AdWeek Events


And just like that, it was day three of AAF Buffalo’s annual Adweek. On Wednesday, October 6 our members gathered together at the famous Seneca One tour to learn about the happenings at 43North and a full tour of the new and improved building. 

To kick-off the evening, participants were invited to enjoy a drink at the Seneca One Lobby Bar before heading up to the 24th floor for a fun visit with 43North. The one and only Maura Devlin,    vice president of marketing and public relations at 43North provided an informative presentation of all the great work the company is doing to build a strong startup and tech ecosystem within the city. Members were able to participate in a Q&A to learn more about the creation of 43North and what’s to come for Buffalo. 

Following the Q&A, members received a tour of Seneca One and got a live-look of the stunning views of downtown Buffalo. A shout-out to Joe Konze of Seneca One for providing an inside look into how the building has become the new wave of energy downtown and then most anticipated development in the city’s modern history. 

A huge thank you for everyone who attended or participated in any of this year’s AdWeek events! For more info on all of our programming for the club year, check out

Not a member? No worries! You can get access to member-exclusive events and special discounts by becoming a member today.



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!



The Big Tip-Off Returns!

On August 26th, AAF Buffalo hosted its annual scholarship fundraising event, The Big Tip-Off! Local advertising and marketing professionals alike were thrilled about the return of the annual event after putting the 2020 event on hold due to COVID-19 concerns. This year, the event was held at Sky Bar, one of Buffalo’s longtime favorite rooftop bars. 

Eight of Buffalo’s top agencies (and a local copper manufacturer) elected an employee to serve as a “celebrity bartender” during the event, leading to a fun night of friendly competition, gimmicks, and partying under the stars. And for the first time ever, we offered digital tipping via Venmo to reduce cash handling!

$5,500 was raised in total – breaking the annual fundraising event’s all-time record! AAF Buffalo’s scholarship fund supports the local advertising community by awarding local high school and college students annually. 

So, who won bragging rights for the most tips you ask?

  • Crowley Webb came in 1st Place.
  • FIFTEEN came in 2nd Place.
  • And Mower came in 3rd Place!

Aurubis Buffalo, a local copper manufacturer earned an honorable mention for coming in 4th place as the only non-agency represented! 

Shannon Polvino, Public Relations Project Manager at Aurubis Buffalo

Thank you to the participating companies for lending their bartending talent for the night. And kudos to everyone who attended, donated, or tipped from home!

  • Luminus
  • The Martin Group
  • Crowley Webb
  • 19 Ideas
  • Mower
  • Mr. Smith Agency
  • FARM
  • Aurubis Buffalo



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!

Events Students


The second virtual Student Portfolio event was a total success! Thanks again to our wonderful professional volunteers and student participants for your patience and for dedicating the time to make this event happen.

Although many of AAF Buffalo’s events have taken a virtual spin, that has not stopped us from providing support and resources to our student network in the most important time of their life – exiting college and entering the professional world.

The 2021 Student Portfolio review was conducted through Zoom Breakout Rooms. Registered students had fifteen minutes with each professional where they had the opportunity to share their work, ask questions, and network.

Similar to last year, each Breakout Room nominated a student portfolio of their choice and selected students received a cash prize. Many colleges and universities were represented including Rochester Institute of Technology, Villa Maria College, Daemen College, and Buffalo State College. Congratulations to all the winners:


Henny Zack, Villa Maria College

Laurie McMurray, Buffalo State College 

Kelsey Sikora, Villa Maria College

Zachary Nosbisch, Daemen College


Thanks again to everyone who participated. We look forward to the 2022 event, hopefully, it can be in person!

Events Students


Each year, AAF Buffalo hosts a scholarship competition honoring the late Buffalo great, Don Nichols. Don Nichols began teaching at the Albright Art School. He founded its Graphic Design Program in 1950 and brought it to UB where, until his death on July 7, 1987, he served as the program’s head and an extraordinarily dedicated teacher. He educated hundreds of graphic designers, a number of whom attained national prominence. Nichols received the Osborn Award for Creative Excellence from the Art Directors/ Communicators of Buffalo and the Chancellor’s Award  for Teaching from UB in 1982.

The scholarship competition was open to all Western New York undergraduates in design, writing, communications, illustration, photography, and fine arts. This year’s theme had students reimagine their take on the year 2020. Entries were judged by a panel of professionals from Crowley Webb. And the results are in.

Please join us in congratulation this year’s winners!

Events Industry Updates Speaker


“Together we will see it through”

If you’ve been going for a lot of walks in the neighborhood lately (because what else has there been to do?), we’re sure you have spotted these flags hanging in the doorways and windows of your neighbor’s homes created by local pennant manufacturer, Oxford Pennant. The message “together we will see it through” is more than just a feel-good statement. These words gave us something to smile about during a time when many of us were feeling scared, lonely, anxious, and a host of other unsettling emotions over the last 13+ months.  So first, we would like to sincerely thank Oxford Pennant for helping us bond together as a community, while instilling in a hope, resiliency, and a sprinkle of joy when we needed it most.

On Tuesday, April 27th, AAF President, Josh Gumulak and board member Sarah Warner had the pleasure of interviewing Dave Horesh, co-founder of Oxford Pennant at Jordan Lema’s Lemur Studios on Main Street downtown. And while we were right across the street from the Oxford Pennant store, the interview was conducted virtually (what times we’re livin’ in) so that Dave could carry on his fatherly duties while simultaneously wowing us with his knowledge and expertise as an entrepreneur, business owner, and marketing and branding expert.

The interview honestly felt like chatting with an old friend. Dave is fun, relaxed, passionate and an incredibly insightful person. In an hour’s time, we covered everything from how Oxford Pennant got started, what the company’s structure looks like today, to where he sees it going in the future (they’re committed to Buffalo)! He shared how they have successfully built and expanded their brand through Instagram, some things he’s learned in his travels that Buffalo could benefit from, and his best advice for those with aspirations to start their own business.

We had a blast talking with him and we hope our listeners enjoyed it just as much! Learn more about AAF, membership perks and upcoming events at or follow us on social @AAFBuffalo.