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2021 AMA Leadership Summit

Virtual | All times in CDT

Surviving and thriving through change requires grace and fearless leadership. It creates previously unimagined opportunities for innovation and growth. Knowing how to inspire, include and motivate chapter members to keep them supported and engaged makes all the difference. FLEX invites chapter leaders to build strength through intentional stress on a high potential system. We bend to allow new priorities and a more colorful future. We FLEX our creativity, our mental muscles, our institutional models, and our expectations for more. FLEX is how we build our cumulative strength as ONE AMA.

This event is an energy-filled and inspiring event exclusively for AMA Professional Chapter Leaders.


Leadership Summit is Virtual

First and foremost we hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. And while we can’t be physically together this year we don’t want to miss the opportunity to connect as AMA leaders.

But don’t worry, this is no ordinary zoom call. Our interactive programming will include:

  • Opportunities to interact with other attendees in groups or as individuals on demand
  • Chances to network with peers, presenters, sponsors and Support Center Staff in scheduled, facilitated sessions
  • Three live keynote presentations, two panels, multiple interactive breakout discussions, LOUDtables, workshop sessions and professional development presentations
  • Select on-demand resources available following the conference
  • Chapter Leader resources all in one place for easy access

Keynote Speakers

Dominique Dawes

Dominique is a motivational speaker who is best known as an Olympic athlete who competed in three Olympic Games. She won four Olympic medals and became the first African American gymnast to win an individual Olympic medal in women’s gymnastics.

Erica Dhawan

Erica is known as the authority on collaboration in a digital-first workplace, with research and insights on connectional intelligence and digital body language. She’s co-author of Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence and host of the “Masters of Leadership” podcast.

Panel Presentations

Beyond our keynote presentations, you’ll also hear two great panel sessions focused on chapter best practices and effective leadership.

CEA Panel: Immediate past presidents of the 2019-2020 Gold, Silver, Bronze and Turn it Up Chapters

Practitioner Panel: A fast-paced and dynamic conversation about digital transformation and personalization held among marketing professionals:

  • Robin Laylin, Microsoft
  • Katie Hotze, Grocery Shoppi
  • Ivonne Kinser, Avocados from Mexico


To help us plan ahead for this exciting virtual event, we’re extending a special early-bird price to anyone who registers before March 1. 

The first 100 paid registrants and the first 40 complementary registrants (more information to come) will receive Erica Dhawan’s book “Digital Body Language: How to Build Trust and Connection, No Matter the Distance.”

Early Bird Pricing: $174
After March 1: $199

For bulk registration as a group, please see the link below.

If you do not know who your board members are at this time, please work with to take advantage of the early bird pricing.

Already Registered? Log in to fill out your profile or get started reviewing the digital event guide:

The event platform will be fully live for attendees to access on-demand content beginning Monday, May 10.

Convince Your Boss

Need to convince your supervisor to give you time off to attend the conference? Download the document below and customize it to fit your needs. Your boss will be letting you flex your skills with us in no time!

Conference Co-Chairs

Gina Bonar

AMA Cincinnati

BJ Gerjes

AMA Houston

Volunteer of the Year Award

We’re excited to present the 2021 Ric Sweeney Chapter Volunteer of the Year Award as a part of Leadership Summit.

All Times Are CDT

Welcome to Leadership Summit 2021

Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence - Erica Dhawan


During this unprecedented time of change and uncertainty, we are collaborating within and across our chapters faster and more often than ever before. We feel like we’re connected – but are we really?  Erica Dhawan teaches you the art and science of working better together using Connectional Intelligence, the key to productivity and collaboration for AMA chapters and marketing professionals in the new normal.

As leaders, how do we master the art of keeping our own marketing teams and our chapter members engaged and on track? How do we build inspired and inclusive cultures remotely? How do we brainstorm, have difficult conversations and even bring in new chapter members digitally? Leaders will learn to how to unlock new and unrealized value from our chapters, grow and retain members, improve cross-chapter collaboration and improve our skills as marketing professionals in a digital age.

Learn relevant insights in Erica’s new book Digital Body Language – released the week of the conference!


  • Discover new ways to lead, inspire, and communicate with diverse teams through uncertainty.
  • Learn how to keep cross team collaborations aligned, build trust, and foster motivation.
  • Gain specific actions to inspire teamwork, innovation, resilience, revitalization and results-driven progress.
  • Behaviors to build trust and connection, no matter the distance.

Erica Dhawan

Speed Networking: 45 Connections in 45 Minutes

Welcome - Friday Intro

Leadership Summit 101 For New Chapter Leaders and Summit First-Timers

This session will provide Summit first-timers and new chapter leaders a foundational understanding of what to expect at the conference, including terminology, technology, interaction, session selection, resources and more. We’ll provide a helpful overview and leave plenty of time for audience Q&A. Come with your curiosity, energy and a way to capture copious notes. PRO TIP: Be sure you’ve set up your profile in the 6Connex conference platform in advance so you can optimize your networking experience!


Presented by:
Mihali Stavlas, Triangle Chapter, PCC
Stewart Law, Oklahoma City Chapter, PCC

DEI as a Critical Chapter Function

Diversity, equity and inclusion adds value across AMA chapter functions in a number of ways. It widens the circle for robust membership and volunteer pools, it brings new ideas and innovation to the table, and creates a wholehearted environment to more deeply engage more people. These sessions will touch on a few of the more critical elements of integrating DEI into your chapter and, just maybe, beyond. NOTE: We’ve scheduled this session three times so anyone who wants to attend can. We’ll present the same material, but different presenters will certainly have their own perspective. We’re reflecting the value of equity and diversity!

Presented By:

Amber McKenna, PDX Chapter, PCC
Vanessa Torres, San Antonio Chapter, PCC

Digital Body Language - What Marketing Leaders Need to Know in our Virtual World - Erica Dhawan

As businesses innovate to ensure future competitiveness in our changing world, Erica Dhawan, CEO of Cotential and a leading expert on 21st century collaboration, offers practical research and strategies on how marketing leaders are managing customer experience and guiding teams to lead with adaptability and innovation by mastering what she calls “digital body language.”

Erica will share key takeaways from her research, client work and her new book, Digital Body Language, that decodes the new signals and cues to foster trust, connection and understanding, in the absence of traditional body language, for employees and for brands. Her insights will help marketing leaders avoid groupthink and bias, read digital signals and understand the cues they send and improve influence with their companies – in and out of the (virtual) boardroom. Attendees will leave with practical actions that transform their teams, improve collaboration across marketing, sales and service and accelerate the customer experience.


  • Gain specific actions to inspire teamwork, innovation, resilience, revitalization and results-driven progress
  • Gain new, research-based strategies to improve marketing tactics, incorporate powerful digital visual aids and generate client or customer engagement
  • Understand the new signals of the “trust equation” in a virtual context and what cues you broadcast (even if you don’t intend to)
  • Most importantly, discover specific ways to improve client or customer urgency and build trust using Digital Body Language, with the goal of driving loyalty, referrals and revenue.

Erica Dhawan

Keynote Panel: Perfect Blend of Practitioners

Katie Hotze

Ivonne Kinser

Head of Digital Marketing and eCommerce, Avocados from Mexico

Robin Laylin


Roles Breakouts

Volunteer Recognition, Awards and Ric Sweeney Volunteer of the Year

Happy Hours

Rise and Shine


Support Center Townhall

Chapter Excellence Awards - Winners Panel

Make a Plan Breakouts

Keynote: Dominique Dawes

Success Is a Journey, NOT a Destination

Dominique Dawes won Olympic gold. But for her, success is so much more than medals and accolades: it’s something she worked hard to achieve everyday en route to Olympic glory. Her journey in the sport of gymnastics lasted 18 years and in those years she stood strong on numerous podiums, leaving lasting impressions in the hearts of fans. It’s the moments in between—what she calls the “journey”—that helped her realize the success that she was always striving for. Overcoming the inevitable obstacles, challenges and doubts are the moments in the journey that build the champion in Dawes. Surrounding herself with the right team, developing the mindset to persevere and turning negative situations into life lessons is how Dawes realized “Success Is a Journey, NOT a Destination.”

Dominique Dawes

Katie Hotze

Recently named a 2020 Top Woman in Grocery, Katie Hotze is an innovative leader and entrepreneur with over two decades of experience in digital marketing, data analytics and business strategy. Katie is the founder and CEO of Grocery Shopii, a digital meal planning software and service that expedites online grocery shopping.

Prior to Grocery Shopii, Katie spent 20 years in management and tech consulting where she led global marketing teams for Mercer, the world’s largest HR consultancy, and BearingPoint.

She holds an M.B.A. and Business Analytics certification from William & Mary, and a B.S. in Marketing from Virginia Commonwealth University.

In 2018, Katie was a Direct Marketing News (DMN) 40-Under-40 Award Recipient. Today, she is a regular speaker on both digital and social media topics at conferences in the marketing and grocery retail spaces.

A resident of Charlotte, N.C., Katie is a graduate of UNC-Charlotte’s Ventureprise entrepreneurial program and is an active participant in the city’s tech community.

Erica Dhawan

Erica is known as the authority on collaboration in a digital-first workplace, with research and insights on connectional intelligence and digital body language. She’s co-author of Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence and host of the “Masters of Leadership” podcast.

Dominique Dawes

Dominique Dawes is an Olympic Gold Medalist, three-time Olympian, entrepreneur, brand ambassador and motivational speaker. She is the only American gymnast to medal at three different Olympic Games in the team competition and the first African-American gymnast to win an individual Olympic medal. Dominique paved the way for other young African-American gymnasts to strive for Olympic glory, including the last two reigning Olympic All-Around Gold Medalist Simone Biles (2016) and Gabrielle Douglas (2012). At the 1996 Atlanta Games, Dominique became the first female African-American gymnast to win an individual medal, capturing bronze with her floor exercise performance, helping solidify her place in the USOC Hall of Fame. Today, Dominique is a highly requested keynote speaker who delivers powerful and inspiring messages on leadership, personal drive, building your foundation for success and living a healthy lifestyle.

Ivonne Kinser

Head of Digital Marketing and eCommerce, Avocados from Mexico

Ivonne has been leading the digital marketing efforts for AFM since 2014 when she created the capabilities from the ground up. She also leads the company’s Innovative thinking agenda and innovation training for the organization, which put Avocados From Mexico in the 2020 Fast Company list of Top 100 Best Workplaces for Innovators in 2020, and in the 2021 Most Innovative Companies Fast Company list.

In 2018, she became one of the five women honored with the Changing the Game Award Brainwave category. This award is given by the prestigious She Runs It organization which recognizes women within the marketing industry who are true catalysts of innovation by fearlessly making bold moves and reinventing the rules of marketing to transform their brands and their organizations.
In 2017, the American Advertising Federation had included her in the list of “20 Women to Watch in Dallas Advertising” and awarded her the Shining Star Award, which recognizes women in the Dallas advertising industry who are breaking glass ceilings.

Robin Laylin


At Microsoft, Robin helps Retail and CG companies achieve their digital transformation goals in the areas of experience personalization, workforce empowerment and operations agility made possible with Microsoft Azure cloud technology and software applications infused with machine learning and AI to make optimal use of data for an intelligent business.