Jeff Zelaya

AMA Saves Lives

As you may already know I am an American Marketing Association member and an alum of the AMA at FIU. Check out this letter from Christian Ricks below about an AMAzing life saving campaign that he’s working on with the rest of AMA FIU and AMA Collegiate National.

The American Marketing Association at Florida International University is a top 5 Chapter in the nation. They give students the opportunity to work on skills you wouldn’t otherwise get in the classroom such as professional development, internships and improving on basic skills such as resume building, interview skills and networking. A huge initiative that our chapter is working on is AMA Saves Lives. It is our collegiate associations way of being able to give back to a cause worth fighting for. AMA Saves Lives is about creating and spreading awareness about the need for organ donation.

AMA Saves Lives works side by side with Donate Life America a non profit organization. Donate Life’s mission is to drive individuals, organizations and communities to increase the number of designated organ, eye and tissue donors who save and heal lives. 90% of Americans support organ donation, yet only 30% know the steps it takes to become one. So it is our job to inform them that with this decision they can save up to 8 lives and it takes nothing from them.

With over 100,000 men, women and children waiting in hospitals for transplants, how can people not see the need for awareness. So we created a creative campaign called Unleash Your Inner Super Hero which shows how students can become super hero’s by making the decision to become organ donors. The AMA gives awards to the chapter who place top 5 in categories such as best event, most donors, most videos and best video. This Fall semester was a huge success for our FIU chapter and we are very proud of the work we have done.

We created over 60 videos, had 4 events, registered over 160 students and created an AMAzing best video. The video you see is staring two of our AMA Executive Board members Angela Gers and Andy Rubio. The video shows how the decision to become an organ donor can make a full circle and come back to change others lives for the better.

We truly feel like we are changing the communities opinion on organ donation and helping them register. We will continue our Super Hero campaign next semester and hope to grow on our success from Fall. If you would like to register to become an organ donor, you can go to It only takes 2 minutes and you can definitely make a difference.

Thank You,

Christian A. Ricks
Director of AMA Saves Lives
American Marketing Association
Florida International University


The AMA Northwestern Mutual Sales Competition Champion!

My flight was scheduled for 4pm on Thursday, it was then pushed back to Friday at 10am then pushed back once again to Friday at 10:55pm and if that wasn’t bad enough the 10:55pm flight was delayed and didn’t leave Miami International Airport till 1:30am on Saturday. Tired, exhausted and hungry we arrived at New Orleans at 3:30 am and still had to drive to our hotel (30 minutes away) and then go grab a bite to eat. Long story short we didn’t go to sleep till 4:30am and try sleeping when you have to be back up at 8am.

But even the sleepless night and the excessive delays didn’t prevent us from walking away victorious.

The AMA Northwestern Mutual Sales Competition began at 9am sharp – so we woke up put on our game faces…

The competition was fierce out of 50 students by 12pm only 5 were left. But it wasn’t over — at 12:15pm we begun the final round and had to do our presentation in front of a large audience and in front of a panel of five judges that will scrutinize your words, tone and body movement. After each contestants went the judges would furiously scribble down their notes and whisper among each other. After we all went the butterflies in the stomach were still not over..they wouldn’t announce the winners till that evening at 6:30pm.

ama northwestern mutual sales competition jeff zelaya

Jeff Zelaya wins 1st place at the American Marketing Association Sales Competition

6:30pm finally crawled along and it was show time. As they got ready to announce the winners, my heart starting beating super fast – I felt like it would give up at any moment and then it came 5th place – Jonathan Santana – my team mate snagged up 5th and I immediately got worried but still held on to hope. 4th Place…..3rd Place and so I knew I was in the top 2 since they had yet to call my name and then 2nd place was announced and my team went nuts.

You would have thought they were screaming for the 2nd place winner but 2nd place was won by someone else so they knew that the only name left unannounced was JEFF ZELAYA and so they called it and up to the stage I ran to take pictures with the big $500 check and claim my…

FIRST PLACE victory for the American Marketing Association Northwestern Mutual Sales Competition. 

An incredible moment and a very happy moment in my life. All the hard work had paid off. But the celebrations weren’t the award ceremony winded down there was still one more big award left unannounced and it was for the AMA’s Top Chapter of the Year AKA the Platinum Award…which FIU WON!!! The crowd once again went wild – everyone wanted to congratulate us and take pictures with us and so the trip that almost never happened concluded in the best finish possible. It was meant to be! Thank you for everyone that made this experience possible. Thank you to our ‘ama’zing AMA family and especially to our Advisors Tim Birrittella and Nancy Rauseo. Love you guys!!

Check our my very prophetic words in this video below…”FIU AMA will be number one!” Whatever you believe you will achieve!