AMA Chicago’s Shared Interest Groups (SIGs) are highly interactive, deep-dive workshop environments built around a common interest or topic. An expert gives a short presentation, then members engage, react and collaborate to learn from each other. We offer six SIG communities, each of which draws a diverse mix of marketers who challenge the status quo across industry verticals and disciplines.

This SIG features all things branding, from the overall brand journey to the latest awareness and development strategies. Topics have included the steps to building a brand identity, meaningful social engagement, and evolving from pipeline to platform thinking.

SIGs are free for AMA Chicago members, and registration is required. Non-members are welcome to attend for a fee – or to join for free access to all of our monthly events. For more information about our SIGs or current volunteer opportunities, contact AMA Chicago’s Director of SIGs.

Upcoming SIG events

There are no SIGs 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 SIG Events

Thursday, May 7 – SIG: Nonprofit

SIG: Nonprofit – Think Like a Consultant: Fresh perspective from the outside

Thursday, March 7
8:30 to 11:00 a.m.

Association Management Center
8735 W Higgins Rd #300
Chicago, IL 60631

Sponsored by:

When teams get stuck, especially at smaller nonprofits, they reach out to consultants to provide the fresh perspective and innovative ideas they need to help meet business goals.

At this SIG: Nonprofit, three marketing consultants will share case studies, tips and insights that you can take back to your team to drive results. You’ll hear from and discuss challenges with panelists that include a senior market research consultant, a design agency principal and the CEO of a content marketing consultancy, all focused on increasing your organization’s success.

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn how to approach design-based initiatives objectively, and how to bring past project experience in to broaden your viewpoint.
  • Think like a storyteller to unlock the potential for innovation and growth, not only inside your organization and company, but for you as a leader.
  • Create growth by analyzing information you may already have in new ways.

8:30 – 9:00 a.m.: Registration and Networking
9:00 – 10:00 a.m.: Program and Q&A
10:00 – 11:00 a.m. Networking

Light breakfast will be served.


Patti Minglin
CEO, Go Girl Communications

Beth Roth
Co-founder, Thrive Creative

Beth Zemach
Senior Consultant, Association Management Center

Nikki Golden, CAE
Executive Director, International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery

Wednesday, April 10 – SIG: Popup

SIG: Popup – Big Data & Cybersecurity: What you need to know

Wednesday, April 10
6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza
Suite 1212
Chicago, IL 60654

Sponsored by:

Protecting your company’s data is paramount. With the amount of headlines we are seeing around data breaches, code hacks, and cybersecurity nightmares, we are all well aware of this credo. However, do you know the foundational elements of what will create a safe data environment for you customers and company data?

As marketers, we clearly understand the role that big data plays in an organization but how can we ensure that we are controlling this data as it comes to the new challenges our companies are facing with cybersecurity concerns? Consider for a moment what one line of mis-typed code can do. A small glitch in the Google+ software caused data breach and cost Google a fine of $52,000M. Is your company willing to take a risk of this size? Probably not.

Join us for an intimate gathering where we will break down the elements of Cybersecurity and work through some scenarios where big data and Cybersecurity overlap. In this session, you’ll learn the tools needed to bring your concerns to other members of the C-Suite, particularly the CEO and CTO. You’ll also learn simple ways to protect company information, and to ensure its confidentiality and integrity, whilst maintaining its availability through your marketing endeavors. Afterall, Data Security is not only the job of the CTO or Chief Security officer. It is also important that all members of the C-Suite are up to date and aligned with the company’s data security plan to avoid any unfavorable situations.

We will cover:

  • Basic Cybersecurity Definitions
  • Types of Risk to Watch out For
  • Case Studies of Companies that Have Failed and Succeeded
  • The Tools CMOs need to Contribute to the Cybersecurity Conversation
  • Hands on Workshop for Communicating your Concerns to the CTO

6:00 – 6:30 p.m.: Registration and Networking
6:30 – 800 p.m.: Program and Q&A
Light supper will be served.


Philip Bice
Business Development North America – Security and Intelligence Services,
BAE Systems Applied Intelligence

Philip has worked for BAE Systems – 3nd largest defense contractor in the world – for the last 9 years in various business development leadership roles including managing Global Partnerships, the US Enterprise Sales Team, and spearheading new product and service offerings. BAE Systems is at the forefront of information security and cyberwarfare – for Defense and Intelligence agencies as well as Private sector businesses. During this age of digital transformation, big data, and AI – BAE Systems is often called on to help facilitate a secure transition into this new frontier for marketers and business leaders.

Previous to BAE Systems, Philip has had sales and marketing roles at technology companies, bootstrapped 3 businesses with 2 successful exists, and is deeply passionate about information security and creating highly repeatable and profitable processes in go to market efforts.

Lauren Ramsey
Advisory CMO, Parkar Consulting & Labs

Lauren is a social media content strategist, community manager, podcaster and promoter of brands and bands through Betsy Bash, a boutique social media agency. She has developed brand and social media strategies for million-dollar consulting firms, New York Times Best Selling Authors, and businesses globally. At Parkar Consulting, Lauren leads the digital strategy and fosters our vibrant network in Chicago.

About Parkar Consulting – A New Paradigm; Defining our Karmic Culture
Parkar Consulting is a technology engineering consulting firm that focuses on big data, cybersecurity and data migration challenges where skill and experience are paramount. Our clients are pushing the boundaries in their respective fields, and we are right by their side helping them cross the finish line of their next big product or software release. We passionately solve complex problems for our clients that require an internal paradigm shift, supported by our dedication to karma and giving back. Whether you are facing technology adoption, acceleration or implementation—we’ve got the team to make it happen.

November 14, 2018 – SIG: Nonprofit

SIG: Nonprofit – Sharing Your Value: Content strategy for associations

Wednesday, November 14
5:30 to 8:00 p.m.

AMA Headquarters
130 E Randolph, 22nd Floor
Chicago, IL 60607

Especially on smaller nonprofit teams, it’s easy to forget we have a plethora of content –in every area of the organization—that we can be using to share our value to potential members and customers. Learn from content strategy guru Hilary Marsh, president and chief strategist of Content Company.

Hilary will share the difference between content strategy and content marketing strategy, how to create and execute a content strategy regardless of organization size, and how to ensure your content is effective for reaching your goals. Bring your content strategy questions and challenges to what’s sure to be an interactive discussion full of solutions and real world success stories.

Key takeaways:
– The difference between content strategy and content marketing strategy
– Doing content strategy work in a small-staff organization
– How to make sure your content is effective

5:30pm-6:00pm: Registration and Networking
6:00pm-7:30pm: Program, Q&A

Our Speaker

Hilary Marsh
Chief Strategist, Principal
Content Company, Inc.

Hilary Marsh is president and chief strategist of Content Company, a content and digital strategy consultancy. She helps associations get better results from their content by improving their practices for content creation, governance, management, and promotions. Content Company’s clients include the American Bar Association, Endocrine Society, National Association of Convenience Stores, Institute of Food Technologists, and Florida Realtors.

As managing director of from 2005 to 2011, Hilary oversaw the National Association of Realtors’ website and created the association’s social media strategy. A leading content strategist since 1999, she developed and taught the first graduate-level content strategy courses for the User Experience Design Masters program at Kent State University. She is also a frequent speaker at national and international conferences.

November 1, 2018 – SIG: Executive Circle

SIG: Executive Circle – Navigating & Managing Your Brand in an Era of Mergers & Acquisitions

Thursday, November 1
5:30 to 8:00 p.m.

AMA Headquarters
130 E Randolph, 22nd Floor
Chicago, IL 60607

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) inevitably transform brands and organizations. One thing has been consistently proven: Companies benefit as a brand and as a business from upfront thinking and planning. How can today’s CMOs and their teams prepare?

Our illustrious panel of marketing executives will share their M&A experiences and lessons learned from multiple vantage points. We’ll hear from the perspective of a multi-billion dollar corporation built on the acquisitions of hundreds of companies. And we’ll learn from a smaller but booming company that was acquired by a more established brand to infuse new energy and growth. Together, our executives will share insights, surprises and suggestions on how to best be prepared and plan for the changes.

5:30-6:00 pm – Check-In & Networking
6:00-8:00 pm – Program, Discussion, Q&A


Linda Bartman
Chief Operating Officer
Trunk Club, a Nordstrom Company

Phil Clement
Managing Partner
Chartwell Advisory Partners, LLC

Roland Jacobs
President & CEO
AspireUp, LLC

Jodi Navta
Chief Marketing Officer
SMS Assist, LLC

Jennifer J. Fondrevay
Chief Humanity Officer & Founder
Day1 Ready, M&A consultancy

October 25, 2018 – SIG: Popup

SIG: Popup – Blockchain & Big Data: What you need to know for 2019

Thursday, October 25
8:00 to 10:00 a.m.

121 W. Wacker, 29th Floor, Suite 1

Sponsored by:

Blockchain. You’ve heard about it, but do you understand it? As one of the hottest topics of 2018, blockchain is revolutionizing the way data is stored, shared, and accounted for. Its decentralized database structure provides the critical solution for companies who engage in complicated transactions; need extra attention applied to sourcing of items, ingredients, or products; and so much more. One of the most fascinating aspects of blockchain is how it interacts with and manages big data.

In this SIG event, we will workshop how the principles of big data and blockchain can come together to help marketers and data analysts develop a 2018 solution for their companies data problems.

Join us as Lauren Ramsey and Jason Cohen lead a lively and interactive workshop providing hands-on knowledge of what blockchain is, how you can use it and how it coordinates with big data.

Key takeaways:
– Understanding what blockchain is and how it can be implemented in your company
– Hands-on knowledge of how blockchain and big data can be used in coordination to solve data and security issues
– Greater success in implementing emerging technologies into your marketing plan

8:00-8:30 am – Check-In, Breakfast, & Networking
8:30-9:30 am – Program, Discussion
9:30-10:00 am – Q&A & Networking

Download the presentation.


Lauren Ramsay
Advisory CMO
Parkar Consulting

Jason Cohen
Big Data Block

#ParkarPaysItForward – Thought Leadership Events
At Parkar, we harness the power of industry leaders to involve everyone and anyone who’s interested in our thought leadership events and series to attend and collaborate with us. We believe in not just innovating software and services, but also trailblazing knowledge-sharing that both educates and inspires. We call it Parkar Pays It Forward #PPIF. Email to pre-send your questions.
Join our meetup group for more events

September 12, 2018 – SIG: Marketing Insights

Practical Marketing Applications of Design Thinking
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
5:30 to 8:00 p.m.

153 West Ohio Street
Chicago, IL 60654

Sponsored by:

Design thinking is HOT…but also misunderstood and often misapplied. At its core, design thinking refers to creative strategies used during a designer’s process. It matches people’s needs with what is feasible and viable to enhance value, build empathy with target markets and improve market share. How can the principles of design thinking help marketers and researchers bring a new lens to the problems we solve at work every day? Join us as Chris Cacci of CACCICO and Maggie Lewis of Studio Blue lead a lively and interactive workshop providing hands-on knowledge of the journey mapping framework that can be integrated in your organization right away.

Key Takeaways:

• Understanding of why and how design thinking adds value to marketing
• Hands-on knowledge of a tool that you can apply in your organization right away – journey mapping
• Greater success in getting initiatives proven, approved, and mapped for implementation

5:30pm-6:00pm: Registration and Networking
6:00pm-8:00pm: Program

Light supper will be served.

September 11, 2018 – SIG: Executive Circle

Leveraging New Media
Tuesday, September 11
5:30 to 8:00 p.m.

AMA Headquarters
130 E Randolph, 22nd Floor
Chicago, IL 60601

Brian Walker, CEO of AE Marketing Group, will share his experience launching the award-winning podcast, The Brand Lab Series™. The podcast provides C-suite executives and entrepreneurs advice and inspiration for running their businesses. Brian will share how you can leverage this new media opportunity to reach new audiences, build existing relationships and grow your business.

5:30pm-6:00pm: Registration and Networking
6:00pm-8:00pm: Program

Light supper will be served.

June 15, 2018 – SIG: Popup

Designing for an Omni-channel Audience
Friday, June 15, 2018
7:30 to 10:00 a.m.

Sponsored by:

Cushman and Wakefield
225 W Wacker Dr #3000
Chicago, IL 60606

Meeting your customers where they are, with experiences that seamlessly deliver on their wants and needs, is no easy task. As expectations grow higher, what steps can you take to ensure your message is consistent across every touchpoint along the customer journey?

While the multi-channel experience has led how brands do business, the emergence of omni-channel strategies—made possible by new technology and media—is upending traditional methods. During this exciting time, it’s increasingly pertinent that real conversations happen around how to engage and connect more deeply with customers.

Join 50,000feet and AMA Chicago for a morning of inspiring talks by industry-leading panelists across financial services, digital media, hospitality and more, and followed by interactive breakout sessions on the following:

– Multi-channel vs. omni-channel
– Moments or journeys, which matters more
– Taking a holistic view of the customer
– Omni-channel design thinking
– The future of customer experience

Expect to leave with new knowledge to deliver intuitive, integrated experiences and tactics to align your messaging, goals, objectives and design across every channel and every device. We look forward to seeing you there.

7:30am-8:00am: Registration and Networking
8:00am-10:00am: Presentation and Workshop

Coffee and light breakfast will be served.

June 5, 2018 – SIG: Nonprofit

Let’s Get Relevant: What are you doing that is different?
Tuesday, June 5, 2018
5:30 to 8:00 p.m.

AMA Headquarters
130 E. Randolph, 22nd Floor
Chicago, IL 60601

Hear from a panel of local marketing professionals about how they’re doing things different. Sometimes we get busy and tend to get stuck in the mind set of, “it’s what we’ve always done”. We’ll use this time to discuss new, fresh and innovative changes and how a new approach was used to sell change to Boards. Bring your issues to the meeting, where these seasoned experts will have time to counsel and share their insights to help you.

Key Takeaways:

– Hear what other marketing professionals are doing to keep their marketing fresh and relevant
– Learn some creative tactics to stay away from the mentality of “it’s what we’ve always done”
– Can change be sold to your Board? Sold to your internal team? Find out how other organizations did it.
– Experience peer to peer learning, there will be panelists with specific ideas but it will be an open discussion format

5:30pm-6:00pm: Registration and Networking
6:00pm-8:00pm: Program

Light supper will be served.

March 22, 2018 – SIG: Brand

Sparking Innovation: A Conversation with Barry Calpino
Thursday, March 22, 2018
7:30 to 10:00 a.m.

1500 W Carroll Ave
1500 West Carroll Avenue
Chicago, IL 60607

Hosted by Vivaldi, a leading growth strategy firm, this program is the second installment of AMA Chicago’s Brand SIG series. Barry Calpino, an experienced brand strategist, will introduce key principles of demand-based innovation and the learnings Barry has gathered throughout a storied career leading innovation for some of the greatest CPG companies.

The session will conclude with interactive and practical breakout discussions so everyone can share and take away a few lessons to apply to their own work.

7:30am-8:00pm: Registration and Networking
8:00am-9:30am: Presentation and Workshop
9:30am-10:00am: Networking

Coffee and light breakfast will be served.

March 6, 2018 – SIG: Executive Marketer

Powerful Positioning: Winning through emotional connections
Tuesday, March 6, 2018
7:30 to 10:00 a.m.

Lake Forest Graduate School of Management
1905 West Field Court
Lake Forest, IL 60045

Gary Kash is Founder & President Emeritus of Insights in Marketing and one of the most respected leaders in the marketing industry. With is experience and insights, he’ll lead attendees through a roadmap to successful positioning. Owning an effective positioning platform is critical to winning in today’s hyper-competitive marketplace whether you are a big brand, a small business or an employee. Yet, positioning is likely the most underutilized and abused asset in marketing.

This presentation will:
– Define/re-define positioning for you
– Explore its critical importance to brand health and growth. Well positioned:
– Brands and companies grow sales, profit and customer loyalty
– Employees are brands that move forward and upward
– Provide a blueprint so you can develop a winning platform
– Offer lots of examples and discussion to bring the concept to life

7:30am-8:00am: Registration and Networking
8:00am-9:30am: Presentation and Workshop
9:30am-10:00am: Networking
Coffee and light breakfast will be served.

February 22, 2018 – SIG: Market Research

Thursday, February 22, 2018
5:30 to 8:00 p.m.

Hosted by:

153 West Ohio Street
Chicago, IL 60654

Join La Sridhar for a global segmentation-targeting-positioning workshop with the new Market Research SIG from AMA Chicago. Her role as Global Director of Insights for MolsonCoors offers a unique perspective (and tools) on this in demand topic.

5:30pm-6:30pm: Registration and Networking
6:30pm-7:30pm: Program
7:30pm-8pm: Networking

Light supper will be served.

February 6, 2018 – SIG: Executive Circle

Disruption: Social impact-driven marking
Tuesday, February 6, 2018
5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

AMA Headquarters
130 E. Randolph, 22nd Floor
Chicago, IL 60601

Think disruptively! Kim Jung, Co-Founder and CEO of Rumi Spice (as seen on Shark Tank) will present about launching and marketing a disruptive startup.

Rumi is composed of former Army officers who served combat tours in Afghanistan. Since leaving the military, the co founders feel there is unfinished business left to support Afghanistan and its people. So Rumi Spice was founded to work directly with Afghan farmers to import exceptionally high quality saffron.

In Afghanistan, Rumi has hired 384 Afghan women, stood up three processing facilities, and have over 90 farmers in their network. Rumi makes up 3.6% of Afghanistan’s total foreign direct investment in agriculture. Rumi saffron now graces the tables and kitchens of The French Laundry, Daniel, Le Bernardin, Bouley, and the Culinary Institute of America.

Learn to think differently about marketing and social impact.

There will be a light dinner and drinks served.

January 16, 2018 – SIG: Nonprofit

A Case for Good: Creative ideas from nonprofit marketers
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

AMA Headquarters
130 E. Randolph, 22nd Floor
Chicago, IL 60601

As you’re planning for the year ahead, what will your non-profit’s marketing campaigns look like? How will they grab attention and communicate your mission in just a few seconds?

Join fellow non-profit and marketing professionals to see the latest examples of successful creative campaigns and other marketing ideas. A small group of speakers will share their tips and strategies before opening up for discussion. We welcome your bright ideas and encourage you to bring sample of your own work for group feedback. We’ll also have time for networking.

Key takeaways:
– Hear from your non-profit peers how they’re getting creative with their marketing strategies
– Discuss different methods of delivery from print, digital and content marketing to get great results
– Learn what works and what doesn’t work as this is an open audience discussion format

Drinks and light appetizers will be served.