Skip to content

Category: Announcement

A Letter from the President: Come at Us, 2019

Loud, proud, bold, boisterous, spirited.

Those are just a few of the words I would use to describe the fervor and elation the American Advertising Federation of Central MN’s Board of Directors are marching into our 2019-20 season with. Grab your sunnies, because we’re bringing a bright future.

Welcome to 2019, Baby

You might be thinking, “Hey Bridget, you’re about 9 months late to the ‘yay, 2019!’ party.” But I’m not. I know we celebrated flipping our calendars to 2019 on a cold, dark December night – but as a Board of Directors, our chapter is celebrating the kickoff to another American Advertising Federation season.

I am a proud, proud President of a fiercely inspiring group of Central Minnesota Creatives. We come from all backgrounds, levels of experience, shapes, sizes, passions, and music preferences … but we all believe in our club and what it can mean to our community. To students, professionals, business owners, and everyone in between.

And that’s why – as we step into a gleaming new season of events, chock-full of enthusiasm and imagination – we’re bringing some updates along with us.


What’s New in the 2019-20 Season

1. Our Board of Directors (BOD)

Every spring we dust off our recruiting shoes and seek out new additions to our Board of Directors before our season draws to a close. This year, we have an impressive balance of individuals who are brand new to the board, are in their second term, and are 5+ year veterans. If you haven’t yet, check out our Meet the 2019-2020 AAFCM Board of Directors blog and learn a little about us. It never hurts to be able to put a face to a name, right?

2. Membership

This – in my opinion – is one of the highlights of this blog and our 2019-20 season. (If this was a drinking game and you took a shot every time I said “2019-20 season” we’d all be a little hazy right about now, but, ANYWAY.)

The people have spoken, and we have heard them. You told us our memberships were pricey. Some said complicated. Frustrating. Not worth it. And in a world of subscriptions, jam-packed calendars, and a desire for as-instant-as-possible gratification, we knew we needed to make our membership – and what it means – more accessible and appealing. So, we’ve changed it.

A week or so ago, I wrote a blog announcing the updates to our Membership, but I’ll summarize here, too. We have three levels of membership: Student, Freelance / First-Year College Grad, or Professional. Each of these membership tiers comes at a reasonable cost – but all have the same Membership Perks. There is also Corporate pricing if you and your department or group of colleagues want to join. We’re excited to roll out our updated membership and the INCREDIBLE benefits. Click here to learn more (and, you know, GET YOUR MEMBERSHIP!)

3. Coffee with Creatives

This little offshoot of our monthly events has been years in the making. With movers and shakers on our board (that I seriously cannot say enough great things about) we are making it happen. On the last Tuesday of every month, we’re hosting Coffee with Creatives: Where Connection, Conversation, Caffeine, and Creatives come together. This monthly meet-up is exclusive to Members. However, anyone can come for their first time as a guest! So, if you’d like to check it out and test the AAFCM waters before you jump in, this is a great place to do it.

Why are we championing Coffee with Creatives? Simple. We feel there aren’t enough professional networking events dedicated to the St. Cloud creative community, especially ones that deep dive into the trends and challenges of our industry. Accessible, insightful, caffeinated. Our own Taylor published a blog all about our morning meet-ups, check it out!

Oh… did we mention that coffee + food is provided? Yeah, pencil this in your calendar!

4. Event Surveys

In the past, we’ve had printed event surveys at events for you to fill out while it’s fresh in your minds. But, to be a little more digital and a little less wasteful, we’ll be sending all event surveys out via email. You’re probably used to this for … like, any event or purchase you make online.

This is where we have an ask for you… please, please, please, fill them out! Making updates to how we run our club and the events + opportunities we bring are simply not possible (or are guesses, at best) without your input. We want to know what you think of every detail of every event. So when you see that survey email come through, fill it out, please!

5. Sponsorship Opportunities

A big focus of our club is collaboration. It often happens in the form of partnered sponsorship and helping us cover the costs of speakers, presentations, refreshments, and venues… and damn, are we thankful for you all. This season, we’ve established “official” sponsorship tiers + benefits for those of you who continually partner with our club as well as those of you who would like to get in front of our group of marketers, advertisers, designers, writers, by joining forces. Have I piqued your interest? Let’s talk!

6. …and More

That’s not all. Some additional exciting updates and events are coming to the Central MN AAF group – but I didn’t want to overload your brains. And besides, we can’t give away all our news at the beginning. What fun would that be? Make sure you follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for events + updates and sign up for our email list to get promo info, first chance at tickets, and news.

Onward & Upward

So, yes … while there are a lot of places to find doom and gloom in the world today, our club just isn’t one of them. Sorry, not sorry. We are here to learn, laugh, celebrate, and create. We are here to relentlessly grow and shape ourselves and our world. There are enough places to find competition, calamity, and crappy attitudes. We’re not saying we’re going to erase all that or fight all those fights, but we can promise we will rise above. We are here for our fellow creatives.

Come at us, 2019. You ain’t got nothin’ on this Board of Directors.
We are here. You’ll hear us.


With all of the benefits AAFCM brings, it’s a no brainer for your employer to want to help pay for your season ticket membership. But just incase you need some help explaining, we provided this blog for you!


Our events cover a variety of topics to ensure you excel in the quickly evolving advertising
and marketing industry. From learning the latest trends, to case studies and workshops, to
leadership and team development, you’ll walk away with nuggets of wisdom and inspiration
you can bring back to the office. Our programming brings value to graphic designers, marketing
directors, art directors, content creators, web design and developers, and account managers for
both in house marketing departments and advertising agencies.


Network with hundreds of like-minded individuals, potential customers, employers and
employees. Each event incorporates invaluable networking time. It’s a great opportunity to make
connections and keep your company top of mind with other professionals, as well as students
ready to make waves in the industry.


Do you recall the advertising for milk that said, “Happy cows give better milk?” We aren’t calling
you a cow (that’s not cool!), but we do know that investing in an employee’s professional
development often increases satisfaction. Our goal is to help you be better and we believe
growing personally goes hand in hand with growing professionally. Why wouldn’t your company
want you to be the best you can be as a whole?


Skills and knowledge. One minor adjustment in approach or strategy can have an incredible
return for your company and pay for your membership many times over. It’s about who you know. It goes without the saying the value connections, referrals and partnerships have in this industry.

Good vibes. Every good boss wants his or her employees to feel valued. And when we feel
valued, we invest more and feel a greater sense of loyalty to our organization. Win, Win.

We hope that gives you some talking points when talking to your boss! Need a formal request
letter? We’ve got one drafted for you here!

Adventure Earns National Marine Industry Awards for Breakthrough Hatteras Yachts Advertising Campaign.

Agency presented 2016 Neptune Awards during Miami International Boat Show.

February 22, 2017/Minneapolis, MN –Adventure™ Advertising was awarded “Best Advertising Spread” at the annual Marine Marketers of America presentation of the Neptune Awards in February. The work from Adventure was part of an ongoing integrated campaign for Hatteras Yachts. The agency was also recognized with an Honorable Mention for its 2016 Brochures for Hatteras Motoryachts and Sportfish product lines.


The highly competitive awards show took place at the Miami International Boat Show and featured agencies from across North America. A range of top marine industry brands were represented, including Volvo, Boston Whaler, Yamaha, Bayliner and a host of others.

“The quality of the work proved that 2016 was a great year for innovation and creativity in the boating marketplace,” said Sally Helme, MMA vice president and Neptune Awards chairperson.
Adventure has been agency of record for Hatteras Yachts since 2015, with creative work extending across a wide range of media, including print, social media, website design and photography. The agency has a long history serving top brands in the boating and outdoor recreation industry since it opened its doors over a decade ago. Current and past clients have included Johnson Outdoors, Larson, Polaris and Victory Motorcycles, along with a diverse mix of accounts that extend beyond the outdoor category.

About Adventure™
Founded in 2005, Adventure Advertising combines senior-level experience and entrepreneurial energy to deliver award-winning campaigns for national and regional brands. The agency has offices in Minneapolis, St. Cloud and Brainerd. For more information visit

About Marine Marketers of America
Established in 2007, the Marine Marketers of America (MMA) is the exclusive voice for marine marketers, and the professional association representing recreational marine industry marketers. MMA provides ongoing professional development and networking opportunities, while recognizing the outstanding achievement of marine marketing professionals through its annual Neptune Awards. For information, visit

AAF Central Minnesota American Advertising Awards – Call For Creative!

ST. CLOUD, MINN. – For years, the American Advertising Federation of Central Minnesota has curated an awards show featuring advertising and marketing work from Central Minnesota creatives abound. The American Advertising Awards, or ADDY’s as we fondly refer to them, is meant to be a celebration of the innovative and creative work that is happening right here in central Minnesota. As our local club prepares to kick off the 2016-2017 programming year, we’ve got an exciting announcement to make.

To this point, the organization whose work receives top marks or ‘Best of Show’ at the most recent ADDY celebration is charged with the exciting task of choosing the theme and developing the creative in collaboration with our club. This year, in an effort to let the creative juices of Central Minnesota run wild, we’ve decided to blow the doors off this honor. We’re giving anyone who’d like to work one-on-one with our club and have their work in front of the ‘who’s-who’ of our local advertising and marketing community the chance to develop the theme and creative for the 2017 Central Minnesota American Advertising Awards.

Here’s how it’s going to work: First, you’ll read our call for creative (ahem, this is it!). Next, you’ll start formulating ideas and submit them to our club for the chance to work with us throughout the upcoming Addy season. As we review entries for Addy theme and creative, we’ll be looking mainly at how well your ideas can be applied to all the elements of our beloved Addy’s, including traditional and digital mediums, show décor, etc.

Submissions are requested by July 31st and should include a theme and one – three pieces of developed creative. (Social media graphics, Call for Entries poster, invite, etc.)

Please contact our 2017 Addy Chair, Sarah Forystek or club President Alison Schroeder with questions.

Submit your theme below

4th Annual Agency Crawl

It’s that time of year again! Local St. Cloud agencies are opening their doors from 2:00-5:00 pm and inviting students and professionals inside to tour their space, view their work and network with their talented team. It’s an opportunity to learn more about the roles within an agency, the type of work that gets produced and experience the unique culture of each agency. Here is the 2014 agency line-up:

  • American Advertising Federation (AAF) of Central MN
  • 1 Better
  • Adventure Advertising
  • Cohlab
  • DAYTA Marketing
  • Gaslight Creative
  • Gearbox Functional Creative
  • Impartium
  • Johnson Group
  • Leighton Interactive
  • Live Edit
  • Meta 13
  • Thelen

We’re spicing things up this year by adding a challenge…with prizes! When you start your crawl at Great River Regional Library you’ll receive your map of the crawl – and on the back is a BINGO card. To mark spaces off on your BINGO card you’ll be asked to do a few things:

  • Ask a team member at each agency to sign or initial their spot on your BINGO card
  • Ask an AAF Board Member (located at the library) about Membership
  • Ask an Art or Creative Director, at any agency, about Portfolio expectations
  • And more…

Any standard BINGO – horizontal, vertical or diagonal – submitted by dropping your card off at the library, or Tweeting a picture of your card to @AAFCM #2014crawl is qualified to enter a Target gift card. One $50 winner and two $25 winners will be selected. A blackout BINGO will get you a second entry into the prize drawing.

Agency Crawl

Mark Your Calendar : Thursday, September 25th

from 2:00-5:00 pm – and share with friends, classmates, professors, peers, neighbors and strangers who may also wish to crawl!

Gearbox Functional Creative welcomes Zach Arvidson

We’re excited to welcome Zach Arvidson as our new designer and resident independent hip hop authority. Zach hails from Howard Lake and brings a slew of design experience, including running his own shop for 5 years. He earned a B.A. in Graphic Design from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and has since created an impressive portfolio of work that includes design awards from Graphic Design USA in 2012 and 2013. He’s equally versed in Timberwolves and branding, which makes him an even more valuable asset to 74.9% of our team.

2013-2014 Silver Medal Award Call for Nominations

Silver Medal Nominations are due Monday, December 16, 2013

The American Advertising Federation’s Silver Medal Award Program was established in 1959 to recognize men and women who have made outstanding contributions to advertising and who have been active in furthering the industry’s standards, creative excellence and responsibility in areas of social concern. Each year, our AAF chapter bestows this honor upon an outstanding member of the local advertising community.

Silver Medal recipients are selected by a panel of judges that include past club presidents and Silver Medal Award winners. To nominate an individual for the Silver Medal Award, you are asked to provide details that highlight your nominee’s contributions to his/her company, the creative field, our industry and the community. Please include in your nomination:

2013-2014 Silver Medal Nominee

  • Nominee’s Name
  • Nominee’s Company
  • Nominee’s Address
  • Nominee’s City/State/Zip
  • Nominated By

As well as examples of the following:

Contribution to His/Her Company – The recipient must have achieved success in one of the following areas of work: advertising agency, advertiser, media or advertising service.

Creative Ability – The recipient must have shown a consistent, high degree of original thinking in their field.

Contributions to the General Advancement of Advertising – The recipient must have worked to increase the stature and raise the standards of the advertising profession.

Contributions to the Community – The recipient should be someone who has been active in civic, religious, or other groups dedicated to human or social welfare.

Please email nominations to Kristie Haubrich, Your nomination must be received by December 16, 2013. The American Advertising Federation of Central Minnesota will present the prestigious Silver Medal Award at the 2014 ADDY® Award ceremony on Saturday, January 25th, 2013 at the Paramount Theatre, downtown St. Cloud.