Leader’s Center

Handling the extra responsibilities that come with a leadership position requires vision and know-how. This webpage is designed to help you realize your full potential as an AAMA volunteer leader, beginning with inspirational messages from other leaders like you.

Leader Spotlight

Carolina (Lisa) Morrison, CMA (AAMA), AAS

2018–2019 Georgia of Medical Assistants (GSMA) President

What advice would you give to a new leader?

Put your personal feelings aside; you’re not going to be able to make everyone happy. You are there to put your chapter and/or society first. You are there to help manage the chapter/society, do what is best for it, and adhere to the majority rule.

What has been the best advice given to you by a mentor or another AAMA leader?

“Look it up.” When in question, always refer to your bylaws or standing rules. Most of the time the answer you are looking for is in there, and it will help you become more familiar with it. If you don’t find it there, then ask an officer.

How have the people in your life helped you become the leader you are today?

They have helped me by listening and helping me wade through all the noise and pinpoint the real issue at hand, regardless of the situation.


Rebecca Rivera, CMA (AAMA)

2018–2019 Connecticut Society of Medical Assistants (CSMA) President

What is one characteristic you believe all leaders should possess?

A leader should be an active listener. When close attention is paid to the ideas, concerns, collaborative input, and constructive feedback of others, learning occurs. The information derived from team members is informative to leadership, prepares for a pathway of excellent communication, and keeps members engaged and encouraged to participate.

What advice would you give to a new leader?

The best advice [is] to remove fear from the equation. It is important not to be fearful of asking for help and direction. Stay positive and focused on the vision ahead. It is through experience, collaboration, knowledge, and the sustenance of fellow colleagues that a leader can truly flourish.

What have you done to make yourself approachable to new members of your state society?

I’ve made it a priority to intermingle and communicate with everyone. I believe in unity and team collaboration. It is imperative for me to get to know as many members as possible so that each member feels comfortable in approaching me with feedback, concerns, or new ideas. As a leader, I plan to work inclusively and grow professionally alongside my team and fellow members of this association.

Erica Arends, CMA (AAMA)

2015–2019 South Dakota Society of Medical Assistants (SDSMA) President

What is one characteristic you believe all leaders should possess?

New leaders should have tenacity. They should have the ability to get their hands dirty and make changes. There is always resistance to change, even if it is for the better, but in order to make changes, you have to be persistent and have a solid basis for your ideas.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of your AAMA volunteer leadership experience?

The overall experience! Learning how to plan a state conference, each intricate detail, and getting member input on how they would like the organization to run. Also, attending national conferences has been incredible.

What advice would you give to a new leader?

New leaders should definitely use the old leaders. They have a knowledge base that is unsurpassed. Why reinvent the wheel? Our senior leaders have experience, know why things are the way they are and have also tried new ideas. They are also there to support your ideas.


View previously published interviews with many other state leaders: 2019 State Leader Spotlights Archive.