Q&A with AAM Executive Director Rhonda Clark
Rhonda Clark became the Association for Accounting Marketing’s (AAM) executive director on January 1, 2022. She had served as AAM’s association manager since 2018 as part of AMR Management Services, AAM’s association management company. Clark and her team have been managing AAM’s day-to-day operations since the previous executive director, Lauren Clemmer, retired in 2020. Clark brings more than 25 years of experience in public relations, business development, operations and management to her new role.
What is something even those who have worked with you over the past few years may not know?
During my 27-year career I have worked in PR, marketing, business development, event management and association management in the accounting, healthcare, environmental and legal industries. Association management is my favorite by far because I get to work in all the areas I enjoy, especially connecting with AAM’s members and seeing how the organization is helping them reach their professional goals.
I am a born-and-raised Kentucky girl. I live in Lexington with my husband, Joey, a designer with a local architecture firm, and I have a stepdaughter, Morgan, in college. When I’m not working, my husband and I enjoy working on our home and are always doing a project. I like to travel, with Hawaii being my favorite trip to date, and I am planning a trip to the UK soon. I’m also a social bug and enjoy connecting with family friends and my community. I am a long-time member of the Junior League of Lexington where I’ve held several leadership positions over the years.
What motivated you to pursue the role of AAM’s executive director?
I’ve gained a profound understanding of the association’s operations and established strong relationships with AAM leaders and members during the past three years. I was passionate about what was happening in the organization and wanted to be a part of moving it forward. Additionally, I was at a point in my career where I was ready to take a step forward. My experience managing AAM and in marketing, business development and event management are a great fit for the executive director role. I am very honored to represent this organization.
What are the new Vision 2025 strategic goals for AAM?
The Board held a strategy session in November 2021 to review and strengthen Vision 2025 to make it more reflective of the current landscape. Our goal is to optimize operations by refining AAM’s processes and creating a data and technology strategy that will transform the organization. We will also identify trends that could impact the association’s success and explore membership models that will contribute to growth, engagement and deepening the member experience. We will focus on establishing and growing relationships with industry leaders and alliance partners, while strengthening our public reputation as the primary resource and leading authority on growth in the accounting profession.
What are your priorities for 2022?
We are taking AAM to the next level. We’re redesigning the website, offering new training courses, creating a platform for on-demand learning and expanding our reach to accounting marketers in Canada through a supplier partnership program with CPA Canada. We will also be rolling out a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) toolkit to assist members in addressing DEI in their own firms. Other priorities include finding new ways to partner with the AICPA and redesigning our committee structure to align more directly with the strategic plan.
What trends or innovations have you seen during your time at AMR that might apply to AAM?
We have already adopted some of the most applicable innovations from other associations for AAM, including processes to help streamline work and create efficiency. We are implementing new technologies such as MemberClicks to manage membership, OpenWater to simplify our awards program and Basecamp for project management.
What can AAM members look forward to at Summit in Louisville this May?
I am so pleased to have Summit in Louisville this year and at such an exciting time! The week of the Kentucky Derby brings a lot of energy and events to the city and promises to be a fun and memorable experience with Kentucky’s hospitality, culture and local flavors (for all the foodies).
Interview by Heather Kunz
Access the full Spring 2022 issue of Growth Strategies which focuses on talent and technologies here: https://accountingmarketing.org/publications/growth-strategies-archive
About Heather Kunz
Heather Kunz is the manager of marketing and business development, Williams, Benator & Libby.
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