Adfed & Addys

By Ben Kaluski

What is AAFWMI aka the Adfed?

It’s a local club in West Michigan to support everything the advertising industry has to offer. The Adfed puts it best, “In other words, if you’re in advertising, we’re your people. We have the same goals professional growth, creative integrity, and industry vitality and our community is the epicenter of everything advertising.” The club puts on casual networking events and brings in local and nationally well-renowned professionals in the industry to speak. 

…Sounding familiar?

Yep, they are essentially our (GVSU Advertising Club) big brother in every way. They look after us and provide invaluable networking and priceless opportunities; including their internships (we will get to that in a bit). The Adfed works on a professional level, and a much larger and significant scale.

In addition to the similarities to our Advertising club, the Adfed puts on an incredible award ceremony.  Once a year a party is held to recognize the greatest talents and illustrious work from West Michigan at the Addys (American Advertising Awards). 

Addys, American Advertising Awards

Photo Credit: Dan Irving











The Process – To simplify a complicated and rigorous process, there are a few parts to it. It begins with getting entries from both students and professionals, then the organization of the entries in several categories (this year there were 461 entries by students and professionals). This is then followed by the most crucial element of the process, judging. This year there were some incredible judges who could be found in many inspiring magazines, such as Ad Age and Ad Week. After the judging comes to a close, the work is put on boards in preparation to be displayed for the big night… along with organizing EVERYTHING from the building, to liquor and food, to volunteers and everything in-between. 

*Big shout out to Pam for heading this year’s Addys, yet again*

Photo Credit: Dan Irving

On to the show

This year the Addys were on February 25 in the UICA building. The show started off with the 4th floor consisting of the award-winning work placed neatly all around for everyone to see. Professionals and students gathered and basked in their achievements to celebrate the great talents West Michigan has to offer.

The fifth floor celebrated the digital work that could not live in all its glory on a single board. It also recognized this year’s AAF Silver Medal Award winner Rob Jackson, from ECP – Extra Credit Projects.

Photo Credit: Dan Irving

After a few hours of mingling and ripping down some food and beverages, came the show developed by Chop & Hue. The show was held in the movie theatre and presented all the awards to the well-deserved recipients. The reel went through all the awards and everyone celebrated their achievements. It concluded with the moment the entrants were waiting for, Best of Show. This year’s professional winner was Chop & Hue for “Career Day” and the student winner was Zak Sturgeon for  “Happy Tacos”.

It’s truly an experience that you have to witness for yourself. 

Check the Mlive article for full winner details and info of this year’s event. 



Every year the Adfed opens up opportunities to our Advertising Club for internships. This year there are 3 interns for the Adfed: Jessica, Hunter, and myself. The internship provides an incredible experience in their membership, communications, and event planning committees. Interns attend board meetings and help AdFed develop and maintain all their incredible glory throughout the year. This internship program does not only provide valuable experience across several areas of advertising, but it offers priceless networking opportunities. Each event that Adfed holds, brings the whos who of local Ad pros to mingle with. If that isn’t enough, they also put the icing on the cake with letters of recommendations for the intern’s hard work.

Letters of recommendations + the skills learned from the internship + the networking opportunities = the ideal internship. 

I could go on for days about Adfed and their opportunities, but come see for yourself and join us for a beer at our next Ads & Ales event 


Photo Credit: Adfed

One thought on “Adfed & Addys

Add yours

  1. Ben,
    Great post! It’s very fulfilling that the AdFed is able to provide students with such a positive experience and insider’s glimpse into the world of advertising. Speaking for the AdFed board, we love you guys!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: