AAMA Holds First-Ever Association Retreat


The board of directors for both AAMA and the association’s Charitable Foundation (AAMCF) met May 17-19 at the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Wingspread Retreat and Executive Conference Center in Racine, Wisconsin.

“In the 41 years of AAMA, they’d never had a retreat,” said AAMA President Joe Camarota. He told RePlay changing that was one of his big goals as the association’s leader. “I thought it was very important that we all get on the same page to develop the type of synergy that a non-profit should have.”

The retreat brought the boards together for three days of focused meetings, where they started to develop updated mission and vision statements to reflect new goals and values.

But mostly, Camarota said, it was a chance to unwind and really get to know one another outside of the work environment of offices, Zoom meetings and trade shows. Cell phones were mostly put away and the group spent nights around a campfire with AAMA’s executive vice president Pete Gustafson strumming away on the guitar, among other activities.

“The top takeaway was that we were able to accomplish our goals,” Camarota noted about the first retreat’s success.

Added AAMCF President David Cohen: “The real work begins after the retreat. We were successful in gaining very valuable clarity on where we want to take both organizations and with that, we’re much better able to create initiatives to lead us there.”


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