Tuesday, July 14, 2015

At the Trainwreck

It is July in St. Louis. The American Marketing Association incoming chapter President Pier Alsup calls an informal gathering to order at the Westport Trainwreck Saloon.  The heat index is in the high nineties but it is a welcome contrast to perhaps the rainiest June on record in Mound City.

Board members file in casually. Over quesadilla, mushroom poppers, chicken drummies and a beverage of choice you get a preview of the coming year. Angela, Bob and Pier attended the Leadership Summit and the take aways are parceled as topics unfold. Molly and Wes have provided some input as membership co-chairs. Wes, of course, is compelled to again revisit the leaky bucket metaphor that addresses the essential two part strategy for any successful chapter membership plan: 1. Retention and 2. Member Acquisition.  

Bob is a fan of a strategy that allows our chapter to get recognition many of us feel is long overdue. We deserve to be on one of those Chapter Excellence Award banners but have only submitted the required paperwork a handful of times in recent history. Wes recalls a year when the submission earned special recognition for collegiate efforts.

We celebrate the success at UMSL and look forward to steady progress at Lindenwood University where we hope we can grow and mentor future marketers and maybe future chapter leaders too. The marketing roundtable program is re-tooling. Dan reported on the roundtable at the Conference last February and results were highlighted on the AMA St. Louis website. The website features a new look and the chapter logo which was rolled out last year.  Bob is convincing in his assertion that the site has enhanced functionality as well.

This local branding may be a bit of a sore point at International Headquarters. IH has a new CEO and it is clear the larger association is wondering if positioning itself as the most relevant source of marketing knowledge in the world is strong enough.  The power in 75 regional chapters does not go unnoticed. The CEO diplomatically suggests that we are “better together” and the Professional Chapters Council (PCC) leadership seem to concur. (A curious thing, given the fact that PCC is made up of leaders of exceptional chapters, many of whom have worked their way through their own divisive branding exercises.)   

The chapter year is officially underway. The annual golf classic at Creve Coeur Golf Course managed to happen  July 3, 2015 with 30 golfers on a holiday weekend. Now the beginning of strategy ideation begins as the torch is passed.  Good call Pier! And Pier, Greg, Mark, Bob, Courtney, Amanda, Kym, Dan, and Wes disperse from the Trainwreck. They are sure to start the word-of-mouth, social media and committee conversations that gets us on track one more time. 

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