Big Shoes Network is a trusted resource and job board for professionals that work within the fields of advertising, communications, graphic design, marketing, public relations, social media, and web design & development.
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Special thanks to Holiday Inn Madison Central for being our 2016-17 Exclusive Hotel Sponsor
Special thanks to Toppers Pizza for being a proud sponsor of AAF Madison Board Lunch Meetings.
2016-17 Board of Directors
Kristin Kupres- President
Kristin would describe herself as detailed, interested and involved. As an account executive at Kennedy Communications, Kristin is known for her organization skills as well as her ability to connect with her clients. When she isn’t knee deep in spreadsheets, Kristin is playing volleyball or volunteering her time to organizations such as United Way and the American Advertising Federation. She could not have picked a better match for herself as a communication arts grad from the University of Wisconsin – Madison because that’s where her expertise lies.
Becki is the General Sales Manager at WMTV NBC 15. She has been with NBC 15 for 11 years and loves the fast paced world of Television and Internet advertising. She works with local and regional businesses of all sizes and enjoys coming up with ideas to help them grow. Becki has been in the Madison area for her entire live, except for the 4 crazy years as a student at UW LaCrosse, where she graduated with a degree in Communications.
Emily Shea - Secretary/Treasurer
Emily has been with Stephan & Brady since 2007, where she guides creative teams in the development of strategically driven, results-oriented solutions for a wide range of B2B and B2C clients, including those in the food, hospitality and financial sectors. Having come up as a copywriter, she is thankful to have had to the opportunity to work with and learn from some of the area’s leading talent. Emily has volunteered her time on the Board of Directors of the local Girl Scout council and is currently an active volunteer at St. Dennis School. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, live music, spending time with family and being a baseball/soccer/basketball/football/whatever-sport-is-in-season mom.
Candace oversees the media department at Kennedy Communications, a local full-service, integrated advertising agency. Candace has been with Kennedy for over 17 years, but recently also gained experience on the other side of the table in local TV sales. When not at work, she plays driver to her two children, cheers for her Badgers and also volunteers with Gilda's Club Madison. She is a proud alumnus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is quick to turn up the volume when Jimmy Buffett, Cake or The Killers find their way onto a playlist..
Julie Brown - Sponsorship/Fundraising Co-Chair
Julie began her career with Spectrum Reach in 2012. She is responsible for sales leadership, direction and revenue for the Madison/Janesville markets. She also works closely with Corporate Leadership on the strategy and launch of new programs and initiatives. With over 16 years in sales leadership and management experience, Julie spent 10 years as Director of Sales for both print and digital media for Capital Newspapers in Madison, WI and the last 3 years with Spectrum Reach as their Local Sales Manager.
Shar Hermanson - Networking Events Co-Chair
Shar chose Advertising and Marketing for her career, and her life was changed forever. Just consider a trip to the Brewers as a small example, radio station promotional trucks parked outside, Utzinger’s Sausage in the parking lot, Wisconsin State Journal sales booth inside the door, games sponsored by Potawatomi, and not to mention all the moving billboards. A drive down any stretch of road has become an idea factory for any number of clients. This is the life of a media representative. Shar will never watch TV for the program, listen to the radio for the music or read a newspaper for an article. It’s all about the advertising for her. Shar's journey started in April 1997 at The Jotter and has progressed forward to her current position as the Sales Manager of WCLO and WJVL radio in Janesville. There have been other stops in her journey with digital advertising sales, newspaper sales, and billboard. Radio is where it is at for Shar. She loves the promotions, the people, the community, and the excitement that radio brings. Her family includes her husband, a Safety Manager at Stoughton Trailer and two amazing daughters. Together they enjoy camping, biking and being a true Wisconsin Family they love the Packers, Badgers, Bucks, Brewers, and even the local school teams. She is excited to be serving on the AAF board of directors this year. Shar believes it is an important organization that has added depth to her marketing career. She encourages you to join AAF Madison. There are great networking opportunities, and you will learn more than you expected. Let’s get excited about the field of Marketing and Advertising all over again.
Chad Hopper - Sponsorship/Fundraising Co-Chair
Chad has been with Isthmus Publishing for nearly 15 years (with a "sabbatical" in retail sales management for one year somewhere in there), serving as account executive, sales supervisor, inside sales supervisor, and advertising manager. Prior to Isthmus, he sold advertising for small, weekly newspapers in area suburbs including Stoughton, Oregon, Fitchburg, Verona, Sun Prairie, Cottage Grove, Deerfield, and Cambridge. After one year in the Civil Engineering program at Michigan Technological University, Chad graduated from UW-Eau Claire with a double major in Journalism/Advertising and Political Science. Originally from Stoughton, he's back living there with wife, Jennifer (a reading specialist at Sand Hill Elementary School), two super intelligent and fantastically headstrong daughters, and a Black Lab. In limited free time, Chad enjoys mountain biking, trout fishing, running, hiking, the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Lake Superior, and IPAs.
Erin is an Account Executive with Morgan Murphy Media. Erin’s advocacy for responsible and responsive advertising makes her a passionate member of the Madison advertising community. Make sure you share your thoughts about AAF Madison with her. She’s on a mission to continue AAF Madison’s legacy of rewarding education, networking and professional development. She’s also game for discussions about baking, musical theater, puppy training, comedy podcasts and a real housewife of any city.
Jeffrey Jensen - Community Outreach Co-Chair
Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation
2501 International Lane
Madison, WI 53704
Kelly specializes in advertising operations at The Digital Ring. She's a former Ad 2 Madison Member. She studied at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and received a degree in Journalism (emphasis in Advertising) and Spanish.
Melissa is an account executive at Amplified Digital, the ad agency arm of Capital Newspapers and Madison.com. 20+ years in media sales, marketing strategy, and media buying fuel Melissa’s passion for great campaigns that help her clients move the needle. When she isn’t optimizing long-tail keywords and managing content, Melissa can be found chauffeuring her 2 teenagers, supporting local craft breweries (not at the same time), or catching a live music show.
Jessica began her career in the mid-90s, venturing in to her first position in advertising in the Chicago office of Foote, Cone & Belding/FCB. She started as a junior media planner, working on accounts such as John Deere. After helping found the then-start up Element 79 Partners, she moved on to OMD and worked her way to strategy supervisor on the iconic Quaker hot cereals brands as well as Dell computers. Jessica moved her family to Madison, Wis. in late 2003 and evolved into the corporate world of telecommunications. After a few years, she moved on to an opportunity at Entercom Communications as the national sales manager. Making her way back to the agency world, Jessica honed her skills at local agencies and eventually became Director of Agency Services at a mid-size advertising and marketing agency in Madison. Utilizing her previous experience and skill set, Jessica is now part of the marketing team at American Family Insurance.
With her husband Ashley, Jessica co-owns a retail specialty shop on State Street in Madison, vomFASS, and is very active in the community, serving on various boards and fundraising entities. She has two children who keep her busy, Ellen (12) and Colin (7).
Caroline Sullivan - Ad 2 Madison Liaison
Caroline is a Senior Marketing Coordinator at the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association (WFAA), where she manages many different projects. Her focuses are around Annual Giving for the University and alumni chapters around the world. As a Senior Marketing Coordinator, Caroline brings great organizational skills, humor and a love for all things Badgers. When she isn’t project managing or being involved with Ad 2 Madison and AAF, she enjoys cooking and reading. As an alumna to the University of Wisconsin - Madison, she enjoys working for the university that gave her so much joy as an undergrad.
Ashley Taylor - Networking Events Co-Chair
Ashley is a Wisconsin native and has been with NBC15 since 2009, which makes her a Senior Media Sales rep before age 30! She works with a range of local businesses and regional ad agencies to help develop effective marketing strategies with broadcast television and/or in the digital space. Se loves the fast-paced nature of the business and helping businesses reach their own goals, but mostly loves the relationships she has fostered with clients over the years. Working with great people makes the tough aspects of her job SO worth it! Ashley became an official soccer mom in 2015 and can be found (loudly) cheering on her pre-school-aged daughter at her games on the weekends, chasing said daughter in and around the Capitol during the crowded Dane Co. Farmer’s Market or Concerts on the Square, climbing in the play equipment with her at the park, Pump It Up, or any other play place that allows that or participating in fun-runs and sampling local brews whenever she can.
Brian Unitan - Hospitality Chair
Brian is a Senior Account Executive at Adams Outdoor Advertising. He has been active in the Madison media community for over 15 years, gaining extensive marketing and account management experience. Brian’s charismatic personality has enabled him to establish a strong network of contacts in both small and large businesses, and has proved very successful in delivering strong and sustained results. Brian lives in Stoughton with his wife of 16 years, their two children, and their Golden Doodle, Tucker.
Sandy is currently a retired adman. After driving a cab in New York, he spent about 40 years working in advertising in New York, Chicago, Dallas, Phoenix, Minneapolis and here in Madison. Agencies included Ted Bates, McCann-Erickson, Cunningham and Walsh, Bozell and Jacobs, GSD&M and then Hiebing here in Madison, where he was a Partner/Media Director from 1988 – 2008, when he retired. He also spent a few years on the client side of the business, with PepsiCo. Since retiring, he spent a couple of years on the board of the Madison affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, worked at the Ronald McDonald House, the Fitchburg Senior Center, and is a member of SCORE (Service Corps Of Retired Executives). On the advertising side, he has done work for the Madison Area Builders Association, Glowac-Harris and Kennedy Communications. He grew up in New York and has remained a Yankees fan. He is married, has two married children and one grandson.
Jessica Witt - American Advertising Awards Co-Chair
Sharon is the owner of Jensen Management Solutions supporting organizations with a wide array of diverse services and support. Sharon is a detail oriented leader with strengths in organization efficiency, communications, website management and bookkeeping. Sharon enjoys her quiet country setting home with her husband, two sons, yellow lab and teddy puppy. Together they enjoy their little piece of happiness in the woods with beautiful night skies.