After being nominated as a Wells Fargo Open for Business LA 2021 Community Champion, Innovate Marketing Group was awarded $5,000 to celebrate their outstanding service to the business, nonprofit and AAPI community during the pandemic.
Innovate Marketing Group is an award-winning and woman-owned experience agency, providing event management to Fortune 500 companies. Its CEO and Founder Amanda Ma has over 16 years of experience in business, event management and marketing – but among her many accomplishments, she is known for her philanthropic work in the community and her role as a small business advocate.
Beyond supporting the small business community, Ma trained over 150 nonprofits on pivoting their fundraising events to virtual opportunities such as speaking engagements and podcasts. At a time of growing anti-Asian rhetoric and violence during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ma used her voice as an Asian American woman in business to support her community. She championed several events to drive awareness around #StopAsianHate and spoke at industry events to educate other business owners on DEI in the workplace. Ma collaborated with the Asian Hustle Network to create a mental health event for the community – leveraging her expertise as the Diversity & Inclusion Chair at Entrepreneur Organization LA.
Because of COVID-19, Ma had to pivot her own business as well. The pandemic halted the entire events industry, suspending in-person events that Innovate Marketing Group creates for its clients. Using her entrepreneurial spirit, Ma worked with the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce through Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund to learn about contracting, technical assistance and new business development. She returned to her team with a new idea: virtual events. With services like “Events To Go Kits,” Ma navigated her company through the last year without any staff furloughs or layoffs – and since then, Innovate Marketing Group has hosted over successful 200 virtual events.
On Tuesday, January 25th, Wells Fargo representatives Justine Gonzalez and Bryan Moeller gathered at Innovate Marketing Group’s Pasadena office to present them with a plaque commemorating their dedication as a small business hero. While handing Ma a plaque, Gonzalez announced a surprise gift from Wells Fargo for an additional $5,000 grant towards Innovate Marketing Group. Field representative Ann Marie Hickambottom from the office of Assemblymember Chris Holden and District Representative Dominick Correy from the office of Senator Anthony Portantino also presented Ma with certificates of recognition for Innovate Marketing Group’s dedication to serving the community of Pasadena and beyond. LA Area Chamber President Maria Salinas and Senior Vice President, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Andrea Nunn attended to highlight Ma’s exemplary resilience and adaptation to the pandemic’s business challenges.