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Q & A with AAF D10 Governor Bill Richmond

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Q & A with AAF D10 Governor Bill Richmond

Karissa Walsworth

How long have you been a member of AAF?

My family is a 50 plus year franchisee of Wienerschnitzel, America’s Largest Hot Dog Chain. I moved to Corpus Christi in the late 80’s to take over two existing restaurants.  I had heard of this little organization called “Ad Club” and thought it would be a great idea to join and learn more about this market and the demographics.  The deep dark secrets of advertising.  That was 1987.  A year later, I was serving on the Board and quickly drank the Ad Club Kool-Aid.  Over the past 30 plus years it has been my pleasure to serve my local host club as Board Member, Treasurer, President (twice),   and serve on two District Conference committees (once as co-chair).  Oh, and yes I was crazy enough to serve as ADDY Chair not once, but twice.

 

What is your favorite annual event and why?

Without a doubt the program which thrills, inspires, and always give me a fresh perspective is the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC).  These bright, incredibly talented young people are the upcoming leaders of this industry!  I’m also very proud the AAF Tenth District financially recognizes the importance of this competition.  Please consider supporting the NSAC through the District’s Advertising Education Sponsorship fund.

On a side note, the national Day On The Hill in Washington D.C. is a powerful event.  Having face to face conversations with your elected officials and their staff is the embodiment of this organization as the Unifying Voice of Advertising.  If you have not participated, you should.

 

What industry related topics are of most interest to you right now?

Without a doubt the toughest issue ahead of not just the advertising industry but practically all industries is consumer privacy.  While consumers tell us they want all the bells and whistles the internet can provide them they also take great issue with “big brother” knowing anything about their lives. This subject is very much on our national office radar.  We are working with a very diverse group of industry leaders as well as legislators on Capitol Hill and in our state capitols.  While our position to date is to make this as much self-regulated as possible, we understand the necessity for one set of U.S. regulations as opposed to 50 state mandated laws. Several states have passed or are in the process of drafting.

 

What is the biggest goal of the organization?

To advocate ethical advertising and to protect the rights of our consumers.  At the end of the day, whether you’re a creative or an end user like myself, if we don’t have the trust and good will of our customers we are spinning our wheels.  Second to this the American Advertising Federation should always be an organization which promotes the continued growth and education of our members.

 

What can AAF members expect from District 10 this year?

Let me step back just a bit and start with the national leadership.  Steve Pacheco was named the national AAF CEO and President in June at the conference in Hollywood, Florida.  Steve has deep advertising roots and an even deeper history with AAF.  He has hit the ground running and is setting a clear path for the future of AAF.  We as a grassroots organization have to allow Steve time to project his vision on the future of AAF.  I believe it will be great.

That said, as AAF Tenth District Governor, my focus along with my entire team this year is on the health and welfare of our clubs!  We have clubs struggling!  The AAF D10 Executive Committee is focused on these affiliates.  We also have the majority of our clubs doing exceptional work.  We’re here to support and grow theses award winning programs.  We are working hard to reboot club affiliates in Abilene, East Texas, Victoria, Waco, and Lake Charles as well as start new student chapters throughout the District.

I am also very excited AAF Tenth District will present our first Mosaic Awards right before our conference in Oklahoma City in 2020!  More to come.

My theme this year is BE BOLD! Be Original to our mission and who we are as a national grassroots organization but Lead Different in this fast paced, ever changing industry we call advertising.Please know your Tenth District officers, executive committee, and myself are here to serve in anyway we can.