Marketing Leadership with Craig Lund

Great night on Wednesday November 30th at AMA Boston’s Mix and Mingle with Craig Lund from AMA Toronto. Craig is a Past President of the Toronto chapter and current board member and AMA national’s Ric Sweeney chapter Volunteer of the year for 2022. Craig described the chapter’s mentorship programs, along with their executive coaching program (which is available to Boston Chapter members) as well as the value of AMA membership.

Essentially, AMA Toronto has two mentorship programs.

1. For junior marketers, they have Career Accelerator, now in its 5th year, at a cost that’s equivalent to a standard AMA membership ($150).
Members are assigned to mentors, who meet on a monthly basis for nine months, and the program members gather to network 2-3 times a year culminating with a graduation reception. The goal of the program is to introduce young marketing professionals to the value of joining a professional association and help develop core business skills such as networking, relationship building, having a difficult conversation, and understanding the myriad of marketing careers available.

 2. The senior marketer program, Mentor Exchange costs $800 and includes AMA membership, exclusive programming including a launch reception, graduation, and a day of education delivered by one of the local business schools. Craig even hosts a night in his home for the mentees to mix and share their mentorship experiences. The 9-month program leverages a more sophisticated matching program which requires the expertise of a data scientist. This has been key to the longevity and success of the program which is now in its 13th year. The program aims to provide mid to senior-level marketers with an opportunity to develop their leadership potential.

David Ehrenthal, Principal at Mach10 Career & Leadership Coaching, who attended the meeting described his takeaways from the evening, “Craig also talked in some depth about the Chapter’s successful Executive Leadership program. While the technical skills marketers must acquire today seem to grow exponentially, so too do the leadership skills marketers need to master to unleash their potential (and those they work with) and advance in their careers. As companies adapt to changes in the external environment—technology, consumer behavior, competitor set—so too must leaders acquire new leadership skills. The ROI of leadership growth is considerable, making the case for supporting organizational leaders with tailored coaching very compelling. This high ROI reflects the unique nature of coaching: it focuses on fostering a leader’s awareness of blind spots and resistance to the positive changes they actually desire and creating plans that include real behavioral changes and personal accountability. Not only will leaders enhance their ability to align and integrate their team’s efforts and interest with business goals, but the lives of all people involved will be better.”

For AMA Toronto, these two programs bring in approximately 100 new members each fiscal year, and many mentors opt to also take advantage of AMA membership with a promotional rate made available as a gesture of thanks for their volunteering.  

With a competitive marketing association market, the other associations were focused on things such as corporate legislative/ lobbying support to marketers, providing marketing education & designations, and large-scale conferences.  

This highlighted a gap in the marketplace and became an opportunity For the Toronto chapters to focus on inspiring & developing marketing leadership for aspirational marketers. This became their brand promise: To Empower the Leadership Potential of marketers. 


  • John Cass

    John is the current VP of Sponsorship for the Boston Chapter of the American Marketing Association, and also the 2005 Past President.