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By Jim Patrico, AAEA Awards Chair

After 16 years of service to the organization, Marilyn Cummins, president of Cummins Consulting, resigned in early November as manager of the AAEA Communications Awards.

Association Services Group (ASG), the management company that has conducted AAEA's day-to-day affairs since July, last month submitted a bid to assume Marilyn's duties. The Board accepted the bid as similar in cost to Marilyn's contract, and ASG is now in charge of the organization's Writing, Design, Digital & Social Media and MarComm awards programs.

Christine McClintic will continue to manage the Photo Awards program.

In her resignation letter, Marilyn cited family and professional reasons for leaving her post. In mid-December, she accepted a full-time position as associate editor for Red Barn Media Group, based in Birmingham, Alabama. She starts Jan. 3, and will telecommute from Columbia, Mo.

Marilyn has shepherded AAEA's contests through a multitude of changes over the years. Paper entries became digitized, new contests were born, and we now submit most entries via a website that didn't exist when Marilyn started with AAEA. She helped all those transitions run smoothly and left the awards programs ready for the future.

As someone who has worked with Marilyn on the Photo Awards contest, I can testify to her passion for perfection and her pride at producing great results. She and her interns from MU year after year created an annual awards ceremony at AMS that made AAEA members proud to be part of such a talented group of professionals. She did all this in an atmosphere of pressurized, last-minute chaos, which somehow morphed into a beautiful, joyful event. We owe her a round of applause.

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