“Volunteers Make All the Difference in the AMA”: A Chat With Karen Albritton, AMA’s Chapter Volunteer of the Year

Hal Conick
Marketing News
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Key Takeaways

​What? Karen Albritton has been named the 2018 Ric Sweeney Chapter Volunteer of the Year.

So what? Albritton has volunteered locally and nationally with the AMA since 2007. 

Now what? “What means the most about this is that my local chapter, the folks whom I have so much respect for, nominated me," Albritton says.

​March 16, 2018

“It means an opportunity to celebrate all the great volunteers that I have been privileged to be around and who have inspired me. This opportunity is really about celebrating them.”

 

After 11 years of service with the American Marketing Association, Karen Albritton has been named the 2018 Ric Sweeney Chapter Volunteer of the Year.

Albritton, a partner at the Newport Board Group​, has volunteered with the AMA on both the local and national level. 

Locally, she has served as president of the AMA's Triangle Chapter—which named her its Volunteer of the Year in 2013—and has stayed active as a member of the group’s Past Presidents Council. 

Nationally, Albritton has been a member and president of the AMA’s Professional Chapters Council for five years and served as co-chair of the 2013 Leadership Summit. She has also volunteered with the AMA Healthcare Marketing Training Seminars, the AMA Nonprofit Marketing Conference and at AMA Regional Retreats. Albritton is also a member of the AMA’s Board of Directors, which is currently working to redraft the AMA’s ethics statement.

This is the second year in a row that a member of the Triangle Chapter has won the Ric Sweeney Chapter Volunteer of the Year Award. Last year, Evan Carroll of AMA Triangle won.

When Marketing News caught up with Albritton, she was volunteering at Triangle Chapter’s High Five Conference.

Q: Why did you decide to volunteer? What has kept you around?

A: I thought that I really should give back, as the marketing industry has been terrific to me. Getting to be a part of the local chapter in the local AMA is one of the highlights of my career, just for the opportunity to be a part of a community. At the time I joined [in 2007], I was running an agency and meeting a lot of great people who could potentially be co-workers. I got to meet and connect with a lot of partners who could be additional resources for my clients. Being a part of the AMA at a local level has been a terrific opportunity.

Q: What are your favorite stories from your time as a volunteer? 

A: There are a ton of them. What really sticks out as my favorite story is seeing this [High Five] Conference, seeing what the chapter has done and how they've continued to grow and take the organization to new heights. A volunteer had the idea for this amazing conference that marries marketing and creative, and then they brought it to life. Now, they have people from all over the country come to this conference. 

A favorite moment for me was yesterday at the kickoff where I saw the conference chair—who is an emerging star, a young woman in our market—just completely rocking it on stage in front of 250 people. I also saw a former co-worker who I had tapped on the shoulder and said, “Hey, you ought to get involved in AMA.” Now, he's helping run this event. My favorite moments have been seeing the people who volunteer, who come into this organization and make it better than when they came in.

Q: It sounds like the volunteers can make a real difference.

A: Oh my gosh, volunteers make all the difference in the AMA. We often think of volunteers as these extra arms and legs, but the AMA enrolls volunteers in so many different ways that are beyond that. Mostly for their ideas; marketing volunteers volunteer in a lot of areas, but they are the best because they're creative, they have ideas and they're resourceful. They can bring an idea into being. 

Q: What does it mean to you to be named Chapter Volunteer of the Year?

A: I have benefited and seen so many amazing volunteers, and I know that there are thousands of them throughout the organization. So it's humbling and it touches me. What means the most about this is that my local chapter, the folks whom I have so much respect for, nominated me. Just simply that was really, really moving to me. And then to have the opportunity to share my story with other volunteers the way we do at Leadership Summit​, it’s really about honoring all the volunteers in the room. That's what it means; it means an opportunity to celebrate all the great volunteers that I have been privileged to be around and who have inspired me. This opportunity is really about celebrating them.



Author Bio:

https://auth.ama.org/PublishingImages/hal-staff-photo.jpg
Hal Conick
Hal Conick is a staff writer for the AMA’s magazines and e-newsletters. He can be reached at hconick@ama.org or on Twitter at @HalConick.
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