Events Speaker Students

What is Advertising in Buffalo: Roundtable Recap

Roundtable panelists

On Thursday, April 25th, AAF Buffalo sat down at FARM—with Andy Donovan, President at dPost, Jeff Pappalardo, Post Partner/Chief Creative Officer at Crowley Webb, Jenna Hutzler, Director of Project Management at Riveter, and Josh Gumulak, Account Director at FARM—to discuss what advertising is like in Buffalo. 

For those not intimately familiar with the advertising industry, it can often be a puzzle. What exactly does a project manager or an account manager do? And what’s the role of an account executive? The creative department, with its myriad of titles, can be equally perplexing. For instance, what does a creative director even do anyway? In our panel discussion, the experts shed light on these roles and their day-to-day activities. But they didn’t stop there. They delved into various topics, from Buffalo’s unique advertising culture to Delaware Blue Hens (you had to be there).

Panelists agreed that advertising in Buffalo differs from advertising in New York City and other larger markets. Jeff, a former city dweller, noted his decision to move back to Buffalo after working there for some time, partly stemmed from the city’s cutthroat nature. Even though he felt competition could sometimes strengthen work, he shared that the best work of his career was created here in Buffalo. Andy agreed, sharing that many of dPosts clients are also picking up on this, citing that many have mentioned loving the friendly-collaborative nature of Buffalo’s advertising scene. Josh, heavily involved with AAF Buffalo’s District 2 operations, which cover New York City’s market, also noted that Buffalo’s quality of work is on par with our down-state relatives, remarking that he’s continually impressed with what our smaller, more nimble, agencies. Jenna also shared this sentiment, noting that the connected nature of Buffalo allows Riveter to tap talent perfect for the situation at hand with ease. 

Outside these topics, the panelists discussed:

  • Imposter syndrome, burnout, and other aspects of mental health in the advertising industry. 
  • How do you get that 1-3, 3-5 years of experience often required on a job application? 
  • The future of advertising as a whole, but also in Buffalo, and how we can adapt to the turbulent changes of our industry. 

Thanks to our panelists, FARM and Clarksburg Cider, for bringing this discussion to life.


ADDYS Events Students

2024 American Advertising Awards Recap – Camp Wannawinanaddy

Before we get into the whole “camp” of it all, we just gotta say: the dedication and passion from everyone who put this show together was nothing short of inspiring. Oftentimes in our industry, things can get cliquey and competitive, politics get in the way of partnerships… it’s a thing. We get it. It happens. And yes, Mr. Smith Agency, dPost, and the AAF Buffalo Board had a beautiful camp romance, but we went into this show truly wanting to make Camp Wannawinanaddy a place where we all get together and celebrate each other no matter what “cabin” you’re in. Too kumbaya? F*ck you! (Better?) But we really did wanna make the best damn show we could for everyone because we love what we do, we love what you do, and because great work deserves to be celebrated. Period. Okay, now onto the show…

Nestled amongst the Villa Maria Forest, Camp Wannawinanaddy opened for its 2024 Winter Session (although, at 60º, we hardly needed our long johns).

After months of build-up and anticipation, campers filed in by the dozens and received their final Wannawinanaddy collector pins. Decked out in shorts, flannel, and sleeping bags (we even spotted a few visitors from neighboring Camp Crystal Lake), we were treated to s’mores, PB&J’s, and coolers filled with “Mommy & Daddy drinks.” After a few hugs and “Hello’s,” Camp Director Tony ushered us from Registration, up through Brand Rapids, and into Camp Wannawinanaddy.

Once inside, Camp Creator, Frank Cappola, treated everyone to a gorgeous landscape that set the tone for a spectacular show. Our Camp Counselors, Mary, Lindsay, and Evan, kicked off the evening and we got right into the awards. It was a show that saw us celebrate tons of fellow campers for their year of hard work and creative results—including junior camper, Jennifer Lay, who took home Student Best of Show! And we honored some extra special bunkmates: Dre LoPiccolo (Future Star), Kyle Rogers (Joe Crowley Award for Service), and Crista Pfahler (Levy-Osborn Excellence in Communication). We had a sing-along, tug-of-war, there was a raccoon and a bear… it was campin’ good time.

Crowley Webb’s haul shined as bright as the stars above, taking home a truly impressive 40 awards. But smaller shops won big too – especially Abbey Mecca, taking home golds, the Mosaic Award, and Best of Show for their work with The Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park, “Two Wars: The Road to Integration.”

We’re clearly partial but this night felt like some good clean fun. And for as much as we wanna win an addy, we also wanna celebrate our friends and colleagues. Congrats to all the winners—we hope you had fun. If you wanna relive the evening, click here for the entire run-of-show or here for the full gallery.

(and it’s worth mentioning again… this show would not have happened without the massive support and guidance from Tracy Rozler at Villa, Shannon Silva, and Frank Cappola. A shout-out to all long-hours from the judges, Anibal, Chris, and Lauren. And one again to Mr. Smith for the theme and branding, the site, assembling awards, compiling the showbook… and dPost for writing the show, doing the reels, making some killer videos, and logistic-ing like you wouldn’t believe.)

Announcements Board Events Latest News

RECAP: 2023 Annual Meeting

The 2023-2024 club year is in full force and this year’s Annual Meeting was held at one of our favorite locations, Big Ditch Brewing.

Returning and prospective members had the opportunity to mingle before president Mary Pace kicked off the evening’s proceedings. After the introduction of new executive board members, and chairs the head of each committee gave the audience a taste of what to expect this club year.

We heard from:

  • Lindsay Neilson, VP of Programming on upcoming events and exciting new programs
  • Chelsey Carney, VP of Communications on where you can go to get the latest communications from the club
  • Joe Ray, Membership and Sponsorship Chair on how to become a sponsor and which membership is right for you
  • Noah Herman, Education Chair on how educational programs are back in session for students

In case you missed it, get ready for more professional development and networking opportunities with returning favorites like AdWeek, the student Portfolio Series, and the American Advertising Awards (AAA’s).

To get access to member-exclusive events and special discounts, become a member today.

Events Students Stuff


Wednesday, August 23rd was a “hump day” for the books as AAF Buffalo hosted its annual Big Tip-Off event. No, we’re not talking about tips of advice. We’re talking about bar tips that go to a good cause! That’s right, The Big Tip-Off is a night where advertising and marketing pros volunteer to bartend, and their colleagues, friends, and families tip them as they compete to raise the most money for AAF Buffalo’s Scholarship Fund.

Crowd of industry professionals talking  Crowd gathers on the rooftop of Soho as they raise money for scholarships

This year, we headed back to the beautiful rooftop of Soho. Eight people represented their companies behind the pine, where they had 45 minutes to collect as many tips as possible. To raise the most money possible, agencies did what they do best – got creative. Amanda Widzinski of Mower went with a tattoo theme, handing out tattoos for tips. Devan Brady of Ingram Micro capitalized on the Barbie craze with a signature glittery pink drink. And Andy Rose of dPost, dressed as a unicorn. We’re not sure that theme had much rhyme or reason to it, other than unicorns never go out of style.

Amanda Widzinski from Mower behind the bar covered in (fake) tattoosBy the end of the night we raised $3,800! All of the tips went directly to the AAF Buffalo scholarship fund and will be used to support high school and college students interested in continuing their studies in advertising.

So, who took home the glittery gold trophy this year?

  1. Crowley Webb came in 1st place for money raised
  2. dPost came in 2nd place
  3. and Mower came in 3rd place

Scanning the QR codes to tip their favorite bartenderHuge shout out to the participating companies for lending their bartending talents for the night and adding their own personal touches to the open bar.

  •   The Martin Group
  •   Mr. Smith Agency
  •   Farm
  •   dPost
  •   Mower
  •   Crowley Webb
  •   Ingram Micro

Thank you to all who came out and donated. It’s always fun to close out the Buffalo summer with some hot competition.

Agency bartenders dressed for the competition

It’s not too soon to practice your bartending skills for next year! 

Events Students Stuff

RECAP: Buffalo Prep Student Tour

Buffalo Prep Day kicked off Wednesday, 8/9 with 13 students from Buffalo Prep touring local agencies. The Martin Group was the first stop on the list, where the students enjoyed some breakfast and got to know some members of the agency. They heard from TMG’s creative director who spoke to them about a PUMA x Footlocker campaign that the agency worked on a while back. The students were filled with curiosity of what it’s like to work at an agency and had a variety of insightful questions.

Next stop, just on the other side of Shea’s, dPost welcomed the kids from Buff Prep and took them on a tour of the post facilities and our studio spaces. They were engaged, asked all the right questions and champed at the bit to dive into the workshops we set up. They sprinkled shredded paper in slow motion, dressed a set, and talked gear before heading to our green room to break down some of our favorite projects. They were hungry for lunch but even hungrier to learn. Still, we know better than to get between teenagers and pizza so onto Crowley Webb for a lunch ‘n learn!

Students at Crowley WebbTo end the journey, Crowley Webb was thrilled to welcome Buffalo Prep students, providing an overview of Crowley Webb, showcasing some of the recent work, and highlighting ways to get involved in the advertising industry no matter what your passions are. We finished the afternoon with pizza and a tour of our agency, including our latest video addition, CW Studios!

AAF Buffalo is proud to have a strong partnership with Buffalo Prep, providing educational opportunities for the students to learn from some of the most talented professionals in Buffalo. Until next time!



We kicked off AdWeek on October 4th with an informative panel on employee recruitment and retention!

Althea Luehrsen, CEO of Leadership Buffalo, guided our three panelists through a discussion about the challenges of recruiting and retaining employees.
Shannon Bryant, Chief Diversity Officer for Kaleida Health spoke to the challenges to bring diversity to an executive team made up mostly of racial and generational inequities. Tricia Barrett, Chief Operating Officer for Crowley Webb, discussed the different benefits, opportunities, and culture her employees are provided with to keep them satisfied, challenged, and happy while combating a highly poachable industry. And Elizabeth Woike-Ganga, Chief Executive Officer for Best Self, offered her insight into the challenges
of hiring employees and the struggle of employee retention with so many other opportunities available for clinicians.

About 25 professionals across advertising and other industries gathered in the atrium of 500 Seneca to hear what these much-credited panelists had to say, and they did not disappoint!

Thank you to Althea, Shannon, Tricia, and Elizabeth for all their fresh insight during this challenging time of employee engagement.

AdWeek Events

Recap: 2021 Speed Networking

With the entire nation facing challenges with hiring and staffing, spanning across most if not all industries, we felt strongly that everyone’s favorite AdWeek event should be brought back. Our Speed Networking event was held On Tuesday, October 5 with more than 10 freelancers and pros showing up to Jack Rabbit on Elmwood Avenue to grab a drink and chat one on one.This event is perfect for companies and agencies looking to expand their freelancer shortlist, and it’s a great way for freelancers to connect with companies that may need some new talent for their team or upcoming project. Networking has been a challenge over the last couple of years, but from the conversations and chatter that lingered past the signal to rotate we could see lasting connections forming across a variety of areas.

If Speed Networking is something you would like to see again next year, please drop us a line and let us know! We’re always looking for ways to bring value to our members, and we’d love to hear from you.

Thank you to all who joined us and we hope to see you next year!

Blog Board Events


After more than a year of meeting remotely, we were thrilled to kick off the 2021-2022 club year with a chance to share some exciting things we have in store for the coming year. The Annual Meeting took place on Tuesday, September 28 at Big Ditch Brewing Company. We had more than 40 returning and prospective members join us to hear from our committee heads about what to expect in the upcoming months from AAF Buffalo.

President Caroline Buchas kicked off the evening’s proceedings before passing to the head of each committee to give the audience a glimpse of what’s in store for the club this year.

Here are the board members we heard from:

  • McKenna Murray on how to become a member and reap the rewards of epic member benefits while supporting the community
  • Jeff Quinn on upcoming events and exciting new programs
  • Noah Herman on new educational programs just for our students
  • Maura Noonan on where you can get the latest communications from the club and engage with us
  • Chelsea Carney on the upcoming American Advertising Awards and how we will top last year (if that’s even possible!)


Be sure to mark your calendars for our AdWeek lineup that’s full of professional development and networking opportunities within the advertising and marketing community. You’ll see some repeat favorites like Speed Networking and a Skillshop, but you my be interested in a brand new type of event that gives you a chance to tour the Seneca One tower and learn more about 43 North. Of course, you can also look forward to the student Brand Hack, upcoming Skillshops and the Spotlight Speaker series, as well as the AAAs.


Access our member-exclusive events and discounts by renewing your membership or becoming a member today. We’re looking forward to another great year, see you all soon!

Blog Events


What a long strange trip it’s been! We made it through the Zoom calls, muted mics, hybrid spaces and new challenges. AAF Buffalo wanted to thank our amazing members for sticking it out through another unprecedented year by getting us back together again for one last hurrah before rounding out the club year.

To thank you for your support and celebrate all that we’ve achieved, our members-only happy hour took place on Tuesday, July 27 at Big Ditch Brewing Company. We were able to ease back into meeting in person safely without skipping a beat and finally catch up after so long being apart. Plus, we had an extra special cause for celebration…

AAF Buffalo was named Club of the Year for the third year in a row and we couldn’t have done it without our amazing members! Thank you to our members and community for supporting us over the years and attending events that bring us together. 


That’s a wrap on this year! We’ll see you next time.


Recap: Diversity Panel with Local DEI Experts DEI Panel

In honor of Pride Month, AAF Buffalo presented our DEI Panel event to create a space for conversation surrounding the importance of diversity, equity, inclusion in our industry and community.

The virtual event was led by  AAF President Josh Gumulak and held on Tuesday, June 22 via Zoom. The panel discussion featured the following local DEI experts from our community:

·      Johnathan Worden, Senior – Talent and Organizational Development, Independent Health

·      Col Volker, Senior Ad Strategist, Knightsbridge Park

·      Kyria Stephens, Director of Inclusion, Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc.

·      Molly Chvala, VP, User Experience, Crowley Webb

The audience listened in on important discussion in support of the LGBTQ+ community in the workplace, as well as passionate conversation regarding respect for others, pronoun awareness, and more. A key takeaway from listeners centered on the responsibility we all have which is to take ownership of our own awareness and educate ourselves on the challenges that exist for those around us.

AAF Buffalo was honored to have the chance to spotlight important conversations around the LGBTQ+ community and workforce. Thank you to all who joined us and we are hopeful in continuing these conversations well into the future!