Connecting the Unconnected

Connecting the Unconnected

Thursday, June 9
11:30am – 1:00pm
Main Street Pizza, Kingsport

Mike Watson, founder of Heart-centric Leadership, will talk about the idea of connecting the unconnected, as this concept relates to relationships in life and design. Watson will focus on how we think when creative, how to structure ourselves and our environment to support creativity. He will also demonstrate how we can connect the seemingly unconnected to produce innovative solutions more consistently.

RSVP now to save your spot!


Mike Watson PhotoMike Watson, founder of Heart-centric Leadership ( endorses the principles of Conscious Capitalism, believes in working with individuals and leaders who are inclined toward worthy goals, guided by core human values, and in relationship with all stakeholders. He believes in the power of diversity, working collaboratively and the development of insight as a tool for creativity and prosperity. In his pursuit of reshaping lives through his heart-centric leadership model, he has partnered with a wide range of professionals – from CEOs, to emerging leaders and a variety of fine artists.

Mike has been educating, inspiring, creating and directing for the past 25 years, often from a regional perspective. During this time, he has shaped a national retail company’s visual footprint and brand image, has been the speaker coach for multiple high-profile leaders including a CNN hero, and speaker at Parliament, designed retail stores, expanded business models and reshaped communities through his art and by sharing his purpose in life – to reshape leadership so as to reshape lives for the better.


FUSIC: The fusion of film and music

FUSIC, a concept developed by Bob Farnsworth and his team at Hummingbird Productions, is the fusion of film and music. In a broader sense, it is the fusion of anything visual and sonic. With the FUSIC approach, music and sound ideas are brought together with visual ideas at the beginning of a project so they both profoundly influence each other from inception.

Historically, when a film was finished, music and sound were added at the end—film and sound were compartmentalized. If sonic ideas could affect what was shot or even how the film was edited, it was usually too late – “We’re out of time and we’re out of budget.”

Using the FUSIC process, Hummingbird strives to bring everyone around the same table – the agency, film and sound teams. They recommend ad agencies send scripts or storyboards early, so they can immediately bring together directors and composers, who work as a team throughout the production process.

Hummingbird director Casey Cornett says, “At the heart of it, FUSIC is a new way for advertisers to connect with their audiences. I believe when you start applying FUSIC thinking and technology to your creative process, you will never want to proceed any other way on your commercial or film project.”

This is sure to be a well-attended event, so RSVP now to save your spot!


Bob FarnsworthEstablished in 1976 by Bob Farnsworth, Hummingbird Productions is one of the longest standing film and music ad production companies in America. Throughout his career, Farnsworth and his team have been directly responsible for creating thousands of commercials, many of which are still being aired today. Hummingbird’s client roster has featured major corporations including Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Ford, Kellogg’s, Budweiser, Purina, Oscar Meyer, Dolby Atmos (now being installed in theaters), and many more. The people at Hummingbird claim “it’s easier to say what we haven’t worked on!”

Bob started his career in music and eventually transitioned into film. He has been featured as an icon in the advertising industry on NBC’s Today Show, is a TEDx speaker, and now travels nationwide with his presentation “The Future is FUSIC.”

A native of Greenville, SC, Farnsworth graduated from Furman University in 1974 with a degree in English, and in the same year became a recording artist with ABC Records. He now lives in Nashville with his wife and 5 children. He is actively involved in the Nashville community through Tres Dias and his church, Covenant Presbyterian. His life focus aligns with Hummingbird’s mission statement: “…desiring to leave the world a better place than we found it, whether by doing a great job or by simply demonstrating kindness.”


Student Portfolio Review

2016 Student Portfolio Review

Wednesday, April 20
Doubletree Hotel, Johnson City
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

This is a FREE event!

AAF NETN invites students to bring their resumes and portfolios to be reviewed by industry professionals from around the region. There is no charge for students or professionals, and you do not have to be an AAF member to attend. Students – this is a great way to gain feedback and make connections that could be useful as you begin your job search! Pros – this is a unique opportunity to give back, and to identify up-and-coming talent right here in our region. RSVP now.

Exploring the History of the Magnavox Brand

Exploring the History of the Magnavox Brand

Thursday, Dec. 3
11:30 a.m – 1:00 p.m.
Reece Museum at ETSU
363 Stout Drive
Johnson City, TN 37614 [map]


RSVP with AAF progam chair Hali McCurdy (

Free for members, $15 for students, and $25 for non-members.

We encourage you to arrive prior to 11:30 a.m. to explore the exhibit and hear the sounds of a
Magnavox stereo.

Use this link to secure a visitor parking permit for the ETSU campus.

See and Hear Magnificent Magnavox.
George Collins, of The Magnavox Historical Preservation Association and curator of the current exhibit at Reece Museum entitled “Magnificent Magnavox,” will speak about the history of the Magnavox brand and its connection to Northeast Tennessee.

The exhibit, the largest mounted by The Magnavox Historical Preservation Association, features many radios, record players, and televisions from their collection. It tells the story of the products and people which made Magnavox a success in post-war America and particularly in East Tennessee.

The presentation and exhibit will highlight the styles, design, and craftsmanship that made Magnavox one of the premier manufacturers in the country. The units reflect the changing life style and consumer taste from the 1940s through the 1990s. The exhibit shows the roots of Magnavox, which developed the first loudspeaker or “sound reproducer.” Featured is the first-ever single-dial radio made by Magnavox in 1924 in Oakland, California. Also on display, Magnavox’s first television produced in 1948, the cabinet of which was made in Greeneville. The exhibit also features the complete “Spirit of ’76” Collection produced during the American Bicentennial.

George Collins headshot

George Collins is a native of Rainelle, WV. He received his BA in History/Education from West Virginia Wesleyan College and his MA in History Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program/State University of New York.

He retired in June 2010 as Director of Museum Program and Studies at Tusculum College, having over 40 years of experience in a variety of roles in museums.

Four years ago, he helped establish the Magnavox Heritage Preservation Association, for which he is the curator. Since that time, he has collected the largest public collection of Magnavox radios, record players, and television technology, written articles, developed a web site, done numerous presentations, and curated three exhibits – including the current exhibit at ETSU’s Reece Museum entitled “Magnificent Magnavox.”

He and his wife Amy, who is the Director of the Archives of Appalachia at East Tennessee State University, live in Tusculum, TN.

Headshots & Happy Hour

Headshots & Happy Hour

Tuesday, October 27
5:30-7:30 pm
316 Broad St #102
Kingsport, TN 37660 [map]

RSVP with AAF progam chair Hali McCurdy (

Free for members, $10 for non-members. Entry includes one glass of wine or house drink and appetizers.

Mix, sip, mingle, take a headshot.

Come join the American Advertising Federation (AAF), Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), and American Fundraising Professionals (AFP) for happy hour at Uncorked. Find out what’s so great about the local chapters of these national organizations and how you can get involved.

We’ll have a professional photographer onsite taking headshots so dress your best from the shoulders up!

Storytelling with Clay Prewitt of The Tombras Group


Thursday, September 17, 2015 11:30am – 1:00pm Lamar Advertising Tri-Cities [map] 2020 Gateway Park Court Kingsport, TN 37663

Free for members, $25 for non-members and $15 for students. RSVP with progam chair Hali McCurdy ( Lunch will be provided.

  “Put one word after another until you are done. It’s that easy, and that hard.” –Neil Gaiman No matter what aspect of marketing or advertising we’re in, stories matter. From the creative brief to the creative pitch, from the drawing board to the board room, it’s stories that connect, persuade, and influence people. Good stories accomplish great things, and whatever our job titles may be, in reality, we’re all aspiring storytellers. Award-winning copywriter and songwriter Clay Prewitt will share a story about stories – why they matter, where he’s found them, how he learned to tell them, and where we might find ours. Raised on stories at his grandfather’s knee, he’s now a master storyteller himself, sometimes through songs and sometimes through slogans, sometimes in many words and sometimes in very few, but always with the ability to connect people through the experiences and emotions of the stories he tells. This is a luncheon you won’t want to miss.

  Clay Prewitt photoAs Associate Creative Director at the Tombras Group, Clay has scripted and produced award-winning spots and is now interested in helping brands “make friends” with potential customers, clients, and/or constituents. His specialties include branding, big ideas, and storytelling. Look for Clay Sept. 18–20 on stage during the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion music festival!

Leveraging Digital Data blog image

Leveraging Digital Data

Thursday, August 13, 2015
11:30am – 1:00pm
Natural History Museum Annex  (Gray Fossil Site) [map]

Free for members, $25 for non-members and $15 for students.

RSVP with progam chair Hali McCurdy ( if you plan to attend as a member or non-member.

Lunch will be provided.


The Digital Analytics Landscape at the American Cancer Society:
A Non Profit Story of Leveraging Digital Data to Improve Marketing Strategy & Develop Actionable Insight

The American Cancer Society leverages digital analytics on a daily basis to make valuable optimization decisions and to inform digital marketing strategy. Ashleigh will discuss some of the most important metrics her team measures and how the society uses this data to impact positive change.


Ashleigh Bunn headshotWith nearly 10 years of digital marketing and analytics experience, Ashleigh Bunn has developed and deployed digital marketing strategies for a variety of clients from diverse verticals. Her passion and enthusiasm for her field has also afforded her the opportunity to share successful strategies, training enterprise level teams for digital marketing and analytics success. She is currently channeling this passion as an adjunct professor for ETSU’s Masters of Digital Marketing Program.

As the director of digital analytics for the American Cancer Society, she maintains the integrity of digital data for the world’s largest voluntary health organization. Earlier this year, her Analytics team was awarded the Google Analytics Summit, Award of Excellence for their innovative work identifying diverse user segments of to improve marketing strategies and enhance user experience of the site.

photo of 10 Ways Millennials & Gen Z are Changing the Game

10 Ways Millennials & Gen Z are Changing the Game

Thursday, July 16th
11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Eastman’s Toy F Reid Center, Rm. 219 (map)
+ Barberitos Taco Bar!

This event is free to AAF Northeast Tennessee members,
$25 for Non-Members and $15 for Students.

To register for this event, email Hali McCurdy.

Cultural paradigms are shifting, traditional marketing models aren’t working, and new rules for building great brands are being written. These changes are rooted in the lifestyles, behaviors and needs of the nation’s youngest consumers and families.

Tyree’s talk will challenge you to consider topics like:

  • What will happen when your target no longer consumes traditional media
  • How wearables will impact your business
  • What the evolution of visual communications means for advertising
  • How companies can meet the needs of a growing me-centric, entrepreneurial culture

This must-see presentation blends case studies, trend data and professional expertise to reveal the secrets of winning in business today and in the coming years.

photo of Wynne Tyree

About Wynne Tyree

Wynne Tyree is the founder and president of Smarty Pants®, a youth-centric market research and strategic consulting firm. She is a leading authority on the lifestyles and consumer behaviors of kids, teens and families around the globe, and a gifted brand builder and business woman.

Tyree began her marketing career on New York’s highly-competitive Madison Avenue, where she helped bring strategic planning to Young & Rubicam and Grey Global Group. In 2004, she created Smarty Pants® and has grown the company from a laptop and a phone line to a $20MM consultancy that conducts online and in-person research for corporate giants like LEGO, Target, Nickelodeon, Netflix, Hasbro, Kellogg’s, Microsoft, Dick’s Sporting Goods, McDonald’s and Disney.

Tyree regularly speaks at events and conferences and is a guest lecturer at Boston College, Syracuse University and ETSU. She is a contributor to Advertising Age, Kidscreen, Brandweek, Forbes and the Los Angeles Times, and her research has been profiled on ABC’s World News Tonight and in several books.

A native of Kingsport, Tyree is a magna cum laude graduate of Syracuse University with a master’s degree from Temple University. She now resides in Johnson City with her husband and three children.

Jobs-To-Be-Done Theory & Marketing with Brant DeBow of BiTE Interactive

June 18th, 2015

11:30am – 1:00pm

Eastman’s Toy F Reid Center (map)

Free for members, $25 for non-members and $10 for students.

You must RSVP with club president Christian Schmid ( if you plan to attend as a member or non-member

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What Is Jobs-To-Be-Done Theory?

I start with the person I most associate with this notion, Clayton Christensen, author of The Innovator’s Dilemma. From this 2006 article on HBS Working Knowledge (…

With few exceptions, every job people need or want to do has a social, a functional, and an emotional dimension. If marketers understand each of these dimensions, then they can design a product that’s precisely targeted to the job. In other words, the job, not the customer, is the fundamental unit of analysis for a marketer who hopes to develop products that customers will buy.

The usage/consumption of a product has a tangible, features orientation of course. That’s the easiest way to think about why people buy your product.

But the “job-to-be-done” approach goes beyond that. It plumbs the deeper motivations surrounding use of your product. Understand that, and you can design products that attach themselves more closely to satisfying customers’ needs.

How do we apply this theory to Marketing?

As marketers we’re used to thinking in a series of attributes. Customers fit certain demographic profiles. Product are trumpeted for their new formula or how they taste better.  But customers don’t buy products because of an abstract series of attributes; they buy them to solve a specific job. Jobs-To-Be-Done theory helps us determine how to create or position a product by looking at what job a customer might hire it to do. 

In this talk, Brant will give an overview of JTBD theory, explain how to determine a Job-to-be-Done, and teach you how marketing can be positioned around the Job instead of product attributes.

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Brant_colorBrant DeBow is a writer on, a featured blogger on Wired, and has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Mashable, and Software Development Times. A thought leader in the mobile space, his 15+ years of technology and UX experience helps clients build the right solutions for their customers’ problems. Responsible for developing clients’ technical visions, Brant monitors and assesses new technologies that offer clients a competitive advantage in mobile. Brant goes beyond technical expertise uniquely delivering in-depth UX and business solutions for Fortune 1000 brands. As Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of BiTE interactive, he is involved in all aspects of mobile app development, from initial strategy and concept through development, QA and release. 

Using Paper as a Design Element with Mac Paper & Neenah Paper


Tuesday, May 26th 2015
11:30am – 1:00pm
Eastman Toy F. Reid Employee Center
Barberitos Taco Bar!


About the Event:


Please join AAF NETN, Mac Paper’s Blakeley Worley, and Neenah Paper’s Barry Clough to discover how to effectively use paper as a design element in your printed marketing materials. From manufacturing to sustainability to visual aesthetics, paper can be complicated, but its importance is undeniable.

This event will inspire your creativity and help you understand how paper can add value to your design and be an integral piece of the design process. Plus they’re bringing lots of samples!


Free for members, $25 for non-members and $10 for students.

** Please RSVP with Christian ( if you plan to attend as a member or non-member **



About the Speakers:


BlakeleyWorley Blakeley Worley is the Sales Representative for Mac Papers in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. She has been with Mac Papers for 8 years, starting out in Specification Sales calling on designers, agencies and end-users, and the latter part working more in depth with printers, wide-format and sign shops, end-users and non-traditional accounts. However, with a passion for printing and an eye for design, paper specification remains rooted deep within. Blakeley has a Bachelor of Science degree in Graphic Arts and Imaging Technology from Appalachian State University and spent her first few years out of college working for a commercial offset printer in Raleigh, North Carolina. Blakeley will be presenting how paper affects design and print. From manufacturing to sustainability to visual aesthetics, paper is a complicated entity and is often overlooked in the design process. Understanding how paper can add value to your design is the first step, and utilizing the knowledge is next. Mac Papers is the largest supplier of paper and print, packaging, facilities supplies and office products in the South East. For more information, please visit


image006 Barry Clough is a Corporate Accounts Manager at Neenah Paper based out of Charlotte, North Carolina. He has been with Neenah Paper for 19 years and in paper for 25 years. He currently maintains a sales territory in North & South Carolina as well as Northeastern Tennessee. He also works with a lot of Neenah Paper’s large Corporate End Use customers helping develop customized corporate paper programs. Prior to paper, Barry served in account service in the agency business for the former Long, Haymes and Carr (now the Mullen Agency)out of Winston-Salem, NC. Barry has a passion for unique paper and its use in design and print in today’s market. Barry plans to discuss various paper alternatives and how they affect both design and print. From manufacturing to sustainability to visual aesthetics, paper is a complex media that is often overlooked in the design process. Understanding how paper can add value to design as well as the tools available for specification can be invaluable for your next job.