AMA Triangle board members serve one-year terms, from July to the following June. Each Spring the membership elects a President, President-Elect, Secretary and Treasurer. Vice Presidents and Directors are appointed by the President.
Karl Sakas, President
Karl Sakas is an agency consultant and business coach, specializing in eliminating growing pains at fast-growing digital agencies. Through Sakas & Company, he’s worked with agencies on six continents. Karl founded and runs an online community for 1,500+ digital agencies in 50 countries. He previously led business operations at two agencies and started in the marketing industry as a freelance web designer while in high school. Within AMA Triangle, Karl has served as Conference Director for High Five 2016, VP of Programming, and VP of Community Relations. Outside of work, he volunteers as a bartender on a 1930s railroad car. You can reach Karl by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leah Dorsey is a client services and marketing specialist who works for Method Savvy, a Durham-based digital marketing agency. She began her career in marketing after graduating with her MBA from North Carolina State University. Before entering the marketing world, Leah worked in the fields of event planning and interior design, both of which she remains passionate about. Leah is also an aspiring writer and public speaker. You can follow her creative writing journey on her personal blog. If you are visiting the area, be sure to reach out to Leah as she is a lover of food, live music, and craft cocktails and will be able to provide suggestions on the must visit spots in the Triangle. You can reach Leah by emailing her at email@example.com.
Stan Phelps is the founder of 9 INCH, a Cary based consultancy that helps brands obtain customers that are four times as valuable as ordinary customers through the Goldfish Rule. He’s the author of the Purple Goldfish, Green Goldfish, Golden Goldfish and a contributor to Forbes. He works with senior leaders to focus on meaningful differentiation to win the hearts of both employees and customers. Driven by client objectives and inspired by bold vision, Stan creates custom keynotes, workshops, and programs that are memorable and on brand, inspiring businesses to become REMARK-able by design. You can reach Stan by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Colleen is an associate in the Market Access and Outcomes Strategy group at RTI International, a non-profit research institute headquartered in Research Triangle Park. In this role, Colleen provides consulting services for clients in the pharmaceutical and medical device industry. Prior to joining RTI, Colleen worked as an account executive at Capstrat, where she first fell in love with integrative marketing, public relations, and creative strategy. In addition to healthcare communications, Colleen is an experienced writer, ESL teacher, and journalist. She holds a degree in English from UNC-Chapel Hill and served as an assistant editor for The Daily Tar Heel. In her spare time, Colleen enjoys traveling , trying new recipes, and hiking with her husband and Bernese Mountain dog, Camden. You can reach Colleen by emailing her at email@example.com.
Matt Illuzzi, Treasurer
Matt Illuzzi is President and Founder of New Day Business Advisors. Mr. Illuzzi graduated cum laude from the Business School at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ in 1998. He is a Certified Public Accountant in both North Carolina and New York and is a member of the AICPA. You can reach Matt by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
John-Paul is a founding partner of the law firm Ortiz & Schick, PLLC, which focuses on business law, commercial real estate, construction law, civil litigation, and surety law. John-Paul and his firm provide transaction and dispute resolution advice to clients big and small, from restaurants to marketing firms, to general contractors, to IT firms, to surety companies, to commercial real estate developers. Their motto is, “Big firm expertise, without the big firm.” John-Paul is a graduate of Davidson College and received his law degree from UNC-Chapel Hill. Born and raised in Venezuela, John-Paul is fluent in Spanish. He lives in Durham with his wife, Stacy, and their two sons. He serves as Vice President of the PFA at Sterling Montessori Academy and Charter School. John-Paul is an avid fan of 1980’s hair metal and rock n’ roll. You can reach John-Paul by emailing him at email@example.com.
Danny hopelessly falls in love with a lot of people he meets. The homeless man playing saxophone tirelessly in 96 degree heat. The kid who yells “Dad! Come check this band out!” The friendly elder gentleman who has swept the floors of The Berkley for 29 years and takes a special amount of time to explain that his grandma taught him about true work ethic and that kids today, just do not get it. He is the co-President of Brand Fuel a full-service promotional products agency that helps its clients elevate their brands. He is also the active co-founder of Band Together, a volunteer-driven nonprofit that uses live music as a platform for social change that has donated $6.5 million dollars to The Triangle community. You can reach Danny by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meredith Oliver, CSP, MIRM
Meredith is a sales and marketing strategist. She is the president and creative director of Meredith Communications, a digital marketing agency in Raleigh, NC. Meredith holds a Masters Degree in Corporate Communication and Technology from Rollins College. She is the author of three books: 1) FANtastic Marketing: Leverage Your Fan Factor, Build a Blockbuster Brand, Score New Customers, and Wipe Out the Competition, 2) FANtastic Selling: The 10 Undeniable Traits of Rock-Star, Top-Producing, Quota-Busting Salespeople, and 3) Click Power: The Proven System Home Builders Use to Drive More Traffic, Leads, and Sales. Meredith is a sales and marketing keynote speaker and holds the prestigious CSP (Certified Speaking Professional®) designation, the highest designation conferred by the National Speakers Association. She has spoken to audiences from 10 to 2,000 at prominent industry events such as the International Builders Show and National Automobile Dealers Annual Conference and Expo. You can reach Meredith at email@example.com.
Lars Bredahl, VP of Membership
Lars works on the mobile product team at BB&T where he develops strategic and tactical plans for the award-winning U by BB&T mobile banking apps. Before he joined BB&T, Lars managed digital marketing for First Bank and worked in the agency space where he assisted a variety of clients with digital strategy, social media campaigns, and email marketing. When he unplugs, Lars enjoys traveling with his wife, brewery run clubs, and authentic Carolina barbecue. You can reach Lars by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kelly Gelinne joined Dixon Hughes Goodman, a public accounting firm, in 2014 after five years in the engineering industry. In her role as Senior Marketing Coordinator at DHG, her areas of focus are proposal management, digital marketing and public relations. In addition to her work with AMA Triangle, she also is active in the Raleigh Chamber Young Professionals Network and the Wake County Economic Development Marketing Committee. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from UNC Chapel Hill. In her free time, she enjoys traveling the world and exploring Durham’s restaurant scene. You can reach Kelly by emailing her at email@example.com.
Peter is a wonderful addition to the AMA Triangle Board. We are excited to see what the board will accomplish this year. You can reach Peter by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tricia Lucas is Co-Founder of Lucas Select, Inc., an award-winning recruiting form, and has over 25 years experience with technology companies in sales, marketing, recruiting, and business development roles. She is a published author in The Huffington Post, CBS Small Business Pulse, Recruiter.com, SheKnows.com, Jobvite.com, Bust.com, and Ellevate.com
In addition to 9 startups, Tricia’s experience includes roles at IBM, SAS, NSTAR Global Services, and QMS. Tricia holds an MBA, and is an AMA board member, VP of Sponsorships, former Job Bank Director, Co-Chair of The Job Transitions SIG, and Advisory Director of Social Recruiting Practices for Career Odyssey. She is also a devoted supporter of Animal Welfare issues, with roles as HSUS District Leader and NC Voters for Animal Welfare, Second Chance, and the SPCA. You can reach Tricia by emailing her at email@example.com.
Catherine Locke is currently the Marketing Director for the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation where she leads the marketing and communications efforts for 41+ state parks, recreation areas and nature preserves as well as working closing with their non-profit arm, Friends of State Parks. Previously she was the Senior Merchandiser for Acosta Sales and Marketing where is was responsible for marketing and branding over 250 American brands within the United Kingdom. Catherine has lived in three different countries and three different states in the last 15 years following her husband and his job. Now, it’s her turn as she makes the Triangle her permanent home. You can reach Catherine by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christine Johnson, Executive Director
Christine is a wonderful addition to the AMA Triangle Board. We are excited to see what the board will accomplish this year.