Board of Directors

Maggie Mills

Maggie Mills

President

Connect with Maggie: Email | Website | LinkedIn

Black Book Marketing, founder/creative director

Maggie is founder/creative director at Black Book Marketing. A tenured advertising and publishing executive, Maggie has served as executive director, chief content officer, writer, and designer during her career. Her passion is acting as catalyst for a creative team. Working in the distance education sector inspired her to take her team virtual by harnessing the best of collaboration technology. She works with artists and clients nationwide to deliver online campaigns, print, TV, radio, and social media.

When Maggie isn’t sketching ads on the back of cocktail napkins, she fosters puppies from Pet Helpers, enjoys plain air abstract expressionist painting, writes three blogs, manages multiple Instagrams, and road trips every chance she gets.

Katie Biondo

Katie Biondo

President-Elect

Connect with Katie:  Email | Website | LinkedIn

Omatic Software

Katie is a Marketing Coordinator at Omatic Software, a technology company that helps nonprofits advance their fundraising and database management. She is responsible for corporate marketing initiatives including public relations and communications, creation and development of designed materials, trade show management and event planning, and social media management.

Originally from Flemington, NJ, Katie moved to Charleston in 2013 and has come to enjoy life as a Southerner (especially the hospitality and pimento cheese). Katie holds a BFA from Virginia Tech (Class of 2011) where she studied Studio Art and minored in Art History. Forever a Hokie, Katie enjoys watching Tech football and loves anything maroon and orange.

An active member of the Junior League of Charleston, she currently serves as the League’s Print Publication Chair where she is responsible for managing and designing the organization’s annual magazine, Cobblestones. Katie is also a member of the Alpha Chi Omega Alumni and Virginia Tech Alumni chapters of Charleston.

Kelly Nelson

Kelly Nelson

Immediate Past President

Connect with Kelly:  Email | Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

Kelly is currently pursuing a master’s degree in business administration at the College of Charleston. Previously, she held marketing positions at the South Carolina Aquarium and the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley.

Kelly credits AMA with helping her develop a passion for nonprofit marketing and encouraging her growth as a leader. A member since 2013, her favorite part of AMA Charleston is learning something new every month at the signature luncheons and coffee talks. She has presented twice to the chapter about email marketing.

She is originally from Delaware and attended Furman University to earn her undergraduate degree in music. She and her husband John live in West Ashley. Her favorite things include exploring nature, traveling, and hosting Lowcountry shindigs for family and friends.

Gillian Mechling

Gillian Mechling

Executive Director

Connect with Gillian:  Email | LinkedIn

Momentum Marketing

Gillian is the Agency Manager at Momentum Marketing, a local, full-service marketing agency, where she is responsible for day-to-day agency business in operations and management. She acts as the Account Manager for the Cooper River Bridge Run at the agency and currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Asheville Half Marathon. In addition, Gillian sits on the Weed & Trash Abatement Hearing Board for Charleston County. Yes, she loves trash (or rather the organization and clean-up of it all).
 
After earning her bachelor’s degree in Economics from Clemson, she left the rolling hills to pursue her MBA at College of Charleston …she never left and she doesn’t plan to — so, you can find her dabbling at every new hot spot downtown, frolicking through a music festival or running around on the beach with her dogs!

Nick Vlattas

Secretary

Connect with Nick: Email | Website | Twitter | LinkedIn

Blackbaud

Professionally, Nick is a Content Marketer at Blackbaud, the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good. Nick furthers Blackbaud’s impact by creating sales collateral and assets and shapes the SaaS company’s branding and product messaging.

Prior to joining Blackbaud, Nick spent five years promoting College of Charleston athletics through CofCSports.com and the athletic department’s various social media channels.

Work aside, Nick is a passionate Hokie and graduated from Virginia Tech in 2009 with degrees in Public Relations and Professional Writing. When the Hokies aren’t playing, you can likely find Nick at one of Charleston’s golf courses, beaches, or restaurants (read: bars).

Andrew Smilak

Treasurer

Connect with Andrew: Email

Advantage|ForbesBooks 

At Advantage|ForbesBooks, Andrew maintains accurate cash and accrual financial records, prepares cash flow and budgeting statements and provides direct support to the VP of Finance.

A Charleston native, Andrew received his Bachelor of Science at the University of South Carolina, and his Master of Science in Accountancy at the College of Charleston. He is a member of the South Carolina Association of CPAs (SCACPA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

When he’s not crunching numbers, Andrew enjoys taking his dog, Cooper (a Chesapeake Bay Retriever) to the beach.

Callie Hitchcock

Callie Hitchcock

Director of Marketing & Communications

Connect with Callie: Email | LinkedIn

Advantage|ForbesBooks 

Callie works as a Marketing Strategist for Advantage Media Group | ForbesBooks. Before joining the Advantage team, Callie worked as a communications specialist for the City of Murfreesboro, TN; an event manager for The Hermitage: Home of President Andrew Jackson; and most recently, as an anchor and reporter for WJHL, News Channel 11, in Johnson City, TN. A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, Callie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications. After studying abroad in Spain, she also earned a second Bachelor’s degree in Spanish.

A native Tennessean, Callie is a volunteer at heart and loves serving her community. She’s the founder of an Autism awareness team in her hometown that has raised over $60,000 to help those on the spectrum. Callie is a former Executive Vice President of the Epsilon Tau Chapter of Alpha Delta Pi and enjoys being active with her sorority. She is passionate about exploring new places, sipping on vino, cheering on the Blue Raiders, Vols, and Titans, dancing, reading, attending live performing arts events, hosting game nights with her husband, perfecting her ‘foodie’ status, and worshiping the Lord.

Heather

Heather Van Lin

Director of Programming

Connect with Heather:  Email

Heather Van Lin has 20 years of valuable experience in product management, marketing communications and business development within various B2B industries such as the healthcare, energy monitoring and SaaS technology industries. Heather is self-employed as a strategic marketing consultant and executive business coach, working mainly with start-ups and small businesses.

Prior to her consulting role, Heather led marketing and product management teams within the SaaS industry for 8 years. She oversaw and participated in product management, corporate marketing, branding and communications and events management where she executed strategic initiatives such as product development and launches, creative direction, lead generation campaigns and business development.

Outside of Heather’s career, she is a mother to her spunky but sweet 7-year old daughter, enjoys running and cycling, is a self-proclaimed foodie and wine connoisseur, and enjoys traveling off the beaten path.

kathleen-buckley

Kathleen Buckley

Director of Special Events

Connect with Kathleen: Email | Website | LinkedIn | Instagram

Buckley Events

Kathleen is founder/lead event planner at Buckley Events.  Even though a tenured event planner for all size events, she has a diverse background and has owned a marketing consulting company and multiple radio stations.  She was responsible for corporate marketing, branding, events, communications and business development for companies all around the country.

She enjoys giving back to her community and has served on many nonprofit boards over her career and currently serves on the Maritime Association of South Carolina and is a freelance photographer for the Charleston Mercury Newspaper.  Her passion is leading teams to have successful events with lots of smiling faces and wonderful memories!

Even though she grew up in Virginia, she moved here in 1998 and calls South Carolina home.  With deep family roots here, some of her favorite childhood memories were coming to South Carolina where her mother was born and raised to visit her grandmother and cousins.

A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, she holds a BFA degree in Merchandising/Marketing and is Chapter President of the VCU Lowcountry Alumni Chapter.

When Kathleen isn’t busy working with clients, she is a passionate sailor and can usually be found on a sailboat racing or cruising with friends, walking on the beach, taking beautiful photos all around Charleston and always loves a road trip to visit family, friends and far away places.

Charlotte Woodward

Charlotte Woodward

Director of Special Interest Groups

Connect with Charlotte: Email |  LinkedIn

Vision2Systems 
Charlotte graduated from the College of Charleston in 2013. She started in the job world as a marketing intern at Blackbaud working with web-design, and continued advancing her career there helping good take over the world.

After 5 years with Blackbaud, Charlotte has experience generating demand in a variety of ways, including: account-based marketing to well-known National Affiliate brands (Make a Wish, Habitat for Humanity, Feeding America, to name a few), planning and logistics for annual Enterprise-level tradeshows, creating content and programs as a thought leader in the peer-to-peer fundraising space, and spreading brand awareness to Blackbaud’s Emerging Markets. She most recently moved on to manage marketing at an online giving start-up called Vision2Systems. She is looking forward to this new chapter and is excited to broaden her marketing expertise!

Brent Duncan

Director of Sponsorship

Connect with Brent: Email | LinkedIn | Facebook

Brent is senior manager of advertising and community engagement at the South Carolina Aquarium. He is responsible for overseeing the Aquarium’s paid media efforts as well as working with numerous community partners to further the organization’s mission.

Prior to relocating to the Lowcountry, Brent worked in the communications division of First Citizens Bank, headquartered in Columbia. Earlier in his career, he worked at Greenville-based advertising agency, EP & Co. and served on the communications team for the Georgia World Congress Center Authority in Atlanta.

Brent is a University of South Carolina alumnus and a Spartanburg native. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling to new places and supporting the arts in the Charleston community. He is a 2018 graduate of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Charleston program.

Ali Leavitt

Director of Membership

Connect with Ali: Email

Ali Leavitt has 15 years of diverse experience in marketing communications, publishing, and business strategy. Ali currently serves as the director of marketing at Seacoast Church where she oversees all marketing initiatives for the Seacoast global brand as well as 14 campuses throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, and online at Seacoast.org. She also is a literary agent, editor, and publishing consultant for non-fiction books, working with bestselling authors in young adult, psychology, business, and wellness.

A lover of learning, Ali holds a BA in English from University of Maine, an MFA in Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University, and an MS in Publishing from Pace University.

When she’s not typing away on her laptop, Ali enjoys road trips, binging on crime shows, exploring the outdoors with her dog Oliver Twist, wine tastings, live jazz, and weekends in New York City.