With Thanksgiving essentially here, it’s a great time to reflect on the good things we have going in our lives and take stock of those things for which we are grateful.

The AMA Cincinnati chapter has one especially large thing to be thankful for: The national AMA organization (AMA Support Center) has awarded AMA Cincinnati with Platinum – Continuing Excellence recognition in the Chapter Excellence Awards. AMA Cincinnati also earned recognition for Excellence in Leadership, Programming and Communications for the 2017-18 chapter year.

Pop the champagne!

What this recognition means

AMA Cincinnati achieving Platinum – Continuing Excellence means that we have earned recognition in at least one category for at least five years in a row. This puts us among six other chapters (out of 74 in North America) as considered the top AMA chapters in the country.

This recognition isn’t just about last year, but about the consistent high-quality professional development experiences that our chapter has been able to provide since the 2013-14 chapter year. We want to give a special shout out to the leaders who have been torchbearers along this journey:

  • Dennis Devlin, President, 2013-14
  • Lorena Harris, President, 2014-15
  • Simcha Kackley, President, 2015-16
  • Gina Bonar, President, 2016-17
  • Travis Nipper, President, 2017-18

A couple points of historical interest: AMA Cincinnati has received awards in 31 out of the 39 years that the AMA has been recognizing chapters for excellence. The longest stretch of consecutive award-winning years was 12, from 1999-2010. That’s quite a legacy, and one we can thank our Past Presidents Council for helping us maintain and carry. Let’s see how long we can go this time!

About the Process

All AMA chapters have the opportunity to participate in the Chapter Excellence Awards (CEAs) every year. Not unlike AMA Cincinnati’s Pinnacle Awards, the CEAs is an awards program that recognizes chapters for an entire year of operations in the categories of Leadership, Finance, Membership, Programming and Communications.

CEA submissions are quite an undertaking. Taking up many summer weekends and late nights for volunteers, putting together a CEA requires keeping track and securing documentation of anything and everything from a chapter year, such as:

  • Any and all programming and events, plus their attendance and satisfaction survey results
  • Board meeting minutes
  • Financial documents and statements
  • Measurement and KPI documents
  • Lists of volunteers, board members, partners, sponsors
  • Member acquisition and retention
  • Communications practices, such as tools used for email blasts, health of social media engagement and reach

Not only do we have to write about an entire year’s happenings, but we also need to provide screenshots and proof. Our CEA submission document clocked in at about 288 pages for the 2017-18 chapter year. Good thing we can submit it digitally!

Then … we wait, while a team of volunteer judges consisting of past presidents of past award-winning chapters painstakingly reviews and scores the massive documents submitted by up to 74 chapters across the country. In late fall, the AMA Support Center starts sharing the results. There are Gold, Silver, Bronze and “Turn it Up” chapters, as well as Excellent or Special Merit recognition across the five individual categories.

From all of us on the AMA Cincinnati board, thank you to all current and past members, volunteers, board members, leaders, sponsors, partners and speakers. Our success is your success. Thank you!

We are over the moon with this recognition, and grateful for the MANY individual and collective efforts that got us here, but we don’t do what we do for the awards. We do it for the pursuit of being effective, best-in-class marketers. We do it to be a resource for the Cincinnati Marketing community for continuous professional development and growth.

Cheers to more continued excellence, with you all as a part of our successes, learnings and growth.