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Inspired Judging

March 6, 2013


Entries arranged for judging

Entries arranged for judging

Hard to believe we’re only a few days away from the 2013 ADDY Awards. It feels like we were just organizing the judging trip to Pittsburgh.

In case you didn’t know, here’s how we got there. Months before, we decide on a city that is known for its creative community or we can respond to invitations from other AAF clubs. We then invite creative professionals in that city to judge the work. From there, the Judging Committee from the RAF spends an entire weekend curating and prepping your entries for the judges to evaluate.

We had such an incredible group of people with us in Pittsburgh. They’re a diverse bunch of writers, artists, thinkers, and entrepreneurs who really enjoyed looking through all of your inspired creative work.

SVP, Creative Director / Mullen

After five years at Brunner and a stint at a small retail agency in State College, PA, Michael Hoff joined Mullen in 1997 as a senior writer. At Mullen, Mike has been part of the team that crafted award-winning work for PPG Industries, UPMC Health Plan, Pennsylvania Tourism, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Magellan GPS, and The American Diabetes Association. Today, he oversees the agency’s creative talent in all media, from in-store to digital.


Senior Art Director / Brunner

Derek started off as an art director at Brunner, a Pittsburgh-based advertising agency. During his first stint at the agency, Derek created campaigns for Cub Cadet, CONSOL Energy, Pittsburgh Corning, and Zippo.

After four years at Brunner, Derek moved to DraftFCB in Chicago. As senior art director, Derek helped create a new brand campaign for DOW that was recognized by Creativity Magazine’s Top 20. He also worked on a DOW campaign for the 2012 London Olympics, along with campaigns for the NHL, KFC, Taco Bell, and Nivea. With some big city experience under his belt, he returned to Brunner and his hometown of Pittsburgh in 2012.

Over the past eight years, Derek’s work has been honored and recognized by Archive, The National ADDY Awards, Creativity Magazine, The Webby’s, and Graphis. He also won two Best of Shows in the Pittsburgh ADDY Awards.

Owner / Walsh Photography

With more than 20 years of experience as a commercial photographer, Frank Walsh has photographed everything from ants to automobiles. He partners with advertising and design firms to develop original images, servicing clients such as Campbell’s, Philips, ESPN, and Quaker Oil. His work has been recognized in Communications Arts Photo Annuals, Graphis, and PDN Photo Annuals.


Founder / wrIte LLC

Ilona has more than 20 years of experience in developing unique voices for brands. She started as a junior copywriter at Ketchum Advertising, and then quickly worked her way up the ranks of Pittsburgh’s top creative shops – Werner Chepelsky & Partners, Dymun-Nelson & Co., Mullen, and Smith Brothers Agency. Today, Ilona is her own boss. She founded write, LLC two years ago.

While her niche is in writing for healthcare and health insurance brands, Ilona has also touched the worlds of banking, tourism, B2B, education, CPG, and public service. She’s developed integrated campaigns for clients like Highmark, UPMC, Pennsylvania Tourism, Del Monte, Skinny Cow, PNC Bank, Point Park University, United Jewish Federation, and countless others.

Ilona’s work has won numerous awards, including 23 Pittsburgh Gold ADDYs, a Print Best of Show, TV Best of Show, Special Judges Award for Writing and Creative Excellence, and numerous Telly Awards and AIGA merits. Her most recent achievement? Making par on holes 14 and 15 on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island in South Carolina.

Creative/Art Director / smART DIRECTION

Jill is a creative/art director at smART DIRECTION, a freelance business she founded after spending more than 20 years in the advertising industry. She previously worked at agencies from Fahlgren to Marc USA to Mullen.

Jill’s client experience includes Paula Deen Foods, Highmark, Pennsylvania Tourism & Travel, PPG Industries, and Rite Aid. Her work has helped agencies win new business, including projects for the U.S. Air Force and Pennsylvania’s Department of State Voter ID Campaign. She has also won numerous awards for her work for non-profit clients, including the American Red Cross, Southwestern PA, and the national Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Judges looking over and scoring a category of entries

Judges looking over and scoring a category of entries