AAF Blog

Welcome to the AAF Blog. Find some inspiration.

A note from your RAF President

December 30, 2016


How is it the end of December already?
A note from the RAF President


What does the High Falls ghost, a mountain in Colorado and Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats have in common? Well, not much, except that your RAF board members have something to say about them.

How’s that for an opening line?

To be completely honest, I intended on writing this blog post back in September. We had just held our first board meeting of the ‘16-‘17 RAF season, the room was buzzing with energy and new ideas, and I left excited for the year ahead. I couldn’t wait to share with our members and the creative community what was to come.

But like many RAF Presidents that have come before me, I woke up one day and it was December. So here we are.

At that first meeting, I asked each board member to submit one personal goal for the year and answer a series of “get to know you” questions. The goals they submitted will have to be part of another blog post, but let me assure you: this is a group of ambitious, eager-to-shake-things-up, rock stars.

I think this year’s board is among the most well rounded we’ve seen yet. To give you a sense, we’ve got representation from:

  • five of our community’s top agencies,
  • a small video production firm,
  • a photography studio,
  • a media services agency,
  • a financial services firm,
  • a client/in-house professional,
  • a locally-based nonprofit organization,
  • a higher education institution, and
  • the freelance community.

We’ve got people from both sides of the shop (creative and account) and most things in between. We’ve got early, mid and advanced career levels. We’ve got nine women and ten men.

Is it obvious yet that I’m pretty proud of this year’s board makeup? The emphasis on diversifying the board through the recruitment of different experiences, job roles, skill sets, industries, and genders has been a focused priority for the last few years, and it has already lead to great things for RAF members. Having different perspectives at the table allows us to have rich discussions and make better decisions on behalf of our membership–a job we take very seriously.

I hope you’ve been able to connect with some of us at our events–board members have been at each 20 Minutes and a Beer in full force! But if not, I thought you might like to learn a little more about this stellar group of individuals:

Q: What’s the weirdest place/weirdest thing that’s ever inspired you?

The craziest moment of inspiration for me was when I was in Colorado several years back. My family and I had just gotten to the top of Pike’s peak, a 14,000 foot mountain where the weather is 30-40 degrees colder than the bottom and every form of rain, sleet, lightning, and snow are all happening at the same time. Then a family with the cutest dog walked by us and I was like screw this mountain, I’m going to pet that dog and I wrote more script ideas that night than I had ever written before. Oh and the mountain was pretty cool too!

-Aaron Gordon, Optic Sky
Content Co-chair

Q: Fill in the blank: If people walked into my office, I’d most likely be listening to…

If people walked into my office, I’d most likely be listening to a slew of what my friends refer to as “bands that don’t even exist yet.” I’m constantly absorbing a number of different artists and planning my next concert excursion.

-James Farley, Northwestern Mutual
VP Finance

Film scores. I’m a sucker for film scores.

-Nicole Henry, Butler/Till
Social Media Chair

Two Door Cinema Club.

-Aaron Lattanzio, Causewave Community Partners
ADDY Co-chair

Tycho. I need instrumental music to work to and he does it the best.

-Rich Pulvino, ESL Federal Credit Union
20 Minutes and a Beer Chair

Depends on the day. Usually I start with U2, “Beautiful Day” and end with Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, “SOB.”

-Kelly Chapman, Coopervision
VP of Membership

Sylvan Esso or Roses by Chainsmokers gets me totally pumped up.

-Carolyn Stiles, Partners + Napier
VP Secretary

Q: What scares you the most at work?


-Collette Major, Rich Brainerd Studios
ADDY Co-chair

Phone calls from the new business team.

-Bob Charboneau, Dixon Schwabl
First Vice President

Not being able to eat lunch. Food’s kind of a big deal.

-James Ashbery, Dixon Schwabl
Content Co-chair

The High Falls ghost- seriously, don’t stay late by yourself.

-Rachel Spence, Roberts Communications
Events Co-chair

My 12 pound dog, he’s ferocious.

-Kieran Redmond, Freelance
Creative Chair

Q: Fill in the blank: If people walked into my office, I’d most likely be eating…

Whatever is on set! Preferably wine/beer and cheese!

-Rich Brainerd, Rich Brainerd Studios
Immediate Past President

A granola bar.

-Carolyn Lagoe, Nazareth College
Education Chair

Q: What was your most creative Halloween costume?

I built a set of killer Wii remote costumes with lights for Player 1 and 2.

-Ian Maroney, Truth Collective
Web Chair

Sophomore year of college I was a dog dressed as a squirrel (I purchased a squirrel outfit from the pet costume section at Target).

-Chelsea Wagner, Roberts Communications
PR Chair

Q: If you weren’t in the creative biz, what job would you have had?

Dermatologist or vet technician.

-Lissa Mathis, Freelance
Freelance Chair

Touring drummer.

-Matt D’Angelo, Martino Flynn
Events Co-chair

In addition to being interesting, witty and sometimes a little weird (me included), these people have a ton of heart. And frankly, it’s hard to be successful on the RAF Board without that. The list of ideas is always longer than we can feasibly implement, our events and membership grow every year, and our ADDY show is one of the most involved, kickass shows in the entire country. Like I said before, this group has a lot of ambitious goals on their list. But I know they’ve got the chops and energy to get it done.

That being said, we’d love to hear from you. There will be formal opportunities to share your ideas with us in the near future (stay tuned), but please know that our door (or inbox, phone line, etc.) is always open. We certainly wouldn’t be who we are without new ideas and energy that keep our creative community thriving.

So please, share your ideas with us–and I hope you’ll also be open to helping us make them happen.

On behalf of the entire board, I wish you much merriment for the holiday season.



Katelin Pellett
RAF President

P.S.- Before you drink too much eggnog, don’t forget to take advantage of early bird ADDY entry pricing before 1/4/17! (Sorry…had to sneak that in there.)