It’s Time to Say Goodbye, A note from Heidi Sterricker

Tuesday January 20, 2015

written by united adworkers

  • Share


After seven years of being your Executive Director, it is time to step down.

It’s funny: I remember being an intern at Kohnke Hanneken back in 2001 when everyone was voting on the new logo for the United Adworkers at the Ale House one night. Naturally, Rich Kohnke’s design won hands-down. Since that night, I have been hooked on the Adworkers.

I never missed an event after that evening. Years later, I was asked to be the Director, and I’m proud to say it was one of the best decisions of my life. I’ve had a lifetime of memories being your Director in just seven years. Hardcore softball games, intense trivia nights, phenomenal speakers, hundreds of bowling games, engaging the student body and countless random social events. I will miss the getting ready for the golf outing, but holding my breath until the carts come in at the end of the day, not so much.

And of course, my all time favorite, the Milwaukee 99 Awards Show. Back in 2008, we had a couple hundred people at the Italian Community Center. Today, we have definitely broke some fire codes reaching over 600 at the Harley Davidson Museum. I couldn’t be more proud of how much we have grown as a club and a community. I’m thrilled I got to go along for the ride and watch it all happen alongside a few great guys. My past presidents.

Joe Ban. Joe, we took on the Adworkers together, not knowing much, and we made it our own. We kept the club going even when membership was low and funding wasn’t there. Because of your zeal and ability to become the most popular person at every single event, you were the happiest president of the bunch. Thank you, Joe Ban. And I’m saying your last name again because “Joe” doesn’t seem right. Everybody is nodding their heads as they read this.

Nick Pipitone. Nick, you came in proud and excited as the new president and kept your enthusiasm throughout your tenure. And, you continued your efforts with the club post-presidency by dusting off the Adworkers blog. We were two animated Italians ready and motivated, and I never knew anybody who could talk with their hands more than I could. You win, my friend. Thank you, Nick.

Gary Mueller. Gary, I never met anyone who could talk as fast as I could until I met you. I remember asking you to come back to our board, and even though you always have a ton on your plate, you agreed to help. You brought the Wisconsin Advertising Hall of Fame to our community. Your passion for advertising and connecting our ad community is contagious. Thank you for always pushing me to do better, Gary.

And, Lucian McAfee. Lucian, you are a gem in this ad community. People don’t realize how intricate you were to the club before you were President and that some of our biggest feats would not have been possible without you. It’s a shame I only got one year with you, but the new director is lucky to have you in 2015. Thank you for never hesitating to help out and always doing it with a smile, Lucian.

I’ve got to admit, it was pretty great working with all of you handsome men. I mean, just look at these stallions.


Now the question is, “Who’s next?” I’d like to officially welcome Laura Gainor as our new Executive Director. Laura is a social media guru, hard-working mom and a good friend. She is currently a Digital Marketing Consultant and manages communications for Junior Achievement of Wisconsin among other brands. Laura was the first person I had in mind when it came to my replacement because of her work ethic, her honesty and most importantly, her love for the Milwaukee advertising community. She has been training with me for the past several months and is more than ready to roll. Laura will make an amazing difference for the United Adworkers and I guarantee, she will make this a better organization. Welcome, Laura. It’s going to be a fun ride.

I have one final debt of gratitude to pay. I’d like to extend our appreciation to David Dugan at Cramer-Krasselt, our fearless softball commish who recently announced that 2015 will be his final year.  David has been running the softball league since the beginning, and he has done a fabulous job coordinating with team captains and listening to all sorts of complaints about unfair calls. We will severely miss him; who else could take that much petty shit in addition to leading an account service department? David, thank you for your time with us. If there are any takers for the soon-to-be-vacant position of Softball Commissioner for 2016 and beyond, please contact Laura at

I can’t leave this note without thanking all the agencies, marketing firms, vendors and individuals who have supported the club with sponsorships, memberships and book ads. We would not exist without your support. Thank you for keeping the club alive.

And those of you who salivated over my “ADWORKR” vanity license plate all these years…it’s finally available. Get it while you can.

I cannot tell you how proud I am to be part of the most amazing advertising community in the country. We are pretty fuckin’ great.


Heidi Sterricker

More from