Honoring a Power Austin AMA Volunteer: Marissa Wagner


Have you ever worked with someone who was your go-to-reliable-rock? That’s Marissa. Marissa joined the Austin AMA crew this board year and jumped in with both feet and arms. She tackled running our monthly keynote Power Hour events with extreme organization and poise. All of the moving parts were absorbed with ease and she became a very special face to the Austin AMA through these programs. And, for all of that and more, she was nominated by her peers to be this quarter’s Volunteer of the Quarter.

One of the events that Marissa hosted and coordinated recently was our Women Leaning into Leadership panel discussion in March celebrating Women’s History Month.

“I LOVED being involved with and hosting this women’s event. Having personal correspondence with these truly inspirational powerhouse, but also down-to-earth women, was so inspirational and motivating for me personally. It was so wonderful to see it all come together and to just watch the interaction between these panelists and our attendees.”

The American Marketing Association spans across the country with 70+ chapters bringing marketers together to impact their communities. There’s a lot of ways people can get involved in their community and the AMA is a unique opportunity for marketers to not only give back, but also fuel their learning and growth. Marissa has spent the majority of her career in the news and consumer package goods industry, so she looked at the AMA as a way to branch out to meet and work with marketers from different types of industries and share in their experiences.

“I grew up with parents that always stressed the importance of giving back to the community and have taken that with me, volunteering with several non-profits over the years. AMA just seemed like a natural way to combine my passions for marketing and giving back.”

Our mighty but powerful team of volunteers with the Austin AMA is run 100% with the power of volunteers. We have no paid staff, but we do have a lot of incredible people with big hearts and a lot of talent. Marissa’s leadership and experience as the Director of Marketing and Communications for San Luis Spirits Holding Company, DBA Dripping Springs Distilling has brought a lot to our organization. Her company has the most diversified portfolio of any Texas-based holding company and is comprised of entirely Texas-based spirits and non-alcoholic brands that are distributed in 23 different states.

“I have been with The Kelleher family and their vision for 6 years now. My ‘day job’ always brings something different with it, which is perhaps why I love it so much. While juggling marketing, advertising, events, PR, promotions, etc. for 11 brands can be challenging, it’s been really wonderful to watch our little marketing team grow and continue to meet challenges, win awards, and continually innovate to grow all of our brands successfully in this ever-changing industry.”

Marissa is all about authentic branding. She is passionate about building campaigns that tell authentic stories behind brands and leveraging the power of emotional intelligence to build incredibly functional and happy teams.
Jonah Berger’s books are her go-to for Marketing topics. Contagious, Invisible Influence, and The Catalyst are all ones she’s enjoyed. “If you’re like me and enjoy the psychology and sociology behind why people do what they do, you’ll LOVE him. He’s also an incredibly gifted lecturer if you want to watch some of his stuff online.”

It’s no surprise that Marissa has great advice for other marketers:

“Push fear to the side of anything you do. We’re marketers because we thrive on innovation and the study of people’s desires…so innovate and get to know the people you’re marketing to!”

Be challenged today to stretch your comfort zone and find new ways to innovate and be a part of the lives of your co-workers, customers, and community!
Our Austin AMA community is a fun bunch. Being a part of the organization gives us all a chance to further our skills and meet some amazing people. We have some openings on our committees if you are interested in jumping in more like Marissa has. Feel free to reach out to us if you’re interested in volunteering.

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