How is it December already?! What a year, right? But let’s back up a little…

In July 2019 we began our 2019-2020 AMA Triangle chapter year. Exciting! Our team put together a holistic strategic plan + we started working the plan. Our team met monthly to check in on progress (and was always in touch via Basecamp). Then in December 2020 we met to do a deep dive on the status against our strategic plan. Things still going well, woo! Then March 2020 happened — it took us by surprise as it did everyone. At first, we naively thought — okay, we’ll be back up + running in a month. Obviously, we were all wrong. But I’m incredibly proud of how our non-profit, volunteer-led team rallied through the end of our chapter year in July 2020. Our motto was always to leave the chapter better than we found it + our rally cry of the year was to heighten AMA Triangle’s SOUL…

    • S = simplify aka simplifying the experience for volunteers, members + those getting to know our community
    • O = operations aka creating efficiencies around process + platforms
    • U = unify aka bringing our community together in meaningful ways
    • L = listen aka having feedback loops + proactively asking for feedback from our community

And on August 28, 2020, we submitted our chapter’s Chapter Excellence Awards (CEA) submission. Our formal entry weighed in at 67 pages + our COVID-19 entry weighs in at 13 pages. Both were quite AMAzing.

What is the CEA, you may ask?

Established in 1974, it’s a way for AMA National to recognize AMA professional chapters for their outstanding achievements. In addition to recognizing the Chapter of the Year, the CEA program provides other chapters with an opportunity to highlight their commitment to excellence in leadership, membership, programming + communications. The entry form includes the following sections…

    • Leadership
    • Finance
    • Membership
    • Programming
    • Communications
    • Outreach

Fun Fact: Our AMA Triangle chapter has been recognized several times as Chapter of the Year in addition to other awards which is why we’re currently Platinum Continuing Excellence award recipients (aka earning CEA recognition five or more years in a row). Pretty cool, right?!

This CEA seems like a lot of work. Why do we do it?

It is! But it’s SO worth it. We think of it as a snapshot of our chapter year. Something we can celebrate but also a historical resource for future boards. And let me tell you — this year we were SO energized writing, reading + editing it. Each VP took charge of their section and did an OUTSTANDING JOB.

The Results

With 39 chapters submitting, AMA Triangle was recognized with the following…

This was in part due to our launching a new website, moving from a professional organization management company, improving volunteer financial literacy, experimenting with new events, creating an updated membership value proposition, launching a members-only Slack, simplifying volunteer project management through Basecamp + much more! 


Last chapter year was quite a rollercoaster ride with lots of big operational changes then the move to virtual + other impacts in March. The silver lining? This team came together + made things happen for our community. Love this fam! And a special shout out AGAIN to our 2019-2020 executive board…

    • Tracy Russell-Beck (President)
    • Misy Wilson (President-Elect)
    • Liz Ruf (VP @ Large)
    • Jared Brickman (VP @ Large)
    • Ashely Cianci (VP of Programming)
    • Pam Williams (VP of Membership)
    • Diane Stadlen (VP of Sponsorship)
    • Hank Hoffmeier (VP of Employment)
    • Jasmine Brown-Matthews (VP of Community Relations)
    • John-Paul Schick (General Counsel)
    • Victoria Centeno (VP of Special Projects)
    • Ben Ross (VP of Communications)
    • Samuel Itin (Director of Analytics)
    • Danny Rosin (VP of Partnerships)
    • Matt Illuzi (Treasurer)

We couldn’t have accomplished this without your leadership + the work of your teams. Y’all are the best!

So what now? 

Well, we’ve received the judges feedback + have shared that with the 2020-2021 team. Our goal? The same one as always — support, nurture and help marketers in a community that values a sense of belonging + a place to learn, grow and thrive. If you have ANY feedback, please send it our way at

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