Kraft, I directed new campaign creation for America’s beloved brands (e.g. Kraft Cheese, Miracle Whip, Jell-O, A1, Kraft Mac & Cheese) and lead the launch design and editorial creation for the Kraft Food & Family CRM program while consulting on acquisition optimization models.

In February 2011, I began successfully leading the development of a new juice platform for PepsiCo with projected potential of $150MM – $175MM.

Joined U.S. Cellular in 2012 to help transform brand marketing including a fully integrated Small Business effort to grow base revenue of over $400MM

Check out our photos of previous Evening with Experts events! A special thank you to all attendees, sponsors, speakers, and volunteers for making each one a success.

Photos courtesy Paul Audia.