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Providing community and professional growth opportunities for advertising professionals in central Iowa.

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.

Key Pillars


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.

Professional Development

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.

Advertising Excellence

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.

Join AAF

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.

Board Members

Chantelle Cadek


Chantelle spent the early part of her career in nonprofit marketing, leading fundraising events and communication support for the Alzheimer’s Association. This is where she developed a passion for public service – even serving on the board of the local Young Nonprofit Professionals Network group. She hung up her nonprofit hat to get her feet wet in the ad world with The Integer Group before joining the team at ZLR Ignition.

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 White

Vice President

Nathan White is the Creative Services Director at KCCI in Des Moines, Iowa. He began working in television as a News Photographer in Kentucky. After four years covering events like the Kentucky Derby and flying over breaking news in a helicopter, he transitioned to Creative Services in 2010 as a Writer/Producer at WLKY-TV. He was promoted to Assistant Creative Services Director in 2015. In 2017 he moved to Iowa to become the Creative Services Director at KCCI.

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.

Micaela Cashman

American Advertising Awards

Micaela Cashman is a video producer and writer, with more than 10 years of experience in Des Moines’ creative industry. After starting her career as a copywriter at The Integer Group and ITA Group, Micaela stumbled into the video production world, where she has produced reality dating, cooking, DIY, and trivia game shows, as well as a mini docuseries on the Battle of Gettysburg.  


Micaela holds a bachelor degree in English literature from Iowa State University and a master of business administration from University of Dubuque. This is her first year as the American Advertising Awards director on the AAF board. In her free time, Micaela loves to spend time with her nephew, attend live music events, and check out new Des Moines restaurants.

Tara Linden


Tara Linden became a member of AAF throughout her time at the University of Northern Iowa. She served as the VP of Community Outreach and further competed in the 2022 National Student Advertising Competition – District 9. Her team placed 1st in the district and 14th in the nation with their campaign for Meta Quest. After graduation, she wanted to stay involved in the organization and connect with business professionals in the metro. Tara is a Design Specialist at Pella Corporation where she creates realistic photo renderings that let you see how your home could look with new windows or doors. She’s a critical thinker with equal parts strategic and creative. 

Joanna Schroeder

Communication Co-Director

Joanna Schroeder, APR has been professionally practicing in the field of journalism and communications for more than 25 years. She kicked off her career in advertising and PR for internet start-up companies and eventually became a freelance reporter and marcom consultant with an expertise in alternative energy and agriculture.

Emily Kittle

Communication Co-Director

In college, I took an advanced grammar class with a fellow word nerd just for fun. We were the only two students there by choice. I’ve always loved writing and, more importantly, storytelling. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, majoring in communication arts.

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.

Wendy Parish

Public Service

Wendy joined Meyocks in 2021 as a digital content writer after spending 10 years as a freelance copywriter and content creator primarily serving small businesses, entrepreneurs, and creatives. She loves the support she’s found at Meyocks and enjoys the encouragement to Mean More every day.

Outside of Meyocks, Wendy spends her time making music both as a solo artist and as part of the ukulele cover band, Britches & Hose. She is also hooked on creating social media content, her ever-expanding backyard garden, and traveling the world. Her little family consists of her husband Joel, stepsons Quintin and Dyllan, cats Hex and Toby, and dog Gus.

Tom Woody


Tom has been an active member of the AAF of Des Moines board for the past six years holding a number of volunteer positions. His work in the role of government relations director has been recognized both regionally and nationally. Tom is a past president of the AAF of Des Moines and has held additional leadership positions at the regional level including Lt. Governor, National Student Advertising Competition Chair, Governor, and Chairman of the AAF District 9 Board, representing Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. 

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.

Ryan Veatch


Ryan Veatch received his M.S. in Education from Drake University and currently teaches Business Communications at Drake’s Zimpleman College of Business.  He has held many Learning, Advisory, Consultant, and Communications leadership roles in several of the top companies in the world including Pioneer, MMC, and UPS.

Ryan is a master trainer, facilitator, and public speaker.  He enjoys teaching, developing learning strategies, and improving human performance in the workplace. 

Ryan and his wife Valorie live in Clive, Iowa with their dog Remy.

Kelsey Feller

Executive Director & Treasurer

In her role as a Product Owner, Kelsey works alongside our software engineers to bring Metis and other systems to life. Prior to joining the IS team in early 2018, Kelsey served as an Account Manager at SA, working on many clients including Exmark and Lennox Industries. With the American Advertising Federation, Kelsey has served in the following positions: Public Service, American Advertising Awards, President, Treasurer and Executive Director.

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.

Elisa Bryant

Membership Director

Elisa Bryant has been an Account Executive for most of her career and has grown to specialize in building relationships. Prior to her work at OnMedia, she has been a small business owner, worked with commercial interior designers as an Account Manager for Sark Tile and has driven sales for a global wine importer. Elisa started her career at AT&T as an AE while working with national and regional third-party resellers.  In her current role as OnMedia Account Executive, Elisa enjoys helping businesses grow with the utilization of unique marketing and advertising tactics.

A Des Moines native, Elisa lives in Norwalk with her teenaged son, Holden, and their three pups: Daisy, Abbey and Chief.  Outside of work, you can usually catch her watching her son play sports (Go Warriors!), gardening, crocheting or watching the latest TV shows or movies while sipping on a glass of Pinot.

Lisa Lewis

Programs Director

Lisa Lewis has been a member of AAF of Des Moines since 2010. She served as the Executive Director for seven years, has assisted with several other roles on the board, and has been the Programs Director for the last two years.

Lisa has worked in the marketing field in different capacities and roles since she graduated from Iowa State University in 2006. She spent four years developing and executing marketing strategies for Kum & Go Corporation, then seven years as a marketing consultant and project manager, and is now the Associate Director of the Valley Community Center in West Des Moines. Lisa is passionate about connecting with and building up the advertising community in Des Moines.

Our History

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.

Our Bylaws

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