Executive Board

President: Crystal Vause

Raising Cane’s

Crystal Vause is a Marketing Advisor for RCO Limited, a franchise of Raising Cane’s. She has over 13 years of experience working on both the client and agency sides of the business with a strong focus in restaurant and franchise support. She graduated with her BA in Communications Studies from Ohio Dominican University and received her MS in Integrated Marketing and Communications from West Virginia University. She has also held the roles VP of AIM and Programming with AMA Columbus from 2008 – 2010.

President-Elect: Joel Kohler
Ohio Education Association

Joel Kohler is the Communication Specialist at the OEA, representing teachers, faculty members and support professionals who work in Ohio’s schools, where he manages the association’s Digital marketing; manages the web, social and video execution; handles vendor relations and promotions, plus ensures internal and external marketing is on brand and cohesive. He also consults for various non-profit arts organizations on their marketing strategies and branding efforts. Joel holds a BA from The Columbus College of Art & Design and received a MS in Marketing & Communications from Franklin University. Joel is a past president of the AMA Columbus chapter and has volunteered on several committees over the course of his membership with the chapter.

Immediate Past President/Treasurer: Mick Pennington
Guide Technologies

Mick Pennington is the Director of Business Development for Guide Technologies, a leading provider of Enterprise Software for Mid-Market manufacturers and distributors. Mick has over 20 years of experience managing technology businesses ranging in size from startups to large established concerns. A native of Columbus, he earned a Masters of Business Administration from The Ohio State University and has served on the Faculty of Franklin University in both the Marketing and MBA programs. An avid photographer; his photographs have appeared in regional publications and continue to develop commercial and editorial followings.

VP at Large: Debra Pack
Columbus Metropolitan Library

Debra Pack is the Marketing Manager at Columbus Metropolitan Library. She leads the organization’s digital and content marketing strategies; writes strategic messaging; leads the creative team and video strategy; manages the on-site print center; handles vendor relations and advertising, plus ensures all messaging is on brand and effective. She holds a BS in Journalism from Bowling Green State University where she studied English, creative writing, fine arts and photography. She has been an AMA member and volunteer since 2009; President of the chapter’s executive board (2015-2016 / 2016-2017), VP of SIGs (2014-2015) and Digital SIG Chair (2013-2014).

VP, Volunteers: Kate Niewiadomski
Budros, Ruhlin & Roe

Kate is the Marketing Specialist at Budros, Ruhlin & Roe, a wealth management firm in Grandview. In addition to her work on the company’s rebranding and website launch, Kate oversees the social media accounts and plans client events. Previously, she worked for the American Society for Nutrition as Member Relations Coordinator, and at Akron-based Smither Information, where she developed and executed strategic marketing plans for technical conferences. Since returning to Columbus and joining AMA Columbus, Kate has served on the AIM and Membership committees.

VP, Technology: Nick Chuvalas
Whiteboard Marketing

Nick Chuvalas is the Content Marketing Manager at Whtieboard Marketing, a digital and traditional marketing agency in Dublin. At Whiteboard Marketing, he manages the content strategy and creation process, directs and budgets freelance projects and deadlines, and writes SEO content. Earning his undergrad (BBA) at Ohio University, he double-majored in Marketing and Management – with a minor in Spanish.

VP, Content & Communications: Jynx Gresser Sephora

Jynx Gresser is a Senior Sales Specialist at Sephora, a leader in the global prestige retail, teaching and inspiring clients to play in a world of beauty. As a retail veteran, she enjoys creating lasting relationships with both clients and brand partners. Jynx holds a Bachelor of Arts from Miami University of Ohio and Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. Previously, she served on the Content and Communications Committee as the social media manager and was the Volunteer of the Year in 2017. 

VP, Special Events: Melinda Metz


Melinda Metz works in Community Relations at SourcePoint, the aging services provider of Delaware County.  She oversees the development, implementation, and maintenance of a county-wide community relations effort focused on increasing referrals; and works cooperatively with stakeholders to educate the community about available resources.  Melinda’s previous experience has been leadership roles managing internal and external communications and tracking initiatives of various elected officials and candidates.  Melinda was recognized with a national award for project management and has won numerous awards for program management.  Metz earned her B.A. from The Ohio State University in political science with a concentration in persuasive communications.  This is her first year serving on the AMA Columbus board.

VP, Programming: Whitney Smith


Whitney joins the AMA Columbus Board this year with a diverse marketing generalist background and over 15 years of experience in various industries. She started her career promoting trade shows at an association, spent multiple years as an account manager at an agency, and most recently managed product marketing in the financial services industry. Whitney holds an MBA from Ohio University and a BA in Journalism from Penn State University.

VP, Membership: Jessica Burchard

Jessica came to the AMA Columbus Board in 2021 with more than 15 years of communication experience, including 10 in nonprofit development. She’s written everything from newspaper articles to press releases, blogs and social media posts. A proud graduate of Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Jessica wears her Bobcat shirts around Buckeye country with no shame.

Chapter Administrator: Karen Kaiser
Kaiser Association Management

For more information on the AMA Columbus chapter, or to contact the chapter regarding events, ticketing, or general inquiries, please contact Karen at administrator@amacolumbus.org.

Current Board Openings

Please contact president@amacolumbus.org for information about opportunities with AMA Columbus.