HAF Honors Members Who Embody the Spirit of the Organization

The Houston Advertising Federation presented appreciation awards at the monthly luncheon in June 20, 2007 to some of those who've mattered most to the progression and thriving spirit of HAF and Only in Houston (OiH).

Anne Iverson was honored as the Distinguished Service Member and the Spirit of HAF recipients were Natalie Gonzalez, Troy Burwell, Becca Castillo, Jay Janecek and Dave Henry. Thank you and congratulations! Your hard work, time and efforts are appreciated.

In addition, Jay Janecek, HAF chairman, presented Lou Congelio, former HAF chairman, with a special HAF Award in Appreciation of Outstanding Leadership. Ann Iverson presented Lou with a gift recognizing the three years he devoted to lead the OiH initiative. The award, a Tiffany-designed, crystal prism engraved with the OiH logo, simply read "Creator & Champion, 2007" which suits Lou perfectly, as he is that, and more.

For over twenty years Lou Congelio has been a dedicated member of HAF, serving nearly the last two years as chairman. Initially inducted as the program chair,Lou saw an immediate need to bring national advertising and creative experts to speak at HAF functions to share their knowledge and expertise. He began to bring in extremely talented and well-known speakers that he respected, admired, and knew would be beneficial to the Houston creative community.

OiH emerged from one of the 2004 HAF programs Lou organized. Both innovative and fresh, the "Made in Houston: A Sign of Quality or No Budget" luncheon hosted a "round table" concept where a collective of Houston's creative industry leaders met and openly discussed the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities of the Houston creative community. This luncheon initiated the setting of a new standard and opened the doors for the passionate, eclectic, and innovative values that OiH, Lou's "baby," has come to represent.

The nationally known and accredited OiH website has become "an easy one-stop source" for finding Houston's brightest and best creative talent. "The talent is here in Houston," says Congelio. Both old and new have a place to connect and shine at OiH. It is a great resource with over 60 advertising agencies, 80 designers, and 100 other creative categories, such as production, photography, and more listed. You are sure to find what you are looking for whether it's talent, a job, or just the latest news on what's happening in the Houston creative community.

Sadly, Lou is stepping away from OiH, or so he says, to allow the vision and energy of "people smarter than me" to take it to the next level.

So, what has Lou Congelio gained in his 20 years with HAF and three with OiH? "Growth as a human being, both personally and professionally," says Congelio. And what advice does the former HAF chairman have for the next? "Keep evolving and stay relevant to the community, and last, but not least, "DELEGATE, DELEGATE, DELEGATE -- no one can do it alone."

Charlissa Holman
Author: Charlissa Holman
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