What We Do
AAF of Des Moines is a dynamic, growing organization dedicated to professional development and networking in Des Moines and Central Iowa. We’re committed to:
- Fostering higher standards of practice in advertising.
- Expanding recognition of advertising.
- Furthering the personal and professional knowledge of persons in advertising.
- Promoting good fellowship among advertising persons.
AAF of Des Moines has the unique opportunity to represent the Central Iowa advertising community as a united front. We want to keep advertising dollars in our local economy, and we’re beginning an initiative to heighten awareness of our local talent with key business leaders.
It’s not just about finding your next job. It’s about making connections that can be valuable to your business and your career.
Continuing education is critical for everyone. We strive to offer high-caliber speakers relevant to our industry while staying on top of trends and key changes.
Let’s party and celebrate great advertising! Our hallmark event – the American Advertising Awards® – happens each February as we celebrate the creative achievements of our community and showcase what Central Iowa can do.
Who We Are
The American Advertising Federation of Des Moines belongs to the Ninth District, which includes clubs in Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas. A portion of each member’s annual dues investment is allocated to support AAF efforts on our behalf at both the district and national levels.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with majors in marketing and entrepreneurial management from Drake University. Before being elected as the Public Service Director, she served as an AAF Ambassador. In her free time, you can find her spending time with her husband, son, and three pets, enjoying live music, and volunteering.
Nathan’s team has been honored with three regional Emmy nominations and a ProMax nomination during his tenure. They were recently honored with a silver American Advertising Award by the Des Moines chapter of the American Advertising Federation.
Jess has worked in advertising since she graduated from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. Her first five years were spent at ZLR Ignition in various media roles. Jess spent the next two years as Media Supervisor at Two Rivers Marketing. She returned to ZLR in November 2016 where she is now the Digital Media Strategy Lead. Jess works across B2B and B2C clients at ZLR.
I started as a police reporter at the Telegraph Herald in Dubuque, Iowa. I eventually wrote stories and designed pages for the TH’s features department. Today, I work remotely as a content development specialist at Dupaco Community Credit Union, headquartered in Dubuque. (Dupaco recently opened a branch in Grimes, Iowa!) And I’m still telling stories. I create content focused on financial well-being—leading with members’ stories whenever I can—for our website, eNewsletters and other channels.
I live with my husband, three children and two squirrel-obsessed cockapoos. We long dreamed of living closer to family. And during the pandemic, we seized the opportunity, moving from Madison, Wis., to West Des Moines, Iowa. We’ve loved exploring our new community with some longtime residents, my sister and her children.
This year Tom joined the AAF Central Region Board, representing clubs in middle America, as Vice Chair. Professionally, Tom works at Freeman, a global agency and leader in events. Tom works with creative agencies and corporate clients to find creative solutions around their events, trade shows, experiences, and activations across the country.
Outside of work and AAF, Kelsey is the proud wife to Adam and has two sons, Riley and Hudson. She enjoys chasing her kiddos and staying active through CrossFit and running. Kelsey has Bachelor degrees from Buena Vista University in Marketing and Graphic Design and her Masters in Business Administration from the University of Iowa.
While the American Advertising Federation of Des Moines has been in existence since 1978, our past goes back as far as the early 1900s.
A team of 23 of the most innovative Des Moines advertising professionals formed the Des Moines Ad Club to address the challenges facing our young industry.
With a membership of 36, the group changed its name to the Advertising Club of Des Moines, Inc.
The Women’s Advertising Club was formed by 74 female professionals and the club became Iowa’s first chapter of the American Advertising Federation (AAF) in 1950.
The men’s and women’s clubs joined efforts to form the American Advertising Federation of Des Moines.
Our members come from every area of advertising, marketing and communications. We are affiliated with AAF, the only national organization to represent the interests of all factions within the marketing profession at the local, state and national levels. American Advertising Federation of Des Moines continues its student outreach and community service activities, and is responsible locally for The American Advertising Awards® each year.