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AMA Leadership

AMA Executive Team


Russ Klein

Chief Executive Officer

Russell Klein has quarterbacked teams for many of the world’s foremost brand names—holding top marketing and advertising posts at Dr Pepper/7UP Companies, Gatorade, 7-Eleven Corporation, Burger King Corporation, and Arby’s Restaurant Group.

His Burger King body of work that was recognized by ADWEEK as “The Advertiser of the Decade” for the 2000’s…a distinction belonging to Nike and Budweiser in previous decades. Klein was again recognized as a seminal influence behind Burger King’s recognition at this year’s Cannes ad festival as Creative Marketer of the Year in 2017; referencing a few of his most popular campaigns including:

Burger King’s groundbreaking digital campaign, “Subservient Chicken

  • ranked as the 6th greatest campaign of 21st Century by Ad Age
  • and Digital Ad of the Decade by the Wall Street Journal

Klein was responsible for “Whopper Freakout” 

  • the highest recalled advertising campaign ever measured by Nielsen’s IAG Research among all advertisers

As CEO for the American Marketing Association, Russ is charged with the transformation of the AMA to become the essential community for marketers.

  • Klein was once nicknamed “Flamethrower” by an industry publication for his managerial risk-taking and provocative advertising; but he now aspires to be the torch bearer for all marketers.

Barbara Grobicki

Chief Alliances Officer

As Chief Alliance & Foundation Officer of the American Marketing Association, Barbara Grobicki is responsible for developing and maintaining external relationships in support of the vision, mission and goals of the organization. This includes advertising, sponsorship and strategic partnerships.

In her role, she also leads the AMA Foundation, this philanthropic arm of the AMA, that supports collegiate scholarships and academic awards that elevate the industry and recognize exemplary marketers throughout their career.

Previous positions include Director of Development at the Haslam College of Business, University of Tennessee, and Director of Ad Sales Marketing, HGTV. She began her marketing career in the boating industry, holding positions of increasing responsibility at both MasterCraft Boat Company and Brunswick Corporation. She holds both an MBA and BA from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.


David Klein

Chief Content Officer

At the AMA, David Klein will oversee the omnichannel content strategy for our practitioner, academic and collegiate communities. That includes exploring new initiatives while also guiding flagship AMA brands like Marketing News magazine, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, the AMA Professional Certified Marketer® program, AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education and more.

Before joining the AMA, Klein served as Senior Vice President/Group Publisher for Crain Communications Inc. There he oversaw the strategy and operations of iconic brands like “Advertising Age,” “Pensions & Investments,” “Investment News,” “Crain’s NY Business” and “Modern Healthcare.” He worked with those brands to manage the transition from reliance on print to a more balanced mix of streams while keeping editorial quality as the top priority.


Jennifer Severns

Chief Experience Officer

Jennifer Severns brings the AMA her ability to lead cross-functional innovation and guide digital disruption as we work to enhance and refine customer experience. A relentless imagination powers her creative and agile communication skills as she oversees marketing, insights, innovation, customer service and live experience at the AMA.

Severns has experience with many of the world’s foremost brands including Allstate, Unilever, Dell, Nissan, Subway and more. Perhaps most noteworthy is Jennifer’s stint with Harpo Productions where she and her trailblazing team led digital design. She was central to the original design of the Oprah brand digital strategy for the Oprah Winfrey Show. She is a data-driven doer with a nose for financial results…and believes “there’s always a way.” At Harpo, Severns had full stewardship for the digital program from design, research, business requirements, production, to implementation; at one point growing the Oprah website site to nearly 15 million monthly unique visitors!


Jeremy Van Ek

Chief Operations Officer


As Chief Operations Officer at the American Marketing Association, Van Ek will lead AMA’s financial, operational, and human resource strategies.

Van Ek comes to the AMA with more than 15 years of experience in the marketing industry, including working at Edelman, Arc Worldwide and most recently Trisect, where he was the Chief Financial Officer.


Board of Directors

The AMA Board of Directors is a group of volunteer leaders who are impactful visionaries in marketing. They provide insight and guidance as the AMA works to become the essential community for marketers.

Stacy Armijo, Chairperson

Chief Experience Officer, Amplify Credit Union

Kay Lemon, Chairperson-Elect

Accenture Professor of Marketing, Boston College’s Carroll School of Management

Bill Cron, Immediate Past Chairperson

J. Vaughn & Evelynne H. Wilson Professor in Business, and the Sr. Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Research at Neeley School of Business, Texas Christian University

Karen Albritton, Secretary

Partner, Newport Board Group

Dennis R. James, Treasurer

Chief Financial Officer, Greater Chicago Food Depository

Roger Adams, At-Large Member

Chief Marketing Officer (retired), USAA

Lisa Bowman, At-Large Member

Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, United Way Worldwide

Mark Houston, At-Large Member

Professor & the Eunice and James L. West Chair of Marketing, Neeley School of Business, Texas A&M University

Michael Brady, At-Large Member

Bob Sasser Professor and Chair, Department of Marketing, Florida State University

Bernard Jaworski, At-Large Member

Peter F. Drucker Chair in Management and the Liberal Arts, Drucker School of Management, Claremont Graduate University

Marlene Gordon, At-Large Member

Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary, Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc.

Diana O’Brien, At-Large Member

Global Chief Marketing Officer, Deloitte

H. Rao Unnava, At-Large Member

Dean and Professor, Graduate School of Management, University of California, Davis

Kevin Bradford, At-Large Member

Teaching Professor of Marketing, University of California, Irvine

Ajay Kohli, At-Large Member

Regents Professor and Gary T. and Elizabeth R. Jones Chair, Georgia Tech

Russ Klein, Ex-Officio Member

Chief Executive Officer, American Marketing Association