Creative Matters—AAF-Houston, February 2013, Issue 17

Creative Matters

January 2013 Issue 16  

In This Issue...

Message From The Chairman

Dear American Advertising Federation-Houston Members,

February is going to be a busy month!

Cleo Franklin, Vice President – Marketing and Strategic Planning for Mahindra USA, will be our speaker at the monthly Creative Thought Leader Speaker Series Luncheon on February 20th. Cleo will tell how Mahindra was able to mix national branding with a regional dealer strategy to yield record sales. CAll 713-ADS-9999 to make your reservation, or go online to

We’re having a party! On Thursday, February 21st we will hold an “Open House” to show off our new office space donated by Norm Pegram, CEO of Premier IMS. AAF-Houston, OIH, and AD 2 Houston all have new office space located at 2299 White Street near downtown at the Taylor Street exit. Stop by between 4-7pm on the 21st to see our space and have some wine and cheese on us.

I want to thank all the people who volunteered to make our Jimmy Dale Wilson’s Traveling Old Time Southern Good Creative Revival, otherwise known as, the ADDY Gala, such a success this year. I am especially proud and thankful to co-chairs, Nicole Fellers with Locke Bryan Productions and Anna Giles with Langrand & Co. Our Creative Team was headed up by Thomas Watts of ELL, Chris Hawley, Hawley Design and Garner McCullogh with Love Advertising. Candace Pittman, president of AD 2 Houston provided many of our volunteers. Thank you to our sponsors and to everyone who participated. Congratulations to the Winners!

I will see you all at the Junior League for lunch on the 20th,


Camille Bryan

P.S. We will have another “ad guy turned artist” featured at our luncheon.

Creative Thought Leader Speaker Series: Cleo Franklin


AAF-H New Office Open House Mixer

Board Meeting at New Office

January Artist of the Month: Hunter George

Hunter George studied art, design, and photography at Virginia Commonwealth University where he earned his BFA before coming to work in Texas. As a graphic designer, he has been honored with numerous design awards from the Art Directors’ Clubs of New York,Los Angeles, Denver, Tulsa, and Houston; Communication Arts Magazine; Print Magazine; Ad Week Magazine; the Printing Industries of America; and the Dallas/Fort Worth Society of Communication Arts. He has served as past president of the Art Directors’ Club of Houston and as a member of the Texas State Board of the American Institute of Graphic Artists. Since becoming a Watercolorist, Hunter’s prize winning paintings have been featured in art galleries throughout the state of Texas where he serves as a current member of CASETA-Center for the Advancement and Study of Early Texas Art. A longtime member of the Watercolor Art Society of Houston, Hunter has had paintings accepted in the Houston International Watercolor Shows in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2012 which grants him Signature status in this society. Hunter works out of his home-studio where, along with his original watercolors, he paints commissioned orders and produces Giclee prints and custom note cards.

AEFH Scholarship Foundation Announcement

Our AEFH Scholarship Foundation is moving along at a phenomenal pace this year! We accept student applicatins from 10th District colleges and universities, and will be awarding 15 scholarships with a value of $2,000 to college sophomores, juniors and seniors attending school this fall. Applications close February 15th with a memorable AEFH Scholarship Awards Show at the April 17th AAF-H luncheon.

Rich Klein
Scholarship Chairman

OiH New Website

Let the Little Sh*t Burn!

First, let me thank everyone for your feedback on last month’s article. Perspective, process and psycho-social dimensions are obviously hot topics. Let’s continue to discuss.

This month, I’ve decided to write about another mental handicap I come across way too often in work. It’s the reactionary attitude called “putting out fires”. I have some grasp why this happens, yet it still surprises me to meet entire departments rendered impotent.

The problem goes something like this. The average work week is filled with productivity sapping inanities like email and meetings about meetings. In the struggle to feel productive it’s easy to look for small fires to put out at the cost of the harder won long term goals. Coupled with the fear of being perceived as incompetent for some minor tribulation, and you’ve got a mix for half-focused people juggling fire alarms.

“Putting out fires” is one of the subtle ways greatness gets traded for mediocrity. Stop putting out fires. “Let the little sh*t burn!” What’s the worse that can happen? Probably not that much. And I dare you to find out!

Part of the problem is, despite managerial lip service, a lot of companies don’t have or haven’t disseminated a clear strategy to achieve their advertising/marketing objectives employees can measure success against. In other words, lack of strategy equals lack of focus. A lack of focus means you don’t know what tasks will yield the most return for your company. Thus a preoccupation with putting out little fires develops.

Stop sacrificing your precious time with the small stuff. If you must, get a designated fire-putter-outer. Then, find out why you keep having all these little fires. Spend time to formulate a strategy, brainstorm BIG ideas and focus on execution. Meanwhile, let the little sh*t burn!

Next Month: I'm writng a controversial piece tentatively titled, "Is AAF-H for Old(er) People?" or "Where Are The Young Creatives?", based on conversations with many Houston creatives, young and old alike. Be sure to get your two cents in! You might be surprised by the results.

I love to hear your thoughts. Email me at

Jonah B Sanders

Jonah B Sanders

©American Advertising Federation-Houston, 2013. All Rights reserved.

Jonah Sanders
(713) 471-7519
Author: Jonah Sanders
Phone: (713) 471-7519
Category: newsletter | Sub Category: