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KAMA’s 28th Annual Honors gala was a night to remember!

deerossWe celebrated the accomplishments of media legends Ross Bagwell Sr. and Dee Haslam last Thursday by presenting both with the Outstanding Marketing Professional award, our chapter’s most prestigious honor.

We also presented awards to our own KAMA members—Sharon Moore, Andrew Hartung and Ana Richters—as well as scholarships to two outstanding UT AMA Marketing students, Patience Cook and Emily Moran.

WBIR Video Coverage:

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Media Mentions:

Photos from Our Saw Works Mill Brewery Tour

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The local chapter of the American Marketing Association held a members-only mingle on July 28 at Saw Works Mill Brewery. Members met to mingle, drink beer (compliments of KAMA!), and eat delicious food from the Oishii Knox food truck.

Saw Works treated us to a tour of the mill, where we learned the intricacies of making beer, and learned about the Saw Works business, which is currently sold at no less than 150 bars in the local area. And keep an eye out—it will be sold in Kroger stores later this year!

Members even got to take home samples of beer. After all, we couldn’t keep this great treat all to ourselves.

This special members-only mingle was the perfect way to beat the July heat. If you couldn’t make this mingle, don’t fret! We’ll be hosting many more in the future. Just keep your eye on your inbox.

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View more pictures from the event on our Facebook page.

Honors 2015 Takes Off: An Evening in the Hangar

What better venue than a private hangar at McGhee Tyson Airport for a gala honoring Eddie Mannis, who serves as a commissioner on the Metropolitan Airport Authority Board? Eddie, president of Prestige Cleaners and Prestige Tuxedo, was selected by our Knoxville American Marketing Association (KAMA) as its 2015 Outstanding Marketing Professional.

“Eddie Mannis” may also bring to mind veterans gathering at McGhee Tyson for an HonorAir Knoxville journey to visit the memorials built in their honor. You’ve seen the weathered faces full of emotion and anticipation, belonging to those who gave so much, on WBIR’s Service and Sacrifice series. For many veterans, it’s the trip of their lifetime, heightened by the homage paid them from grateful crowds and patriotic ensembles as they fly to D.C. and back. A visionary who acts upon inspiration, Eddie Mannis founded HonorAir Knoxville in 2007 out of the deep respect he felt for his father, a veteran of the Korean War, and his uncle, a WWII veteran.

With Dino Cartwright as Honors 2015 master of ceremonies, and with TechRide and Ullrich Printing scheming the themed decor, the private hangar and the event were transformed into something out of a Wright Brothers’ dream.

Inside the hangar, planes representative of early aviation history hung from the ceiling while other models served as table centerpieces, all courtesy of TechRide. TechRide is a corporate leadership training company that provides executive coaching, classroom, and off-site experiential leadership and innovation courses, such as the Wright Brothers Leadership Lab. Reflecting on the significance of the occasion, Susannah Enkema, founder and president of TechRide, said, “We are pleased to participate in honoring Eddie Mannis’ contribution to our business community in East Tennessee at KAMA Honors. In particular, we applaud his leadership to bring businesses and organizations together through HonorAir Knoxville to honor the unselfish service of WWII, Korean War and Vietnam veterans in our community.”

All Occasions Party Rentals provided furnishings and punches of color for the hangar, including serving stations, chairs, tables and vibrant table settings for the celebration.

The Outstanding Marketing Professional award is bestowed upon a marketer whose career reflects remarkable ethical and professional actions, who supports education and promotes excellence.

Other awards handed out at the gala:

Volunteer of the Year: Susan Napier-Sewell, Designsensory. Susan is serving as KAMA’s president-elect for 2015-16.

Locander Award: Marti McKeon Townsend, Knoxville News Sentinel

Marketing Honoree: Lori Fuller, Knoxville Chamber

Marketing Honoree: Adrian Pearce, Knoxville News Sentinel

Scholarships for Outstanding Marketing Students: Amelea Faith Everett and James Agan

Sponsors for Honors 2015 were The Trust Company, Knoxville News Sentinel, Ullrich Printing, FletcHer PR, Knoxville Chamber, 21st Mortgage Corporation, TechRide and Designsensory. Colby McLemore of Colby’s Photography was on hand and behind the lens to capture highlights of the evening.

To see the original blog post by KAMA’s own Susan Sewell, click here.

Black Thursday is the New Black Friday

Here are some thoughts to consider long before that Thanksgiving meal settles. Thanks to KAMA member Kathleen Atkins for contributing this guest post:

Last year, I documented the day after Thanksgiving shopping madness I have annually participated in and has been dubbed by retailers and consumers as the biggest shopping day of the year — Black Friday. The article was based on a tweet from @LauraLPotts: “Black Friday is like zombie apocalypse: you’re either one of them, or you’re locked inside praying that loved ones don’t get trampled.”

This evening, as I’m scouring the Internet doing my research, I’m prepping and flipping through Black Friday ads that have been pre-released, scanned, and posted on various web sites. I’m beginning to formulate my plan of attack.

But this year is different.

Nearly all of the stores are now opening at midnight or earlier. Gone are the days of 5 a.m. store openings I was accustomed to in the “early days.” Black Friday has evolved into Black Thursday, a round-the-clock, nationwide, sleep-deprived shopping massacre.

Black Thursday is the new Black Friday.

I will be among the thousands lined up on a sidewalk or in a parking lot with red blood-colored cranberry sauce stains on my shirt, and everyone will be facing the store’s front door just waiting for the doors to open. Traffic will be at a standstill in Turkey Creek and West Town Mall, and the struggle to obtain the best deals has never been so perilous.

The zombie shopping fever has spread, and I’m afraid it’s hit a pandemic level. I can’t help but wonder, what would Rick from The Walking Dead do?

Zombies in The Walking Dead are quite similar to Black Thursday shoppers:

  • They devour any living thing (deal) they can catch.
  • They never sleep.
  • They are more dangerous in large numbers.
  • Loud noises attract large herds of them.
  • They stand still or shuffle around rather slowly. However when in pursuit, they move much more quickly.
  • They may turn what would normally be a harmless household item into a weapon.

As I prepare to head out into the darkness the evening of Black Thursday, I will be double-knotting my tennis shoes and keeping in mind that the swiftest shoppers can be far more dangerous than the walkers roaming the earth.

Welcome to KAMA’s Silver Anniversary Year

This year is a big deal for the Knoxville Chapter of the American Marketing Association (KAMA). And I’m really glad you’re a part of it!

On behalf of the Board of Directors of KAMA, I’d like to welcome you to our 25th Anniversary Year. In 1988, a few hard working and dedicated marketers in Knoxville got together, did a ton of research and filled out mountains of paperwork to create the Knoxville chapter. They created standard processes to help us with record keeping and protect us for long-term operational and financial stability. Just two years later, they created the Eagle Endowment for Marketing Education.

How is this for a plan?

The foundation laid by our predecessors during the chapter’s first year of operation remains fully intact today. Sure, the old ledgers were eventually converted to spreadsheets and the chapter certainly didn’t have a Facebook page or even a website two decades ago. But the record keeping system they created is exactly what we use today to report our financial and operating plans to the International Headquarters of AMA.

Additionally, since the early days the Eagle Endowment has grown significantly and KAMA has awarded more than $70,000 in scholarships to marketing students at The University of Tennessee. Our founding members not only put into place a sustainable system allowing us to be in operation for 25 years and well beyond, but they also figured out how to keep the profession sustainable by contributing to the education of students and developing young minds to become the marketing leaders of the future.

How cool is that?

So when you’re Tweeting, texting, blogging, pinning, posting, tagging or whatever it is, I ask that you do two things:

  • Remember that no matter how many technological advancements come our way, the fundamental principles of marketing must still apply for the continued success of our profession and the businesses we represent
  • Give a shout out to the visionaries who created our chapter 25 years ago

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