2011 ADDY Awards

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The ADDY awards are, according to its website, the world’s largest advertising competition.  Starting at the local level, the winners move on to district competition, and ending with the final national competition. During my Copacino class, Kurt mentioned the Student ADDY Awards, and encouraged all of us to enter. I knew Cliff had planned on entering his AIDS quilt piece that myself and Peter Orr helped him with, and I planned on entering my Zipcar stuff. Both of our pieces were nominated as finalists, and I was pretty proud of it. Turns out, Stephanie Jensen also entered some of her work, and she was nominated as a finalist as well. Four finalists from the same class-that’s quite a feat!

I think this is the point where we’re supposed to say it’s just a honor to be nominated, but nevermind that-I wanted us to win. And we were rewarded in spades. Our Copacino + Fujikado class brought home three Student Gold Awards! What an amazing triumph! Kurt and Mike were beaming like proud papa bears, showing our work to anyone within arm reach. For me, it was a validation of the hard work I’d been putting in over the last six months. And it was that level of competition within the class that brought the best work out of all of us. 

After the show, I talked to a couple of the other students that were there, and highly recommended Kurt and Mike’s class if they ever offer it again. It’s really unfortunate that in all of this, they didn’t really get the recognition they deserved, so I’ll attempt to do it here. Kurt and Mike pushed me like nobody has ever pushed me before. I tease Mike about opening the class with “Eye of the Tiger”, but that intensity pushed me like none other. Their critiques were tough, but fair, and even on nights when I completely bombed, I always felt like I could find the small nugget of good within the crap. I was slightly bitter about not scoring the internship, but that was mostly because I was disappointed that I wouldn’t get to work with such a great teachers. 

And of course, I have to thank my amazing wife, Melissa, without whom none of this would have been possible. She has been constantly supportive of my journey, from supporting my move, to picking me up when I felt like giving up on my entire career. She’s the reason I get up every morning, and try and make myself a better person. I was extremely proud I could share this experience with her. 


More than anything, this experience has inspired me to keep pushing forward. I signed up for another SVC Class that starts next week, and I’m really excited for that. I think the next step for my ADDY award work is moving on to regional competitions, and I’m excited to see where I land there. I’ve been researching local agencies, and I’m hoping to start making contacts there, and I’m definitely going to make more of an attempt to be an active part of this amazing advertising community. It’s all very exciting, and I can’t wait for the next step in my career. 

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