Honoring Our In-House Talent: An Interview With Ad Scene Rockstar and ADG Art Director, Kathe Flynn

ADG Art Director Kathe Flynn is kind of a big deal. But she’s too humble to admit it. Not only does Kathe produce next-level work for ADG and our clients, but she’s also a master cupcake creator and Supermom. When she’s not providing guidance and direction on creative projects at ADG, Kathe can be found contributing to the local design community as Board Member and Social Programming Chair for the American Advertising Federation Baltimore, and Board Member and Volunteer for the Production Club of Baltimore. In fact, she’s such a rockstar in the local advertising community, that she was recognized at the 2017 ADDY Awards with a pretty awesome award. Well…we’ll let you hear it from her:

 So…you were honored with the Crystal Prism Award at the ADDYs last week – what is that award for?

The Crystal Prism Award singles out someone who has made outstanding contributions to their advertising community through their local Ad Federation. It’s actually not given out every year—only when the club and Board of Directors of the AAFB decide someone is deserving—so this was a really special award to receive.

What was it like to receive the award?

When I received the email, I initially just thought I was being copied on the email to the winner. When I asked and confirmed it was me, I was shocked and felt incredibly honored.

We know all of the amazing things you’ve done for the Baltimore marketing and advertising community, but tell the rest of the world what you’ve done to earn this award.

I’m on the Board of the AAFB as the acting Social Programming Chair and have been serving this role for two years. This year, I also served on the ADDY Committee and as a judge for the AAF-CC ADDY’s. All of this work is volunteer. As the Social Networking chair, I am grateful to be an integral part in carrying out the AAFB’s mission of unifying Baltimore’s advertising & marketing community by planning social events that provide our members—although many of our events also welcome non-members—with networking opportunities that strengthen relationships within the community. Successful events hosted to-date include monthly Advertini Happy Hours, the annual General Membership Meeting, the Never Saw the Light of Day Show (aka the TRASHY Awards), Hops & Headshots, Creative Mixtape—more on that in a second— and Advertising Trivia Night.

In addition, I participate in a group dubbed the Creative Minds Group, which consists of leaders on the boards for Baltimore’s top creative groups—including the local chapters for AMA, AIGA, PCB and more. We work closely together to help encourage growth and connectivity by choosing to share our audiences rather than competing for them. In order to do so, we do our best to coordinate our calendars and events so that there’s less overlap and our audiences can attend more events rather than being forced to choose. It’s really about unifying Baltimore’s creative community, which is also the AAFB’s mantra. We recently also threw our first combined event—the Creative Mixtape, a happy hour at Horseshoe Casino—which was a huge success and nearly 300 area-professionals attended. There will be more where that came from—stay tuned!

Describe the most rewarding part of your work. 

The Baltimore ad/marketing community continuously inspires me and I think I speak for everyone when I say that—there’s an incredible energy in our community and it’s infectious. In fact, the more people I get know as I host these events, the more excited and inspired I become to do more to help encourage growth and connectivity within our talented community. So yeah… knowing that I get to be a part of that is the most rewarding part.

The most challenging? 

Finding time to do everything I want to do! I have so many ideas and sometimes I get in a little over my head, but I have a tendency to refuse to admit defeat. I put a lot of heart into these events to enhance the attendee experience—little things like nametags, giveaways, signage, and specials make a huge difference. Ensuring that events are a benefit to our members is another challenge that requires special pricing for members versus nonmembers, ticketing, event pages, etc. Finding locations and coordinating with their owners is also super time consuming—it’s surprising how many businesses treat happy hours like an inconvenience instead of an opportunity.

What exciting things do you see on the horizon for the AAFB and the future of the Baltimore advertising scene?

The AAFB is steadily growing right now and we have an incredible board that puts a ton of time and effort into making the club worthwhile for our members. The effort is really paying off and we have some incredible benefits right now, including up-to-date industry legislative alerts, workshops, events, webinars, and more… with more to come. We’re constantly brainstorming and coming up with new ideas—it’s really exciting. Aside from that, Baltimore’s ad community is incredible and continued growth is on the horizon.

Main image courtesy of The Wairehouse

ADG’s Spin on National Be Heard Day

Every year on March 7, we come together to celebrate National Be Heard Day, a day that originally came about to honor small businesses and encourage them to “Be Heard” through the noise of big business. But since “Be Heard” is ADG’s tagline and it’s woven into everything we do, we put our own spin on this “holiday.” Here’s what a few of our Creatives had to say when asked what “being heard” means to them.

“You do not need to utter a word to be heard; cause a reaction – with your ideas, art, passion – and you have been heard.” – Amanda Moreau, Senior Designer

“Being heard – in my opinion –  is synonymous with feeling understood. When we feel heard, we feel the other party is on our side and truly understands our objectives and purpose.” – Lindsey Esposito, Traffic and Production Coordinator

“To me, being heard means knowing I have a voice and finding the courage to speak through my vulnerability in order for my voice to be heard.” – Lauri Bianco, Senior Recruiter


To be heard here at ADG is saying, doing, or making something, and by doing so being acknowledged for it. It doesn’t even have to be the final solution, just participating is key. That is the true meaning of being heard. Any person can make noise and most won’t try in their life, for fear of looking a fool. I try to inspire those around me to be heard by making their voices and opinions mean something. The worst thing in history is having the answer, but being afraid of being wrong, and thereby not speaking up or being heard.” – Craig DePriest, Software Engineer

“Being heard means using your creative voice to share unique perspectives and enrich the world around you. Having the freedom to speak up and be heard – even when you think no one is listening – is invaluable. Here at ADG, we not only help clients tell their stories but we foster an atmosphere that inspires originality, authenticity, and collaboration.” – Keva Marable Blair, Strategist

At ADG, it’s our mission every single day to help our clients – and our staff – be heard in their own unique way. What does being heard mean you to? Comment below – we’d love to hear from you…pun absolutely intended.

ADG’s Top 5 Brain Juice Blogs of 2016

As we enter into the final weeks of 2016, it’s customary to look back and reflect on the last 365 days of what turned out to be an incredible year. For us, Brain Juice is a place where we can highlight the goings on of ADG, Columbia Gateway Drive, and the creative community as a whole. We’re proud of what we do, and we’re so grateful that you continue to read, comment on, and share our little sliver of the Internet. So on that note, here are our top five most read, shared, liked, and commented on posts of 2016.

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10 Things You Didn’t Know About ADG’s Gumbo & Mistletoe Celebration

Every year, ADG throws down for a New Orleans-style, creative cauldron of spicy meets sweet we call Gumbo & Mistletoe. It’s a way for us to thank our family, friends, and clients, while benefitting the children of New Orleans’ 9th Ward to boot. We’ve been celebrating these relationships for almost 20 years (we think – no one can quite remember when the legendary first Gumbo happened. Yeah…it was that good) and don’t plan on slowing down any time soon. Even if you look forward to the tower of cupcakes and mountains of food every year, here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about Gumbo & Mistletoe.

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Making Connections on the Gateway and Beyond: BTS at the Gateway Talent Fair and Food Truck Roundup

One word comes to mind when thinking of last week’s Gateway Talent Fair 2.0 and Food Truck Roundup: Success.

Actually, maybe two: Huge success.

This year’s Gateway Talent and Food Truck event featured 26 companies from the Intelligence Community and beyond, three local food trucks, and live music. The turnout was great, the weather held out, and no one left hungry.

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Three Unexpected Trends in Social Media Marketing


The world of social media marketing is an unpredictable place. Who would have guessed that Snapchat would take the world by storm, becoming the next big market for businesses to break into? Who could have predicted the new Facebook algorithm that has turned so many marketers on their heads?

In the name of the unpredictable, here are three myth-busting facts that could change the game for social media marketers.

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Emergency Response in a Connected Age

emergency response

What’s the first thing you would do in an emergency?

For most people, they’d grab a phone. They’d call 911, text a loved one, or log in to social media to alert others of the situation and their condition. This automatic response—to reach for a mobile device in the face of a crisis—wasn’t even on the horizon a few decades ago. Now, we’re more connected than ever.

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Can You Make Something Go Viral? All Your Questions Answered (Sort Of).

We welcomed a new Creative to our team this summer: Morgan Haddaway signed on as an intern with us and, in between taking pics of our ice cream deliveries and researching Blaise Pascal quotes, she’s been tackling a pretty substantial research project on all things viral. I decided to get some of these great nuggets out to the interwebs via the following Q/A. Enjoy!

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About ADG

ADG Creative is a strategic communications firm specializing in branding, interactive, learning and gaming, and software development. We combine process, experience and extraordinary creative talent to tell our customers' stories in unique, memorable and usually unexpected ways, leveraging both conventional and new media platforms.