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Revamp of AMI board sees five members depart leaving just one elected member

Lee Tonitto

Lee Tonitto

The revamp of the board of the Australian Marketing Institute has left the organisation with just one representative elected by the membership, just one year after it pledged to inject fresh ideas by having member-elected directors.

The announcement this week of the expansion of the AMI board from six to seven members comes after the association saw five elected members leave the board since they were elected 18- months ago.

AMI CEO Lee Tonitto said there was nothing unusual in the almost complete change of the make-up of the board and that the new appointments came after the AMI had conducted a skills audit of its make-up.

“Firstly what I’d like to do is thank the departing directors for their tenure,” Tonitto said.

“As you would appreciate people’s circumstances change and all of these directors that have retired from our board are still really close partners within the AMI community and the decision for them to depart the board was not a light one.

“The AMI really prides itself on transparency with or members and the greater marketing community and the focus. The last board did an extreme amount of heavy lifting.

“That set everything up for the next board to spring into a new phase of growth.

“With the new directors I think it brings a fresh vision for the AMI. Directors have been appointed that have the requisite skills to help management execute the AMI strategy.”

Retiring from the AMI are chairman Darren Woolley from TrinityP3, former government marketer Graham Wright, Victoria University lecturer Sally Webster and SAI Marketing Counsel MD Mahesh Enjeti.

Citi Cards and Loans head of digital sales, Kathy Hatzis, the only remaining elected member, will remain as deputy chair.

Joining the board are Lynda Cavalera, former head of marketing at Kinetic Super, Pat Duffy, head of marketing for Defence Force Recruiting, Marco Cicchine, former principal of Loans@Home and marketing academic Nicholas Riddis.

Andrew Thornton, principal of Bridge Street Consulting is also joining the board as chair.

“With the changing directors there have been refreshed skills,” Tonitto said.

Woolley was the first member elected director appointed chair of the AMI in January last year.

The move back to appointed board members reverses a policy put in place by former chairman Graham Wright who said that the time that having member elected board members would “inject new ideas and fresh perspectives to the AMI driven by member elected directors”.

The AMI has also appointed a PR firm, Icon PR to handle its image – a first for the organisation.

The new board will remain in place until October 2017.

Simon Canning

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