Sally Witzky is director of marketing for the Retail Merchants Association, a Richmond-based trade association helping retailers since 1906. In her current role, Sally is responsible for strategic branding and innovation, all print and digital communications, the popular Think. Shop. Buy. Local® advertising campaign and the RMA Training Center. Previous to joining RMA, Sally was owner/chief strategist of Traction Group LLC, a social media and marketing agency helping businesses effectively build their online brand presence. She has been on the agency side for nearly 20 years working for The Martin Agency, Siddall and Gain Response Marketing and has served national clients such as Citizens Bank/RBS, Saab Cars USA, Snagajob.com, FMC, TLC Laser Eye Centers, Champion Mortgage, Network Solutions and Mercedes-Benz. Originally from Ohio, Sally lives in Chesterfield with her husband, Greg.
Katherine O’Donnell is the Vice President of Community Relations at the Richmond Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau (RMCVB), the destination marketing organization for the Richmond Region. Katherine is responsible for enhancing efforts to bring forward the interests of the regional tourism industry, partnering with area tourism initiatives, engaging the local community and overseeing RMCVB events and the RMCVB Foundation. She supports the travel and tourism industry locally and works to enhance the Richmond Region's desirability as a tourism, meetings and conventions destination. Previously the Director of Marketing at RMCVB, Katherine has been with the organization since 2002. Katherine has served AMA-Richmond as Vice President of Special Interest Groups, Co-VP of Programing and Volunteer Corps Chair. Katherine holds a B.A. from the University of Richmond.
Neal Lappe is President of WebStrategies, an integrated internet marketing agency based in Richmond, which he started in 2004. Prior to WebStrategies, Neal was an executive at Circuit City where he spent 18 years in various human resources and operations roles, finishing his career there as VP of aftermarket product services. Prior to Circuit City, Neal spent time with May Co., Boeing, and Federated Department Stores. He is active with the Retail Merchants Association and is Past-Chairman of the Chesterfield County Chamber of Commerce. Neal earned a B.S. in Business from the University of Missouri. He moved to Richmond in 1986, has been married to his wife Peggy for 33 years, has two grown daughters, both of whom he is proud to say graduated from Virginia Tech, and two grand-daughters. Neal has been an AMA-Richmond member since 2005 and joined the board as Vice-President of Sponsorship in 2007.
Amanda VandenBroek is an Account Executive at Planet Central, a full-service advertising and marketing firm where she is responsible for developing and managing campaigns that meet her client’s strategic goals. Prior to joining Planet Central, Amanda was the Director of Marketing and Special Events at Toad’s Place of Richmond, a local music venue. There she was responsible for all marketing efforts as well as coordination of special programming and private events. She started her career as a Media Planner at The Martin Agency working on the Alltel and Thomasville accounts. Amanda is a 2001 graduate of East Carolina University with a B.S. in Public History with a focus on Museum Science. Amanda and her husband Chris live in Forest Hill with their dog, Lucy and are expecting their first child this January.
Tim Asimos is Director of Digital Innovation for Richmond-based circle S studio, a strategic marketing and design firm. With a hybrid blend of skills in communication, strategy and analysis, Tim leverages technology to develop creative solutions for our clients. Integrating digital, social and traditional marketing, he is focused on delivering measurable results that help companies grow. Tim's unique approach is based on more than 10 years of experience in corporate marketing - placing him in the same seat as many of our clients. This first-hand experience gives him a deeper understanding of their needs, as he helps strengthen the online presence of their brands and develop relevant content across a number of digital channels to attract new prospects and engage existing customers. Previously, Tim has worked in the engineering, technology, software, and media industries, including six years running the marketing function of Timmons Group, an ENR 500 engineering and technology firm headquartered in Richmond. Tim holds an M.B.A. and a B.S. in Communication Studies from Liberty University. He has been a member of the AMA since 2006 and served on the AMA-Richmond board since 2007. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Liberty University. Tim, his wife Heather, and sons Mason and Grady, live in Midlothian.
Kelly Vance, Kelly Vance Communications. With more than a decade of industry experience, Kelly has designed proactive communications programs for an array of brands, from local non-profits to Fortune 500 companies. She has a track record for placing positive human interest stories with major media outlets including Dateline NBC, CNN, and USA Today and Wall Street Journal. Kelly also helps brands launch multiple social media initiatives (from Facebook contests to blogger events) that grow and engage communities of brand evangelists.
Mike Rose is Director, Business Development for Planet Central based in Richmond, VA. Planet Central is a full-service creative marketing firm helping clients succeed since 1999. He works on relationship marketing and new business. Previously, Mike worked for Red Bull North America where he helped launch the brand in NASCAR and oversaw Red Bull's introduction and ethos in Virginia. Before that, he worked in Affinity events highlighted by a career running the NBA’s Hoop-It-Up tour across North America. Mike has had the opportunity to work on the Organizing Committees of both the Atlanta Olympic Games and the World Cup Soccer event. Additionally, he has worked in Orlando in the events department at Walt Disney World and owned his own sports marketing business. Mike’s an active guest lecturer across the Mid-Atlantic and he serves on the Business Council of the VMFA and participates with the local Chamber of Commerce. He joined AMA Richmond in 2007 and has served on the Collegiate committee since 2008 and in 2010 he was VP of Special Events. Mike has a B.S. in Marketing Management from Virginia Tech. Mike and his wife, Amy, decided to make Richmond their home in 2007 and together plan on watching the seasons change while raising their daughter Sydney and dog Coty.
Erin Corning is the associate brand manager of Duke’s Mayonnaise at The C.F. Sauer Company where she has worked for four years, previously on the Sauer’s spice, extract and seasoning mix products. Erin started her marketing career with Kraft Foods in Chicago after leaving the U.S. Army. She worked on Kraft Real Mayonnaise, Sauceworks, Parkay Margarine and Kraft Singles brands. Erin has a B.A. in English from the University of Virginia. She has taught adult ESL classes in Henrico County, volunteered for Comfort Zone Camp and most recently for Children’s Home Society.
Bob Tarren, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Bob Tarren is the Director of Marketing & Communications at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. His responsibilities include advertising strategy and creative, media planning, web management, social media, and community affairs. He created the “Its Your Art” campaign for the museum’s reopening as well as the recent record-breaking Picasso campaign. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami and a Master’s degree from the University of Florida School of Journalism.
Shade Wilson is Principal, Brand Strategist with Scalability Project, LLC. In his more than 15 years in marketing, he has worked at advertising agencies like DIMAC Direct and the Martin Agency. He has also worked on the corporate side where he ran marketing departments at internet start-ups like PrecisionIR and Snagajob. His B2B and B2C experience includes developing go-to-market strategies for 13 countries across North America and Europe using a variety of digital marketing, social media, ecommerce, search, and demand generation tactics. Shade joined the American Marketing Association in 2011, and is also an instructor for the Greater Richmond Small Business Development Center.
Brandon Bruce is the founder and President of Groovin’ Gourmets, a full service, off-premise caterer. He created the company, not based on his culinary ability, but rather finding a niche in a specific market for catering. Twelve years later the company has evolved from a predominantly high volume “drop-off” caterer to a four division company that is able to plan and execute a wide variety of social and corporate events up to 5,000 people. He oversees the operation with a focus on strategic relationships and expanding into new markets. Prior to Groovin’, Brandon was a partner in a weight loss business, Trim Today, in the Richmond and Tri-Cities area. His entrepreneurial interest began while selling medical equipment in Virginia and North Carolina. He spent three years at Connell Neurosurgical and two years at Johnson and JohnsonOrthopaedics. He received a BS in Marketing from Va. Tech. Off-hour passions include running marathons, wakeboarding and kite-boarding.
Barbara Slatcher is a marketing and strategy consultant, currently working with large conservation non-profits in Virginia and BabySense LLC. She is managing marketing, public relations and social media for The Center for Conservation Biology at William and Mary. Previously, Barbara was Vice President of Marketing and Sales for BabySense LLC, a manufacturer and marketer of baby products. Prior to BabySense LLC, Barbara was responsible for Business Development at Hamilton Beach, where she oversaw new category development and various marketing roles in the foodservice group. She spent ten years at Reynolds Metals/ Alcoa as Sr. Marketing Manager for Reynolds Wrap, Reynolds Plastic Wrap, and Reynolds Foodservice Film and Foil. Barbara started her marketing and sales career at Warner Lambert in brand management with a variety of brands including Benadryl and Sinutab. In her spare time, Barbara volunteers as President of Phoenix: A Wildlife Alliance, a Richmond wildlife rehab organization whose mission is to rehabilitate injured and orphaned wildlife of all kinds. She is a graduate of University of Richmond with a B.S. in Business Administration. She received her M.B.A. from Pepperdine University.
Laura Beck currently serves as the Publications Manager for the Richmond Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau. In this capacity, Laura oversees production of all RMCVB print and digital publications and communication materials. This includes executing on brand, negotiating cost, managing vendors and budgets, directing photo shoots, graphic design, and ensuring funding organizations are equally represented as is ethnic diversity, as well as managing production schedules. Her work has won numerous awards and honorable mentions. Prior to RMCVB, she served as Public Affairs Specialist for the Chesterfield County Public Affairs Department. Laura is a graduate of Radford University, majoring in Communications & Marketing.
Carol Molis has been an Account Planner with Elevation since 2006. She is an experienced Strategic Planner and Account Manager, with highly developed brand marketing and consumer research expertise. After graduating from the College of William & Mary in 2000 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing and Art Minor, Carol developed advanced communication skills through client management at The Martin Agency. In 2001, Carol managed research accounts for a wide range of local and national clients, primarily within the real estate, land development and healthcare industries at Brooks Adams Research. In 2002, Carol joined Swedish Match North America as Manager of Market Research. In 2004, she transitioned over into Brand Management, where she led the creative and strategic development for all Timberwolf branding, marketing and sales programs, introduced Internet programs into a previously traditional marketing mix, and led the new product development process for two successful smokeless tobacco product line extensions. At Elevation, Carol seeks out means for strengthening brand communications by forming partnerships with clients to elevate their brands by marrying strategic positioning with sound creative. She has managed successful campaigns for Elevation’s many clients, including Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, the Children’s Museum of Richmond, MeadWestvaco, Performance Food Group, McKesson Medical-Surgical and more.
Todd Wilcox is Regional Account Executive with Comcast Spotlight in Richmond, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable. Todd joined Comcast in 1993 after graduating the same year from the University of Richmond with a B.S. in Business Administration. He is a former Vice-President of Sponsorship with AMA-Richmond and has been an active member since 2004. In 2007, Todd was presented with AMA-Richmond’s Golden Candlestick Award recognizing exceptional volunteerism. Todd was honored for his dedication to sustaining the chapter and its endowment fund through sponsorships. He and his wife live in the city, in the Museum District.
Dana Ailsworth graduated with a BA in Mass Communications from Mary Baldwin College. She began her career with Richmond Ballet, the State Ballet of Virginia, as the first Special Events and Volunteer Manager for the organization. Prior to her departure, Dana guided volunteer and corporate development efforts to take Richmond Ballet to their highest event-raised revenue. In 2000, Dana joined Renaissance Worldwide as a Technical Recruiter, which was acquired by AQUENT, the worlds largest Marketing and Creative Services staffing firm. During her tenure with AQUENT, Dana has acted as Recruiter, Agent and Account Manager for some of the largest companies in Virginia; with the honor of being the #1 recruiting Agent in North America four years consecutively. In addition to serving on the AIGA board, Friends of Art board and the Richmond Ballet Council, Dana is a founding member of C3, the Creative Change Center. There she was featured as a Guest Speaker with topics such as “How to Write your Resume to Actually get a Job” and “Interviewing Skills: What you Don’t Say that Makes a Difference.” Dana is currently serving as Account Director for the Virginia office of AQUENT.
Jordan Hendler is founder of Admin Concepts, Inc., a Richmond-based company formed to administrate local and national associations since 1998. Admin Concepts has been the administrative partner of AMA-Richmond since 2010. Previously focused towards the collision industry, current clients also include the Society of Collision Repair Specialists, Collision Industry Foundation and Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association. Hendler moved to the Richmond area in 2004, and is married to her husband Barry Dorn with whom she has two stepchildren. She is an active member of the Virginia Dressage Association Central Chapter, as well as volunteering locally for other horse-related activities.