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Leah Chandler and Jody Shiroma Named 2024 Nonprofit Marketers of the Year

Leah Chandler and Jody Shiroma Named 2024 Nonprofit Marketers of the Year

The AMA Foundation celebrates Leah Chandler of Discover Puerto Rico and Jody Shiroma of PBS Hawai’i as the Nonprofit Marketer of the Year Award winners! The AMAF Nonprofit Marketer of the Year Award honors extraordinary leadership, vision and achievement in the field of nonprofit marketing at the national and regional level.

The 2024 AMAF Nonprofit Marketer of the Year award recipients are marketing trailblazers whose work has helped advance and transform nonprofit marketing. Read more about this year’s outstanding recipients below.

2024 National Nonprofit Marketer

Leah Chandler, Chief Marketing Officer, Discover Puerto Rico

Leah is the Chief Marketing Officer for the Puerto Rico Destination Marketing
Organization, Discover Puerto Rico. As CMO, Leah is charged with providing strategic
marketing leadership for the organization. Under Leah’s leadership, the first-ever DMO
for Puerto Rico launched a re-positioned brand, setting the stage for four years of record
tourism growth and performance.

Prior to her move to San Juan, Leah was the Chief Marketing Officer for Explore Branson,
where she led the growth of the community’s tourism industry for five straight years,
repositioning the destination’s brand and posting back-to-back years of record ROI for
the organization’s marketing program. In previous years, Leah led the Missouri Tourism
account at H&L Partners, the former agency of record for the Missouri Division of Tourism.
In this role, Leah developed and guided the strategic direction of the Division’s
marketing.

Leah is a veteran of the travel and tourism industry, having directed the Indiana Tourism
account for five years prior to joining H&L Partners. Leah earned her Certified Destination
Management Executive (CDME) credential in 2014. This designation, from Destinations
International, is the tourism industry’s highest individual educational achievement.

2024 Regional Nonprofit Marketer

Jody Shiroma, Vice President, Communications, PBS Hawai’i

Jody Shiroma is a strategic leader with a rich background in communications. She directs marketing and communication strategies for PBS Hawai’i’s General Audience programming, managing the station’s brand and digital presence across various platforms.
During her five years at the station, she has served as the lead for the station’s launch of the PBS KIDS 24/7 streaming channel and its expansion onto multiple platforms including YouTube TV, HULU TV, Local Now, and DIRECTV.

Noteworthy among her achievements is the successful execution of a comprehensive brand refresh, solidifying PBS Hawaiʻi’s digital presence and increasing its audience engagement.

Jody’s passion for storytelling extends beyond conventional mediums. She is the driver behind PBS Hawaiʻiʻs digital landscape where she spearheads innovative strategies and has pioneered compelling narratives across the station’s digital platforms.
Her direction has led to the development of digital-exclusive content, podcasts and livestreams, enriching the viewer experience, fostering deeper community connections and driving engagement.

She champions culturally significant projects, serving as the executive producer of an eagerly anticipated Hawaiʻi-based reggae documentary slated to release in 2024, the Alanui mele podcast which explores the rich tapestry of Hawaiʻi’s hip-hop culture and What School You Went? that explores the traditions and stories that make up the modern-day culture of Hawaiʻi.
Her impact was also seen during COVID, when she helped orchestrate a groundbreaking digital fundraiser at PBS Hawaiʻi, surpassing its goal and earning national recognition.

She is currently the station lead for its Climate Change initiative – “Mauka to Makai: Our Kuleana” – that is working to amplify localized efforts to address climate change and reinforce local-national collaboration to provide a deeper community-level understanding of the challenges posed by a changing climate.

Before her tenure at PBS Hawaiʻi, Jody left an indelible mark on Aloha United Way, where she developed award-winning advertising campaigns and marketing partnerships that elevated the organization’s community standing. She played a pivotal role in revitalizing Aloha United Wayʻs brand among millennials and Gen X leaders, orchestrating campaigns that raised over $700,000 and investing over 1,000 hours of volunteer service.

Jody has been recognized by her peers, earning her the prestigious title of AAF-Hawaiʻi’s 2020 Person of the Year and national acclaim as a 2023 AdWeek Future is Female winner. In prior years she was recognized by Pacific Business News as Women Who Mean Business and 40 Under 40.

A graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Jody is deeply ingrained in various organizations, serving on boards and committees, including AAF-Hawaiʻi and HUGS Hawaiʻi. She chairs the national PBS Marketing Advisory Council and contributes to the PBS Digital Marketing Advisory Council and Hawai’i Dept. of Health’s Sexual and Gender Minority (SGM) Workgroup.
As the Co-Chair of the AAF – Hawaiʻi Education Committee, she is dedicated to nurturing the next generation of advertising talent through the development of the innovative program, Two Scoops, where she has connected key leaders and professionals with students.

Beyond her professional accolades, Jody’s commitment to mentorship shines through her role as a former mentor for AD2 Hawaiʻi and a current one for the American Marketing Association, and serving as a judge for AMAʻs national scholarship programs.
Seeing a need in the community to continue to do community service, Jody formed a loose group of friends and colleagues to do monthly community service work. Called 808 Cares, the intent was to bring like-minded individuals together to create positive change in Hawaiʻi (statewide) through drives, volunteerism, events, etc.

While many business professionals sit on nonprofit boards and/or are affiliated through their company/organization, this group allows participants to contribute and give in ways that are meaningful to them.

In this role, she spearheaded a period product drive to collect items that were donated to Lahaina during the Maui wildfires and collected slippers and shoes for children at various schools in the Kalihi district; helped organize a campus beautification project; and is currently overseeing a beach cleanup for Earth Day.

In her dual roles as executive producer and publicist for the film, Growing Up Local, Jody worked to ensure that the film authentically captured the essence of local culture, and crafted compelling narratives through a strategically executed publicity campaign, generating buzz and anticipation for the filmʻs release.

Congratulations to the 2024 recipients!