2015 Student Portfolio Review

Join us for one of our favorite annual events!

Thursday, April 23rd
5:30 – 7:30pm 
DoubleTree Hotel in Johnson City

Welcome the next generation of advertising pros by reviewing local students’ portfolios and resumés. Refreshments will be served.

This event is free for members and non-members. Please RSVP with Christian Schmid (christian@aafnetn.com) if you would like to participate.



Thank you for coming!

Now enjoy these images taken at the event



Don’t Just Make the Logo Bigger! With Karl Sakas

What: Monthly luncheon keynote for AAF NETN

When: Thursday, April 2, 2015 from 11:30am-1:00pm (keynote from 12-1pm)

Where: Toy F Reid Center, Eastman, Kingsport, TN

Cost: Free for AAF NETN members, $25 for non-members


About the Event:

Everyone wants to help good advertising clients, whether you work at a marketing agency or in media, do freelance work, or help internal marketing “clients” at your company. As horror-story sites like “Clients from Hell” illustrate, it’s a tough world out there for marketing professionals… but it doesn’t have to be that way!

Marketing agency business expert Karl Sakas from Sakas & Company will show AAF NETN members and guests how to find the right clients, how to get clients to pay you for more of your work, and how to say “no” to clients without burning bridges.

This luncheon event includes a hands-on Q&A with Karl to answer your real-life questions about how to handle difficult client situations. Thanks to AAF NETN, you’ll go back to the office with plenty of concrete ideas to make your job easier.


About Karl:

Karl Sakas is on a mission to help digital marketing agency owners create the agency they always wanted. He’s been doing client service since he was 15 years old, when he started a web design and business consulting firm while in high school in the D.C. area.

A fourth generation business owner, Karl’s led the business operations team at two different digital marketing agencies, and has 18+ years of consulting experience. He’s known for helping his clients maximize productivity, improve business operations, and achieve their agency’s potential.

Karl has written three books about managing marketing agencies, including “The Agency Fast Track” series. As the president of Sakas & Company in Raleigh, NC, he provides agency consulting, business coaching, and operations training for digital marketing agencies on 5 continents. Outside of work, Karl serves as VP of Programming for Triangle AMA and volunteers as a bartender on a 1930s railroad car.

If you’d like to make more money without working more hours or increasing your agency’s client count, get a free copy of Don’t Just Make the Logo Bigger: Taking Clients from Painful to Profitable when you sign up for Karl’s email newsletter at http://sakasandcompany.com/newsletter/


Global Presence in a Small World

The AAF of Northeast Tennessee is proud to co-sponsor this amazing opportunity with the ETSU Department of Mass Communications.

The Coca-Cola Company has 17 one billion dollar brands in the portfolio. Those brands range from Coca-Cola, Sprite, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Simply, DASANI, Fanta, vitaminwater to Aquarius, del Valle and Georgia. Most of the billion dollar brands have household familiarity, but some are unique to regions across the globe.

So what does it take to
build a Billion Dollar Brand?

Kristin will talk about the opportunities to market some of the best brands in the world in the global marketplace. She will outline how Coca-Cola approaches building brands and connecting with consumers, regardless of where they reside.

Tuesday, February 24th From 11:30 pm – 1:00 pm
ETSU Culp Center Dining Room Room [MAP]


About Kristin Bitter

Kristin has been privileged to work in the Coca-Cola system for over 11 years. She has held roles in Marketing, Promotions, Customer Management and now manages the business to business efforts for The Coca-Cola Company which includes, advertising, public relations, trade shows and the b2b website www.CokeSolutions.com

Kristin has spent several years in the agency world, most recently at Ogilvy and Mather Atlanta, and earlier in her career at McCracken Brooks Minneapolis. She has worked in Fortune 50 companies (Coca-Cola and Frito Lay Inc.) as well as small, family-run businesses including her own start-up companies. Kristin’s diverse background gives her a unique point of view which allows her to relate to many business situations and clients/customers.

Kristin is originally from Minnesota, but after 19 years, she calls Atlanta her home. She gets to East TN often and enjoys spending time in the great Smoky Mountains at her rental condo in Pigeon Forge.

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

To register for this event, email christian@aafnetn.com

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Drop Off Party: 2015 American Advertising Awards of Northeast Tennessee

Join us at Beef O Brady’s for our annual AAAs drop off party! Bring your entries and get fired up with your peeps as we close out the entry process and get to judging your creative.

Wednesday, January 14

5:30pm – 7:00pm

Beef O Brady’s in Boones Creek

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Local advertisers, agencies, suppliers and the American Advertising Federation of Northeast Tennessee (AAF-NETN) are preparing for their industry’s biggest event – its largest advertising competition – the American Advertising Awards.


AAF-NETN announces its call for entries to be submitted by professionals and students from across the Tri-Cities region for its local awards event, to be held February 21, 2015, at Old South in Downtown Johnson City. The annual event brings in judges from outside the district to critique the region’s best work and honor industry teams in more than 70 categories. Award-winning work advances to the district competition, where creative work has a chance to advance to the national competition.


“The awards gala is the biggest night of the year for our local chapter,” says Samara Litvack, AAF-NETN board member. “We are moving the event to a new location, giving it a bit of a new look and feel. We’ll have live music at this year’s gala and we’re changing up a couple other things to showcase how the industry has evolved over the last several years.”


The event’s theme – “Not Your Daddy’s Addys” – will capitalize on current trends and buzzwords, such as hashtags and selfies, while paying homage to the roots of the advertising industry and the awards banquet. Deadline for entries will be January 13 at 5:00 p.m. via online submission located at the American Advertising Awards website. Participants are also invited to attend the submission drop off party on January 14 from 6-8 p.m. at Beef O’Brady’s in Boones Creek.


New to this year’s competition, AAF-NETN is introducing a few “local-only categories” providing an opportunity to shine the spotlight on “the one that got away,” as well as vendors from the printing and finishing industries. New categories have also been created for various creative team types – agency, in-house, and freelance. For details on the new categories or how to submit creative work, visit www.notyourdaddysaddys.com.


A Roundtable Lunch with Elliott Earls

A Roundtable Lunch with Elliott Earls

Friday, October 24th
From 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
The Reece Museum at ETSU (Map)

Join us for lunch and a roundtable discussion with Elliott Earls on “The Mechanics of Hybrid Design Practice (The Space Between Design and Contemporary Art)”.

His work as a designer and artist has been exhibited widely and is represented in major collections, including those of the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian National Design Museum, scheduled to open this December in New York; the Wolfsonian at Florida International University, Miami Beach; and the Miami Art Museum.

This event is free and sponsored by AAF Northeast Tennessee, ETSU Graphic Design Collective & The FL3TCH3R Exhibit.

About Elliott Earls


Elliott Earls is a performance artist, musician, and designer, and is designer in residence and head of the Graduate Graphic Design Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art. His experimentation with nonlinear digital video, spoken word poetry, music composition, and design has been seen in venues as diverse as The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and the “Exit” Theater Festival at Maison des Arts de Créteil in France. As a performance artist, Earls was awarded an emerging artist grant by Manhattan’s Wooster Group. In 1999 he was a featured performer at the Wooster Group’s Performing Garage. Earls spent September 2000-May 2001 as an artist in residence at Fabrica, Benetton’s research center in Treviso, Italy.

As a typographer, his original type design is distributed worldwide by Emigre Inc. Some of Earls’s poster designs are part of the permanent collection of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution and he has bronze busts in the Wasserman Collection. Earls’s multi-media piece entitled “Eye Sling Shot Lions” is part of the Cooper-Hewitt Museum’s research file. In 2001, Earls was a finalist for the Chrysler National Design Award in New Media. In January 2006, Earls performed his latest performance piece “Bull and Wounded Horse” at Music Hall Detroit with his band The Venomous Sons of Jonah. Earls has lectured extensively at American universities, and has given workshops on design, culture, and new media in Europe and America.


To register for this event, email christian@aafnetn.com


You’re also invited…

to Earl’s presentation from 4-5 PM on Thursday October 23rd and The FL3TCH3R Exhibit awarding reception from 5-7 PM – all at the Reece Museum!  

AAF After Hours

Bring a friend!

AAF After Hours is Thursday, June 26th
From 5:30 – 7:30pm at Carrabba’s Italian Grill

We’ll have appetizers ready for you to socialize and network as we induct our new board for the coming year.

Please RSVP with Christian Schmid (christian@aafnetn.com) if you plan to attend.

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Student Portfolio Review – April 17th

Meet & Greet the Next Generation of Advertising Professionals

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Thursday, April 17th

5:30 – 7:30pm
DoubleTree Hotel | Johnson City

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Join us for one of our favorite annual events!

Welcome the next generation of advertising pros by reviewing local students’ portfolios and resumés. Refreshments will be served.

Please RSVP with Drew Beamer (drew@aafnetn.com) if you would like to participate.

Passion Perseverance & Peanuts – March 27th

Pursue your passion and persevere through the hard times


Thursday, March 27th

11:30am – 1:00pm
Fanatics | DoubleTree Hotel

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Download the Presentation

Click below to download Tim’s presentation in PDF format.

[button url=”http://aafnetn.com/wp-content/uploads/Passion-Perseverance-Peanuts_AAF-NETN.pdf” class=”button” size=”large” color=”orange” target=”_self” lightbox_content=”” lightbox_description=””] Download the Presentation [PDF] [/button]

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About The Event

All of us have been passionate about something or even someone in our lifetime.And most of us have had to persevere through a tough situation or time of our life. It’s not what we wanted to have to face, but it’s life. Handed to us whether we wanted it or not. We pursue our passions and we persevere through the challenging times. We face each day with the confidence that we can overcome, that we can conquer, and that we can succeed.

As we journey into 2014, join me on an adventure that will help us find passion within our career, focus our focus on life, and deliver a gut-check on why we ALWAYS persevere.

I know, I know. You’re wondering why I haven’t mentioned anything about peanuts yet. Well, now I have. You’ll have to come hear it live to get the rest of that story.

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About Tim Earnhart

Tim Earnhart is founder, Chief Strategist & Brand Builder of Werkshop. Tim brings 20+ years of professional branding, marketing and advertising experience to the table. Tim has played key roles in the development of dozens of branding and creative campaigns for clients and possesses a serious interest in helping any thriving company create a brand worth talking about. Tim also consults and coaches companies around the country on their branding and marketing needs. In the last few years, Tim has become a sought after speaker on the topics of branding, consumer behavior, life passions, and perseverance.


A closer look at the process of creating great creative

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Find Us

Friday, January 24th
11:30am – 1:00pm
Room 227 | Eastman Employee Center [/one_half]

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Buy Tickets

AAF NETN Members – Free

[/one_half][one_half]This event is free for AAF NETN members, $25 for non-members and $15 for students with a student ID.

Reservations are required. Please RSVP to Drew Beamer at drew@aafnetn.com.[/one_half][column_break]

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About our speaker:

Ron Villacarillo
Creative Director // DDB New York

Ron grew up in Virginia Beach, VA where he says most of his influence to pursue a creative career came from skateboarding and obsessively watching MTV. After receiving a degree in graphic design from Old Dominion University, he went on to earn a graduate degree in advertising from the VCU Adcenter (now the Brandcenter). Shortly after, he moved to Southern California to work for the Venice Beach office of Crispin, Porter + Bogusky among other boutique agencies in San Diego and LA on accounts such as Activision, Asics, Yamaha, Shimano, Ketel One and Jack In The Box, the beloved west coast fast food chain.

The Martin Agency brought Ron back to his home state where he worked with pro athletes like Shaun White, Roger Federer and Michael Jordan to develop campaigns for Gieco, ESPN, USTA, BFGoodrich, and Hanes. He says one of his more memorable moments was trying to get past the Secret Service while working with Michelle Obama to create a television campaign for her “Let’s Move” program.

Ron currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife and two bulldogs. He most recently spent time at Saatchi & Saatchi creating work for MillerCoors brands which included Miller Lite, MGD and Keystone Light. He is currently a creative director at DDB on Madison Avenue where he has yet to run into Don Draper.


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Deep Fried Addys – Drop Off Party

The 2014 American Advertising Awards

Deep Fried Addys

Call For Entries

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The AAF of Northeast Tennessee invites you to bring your juiciest pieces of creative work on down for the 2014 American Advertising Awards. And you better bring your bib, ’cause this is the only competition south of the Mason-Dixon to feature this level of deep fried goodness.

The deadline to enter is January 16th, 2014. Visit addys.aafnetn.com to enter.

Drop Off Party

Thursday, January 16th, 2014
Beef O’ Brady’s in Johnson City
5:30 – 7:30 PM