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In theory, Al Maag retired last month.
But the former chief communications officer at global technology distributor Avnet has no plans to lounge by the pool. He started his own communications consultancy, MaagComm+, and signed on as executive director of the Business Marketing Association.
The move comes as the association bolsters support for a membership that faces an unprecedented level of change. Maag, a BMA fixture who served as chairman from 2011 to 2012, will be a nonvoting member of the board. He will be charged with putting strategy in motion.
“We haven’t had this role for over a decade,” Maag says. “I think I can make a big difference. Having been chairman, having been on the board for a while and having established the Phoenix chapter, I’ve been really involved for the last nine years. This should be exciting.”
BMA Buzz spoke to Maag about his retirement plans.
BMA Buzz: Is it really fair to call this a retirement?
Al Maag: You can call it anything you want. I’m pretty active, and I had my own business for quite a few years before I went over to Avnet. To start it back up is a no brainer, especially with the number of folks I know and the things that we accomplished over at Avnet. We did a lot with community and branding so when people heard that I was moving into the next chapter, I got a lot of phone calls— which makes a person feel good. When you first announce something like that you feel like you’re writing your own obituary.
BMA Buzz: What will be your goals as executive director of the BMA?
Maag: We’re right on the cusp of doing something a little bit different, and I have an opportunity to help make that happen. Having had the role that Kathy [Button Bell] has right now, you want to set a strategy, but at the same time somebody has got make it happen. It’s not easy. Everyone has a day job. Now we have the opportunity to execute on some of these strategies and move the puck a little bit more and get where we want to go. We have a point person.
Content is the key currency. We are going to be working with some other organizations that have content relevant to our members. We’ll be doing more surveys, more research. We hope to bring that all to light in the next six moths. And while we’re doing that, we need to upgrade the website. We need to make it easier to find information and export information so people know all about the stuff that is going on.
We need to establish a community for people to ask questions and get answers. The BMA community is strong and getting stronger, and when we can exercise that band of people, we can make thought leadership explode.
Maybe agencies want to talk to agencies and CMOs want to talk to CMOs and younger people want to talk to younger people. Whether online or [face-to-face] it’s a good thing. The more we can make those types of opportunities available, the better off we are.
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