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American Marketing Association: 2020–2021 Election

Executive Board Positions

Chairperson – Katherine N. Lemon

Kay Lemon - Chairperson

Katherine (Kay) N. Lemon is the Accenture Professor of Marketing at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management. She is a globally recognized expert in understanding key drivers of firm growth from a customer perspective; developing models of customer experience, customer loyalty and customer equity that enable firms to significantly increase return on marketing investments. She is currently Chairperson-Elect of the Board of Directors of the AMA.

Her research appears in leading marketing journals including the Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing Science, Management Science and the Journal of Service Research. She has received numerous awards for her research, including the Sheth Foundation/Journal of Marketing Award, the Lehmann Award, the Davidson Award and the Berry AMA Book Award. She is the past editor of the Journal of Service Research. She serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Marketing, the Journal of Marketing Research and the Journal of Service Research. She is an AMA Lifetime Fellow. She received the Christopher Lovelock Career Contributions to the Services Discipline Award, the Early Career Contributions to Marketing Strategy Research Award, the Elsevier Research Scholar of the Year Award, and is a member of the PhD Project’s “Circle of Champions.”

She serves on the Board of Directors of Maple Leaf Foods, Inc., a leading Canadian consumer packaged proteins company, where she is a member of the Audit Committee and the Safety and Sustainability Committee. She is also a Distinguished Faculty Fellow for the Center for Excellence in Service and an Academic Fellow for the Center for Services Leadership. Previously, she served as an at-large member of the Board of Directors of the AMA, and as Executive Director, Board member and Academic Trustee of the Marketing Science Institute. She has also served on the Marketing Advisory Board for Harte Hanks, the International Academic Advisory Panel for the Institute of Service Excellence at Singapore Management University, and on a variety of corporate advisory boards including IBM/Lenovo, AirTran, CRMC, GfK, WOMMA, and Copernicus Marketing (now part of Isobar). Kay has taught and consulted with leading global companies in many industries (including consumer packaged goods, retailing, digital, health care, financial services, high tech, and telecom). At Boston College, she serves on the Council for Women Colloquium Advisory Board, and the Carroll School Promotion and Tenure Committee.

Chairperson-Elect – Karen Albritton

Karen Albritton Chairperson Elect

Karen Albritton is an advisor to executives of emerging growth and mid-market companies, helping them drive performance and growth. At Thinc Strategy, she’s part of an experienced team of consultants who operate as strategic partners—working alongside business owners, executive leadership teams, and corporate boards—to develop and execute real strategies for measurable growth and change. The firm has helped more than 140 companies in 26 countries boost their business value and elevate the people they employ.

Prior to joining Thinc Strategy, Karen was an executive with marketing services firms such as Ketchum, Capstrat and McKinney. In a decade as Capstrat President and then CEO, she helped grow the agency from a 20-person firm into an award-winning market leader. Among her accomplishments are a number of innovations: launching analytics, digital and social media services as well as building a national healthcare practice. She’s been a part of eight acquisitions, both as an acquirer and in successful exits, including the Capstrat sale to Omnicom.

Karen is a marketing industry advocate, serving on the board of directors for the American Marketing Association. In 2018, she was recognized as the AMA National Chapter Volunteer of the Year. She served as president of the Triangle chapter, leading the chapter to a Silver Chapter Excellence Award and continues to volunteer on the chapter’s past-presidents’ council. She was a member of the AMA Professional Chapters Council for five years, serving as AMA Leadership Summit co-chair and PCC president in 2013-14.

She has been a presenter at the Internet Summit, the PRSA Counselors Academy Annual Conference, the AMA Non-Profit Marketing Conference, the International Women’s Forum-Carolinas Chapter, AMA Symposium on Higher Education Marketing and at the AMA Collegiate Conference. She also speaks to corporate audiences for companies like Credit Suisse, Vanderbilt Health, Cotton, Incorporated and Siemens.

Karen is actively engaged in industry and community organizations.  Current board service includes the National Association for Corporate Directors-Research Triangle, and the UNC Health Foundation (audit and executive committees). She earned her B.A. degree in journalism and political science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Secretary – H. Rao Unnava

H. Rao Unnava Secretary

Dean Unnava’s research focuses on issues related to brand loyalty, consumer response to advertising and sales promotions and consumer memory. His work has appeared in the Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Consumer Research, Marketing Letters, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Journal of International Consumer Marketing and Advances in Consumer Research. He is on the editorial review boards of the Journal of Consumer Research and Journal of Consumer Psychology.

Unnava’s teaching experience includes courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including marketing management and strategy, marketing research, consumer behavior, promotional strategy, human memory processes and international marketing. He was named Outstanding Undergraduate Teacher by the student chapter of American Marketing Association seven times, won the Westerbeck Undergraduate teaching award twice, and was awarded the Bostic‐Georges service award in 2014.

Unnava joined the Graduate School of Management in June 2016 following 32 years at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business, where he earned his Ph.D. and most recently served as the W. Arthur Cullman professor of marketing.  At the Fisher College of Business, Unnava also served as the associate dean of undergraduate programs, associate dean of executive education, and director of doctoral programs in business.

Unnava is also one of the founders of Angie’s List. He is currently on the board of directors of the American Marketing Association.

Unnava earned his Ph.D. in business administration from The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business, his Post Graduate Diploma in management from the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, and his B.Tech. in electronics engineering from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University.

Immediate Past Chairperson – Stacy Armijo

Stacy Armijo Immediate Past Chairperson

Stacy Armijo is Chief Experience Officer for Amplify Credit Union, a $1B credit union in the Austin area. She is responsible for marketing and communications; retail delivery, including branches and contact center; the payment and operations department; human resources & training; and social impact in the community. She joined Amplify in July 2018 and previously spent 17 years with Pierpont Communications, one of Texas’ largest independent public relations and marketing firms, lastly as Executive Vice President.

Stacy is also active in her profession with a long tenure of service to the American Marketing Association (AMA). Currently she is Chairperson of the Board of Directors and previously, she served on the organization’s Audit & Finance Committee, as President of its Professional Chapters Council and as President of the Austin chapter, among other roles over 15 years of involvement. Beyond AMA, Stacy has been active in the industry in other ways, such as serving as a Lecturer teaching Public Relations Strategies at the University of Texas at Austin for three years and winning the “Austin Under 40 Award” for Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations.

Outside her profession, Stacy is involved in various aspects of the Austin community and was named a “Woman of Influence” by the Austin Business Journal. Currently, she serves on the Boards of Directors for the Austin Chamber of Commerce, Communities in Schools of Central Texas, the American Red Cross of Central Texas, the Greater Austin Crime Commission and the Austin Area Research Organization. In addition, she is a graduate of the Emerge and Essential programs of Leadership Austin.

Stacy earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Texas at Austin and speaks regularly about public relations, marketing, leadership and community service.

Treasurer – Dennis James

Dennis James Treasurer

Dennis James is the Chief Financial Officer of the Greater Chicago Food Depository.  He joined the organization in late 2015, is the Treasurer of the board of directors and leads all finance, accounting, administrative and information technology activities.

Mr. James has spent his professional career in the Chicagoland area, mostly in the banking and insurance industries – working with both Citibank NA and CNA Insurance. Since 2005, he has worked in the global not-for-profit arena for both religious and membership organizations.

Born in St. Cloud, Minnesota, he attended St. Cloud State University and earned his bachelor’s degree in finance, with a minor in speech communications. He then spent a summer in Crested Butte, Colorado maintaining ski lifts and relaxing before earning his master’s degree in international finance from Thunderbird in Glendale, Arizona. Mr. James is also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the State of Illinois.

He resides in Palatine, Illinois with his wife Sheryl and their three children.

At-Large Members of the Board

Vanitha Swaminathan

Vanitha Swaminathan At-Large Board Member

Vanitha Swaminathan is Thomas Marshall Professor of Marketing at the University of Pittsburgh and the Director of the Katz Center for Branding. Her research focuses on branding strategy and the conditions that foster consumer-brand relationships. Professor Swaminathan has published in various leading marketing and management journals including Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Consumer Research, Marketing Science, and Strategic Management Journal. She is currently serving as Area Editor of the Journal of Marketing. She has won awards for her research including the Lehmann award for the best Dissertation-based article, Journal of Advertising’s Best Paper Award, and has been selected as Marketing Science Institute’s Young Scholar.

Professor Swaminathan served as President of American Marketing Association’s Academic Council (2018-19), and is currently completing her term on the Executive Committee of Academic Council as Past President (2019-2020). Professor Vanitha Swaminathan has recently co-authored the Fifth Edition of the world-renowned textbook Strategic Brand Management: Building, Measuring, and Managing Brand Equity, along with Professor Kevin Lane Keller.

Jacqui Canney

Jacqui Canney At Large Board Member

Jacqui Canney is the Global Chief People Officer for WPP, a creative transformation company that builds better futures for its clients.

In this role, she is responsible for WPP’s global talent organization, making WPP the destination for the industry’s top talent and for leading all aspects of people strategy, rewards, talent management, recruiting, and leadership development and learning.

Passionate about inclusivity and diversity, Jacqui is creating an integrated talent team that will work with leaders throughout WPP to help build a new culture that empowers people to do their best work.

Prior to joining WPP, she was Walmart’s Chief People Officer, where she was responsible for attracting, retaining and developing talent for one of the world’s largest private employers. 

As the primary designer of Walmart’s people strategy, Jacqui used her expertise in driving large-scale and complex change to help shape the future of retail. This included enabling the company’s more than two million employees to change how they work in today’s technology-driven environment, in support of Walmart’s goal of becoming a people-led, tech-empowered enterprise. She led the seamless workforce integration of Walmart’s acquisitions of many partners, including, Flipkart, DoorDash, Lord & Taylor, ModCloth, Moosejaw and Bonobos, among others. 

She served as the co-chair of the World Economic Forum Future of Work Task Force and a member of the Rework America Business Network, and Jacqui participated in the Council on Foreign Relations 2018 Future of Work Task Force. 

Before Walmart, Jacqui worked at Accenture for 25 years where she played a pivotal role in helping support the rapid growth of the business—from 21,000 people to more than 300,000—and net revenue growth of $1.4B to $32.9B. 

Jacqui earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Boston College and has remained active on campus guest lecturing, collaborating with professors and recruiting.

Divisional Presidents-Elect

President-Elect, Academic Council – Koen Pauwels

Koen Pauwels President Elect of the Academic Council

Koen Pauwels is Distinguished Professor of Marketing at Northeastern University where his research projects include evaluating and improving marketing effectiveness, designing and interpreting field experiments, combining attribution with marketing mix modeling, integrating online with offline marketing and metrics, increasing long-term brand equity and assessing and renovating business models. Professor Pauwels holds a Ph.D. from UCLA and previously taught at Dartmouth and Ozyegin University. He currently serves as an associate editor for the Journal of Marketing and as a member of GfK’s Digital Future Council and House of Marketing’s Board. Koen consulted large and small companies across three continents, including Amazon, Heinz, Kayak, Kraft, Marks & Spencer, Microsoft, Nissan, Sony, Tetrapak and Unilever. He regularly blogs and tweets as @romimarketer.

President-Elect, Collegiate Chapters Council – Donna Coelho

Donna Coelho President Elect Collegiate Chapters Council

Donna Coelho teaches at Western Connecticut State University in the Marketing and Management Departments. She is also the director of the Ancell Community Impact Collaborative, an initiative that promotes experiential learning with students and the business and nonprofit community. Courses taught include Principles of Marketing, Global Environment of Business, Consumer Behavior, Strategic Marketing Management, Strategic Management, Organizational Behavior, Managing People, and Current Issues in Management. She has numerous publications in the areas of experiential learning, pricing, green products, consumer behavior and pedagogy

Donna was Director of Development at Fairfield University and transitioned that knowledge to the nonprofit sector. She has over 25 years of experience providing management, program administration, training, outcomes assessment and strategic planning services to local nonprofit boards of directors and small businesses.

Donna holds a B.S. in Education and Psychology from Southern Connecticut State University, and a master’s in management from Albertus Magnus University. She serves on the National Collegiate Council for the American Marketing Association, is a member of the Academy of Marketing Sciences, and the American Marketing Association. She is on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Business Education. She has been Co-Advisor of WCSU’s Collegiate Chapter of the American Marketing Association 2008. This chapter has consistently been ranked in the top 10% of all collegiate chapters in National AMA competitions for the last eight years. She also chairs numerous national collegiate competitions for the American Marketing Association.

She also volunteers as Executive Director for the Keren Foundation, an organization that financially aids students in the foster care system navigate college.

President-Elect, Professional Chapters Council – Holly Parsons

Holly Parsons President Elect Professional Chapters

Holly Parsons is a die-hard marketer, with over 30 years of experience in branding, advertising, business development and strategic planning. Currently, Holly is the Business Development Director of a local hospital where she represents the hospital to the community and helps to connect employers, carriers and brokers with hospital services. Prior to joining Alaska Regional Hospital, Holly has helped several businesses implement marketing strategies and tactics such as website development, email marketing and automation, SEO, marketing collateral, client appreciation programs, business development, sales, customer service training and more.

Holly received her bachelor’s degree in journalism/broadcasting and communication from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Alaska Anchorage. She has been involved with AMA for over 20 years, holding various positions on the board including sponsorship, communication and president. Under her leadership, the Alaska Chapter was recognized as the Turn It Up Chapter of the Year with additional recognition as Membership Excellence and Finance Special Merit. Holly is thrilled to be helping other chapters make a difference in their communities.

AMA 2020–2021 Election FAQ

What am I voting on?

AMA members vote annually on a slate of candidates to hold office on the AMA Board of Directors and AMA Councils. 

How do candidates get on the ballot?

The list of potential candidates is compiled using broad community input, professional search firms, and a wide network of engaged professionals and academics. From a list of many initial candidates, the Nominating Committee meets to narrow the list down to a final slate that is then reviewed and approved by the current Board of Directors. After board approval, the candidate slate is publicly posted on and in Marketing News prior to the election process beginning.

Why is there only one candidate for each position?

Each candidate is running unopposed, in accordance with the AMA by-laws. It is intentional that there is only one candidate for each position.  The Nominating Committee of the AMA Board of Directors works each year to identify candidates who (1) have exemplary credentials, (2) a track record of AMA involvement, and (3) a commitment to invest their time and talent in the AMA’s future. Due to the rigor of evaluation prior to getting on the ballot, each position runs unopposed. We welcome all nominations.

Why is there an election if there is only one candidate for each position?

The election process should be seen by AMA members not as a competitive election, but an opportunity to be informed regarding future leadership and to voice support for the incoming candidates.  The AMA moved to this model several years ago for three reasons: (1) it allows the AMA to attract more candidates for office, since we found that some otherwise highly qualified candidates were not interested in investing in a competitive election process where they may need to campaign for office, and may not succeed in being elected, (2) AMA volunteer Board of Directors service requires a multi-year commitment (3-6 years) for which it is critical to establish a mutual understanding in advance as part of the vetting process and (3) the new model follows best practices in corporate America and the nonprofit world. 

How can I get on the ballot?

The AMA invites those interested in being considered for AMA Board of Directors or Council service in the future to contact AMA COO Jeremy Van Ek at or AMA CEO Russ Klein at

How does the election process work?

A ballot, candidate information, and link to the voting site for the upcoming election will be sent to members electronically on March 18, 2020. The voting site will remain open through 11:59 p.m. CST on April 30, 2020.

Thank you for participating

The election process is important, and we encourage all members to exercise their right to vote for the 2019-2020 slate of candidates. In accordance with AMA bylaws, the Nominating Committee for the AMA has placed the names above in contention for the indicated offices for 2020-2021 terms, beginning July 1, 2020.