We’ve got lots of exciting things happening at AMA.

First, after an extensive search, the American Marketing Association has named Bennie F. Johnson as the new CEO. Johnson recently headed up the American Institute of Graphic Artists (AIGA) and has held a previous leadership role with the Council of Better Business Bureaus (BBB). We’re excited to see how this experienced strategist and community builder will help continue to evolve AMA to meet the needs of modern marketers.

At a local level, the AMA Richmond chapter recently received a Community Outreach Special Merit CEA for the 2021-2022 year. We are particularly proud of this honor as the 2021 – ’22 chapter year was one of significant rebuilding. We began bringing our community back together, acknowledging the wide range of personal situations, comfort levels and preferences, and attempting to “meet people where they are.”

We’re busy planning programming for the second half of the year and look forward to more fun and unique ways to connect, learn, and grow together–and have some fun in the process!

If you’d like to be a part of our efforts, please reach out. We’ve got many volunteer opportunities available and are always looking for engaged people who want to make an impact.

AMA Richmond has announced the winners of the 2022 Robert R. Barber Scholarship Fund. Named for Bob Barber, CEO and co-owner of Barber Martin Advertising and past AMA Richmond President (‘98 – ’99), the fund was established to help the next generation of marketers grow into successful contributors to our marketing community—and the broader profession. The fund has grown from $17,000 at its creation to over $100,000 today thanks to both corporate and individual contributions, as well as AMA-Richmond chapter funds raised through events.


Announced at the AMA Richmond 60th Diamond Anniversary event on May 12, this year’s winners include:

1st Place Winner: Mariah Kumpe

Mariah Kumpe is pursuing her B.S. in Mass Communications with concentrations in Creative and Strategic Advertising and a minor in Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is currently the Social Media Chair for AMA at VCU and Planner for the Ad Club at VCU. Mariah will be President of the Ad Club at VCU for the 2022-23 school year. In her spare time, Mariah enjoys freelancing, photography, and keeping up with pop culture.

This summer, Mariah will be a Creative Intern at Tilt Creative + Production in Richmond, VA and explore Western Europe. Following graduation, Mariah plans to work as an Art Director for an advertising agency.


2nd Place Winner: Ashleighe Gibson

Ashleighe Gibson, a rising junior at Virginia Commonwealth University, was born in Queens, New York and hails from Suffolk, Virginia. Initially a biology pre-med major, Ashleighe had a change of heart during the pandemic and realized that her true passion lay in communication, advertising, production, and product development. She pivoted her degree focus and is now majoring in marketing with a concentration in communications and analytics. She aspires to go into entertainment marketing after graduation.

We want to take a moment to recognize the passion and accomplishments of these two deserving students, and to thank all the applicants who participated.  We had a strong pool of applicants and are excited about the promise inherent in our next generation of marketers!

Women’s History Month is coming to a close. To cap off the month of observance and celebrate the chapter’s fearless female leaders, AMA Richmond President, Samantha Kramer, sat down with two of them, Amy Baril and Patty Sager, to discuss their career journeys and what’s next for females in the workforce.

Amy Baril was recently promoted to President of NDP and serves as the AMA Richmond Director of Programming, Education. Patty Sager was recently promoted to CMO of Williams Mullen and serves as the AMA Richmond Director of Programming, CMO Roundtable.

In this short interview, Amy and Patty share the early influences that inspired them, their perspectives on female representation in leadership, and what advice they’d give to the next generation of female leaders.

Watch the video of that discussion below.

Read a letter from our President on this milestone anniversary:

A new year is always an exciting time. As we look to the future with renewed energy and focus, it’s also an opportunity to reflect on all we’ve achieved to date. 

2022 is an especially exciting year for AMA Richmond, as it marks the 60th anniversary of the chapter. In 1962, twenty two business professionals with a shared interest in marketing joined together to form a local chapter. The world looked very different then:

  • America was in the middle of the space race. The year before, Kennedy announced his intention to put a man on the moon and in 1962, the first American orbited the Earth.
  • The first Walmart opened in Rogers, Arkansas. Kmart, Target and Meijer also opened this same year. These “big box” discount stores drastically altered the face of retail.
  • Locally, Richmond had just gotten its first public television station a year prior, and Eleanor P. Sheppard became Richmond’s first female mayor. 
  • Marketers were focused on mass media. Print was the biggest marketing channel, but tv and radio were gaining steam.

While much has changed in the decades since, one constant has remained: AMA Richmond has provided a vital community for marketing professionals to connect, serve, learn and grow. And while we can be proud of what we’ve achieved to date, we are committed to building an even stronger, more inclusive and forward-looking community in the years ahead.

We hope you’ll join us in the coming months as we celebrate our journey and explore ways to advance our chapter even further. We’re grateful to you for being a part of our vibrant community and are excited about the impact we can make together!

Warm Regards,

Samantha Kramer
President | AMA Richmond

As you’ve hopefully seen, we have launched a new event platform called Wild Apricot to better serve our local community and provide a more seamless experience. In order for our members and guests to take full advantage of this new feature, we highly encourage everyone to set up their online profiles. 

If you are a current member or have attended our events in the past, you received an email notification with these instructions and a personalized link to complete your registration.

We have spent a good amount of time strategizing and planning for this initiative. We are excited about leveraging this tool to help us deliver a more well-rounded event and membership experience on a local level. While this update provides many local benefits, we want to make clear that it does NOT replace your member account with AMA National. Any changes and updates to your existing membership will still need to be managed through www.ama.org. If you are interested in joining, you can find more information on membership options here

Below is a list of general FAQs but feel free to reach out to info@amarichmond.org with specific questions or concerns.


1. What is Wild Apricot?
Wild Apricot is a membership and events platform built for associations just like ours. It consists of several modules: membership management, event registration, online payments, emails, and more.

By bringing all these functions together in a single platform, we are able to create a consistent flow-through of information for behind-the-scenes management by our board and a more seamless experience for members and guests.

2. Do I need to create a Wild Apricot account?
Creating a Wild Apricot account is not required to register for specific events. However, we encourage AMA Richmond members to complete their profile to expedite their event registration process.

3. I didn’t receive an email to register for Wild Apricot but I’ve attended a past AMA Richmond event. How do I register my Wild Apricot account?

  • Go to Wild Apricot and log in to your profile with the email address you’ve used to register for AMA events
  • Create password
  • Complete account information and registration setup

4. I am not a member, but I’m signing up for my first AMA Richmond event. How can I create a Wild Apricot account?
After you enter your email address to register for the event, you will be prompted to create a Wild Apricot account.

5. I am an AMA Richmond member but the system isn’t showing me member pricing.
This could be because you are a new/recently renewed member, or the email address tied to your AMA membership has changed. Please contact us at info@amarichmond.org and we will assist you.

6. I am not currently a member but am interested in signing up. How do I do that?
You will still sign up for AMA membership through AMA National’s “Join” page, during which time you will create an account and select Richmond as your home chapter.

AMA National sends our local chapter new member reports on an ongoing basis; once we receive the status change from them, we will update your membership in Wild Apricot. If you’ve recently joined AMA Richmond and your Wild Apricot account does not reflect your membership status, please reach out to us at info@amarichmond.org.

7. How will I pay for events moving forward?

You can pay for events online with a credit card. We’re still happy to offer free or reduced pricing to events for AMA Richmond members!

8. Is my payment information safe?
The Wild Apricot Security Team follows the standards of world class security practices and tries to apply them on all possible levels in Wild Apricot security. They update, develop or completely re-create security processes whenever they find any shortcomings. You can find more information on Wild Apricot’s security practices here.

9. Will I still be able to find/sign up for new AMA Richmond events on Eventbrite?
No. We are moving exclusively to Wild Apricot for our event management. You can find event details for AMA Richmond programming on our website and via our emails and social media channels.

10. What do I do if my information changes?

If your job or contact information changes, first update your profile with AMA National. You will log in to ama.org and click “My Account.” 

11. Will I renew my AMA membership through Wild Apricot?

No, your membership renewal process hasn’t changed. You will still renew by logging into ama.org and clicking “My Account”, then renew membership.

12. I have other questions that I don’t see answered here.

Please reach out to us at info@amarichmond.org and we will be happy to help answer your question.

Cat McPhersonWe are excited to congratulate Cat Ferris McPherson as the April AMA member of the month!

Cat is recognized for her continued support and contributions to AMA Richmond. Her enthusiasm, commitment and belief in the value that AMA Richmond creates for the community has helped us grow in many ways. In addition to serving as a past president, this year she has mentored a fellow AMA member and joined the collegiate scholarship committee. She speaks highly of the value the Mentorship program creates for the community:

“My experience as a mentor in the AMA Mentorship exceeded my expectations. The opportunity to work closely with another marketing professional who is committed to improving themselves both personally and professionally not only benefits the mentee, but the mentor as well. We learned from each other, and in the process discovered new and exciting opportunities that we both could explore. This program has proven itself to be one of the most satisfying and worthwhile investments of time I’ve experienced in my professional career. Consider giving this gift of time and talent to a fellow marketer – you’ll be happy you did!”

Cathy also supported our mentorship recruitment efforts on social media and we attracted a record number of participants despite the pandemic.

Cat is an Associate Professor, Business/Marketing & Communication at Mary Baldwin University.


Principal and CMO of Lloyd Leitstein Marketing & Public Relations

Lloyd has volunteered his time, serving as a mentor in the AMA Mentorship programs for the last three years in a row, bringing more than 17 years of experience in marketing and PR to the program.  His enthusiasm for continuing education and commitment to supporting his mentees is why we’ve selected him to be our volunteer of the month. Today, Lloyd remains in touch with his previous mentees and he believes his mentees teach him during the program too, making it a shared learning experience. 



Volunteer of the Month is sponsored by: 

Effectv combines the power of traditional television and premium digital video advertising to reach audiences through high-quality content at any time, on any device, and we’re ready to prove our impact on your business.


Mayoor (Max) Mohan, Ph.D. has served as a mentor in the AMA Richmond Mentorship Program for three consecutive years. His enthusiasm, commitment and belief in the value of the program has helped us grow the program. Max supported our recruitment efforts on social media and attracted a record number of participants despite the pandemic.

Mayoor Mohan, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Marketing at the VCU School of Business and holds a doctorate in Marketing from the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University.



Volunteer of the Month is sponsored by: 

Effectv combines the power of traditional television and premium digital video advertising to reach audiences through high-quality content at any time, on any device, and we’re ready to prove our impact on your business.


We are thrilled to announce that our AMA Richmond chapter has been recognized for not one, not two, not three, not four but FIVE Chapter Excellence Awards (CEAs)  for the 2019—20 year under Jennifer Barbin’s leadership as President. It’s truly an honor for our chapter to receive such amazing recognition amongst so many other chapters nationwide. The Richmond chapter received the following awards: Leadership Special Merit, Finance Special Merit, Membership Special Merit, Community Special Merit and the Resilience award. 

The Resilience Award

The Resilience award was a new and unique award created specifically for 2020, as it was awarded to chapters that were able to make a quick pivot in March as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Chapters could submit a separate “COVID” entry that was based on the following criteria: Situational Clarity, Community Empathy, Collaborative Learning, Response Creativity and Communication Effectiveness. Only three chapters received this award: Houston, Richmond and Washington D.C.

We are so proud of our Board for coming together quickly to pivot our events to virtual quickly and continue to bring value and events to our members during that time. Behind the scenes, our Board worked tirelessly to find a virtual platform, reschedule events, communicate to members and collaborate with other AMA chapters to figure out the best solutions to continue to provide educational content for our members and provide value for our sponsors. It was truly a team effort and we couldn’t have done it without our amazing team.

About the CEAs

The AMA’s annual Chapter Excellence Awards (CEAs) program highlights exceptional performance among the organization’s 70+ professional chapters across the U.S. and Canada. The CEAs were established in 1974 to recognize local AMA chapters for outstanding achievements in leadership, membership and programming. Entries are judged over a three-day period by a panel of past-presidents of award-winning chapters and members of the AMA Professional Chapters Council.

The AMA Richmond Board is proud to have our chapter recognized on a national level for the hard work and dedication of our board members to make the chapter great for our membership!



image of Coleen MooreCongratulations to Shelby Garzon on being named the AMA Richmond October Effectv Volunteer of the Month!

What She Does for AMA Richmond and Why We Nominated Her:

“A marketing specialist at Markel, Shelby Garzon is our AMA volunteer of the month. Shelby jumped in to help update the AMA Richmond website, adding events to the site to keep the site current. Digitally savvy and a graphic designer, Shelby is a real asset to the AMA Richmond board.” – Antonia Hite, Director Communications

Effectv combines the power of traditional television and premium digital video advertising to reach audiences through high-quality content at any time, on any device, and we’re ready to prove our impact on your business.