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BY: DANIEL MONDAY, PAST PRESIDENT

Our AMA Knoxville Chapter was humbled and grateful to be awarded the national Turn-It-Up Chapter of the Year for 2015-2016 – which is exactly how I summed up how we feel about the recognition at the national AMA Leadership Summit this past spring. I spent a brief time on stage presenting the story of our award-winning year to a crowd of more than 300 AMA representatives from across the nation. You can check out the video below to see the presentation:

The annual AMA Leadership Summit brings together chapters from all over to network, learn best practices of running a local chapter, and develop leadership skills. The experience was incredible, with an endless amount of knowledge coming from the speakers and sessions. The networking was fantastic and allowed us to make some great contacts, who will serve as resources well into the future. In order to maximize the efficacy of the event, we had four other Knoxville board members attend – Carol Kelly, president; Erica Coffey, president-elect; Jessica Karsten, vice president of digital communications; and Colby McLemore, vice president of membership.

The Turn-It-Up Chapter of the Year award is given to the chapter who shows the greatest growth after numerous challenges, setbacks and extended periods of decline or somewhat stagnant activity. While Knoxville has always been a chapter of excellence, the mid-2000s showed a decline in membership, sponsorship and event attendance, with board turnover becoming more of a problem in the years preceding 2015-2016. Fortunately, we’ve always had a sound financial footing. So, with a focus on recruiting exceptional board members and rallying behind a unified mission to grow membership, attendance and sponsorship (among other goals), we had a great year turning things around.

Some of the highlights from 2015-2016 were boosting event attendance by 54 percent, increasing membership by 29 percent from 99 to 128 members, and securing $15,000 in cash sponsorships alone, which was well above our $6,000 goal. We also held a number of member-only webinar breakfasts and happy hours that generated a sense of camaraderie among members, along with some open networking events for those interested in learning more about AMA membership. Lastly, we gave $9,000 in scholarships to local college students and added $10,000 to our chapter’s Eagle Endowment Fund, which now sits at about $350,000 total.

Our chapter could not have achieved what we did and earned this award if it weren’t for the 2015-2016 board team and volunteers that pulled together throughout the year to work hard and produce the end result, so I believe they deserve all of the credit:

President: Daniel Monday, Slamdot
President-Elect: Susan Napier-Sewell, Designsensory
Immediate Past President: Lisa Rupchak, U.S. Cellular
Secretary: Kelsey Brantley, Clayton Homes
Treasurer: Andrew Hartung, Eaton & Hartung, PLLC
VP Past President’s Council: Sharon Moore, Knoxville Zoo
VP Membership: Lindsay Cates, The Trust Company
VP Volunteers: Abbigail Christensen, Ripley PR
VP Programming: Lori Fuller, Knoxville Chamber
VP Sponsorship: Jim Ragonese, UT Medical Center
VP Collegiate Relations: Chad Elmore, Pyxl
VP Conference: Katey Marina, Securities Service Network+
Director of Conference: Claudette Sariya, FletcHER
VP Special Events: Carol Kelly, Ullrich Printing
VP Communications: Ana Richters, NIMBioS
Director Social Media: Bethany Yandell, UT Medical Center
Director Brand Content: Mandy King, Pyxl+
Co-Director of Brand Content: Jennie Huettel, Mountain Mutt Media
Director Brand Design: John McCulley, Moxley Carmichael
Director at Large: Michelle Anningson, WATE
Director at Large: Marti Townsend, Knoxville News Sentinel
Director at Large: Angie Howell, Knoxville News Sentinel

If you’re interested in the AMA, we hope you’ll consider joining and getting involved in the Knoxville chapter!

photos courtesy of Colby’s Photography

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