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AMA Foundation Board of Advisors

2023-24 AMA Foundation Board of Advisors

The AMAF Board of Advisors includes representation from the academic and practitioner fields as we strive to serve the unique philanthropic goals of both groups.

Bob Leone | Chairperson

Professor Leone received a B. A. in Mathematics and an MBA from the University of Texas at Arlington and a Ph.D. in Marketing from Purdue University. Prior to joining TCU in 2008, Professor Leone was a Chaired Professor at The Ohio State University (1992 – 2008) and The University of Texas at Austin (1978 – 1992).

Professor Leone served as the Co-Editor of the Journal of Marketing, the premier broad-based academic journal in Marketing, from 2009-2011. Professor Leone is also the recipient of the 2010 Churchill Award given by the American Marketing Association for “Lifetime Achievement in the area of Marketing Research”.  Professor Leone’s primary research interests involve investigating the effects of advertising, price and promotion on market performance, branding and brand equity, and developing marketing metrics to help guide strategic decisions. He has written extensively in this area and has published in such journals as the Harvard Business Review, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing Science, Journal of the American Statistical Association, Management Science, Journal of Business and Economic Statistics, Journal of Advertising, Journal of Retailing, and Operations Research.

Professor Leone’s teaching interests are in the areas of Marketing Management and Strategy, Marketing Research, and Customer Relationship Management. He has taught courses at the undergraduate, MBA, and Ph.D. levels, as well as various modules in Executive Education programs. Professor Leone has won a number of teaching awards including the 2014 Outstanding Elective Professor Award from the Neeley School of Business, the 2005 Outstanding Elective Professor award from the MBA students at Ohio State University, the 2006 Fisher College of Business Pace Setters Graduate Teaching Award, and the 2004, 2005 and 2006 Outstanding Marketing Elective award given by the MBA students at Ohio State. Professor Leone has done extensive teaching in Executive Education Programs for universities as well as companies. Professor Leone is also an active consultant and has worked for a wide range of domestic and global companies including Alliance Data Systems, Eli Lilly, Limited, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Procter and Gamble, Samsung, and Sears.

Professor Leone is involved in a number of professional activities. He is a frequent invited speaker at conferences sponsored by the American Marketing Association and the Marketing Science Institute. Professor Leone has served on the American Marketing Association’s Educator’s Council, he chaired the Second TIMS Marketing Science Conference, he has cochaired the American Marketing Association Summer Educator’s Conference, and he cochaired the 2011 American Marketing Association Doctoral Consortium. Professor Leone was also named the 1997 Central Ohio Educational Marketer of the Year by the Columbus Chapter of the American Marketing Association.

Kimberly Whitler | Chairperson-Elect

Kimberly A. Whitler (PhD) is the Frank M. Sands Sr. Associate Professor of Business at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. Whitler’s research focuses on helping boards, CEOs, and CMOs better understand and leverage marketing for firm advantage. Her research won the 2023 Journal of Marketing’s Sheth Foundation Award, the 2020 Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science Sheth Foundation Award, was a finalist for the Journal of Marketing’s 2018 MSI/Paul H. Root Award and won the 2017 Robert D. Buzzell Best Paper for research that had the most significant impact on marketing practice and thought. 

Prior to becoming a professor, Whitler worked for nearly 20 years in marketing strategy, General Management, and Chief Marketing Officer positions. She is the author of Positioning for Advantage: Techniques and Strategies to Grow Brand Value, and as a senior contributor for Forbes, has over 4.5 million views of her articles. Whitler has worked with a number of organizations, including the FBI, U.S. Department of Defense, The Coca-Cola Company, McDonald’s, CEO-CMO Summit, PGAN Large Cap CEO Forum, Forbes’ CMO Summit, E. & J. Gallo, Gartner, MSI Trustee Meeting, among others. She attended the USAFA, has a BA from Eureka College, an MBA from University of Arizona, and an MS and PhD from Indiana University.

Ric Sweeney | Immediate Past Chairperson

Ric Sweeney is a Professor of Marketing at the University of Cincinnati’s Carl H Lindner College of Business, the Director of Co-curricular Student Enrichment, and the Lindner Business Honors Circle of Excellence Director. He currently serves as Faculty Advisor for UC DECA, and is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, Delta Sigma Pi, Order of Omega, Omicron Delta Kappa, and the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity. Ric has been involved with the American Marketing Association since 1996 in a variety of volunteer positions locally and nationally, serving as Chair of the International Board of Directors in 2014-2015 and as Chair for the AMA Foundation 2021-2023. Ric has been recognized by the University of Cincinnati for excellence in teaching and service and has received numerous awards for, including the EXCEL Undergraduate Teaching Award, Boyd Innovation Award, the Harold Grilliot Award, and both the Barbour Award and Cohen Award, 2 of the University’s top awards for excellence. In 2018, Ric was named a Cincinnati Marketing Legend by the Cincinnati American Marketing Association.

Shanita Akintonde

Shanita Baraka Akintonde is a highly respected global leader and sought-after expert in marketing communication, leadership, branding, diversity, equity, and inclusion.  Her company, ShanitaSpeaks LLC provides communication, leadership and diversity training.

With extensive knowledge and practical experience, coupled with her 23-year tenure as a professor and academic leader at Columbia College Chicago where she also served as founder and advisor for the award-winning AMA Chicago Collegiate Chapter for more than a decade.  These skills combined with her marketing acumen, allow Shanita to bring  a unique set of talents and abilities that will serve as a valuable resource for AMA, including her role in the Chicago chapter where she serves as the inaugural VP of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.  

Shanita further showcases her business scholarship as a contributing author in three books, hosting the #1-ranked Marketing Insights podcast, and leading top organizations in marketing, advertising, public relations, allow her to stay at the forefront of industry trends and best practices.

This global leader’s ability to effectively communicate complex concepts, inspire teams, and foster collaborative environments has been instrumental in achieving exceptional results. A fashion-forward wife and mother, Shanita is a huge education access advocate and herself has earned three degrees:  BA, Columbia College, MBA, Illinois Institute of Technology and M.Ed., Loyola University Chicago. She also holds a certificate in Leadership from Lake Forest College, Advanced Advertising, University of Illinois-Champaign-Urbana and is a graduate of the 2nd Executive Leadership Program Cohort, Harvard University Business School. 

How do you spell diversity, branding, and marketing communication expert? ShaniTaDa!

Hami Vo Arrington

Hami Vo Arrington is a founder at One Foot Over, a B2B strategy and marketing agency and consultancy that works alongside CMOs and marketing executives to create strategies that bring results and solutions to their marketing problems.

Hami holds a BA in Public Relations and Marketing and an MBA in Marketing from Georgia State University. She is a past president of the American Marketing Association Houston Chapter, past president of the Women’s Masters Network, Leadership Houston Class XXXVII alumna, and Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas board member. Hami was also chosen to be an Ambassador for the Cohort 26 Alumni from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program in Houston.

Megan Lau

Megan Lau is a creative data scientist with an abiding interest in innovation and invention.

As the Director of Consumer Data Science for Microsoft’s Customer and Marketing Research organization, she moves mountains of data to uncover insights about, and give voice to, Microsoft’s customers. Faced with a vexing problem, Megan reverse engineers it and keeps at it until she finds a solution. She is tireless when she stares down a challenge and is eager to learn new things.

Born and raised in Alaska, she went to college in Washington State and, passionate about art, she thought she’d be a designer when she graduated. But this is a rare artist who also loves math and statistics—a combination that made her an ideal fit for a job as an analyst, cementing her career in marketing research for the past 13 years.

Megan finds stories in the data. Stories that give voice to customer needs. Stories that can show the way around previously intractable problems. And stories that have transformed Microsoft’s marketing strategies.

Some might see mere spreadsheets, pivot tables, databases, and surveys. But Megan knows she’s doing more than just analyzing numbers or fields of data. She’s making a difference for Microsoft and its customers around the world.

Stephanie Noble

Stephanie M. Noble is the Nestlé USA Professor of Marketing and William B. Stokely Faculty Research Fellow in the Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee. Her primary research interests involve customer experience management in retail and service settings, with a focus on technology, atmospherics, and organizational frontlines. She has published in several top journals including the Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, International Journal of Research in Marketing, Journal of Service Research, Journal of Retailing, and many other outlets. Stephanie was a member of the American Marketing Association’s (AMA) Academic Council, has co-chaired the Summer AMA Educator’s Conference, has been a doctoral consortium faculty member for AMA/Sheth, Frontiers in Services, and Academy of Marketing Science Conferences, and has been actively involved in the Retailing & Pricing SIG (co-chair) for the AMA. Stephanie has served as an Area Editor for the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science and the Journal of Retailing, is currently a co-editor for the Journal of Service Research and is the incoming EIC (with Charles Noble) at the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science.

Linda L. Price

Linda L. Price is Professor of Marketing and Dick and Maggie Scarlett Chair of Business Administration at University of Wyoming, her alma mater. She has been a participating member of AMA since she was a PhD student at University of Texas, over 40 years ago. As a newly minted assistant professor at University of Pittsburgh she served on the Board of Directors for the Pittsburgh Chapter. As faculty and department head at several universities she has engaged with many different parts of the broad AMA community, including, of course, the Academic Community. She served on the AMA Academic Council from 2012-2018, serving as President 2016-2017. Her long history of AMA service includes an active role on numerous award committees, AMA task forces, chairing conference tracks, and serving on the Editorial Review Board for AMA journals. She attended and participated in almost all the last 20 AMA Sheth Foundation Doctoral Consortiums. Linda’s record of service to the discipline extends beyond AMA. She also served on the Sheth Foundation Board from 2014-2020 and continues service on the advisory board for the Sheth Foundation. In addition, Linda served as President of the Association for Consumer Research in 2014, Editor of Journal of Consumer Research 2018-2020, and she has chaired several conferences for the Association for Consumer Research and Consumer Culture Theory Consortium and chaired several doctoral symposiums and consortiums. She also served on the Board of Governors for the Academy of Marketing Science.  Linda is the recipient of AMA awards including CBSIG Lifetime Achievement, American Marketing Association Fellow, and the AMA V. Kumar Doctoral Student Mentorship award. She has also been named Association for Consumer Research Fellow, Academy of Marketing Science Distinguished Educator, and Society of Marketing Advances Distinguished Scholar. Linda’s theory and multi-method research is published in top marketing journals and many of her papers are considered seminal and have introduced new constructs to the field. Her work has applications for services marketing, brand relationships, customer experiences and sustainability.  Much of her scholarship has been published with her beloved PhD students that she has been blessed to work with, mentor and watch blossom and grow.

Aric Rindfleisch

Aric Rindfleisch (PhD, Wisconsin) is the John M. Jones Professor of Marketing and Executive Director of the Illinois MakerLab at the University of Illinois. He previously held faculty positions at several other leading institutions across the world, including the University of Wisconsin, University of Arizona, Tilburg University, Korea University, Yonsei University, Waseda University and Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Aric’s research, which currently focuses on technology and innovation, has been published in a variety of journals, including the Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Consumer Psychology, International Journal of Research in Marketing and Journal of Product Innovation Management, among others. Aric also teaches three popular Coursera classes (Marketing in a Digital World, The Digital Marketing Revolution, The 3D Printing Revolution), which have a combined total of over 600,000 learners across the world.