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Why I am a member of the AMA.

The Indianapolis chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA) recently asked me to contribute to their newsletter. They wanted to know why I was a member and what I got out of the organization. I got to thinking why do I invest my time in an organization like AMA and what are the payoffs for me both professionally and personally? The following are my answers;
1) Why you chose the AMA?
The AMA gathers marketers from many industries (products and services, B to B and B to C) to discuss strategies and tactics that work. Whatever business we are in, mine happens to be pharmaceuticals, we are all trying to determine our customers’ needs and designing unique products and services to meet those needs in a cost effective way.
2) What do you get out of the Indy AMA?
I am meeting some very interesting people. Everyone has a unique story. Many people have similar business challenges that are keeping them up at night. The Indy AMA is a place to meet people to network and pick up nuggets which can save a tremendous amount of time and money.

Every gathering is different. Some have been more valuable to me than others. For example I attended a lunch a couple of years ago where Andy Sernovitz, the author of Word-of-Mouth Marketing, gave a talk. As a result of that one lunch I started a started a blog and launched a digital communication strategy at ParaPRO that encourages our customers to talk to us.

3) What you love most about the AMA?
I really like the events. The monthly lunches, the quarterly get together at watering holes around town, the opportunity to meet energetic, exciting people that love marketing.
4) More about your professional background?
Well I have been involved with starting and growing entrepreneurial companies for about 10 years now. ParaPRO is the fourth company I have directly worked with. If everything goes well and the FDA approves we will be launching a new chemical entity to treat head lice next year. Before that I spent 11 years with Eli Lilly in finance, business development, process improvement engineering, and global marketing. Before that I was a submarine officer in the US Navy. I earned an MBA from the University of Michigan and a BCE (Bachelor of Civil Engineering) from Minnesota.

I love the outdoors. This picture was taken in 2008 when my wife and I visited Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior.

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The editors must have liked my responses. They included them in the newsletter.
Bottom line. We learn from our experiences. Time spent in a good networking organization like AMA is well worth the investment.
Until next time – all the best!
RolandB

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