As we prepare to bid farewell to 2015 and count our blessings as part of the holiday season, it is worth taking a second to reflect on where we are as a chapter, and how we came to be here.
You may not know this, but it was only a handful of years ago that the Cleveland AMA was in dire straits. Our chapter was reeling from a financial crisis, our membership base had plummeted and the Board was run by a skeleton crew. Things looked bleak. Thanks to a few dedicated Northeast Ohio marketers, however, things didn’t stay that way.
In 2011, the Cleveland AMA was named Turnaround Chapter of the Year by American Marketing Association national leadership. This was before my time with the chapter, but I remember seeing the banner with those words emblazoned across it when I started attending events. Now, I know what it means. A few years later, as we approach the halfway point of the 2015-2016 fiscal year, I am astounded to see how far we’ve come.
We are proud to now serve well over 200 passionate marketers who make up our membership base, and to interact with plenty more that attend our events (and ought to join, if they like things like professional development and fun). We are engaging collegiate chapters more holistically than we have in years, preparing to bring the next generation of local marketers into the fold. We are focusing on Culture & Community, taking a critical look inwardly to determine how we can make the member experience better than ever. We are partnering with other professional groups, community organizations and national speakers to raise the profile of our events even further. We have truly become the premier association for marketers in the CLE.
But we didn’t just get there magically. We got there because of the dedication of volunteers, partners and friends of the AMA that have given much to advance our chapter. This is especially true of our Board members and the committee members that support them, all who dedicate enormous energy to creating great opportunities to learn, work and play together month after month. Without them, we’d have nothing, and I am incredibly thankful for their support.
And I am thankful to you, reader, whether you are a member or not, for putting your faith in us to keep you educated, connected and enjoying yourselves all these years. It hasn’t always been the same people at the helm, but the Cleveland AMA has been advancing the Northeast Ohio marketing community for more than 80 years… and we couldn’t do it without your trust and enthusiasm.
2016 is nearly here, and I can hardly wait to share in it with you. We have some lofty plans to take the Cleveland AMA experience to new heights, and with a little luck and a lot of support from everyone that has got us this far, I believe it will be a year to remember.
Thank you for sharing in the ride to date. I look forward to advancing our profession further with you as we sojourn into the new year.
All the best,
President, Cleveland AMA