1. Our Start


    In 1966, a few marketing directors from Coast businesses and other local representatives met for lunch and began discussing the possibility of starting a Mississippi Gulf Coast chapter of the American Advertising Federation.

  2. First Luncheon


    The first luncheon of the Coast Advertising Club was held on March 10, 1967. We were the first club to be chartered by the AAF!

    Some of the first members included Nell Ducomb, Mississippi Monitor, C.C. “Tex” Hamill, editor of Down South magazine, Ray Butterfield and Blue Major of WLOX TV, Powell Glass, Jr., publisher and owner of the Sea Coast Echo and Ellis Cuevas, advertising manager of the Sea Coast Echo. At that time there were 20 to 25 members in the club led by its first president, Donald Dana, general manager, Corporate Communications, Mississippi Power.


    AAF-MS Gulf Coast Presidents

    1967-68 – Donald Dana
    1968-69 – Charles McKellar

  3. Hurricane Camille


    The devastation of Hurricane Camille in 1969 forced their priorities to shift toward rebuilding the Coast. Thus, monthly meetings stopped and eventually the club formally disbanded in 1973.


    AAF-MS Gulf Coast Presidents

    1969-70 – Gerald Bienvenu
    1970-71 – Tom Bourdin
    1971-72 – Earl Blessey
    1973-1976 – Club Disbanded

  4. Beginning Again


    With the help of the Jackson Ad Club, our club began holding meetings again in 1976 and was re-chartered in 1979.


    AAF-MS Gulf Coast Presidents

    1977-78 – Nell Ducomb
    1978-79 – Unknown
    1979-80 – Ellis Cuevas
    1980-81 – Len Giacone
    1981-82 – Unknown
    1982-83 – George “Bucky” Johnson
    1983-84 – Ben Moody

  5. First ADDY Awards Banquet


    From there it was a whirlwind of achievement, from the first ADDY® awards banquet in 1984 (Show Me Something Mister), to re-introducing the Silver Medal award in 1988 (Shirley Guice), to presenting the first Volunteer of the Year Award in 1989 (Debbie Turner).

    Our club has kept a focus on the future of the industry by recruiting students along the way. Four colleges – The University of Southern Mississippi, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, William Carey University on the Coast and Tulane University Biloxi – have been assisted by our club through annual student design competitions, scholarships, internships and public service projects.


    AAF-MS Gulf Coast Presidents

    1984-85 Kay Gough
    1985-86 – Nancy White
    1986-87 – Bill Morrison
    1987-88 – Don Moore
    1988-89 – Gary Michiels
    1989-90 – Laura Hasty
    1990-91 – Neil White
    1991-92 – Andrea Fillipi
    1992-93 – Debbie Turner
    1993-94 – Ted Fortenberry
    1994-95 – Reggie Bates
    1995-96 – Mark Sedgwick


    AAF MS Gulf Coast Shirley Guice Silver Medal Recipients

    1988 – Shirley Guice
    1989 – Bill McQuillan
    1990 – Francisco Gonzalez
    1991 – Reed Guice
    1992 – Bob Lima
    1993 – Darryl Breckenridge
    1995 – Ted Riemann

  6. Big Rebrand


    In 1996, our club officially changed its name to the Mississippi Gulf Coast Advertising Federation. But we didn’t let it go to our heads. We kept giving back to our community like always, producing award-winning campaigns for the United Way, Habitat for Humanity, The Learning Center, Hope Haven, Gaits to Success and many more. Of course all of these activities require the necessary fundraisers – everything from media auctions to raffles to shrimp boils. We strive to find inventive ways to raise financial support for the club.


    AAF-MS Gulf Coast Presidents

    1996-97 – Allen Jenkins
    1997-98 – Kendra Kimmons
    1998-99 – Scott Brady
    1999-00 – Christian Reese
    2000-01 – Ali Bass
    2001-02 – Mollie Hillburn
    2002-03 – Amber Goodwin


    AAF MS Gulf Coast Shirley Guice Silver Medal Recipients

    1996 – Jim Jenner
    1997 – Laura Hasty
    1998 – Debbie Turner
    1999 – Allen Jenkins
    2000 – Steve Singleterry
    2001 – Peter Petro
    2002 – John McFarland

  7. First 7th District Club of the Year


    In 2003, our club won the 7th District Club of the Year for the first time in our history with Amber Goodwin as president. We had a fun but very productive year with our Funky Furniture auction, Shrimp Boil and Christmas in the Gutter, not to mention great speakers and After Hour events.


    AAF-MS Gulf Coast Presidents

    2003-04 – Denise Ladner

    AAF MS Gulf Coast Shirley Guice Silver Medal Recipients

    2003 – Craig Carpenter

  8. Bringing In the Awards


    In 2004, we continued to build on an already solid foundation and not only won 7th District Club of the Year for the second year in a row but we took home Club of the Year at the AAF National level with Denise Ladner as president. The club also won the AAF G.D. Crain, Jr. Public Service Advertising Award for our public service efforts. That same year, we were honored to have our very own Laura Hasty serve as the 7th District Governor. What a stellar year for our little club!


    AAF-MS Gulf Coast Presidents

    2004-05 – Allen Jenkins
    2005-07 – Gretchen O’Boyle
    2007-08 – Pat Wylie

    AAF MS Gulf Coast Shirley Guice Silver Medal Recipients

    2004 – Morgan Dowdy

  9. Hurrican Katrina


    In 2005, another destructive hurricane (Katrina) displaced a lot of our regular members with the devastation along the entire Gulf Coast. We rallied once again and found another meeting place to hold our regular monthly meetings. Our membership has since grown and now become an even closer-knit group.


    AAF-MS Gulf Coast Presidents

    2005-07 – Gretchen O’Boyle
    2007-08 – Pat Wylie

    AAF MS Gulf Coast Shirley Guice Silver Medal Recipients

    2007 – Rip Daniels

  10. New AAF Branding


    In 2008, in an effort to solidify and further strengthen the value of the American Advertising Federation, AAF National asked that all clubs support the organizations new branding initiative. We were one of the first clubs to adopt the new AAF brand into our name and officially became AAF MS Gulf Coast.


    AAF-MS Gulf Coast Presidents

    2008-09 – Jalee Smothers
    2009-10 – Gretchen David/Jalee Smothers
    2010-11 – Gretchen David
    2011-12 – Jeff Harrison
    2012-13 – Scott Wilson
    2013-14 – Scott Yadon
    2014-2015 – Nancy Lewandrowski


    AAF MS Gulf Coast Shirley Guice Silver Medal Recipients

    2012 – Stevie McCain
    2014 – Denise Ladner
    2015 – Bonnie Blackledge

We have an amazing group of folks who volunteer their time each year to lead our club to new heights. We look forward to more great years.

AAF MS Gulf Coast Shirley Guice Silver Medal

Donald Dana, the first AAF-MS Gulf Coast president, was also our first Silver Medal recipient. At the time the award was sponsored by Printers’ Ink Marketing Communications. The AAF Silver Medal as we now present it was introduced to our club in 1988. The AAF MS Gulf Coast Shirley Guice Silver Medal as we now present it was introduced to our club in 1988.

AAF District 7: Division III Club of the Year

This honor is presented annually to ad federations who display exceptional accomplishments in club operations. Awards are presented on both the District and National level.

2002-2003  Amber Goodwin, President
2003-2004  Denise Ladner, President

AAF National: Division III Club of the Year

2003-2004  Denise Ladner, President

AAF District 7 Otis Dodge Memorial Award

2008  Denise Ladner, District 7 Coordinator

AAF District 7 Bolton-MacVicar Award

2003  Trudi Mullins

District 7 Governors from our Club

1993-1994  Linda Sherman
Served as Governor while a member of Nashville Ad Fed, but she lives here now, so we claim her!

2004-2005  Laura Hasty