June 4, 2018

Illuminated: Hello and Goodbye

Can you believe it? Another year for Ad 2 Austin has come and gone. For those who aren’t familiar, the club’s fiscal year starts in July and ends in June the following year. I had the honor of serving as President for the 2017-2018 fiscal year, and I can tell you firsthand this was one of our best years yet. Here are the top 10 reasons why (in no particular order):

  1. Stronger, Smarter, Sassier Board of Directors. Ad 2 Austin has always had an amazing board, but this year we took it up a notch. We had a group of truly amazing people who brought different ideas, talents, and personalities to the table—and they worked their buns off to keep the club running smoothly. Over the course of the year, we became a family that laughed, [argued], shared meals, and celebrated birthdays and holidays together. Leading a group of strong, smart, sassy individuals isn’t easy, though, and I couldn’t have done it without my Executive Team: Madison Scullin (Vice President), Ali Goldstein (Secretary), and Dax Patton (Executive Advisor). I will admit... I might be the sassiest of the bunch!
  2. Developed a New Panel Program Series: Ad2YourSight. The inaugural event focused on agency diversity and featured empowered Austinites working to make a difference for marginalized groups in Texas, the United States, and the world. Our Programs Chair, Alex Reid, led the development of this new program and executed it flawlessly.
  3. Secured DJNR as a Gold Sponsor. Sponsors are an important part of the club’s ecosystem. They help run our club operations, and they provide funding for the programs and events developed to support our members and the Austin community. We couldn’t have done it without our Sponsorship Chair, Grant Phifer.
  1. Launched a New Blog Series Focused on Diversity: The Difference Dialogues. Until 2017, we didn’t have a Diversity Committee. We were therefore unable to properly embrace, support, and empower diversity and inclusion in the Austin advertising, marketing, and communications communities. Our Diversity Chair, Malcom Gibbs, is leading this initiative, and he is tackling it from every angle. If you want to check out some of Malcom’s work, stop by our blog page.
  1. Hosted Our First Dog-Friendly Happy Hour. This was a big deal. First, we’re in Austin, and Austin feels like the most dog-friendly city in the world. Second, most of our members are dog parents. Third, who doesn’t love dogs?! Our friends from pupsicool were there as well, and they provided complimentary venison bone broth ice pops for our furry friends!
  1. Placed 3rd in the Nationwide Club Achievement Book Competition for Our Communication Efforts! We competed against 21 other Ad 2 clubs across the country for this coveted spot. But let’s be real—this was no surprise because our Communication Co-Chairs, Becca Messenger and Kathryn Duft, kicked ass with their endless creativity and organizational skills.
  1. Increased Student Engagement with Ad 2 Austin. We had student representatives from the University of Texas at Austin and Texas State University sitting on our Board of Directors this year. They helped the club create stronger relationships with their universities, which ultimately led to increased student participation at our events. Led by our Education/Student Relations Co-Chairs, Angela Rhys, Samantha Byrd, and Tony Cummings, we even conducted a student survey to help inform future boards on how to better serve our student audience.
  1. Executed a Successful Public Service Campaign for Our Non-profit Client, Code2College. This year, Ad2 Austin selected Code2College to be the beneficiary of our annual public service campaign. Code2College is an organization working to bring more diversity to the STEM workforce by teaching high school girls, students of color, and students from low-income backgrounds how to code. Lead by our Public Service Co-Chairs, Chris Welhausen and Spencer Everett, Ad 2 Austin was able to provide Code2College with a social media campaign, a digital campaign, a brand style guide, and various other internal documents such as a sponsorship one-sheeter!
  1. Met All Our Financial Goals. As a not-for-profit organization, our budget is limited, so being resourceful goes a long way. We watched our spending, secured sponsorships, and generated revenue for the club through our events and programs. This helped us stay on track with our budget.
  1. Ad 2 Austin Branded T-shirts! Our members can now proudly wear our Ad 2 Austin t-shirts at club events (and anywhere else they want to represent the club). This is the first official club apparel for Ad 2 Austin and we are obsessed! Thanks to BigTuna Interactive for sponsoring the production of our [soft-as-heck] t-shirts.

As we close the chapter on the 2017-2018 year and look back at all we accomplished as an organization, I am overwhelmed with joy. We’ve made so many small but impactful changes this year, and they have seriously added up. Ad 2 Austin is still a fairly small club compared to some of the other Ad 2 clubs across the country, and I can’t wait to see where the club will be in the next 3, 5, 10 years as we continue to learn and grow as an organization.

This is just the beginning.

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