April 25, 2011
By John Murray '11
The CSB/SJU Marketing Club won a national award for "Outstanding Chapter Planning" at the American Marketing Association (AMA) International Collegiate Conference in New Orleans.
The award recognized the club for planning events, activities and projects that aligned with the three pillars of the association: professional development, fundraising and community service. Each pillar had to be represented in club activities throughout the year in order to achieve recognition.
Faculty advisor Lisa Lindgren, College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University professor of management, commented on the club's success.
"Last year they won an award in one functional area, fundraising, Lindgren said. This year's award represents continuing improvement, because this award acknowledges overall chapter excellence."
Thomas Brekke, the club's president, recognized the potential of the Marketing Club early on.
"Last year was testing the waters, Brekke said. This year, we realized we could do very well. Our main focus was getting students involved."
The increased student involvement was felt around campus. The club was responsible for the J-Flags, retractable posters exclaiming "Go Johnnies" that became a fixture at Saint John's sporting events. Other activities sponsored by the club this year include a pumpkin carving contest and various marketing forums that brought professionals to the CSB/SJU campuses.
Marketing Club participants also gained hands on experience. The club's professional development pillar focused on Toro products. Students partnered with Toro Corporation and were responsible for finding local lawn care companies that would benefit from Toro products. They then assembled marketing reports for Toro's use. Another ongoing project for the club is a pet poison hotline, which is meant to help provide answers to pet owners who are unable to afford the cost of a veterinary visit.
The club's fast growth and success in New Orleans is exciting to Vice-President Liz Larson.
"We've only been a member of AMA last year and this year," Larson said. "We want it to grow. The more you are involved, the more you can do."
Both Brekke and Larson cited the importance of networking at the New Orleans conference. Participants in the conference represented schools from across the country. Although it was fun to experience New Orleans and explore Bourbon Street, both agreed the greatest benefit from the trip was sharing ideas with peers and professionals at the conference.
What was the most rewarding part of the Marketing Club's hard work?
Brekke and Larson agreed it has been setting up the club for next year's success.
Club members who attended the conference are: