The Shreveport advertising community joins in the celebration of the life for one of its own. Natalie Williams Linn died July 30 after a long battle with ovarian cancer.
Natalie was one of the driving forces behind the American Advertising Federation Shreveport/Bossier chapter. In the mid- to late-1980s, Linn joined what was then the Shreveport-Bossier Advertising Federation. From the moment she became a member, the “ad club” became a prominent part of her business life.
She quickly became a board member and chaired every committee at one time. She served two terms as President, 1990-91 and 1991-92. Regardless of what title she held, Natalie always was eager to help in all club activities.
Longtime friend and associate Crystal Whitman said It is largely through her efforts and love for the club that AAFSB exists today.
“Never say die was her motto,” Whitman said. “It saddened her greatly when she was forced to step away and let others pick up the gauntlet. Being a member of the AAF on all levels filled her with pride. There will never be anyone like Natalie Linn. She was truly one of a kind. She will be sorely missed.”
Natalie loved judging the ADDY Awards. She participated many years in the massive amount of work necessary to pull off a successful ADDY competition. She often was present at Addy judging, making sure the rules were followed and the competition was as fair and unbiased as possible. She was often asked to be a judge for other clubs, traveling to wherever she was needed. She liked seeing all of the creative entries throughout the 10th District, Whitman said.
Natalie represented the local chapter at almost every 10th District Conference and Convention through the years. She actively participated in various workshops and lectures, striving to learn how to improve in her advertising profession and to enhance the quality of AAFSB, Whitman said. She always wanted to learn and pass on her knowledge.
Natalie was almost as active at the District level as she was locally. She served on many District committees, including Legislative, AES and Student Competition. She often served as the Louisiana State Representative within the 10th District. She was a strong supporter of AES (Advertising Education Sponsorship), which provides ongoing funding for student team travel and other expenses for the District competition as well as for advertising students in the District. In conjunction with AES, Natalie was a committee member for The Foundation for Advertising Education. She felt that the education and support of advertising/marketing students was of the utmost importance to keep the advertising industry strong and thriving, Whitman said.
“She was a faithful member of the Board of Directors for The Foundation for Advertising Education,” said Jim Goodnight, former 10th District Governor. “And when she could no longer travel, she served as a member of the Foundation Advisory Board. She and I always enjoyed sharing the first dance at the annual Governor's Ball.”
Natalie served many years on the Legislative committee, keeping her eye on what was happening in local and state legislatures. She made sure advertising professionals were aware of legislation that could affect the advertising profession, most particularly fighting the ongoing threat of taxing advertising services.
Natalie did not serve on any AAF National Committees, but she attended many National Conventions, especially when they were held at a 10th District Club. She often stated that the 10th District was the best in the nation.
Through the years, Natalie received many awards, both locally and at the District level. Most prominently was her Silver Medal award received locally and the AAF 10th District Sterling Silver Award she received in 2001.
Natalie worked on both the media side of the industry and the agency side. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications/Journalism from Louisiana State University in Shreveport in 1979, Natalie worked as an account executive and copywriter for Creative Services, and as the media director for Robert K. Butcher and Associates. In 1982, she joined KTAL-TV, the NBC affiliate in Shreveport, as an account executive and left 10 years later as local sales manager.
In 1992 Natalie became a partner in Pabst Creative Communications, Inc., where she served as director of radio and television production, copywriter, media planner/buyer and account supervisor.
Natalie was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in June of 2006. Her initial prognosis was three years. She fought hard and survived 12 years. She was able to witness the graduation of her daughter, Chelsea, from high school and college, as well as Chelsea’s wedding in 2017. At 2:30 am, on July 30, 2018, Natalie took her last breath. She was a fighter right to then end, Whitman said.
Natalie’s wish was for a big party where family and friends would celebrate and remember her the way her sister-in-law described her – as “an amazing woman who never met a stranger and thought of others before herself.”
The celebration of her life will be from 4 to 11 p.m. Sunday in the Paradise Theater at Margaritaville Resort and Casino in Bossier City. The AAFSB board invites all members to join in this great tribute to a pioneering member of our organization.