CPA Growth Trends, Marketing

Hot Topic: Speakers of Interest: Summit 2023

The 2023 AAM Summit was host to a long lineup of fantastic speakers with topics ranging from technology, talent and growth to balancing success and mindfulness to achieve bliss. Here are some of the top speakers worth following for news and insights.

Summit Keynotes

Kimberly Ellison Taylor, Founder and CEO, KET Solutions

Kimberly Ellison Taylor’s high-energy presentation kicked off the AAM Summit this year with a discussion on the state of the accounting profession. She touched on the areas of talent, technology and growth, and had some fantastic takeaways for accounting marketers. One of my favorites was: We are the team that helps the firm not rest on its laurels. We’re going to have to look around the corner and do something different before we have to do something different. Kimberly is one of Accounting Today’s Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting and CPA Practice Advisor’s 25 Most Powerful Women in Accounting. Connect with her on LinkedIn or learn more about her in an inspirational video about her on her website.

Michelle Golden River, CEO, Fore LLC

Michelle’s session, The Art of Positioning Your Firm’s True Value, was designed to encourage marketers to end order-taking and silo selling in their firms. Michelle’s firm, Fore, helps firms implement new pricing methods through the Advanced Pricing Method that is used by several Top 50 firms. One of my favorite insights from her presentation was to stop using the word “value” and replace it with “worth” because Walmart has cheapened the word value. Michelle is an AAM Hall of Famer and has been named one of the Ten Most Powerful Women & Top 100 Most Influential People by Accounting Today. Find Michelle on LinkedIn or read some of her thought leadership.

Amy Vetter, CEO, B3 Method Institute

Amy Vetter’s B3 Method helps people achieve their potential in both their career and personal life by balancing the desire for success in the workplace with creating an environment of mindfulness and collaboration to achieve bliss. One standout from her presentation was: “Quality time is not leftover time,” followed by “We are not naturally present people. Dogs are.” You can find Amy’s Ted Talk on disconnecting to connect on YouTube and find out more about her method on her website.

Cross-Marketing Marketing Innovation

One of the final sessions of Summit featured a panel of leaders who shared their marketing challenges and successes to give attendees a unique perspective on marketing and business development. Their session focused on energizing, elevating and educating.

Carson Stevenson, Marketing Director, Utah Jazz

Carson’s segment was the “Energize” section of the panel, and he talked about how to energize marketing initiatives and motivate key stakeholders to work together. Carson shared details from the All-Star campaign for Lauri Markkanen, a Finnish professional basketball player for the Utah Jazz, to get Lauri into the All-Star game. The campaign was a smash hit and resulted in Lauri being chosen as a starter for the 2023 All-Star game, hosted in Utah. Find Carson on Twitter or check out this funny YouTube video starring fellow Jazz teammate Walker Kessler as Lauri’s “campaign manager.

Pete Larkin, VP of Marketing and Sales, Parlay

When your people love their jobs, they are happy. And when they are happy, they do their best work. So the best strategy is to elevate your people. That’s the premise of Pete’s discussion on “Elevation.” Elevated people with an elevated mission have elevated performance. And although Pete works in the software space, he gets it just like we do. Find Pete on LinkedIn and his company, Parlay, online.

Jed Morley, Brand Strategist, Backstory Branding

Jed’s company helps brands get their stories straight inside and out, so he was the perfect person to round out the panel and discuss the “Educate” topic. Takeaways from his portion included educating your organization to recognize and share insights, and then using The Brand Ladder to uncover even deeper insights. Then, take those insights and translate them into engaging words, images and experiences that communicate the values, feelings, benefits and features of your brand. To get started, ask yourself the simple question: What do your clients want and WHY? Find Jed on LinkedIn or check out his company online.


About Rachael McGrew

Rachael McGrew is the Business Development Director for Landmark CPAs, one of Arkansas’ largest accounting firms. In her role, she wears many hats, including overseeing the firm’s marketing and business development strategy, managing internal and external communications, maintaining the firm’s social media and web presence, planning and executing firm events and community outreach programs, assisting with M&A, coordinating recruiting campaigns, and serving on industry association committees. Within AAM, Rachael leads an AAM Circle focused on HubSpot. She is a graduate of the Leadership Fort Smith program and a 40 Under 40 honoree by both the Arkansas Business Journal and the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal. She is also a member of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Arkansas’ Western Council. Rachael holds a Bachelors of Business Administration in Marketing with a minor in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Central Arkansas and a Technical Certificate in Graphic Design from the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith. She is married to an outgoing entrepreneur she’s known since junior high, and they have a witty teenager they follow around to volleyball practice and tournaments.

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