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Welcome to AAF Emerald Coast! We serve as a resource for advertising and marketing professionals throughout Northwest Florida from Fort Walton Beach to Rosemary Beach.

AAF Emerald Coast provides quality support to the diverse community of individuals dedicated to the advertising craft by offering personal and professional development, networking and relationship-building opportunities. If you are in business, you are in advertising. Look into becoming part of this organization and bring your knowledge and professionalism to help make our community grow.


Our Mission

AAF Emerald Coast exists to accelerate professional growth, encourage exceeding industry standards and provide opportunities for community involvement for its membership.


About AAF Emerald Coast

AAF Emerald Coast, formerly known as the Emerald Coast AdFed, was established in 1992 as a resource for Northwest Florida’s advertising and marketing professionals. AAF Emerald Coast has become a valuable and dedicated community partner by producing public service advertising campaigns and providing scholarships and a variety of educational opportunities for local students. We also hold an annual ADDY® Awards Competition recognizing excellence in advertising.

Part of Something Bigger

AAF Emerald Coast belongs to the 4th District of the American Advertising Federation (AAF), representing the affiliate advertising clubs and federations of the AAF in Florida and the Caribbean. The AAF is the only national grassroots trade association to encompass all segments of the advertising industry, including advertisers, agencies, media, college chapters and national trade associations engaged in various advertising pursuits.

The American Advertising Federation is the oldest national advertising trade association, representing 50,000 professionals in the advertising industry with a national network of 200 ad clubs. Through its 215 college chapters, the AAF provides 6,500 advertising students with real-world case studies and recruitment connections to corporate America. The AAF also has 130 blue-chip corporate members that are advertisers, agencies and media companies, comprising the nation’s leading brands and corporations.

For more information, visit the AAF’s website at

What We Do

AAF Emerald Coast is designed to: Wow you. We aim to expose current and aspiring communications professionals in all walks of marketing life—not just advertising—to ideas and experiences that will move you. Be your support group. We help connect our people with the resources they need to thrive in this business, whether it’s to get in, get ahead, or get inspired. Help prevent brain drain. We expose our students with resources and inspiration that will encourage them to become part of the next generation of great AAF Emerald Coast ad folk. Raise the good bar to great. Through awards shows, portfolio reviews, and other standards-raising events, we’re elevating what it means to be great in this business. Unite our community. Cool things happen when you leverage the powerful collection of marketing minds and creative thinkers.


Get Involved

The most successful people in this business don’t like to stand on the sidelines.

AAF Emerald Coast offers a ton of opportunities for members to get in there and give something back — to the industry and to our community.

Besides, from a psychological perspective, it’s good for your mental health. From a business perspective, when you give it away, it comes back to you in ways you never imagined. (Which is also good for your mental health.)

Do good. Be rewarded. Stay sane. Get involved.


Our Club History

AAF Emerald Coast was founded in 1992 as the Emerald Coast Advertising Federation. The organization changed its name to AAF Emerald Coast in 2011 to align with the national brand of the American Advertising Federation (AAF).

AAF Emerald Coast received the 4th District’s Club of the Year award for Division III in 2005. The club also received more than 200 points on the Club Achievement survey and made the District’s “A-List.”

Silver Medal Award Recipients

2008 Susan Shaw

2005 Mark Hamrick

2004 John Whitehead

2002 Jeanne Rief

2000 Dawn O’Connor

1997 Kay Elmore

1995 Jim Clark


AAF Emerald  Coast Past Presidents

2013-2015 Jim Clark

2011-2012 Jennifer Jones

2010-2011 Juliet Valenzuela

2009-2010 Jessica Mansfield

2008-2009 Susan Shaw

2007-2008 Will Maberry

2006-2007 Susan Shaw

2005-2006 Aileen Koon

2004-2005 Sabrina McLaughlin

2003-2004 Dawn O’Connor

2002-2003 Joy Todd

2001-2002 Brenda Kastor

2000-2001 Mark Hamrick

1999-2000 John Whitehead

1998-1999 Jeanne Rief

1996-1997 Kay Elmore

1995-1996 Kay Elmore

1994-1995 Warren Meigs

1993-1994 Jack Jernigan

1992-1993 Jim Clark



Board of Directors

The Executive Board of Directors are the only positions of the club that are voted upon to serve the members of AAF Emerald Coast. They have the responsibility of managing the operations and affairs of the Federation in compliance with the wishes of the Board of Directors and in accordance with the By-Laws and the Policy Manual.

2014-2015 Executive Board


Jim Clark
Clark & Company | Email |

Vice President

Kate Herr
Ze Design Group | | Email

Immediate Past President

Jim Clark
Clark & Company | Email |


Michael Morris
Propane Media| Email |



Mara Rodriguez
Cox Media| | Email

2014-2015 Board of Directors

Jim Clark, Kate Herr, Robyn Patterson, Mara Rodriguez, Kathy Morrow, Michael Morris, Christy Milliken, Eva Barrett, and Mary Jo Gustave.

2014-2015 Committee Chairs

Committee Chairs and Committee Members play an integral part in the success of our club.  All you have to do to help AAF Emerald Coast provide quality events and programs to our membership and be a part of the fun is… VOLUNTEER!!


Kate Herr | Ze Design Group |





Mara Rodriguez | Cox Media|



Kathy Morrow | CHELCO |


















Committees & Chairs

Along with the elected Board of Directors, the following Committees and their Chairs are responsible for shaping the present and future of the organization.  Each year, we call upon our members to serve as Committee Chairs and Members to both plan and execute our highest profile initiatives including the ADDY® Awards, professional and social programs, strategic partnerships, and more. Our Committees also give back to the community by spearheading public service campaigns and by working with educational institutions in providing mentoring and scholarship programs to the next generation of advertising professionals.

Committee members are the lifeblood of the organization and their contributions are recognized as such.  Joining one of the AAF Emerald Coast committees is an exceptional opportunity to contribute or sharpen your skills and to develop relationships with like-minded professionals who share your enthusiasm for the advertising industry.

Please take some time to review the current committees below and contact us in order to find out how you can get involved.


Our Student Event provides educational advertising programs and events not only for area high school and college students, but also for local advertising professionals and those interested in advertising. Through a day of educational programs and roundtable discussions with the pros, students will gain further knowledge about the advertising field and its hottest new ideas and trends.



ADDYs® are the Club’s premier event of the year. This committee conducts the ADDYs® Award competition, which requires promotion, judging, publishing of the winner’s book and organizing the awards event. This includes managing the Call for Entries, judging, awards and organizing the gala event.



The Advertising Education Committee serves as a resource for area colleges, universities and high schools through events such as the Student ADDY awards, educational tours, seminars, portfolio reviews, and mentoring opportunities.



Creative shapes the image of AAF Emerald Coast. This group is responsible for the design and production of all promotional materials, direct mail pieces, special programs and invitations. This committee lets “creatives” develop a project from the initial brainstorming sessions to the finished piece, allowing members to build impressive portfolios.



Communications & Public Relations maintains and updates information on our club website.  In addition, this team produces the monthly newsletter, luncheon announcements, special notices to members and email announcements and distributes it to the membership via our Mail Chimp account. The committee also uses social media, such as Twitter and Facebook to communicate with membership.

The committee also works with the local media to generate press and exposure for AAF Emerald Coast events and news with the goal of enhancing the club’s image within the Northwest Florida business community while cultivating membership prospects



Diversity and Multicultural Initiatives works to include a virtual mosaic of groups that have traditionally not been involved in the advertising community. This committee will plan and oversee at least one program or special event per year.



Government Relations attends our annual 4th District meeting day at the state capitol. We use this as an opportunity to meet and mingle with our local representative and get our members involved with crafting legislation that protects our freedoms of speech. Government Relations also provides legislative updates and coordinates any local action needed to support the advertising industry on the hill.



This committee is responsible for organizing our largest annual fundraiser. Their responsibilities include soliciting media and merchandise for the auction, marketing the event, executing the auction, and following through with the exchange.



Membership is responsible for increasing growth and retention of members for the Club. This committee is also responsible for introducing the club to potential new members who have an interest in getting involved. The committee’s duties include sending membership packets, keeping accurate membership records, maintaining the database, organizing a prospective membership action plan and developing campaigns and events to spark interest in membership in AAF Emerald Coast.  Membership will be responsible for welcoming members and guests at events by coordinating a “Greeter Committee”.



The President’s Advisory Council is a committee of past presidents that serves AAF Emerald Coast by providing history and guidance to the future of the organization.



The Programs Committee is charged with providing social, educational and networking opportunities by organizing a lineup of luncheon speakers, seminars and additional events.  In addition, the committee recommends and solicits sponsorship programs for the various events of AAF Emerald Coast.  The Programs Committee coordinates all speaker and programming details including meeting notices.  By offering a variety of presentations like new products and self-improvement to innovative marketing techniques, the committee offers AAF Emerald Coast members and the general public meaningful and timely information from interesting and proactive speakers, as well as a chance to gain valuable industry contacts.



Public Service develops a complete integrated communications campaign for a selected local non-profit organization. The Public Service Committee solicits donated services for advertising and marketing expertise found within the organization to affect a positive impact to the selected non-profit entity within the Northwest Florida community.  This campaign is a great way to show the talents of AAF Emerald Coast members and support our community.



The Social Committee identifies and plans social events for all demographics of the club by investigating and securing potential locations to host special events.  In addition, the Social Committee works with the Club Branding and Public Relations committee on all creative for event materials and publicity for each event.



The Sponsorships Committee solicits sponsorships for the various events of AAF Emerald Coast.  The committee will define levels of sponsorships, work with individual event committees on sponsorship efforts, and explore sustaining sponsorships for AAF Emerald Coast.  In addition, the committee will develop and implement strategies for attracting new sponsors and solicit targeted sponsorships.  They will also be responsible for ensuring sponsor benefits are provided and sponsors are satisfied with their participation by following up and developing sponsor “thank you” initiatives.



Think Tank brings together professionals in the area to discuss market trends, review advertising experiences and successes, while furthering the education of the participants in regards to a particular tactics or strategy. The knowledge every individual provides the Think Tank is based on personal experiences, and it’s these experiences that make this group genuine, providing value to everyone that participates. For one hour every month, there are no competitors, simply intelligent professionals swapping ideas and experiences in hopes of improving their own advertising strategy!



The Website, Interactive & Social Committee is responsible for maintaining information on  This includes, but is not limited to: membership profiles, meeting announcements, committee event information and any information that should be disseminated for the good of the club.  The Website Chair will work closely with all committees as needed throughout the year.



If you're in business, you're in advertising!