President: Shelli Welch
Portfolio Creative, LLC
Shelli Welch is the Director, Operations at Portfolio Creative, the nation’s fastest growing staffing and recruiting agency specializing in the marketing and advertising industry. She is responsible for oversight of Finance, Human Resources, Technology and Operations. She has experience in retail, insurance and recruiting with companies such as AXA Financial and The Limited. Welch graduated from Franklin University with a degree in Marketing. She also holds a degree in Business Administration from the University of Cincinnati. She serves on Portfolio Creative’s Life Values Committee, which strives to incorporate employee values to help foster work life balance.
President Elect: Mick Pennington
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.
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: Derik Abbott
Portfolio Creative, LLC
Derik Abbott is a Recruiter at Portfolio Creative, LLC. Derik has 3+ years in the Recruiting and Human Resources industry. He specializes in connecting clients with the finest creative talent in all areas of design, writing, interactive, marketing, project management and more. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Strategic Communications from The Ohio State University and has studied creative writing, graphic arts, Spanish, business management and psychology. Derik previously held the VP, Sponsorship and VP, Young Professionals roles for AMA Columbus.
VP, Membership: Kate Oster
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, Community Relations: Christine Allen
Christine Allen is the Assistant Director of Marketing at Franklin University where her main focus is marketing strategy. As an experienced marketing communications professional with award-winning results, Christine Allen brings a versatile background and passion for marketing to the table. She also works as a consultant in strategy, presentation design, workshop development, social media and publishing. Allen is an AMA Professional Certified Marketer (PCM); in addition to her AMA position, she is the past president and serves on the board of the Columbus Chapter of Executive Women International.
Treasurer: Ryan Baker
Ryan Baker began his accounting career as an accountant at Lockheed Martin in 2008. In 2013, he co-founded Upsourced Accounting, which has given him the opportunity to work with hundreds of small-business owners. Upsourced Accounting is a virtual accounting firm that delivers full-service outsourced accounting for small businesses of all shapes and sizes. Ryan lives in Clintonville with his wife, pup, and two small children. He has a bachelor’s degree in finance from The Ohio State University and an MBA from Ohio University.
VP, Technology: Brad Griffith
Brad Griffith is President of Buckeye Interactive, the web strategy and engineering agency he started in 2009. Prior to starting Buckeye Interactive, Brad spent several years consulting and developing web applications for JPMorgan Chase, QUALCOMM, the Go Big Network and others. Brad holds a Masters in Business Administration and a Bachelor’s in Electrical and Computer Engineering, both from The Ohio State University. He has more than 15 years of web development experience and has worked from coast to coast with small and large companies, educational institutions, non-profit organizations and government agencies to build innovative web solutions.
VP, SIGs: Joel Kohler
Joel Kohler is Brand Manager at Elford Construction, a full-service Columbus-based Construction Management firm, where he manages the organization’s digital and print content database and strategic messaging; manages the web, social and video execution; handles vendor relations and promotions, plus ensures internal and external marketing is on brand and cohesive. He is a current member and has served on the board of the Society for Professional Marketing Services (SMPS). Joel also consults for various non-profit arts organizations on their marketing strategies and branding efforts. He 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 before re-joining the board.
VP, Visual Branding: Laura Leggett
Laura Leggett is an Account Manager at Vital Companies. She joined the team in 2010 and has worn many hats for the video production company. From pre to post production, Laura leverages her technical and creative skills to make sure clients are delivered a quality product and experience every time. She earned a BA in Communication Studies from the University of Tennessee in 2008 and was hired into the promotions department of Clear Channel Communications.
VP, Programming: Brian Newberry
Brian Newberry is the Vice President of Brand Leadership at Hart Associates, a results-driven advertising agency that serves clients across Ohio, the Midwest, and nationwide. With over 25 years in the Marketing and Advertising space, Brian specializes in behavioral insights, brand equity, qualitative research, brand strategy, and behavior change strategies.
VP, Content & Communications: Sienna Tomko
Sienna Tomko is an Account Supervisor at Fahlgren Mortine. Prior to joining Fahlgren Mortine, she served as a physician marketing specialist at Children’s National in Washington, DC and Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus. Sienna graduated with a degree in strategic communications/business administration from Ohio University in 2013. Before joining the board in 2017, Sienna managed the chapter’s social media and content strategies as a volunteer.
VP, Special Events: Crystal Vause
Crystal Vause is a Regional Account Director at The Shipyard. She has over 13 years of experience working on both the client and agency sides of the business. Prior to joining The Shipyard, Crystal spent many years in the food industry working on and for such brands as Panera Bread, Olive Garden, Red Lobster and Quiznos. She graduated with her undergraduate degree in Communications Studies from Ohio Dominican University and received her Masters of Science in Integrated Marketing and Communications from West Virginia University in 2012. She has also held the roles VP of AIM and Programming with the Columbus AMA from 2008 – 2010.