Fun to the Party

Andrea C. Smith, the president-elect of AMADC, first got involved with AMADC through the Marketing Mentors Program. Smith spent two years as a mentor to two young African American women and was impressed with the program’s structure and the connections it made between mentor and protege. Her passion for mentoring and service was instilled upon her by her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha — founded at Howard University in 1908. The organization has a strong and impactful network of nearly 300,000 women around the globe. 

When a man searches for a job and realizes he does not have some of the experience required, Smith says, he focuses on what he’s done and how it applies to what they are looking for. Women, on the other hand, often concerned with their lack of credentials, won’t pursue it.  Smith says she wants to encourage women to trust their instincts, know their own strengths and go for those big opportunities.

“I wanted to share my professional experiences, give back to my community, help coach young marketers and encourage them to become risk-takers,” Smith recalls. “During a mentoring session with one of my AMADC mentees, I encouraged her to put herself out there and ask for new opportunities and special projects that demonstrate what she could do. When she got promoted, it was very rewarding for both of us.” 

By day, Smith is a marketing leader for a leading non-profit based in DC, and by nights and weekends, she runs the consulting firm JLC Consultancy, LLC. (named after her beloved late niece), developing strategic marketing campaigns and professional services for small businesses. She spent her early marketing years at Citigroup and AOL managing traditional marketing channels. Her experience now spans partner and affiliate marketing (which brings two brands together to grow and emphasize synergies), strategic marketing campaigns, partnerships and relationship building. These efforts increase engagements, retention, quality and value delivered to both organizations.

As a leader, Smith is working to develop and lead high-performing teams. She views herself as the team coach and in that role she sets the game plans, assigns the best players and cheers from the sidelines. When necessary, she is ready to jump in. She plans to use the same approach when she becomes the head of AMADC in 2022. Currently, she is VP of Membership and in an effort to boost new member engagement, launched AMADC’s first Membership Ambassador Program. This pairs new members with association veterans. To date, the program has engaged nearly 300 members.

Looking ahead to the 2021-2022 chapter year, Smith wants to focus on how AMADC connects to the Nation’s Capital, more clearly defining our role and how we tap into the energy of this great nation as marketers in the DMV. She will continue working closely with current president, Patrick King of Imagine, a digital agency serving DC and VA. They both believe that having an engaged membership and strong partnership networks will help the association grow. 

Smith brings a legacy of working in diverse organizations and a healthy respect for those who get it right. Her vision is to thread diversity through all AMADC member touchpoints, not just put it on a loudspeaker. Her education and work experience gives her insight into how to make these programs work. Her current project? Getting membership cohorts groups off the ground at AMADC to help build new marketing networks. Her dream project is building a diverse CMO Circle of Excellence.

“We are marketers. We bring the fun to the party and we have to remember and relish in that,” says Smith. “To me, marketing is our glue, our connector. We have an opportunity to resurrect from the pandemic stronger and build back better than we were before.”