Do what you love, rather than outsourcing it. Make a commitment to being a lifelong learner.


These were just a couple of the takeaways from American Marketing Association - Iowa's Conversations from the She-Suite, held recently at Meredith Corp. in Des Moines. The event brought together several female marketing executives to share their journeys to the "she-suite." It was the second panel of chief marketing officers held and organized by AMA Iowa, according to Mark True, an AMA Iowa board member and brand manager at Iowa Network Services Inc.

Panelists included Angela Ten Clay, president of AMA Iowa and interactive director at Happy Medium LLC; Diana Deibler, president of Deibler & Co.; Miriam De Dios, CEO of Coopera; Shannon Latham, vice president of Latham Hi-Tech Seeds; and Ann Dieleman, senior vice president and chief marketing and business development officer at ARAG North America. The panelists also provided an inside look at critical issues facing the marketing profession.


"We focused on feedback and what our members want out of our programming when planning the first panel in 2013," True said in an email. "AMA Iowa members have told us they really want opportunities to learn new things that will help them grow in their jobs and become leaders in their companies and in the community."


The event was organized by a team of AMA Iowa board members, volunteers and sponsors, including Meredith Agrimedia and Timberline Church. More than 50 attendees turned out for the panel discussion. 


Event organizers didn't set out with a goal of creating a female panel, True said, but as they started identifying experienced marketers to bring to the event, all of them were women. As a result, organizers decided to celebrate that commonality, believing it would inspire other females in the marketing community.


"Each of our panelists has achieved marketing success - and success in general - by overcoming some obstacles. Some of these challenges stemmed from gender, others from age, familial relationships, cultural stereotypes or a combination of these, but each managed that journey differently," True said. "We wanted our members to have a chance to hear their stories, ask questions and take away a few tips for handling their own journeys and overcoming whatever obstacles they may face, in their marketing careers or in life."


Panelists De Dios and Dieleman both blogged about their experiences at the event, sharing some of their takeaways. Click on the links below to read their posts:

Also, the video below features advice from the panelists that, while specific to those in marketing careers, could be applied to women seeking to advance in any industry. See more videos on AMA Iowa's YouTube channel.


Conversations from the She-Suite - Final Thoughts
Conversations from the She-Suite - Final Thoughts