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

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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.