Meet the 2017 Milwaukee 99 Awards Show Judges

Monday June 26, 2017

written by Laura Gainor

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United Adworkers is honored to be welcoming these four honorable judges to Milwaukee to judge the 2017 Milwaukee 99 Awards Show July 20-22. On Thursday that week, we will welcome them to our beautiful city with a happy hour with members. 5:30-7:30pm at Camp Bar Third Ward. 

On Friday, July 21st, they will judge more than 500 entries submitted by our United Adworkers community to determine the top 99 pieces and of course, the 2017 Best of Show winner. 



Group Creative Director

Over the last 20 years, Mitch Gordon has created national and international, fully integrated campaigns for clients like American Family Insurance, Discover Card, Ford, Craftsman, UPS, CDW, Nuveen Investments, Midas, Subway, Audi, Anheuser-Busch, Miller Brewing, Unilever, Bayer and SC Johnson.

Mitch was raised in small, intensely creative-focused agencies like Zechman and Associates in Chicago with small budgets, few people and high expectations. He then went on to Hal Riney and Partners, San Francisco where he was on the original team of twelve creatives who successfully launched GM’s Saturn in 1990, with the theme “A different kind of company. A different kind of car.”

He was co-creator of a new advertising campaign for Bud Light and within two years the brand rose to the best-selling beer in the U.S.

His work has won awards like Cannes Lions, The One Show, The New York Art Directors Club, Andy’s, Addy’s and other prestigious juries.

He regularly lectures on advertising concept development at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.  He studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, The School of Visual Arts, The American Film Institute in Los Angeles, UCLA and DePauw University. He is on the board of the documentary film company Kindling Group and the development committee for The Museum of Contemporary Photography.



Jimmy started his career in the hustle and bustle of sudsy downtown Milwaukee working for Cramer-Krasselt in the early 1800’s, you know, the time before computers. He then moved to Chicago and worked at the legendary (touch biased) creative boutique McConnaughy Stein Schmidt Brown. The little shop was eventually bought and folded into the giant Euro RSCG network. It didn’t take long after that for Jimmy to leave and venture out on his own into the world of freelance. He lived liked a barnacle on the backs of Chicago advertising giants for the next 10 years taking home some medals along the way. He then decided to follow the digital agency movement. That meant moving his family to the environmentally rich climes of Colorado and an agency called Factory Design Labs. While there he worked on the lifestyle brands of North Face, Oakley, Revo and Callaway. Factory Design was a fun respite from the beer and the package good brands of the Midwest. But it wasn’t long before Jimmy came back to the city with big shoulders and worked once again at Cramer-Krasselt in Chicago on their Corona and Porsche brands. 

One year later, he had a chance to continue working in commercial film, but in a different setting. Jimmy moved out to Silicon Valley to work at Apple. He works in their in-house advertising and film department. He continues to this day making commercials and films. His work at Apple includes the Verse campaign for iPad. A series of launch films that celebrated the craftsmanship behind the Apple Watch. And several documentaries including one about Apple’s own app store and app culture called the App Effect, it featured Neil Degrasse Tyson and JJ Abrams— Those are just a few of the projects he’s been working on in his 4 years at the Silicon Valley start up.

Today, Jimmy happily lives in sunny Los Gatos California with his amazingly sunny family. He dreams of one day soon having a shark-free and dying-free surfing experience.



A Chicago native, Deb Schimmel got her start in the industry as an intern at Cutters and grew her skills at Optimus, where she was an assistant and then editor for more than two decades before joining Whitehouse Post in May of 2016. 

Known for her lifestyle and comedic work, Schimmel has built a diverse reel that includes major brands such as Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Kraft, Dove and the Chicago Blackhawks. She works frequently with agencies including Y&R, Ogilvy, Leo Burnett and mcgarrybowen and has built relationships with directors Omri Cohen, Joaquin Baca-Asay and Matthäus Bussman, among others. In addition to commercial work, Schimmel was a member of the venerable indie electronic band TRS-80 and currently spends her free time swing dancing and attempting to learn French.



Lynette Xanders is an artist, author and entrepreneur. As the CEO and Chief Strategist of Wild Alchemy, she helps companies such as SONOS, Virgin and Nordstrom optimize their branding and marketing strategies to enable them to create something amazing.

A 20+ year veteran of some of the biggest and best advertising agencies in North America, Lynette conducts training workshops and seminars for ad agencies, design firms and companies with their own creative development capabilities such as adidas, FINE design and Simple Bank.

She is an experienced and engaging speaker, receiving accolades from attendees at Governor’s Conferences on Tourism, Advertising Clubs and private events nationwide.

Video testimonials and sample clips are available at She and her family live in Sisters, OR to appease their skiing and elow-room problems.

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