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Volunteer Spotlight: Karen Stone

karen_stone

Karen Stone
Director of Marketing, Amplion
Programming volunteer (2003-2004)
Programming Chair (2004-2005)
President Elect (2005-2006)
President (2006-2007)
Past President – CEA Award (2007-2008)
AMA Professional Chapters Council (2008-2014)
AMA Professional Chapters Council President (2011-2014)
AMA National Audit and Finance Committee (2014-2016)

What prompted you to join NAMA?
I joined NAMA to quickly increase my marketing knowledge. When I joined the organization in 2003, I was transitioning from my career in broadcast news and needed a way to rapidly ramp up my understanding of marketing principles and best practices. NAMA became my go to resource and still is today. The programming is consistently outstanding and my professional network is my lifeline.

You have served on NAMA’s Board in the past. Why did you decide to volunteer?
At my very first meeting, I made a programming suggestion to the current president. I don’t recall exactly what it was, but it must have been somewhat intriguing, because he asked to continue the conversation over coffee. Before I knew it, I was tapped to become programming chair and was hooked.

I learned that being a volunteer provided a valuable test environment for my budding marketing career. Every volunteer experience was a chance to learn something new and collaborate with incredible marketing minds from a variety of industries. Many of the people I met through those experiences became mentors who helped shape my career and are now some of my most cherished friends.

Having volunteered with NAMA and with the AMA at the national level for more than 13 years, I can tell you that I have received far more than I have given.

What has been the proudest moment as a volunteer?
My proudest moment by far was in 2008 when NAMA entered the national AMA Chapter of Excellence Awards for the first time ever and won first runner up.

It was my year as president of NAMA and the culmination of several years of work alongside a dynamic group of volunteers. Accepting that coveted award on behalf of the many hardworking volunteers who believed in the vision and mission and poured their heart and soul into the chapter to receive that validation and recognition was thrilling.

Since then, NAMA has grown to be such a respected force locally and nationally. I am very proud of the legacy of leadership in this organization and the committed volunteers that kick it up a notch year after year.

How has NAMA impacted you professionally?
NAMA is most definitely one of the best decisions of my professional career. I can honestly say I wouldn’t be where I am today without having joined this organization and invested my time as a volunteer.

The knowledge I gained and the friendships that formed laid a strong foundation for me to grow personally and professionally. From landing jobs and informing my marketing strategy to growing my leadership skills, there is no doubt NAMA has played a pivotal role in my career and continues to do so even today.

What differentiates NAMA from other groups?
The people and strong programming are two of the biggest differences in my mind. I visited several other organizations in town before deciding to join NAMA. There were none where I felt the warmth and immediate sense of belonging I felt here.

When I attend events or even just attend a mixer, I always take home some new piece of info I can use. I would say that’s a pretty strong ROI!

Can you share a memorable experience from your career thus far?
I’ve had so many wonderful experiences in my career, it’s difficult to choose just one, but if I have to narrow it down, I would say my current role has probably been the most fulfilling. Being a healthcare marketer, I get to go to work every day in a mission-driven technology company focused on improving the consistency and quality of patient care in hospitals.

The work we are doing at Amplion is transformational and disruptive. Developing the inbound marketing strategy and a thought leadership platform that is attracting attention from many of the top hospitals and hospital systems in the country gets me very excited.

Why would you encourage others to join and volunteer with NAMA?
I’ve already mentioned this a number of times, but I would say as a marketer, there is no greater way to build your knowledge and network than being a part of NAMA.

Volunteering, in particular, can enrich your membership experience and your career in valuable ways that cannot be replicated any other way. Of course, like anything, it’s only as good as the quality of your investment. I’ve found the more you give, the more you gain. After 13 years of AMA membership and volunteer experience, I think I’m a pretty good case study for the benefits of volunteer service.

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