AdFed Suncoast Welcomes Judges to Sarasota for the Local American Advertising Awards Competition

Posted: Thursday, January 25, 2018


On Friday, January 26, 2018, three judges for the American Advertising Awards will be visiting Sarasota, Florida to participate in the first tier of the three-tiered competition.

Concurrently, across the country, local entrants vie to win ADDY Awards - recognition as the very best in their markets. At the second tier, local ADDY winners compete against winners from other local clubs in one of 15 district competitions. District winners are then forwarded to the national stage of the American Advertising Awards.

The Sarasota judges are Marty Kohr, Larry Meador, and Willie Diaz.

Marty Kohr, a past judge, hails from Northwestern University Medill IMC as Faculty Lecturer and Director Part Time Masters of Science Program teaching integrated marketing communication; as Director of the 4A's IAAS young professional training program in Chicago and around the world Marty’s client partners have included Threadless, Chicago Cubs, Chicago Tribune's RedEye, Choose Chicago, Divvy and Unilever's Axe. His history in the industry includes more than 13 years with DDB Chicago where he managed brand building advertising for Budweiser and Chicago Tribune and won awards at the Cannes Grand Prix, numerous gold Lions, Clios, Effies, Pencils, ADDYs, and Super Bowl victories for Budweiser creative.

Larry Meador is Evok Advertising CEO & Chief Strategist and a graduate of University of Florida. After more than fifteen years in the industry, serving as a client brand manager, an ad agency managing partner and performing just about every role in between, Larry’s an astute observer and innovative solutions provider for the challenges facing today’s businesses. At evok, he balances his time as account planner, director of client services and leads evok’s social media team as the medium continues to evolve into an essential role of an integrated strategy.  As a past AAF president [Orlando, 2007/2008] he brings a unique perspective to local and district ADDY awards.

Willie Diaz is a relatively recent addition as Creative Director and Co-founder, Miami Ad School Punta Cana, whose goal is to put Latin American creatives on a path to excellence; as a Ringling College of Art and Design graduate [graphic design, 2008] there are many reminiscences and awe at the campus additions. Willie spent eight (8) plus years as the creative director of VSA Partners in Chicago, IL with offices in Chicago and New York.

Lee Gaines, AdFed Suncoast President says; “I look forward to meeting them all and sharing with them details of the local marketplace, so they have a solid understanding of what makes the Suncoast unique. I am delighted Ringling College of Art + Design will host the judging phase of the competition on January 27, 2018, with volunteers from the advertising community on hand to ensure all goes smoothly."

Winners will receive notification within the week they have placed in the competition with the awards for Gold, Silver, Best of Category, and Best of Show to be announced at the awards gala in February.

Also, during the awards ceremonies, a scholarship sponsored by local ad agency atLarge, Inc. will be handed out to a deserving student pursuing a degree in advertising, marketing, graphic design, communications or a related field.

The ADDY 77 Awards Gala will be held on February 25, 2018. The 1977 themed evening will play host to the Dudes & Divas of advertising as they light up the disco ball for an exciting evening of drinks, dining, and ADDY awards on the BIG screen at Cinébistro, Sarasota.

Tickets for the event are on sale at

About AdFed Suncoast

AdFed Suncoast is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the art and business of advertising through professional education, legislative efforts and community service. AdFed Suncoast is a local chapter of the American Advertising Federations Fourth District, which consists of nearly 1,500 members in 23 local chapters throughout Florida and the Caribbean.

AdFed Suncoast meets regularly, hosting speakers on various industry topics. Membership is open to anyone in Sarasota and Manatee counties involved in advertising, media, communications and creative services.