2023 Annual Meeting Recap

November 10, 2023

The 2023 AAF-Akron Annual Meeting was held Thursday, October 19 at the Knight Stage in downtown Akron. President Brianna Kelly presided over the annual meeting and updated members on highlights from the past year and recognized our honorees.

AAF-Akron President Brianna Kelly presents the Silver Medal award to Carla Davis. Photo by John Christopher Davis

Silver Medal Recipient
Carla Davis, Marketing Communications Director at the Akron-Summit County Public Library, was presented AAF-Akron’s highest honor, the Silver Medal award, for her outstanding lifetime contribution to the advertising field. Watch her Silver Medal video here and listen to her acceptance speech here.

Prior to the annual meeting, Davis was given a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition under the sponsorship of Congresswoman Emilia Sykes. Betta DeBlasio, from the Congresswoman’s Summit County office, presented the award.

In its first year, our membership points program recognized and rewarded our members’ service and engagement with the club. Members earned points for attending events, joining a team, making donations to our scholarship and more. Points from Oct. 2022–Oct. 2023 were tallied up and top tier earners were recognized.  

L-R: Member of the Year, Tom Scott with his son Jacob, Volunteer of the Year. This father-son duo shares a passion for AAF!

Member of the Year
Photographer Tom Scott won our inaugural Member of the Year award. Our most active member, Scott attended many events, helped on teams, contributed to our scholarship and was an American Advertising Awards partner. He earned 211 points and received one free membership.

Eric Vaughan from Red Point Digital earned 190 points.

Second Tier Winners
The following members earned 150–190 points and received gift cards to our caterer, Hibachi Xpress Dino Style.
JD Dumire
Whitney Burd
Shonna Faust
David Flynn
Adrienne Sabo
Jacob Scott
Eric Vaughan

Applause winners Alex Tennent, Samuel Pullen, Rachel Wilson, Melissa Olson.

Third Tier Winners
The following members earned 100–135 points and received AAF water bottles.
Mike Belofi
Josh Booth
Joseph Caruso
Dave Hayward
Matt Hogan
Chad Hotchkiss
Patrick Jebber
Tim Klinger
Derek Lee
Tony Marr
Mario Micale
Melissa Olson
Rob Palowitz
Samuel Pullen
Nick Simonetti
Mark Szczepanik
Alex Tennent
Josh Weisgarber
Rachel Wilson

Jacob Schul, Volunteer of the Year

Volunteers of the Year
Two members were recognized for their many contributions. Jacob Schul, longtime website master, was recognized for continuously updating and making improvements to our site. Jacob Scott was recognized for creating membership graphics, the Penny Award logo and trophy design, event photography and co-producing this year’s Silver Medal video.

Kaylie Yaceczko, Bitchin’ Board Member of the Year

Bitchin’ Board Member of the Year
Communications Co-Chair Kaylie Yaceczko earned 225 member points and won the distinction of Bitchin’ Board Member of the Year.

Partner of the Year, Excelsior Marking.

Partner of the Year
For over 100 years, Excelsior Marking has helped all types of companies make their mark, including AAF. As our ADDY trophy partner, they have contributed their time and expertise to produce great looking ADDYs.

High Five Awards
The inaugural High Five Awards recognize those advertising and marketing professionals who go above and beyond the 9-to-5 workday in big and small ways.

Account Services Award: Audrey Houseman, Director of Client Services, TRIAD Communications
She is “a consummate professional who dazzles everyone with her acute knowledge of spreadsheets and data-driven information.”

MarCOMM Award: Nicole Hagy, Community Outreach and Grants Coordinator, Akron Municipal Courts
She is “innovative, thorough and thoughtful” and “works hard to fill newsrooms with positive story opportunities all year long while building unique content for the Court’s social media channels.”

Production Award: Jimmy Young, Graphic Designer, Akron Zoo
He can “Jimmy-a-fy” any design and “take an idea that is not fully formed and make it incredible.”

Intern of the Year: Joshua Weisgarber, Former Intern, Innis Maggiore
Josh, who was a graphic design intern at Innis Maggiore earlier this year, went above and beyond to earn the title Intern of the Year. “One of the most impressive things about Josh was his initiative. He was the agency intern version of the Energizer Bunny.”

MVP–Most Valuable Peer: Josh Kuss, Production Manager, Pritt Entertainment Group
“He is a completely essential part of PEG. We always say the only thing we need is more Josh clones.”

L-R: Programs Chair Dave Flynn, Communications Chair Matt Hogan, President Brianna Kelly, VP and Awards Chair JD Dumire, Communications Co-Chair Kaylie Yaceczko 

1. Won 4 National Club Awards!
Three Ovation Awards:
• First place in Club Operations
• Second place in Membership Development & Communications
• Third place in Programs 
Pritt Entertainment Group won a National Silver ADDY!

2. Created a Past Presidents Council to advise and help.

3. Susan B. Kosich Charitable Fund:
$10,000 of $27,500 has been raised.


  1. Always looking for new board and team members to bolster succession and bring new ideas to the table.
  2. Secure finances and increase partnerships.
  3. Launching a Mentorship Program to connect students and pros.
  4. Purposeful focus on diversity and amplifying different voices.
    Gavin Pease, Program Coordinator of GROW at Bounce Innovation Hub, Designer and Thought Leader, spoke on the lack of representation for black and brown creatives in the advertising and marketing space in Akron. Watch his remarks.  


Brianna Kelly, President/Membership Chair
Marketing Manager, Pritt Entertainment Group

JD Dumire, Vice President/American Advertising Award Chair
Senior Exhibit Designer, Formatech Exhibits
Owner/Designer, DesignxJD, LLC

Matt Hogan, Communications Chair
Content Writer, Aztek

Kaylie Yaceczko, Communications Co-Chair
Digital Marketing Manager, Red Point Digital 

David Flynn, Programs Chair
Professor of Practice, Graphic Design, Myers School of Art,
The University of Akron
Creative Director, David Flynn Design

Joshua Weisgarber, Student Engagement Chair (Incoming)
Graphic Designer, Lucky Shoes 

Samuel Pullen, Membership Chair (Incoming)
Digital and Print Designer, Surgere  


Catering by Hibachi Xpress Dino Style

Silver Medal Video Partner: The Jacobs
Jacob Scott & Jacob Vickers

Event Graphic: Kim Wengerd

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