Wednesday, November 30, 2011

American Marketing Association and ME

My name is Wes Morgan and I am a marketer. An important piece of continuity in my profession has been my continuing involvement with the local chapter of the American Marketing Association in St. Louis since 1997.

My career journey includes a crazy tour of the advertising business that took me to New York, LA and back to New York…and on to Raleigh, North Carolina and Miami before being recruited to St. Louis at the end of 1996. I sometimes say (tongue in cheek)that I was instrumental in putting two local agencies (TBWA Chiat-Day and D’Arcy) out of business here before becoming a corporate Marketing Communications Specialist in 1998. Around that time, I become more involved in the American Marketing Association.

In 1997, I was asked if I could write a column for the Chapter Newsletter.
I ended up being editor and publisher of 33 issues of the TOPline newsletter over the next four years. I became VP of Communications and a board member in 1997 – Laura Rossman was President. Terry Monchein became president (97-98) and Stephanie Camden followed her (in 98-99). I became President elect in 1999. At that time, the honor of that position carried with it the job of running the student conference in February. That conference (2/2000) was at the Adam’s Mark Hotel Downtown (now the Hyatt Regency Riverfront) and included speakers from The Republic of Tea, The St. Louis Post Dispatch, The Brand Consultancy and Southwest Airlines.

As President of the Chapter (2000-2001) I was proud to be part of presenting another conference – This time at the Regal Riverfront Hotel, now the Millennium Hotel. Dennis Dunlop (CEO of the American Marketing Association) was a speaker along with notables from The Sporting News and Arthur Anderson (February 2001).

I stayed on for a second term as chapter President (2001-2002). Eventually, I was able to convince John Lewington to follow me as chapter president. He did a great job. I was delighted when the chapter gave him a lifetime achievement award.

I was an active board member during terms of John Lewington (02-03), Susan Davis (03-04), Dan Diveley (04-05), Steve Condor (05-06), Lauren Kolbe (06-07), and less so for Mike McNamera (07-08) and Richard Arthur (08-09)

In January 0f 2009, I indicated an interest in rejoining the board as VP Membership. Melissa Keim (09-10) was good enough to invite me to participate again. I was happy to stay involved through the presidential terms of Dan McGrath (09-10) as Co-VP Membership and Christine Chamberlain (10-11) working on special events (Golf Outing and Conference).

In April of 2012 I attended my fifth American Marketing Association chapter leadership summit in Chicago as President Elect with incoming president Steve Thomas (2012-2013). It was great reconnecting with Dennis Dunlap (AMA CEO and others at IH) not to mention chapter leaders from Houston, Dallas, Lincoln, Cleveland and around the country. I accepted responsibility for leading programming and managed to get an impressive line up in the works: Golf Outing (July), Networking and Lon Zimmerman on research (August), Kraftig Beer (September), Phil Smith on Healthcare Marketing (Prairie Dog from KC in October), Jim Woodcock on Sports Marketing for November, a special joint holiday viewing of SKYFALL 007.

We rounded out the year with Ameristar (January), Social Media leader from Better Homes & Gardens (Mar) and Post Holdings (May) and Biz Library (June).

Our Remarkable Leadership conference in February 2013 managed to go on in spite of a bit of snow and ice with Elliot Robia (Pixel Farm of MN), Andrew Grinch (Mizzou athletic department), Mercy Healthcare and Kevin Eikenberry (via Skype). 

I have enjoyed contributing to the success of the annual golf outing in July (of which I have been chairman since 1999). I was invited to be a board member again for presidents Bev Feris, Anna Qualls, Pier Alsup and Bob Mastis, (2013-14; 2014-15; 2015-16, 2016-17) and contributed with the organization of successful July golf events each year.

In addition, for the 2013-2014 year, I was able to deliver Gabe Lozano for August kick off of programming. Another thing I am proud of is the engagement of two collegiate chapters (UMSL ad SLU). I was instrumental in fortifying the UMSL collegiate chapter as part of the chapters outreach initiatives which also lead to our chapters involvement in UMSL's digital marketing advisory board.

I still believe the AMA is the best professional association in St. Louis, even though I also participate as a member of the AAF (AdClub), BMA (Business Marketing Association), PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) and others. I am fond of reminding folks that Without Marketing, Nothing Happens.

Updated May 5, 2012, and Mar 21, 2013, November 2, 2013 and January 25, 2015 and May 2017 by wam

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