About

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

Advocacy

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.

Networking

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

President

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.

Jess Kennedy

American Advertising Awards

Jess Kennedy became a member of AAF in 2010 and quickly became involved in the organization. Jess has served as an ambassador, American Advertising Awards Director, Programs Director, Vice President and President. Currently, she is the AAF of Des Moines President. Jess served three terms as president and helped the club through COVID and virtual events.

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.

Lisa Lewis

Programs

Jenny Cross

Communication Co-Director

Jenny Cross is the CEO and Founder of TwoTone Creative, full-service marketing and design agency in West Des Moines. Over the last 7 years, Jenny has grown TwoTone into an 18-person team that creates StoryBranded marketing, websites and branding for a variety of organizations. She enjoys spending her days strategizing with clients new and old, caring for the TwoTone team, and paving the way forward for their clients’ and TwoTone’s future. When not in the office, you can find her spending time with her favorite human and husband, Jake, and their two daughters – Piper and Amelia.

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.

Jordan Hildreth

Public Service

My name is Jordan Hildreth, I was born and raised in El Paso, Texas and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. Hook Em’. I moved up to Des Moines, Iowa in 2015 after having visited a few times and falling in love with the city. I have had far from a linear journey to get to OnMedia but I have loved every second of learning the job. I was attracted to the Public Service Director on the board because in my previous life I worked for Des Moines Parks and Recreation and was lucky enough to work with a number of Nonprofits in the Metro and want to bring that knowledge to this team. I have a lot to learn but I’m excited to get started and can’t wait to see what comes of this year.

Tom Woody

Government

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.

Sarah Walkup

Membership

Sarah is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa. Her aunt, Pepper Ricci, vetted her at a young age to get into advertising, so after graduation, Sarah began her marketing career. For 15 years she created and sold comprehensive marketing campaigns to small, medium and large businesses in the Des Moines area. She started her TV profession at The WB (working through the transition to the CW) and then on to WHO TV for 7 years.

Sarah took a step back from advertising to challenge herself to learn something new. She worked directly with local builders, contractors and their customers on designing and implementing home selections for new construction and remodeling projects for 6 years. All the while, she got her real estate license and practiced real estate on the side.

A new challenge is great for the soul, but her passion lies in marketing and advertising. Sarah recently started her career as a Multimedia Marketing Consultant with KCCI and Hearst Communications. She’s honored and excited to be on the AAF Board!

Ali Kauffman

Education

Ali Kauffman is an Account Executive at Meyocks, where she started as an intern after graduating from Iowa State University in May 2007. She works with clients in both the food and health categories and enjoys the fast pace and collaboration with team members to help clients Mean More. She served as the Education Chair on the AAF board for the past two years. Ali is married to Ryan and keeps busy with their four children Noah, Berkley, Nash and Evie.

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.

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.

1908

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.

1914

With a membership of 36, the group changed its name to the Advertising Club of Des Moines, Inc.

1949

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.

1978

The men’s and women’s clubs joined efforts to form the American Advertising Federation of Des Moines.

Today

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