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Ric Sweeney Chapter Volunteer of the Year Award

This award recognizes and rewards outstanding professional chapter leaders whose contributions have added significantly to the American Marketing Association’s goals.


This award was named in in honor of Ric Sweeney, former AMA Chairman of the Board, former Professional Chapters Council President, former Cincinnati Chapter President and member of the AMA since 1996.

Recipients of the award exemplify the passion, talent and determination of the AMA volunteer.

Current Recipient

Karen Albritton, Triangle Chapter

Karen is an advisor to CEOs and boards of emerging growth and mid-market companies, counseling them on maximizing the value of their business. She’s a member of the Carolina’s practice of Newport Board Group, a national professional services firm. Karen also contributes her expertise to the firm’s healthcare and technology practices.

Prior to joining Newport Board Group, Karen held a number of leadership roles with Capstrat, a marketing communications agency and then Ketchum, a global communications consultancy. As Capstrat EVP, President and then CEO, she played a leading role in growing the agency into an award-winning industry leader. Among her accomplishments: launching analytics and social media services, building a national healthcare practice and revamping the firm’s digital offerings. Karen also navigated the agency’s acquisition by Omnicom Inc. in 2012 and worked to integrate Capstrat into the Ketchum agency network.

Karen serves as a local chapter and national volunteer for the American Marketing Association. She served as president of the Triangle Chapter, was recognized as the Triangle Chapter’s Volunteer of the Year in 2013, and continues to volunteer on the chapter’s past-presidents’ council. She was a member of the Professional Chapters Council for five years, serving as 2013 Leadership Summit Co-Chair and PCC president in 2013-14. She has been a volunteer presenter at the AMA Healthcare Marketing Training Seminars, the AMA Non-Profit Marketing Conference and at AMA Regional Retreats. Currently she is a member of the AMA’s Board of Directors and is helping update the organization’s ethics statement.

She is a member of the International Women’s Forum, volunteers as the chair of young adult ministry at First United Methodist Church-Cary and serves on the board of visitors for UNC Children’s Hospital, the board of advisors for Elon University’s School of Communications and the board of advisors for the School of Media and Journalism at her alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she earned her B.A. degree.

Karen, her husband Ronnie and their dog Jasper live in Cary, NC.

Previous Recipients

  • 2017- Evan Carroll, Triangle Chapter
  • 2016- Dennis Devlin, Cincinnati Chapter
  • 2015- Amy Gerhart Favreau, Richmond Chapter
  • 2014- Christine Mathers, Houston Chapter
  • 2013- Paul Stark, Chicago Chapter
  • 2012- Tom Dennis, Dallas/Ft. Worth Chapter
  • 2011- Myles Bristowe, Boston Chapter
  • 2010- Colin Hageney, Houston Chapter
  • 2009- Harvey John Morris, Chicago Chapter
  • 2008- Carol Shea, Cincinnati Chapter
  • 2007- Kimberly Guarino, Washington, DC Chapter
  • 2006- Mary Ann Keeler, New York Capital Region Chapter

For more information on the Ric Sweeney Chapter Volunteer of the Year Award or AMA Professional Chapters, please contact