More than 27 years in strategic leadership and execution, serving as Board Member for publicly traded Clientele Life South Africa, the Organizational Board of IFA, 4Life Direct London, 4Life Direct Poland and 4Life Direct Hungary. Francois cut his teeth at Clientele Life where he won several awards in growing their insurance business for the group and very shortly afterwards took over as CEO of the IFA Organization, a distribution business for Clientele Life in South Africa. After growing this business to over 2 million members and more than 25,000 distributors, he moved his family to Oxford UK and joined 4Life Direct International as a partner to expand insurance operations in Europe. After a stint as CEO of 4Life Direct Poland, Francois took over the role as SVP of Recruitment, Training and New Business Development to expand the business into Hungary, Czech, Slovakia, and Greece, whilst remaining on as President for 4Life Direct Poland.
In 2019, Francois exited out of the insurance operations in Europe, took a sabbatical to finish his 2nd Master’s degree and spend time with his family after which business interests drew Francois and his family to Austin Texas, where he is now involved with the Better Business Bureau, as well as, several startups including a pet retail and insurance business, as well as, an electric vehicle conversion concept.
Francois graduated from HULT INternational Business School with an MBA and from King’s College London with a MSC in Marketing. He is also Alumni Chapter Lead for Hult in Texas. Francois took over the role of Strategic Partnership at American Marketing Association Austin in 2021 and was appointed as President in 2022.
Dr. Becerra earned his bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Purdue University (1982), his Master of Business Administration from University of Florida (1984), and his Ph.D. in Marketing from Florida Atlantic University (2006). He has 14 years of experience in finance and international business. After completing his doctorate, Dr. Becerra joined Texas State University as an assistant professor in 2005. Dr. Becerra earned tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in 2011, and promotion to Professor in 2017. He served as interim Director of the Center for the Study of Latino Media and Markets in 2013-14, and currently serves as Chair, Department of Marketing.
He earned the McCoy College of Business Gary V. Woods Research Award in 2012. Dr. Becerra has published in several well-respected peer reviewed journals including Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Advertising Research, European Journal of Marketing, Journal of Product and Brand Management, Journal of Psychology & Marketing, and Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services among others.
He serves on the editorial board of Journal of Advertising Research, Journal of Marketing Analytics, and The International Journal of Hispanic Media, and he was leading co-chair of the 2017 Association for Consumer Research Latin America Conference, held in Cali, Colombia.
Dr. Becerra also serves as the CFO for the American Marketing Association.
Amy has over 20 years of experience in all aspects of business-to-business marketing for professional services and technology firms. With a passion for brand building via strategic storytelling, she leads innovative, comprehensive marketing programs that drive revenue while positioning subject matter experts as eminent thought leaders. Amy is the VP of Membership for the Austin AMA, where she leads a team responsible for growing and retaining membership.
With over fifteen years of dynamic experience spanning diverse industries, Dawn Pepka stands as an accomplished professional in revenue generation leadership and marketing strategy. Her career trajectory reflects a remarkable ability to navigate and excel in both start-up environments and global enterprises.In her most recent role as a Regional Sales Manager, with the MarTech group fullthrottle.ai, she has built and optimized a robust go-to-market strategy. While in prior roles, Dawn played pivotal roles in launching European start-ups into the U.S. market, overseeing the onboarding and coaching of staff, and collaborating with various teams she left indelible marks on their market entry.Dawn's educational background includes a B.S. in Politics from the University of Southampton, UK. Her commitment to continuous learning is evident in her pursuit of various certificates and courses, including "Buyer Behavior and Analysis" from Curtin University and "Inclusive Leadership" from Catalyst.
Meghan has been volunteering with Austin AMA since early 2020 and has served as the VP of Volunteer Experience for the past two board years. She is excited to start a new year in the role and hopes to continue to support the growing chapter by helping find members to join the dynamic volunteer team as well as engage with members to find roles that match areas they’d like to support or skills they’d like to develop.
Outside of AMA, Meghan works on the web marketing team at a cybersecurity company, Trustwave. There Meghan focuses on maintaining and optimizing the company’s website. Prior to joining Trustwave, Meghan worked on the web team at another cybersecurity company where she managed 10 translated websites as well as the translation process of all digital content. Meghan finds the world of cybersecurity very interesting and loves working in web, especially diving into how users are interacting with the site and understanding general user behavior.
When not working or volunteering with AMA, Meghan enjoys reading, gardening and bird watching, as well as hanging out with her goofy doberman and sweet elderly cat.
After transitioning into marketing after a decade as a print journalist, Travis Summers has built a track record of success as marketing leader, primarily in the hospitality industry, where he currently serves as head of marketing and outside sales for Pinballz.
For AMA Austin, Travis is in charge of all communications including social media, newsletters, emails, website content, and making sure their’s not any typos in our formal copy.
Michael is a writer, marketer, technophile, and musical theater nerd. He has spent the past 15 years helping the world’s most recognizable brands connect with their customers and talent through innovative marketing campaigns globally. His skills streamline Enterprise B2B marketing programs and experiences into efficient, scalable solutions generating predictable revenue growth, greater brand recognition, and customer loyalty.
Michael has joined the American Marketing Association Austin Chapter as the Director of Membership Communications, bringing with him a depth and breadth of experience which will be a huge asset to AMA.
Cole is a seasoned Marketing Operations Specialist at American Innovations. His company specializes in compliance software and hardware for oil and gas companies. He manages the technology stack for the marketing organization along with providing field marketing support for industry events.
Cole has a passion for marketing analytics, automation, and product marketing and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in marketing, majoring in Marketing Communications from Texas State University. Eat em’ up, Cats! He is also a Texas native and avid outdoorsman, and when I’m not working, you can probably find him at one of our many state parks camping or on a hike.
Cole has taken on the important role of Director of Membership Communications for the American Marketing Association Austin. Not only does he bring with him a wealth of experience but his enthusiasm and willingness to serve the marketing community is a huge asset to our members and the AMA.
April brings a wealth of experience to the field of marketing, having collaborated with both B2B and B2C businesses across various industries for the past decade. Her journey in marketing began seven years ago, initially focusing on custom website designs and freelance digital marketing for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and entrepreneurs. Passionate about translating concepts and visions into practical and innovative solutions, April is dedicated to empowering others and delivering value. April has joined AMA Austin as the Director of Mentorship. In this capacity, she aims to facilitate connections between marketing professionals and mentors, fostering an environment of guidance, support, and growth for mentees. Recognizing the importance of both professional and personal development, April is enthusiastic about the potential of this program to uplift the community in meaningful ways. Beyond her involvement with AMA, she also works in Advertising Sales at the Better Business Bureau and runs her own business, assisting companies in enhancing their online brand presence through graphic design and marketing strategies.
Ellen Suh is a digital marketing specialist at Avison Young, a global commercial real estate firm where she works with the U.S. South region of marketing teams to drive client engagement across email, social and website platforms and enhance market recognition. By analyzing performance metrics and providing data-backed best practices, she helps teams turn underperforming strategies into impactful marketing campaigns.
In her previous roles she was responsible for event marketing, branding, content development and lead generation in professional services, B2B and B2C.
She first joined the AMA in 2018 and served as Direct of Programming Communications, as well as, Philanthropy Chair in 2020. She returns to serve as Director of Technology to help manage the chapter’s digital tools and technology platforms. She has also held leadership positions on the Alzheimer’s Association Board and the Austin Young Chamber.
Ryan brings 13 years of digital marketing experience in leading teams, fostering client relationships, growing channel services, and scaling internal operations. He earned his MBA from La Salle University in 2009 with a concentration in Marketing.Having held Director-level roles in both SEO & Paid Media, along with positions in Business Development, Ryan has a deep understanding of what clients need to be successful and what is required of teams to exceed expectations.Ryan’s passion is connecting with people: he gets his energy from empowering team members to advance their careers, as well as developing deep client relationships where they work together as partners to achieve success. In his role as Director of Partnerships & Sponsorships, Ryan leverages AMA Austin's credibility and status among Central Texas' top marketers into successful programs for partner organizations and sponsors so that these groups achieve their marketing goals.