The Baltimore Chapter of the American Marketing Association is an entirely volunteer-run organization. Each quarter, the Chapter selects a Featured Volunteer in order to recognize the extraordinary effort of these hard-working and dedicated individuals. The Featured Volunteers are nominated and voted on by the Chapter’s Executive Board.
Linda Gilmore of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee has been selected as the Featured Volunteer for Winter 2020. Gilmore is the business and community partnership manager for the City of Alexandria (VA). She manages workforce development initiatives, recently launching Strive & Thrive, which provides online events, services and training for employees and employers to help them overcome the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to her current role, Gilmore worked in marketing and sales for 25 years.
Gilmore previously served as Vice President of Membership and has enjoyed her longtime involvement with AMA Baltimore. “AMA allows me to remain connected to marketers at the local level, and I want to give back,” she said. After the events of the summer of 2020, Gilmore was inspired to take on her current role: “Given the social injustice we are witnessing, I felt it was important to come up with solutions and ways we can tackle the problem. I’m excited to see AMA Baltimore taking a step to give people of color a platform.”
On the DEI Committee, Gilmore promotes mentorship and support by recruiting black marketers to speak on panels about their experiences and provide internships and resume reviews to black students and recent graduates. “Linda’s contributions have been invaluable to AMA Baltimore as we work to make our community more inclusive and provide career growth opportunities for BIPOC marketers,” said Anne Rubin, Chapter President.
Gilmore has most enjoyed “working with professionals who want to raise their voice and are committed to authenticity.” She believes that the current virtual environment makes it easier to get involved and join the conversation, such as the recent AMA in the PM, “How to Be An Accomplice vs. An Ally to Your Black Coworkers.” Said Gilmore, “I’ve learned the importance of the vocabulary around the subject. It’s not enough to call yourself an ally; you need to be an accomplice in order to elevate the subject.”
Above all, Gilmore is motivated by the desire to contribute, summed up in her favorite quote by the late Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress: Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth. She emphasized, “Volunteering needs to come from the heart. I love that AMA Baltimore has embraced diversity, equity and inclusion, and I want to be part of the solution.”
To learn more about volunteering with AMA Baltimore, please visit http://amabaltimore.org/volunteer/