A Letter From The President
Sunday January 24, 2016
Welcome to 2016! I’m proud to represent the United Adworkers as your new President. Over the next couple of years, you’ll unfortunately have to read copy written by a guy whose background is clearly on the visual side. Sorry about that in advance.
As you may know, 2016 is the 15-year anniversary of the founding of United Adworkers. We’re honored and excited to celebrate the rich history of the club. Through the years, the past list of Presidents and Executive Directors is a who’s who in the Milwaukee ad community. Starting with the founding of the club by Gary Mueller in 2001, we’re proud to have had some severely talented people serve as President: Scott Lynch, Jeff Ericksen, Dave Hanneken, Mark Fairbanks, Joe Ban, Nick Pipitone, Gary Mueller (Tour of Duty 2) and outgoing President Lucian McAfee. Over that time we’ve also been fortunate to have the tireless contribution of some amazing Executive Directors: Lisa Liljegren, Mary Pat Cupertino Fischer, Melanie Roach, Heidi Halperin and our current Exec Director Laura Gainor. As you run into any of these folks at events this year, please take the time to thank them and maybe get them to share a story from the past – before social media spoiled analog storytelling.
I’m further happy to say we have an incredibly talented and diverse 2016 board you met when introduced last December. They bring a unique balance of experience and youthful enthusiasm that will help guide the club over the next few years. As with past board members, they like to drink and tell stories too. You can see where this is going…
Looking ahead to 2016, the board sees our task as something when written, sounds simple: maintain the history and values of the club while pursuing new opportunities and growth. In reality, we all know that will take a lot of hard work and the self awareness to balance old and new. Great things that the club is known for like the Milwaukee 99 Awards Show and a host of social events are core to our identity. So we’ll look to try and build on those where it makes sense and where you’ve told us they can be improved (golf outing ending during daylight would be appreciated).
But we’ll also look to 3 new areas of focus for our continued growth.
First, more national awareness for our work and the club. The quality, quantity and diversity of our work expands every year with more national clients and assignments. We’ll work to get the recognition that work deserves through a rigorous search for the highest caliber judges, across geographies, disciplines, backgrounds and genders.
Second, more professional events and speaker opportunities. Inclusive of all agency disciplines not just copy and design. Case in point, our upcoming event on Thursday, February 4th showcasing the Milwaukee Bucks rebranding project. We’ll be partnering with AIGA Wisconsin and 88Nine Radio Milwaukee. Special thanks to board members Mike Wiz, Timm Gable and Matt McNulty for leading the charge on this national-caliber event.
Third, more community outreach. We have a great relationship with MIAD, Marquette and UW-Milwaukee Peck School of Fine Arts among others that we’ll continue to build upon. But we see an additional opportunity to reach deeper into the community and develop programming for high school students before they make decisions about college. Exposing them to the power of creativity as a career path only makes the creative community and the club stronger.
Our social networking events remain strong and a staple of United Adworkers membership and activity. We’ll be bringing back favorites and adding some new ones to keep everyone’s calendars full. Check the website regularly for updates and info.
On to the last thing that’s new for 2016. We’re thrilled to unveil new branding and a completely updated website for the club. A little background. Evan Stremke (BVK) and Matt McNulty (STIR) approached the board last year with a vision about evolving the United Adworkers brand. (Evan’s POV on the rebrand follows in a separate blog post). Beyond just a logo refresh, they identified the opportunity for a rebrand with a renewed sense of community. With club founder Gary Mueller’s and the board’s blessing, they authored the new work you see today. With full respect for the work and branding that has served the club so well for the last 15 years, the new work looks to serve the future needs of the club as we continue to grow. It’s crisp, clean, straightforward and hardworking. You’ll see its versatility in all the new materials that are launched this year. We think it’s a perfect reimagining of the brand that will carry us forward this year and beyond. Special thanks to Joe Salvatori from Hook & Hue who designed and built the new website.
In closing, remember this is your club. I know I speak for the board when I say we’re honored to be keepers of the legacy and energized to take the club to new levels. Please share your ideas and attend as many events as you can. Watch the new website for updates and events. Thanks for helping make United Adworkers the best club in the US.
President, United Adworkers
PS. We’re actively seeking nominations for the Wisconsin Advertising Hall of Fame inductees for this year’s Milwaukee 99 Award Show. We’re looking for both the people and the work, as long as both are over 20 years old.