AMA Toronto. Providing marketers the resources, information, training and knowledge necessary to outperform.

Who we are

American Marketing Association’s Toronto Chapter is a not-for-profit community of volunteer marketers who have been creating opportunities for personal and business growth for more than 60 years. Membership in AMA Toronto gives you an internationally recognized credential and access to the resources of the largest, internationally recognized marketing association with more than 20,000 members around the world.

We offer a broad range of resources and learning at both the local and international level. Locally, AMA Toronto Chapter is a welcoming community, focusing on advancing the practice of marketing and the success of marketers in Canada. Internationally, we offer marketing resources that will put you at the forefront of global industry knowledge.

Specifically, we help individuals learn best practices in both local and global marketing, connect with others and develop the skills they need to build a more successful career. Our goal is to help transform individual marketers into successful business leaders who can succeed on both a local and global stage.

Our local sponsors, partners and mentors include some of Canada’s most successful marketing and business leaders.

In addition to our roster of devoted Board Members for the Toronto Chapter below, our Advisory Council continuously contributes their guidance and their marketing industry insights to help shape our community.

What we do

We believe that marketers need to take charge of their own careers and to never stop challenging themselves and growing. AMA Toronto Chapter helps you gain the training, tools and connections you need to have an increased impact in business and provide thought leadership in the boardroom and beyond.

Our events, as well as our mentoring program and annual Marketing Hall of Legends event, bring Canadian marketers together to inspire success, celebrate leadership and learn from experts on a broad range of topics. We touch and connect more than 3,600 marketers locally. And our past and present supporters include high profile business leaders.

As a member you can access a unique range of programs which includes:

Accessible learning and networking events: We host convenient and affordable monthly learning and networking events that expose you to senior level marketers across a broad range of industries. Events focus on relevant topics such as social media, branding, customer experience and loyalty and more.

Outstanding mentorship opportunities: We run one of the most extensive and successful mentorship programs in Canada. We pair more than 50 senior marketing leaders with mid-level marketers who want to accelerate their learning and move their career to the next level. Our mentees have moved into key positions. Our Marketing Hall of Legends gala recognizes the contributions of the leaders who have transformed Canadian marketing.

Recognized educational partnerships: We partner with educational institutions such as Schulich to offer you accredited marketing programs.

Rewarding volunteer opportunities: The AMA opens doors for its volunteers. Many of our volunteers have built their careers through their AMA experience. As a volunteer you can give and gain expertise as part of a fun and dedicated group that run our organization, plan and host events, develop and implement communications, interact with our members, guests, partners and sponsors and work on special projects.

Valuable local and international marketing resources: We offer research reports and education programs both at the local level through Schulich and through our international organization. You receive leading marketing intelligence through our proprietary international network of publications, webcasts, conferences, job postings and through our international MarketingPower.com and our AMA TV channel. Our tools can help you succeed in both a local and global context and understand best practices from around the world.

Unlike other marketing and professional organizations, AMA Toronto is a community that is run and supported solely through volunteers.

How We Operate

AMA Toronto has operated since 1946 as a not-for-profit organization that depends solely on volunteer efforts. We are a community of individuals that is open, friendly, fun, and professional. Our people are all doers and team players, who respect each other’s contribution, and lend support to each other. We:

 

  • Show our commitment through the personal actions that we take and our community-spirit
  • Foster a spirit of innovation and excellence, and successfully deliver the highest calibre events and content at an affordable cost
  • Engage the Canadian marketing community and act as a connector for people and ideas both locally and internationally
  • Take pride in helping each other grow, succeed, and to make a difference
  • We help our members become business leaders and build a more successful future for themselves, the organizations where they work and the Canadian and global business community.
The American Marketing Association

The American Marketing Association (AMA) strive to be the most relevant force and voice shaping marketing around the world; an essential community for marketers.

 

In 2015, the “Next AMA” launched four transformational strategies for its North American operations:

 

  • Committing to Service Leadership to customers, members and stakeholders.
  • Providing a proactive, differentiated and modern voice for a single unified, One AMA brand, One AMA Community.
  • Establishing an Intellectual Agenda that is harmonized across all platforms and channels based on an editorial strategy to feature the tension between Best Versus Next Practices™.
  • Building a personalized and connected Marketplace of knowledge that engages the AMA in a single community—always on, always connected…One AMA Community.

For more information, check www.ama.org

Miglena Nikolova

President, AMA Toronto

 

Miglena Nikolova is a senior marketing and communications strategist with over 20 years in the industry. Currently she is a Marketing Lead, Canada and Innovation Lead, North America at IBM.
 

President's Welcome

Welcome message from Miglena Nikolova, President of AMA-Toronto

Welcome to our 2020/21 season

I’m honoured and excited to be leading the AMA’s Toronto chapter this year. Together with our AMAzing Board of Directors, I am confident we will accomplish a lot in creating value for our marketing community.

AMA-Toronto has been serving and engaging marketers with opportunities to learn, connect, and grow for over 70 years. Our members work, teach and study in the field and have a passion for advancing our industry. Together we’re continuing to build an essential community for marketers, looking to access ideas and a network across North America. 

Under immediate Past-President Michelle Flynn’s leadership, AMA-Toronto had a stellar year, hosting differentiated and unforgettable events like our Legendary Leadership series, signature CMO and Agency panels, and inducting new legends into Canada’s Marketing Hall of Legends. We also concluded the tenth year of Mentor Exchange, our industry-leading Mentorship program for mid and senior level professionals.

I am especially proud of our team as all of our accomplishments and programming come from the passion and dedication of over 70 volunteers. Unlike other marketing and professional organizations, we are run and supported solely through volunteers, and I want to give a huge shout out to each and every one of you! I am also incredibly grateful to our growing list of partners and sponsors for believing in us and making our work possible!

The year ahead will no doubt be challenging – COVID has impacted us in many ways. We have successfully pivoted to digital for both our programming and networking events. One of the surprising silver linings has been our expanded reach, and how we have been enabled to better integrate and leverage our sister Canadian chapter BCAMA and the global AMA network. Yet the imperative to transform does not end there. We have an opportunity to rethink and expand how we add value to the community, and to engage at an even deeper, more authentic level.

A key focus for me and our Board of Directors is to further strengthen the role our association plays in enhancing the diversity of our community and increasing representation across all our programs. AMA-Toronto is fully committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our mission is to support meaningful careers and communities in marketing, which in turn spur economic growth and social progress that raise the standard of living for everyone. An explicit commitment to the values (and behaviors) in service of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is inherent and fundamental to the AMA mission.

AMA-Toronto has worked intentionally to increase the diversity amongst our Mentors and has built a diverse volunteer base and Board of Directors. Our welcoming community of marketers has long served as an onboarding launchpad for newcomers to Canada who, through our Mentor Exchange and Career Accelerator Mentorship programs, our networking meeting, education, volunteer opportunities, endorsements and even references, have leveraged AMA-Toronto to successfully integrate in the Canadian marketing industry. Our new partnership with ACCES Employment will only deepen this commitment. We have many such success stories to point to, and I am very proud of the role we have played in enhancing the diversity of our industry. We are living in a historic moment where there is a real focus, real momentum, and a real opportunity to make change happen! And I am excited to help drive this change!

Over the coming months, you will be hearing from us regularly through our Monthly Digest Newsletter highlighting all key activities and things we are excited about. I will also be launching an AMA-Toronto AMA (Ask me Anything) hour to stay in touch with you – for me, it is important to have regular and genuine conversations with all of our stakeholders – be it our volunteers, members, mentors or mentees, partners and sponsors, advisory council, students, new Canadians, and our legends – indeed, from all marketing professionals in our rich and dynamic community. Watch out for our kick-off session under our Events.

Our focus continues to be on what you have come to expect from us – Mentorship, Membership, Education, Legendary Leadership and signature events. We will also continue our successful MNG (Marketing Networking Group) series - offering free monthly networking events to all our members and also inviting the broader community. We will also be bringing you the incredible value that our international network of over 70 chapters brings – having the power and size of the AMA organization, with its rich history and thought leadership, professional accreditation and resources – that is something truly special.

Above all, our focus is on building and engaging our community – wherever you are in your marketing professional journey! We are stepping up our mission to LEARN, CONNECT, and GROW.

Let’s talk, let’s exchange ideas, let’s make change happen. Let’s work together to create an essential and inclusive community for marketers.

Onwards and upwards,

 

Miglena Nikolova

President, AMA Toronto

 

Miglena Nikolova is a senior marketing and communications strategist with over 20 years in the industry. Currently she is a Marketing Lead, Canada and Innovation Lead, North America at IBM.
 

AMA Toronto Board

2020-2021

Michelle Flynn

PAST-PRESIDENT

As a Client Partner at Architech, Michelle gets the opportunity to work alongside The Dream Team, collaborating with best-in-class developers, designers, and managers to make products people love. Alongside delivery leaders, Michelle leverages her extensive experience in both Sales and Marketing to evaluate clients’ needs and develop strategies that will accomplish their goals of digital transformation.

michelle.flynn@ama-toronto.com

Miglena Nikolova

PRESIDENT

Miglena is a senior marketing and communications strategist with 20 years experience in technology, financial services and consulting. She is an expert in working closely with clients to understand their objectives, uncover deep insights about the business and the competitive environment, and design and execute high-impact campaigns.

 

miglena.nikolova@ama-toronto.com

Tina Portillo

PRESIDENT-ELECT

Tina is a marketing leader with over 16 years of expertise in marketing strategy & communication, global brand management, customer growth & acquisition, digital transformation, and content marketing across both Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumer (B2C) segments. Her strong customer-focus ensures she is consistently optimizing the customer experience and innovating to deliver best-in-class marketing programs. Tina is currently a Marketing Director at Scotiabank where she leads the end to end marketing strategy and execution. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) from The University of Toronto and enjoys being a part-time stylist, a mom of three, travelling, and practicing yoga in her spare time.

tina.portillo@ama-toronto.com

Craig Lund

SECRETARY AND VP, MENTORSHIP

Craig Lund is a marketing and business development professional specialized in selling to the C-suite marketer. Having launched three businesses in the past 14 years in the Canadian & US Market for both Canadian based and Global B2B companies in media, consulting and marketing resource management, he has developed an affinity and passion for connecting the dots for the marketing community and proving opportunities for Mentorship.

craig@ama-toronto.com

Matt Chong

VP, FINANCE

Matt Chong is the Vice President, Strategic Development and Partnership at Notable Life. As a seasoned strategist and consultant, Matt works with brands and agencies to help them better understand the young professional millennial audience in Canada. Matt is also the founder of e-commerce startup Chong Tea Co.

matt@ama-toronto.com

Santo Ligotti

VP, MARKETING

Santo Ligotti is a creative and performance-driven marketer with over 20 years of experience leading marketing B2B/B2C teams across financial, technology and payments industries. Having made the leap from data scientist, Santo has a unique understanding of marketing as both a creative process and an analytical discipline. 

 

Santo has a Chartered Marketer Designation.

 

santo.ligotti@ama-toronto.com

Barbara Boyd

VP, COMMUNICATIONS

Barbara is a senior marketing and communications consultant who works with clients in the education, not-for-profit and arts communities. Over the past twenty years, Barbara has spearheaded marketing and communications programs for some of Canada’s biggest television properties, personalities and brands. She has also led change management, communications and engagement programs for a major Canadian bank allowing her to gain deeper insight into the importance, nuance and complexity of internal communications and employee experience in driving workplace culture.

barbara.boyd@ama-toronto.com

Balaji Raghavan

VP, PARTNERSHIP & SPONSORSHIP

Bala is a strategic thinker, problem solver and a seasoned marketer with over 12 years of experience. He has worked in the CPG industry for some of the top brands such as Tetley and Unilever. He is currently working as Senior Marketing manager for Telus, managing the prospect funnel and acquisition strategy for the TELUS brand nationally. His expertise include Channel sales, distribution, Brand management, marketing & communications strategy. He has an MBA from Schulich School of Business and has published a self-help book titled “Awakening the Genie from within”. In his free time, you will find Bala travelling, cooking new gourmet recipes and watching documentaries. 

balaji.raghavan@ama-toronto.com

Jennifer Jones

VP, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Jennifer has spent the last 20 years building partnerships and new businesses across leading industries including retail, eCommerce, travel, CPG, telecommunications, automotive and financial services sectors.  

 

Jennifer was part of the founding team who developed the Aeroplan program and subsequently spun the program out from Air Canada in 2005. She spent 16 years as a senior executive working with Aeroplan and Aimia leading growth strategy, partnerships, client management and business development, use of data, personalization, targeted marketing and loyalty programs.  In January 2019, Aeroplan was sold back to Air Canada and Jennifer joined Air Canada as Head of Business Development and New Ventures for Air Canada's Loyalty and eCommerce business. Today, Jennifer consults with individuals and organizations on partnership strategy and development, customer strategy and loyalty program design and development.

 

jennifer.jones@ama-toronto.com

Jacob Kessler

VP, MARKETING HALL OF LEGENDS

Jacob has spent the last fifteen years as an entrepreneur, investor, and business-builder in the entertainment, marketing & advertising, and insight industries. Jacob has taken on different roles in these organizations, including general manager, business and marketing strategist, creative thinker, and producer. He recently expanded his business portfolio to include companies in design, retail & merchandising, and data storage verticals.

jacob.kessler@ama-toronto.com

Malaika Palmer

VP, EVENTS

Malaika Palmer is an event professional with over 18 years of creating, strategizing, marketing, and executing a wide spectrum of global events. She started her career in the financial industry where she managed events for a variety of business lines, including Global Banking & Markets, Sponsorship and Wealth Management. Malaika has a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation. She is currently the Director of Global Events at C5 Group Inc. (American Conference Institute, The Canadian Institute, C5) where she oversees a global team of event professionals producing international conferences.  

malaika.palmer@ama-toronto.com

Christine Andrew

BOARD MEMBER AT LARGE

Christine is a results-oriented digital marketing communications leader with experience developing and

executing strategic plans on a global scale. She has more than 15 years of progressive experience with a focus

on marketing strategy and corporate communications, and a passion for digital. Christine is currently Managing

Director of Digital Strategy and Operations at KPMG.

 

Christine is committed to developing future leaders and supporting the not-for-profit communities in Canada. Most significantly, she has more than a decade of Board Director experience at the American Marketing Association (AMA), Boys and Girls Clubs, and the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). She is a mentor in The AMA Career Accelerator program, and sits on the Advisory Board for the Humber College Bachelor of Digital Communications program.

 

Her exceptional work and contributions are recognized in the industry as Christine was named a Canadian

Marketing Influencer by B2B News Network. She holds an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University, where she majored in Strategy and Marketing, and a BA in Communications and International Business from the University of Waterloo. In addition, she also completed a certificate in Digital Marketing from the University of Toronto.

 

christine.andrew@ama-toronto.com

Mike Muyal

BOARD MEMBER AT LARGE

Mike is a trilingual, enthusiastic marketeer that enjoys problem solving while connecting with others on a personal level. Originally from Montreal, he grew up in consumer packaged and home goods industries working on many global, leading brands including Degree, Vaseline, Revlon, Levolor and Rubbermaid. He considers himself curious, inventive, competitive…and impatient to a degree, somewhat uncomfortable with the status quo.

 

mike.muyal@ama-toronto.com

Christopher Stathousis

VP, STRATEGY AND INSIGHTS

Christopher is a strategic marketer for the digital age with deep digital experience, a strong foundation in consumer insights, and a consistent track record of elevating sales and marketing effectiveness for National, Global and Fortune 500 clients and their agencies in Canada, EMEA and the USA.

christopher.stathousis@ama-toronto.com

Debbie Bolton

VP, VOLUNTEERS

Debbie has spent over 25 years in brand consulting and advertising, helping numerous brands position themselves for success in the B2C, B2B and not-for-profit sectors. She has helped transform a multitude of organizations by developing and delivering differentiated brand experiences that are relevant and inspire customer and employee loyalty and advocacy. 

debbie.bolton@ama-toronto.com

Lia Grimberg

VP, MEMBERSHIP

Lia Grimberg is a Senior Director of Loyalty and Analytics at Loblaw Companies Limited.  Lia is a data-driven marketing expert that translates customer needs into 1:1 personalized marketing communications that drive an improved ROI.  She has almost 20 years of experience, both practical and theoretical, client and consulting, in the retail and financial services industries.

Lia was formerly an Associate Vice-President a Relation1, a personalized marketing services consulting company, a Divisional Vice President, Loyalty and CRM at Sears Canada and a Loyalty Consulting Director at Bond Brand Loyalty. Previously, Lia spend 5+ years at LoyaltyOne leading the R&D group and as a client lead for the Bank of Montreal. Lia has also held the position of Marketing Manager at The Home Depot and held several marketing positions at American Express.

Lia holds a BBA and an MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University.

 

lia.grimberg@ama-toronto.com

Rob Maclean

VP, PUBLIC RELATIONS

Robert MacLean is an accomplished PR and corporate communications leader.  Focused on corporate reputation management, he creates communications strategies and campaigns for clients that elevate awareness, change perceptions and behaviour, and demonstrate stakeholder value.

rob.maclean@ama-toronto.com

Wendy Greenwood

VP, THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

Wendy is a marketing executive who leverages digital platforms and innovative experiences to acquire and engage customers online and offline. She's known for anticipating trends, understanding consumer behaviour and turning insights into action. Wendy holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree with Honours, majoring in Communications Studies.

wendy.greenwood@ama-toronto.com

Christy Varicat

VP, DIGITAL MARKETING

Christy is a digital marketing leader with extensive experience leading growth initiatives internationally. She is a creative strategist with expertise in business development and customer acquisition, leading high performing teams to drive new revenue. With previous experience across Google and Ad Tech, Christy is currently Director of Enterprise Digital Marketing at ScotiaBank.

christy.varicat@ama-toronto.com

Vincent Mok

VP, TECHNOLOGY

Vincent is a tech savvy business leader that helps companies grow online and offline. His experience spans working with the largest tech brands (Apple, Google, Rogers), to small wellness companies. He studied Computer Engineering at Queen’s University, and holds an MBA from Ivey Business School.

vincent.mok@ama-toronto.com

AMA Toronto Advisory Council



Craig Lund, Co-Chair

President, Marketing Talent
 

LINKEDIN

 

David Kincaid, Co-Chair
Founder, Level5 Strategy

 

LINKEDIN


Miglena Nikolova, AMA Toronto President
Senior Portfolio Marketing Lead (Canada & North America), IBM

 

LINKEDIN


Arthur Fleischmann
Groupe CEO & Country Manager, WPP

 

LINKEDIN


Jamie Herbert
VP, Strategic Marketing, Peloton Interactive

 

LINKEDIN


Gallant Law
Director, Sponsorship Marketing - Scotiabank

 

LINKEDIN



Matt McKenzie
Senior Field Marketing Manager, Amazon Web Services

 

LINKEDIN


Alan Middleton
Marketing Consultant and Speaker

 

LINKEDIN


Yasmin Pallan
Office of the CHRO, Scotiabank

 

LINKEDIN


David Pullara
Principal, dp Ventures

 

LINKEDIN


Trinh Tham
Chief Marketing Officer, Harry Rosen

 

LINKEDIN


Maclin Williams
Director of Marketing & Customer Intelligence, Porter Airlines Inc.

 

LINKEDIN

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