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UW-Whitewater AMA continues legacy of excellence

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater American Marketing Association maintains its premier position after being named 2017 International Chapter of the Year at the AMA International Collegiate Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana on March 18, 2017.

Having earned Chapter of the Year for the 13th time, eight out of the last nine years, UW-Whitewater AMA has truly set a high bar. UW-Whitewater and co-champion Aurora University were awarded the prestigious honor, based on the chapters’ activities over the past academic year, out of more than 370 chapters worldwide.


The UW-Whitewater American Marketing Association was again awarded AMA International Chapter of the Year. Consistently earning this top honor, the chapter has set a high bar in the collegiate circle.

Marketing department chair and AMA adviser Jimmy Peltier described the chapter’s legacy of excellence, saying, “I have been on the AMA leadership council in some form for the past 15 years. I can say without hesitation that we are seen as the best chapter in the world; one that everyone loves to emulate and tries to beat.  The fact that we remain on top is a testament to our students, our college and the university.”

Describing the time and effort students invested to achieve at this level, chapter co-president and senior marketing major Heidi Gahm, related, “We spent countless hours working on AMA throughout the year and over the summer, and it’s through the dedication and work ethic of our members and advisers that we were able to receive this prestigious award.”

“But all the late nights and weekends were all worth it,” co-president and senior marketing major Stephanie Mueller added. “It was an indescribable feeling to win this award with my closest friends.”

The students also excelled in several team and individual categories, bringing home two second-place awards and two third-place awards in the International Sales Competition, and a second, fourth and fifth-place award in the Perfect Pitch Competition. Other wins were based on projects completed prior to the conference, including a first-place for Best Video and second-place in Best Viral Video.

Among individual distinctions, Nick Rasmussen, sophomore marketing major, received third-place in the AMA Sales Student of the Year category, and Melissa Khalil, junior marketing major, won $5,000 for second in the Social Impact Scholarship competition.

Commenting on the strength of the sales team, Rasmussen shared, “It’s one of the most prominent sales teams in the country. But it isn’t built on one person. It’s a combination effort by everyone from our adviser Dan Herlache, who puts in countless hours, to the person competing for the first time.”

Herlache responded, “It is such a pleasure and an honor to work with so many dedicated students; many of whom had never competed in sales before. To be the dominant sales team in the country is so rewarding.”


Nick Rasmussen, left, and UW-Whitewater AMA president-elect Kelsey Berchem prepare for a sales competition at one of many practice sessions leading up to the AMA International Collegiate Conference. (UW-Whitewater photo/Craig Schreiner)

True success is measured by more than awards and kudos, though. It is also measured through growth, experience and contributions outside the university.

For instance, marketing lecturer and AMA adviser Andrew Dahl highlighted research completed by the student-run consulting agency, Creative Marketing Unlimited, saying, “The CMU team worked on a record number of projects this year, providing students with professional development opportunities while making an economic impact in the region.”

Associate professor and AMA adviser Pavan Chennamaneni added, “As advisers, we get the most joy and reward when we hear graduating seniors and chapter presidents talk about how AMA has crafted them into job-ready professionals and provided valuable career and life lessons.”

CMU consulting president and senior general management major Tessa Taylor agreed. “When I joined AMA three years ago,” she said, “I couldn’t have even begun to imagine where it would lead me. Being a part of this organization has changed my life and my college career.”


Jimmy Peltier, AMA chapter adviser since 1986, goes to the podium to welcome students. The regional AMA conference was hosted by the UW-Whitewater AMA chapter on October 14, 2016. (UW-Whitewater photo/Craig Schreiner)

Peltier also stressed growth. “I have been the UW-Whitewater AMA adviser since 1986,” he reflected. “In that time I have seen our chapter grow from good to great, socially active to a social cause champion, and from a business resource to a regional gem. As we celebrate our 40th year, I look back with such amazement to see what we have become.”

The celebration is bittersweet, however. Peltier shared, “I am sad to say that Arno Kleimenhagen, founder of the Department of Marketing and our AMA chapter, passed away last week.  We owe so much of who we are to him. My mentor meant a lot to me, and I wish to dedicate this year’s win to him.

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1 Response to UW-Whitewater AMA continues legacy of excellence

  1. Kristin Montoure-Beison says:

    Congratulations on another AMAzing year UW-W!!! AMA did so much for me during my college career and I am so happy to see it continues to have such an impact today!

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