by: Valerie Camarda, Vice President, Marketing Communications
Like the phoenix rising up from the ashes, the San Francisco Chapter turned itself around to become one the AMA’s leading chapters for 2013-2014. With the downturn of the economy, the sfAMA Chapter had dwindling membership and had no clear plan on what to do to change its downward spiral. In stepped long-time member, Gene Filipi who was determined to turn the chapter around. He saw the possibilities of this becoming one of the premier chapters within the AMA and set about choosing a dedicated team to help him rebuild the chapter.
“I knew we needed a team who were willing to go the extra mile to set goals and follow through with achieving them,” said sfAMA President Gene Filipi. “Strong leadership, creativity, and a ‘can do’ attitude is what won us these prestigious awards.”
Each of the Board members contributed to the Chapter’s Marketing Plan. They set goals and objectives for their teams, acknowledged the Chapter’s many weaknesses, but also recognized the immense opportunities that weren’t being realized.
One of the tactics Gene utilized to stir the Board to action was to send them to National’s Annual Leadership Summit in Chicago for 3 days of inspiration, bonding and camaraderie. It worked! They came back to San Francisco full of great ideas and a new enthusiasm for promoting the Chapter.
The Chapter kicked off the 2013-2014 year with a brand new identity and website, recruited great sponsors and had a powerful plan of action with clear direction. They were off and running!
In early September, the Board put together the Chapter Excellence Award’s (CEA) application that summed up the accomplishments of the Chapter for the past year. They submitted a document that consisted of 335 pages. There are 88 chapters within the AMA so they knew they had some stiff competition for the CEA. The sfAMA Chapter had won one of the CEA awards on several occasions in the past but it had been close to 25 years ago since the last award had been won. It was time to win another one!
In late October Gene received word that the Chapter had won the coveted Turn It Up Award and two Special Merit Awards for Membership and Communications from Brian Woods, Professional Chapters Council, CEA Chair and Megan Backes, Director of Volunteer Leadership. Here’s what they said:
“On behalf of the Professional Chapters Council, the Professional Chapters Division of the American Marketing Association, and the Chapter Excellence Award Judging Committee – congratulations on leading the San Francisco Chapter to the distinctive honor of 2013-14 Turn-it-Up Chapter of the Year as well as winning Special Merit Awards in Membership and Communications!
Thank you again for participating in this time-honored AMA program. You should be proud of your CEA success and everything your team accomplished this past year. Your CEA Entry serves as an important legacy for your chapter, so make sure to pass this along to future leaders.
Again, please accept our sincere congratulations and appreciation for your exemplary leadership efforts. The San Francisco Chapter certainly epitomizes the qualities of an outstanding AMA chapter. It is rewarding to see everything that can be achieved by such a hard-working group of talented volunteers. ”
At next year’s Leadership Summit in Chicago, Gene will share the Chapter’s story with hundreds of other AMA chapter leaders to inspire them to achieve great things.
This is a chapter built by volunteers who want to share what they know, learn new things and grow. All it takes is stepping up. It is one of the great privileges of being an AMA member. Why not take full advantage of your membership and volunteer. With your help we can achieve anything!
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