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.
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.
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.”
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.”
L-R: Programs Chair Dave Flynn, Communications Chair Matt Hogan, President Brianna Kelly, VP and Awards Chair JD Dumire, Communications Co-Chair Kaylie Yaceczko
HIGHLIGHTS FROM 2022-2023
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.
WHAT’S NEXT IN 2024
- Always looking for new board and team members to bolster succession and bring new ideas to the table.
- Secure finances and increase partnerships.
- Launching a Mentorship Program to connect students and pros.
- 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.
THANK YOU TO OUR 2022-2024 BOARD
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
THANK YOU TO OUR EVENT PARTNERS
Catering by Hibachi Xpress Dino Style
Event Graphic: Kim Wengerd