NIU chapter chosen to host conference

By Vickie Snow

Five hundred college students from across the Midwest are expected to invade DeKalb Nov. 17-19 when NIU hosts the American Marketing Association’s regional conference.

“Market Yourself, Discover the Advantage” will include a weekend full of activities for 94 AMA college chapters from six different Midwest states.

NIU was selected to host the conference when its AMA chapter’s 50-page proposal was chosen. The proposal was written by a 40-member planning committee, which has grown to 80, and is headed by Sal LoSchiavo, NIU’s AMA regional director.

Although the majority of the participants are connected to AMA, all students can relate to the topics to be presented by the numerous speakers at the conference. “If you’re not in AMA, you still might be able to participate,” LoSchiavo said.

The issues deal with selling oneself into a good career after college, “something classes don’t always teach,” and an idea that everyone can relate to, LoSchiavo said. Students who wish to find out more about the conference can contact LoSchaivo at 756-8146.

The “Marketing Yourself” activities will begin Nov. 17, said Rich Hickey, one of AMA’s conference coordinators. That night DeKalb Mayor Greg Sparrow will welcome the crowd and introduce the keynote speaker. Ron Sanders, from Proctor and Gamble, will discuss “Selling Yourself into a Bright Future,” LoSchiavo said.

After the speaker, students can enjoy “Midwest Marketing Madness,” McCabe’s Lounge Limited disc jockey and a contest at Matthew Boone’s restaurant.

On Saturday Nov. 18, events will begin with a luncheon. A live mock job interview, in which the UARCO corporation will question a randomly selected AMA chapter president, will give future employees a sense of what an interview is like, LoSchiavo said.

Six speakers will lecture on Sunday Nov. 19, LoSchiavo said. WLS-TV Program Director Tim Bennet, Matt Faykosh from Coors Brewing Company, IBM’s James Reed and Arlene Sulkin of the Marketing and Media Decisions magazine will discuss different marketing techniques.

Motorola’s Tom McCarty, manager of the national training department, will promote “Sales Training in America: What to Look for in an Employer.” Jason Gold, founder of Dayne Industries, will be “the only speaker to touch upon entrepreneurship,” LoSchiavo said.

Sunday’s keynote speaker is Robert Kerrigan, chief operating officer of Northwest Mutual Life Insurance Company, who “is an incredible speaker who spoke to 10,000 people at the annual (AMA) conference,” LoSchiavo said. Kerrigan’s topic, to be presented after dinner, is “Selling Yourself into a Bright Future.”

An addition to the conference is a fundraiser for Starlight Foundation, which gives terminally ill children their last wishes, LoSchiavo said. Since mid-September, the Midwest chapters have been raising money which will be collected at the conference to “show the power of the Midwest,” he said.

A walk-a-thon for Starlight will be held on campus Wednesday.

Organization of the conference has “been a year-long project that couldn’t have been done without the help of the committee,” LoSchiavo said. “We will be presenting our campus to the other colleges.”

AMA is “a perfect way to get a taste of marketing and to improve your resume,” LoSchiavo said. The 705-member club, of which marketing students make up half, meets every Tuesday at 9:15 p.m. in Wirtz Auditorium.