Marketing Manager, Ronald McDonald House Charities in Omaha
After graduating from The Art Institute of Las Vegas with her bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design, Ann Woodford returned to her hometown of Omaha. She took a job designing shirts and store signage for a local sporting goods company, where her passion for design and marketing flourished. In 2013, Ann received a new job opportunity at Goodwill Industries, Inc. in Omaha, where she could use her design skills to help an organization with a mission to help people in the community find self-sustaining employment. Ann’s talents were quickly recognized at Goodwill, and she was promoted to Marketing Manager. Ann oversaw all marketing strategy and design work for the entire agency, including 17 retail stores.
In April of 2019, Ann joined the team at Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) in Omaha as their Marketing Manager. Every day she looks forward to supporting the children and families that RMHC serves.
When not busy strategizing and designing, she enjoys volunteering for local organizations and spending time with her son, Max and husband, Chris, as well as their two dogs, Wilbur and Ralphie.
Ann has been with AAF Omaha since 2015 and has served on the Communications and Public Service committees before joining the executive board. When asked about her favorite part of AAF, she said “connecting with others, attending fun events, and learning about and advocating for the industry, just to name a few.”
Creative Director, Clark Creative Group
Daryl Anderson is a multidisciplinary creative director with over 20 years experience in marketing strategy, corporate branding and continuity. He graduated from Northwest Missouri State University and received a BFA with emphasis in Graphic Design. Daryl began his career in industries such as fashion and beauty, food and grocery, and health care. After honing skills in critical thinking, brand development and management from the inside out, he was nabbed by Clark Creative Group. When he’s not helping to inspire fellow art directors, copywriters, video editors and web developers in producing award winning marketing, he can be found immersing himself in foreign cultures or out playing in the dirt.
Account Manager, Swanson Russell
Following graduation from the University of South Dakota, Jenna returned to her hometown of Omaha to begin her career in advertising and account management. As an Account Manager for Swanson Russell, Jenna leads the agency team on client strategy and ideation while also maintaining client relationships for some of the agency’s largest accounts in outdoor recreation.
Prior to sitting on the Executive Board for AAF Nebraska, Jenna co-lead Meet the Pros and previously participated on its planning committee. She also received AAF Omaha’s Ad Rookie of the Year in 2020. Jenna enjoys nearly every aspect of what AAF offers to its members, but more than anything is passionate about providing educational and connection opportunities for those in the industry across the entire state.
When taking a break from the “office,” you can find Jenna spending time with her husband, Justin, and their Boston Terrier, Stella, exploring Omaha and spending time with loved ones.
Digital Sales Manager, KETV-ABC, Hearst Television
Hi, I’m Cassi Warren, Digital Sales Manager for KETV-ABC, Hearst Television. Seeing businesses succeed and the local economy thrive is what drives my passion for advertising. Every day, I get the opportunity to work with KETV Account Managers, advertising agencies, and clients, helping them develop successful advertising campaigns to reach the right audience with the right message. My license plates are IdeaGrl and I always have plenty of ideas to share if you ever find yourself in need of some brainstorming and collaboration. In my free time you will find me practicing and performing improv or hopping on a motorcycle with my husband for a ride through the bluffs.
SEO & Content Strategist, Native Digital
Taylor is a new Omahan. She moved to Omaha last July from Kansas City. Taylor served as the communication director for 2 years for Ad 2 Kansas City– the under 32 group of AAF Kansas City (now KC Ad Club)–and is proud to be a part of the AAF community in Omaha. From attending District Leadership Conferences to the Ad 2 mid-year retreat–this organization has accelerated her career and she’s gained many friends along the way. She’s excited to bring her experience to the Omaha club. Currently, Taylor works for Native Digital as their SEO & Content Strategist. Native Digital was recently recognized as one of the top 5 fastest growing Midwest agencies in the US.
UNMC | MId-America Mental Health Technology Transfer Center
Annie Albin is a copywriter from Lincoln, Nebraska. She received her undergraduate degree in journalism, advertising and public relations from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, as well as a master’s degree in integrated media communications. She worked as an associate copywriter for the Office of University Communication at UNL and is currently with the UNMC | MId-America Mental Health Technology Transfer Center.
Co-Owner and Brand Strategist, Folk
Erin is the Co-Owner and Brand Strategist at Folk – A Brand Strategy & Design Studio in Omaha. Erin’s passion for developing smart strategy has allowed her to work with top health care and agriculture brands, as well as small business owners and non-profits looking to make their mark. As Brand Strategist at Folk, Erin takes pride in helping clients of all sizes build meaningful connections with consumers.
Media Specialist, Cox Media
Ginny is a Media Specialist at Cox Media, the advertising sales division of Cox Communications Inc.
Ginny is originally from Shenandoah, IA and is a graduate of Dana College. She lives in Council Bluffs with her husband Brently and their two cats Alex and Thomas. She is a huge fan of Creighton Basketball, Marvel movies and 80’s music and is an expert in Friends trivia.
Account Director, Peers Sales Agency
Katie Pavel graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and immediately moved to Chicago to begin her agency career at Starcom. She kicked off her industry experience working on the U.S. Cellular and Gillette accounts. Katie eventually moved back to “The Good Life” and continued working in media at a local Omaha agency. Since then, her focus has been on Digital Strategy working for Proxibid and Sojern.
Katie is currently an Account Director at Peer Sales Agency. She has a passion for marketing strategy, planning, and building meaningful partnerships with her clients.
Creative Services Director, KMTV
Melissa is an award winning multifaceted creative professional with over 20 years of experience in marketing, branding, public relations, sales. media and events. Melissa graduated from the University of Louisiana Monroe with a Radio/Television/Film degree with a minor in Marketing. Melissa began her career selling television advertising then quickly moved to an on-air talent/marketing assistant. This role gave her the love of marketing and turned her into a promotional chameleon moving around the country to work for companies that included Clear Channel, Grant Communications, World Wrestling Entertainment, Sinclair Broadcasting Group, and her most recent role at KMTV. When Melissa is not working, you can find her volunteering, attending concerts or theater and cheering on her beloved LSU Tigers.
Senior Design Director, Daake
Sean Heisler is a Senior Design Director at Daake. As a child, he enjoyed building things and had a love for both art and technology. These loves eventually led him to Iowa State University where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. After graduating, Sean joined Omaha-based, Webster, an established branding and design firm where he spent over two decades working in all facets of graphic design before moving on to Omaha based, Daake, to form a powerhouse branding and design agency after Daake acquired Webster.
Sean’s passion for branding and design continues to grow. He will always have a special love for logo design and brand identity. Sean likes to dig deep into who a company is, what they stand for and take careful consideration of the brand as well as client wants and needs to create the best possible result. He loves being a part of Team Orange and the collaborative environment they have developed. Sean was honored as AAF Omaha’s Ad Pro of the Year in 2018 and has served on the AAF Omaha Board co-chairing Special Events for numerous years.
Senior Account Executive, Link Media Outdoor
Bridgid is an enthusiastic and results driven sales veteran with over twenty years experience helping her clients solve business challenges through advertising solutions. An Omaha native, she attributes strong relationships and creative thinking to her successful career in media. Her marketing background includes years of experience selling local TV, Radio, Digital and Outdoor Advertising.
When she isn’t binge watching cooking shows, Bridgid enjoys spending time with her family, fitness, DIY projects and anything that involves being outdoors.
Managing Partner/Director of Sales & Marketing, Frost Media Group
Alec graduated from Saint Leo University with a degree in marketing in 2009. Alec started his career in sales at Camping World Corporate in Chicago. He began in the marketing department and worked his way to sales manager in Council Bluffs, IA and Jacksonville FL from 2010-2015. Taking what he had learned from working in RVs for 5 years, Alec applied it to national sales at Dex Media. There Alec Rahe was named Sales Rep of the year in 2015 along with multiple other sales awards. He then applied his entrepreneurial spirit to other ventures like starting the Omaha Coffee Truck 2016-2017 and becoming Co-Owner and Managing Partner of Frost Media Group in 2018.
At Frost Media Group Alec currently works with a team of 8 people in Omaha and Kansas City. Frost Media Group’s focus is the video story telling of businesses and nonprofits to help organization achieve their communication and fundraising goals.
When Alec is not working he enjoys playing golf, as well as lacrosse on his team the Aksarben Stampede, a semi-professional indoor team. He currently lives with his girlfriend Jillian, dog, Bennett and cat, Loki.
Professor of Advertising, Creighton University
Jeffrey Maciejewski is professor of advertising at Creighton University where he has been on faculty since 1999. He advised AAF National Student Advertising Competition teams from 2000 to 2007, and again in 2021 when he was named AAF District 9 Advisor of the Year. He served on the board of directors of AAF Omaha from 2010 to 2012, chairing the public service committee, whose work took first place in 2012 AAF District 9 Public Service Campaign competition.
Dr. Maciejewski teaches courses in advertising and media ethics and law, the latter of which teaches students the vagaries of copyright and trademark law as well as advertising regulation and data privacy.
Creative Director, Shape Society
Chris LaCroix, formerly of Verdant Creative is currently a full time freelance designer. Chris attended the Creative Center Art College in 2005 and shortly thereafter started his own design business. For over 10 years Chris has been helping his clients with a wide variety of services including Logo and Web Design. His specialization is corporate identity and he has brought his strengths to small businesses to help develop and refine their brand.
When Chris isn’t working he enjoys spending time with his friends and family. Chris is the proud fur father of two kitties; Steve and Sally.
Ivy League Youth Sports Academy
Kevin joined Verizon Media in 2016. During his time at Verizon Media, Kevin has on-boarded companies like On Purple, Home Chef, and Everlane. Kevin assisted these companies with their advertising needs on a few Verizon Media brands. These brands consist of Yahoo Finance, Tech Crunch, Huffington Post, and Xbox.
Kevin was born in California and transplanted to the Omaha area where he graduated with a degree in criminal justice. Kevin has worked for Heartland Family Service and Boys Town working directly with youth in the juvenile system.
Kevin stays active in his community by bringing tech companies in Omaha together. Kevin wants to bring more companies together to make a positive impact on the community.
Senior Account Executive, RCG Advertising & Media
Lauren has been managing and optimizing complex programs for nearly two decades. At RCG, Lauren manages the development and seamless execution of multi-faceted marketing campaigns, including coordinating creative deliverables, media strategy and budget management. From healthcare to retail, Lauren has extensive experience in planning and orchestrating campaigns for digital, social, broadcast and outdoor.
Prior to joining RCG, Lauren worked for the State of Nebraska, coordinating programs for the state’s Assistive Technology Partnership. This position involved data analysis, infrastructure development, marketing and strategic planning.
Lauren serves on the Public Service Committee of the American Advertising Federation Omaha and is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Bachelor’s in Natural Resource Science.
Creative Director, Kingswood & Palmerston
Over the years his job titles have included copywriter, producer, creative director, president, managing partner, and account planner. His work has been awarded by National ADDYs, Clios, Tellys, Graphis, Adweek and more. But what he’s most proud of is the roster of creative talent he’s had the good fortune to recruit and develop, who are today creative directors and leaders at agencies and brands across the country.
Head of Business Development, Bailey Lauerman
Lauren joined BL in 2018 to manage the agency’s external marketing efforts, organic growth opportunities and proactive pursuit of new business. Lauren brings 16 years of marketing and advertising experience from global and mid-size agencies in Kansas City. Lauren seeks out collaborative companies looking for respectful partnerships. Brands that value marketing strategy as a key component to achieving larger business objectives.
Lauren serves as a member of the agency’s leadership team and helps identify opportunities to support the local community, expand BL’s capabilities and evolve agency solutions to align with today’s modern media landscape.
Formerly VP of Growth & Development at GlynnDevins, she was in charge of business development for the senior-living- focused agency and evolving their engagement models to better serve the wide range of clients in need of innovative occupancy solutions. Lauren also spent 11 years at the global advertising agency VML, managing client relationships and supporting business development efforts for Fortune 500 brands such as Colgate-Palmolive, Gatorade, Bayer, Wendy’s, Sprint, Ford, and New Balance.
Art Director, KidGlov
As an art director at KidGlov, I get to do what I love every day by creating the magic that visually connects an organization’s story with their audience.
After graduating from Concordia University with a BFA in graphic design and a minor in communications, I joined AAF Lincoln and received AAF Lincoln’s Ad Rookie of the Year. I’ve, since then, explored the career of design and art direction through a move to Colorado and participating in Ad 2—Colorado’s 32 and younger AAF organization. After a few years in Colorado, I’m enjoying being back in Nebraska and working with my AMAZING team and clients at KidGlov.
Account Director/Partner, Eleven Twenty-Three
Shana’s interest in advertising started in college. Initially she thought of being a Psychologist, but altered her path to marketing, which allowed her to take a creative spin on consumer behavior. She found it interesting to learn about the ins and outs of how people make emotional decisions with purchases, and how advertising could play a big part in this process. She’s always been a curious person in general, so it was important for her to learn everything she could about her trade allowing her to become an expert, specifically within media buying. Shana has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) with an emphasis in Marketing and a minor in Advertising and is Account Director at the agency, overseeing the account team’s client strategies and media plans. 15 years later Shana is still making sure the clients are set-up on a track to success. Measurable results are important to her. Shana holds to the philosophy that if an agency helps companies grow, the agency’s team grows alongside them.
In her free time, Shana enjoys spending time with her family, friends and “manimals”. She has two cats and one dog that thinks he’s a cat. She tries to visit at least one new place each year, with a current addiction to all-inclusive resorts in warm climates.
Director of Media Planning & Buying, Smith Kroeger
Lisa Conklin joined Smith Kroeger in July. Lisa has over 15 years of media buying and advertising experience. Prior to employment at Smith Kroeger, Lisa served in Senior Media Buyer or Media Director roles at Firespring, A&K Marketing, Inc., and Envoy, Inc., and prior to that gained experience working for Cox Media, Morningfire, Inc., Bozell, and Omaha World-Herald.
While earning a journalism degree, Lisa developed a passion for all things media and pop-culture, and advertising became a natural fit. Lisa enjoys building media plans that drive results for her broad range of clients while optimizing their budgets, and she enjoys learning about new mediums as they become relevant and bring new opportunities to the table.
Lisa currently serves as the AAF District 9 Governor. The District 9 board supports all AAF clubs in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri and keeps clubs connected with support and opportunities from AAF National. Lisa is a former AAF Omaha President (2017-2018 club year) and has been active with AAF Omaha (now AAF Nebraska) since 2005. She served as the communications co-chair from 2012-2015 and has volunteered with or mentored many other committees including, Meet the Pros, Public Service, and American Advertising Awards. Lisa was honored to be named the AAF Omaha 2017 Ad Pro. Lisa was an active volunteer with Make-A-Wish from 2008-2012 and currently volunteers for the Boyd Elementary PTO and St. Leo the Great Catholic Church.
Executive Vice President/Co-Creative Director, Smith Kroeger
Greg Ahrens is the Executive Vice President, Co-Creative Director at Smith Kroeger where his core competencies are creative direction, creative strategy, copywriting, broadcast production, and brand strategy. Ahrens has been an active AAF member since 1995 and has held numerous leadership positions with the federation the past 26 years: 2006 – Legislative Committee Chair, 2007-2008 – AAF Omaha President, and served from 2012 to 2014 on the AAF Omaha Membership Committee. He’s given his time and talent to AAF through public service working on projects for The Hope Center, The Kim Foundation, Ollie Webb Center, and Meth Prevention.
Ahrens was a board member at the Creative Center College of Art & Design, an AAF Omaha Meet The Pros committee member as a portfolio reviewer (for many years). Ahrens ways makes a point to encourage AAF Omaha membership to students and young professionals starting out in the advertising industry. In 2010 AAF Omaha honored Ahrens as their Ad Pro of the Year.
Ahrens holds a BS in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State University. He was a member of the Iowa Air National Guard and retired after 20 years of service.
Creative Director/Partner, RCG Advertising & Media
Steve Armbruster is Creative Director and Partner at RCG Advertising and Media in Omaha. A graduate of UNL, he started his career in radio news before realizing the big money was in advertising. After multiple stints in agencies in Lincoln and Hastings, along with a five-year foray into self-employment, Steve was drawn to the big lights in Omaha, where he landed at Redstone Advertising (now RCG) in 1998.
Steve’s AAF career has spanned decades including positions as President of AAF Lincoln and Governor of the Ninth District. He was honored with Lincoln’s Silver Medal Award in 1998.
Owner, Pincurl Girls
Marketing Consultant, Alpha Media USA