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Thank You AMA & AMA Foundation (aka Shameless Self Promotion…)

July 20th, 2009

Just returned from a great trip to Chicago where I was honored to receive the American Marketing Association and the American Marketing Association Foundation Nonprofit Marketer of the Year for 2009! Wow, what an honor and a privilege. Especially considering the outstanding field of nominees this year and the talented folks that won special awards for Social Media and Special Projects, David J. Neff and Anne Bergquist. Read all about it below:

AMA & AMAF Honor the Recipients of the
2009 Nonprofit Marketer of the Year Awards

(CHICAGO, July 16, 2009) – The American Marketing Association (AMA) and the American Marketing Association Foundation (AMAF) honored three nonprofit marketing leaders at its Nonprofit Marketing Conference in Chicago, IL, on July 16, 2009. Eric Overman, Operation Smile, received the Nonprofit Marketer of the Year Award, and Anne Bergquist, YMCA of Metro Chicago, and David Neff, American Cancer Society High Plains, received the Special Marketing Initiatives and Social Media subcategory awards, respectively. The AMA/AMAF Nonprofit Marketer of the Year Awards honor extraordinary leadership and achievement in the field of nonprofit marketing.

Eric Overman is Director of Online Communities and Social Media at Operation Smile (www.operationsmile.org), an international medical charity dedicated to mobilizing a world of generous hearts to heal children’s smiles and transform lives across the globe.

Since joining the organization in 2006, Eric has launched its first Online and Interactive department, promoted integrated marketing programs, and introduced new technologies to increase donor engagement and empower supporters to also become advocates and fundraisers. These efforts generated 30 percent annual online revenue growth and resulted in email list growth of 500 percent. Eric is currently launching branded online communities and leading the charge to integrate social media into the marketing mix, as well as deploying an internal social business software platform to enhance global communications.

Eric’s blog, Disrupt IT (www.ericoverman.com), explores the impact of the emerging disruptive technologies and media on the nonprofit world. Eric lives in Virginia Beach, VA, with his wife, Karen, and two children. He serves as president-elect of the Hampton Roads American Marketing Association and holds an MBA from William & Mary’s Mason School of Business.

Anne Bergquist, Vice President of Brand Management and Marketing for the YMCA of Metro Chicago (www.ymcachgo.org), joined the Y in 2002. She is responsible for the Y’s brand image through its corporate marketing program that drives annual membership revenue in excess of $28 million from more than 120,000 members at 19 branches across Chicagoland.

In addition to the corporate marketing strategy, Anne directs the development and execution of the marketing plans at each YMCA membership branch, enabling customization with consistent brand identity using guerrilla marketing, advertising, and promotional tactics at the local level. As a result of her efforts, from 2003 to 2006 the Y grew membership revenue by $6 million and increased retention by 11 percent.

During her tenure at the Y, Anne restructured the corporate marketing department to function as an in-house agency serving 19 membership branches, six Human Services programs, and four resident camps. She also developed a comprehensive graphic design/copy template system for membership marketing, retention, and fundraising materials, ensuring maximized internal resources and consistent brand identity across the association. In addition, Anne developed and directed the Y’s first image awareness campaign tied to the YMCA’s 150th anniversary in 2008.

Anne has a BA in American Studies from the University of Notre Dame. She and her husband, Kent, reside in Chicago.

David J. Neff is the Director of Web, Film and Interactive Strategy for the American Cancer Society’s High Plains division (www.cancer.org) and is also the Executive Director of Lights. Camera. Help (www.lightscamerahelp.com).

In his capacity at the American Cancer Society, David directs all Web and interactive strategies and online properties for six states in addition to managing the division’s eRevenue strategy, social networking/media strategy, and online community strategy. As the executive director of Lights. Camera. Help, he is working to start the world’s first nonprofit-focused film festival.

David is a two-time recipient of a Futuring and Innovations grant, which he used to create C-Tools and SharingHope.TV (www.sharinghope.tv). C-Tools was the first PDA software tool for the prevention of cancer developed by the American Cancer Society, and SharingHope.TV is the nonprofit world’s first totally user-generated content Web site. In 2009, the Austin American Statesman recognized David as one of the top 25 Social Media People in the state of Texas.

David earned his BS in Public Relations from the University of Texas with a minor in Business from the McCombs School of Business. He currently lives in Austin, TX.

About the AMA/AMAF Nonprofit Marketer of the Year Awards
In addition to honoring the Nonprofit Marketer of the Year, the AMA and AMAF wanted to recognize two additional marketers whose skills and accomplishments are particularly relevant for today’s changing economy and technology with the Special Marketing Initiatives and the Social Media awards. With the help of The Nonprofit Times (award presenting sponsor), the AMA Foundation promoted the awards and received close to 100 nominations. Winners were selected by a six person committee consisting of members of the 2009 AMA Nonprofit Marketing Conference Committee and Advisory Council, AMA Foundation Board members, and a representative from The Nonprofit Times–all of whom are leaders and experts in the field of nonprofit marketing. Judges rated nominees on three criteria: vision and leadership, strategy, and results.

The AMA/AMAF Nonprofit Marketer of the Year Awards Committee was chaired by Tom Abrahamson, Managing Director & Principal, Lipman Hearne, AMAF Board member, and former AMA Board member. The committee is as follows:

Tom Abrahamson (Chair), Managing Director & Principal, Lipman Hearne;
Jay Aldous, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, U.S. Fund for UNICEF;
Lisa Chernick, Executive Director, American Marketing Association Foundation;
Cynthia Currence, President and CEO, Currence & Associates;
Meme Drumwright, Associate Professor, Advertising, University of Texas at Austin; and
John McIlquham, President, The Nonprofit Times.

The AMA Foundation will announce the call for nominations for the 2010 Nonprofit Marketer of the Year Awards in the winter of 2010.

About the American Marketing Association
The American Marketing Association is the largest marketing association in North America. It is a professional association for individuals and organizations involved in the practice, teaching and study of marketing worldwide. It is also the source that marketers turn to every day to deepen their marketing expertise, elevate their careers, and, ultimately, achieve better results. American Marketing Association members are connected to a network of experienced marketers nearly 40,000 strong.

American Marketing Association offers highly acclaimed Training Series, professional conferences and Hot Topic events focused on the immediate needs of marketers, as well as trends shaping the future. American Marketing Association’s website, MarketingPower.com, is the everyday connection to marketing data, articles, case studies, best practices and a robust job bank. Additionally, the American Marketing Association is the source for the field’s top magazines and journals, including Marketing News. Through local and collegiate chapters, American Marketing Association members are connected with the best people and the best practices. For more information on the American Marketing Association please visit www.marketingpower.com.

About the American Marketing Association Foundation
The American Marketing Association Foundation maximizes marketing for the betterment of society. This is accomplished by:

Investing in the growth and use of nonprofit and social marketing knowledge;
Supporting appropriate community outreach efforts; and
Acknowledging academic and practitioner marketing excellence.
The AMAF works in partnerships and other strategic collaborations with the AMA, AMA chapters, marketing practitioners and academics, and scores of voluntary and community organizations. For additional information about the AMAF and its programs or to make a contribution, please visit www.themarketingfoundation.org.

Weathering the Storm

March 14th, 2009

I attended a great presentation last week  put on by the Hampton Roads Chapter of the American Marketing Association at the Town Point Club here in Norfolk, Va.  Russell J. Held, Deputy Executive Director of Virginia Port Authority, shared many of the marketing challenges and opportunities faced by The Port of Virginia in the current economic storm with a great message for us all as we face our own challenges today.

The important message:  Now is a good time to go after new market share.  Thanks to the willingness to invest in the technologies and global messaging to differentiate the Virginia Ports and their benefits, they have increased market share during the economic turmoil over the last year.  Once the economy improves and import/export volume begins to increase again, market share increases will translate into increased revenues and profits, continuing to push the Ports forward.

I agree.  Now is the time for those who can invest in the strategies, technology and marketing to get your message out and increase customer share and customer engagement.   Building a larger customer base and increasing loyalty will help the difficult times and make the good times better.  In many cases, media is now cheaper to purchase and better negotiations are possible for purchasing technologies to improve the infrastructure that will allow you to deliver your message and engage your customers.  Plus, there just might be less noise to contend with to get your customer’s ear as competitor’s cut back on getting their message out.

On another note, guess what the number one export leaving the Ports is.  Waste paper products.  Yep, our number one export there is more or less trash we generate.  It heads to Asia where it is turned into cardboard boxes, which are filled with goods that are shipped back as imports.