by Karen McFarlane
AMA New York is proud to announce Esther Elkouss as our Marketing Volunteer Spotlight Award Winner for the fourth quarter of 2017. Esther’s contributions as a member of the Membership and Programming committees have helped engage our marketing community through the many events that Esther helps to coordinate in concert with the Programming Chair. Her dual role as Membership Evangelist on the Membership Committee helps attract new members and build upon the important core values that have driven the success of AMA New York since its inception.
The volunteer journey is unique for everyone. The reasons one becomes a member and subsequently chooses to volunteer is a personal one. Fortunately, Esther has agreed to share her story on the value of volunteering for AMA New York. We hope her story inspires more members to deepen their engagement and become a more integral part of our growing organization. Here is Esther’s story.
How Volunteering at AMA New York Accelerated My Career by Esther Elkouss
Why I Became a Volunteer
Join a Community of Marketers: Five months ago, I realized I hit a plateau at a non-profit organization where I was the Marketing and Operations Manager. After three years of increasing responsibilities, I was eager to find new challenges and continue my career development. Among other resources, I was considering joining a professional association to connect with marketers and grow my network. While researching the American Marketing Association membership benefits, I came across Ric Sweeney, the 2017 Chapter Volunteer of the Year. Inspired by his story, decided to undertake my volunteer journey.
Make a Real Impact: The AMA claims empowering marketers with a voice for change. I consider myself a highly proactive and resourceful person, motivated by driving organizations’ growth and making a positive impact. Since my very first conversation with the Membership Chair, not only I felt warmly welcomed, but also thrilled to contribute in a meaningful way. Soon I was introduced to the Director of Volunteers, Programming Chair, Chapter staff and became part of the AMA New York family.
Why I Joined AMA New York
Networking, Networking, Networking: Your network is your net worth; it can help you increase your visibility and connections, which allows employers and recruiters to find you. For this reason, networking has become the primary means for finding new opportunities. In fact, a recent survey disclosed “85% of all jobs are filled via networking.”
Given that the AMA is the largest international marketing association with the most useful and current content; it is an essential resource for marketers. In addition, I was highly interested in the in-person networking and local events, since it would allow me to connect with senior marketers and industry experts, and get leadership perspectives.
Professional Development: In today’s digital world, lifelong learning and the ability to adapt are key to career success. Therefore, I decided to attend the AMA Annual Conference to capitalize on its global network of thought leaders and learn from top marketing experts about the current and future trends in the industry. This is where I first got involved as an AMA volunteer, mentoring fellow marketers at the Marketing Wizard Bar.
How I chose my roles
Membership Evangelist: Given my extensive experience organizing and promoting events, as well as building communities combining social media and in-person events, both the Programming and Membership Committees seemed like a natural fit. As the Membership Evangelist, I help attract and engage members and volunteers through networking and industry-focused events. I have become a passionate AMA ambassador representing the organization and committed to promoting its vision.
Programming Committee COO: In the Programming Committee, I have a more comprehensive role. My background in marketing and operations, as well as my creativity and the autonomy provided, allowed me to design and implement new initiatives. As the COO of the Committee, I get involved since the event inception – brainstorming topics and speakers – to completion, including securing hosts and sponsors, event and social media management, photography and writing blog posts, among others.
How Volunteering Has Impacted My Career
Career Growth: Volunteering at the AMA New York has helped me showcase my operations and digital marketing skill set to senior marketers and in turn, this experience has boosted my visibility and professional credibility. This opened up new opportunities for me, among which my new role as Director of Operations and Marketing at Xeniapp Inc. Furthermore, being part of the AMA New York has inspired me to follow my entrepreneurial spirit and develop a low-cost smart sizing tool.
Marketing Volunteer Spotlight Award: When the board announced the Marketing Volunteer Spotlight winner, I felt very honored and humbled to receive this recognition. My experience as a volunteer has been very rewarding and empowering, and this is only the beginning of my volunteer journey. I am looking forward to continuing to contribute to the New York chapter in an innovative and meaningful way.
A Hearty Congratulations
“Esther has been the backbone of the committee with her operations role. She is all about making others a success, while also being an excellent team contributor. She has extremely strong organizational skills, which makes her a great asset. We could not have done what we did this year without her effort.” – Keith Reynolds, Programming Chair
“Esther has been an enthusiastic and dedicated supporter of both the membership and programming committees from the very start. Her dual role creates an invaluable synergy which powers our organization and pushes us forward. Organized, sharp and always rising to the task, Esther is, and I’m sure will remain, a great asset to the team. – Karen McFarlane, Membership & Volunteer Chair
Become a Volunteer
Do you want to advance your career, learn a new skill or simply share your expertise? AMA New York is a volunteer-run organization that relies on the time and talent of our members to provide the programming, content and networking experiences that our community values. As a member, there is a breadth of opportunity waiting for you. Start your journey with AMA New York and become a volunteer.