By Deidre Stalnaker, AAFT President
Your AAF Tuscaloosa board has been serving for six months– we’re half way through our terms.
This time every year, we complete our Chapter of the Year books, which is basically a self-
audit of our achievements thus far. I’ve always thought it interesting, in a weird, curious
way, that the club is assessed mid term. But, after doing it, I find it helpful. We get to review
what’s worked so far and make adjustments as needed.
As I reviewed our club’s achievements, well, I’m overwhelmed by what your board has
done for your club, the American Advertising Federation and our industry as a whole.
As you may be aware, our theme this year is “We the People.” Our main focus is adding
value for our members (yes, YOU) and growing our membership. If we add value, more
people will want to be involved with AAFT.
Eventually, this will help us meet other goals, like raising funds for scholarships, increasing
American Advertising Awards entries and all around having the best time ever. Increasing
membership, strengthening programming, enhancing communications and building
relationships will work and play off each other, strengthening each other – much like our
members do. Build these, and we will build a club people not only want to join, but one
people want to support and actively engage with.
Our membership is up a whopping 31 percent over this time last year! While the first part of
this strategy is met (never complete), we have room for more. The more the merrier and
stronger we are.
We continue to have strong programming. Results from the surveys of those who attend our
lunch meetings (for you number nerds, about 60 percent of attendees complete a survey)
say we’re meeting your expectations. The average score across variables was 4.46 out of
5. Again, met but not complete. Our needs are ever changing, and we can always strive to
Our fundraising efforts are going well. The club hosted the 24th annual Joel A. Mask Golf
Tournament last fall, raising $6,500, an increase of 60 percent over last year’s $4,000. Our
century bike ride joined forces with the Alabama Backroads Century Series, which should
triple our registrants. We are in talks to endow scholarships for University of Alabama and
Stillman College students.
I’m looking forward to our American Advertising Awards gala on Feb. 23. This year’s
competition was strong. While the professional entry numbers remained relatively level, we
had an over 200 percent increase in student entries. The future is bright (and creative)! The
committee is spicing the event up a bit and it’s a can’t-miss. Get your tickets soon (hurry there’s a
How do you think this year is going? How can we improve? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org