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 seven committeesevents 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.

December 2018: Laís Titton

Marketing & Sales Consultant, Stratus Communications, Inc.
Event Volunteer, AMA Chicago

“Lias has made an enthusiastic comeback as our leading Event Volunteer when she returned recently to the United States from a short hiatus in Paris. She single-handedly pulled together our October Connex event at the last minute without a blink or hesitation. She went into action with little direction or support to organize our networking event on the spot without missing a beat.” – Judi Myers, Director, Volunteer Talent Management, AMA Chicago

Do you want to recognize an outstanding volunteer? Complete our nomination form.

There are many ways to get involved with AMA Chicago. Learn more


November 2018: Elina Yufa

Associate Digital Manager, Hollister Incorporated
Higher Ed & Collegiate Volunteer, AMA Chicago

“Elina has been a tremendous contributor to the Strategic Relations team for the past 2.5 years. Her energy and passion in helping me launch our higher ed and collegiate relations initiative have been amazing. Recently she successfully planned and executed a super meet-up for our local collegiate chapters. The event was well attended and the enthusiasm amongst the chapters was great. We continue to grow our connections in the higher ed space, and Elina is a huge part of that. I’m happy to have Elina on my team—she’s a super talent!” – Dean Petrulakis, VP, Strategic Relations, AMA Chicago

October 2018: Heather Wright

Marketing and Membership Communications Coordinator, American Association of Diabetes Educators
Email Coordinator, AMA Chicago

“Heather has put forth awesome efforts, especially filling in for the Communication Team!” – Laura Sorg, Director, Email Communications, AMA Chicago

September 2018: Cheryl Gill

Independent Brand Marketing, Innovation and Strategy Consultant, BlueGill Marketing Consultants, LLC
Associate Director, SIGs, AMA Chicago

“Cheryl Gill took over the role of Associate Director of our SIG program in July with gusto! She has organized the chairs of each SIGs into a cohesive group that are producing more SIGs per month than we have had in a few years. Cheryl stepped up as a volunteer with professionalism and energy!” – Bonnie Massa, AMA Chicago President

August 2018: Shannon Lee

VP, Creative and Engagement, StudioNorth
Director of Communications, AMA Chicago

“In Shannon’s short time as Director, Communications on the AMA Chicago Board, she used her leadership savvy to dive in head-first and build consensus across committees, inspire volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, and deploy marketing solutions that have resulted in positive outcomes for our members.” – Chris Cacci, AMA Chicago President-elect

July 2018: Jill Rossini

Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer, Palmer Printing & Conundrum Marketing Solutions
Program Volunteer, AMA Chicago

“Jill joined AMA Chicago volunteers as a member of our programming team and quickly jumped in with both feet and a ton of energy for creating events that resonate with our members. She has contacted speakers for three different events with the level of professionalism and respect the chapter has enjoyed from its volunteers for decades. Thank you Jill and welcome to the AMA Chicago family!” – Bonnie Massa, AMA Chicago President

June 2018: Ashley Schmitz

Senior HR Business Partner, Stantec
Secretary, AMA Chicago

Ashley has dedicated her time as Director, Volunteer Management in the 2017-18 year and has grown the team to over 120 volunteers. She has created a semi-annual volunteer recruitment event for members to learn about chapter opportunities and discover how their skill sets align.

“I’ve jumped in feet first to AMA Chicago and have been delighting in it ever since!”

Ashley is excited to start her second term as the Secretary where her focus will be on board succession, building off her work in volunteer management.

May 2018: Jessica Schaeffer

Director of Marketing & Communications, LaSalle Network
VP, Community Programming, AMA Chicago

Jessica is nominated for her work leading a team that has hosted nearly 20 programming events in the 2017-18 year. In addition to overseeing programming content, speakers and venues, Jessica has partnered with fellow board members whose work has allowed us to offer all community programs for free to members. This was AMA Chicago’s number one goal and has had a material impact on our membership. Additionally, these programs are rated at over 90% satisfaction by attendees, showing that we are delivering meaningful content to our members.

Thank you, Jessica!

April 2018: Ashlee Earl

Community Banking Consultant
Treasurer, AMA Chicago

We’re proud to recognize Ashlee Earl, CPA, CGMA as our March Volunteer of the Month! She was nominated by Bonnie Massa for her long-standing service of four years as Treasurer on the Board’s Executive committee, providing financial guidance and reporting.

Thanks for all your help Ashlee!

February 2018: Lauren Goeing

Volunteer, AMA Chicago

We’d like to congratulate and recognize Lauren Goeing as Volunteer of the Month!

As Event Volunteer Coordinator, Lauren has demonstrated reliability and leadership in her work. Her ability to streamline processes and train volunteers ensures that every program is a success. Lauren continues to show leadership in her lead role for Connex events and her cheerful personality does not go unnoticed!

When asked about the trait she’s most proud of, Lauren says, “I’ve heard over and over again that my positive energy is contagious. At the end of the day, we have a choice in how things affect us. We can let things bring us down or always try to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Thank you for making us all feel welcome!

December 2017: Chris Cacci

Chief Creative Officer, CACCICO
Director, Website Experience, AMA Chicago
Member since 2017

Chris Cacci owns her own creative agency, and as a business owner, was actively looking to re-engage with business organizations. She was fearful of become “myopic,” as she describes it, and urging to not only network, but also to be informed on relevant and current marketing subjects.

“Running your own business is extremely hard work,” Cacci said. “Knowing what and who is out there, what other people are doing, how they are doing it, what resources might be available to you, learning different points of view—that’s what brought me to the AMA. I have also met some very nice people in the short time I’ve been on the board.”

Cacci says she feels she has been able to obtain all of those as a AMA member. But she is also very active within the Chicago Chapter. And her hard work has allowed her to earn December’s Volunteer of The Month Award.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m the Director of Website Experience for AMA. I am responsible for providing a user-friendly experience for our membership and potential members.

I’m the Chief Creative officer at CACCICO, LLC. We are a virtual team with a focus on qualitative research, design thinking and visual design, rooted in emotional branding.

What career stage are you in?

Somewhere along the line I lost count as to how many years I’ve been in marketing (haha!) It never gets old. I started as a brand designer, then became a design strategist. Now I run a business so I have my fingers in everything. I think it’s important to reinvent yourself as the practice evolves. It can be very tough to stay relevant in the current business landscape.

What advice would you give to marketers looking to advance their career?

Being relevant is something that you should always pay attention to, as early as 5 years into your career. Sometimes it means making tough choices to leave a job or work longer hours.

Meet people. I don’t necessarily mean “network” which has horrible connotations for most people, including me. Meet people in a way that feels authentic to you. I think that is one of the most valuable assets of being an AMA member or a member of any professional organization. There are 6 degrees of separation — let it work for you. And be patient enough to let relationships evolve naturally. Do something where people can get to know you. The difference between meeting people and networking is that networking implies that you want something from someone. If you are not a natural at it, that will push people away.

What is success to you?

Speaking specifically from a business POV, my success is my client’s success. I know that sounds like a pollyanna response but it’s true. If I make my clients shine and make their job easier, I’ve succeeded. If I answered this from a personal POV, I would say health, honestly and surrounding yourself with people you love.

Little known facts about you (top of mind quick answers)

Worthy splurge: Shoes!

Favorite thing to do in Chicago in the summer: Go running on Chicago’s lakefront

Three words to describe yourself: Tenacious, fair, people tell me I’m funny

Best advice you’ve ever received: “We know you can design, that’s why you’re sitting here, so what else ya got?” This advice was given to me by my mentor. It taught me that people hire more than what they see in your portfolio.

What makes you forget to eat? Is this a trick question? I wish I had an answer for this.

What are you grateful for: That list is too long.

If you could have one magic power, what would it be? To be a great salesperson.

What gives you goose bumps? Taking an amazing photo.

November 2017: Beth Marshall

Senior Manager, Marketing Communications, Ariel Investments
Associate Director, Analytics, AMA Chicago
Member since 2008
What brought you to Chicago AMA?

When I relocated to Chicago, I felt the Chicago AMA would be the perfect place to meet other marketers, and get a sense of the local marketing environment – I was right on both counts.

What unique challenges do you face today as a marketer and how do you leverage your membership to turn those challenges into opportunities?

Marketing has become much more technology-based over the last 20 years, and it’s challenging to acquire those skills outside of your day-to-day job. As an AMA volunteer, I had an opportunity to use email, analytics, and design tools, then transfer that experience to my job.

What are the most valued benefits you get for being a member?

Exposure to a wide range of marketing disciplines through thoughtful programming, and opportunities to make a difference to the chapter through volunteering while learning something new.

What event takeaways have you identified and implemented in your position?

How to use Google Analytics to understand your website!

What are you working on now that excites you?

We are developing a new approach to creating marketing and compliance pieces so they draw on a central data repository to ensure accuracy and consistency. Additional benefits include cost savings, and reduced time to market.

Little known facts about you (top of mind quick answers)

Worthy splurge: The Chef’s tasting menu at Macku Sushi

Touristy thing that you secretly love: The Architectural Boat Tour

Favorite thing to do in Chicago in the summer: The Green City Market in Lincoln Park

How do you press pause? Reading mysteries

What makes you forget to eat? Nothing, absolutely nothing

Do you know someone who is the perfect candidate for recognition as the Volunteer of the Month? Complete the form below. If your nominee is selected, you will hear from us within two weeks.

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