If you ever played on a sports team, you agree that Aristotle’s quote “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” rings true. The same can be said about AMA Baltimore. In the last nine years, I’ve learned this is a community which demonstrates that together, everyone achieves more. It’s a community which is committed to providing top-level networking and educational opportunities resulting in advancement for marketers. It’s a community which I’d like to personally express my gratitude towards having served as Chapter President over the past two years. It’s almost hard for me to put in words how optimistic I am about the future growth of this organization.
Some of you reading this may have previously heard me share my story about my journey with AMA Baltimore. If it wasn’t for an interaction with former Chapter President Luba Abrams, I can’t say I’d be where I am today as a marketing professional. In the summer between my junior and senior years in college, I interned at Constellation Energy. However, my role was not marketing related in the slightest. One of the summer activities which the organization offered for interns was a scavenger hunt throughout the Inner Harbor. Keisha Clarke-English, Manager, Marketing Programs of BGE, a subsidiary of Constellation Energy, spoke during lunch. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to connect with her, but when I returned to my desk that day, I looked up her contact information on the company’s intranet and sent her a note. I shared that I was a marketing student and would be interested in learning more about her role with BGE and career as a marketer. I didn’t expect for Keisha to reply to my unsolicited email. However, to my surprise, when I arrived at the office the next day, not only did I receive a reply, but she coordinated a personal visit to the BGE office and arranged for me to attend multiple marketing meetings. The first person I met upon my arrival was incoming President Luba Abrams, and before leaving their office, I had a conversation which would unknowingly impact my career as a marketer in years to come. As a result, I assumed the role as the Chapter’s Collegiate Relations Student Liaison bridging the gap between college students and the professional marketing community. Fast forward to today, AMA Baltimore has opened countless doors providing me leadership and educational opportunities which is why I have an extremely deep appreciation for the organization. All of this during a time where the marketing industry and landscape continues to evolve and change at a pace more rapid than ever before.
Attendees from past events have heard as we begin our programs stating that the “what” we do is AMA Baltimore and the “how” we do it is through our volunteers. AMA Baltimore serves as Maryland’s leading provider of networking, educational programming, and resources for marketing professionals. In simple terms, our core focus is to make marketers (ranging from undergrad students to C-level) better marketers.
Having served on the AMA Baltimore Board since 2009 in a variety of capacities, I have come to learn a few core principles (our team is well aware as I have exhaustively stated over the past few years) which are the lifeblood of what we do:
- We’re everything with our volunteers and nothing without them. As a volunteer-run organization (without a paid staff or management association), we’re only as strong as the volunteers we have in place. Fortunately, we have an AMAzing leadership team who is committed to building their committees to achieve our goals.
- If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. Like anything in life or business, planning is a key element in order to achieve success. We have committed ourselves to planning out everything from our programming calendar to content strategy in order to support the Greater Baltimore’s growing community of modern marketers with high-value networking, educational programming, and resources.
- The more you give, the more you get. Whether you are a sponsor, a volunteer, or a member of our organization, as cliché as it sounds, the more you give, the more you get. Especially in a place like Baltimore, these experiences are amplified because of the small-town feel this city has. There’s a reason why they call it Smaltimore. If you haven’t been fortunate to experience this, go ahead and give a little.
- Fun is at the forefront of our success. This is applicable to both our volunteers as well as our organization as a whole. We’re not going to be successful as a volunteer-run organization if we don’t ensure that our volunteers are having fun and passionate about where they’re spending their time outside of work or personal lives. The same goes for our Greater Baltimore marketing community.
If you’re looking to get more involved with AMA Baltimore, meet new professionals, or improve your marketing knowledge, here are a few things you can do:
- Volunteer. We’re always looking for volunteers and appreciate everything they do for our organization. As referenced earlier, “We are everything with our volunteers and nothing without them.”
- Attend events. Our programming lineup will include educational content featuring local and national brands and networking opportunities with leading agencies in the area.
- Join! Become a member and get involved in the Baltimore marketing community, gain access to AMA resources, and grow as a professional.
It has been an incredible journey to date with AMA Baltimore and I couldn’t be more excited to see where the organization grows to. My last two years serving as our Chapter President have been rewarding beyond any experience I could have imagined when I signed up for the job. If you haven’t drank the AMA Kool-Aid, ask me or any of the other Board members at an upcoming event and we’ll be happy to share some with you. I am honored to pass the leadership torch to Joe Wagner who is an individual beyond qualified for the role of President to elevate our Chapter to greater heights. Remember, you heard it here, so don’t be surprised when you experience a more AMAzing Baltimore marketing community than you ever have in the past.