Topic: Radically Relevant: Sharpen Your Message, Earn Their Attention, Gain More Trust (and Customers)

Your target audience is inundated with marketing messages from all directions. The marketplace is crowded, competition is fierce, differentiation is difficult and standing out in a noisy sea of sound-a-like companies can seem to be an impossible task. So how do you connect and engage with your target audience, when the landscape is littered with competitors boasting similar offerings, accolades and expertise? 

Learn how to reach your target audience with communication that acts more like a magnet and less like a bullhorn. Gain valuable insight into how you can break through the noise, with audience-focused communication that’s compelling, engaging and most of all—radically relevant.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Identify why most messaging and content fails to engage;
  2. Learn how to shift the focus of marketing to be more client-centric;
  3. Discover ways to break through the noise across all channels;

Presented By: Tim Asimos, Circle S Studios



**Zoom details will be sent out 24 hours before the event.**


AMA Happy Hour

We’re excited to begin our series of quarterly happy hours to mix and mingle with our network of marketing, advertising, and creative professionals. We will use this time to network, connect, and let our members get to know one another. Raise a glass to cheers our opportunity to come together in person after a virtual hiatus.

We’ll gather at Starr Hill’s rooftop to enjoy drinks and fellowship!

  • Drink ticket included with cash bar to follow
  • Tickets limited to 50 to allow for ample space; Register promptly!
  • We ask that attendees follow CDC guidelines; Event is subject to change if CDC guidelines change.


COVID-19 Disclaimer: If you are experiencing any symptoms including (but not limited to) fever, cough or difficulty breathing, or have been in close contact with anyone that has tested positive for COVID-19, we kindly ask that you do not attend this event. 


Leading in a Social World is an unexpected look at social media through the lens of leadership. It was awarded The Roger Summit Award from the Association of Independent Information Professionals for “an individual who will inspire and challenge AIIP members … an innovative thinker [who] stretches the minds and imaginations of [the annual conference] attendees.” 

Our world is socially connected in digital spaces like never before. Social capital—measurable, manageable value that’s accessed and shared through social networks—has become an undeniably valuable resource for people and their organizations. But contrary to what many of us marketing people will tell you, socially connected systems reject marketing. Leading In A Social World encourages anyone who’s using the social web as a way to influence and move people that they need to ditch their social media marketing and build social capital—a leadership skill— instead.

Audiences leave with these key takeaways:

  • Social media marketing data shows suspect results at best, brand-damaging results at worst.
  • Why some people are successfully motivating others within social networks (and how they’re doing it).
  • How to use leadership acumen to build groups of people who give back to you, your brand, and your cause.

About The Speaker: Aaron Templer

Aaron Templer headshotEmail |
Website |


About Three Over Four

three over four logoWebsite |


Topic: Brand Refreshes

Key Takeaways:

1. Research and recognition
How to read the clues that suggest it’s time to refresh your brand, and how to determine if you have enough research to do it effectively.

2. A brand refresh should always start with strategy.
Know your company’s destination and progress so your refreshed brand remains aligned with your mission and vision.

3. A new brand identity is not just a logo.
Be sure you’re planning for a new way to talk about your company, present it visually and implement changes across the organization.


**Zoom details will be sent out 24 hours before the event.**

Teach Me How: Brand Journalism and Digital Content

Presented by: Jon Newman and Casey Prentice of The Hodges Partnership

Instead of relying on traditional news media to tell your story, why not become the media. If you can’t beat them, join them, right? Jon and Casey will explain the effectiveness of a robust and consistent content marketing strategy through brand journalism and will dive into what is required to ensure success – not just in the short-term, but for the long run. Using real-life client and agency examples, the duo will:

  • demonstrate the value of a content marketing strategy
  • show how to set-up a framework
  • advise on how to manage the pieces
  • share best practices for making it all work towards your business goals

This event is presented by The Hodges Partnership.

the hodges partnershipThe Hodges Partnership is an award-winning public relations and content marketing agency whose strategies focus on telling clients’ stories through three content pillars – Earned, Owned and Paid. As a fully-integrated agency, The Hodges Partnership provides expertise and public relations services on all fronts, from devising and executing high-profile media relations campaigns to creating online content strategies, and from helping clients respond to crises to planning their next big event.


About our Speakers:

Jon Newman — Co-founder

Jon headshotJon is the co-founder of The Hodges Partnership. For the first ten years of this career Jon worked in radio and TV newsrooms before joining The Martin Agency. Working for Martin PR and Slay PR he parlayed his media background into national media placements for countless clients, and that media relations focus is still a core competency at The Hodges Partnership. As the media landscape has changed, Jon’s focus has shifted to social and digital media and brand journalism. He now works with clients to tell their stories both through the media and directly to their audiences through a combination of content, technology and social/digital targeting. His passions are his family, Rutgers Athletics and Springsteen. Not always in that order.


Casey Prentice — Account Director

Casey headshotCasey is an account director at The Hodges Partnership. At Hodges, this digital native helps strategize comprehensive social, digital and content projects for both clients and the agency itself, from content ideation to production to paid amplification. She also co-manages the agency’s internship program and is the manager of The Phil, a nonprofit storytelling platform and content marketing project run by the interns.

While creating awareness and driving traffic to your website are critical steps in the buyer journey, most organizations struggle with how to translate these visitors into business outcomes.

Teach Me How: 5 Ways Hubspot Can Supercharge Your Marketing

Presented by: Emily Shane and Caitlin McNichol of Dotted Line

Join Dotted Line’s Communications Director, Emily Shane, and Caitlin McNichol, Senior Account Manager, for a discussion on how Hubspot can help supercharge digital marketing efforts. During the hour-long session, the duo will share how Hubspot tracks the digital footprint of website visitors to better inform sales conversations and pushes prospects through the sales funnel to drive business outcomes. We’ll also demo several key functions, including their email automation tool as well as the reporting dashboard.

This event is presented by Dotted Line Agency.

dotted line logoDotted Line is a creative marketing agency that specializes in helping ambitious brands grow. Our team has a proven track record building and implementing B2B and B2C marketing strategies. We offer brand, creative, content services and digital lead generation services, all rooted in strategy, for brands that are looking to augment internal marketing teams.


About our Speakers:

Emily Shane — Communications Director

Emily Shane headshot

Communications is Emily’s lifeblood – and she’s been helping organizations craft their story (with the target audience in mind) for more than 15 years. Emily cut her marcom chops at one of Richmond’s largest public relations shops, working with B2B and B2C organizations to craft and implement thoughtful external communications programs that meet target audiences in the places they already reside.

As the Communications Director for Dotted Line, Emily is responsible for external communications, digital content and public relations. In addition to collaborating with account teams on digital strategy, Emily also serves as our Editor-In-Chief, reviewing content before it hits our clients’ inbox to ensure it meets the right strategic and brand notes.

Emily is a proud Richmonder who returned to the city she loves after graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Maryland. Before work each day, Emily is out in the wee hours of the morning, pounding the pavement with her running club. On the weekends,
you’ll find Emily, her husband and their two elementary-school kids hiking, biking or paddle boarding while soaking up Virginia’s natural beauty.

Caitlin McNichol — Senior Account Manager

Caitlin McNichol headshotCaitlin is a Senior Account Manager with Dotted Line where she manages a portfolio of retainer engagements and is responsible for building strong client relationships, developing marketing strategies, and coordinating with teams to deliver solutions that meet clients’ needs.  As part of her account activity, Caitlin has become the agency’s go to resource when it comes to digital lead generation best practices on Hubspot.

Prior to Dotted Line, Caitlin worked in television production and digital media with various roles at Discovery Communications. Caitlin has an undergraduate degree from James Madison University where she studied video editing.

On the weekends, she loves to hike in the mountains with her husband, Pat and their two dogs Leo and Max.

[VIRTUAL] AMA Signature Speaker Series – AMA Richmond

About this Event

We’re All a Bit Mad Here: Managing Mental Health While Working in Our Industry

Note: 50% of ticket sales will be donated to the 3 Percent Movement, a non-profit association working to reach at least 50% female representation among creative directors in our industry. Learn more about the 3 Percent Movement’s mission.

Unlike prior recessions that created joblessness among the manufacturing and construction sectors, the 2020 recession has been the opposite. Brought about by a health condition rather than a financial one, it has affected more jobs in sectors where women historically outnumber men.

“There is no single definite answer on the cause, but I think that issues such as the limited availability of early affordable childcare, lack of parental leave, et cetera, put up bigger barriers to women working in the U.S. compared to other countries,” says Matthias Doepke, HSBC Research Professor in the Department of Economics at Northwestern University.

Even among women, there are disparities in how the pandemic has affected those with children and those without. A research paper published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis captures just how the economic disruption of COVID-19 has hurt mothers disproportionately.

“In April 2020, the pandemic caused fathers and mothers to leave the labor force at relatively high rates – 3.4 and 2.9 percentage point declines, respectively, relative to November 2019,” the authors noted. “However, their subsequent paths diverged sharply. While nearly all fathers returned to the labor force, mothers regained virtually none of their lost ground, remaining 2.8 percentage points below their November 2019 participation rate.”

Even women who have retained their jobs know that they are paid, on average, less than men. An analysis of 2018 Census data by the Center for American Progress found that women earned 82 cents for every dollar earned by men. And when the data is analyzed by race, women of color have a larger gap. Black women earn 62 cents for every dollar a man earns, while Hispanic women fare even worse, earning 52 cents.

Join AMA Richmond as we welcome fellow marketer and mom, Laurel Stark Akman from Electronic Arts, as she explores how women in the industry are grappling with the societal and mental health impacts of the pandemic, and how to stay sane in a remote work environment while also managing a family.

If you find yourself playing the role of Chief Mom Officer or otherwise wearing the primary caregiver hat, please join us for an honest and open discussion on the evolving concerns of women in the advertising industry. Concrete takeaways to apply to your life and work:

1. The value of being true to yourself and authentic at work

2. Strategies for dealing with burnout when you never get a break

3. Why it’s important to build a network of supportive peers

4. Avoiding over-commitment and making time for self-care

5. How to recognize when you might need to call in extra help

Facilitated By:

Laurel Stark Akman, Creative Director, The Sims at Electronic Arts (EA)

Laura Akman headshotLaurel is a Creative Director who’s dedicated to helping brave brands and passionate partners create the change they want to see in their business—and the world.

She’s spent 15 years shaping brand and experience-focused creativity, building and leading underdog teams, and championing DEI and mental health initiatives. She’s been named a Pitch 100 Superwoman and her work has been called “World Changing” by Fast Company, and “industry bettering” by Adweek. She currently leads creative marketing for The Sims at EA.

When Laurel is not building a more inclusive world through her gender equality boosting creative competition, Next Creative Leaders, and breaking the silence on mental health through Our Silent Partner, she’s busy co-parenting her five-year-old, Ayla Rose (who is hands down the best thing her mother has made).

About Electronic Arts:

EA logoElectronic Arts Inc. is a global leader in digital interactive entertainment. EA develops and delivers games, content, and online services for Internet-connected consoles, mobile devices, and personal computers. EA has more than 450 million registered players around the world.





Kaleeta McDade, Global Executive Creative Director, Experience at Ogilvy 

Kaleeta McDade headshotCreative leader passionate about delivering thoughtfully crafted programs and solutions that encourage positive change for companies around the globe.






About Ogilvy:

Ogilvy logoOgilvy has been producing iconic, culture-changing marketing campaigns since the day its founder David Ogilvy opened up shop in 1948. Today, Ogilvy is an award-winning integrated creative network that makes brands matter for Fortune Global 500 companies as well as local businesses across 131 offices in 83 countries. The company creates experiences, design and communications that shape every aspect of a brand’s needs through six core capabilities: Brand Strategy, Advertising, Customer Engagement and Commerce, PR and Influence, Digital Transformation, and Partnerships. Ogilvy is a WPP company.


Kat Michie, Associate Creative Director, Duncan Channon

Kat Michie headshotKat is an Associate Creative Director at Duncan Channon, experienced at integrating digital, social, and traditional advertising into cohesive campaigns. She’s currently working on campaigns for Covered California, SweeTARTs candy, and Tobacco Free California. Kat spent 14 years as an Art Director and Creative Director building and relaunching CPG and retail brands while working in ad agencies in Dallas and San Francisco. Kat is a single mother and coparent to a 5-year-old girl, Stella, and plays in the local San Francisco band, Giggle Party, in her free time.

About Duncan Channon:

 A four-time Ad Age Agency of the Year, we work with companies wanting more and better for their brand and business. Amid a sea of sameness, we help organizations unearth, unfurl, and unleash truly distinct positioning.

Do you know what the best media channel is to use in marketing? What are people consuming and how is that changing how we plan our mark?

Presented by: Taylor Miles, Associate Media Director NDP/Neathawk360

Join a discussion with Taylor Miles, Associate Media Director at Neathawk360, to help you understand how to navigate the ever-changing landscape of media habits and trends through and beyond Covid-19.

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, movie with it and join the dance. “ – Alan Watts.

This event is presented by Neathawk360 Media Solutions Division of NDP.

At Neathawk360 a division of NDP, we combine our best-in-class expertise in media, analytics, digital, and design to create innovative, relevant media solutions that inspire, engage, and change consumer behavior.

You can connect with Neathawk360 at

About our Speaker:

Taylor Miles, Associate Media Director NDP/Neathawk360

Headshot of Taylor Miles, Associate Media Director NDP/Neathawk360Keeping the consumer front and center is always Taylor’s priority.  She collaborates with clients to develop digital strategies and tactics from a consumer’s perspective.  While Taylor has a background in all digital strategies, her primary area of expertise is with video, display, and finding new and innovative ideas to meet her clients’ needs. Taylor’s background covers a wide range of verticals from tourism, education, non-profit, and healthcare. Currently, she directs the media for Chesapeake Bank and the Virginia Lottery.

Member Appreciation NEXT Hour Event

Please join us for our first in person event since March 2020! The AMA Richmond Board would like to invite all of our members to a casual Next Hour event where you can network with other members and meet the Board. We especially want to show our thanks and gratitude for our members supporting us through this past year. We finally have a chance to say thank you in person!

The event will take place at Gather’s new location in Midlothian. Here’s some information about the event:

  • Food & Drinks will be provided with a Food Truck at the event!
  • This venue is spacious with both outside and inside spaces for optimal spacing
  • Color wristbands will be provided to let others know your comfort level of closeness

Please be sure to bring your own mask and hand sanitizer. Masks will be required while inside Gather’s space. We also ask you wear a mask while outside, except when eating or drinking.

COVID-19 Disclaimer: If you are experiencing any symptoms including (but not limited to) fever, cough or difficulty breathing, or have been in close contact with anyone that has tested positive for COVID-19, we kindly ask that you do not attend this event.

Your health and the health of the community is our first priority. If you’re not yet comfortable with social gatherings, we look forward to seeing you as soon as you’re comfortable.

Thank you to our event sponsor: Dotted Line

We are a marketing and advertising agency with a strategy before everything approach that creates exponential impact for our clients.

About this Event

The Power of Passion Projects: A Panel Discussion

A whole year into the global COVID-19 pandemic and most Americans are familiar with the headlines around the PPP as the Paycheck Protection Program. But there’s another more powerful PPP at work: Power of Passion Projects.

Passion is the energy that keeps us going, that keeps us filled with meaning, and happiness, and excitement, and anticipation of what’s to come tomorrow from what we do today. Passion is a powerful force in accomplishing anything that you set your mind to, and in experiencing work and life to the fullest extent possible. Ask any entrepreneur why they got into their line of work and you’ll hear a familiar refrain that they saw an opportunity that aligned to a personal passion and they had to do it. Despite all of the challenges of the past pandemic year and racial upheaval around the country, there have been some real successes in Richmond that bear discussion and highlighting. Join AMA Richmond as we welcome a panel of local entrepreneurial leaders to discuss how their personal passions have shaped and defined the trajectory of their careers, the work they have accomplished, and who they’ve done it with. The panelists will highlight personal lessons they’ve gained along the way and how to apply them to your own work. While applicable to anyone in advertising, marketing, or public relations, for this special panel of local leaders we want to especially welcome any guests that would like to join as they work to pursue passion projects in their own lives.

Takeaways will include:

  • How to learn to trust your gut
  • Make a plan, but stay flexible
  • Create space for creativity
  • How to build with intention
  • Why to give generously as you find success

Moderated By:

Marc CheathamMarc Cheatham, The Cheats Movement

Marc is the founder of The Cheats Movement Blog. As a freelance writer and photographer, Marc has interviewed some of the most prominent figures in hip-hop culture, activism, business, and politics. Marc is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in Social Work.

Meet Our Panelists:

Dontrese BrownDontrese Brown, Hidden in Plain Site

Dontrese is passionate about brand and the business of design, building empathetic narratives, and advancing racial equity through social justice instigation. Most recently, Dontrese co-launched Hidden in Plain Site: Richmond, a VR exploration of distinct, but overlooked sites around Richmond, VA that tell the story of the Black experience throughout Richmond’s history. Dontrese is a member of the Leadership Metro Richmond 2020 Cohort, the Ujima Legacy Fund, and earned graphic design degrees from Georgetown College (B.F.A), Morehead State University (M.A.), and Savannah College of Arts & Design (M.F.A.).

Rasheeda Creighton, The Jackson Ward CollectiveRasheeda Creighton, The Jackson Ward Collective

Rasheeda is the co-founder of The Jackson Ward Collective, a business whose mission is to Learn, Grow, and Own in the Black Community. She also holds space for Black women seeking to destroy the Superwoman Syndrome in their lives to connect with each other through her online community for Black Women, Killing Superwoman. Rasheeda earned her Bachelor’s in English from Spelman College and holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School

Ted Elmore, Richmond BridgeParkTed Elmore, Richmond BridgePark

Ted practiced corporate finance law for 15 years, before following his love of creativity, design, nature, and community to drive the ambitious BridgePark project, an innovative public park plan that would create a dramatic new green space with breathtaking views of the James River and downtown Richmond. Ted graduated from the University of Virginia and the University of Virginia School of Law.