Leadership Conference

Future Focus

AAF District 3 Leadership Conference

April 12-13, 2024 | VCU Brandcenter, Richmond, VA

Marketing and advertising is changing at a rapid pace. If you want to stay on top of the game, you must think with a FUTURE FOCUS. AAF District 3 is hosting a day of professional development sessions to help energize you and your team as you think about what’s next. From artificial intelligence to branding to creating an inclusive workplace, there’s something for everyone.

Tickets include every session, lunch, and access to the awards showcase. JUST $75 ($25 students)!

The AAF District 3 Leadership Conference will bring together ad and marketing pros from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.

  • The Friday schedule includes professional development sessions and keynote speakers to help energize your creative brain or team. (You do not need to be an AAF member to attend.)
  • The Saturday schedule is designed for current and future AAF leaders and club members who want to learn how to propel their organizations forward.
  • The event coincides with the National Student Advertising Competition district finals, with students from schools in three states presenting their Tide pitches.


April 11-13 at VCU Brandcenter

April 11 (Thursday): Happy Hour

  • 6 pm: Happy hour and networking (free!) at Tarrant’s

April 12 (Friday): Leadership Conference & Awards Show

  • 8 am: Breakfast and Networking
  • 9:30 am: Tourism Marketing and Advertising: Created in 1969, “Virginia is for Lovers” has stood the test of time as one of the longest-standing tourism brands. Join Lindsey Norment, the Brand Director for Virginia Tourism as she shares how “Virginia is for Lovers” transformed from a simple slogan into an iconic and enduring brand. This session will delve into the history of the brand, explore the impactful campaigns created by Virginia Tourism and share insights into the strategic steps taken to maintain the brand’s relevance over the years.
  • 10:30 am: The Role of Culture in Inclusive Advertising: As the world changes, is advertising lagging behind? If the agency doesn’t match the consumer demographics, can the work still be impactful? In this interactive session with The Adversity Group, come prepared to experience inclusion in action and leave with an informed perspective on the future of advertising.
  • noon (with lunch): Brands at the Speed of Culture: This 45-minute talk dives straight into the modern marketing playbook that helps brands break through and thrive in culture. Based on his experience in creating some of the world’s most admired brands, Dominik Prinz-Barley unpacks what it takes to read the signals that lead to bold creative and branding, explores how to inject those insights into award-winning campaigns – and, by using real-life examples from his work as Google’s Head of Brand, lifts the curtain on the blueprint that has shaped one of the most beloved brands of our times.
  • 2 pm: The Designers Guide to Animation Workshop with M3:GRAFIX: This hands on workshop is for people who have always wanted to learn how to add animation to their projects. No design experience is needed. Bring your laptop and a 3-button mouse and get ready for a fun time diving in to the world of animation. Attendees of this session are encouraged to download Blender, the free animation software at https://www.blender.org
  • 3 pm: Why You Need an AI Philosophy: AI-based tools and platforms, from generative tools like ChatGPT or Midjourney to predictive analytics and workflow automation hold great potential for marketers and marketing teams, but their true power can only be unlocked by having a clear plan to operationalize them. This requires having a clearly-defined strategic approach to how AI and its applications will be assessed, adopted, and evaluated within the business.
  • 4:30 pm: District 3 Awards Showcase

April 13 (Saturday): AAF Leadership Conference

  • 8:30 am: NSAC Presentation
  • 9:30 am: Club Operations and Programming (Danielle Salley)
  • 10:30 am: Membership & Financial Health (Carrie Cousins)
  • 11:30 am: Club Achievement (Whitney McCormac)
  • 12:30 pm: Becoming a Ghost Boss: Stories About the Freelance Afterlife: Have you ever wondered what it’s like to quit your job at the midpoint of your career and start freelancing full-time? Well, there’s a weekly podcast where two graphic designers, Eva Foussat and Danielle Salley, share their experiences of doing just that called “Ghost Boss: Stories About the Freelance Afterlife.” Join Danielle Salley and Eva Foussat live to learn tips on effective time management, mental health improvement, and creative process enhancement for both freelance and non-freelance creatives. Curious about what to expect? Listen to “Ghost Boss: Stories About the Freelance Afterlife” on your favorite podcast app. 
  • 2 pm: Awards (Rashell O’Neal)
  • 3 pm: District 3 Business Meeting

April 11-13: NSAC (Student Competition)

  • April 11: Checkin and practice
  • April 12: Student presentations (all day)
  • April 13: Winning team to present


Rooms at The Graduate in Richmond are available at a discounted rate. The last day to book is March 12. (Overnight parking is $32.)



Dominik Prinz-Barley, Google

Brands at the Speed of Culture

Dominik Prinz-BarleyDominik Prinz-Barley is a global, purpose-driven, and industry-recognized C-Suite leader with over 20 years of experience in marketing, business strategy, creative direction, and building some of the world’s most admired brands: Google, Porsche, AT&T, Nissan, (Red), Microsoft, and many others. After holding leadership positions in global brand consultancies like BBDO, Interbrand, and others, and is currently the Head of Brand at Google. Dominik has been described as an impatient optimist – and is a firm believer that the integration of business and purpose is a way for brands to create meaningful, positive change.

He lives in Richmond, VA, with his husband and their two year old son Maddoxx, who makes sure they both stay curious at heart!

Greg Kihlstrom, The Agile Brand

Why You Need an AI Philosophy

Greg KihlstromGreg Kihlström is a best-selling author, speaker, and entrepreneur, and serves as an advisor and consultant to top companies on marketing technology, marketing operations, customer experience, and digital transformation initiatives. He has worked with some of the world’s top brands, including Adidas, Coca-Cola, FedEx, HP, Marriott, Nationwide, Victoria’s Secret, and Toyota.

He is a multiple-time Co-Founder and C-level leader, leading his digital experience agency to be acquired by the largest independent marketing agency in the DC region in 2017, successfully exited an HR technology platform provider he co-founded in 2020, and led a SaaS startup to be acquired by a leading edge computing company in 2021. He currently advises and sits on the Board of a marketing technology startup.

Greg has had multiple bestselling books, including his 10-part Agile Brand Guides series on marketing technology platforms and practices. His most recent book, the best-selling House of the Customer (2023) discusses the 1:1 personalized customer experience of the future, and how brands can organize the people, processes, and platforms that enable it. His award-winning podcast, The Agile Brand with Greg Kihlström, now in its 6th year with over 450 episodes and 2 million downloads, discusses brand strategy, marketing, and customer experience with some of the world’s leading experts and leaders.

Greg is a contributing writer to Fast Company, Forbes, MarTech, CustomerThink, and CMSWire, and has been featured in publications such as Advertising Age and The Washington Post. Greg has been named #1 on its list of the Top Global Marketing Thought Leaders by Thinkers 360, was named one of ICMI’s Top 25 CX Thought Leaders two years in a row, and a DC Inno 50 on Fire as a DC trendsetter in Marketing. He’s also participated as a speaker at global industry events and has guest lectured at prominent universities and colleges.

Shameka M. Brown and Julius Dunn II, The Adversity Group

DEI Workshop

Over the last 15 years, Julius Dunn II of The Adversity Group has worked relentlessly to introduce innovative, grassroots initiatives to welcome the diversity needed within advertising and media in the 21st century. His contributions have helped create a workforce which more authentically represents society and equal opportunity across gender, religion, socioeconomics and race. His commitment has also earned industry honors as an ADCOLOR Award Recipient, early in his career.

Now a certified practitioner of the Team Diagnostic Survey (TDS) and the Neethling Brain Instruments® (NBI®), this graduate of Florida State University leverages neuroscience to introduce mindfulness in the workplace and was most recently certified as an Ayurvedic wellness practitioner through the Chopra Center. Intent on integrating wellness with executive coaching, Julius hopes to provide holistic support for the clients and community he serves.

As a 20-year veteran of the advertising industry, Shameka Brown has shifted her creative focus toward executive coaching and leadership development. As a thought partner, she is now using innovation and her award-winning creativity to help support the most important business resource there is: the talent.

Shameka is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Syracuse University. She later earned her master’s degree from the VCU Adcenter and her coaching certification from Columbia University. Shameka has earned a certification in the Foundations of NeuroLeadership from the NeuroLeadership Institute (NLI.) She is also a certified practitioner of the Neethling Brain Instruments® (NBI®,) Team Diagnostic Survey (TDS) and the Hogan HPI, HDS and MVPI assessments.

Lindsey Norment

Virginia is for Lovers

lindsey normentLindsey Norment serves as the Brand Director for the Virginia Tourism Corporation. In this capacity, she leads the Brand department to strategically execute the vision of the iconic Virginia is for Lovers brand with the goal of increasing visitation to Virginia. Ms. Norment has over 15 years of experience in marketing and communications, including 11 years at Virginia Tourism. She is a graduate of James Madison University, where she studied Media Arts and Design and recently earned an MBA at the University of Richmond.

In her free time, she enjoys cooking and baking, visiting Virginia wineries and hanging with her dog, Libbie.

Danielle Salley & Eva Foussat

Becoming a Ghost Boss: Stories About the Freelance Afterlife

Danielle Salley and Eva Foussat are co-hosts of a new podcast called “Ghost Boss: Stories of the Freelance Afterlife.

Danielle Salley is a freelance creative director and designer with a background in branding, advertising, and web development. Located in South Carolina, Danielle has nearly 20 years of experience working in the advertising industry. In 2023, she decided to take the leap and start her own company, Danielle Salley Creative.

Her passion for advertising is seen through her dedication to the American Advertising Federation. Through this organization, she has been awarded National President of the Year (2014), Member of the Year (2016), National Governor of the Year (2020), and is a Silver Medal recipient (2021). She currently serves on the AAF National Board of Directors and the AAF Council of Governors Executive Committee.

Outside of the office, Danielle enjoys playing tennis, riding her Peloton (#RideSalleyRide), and enjoying quality time with her husband, Will, and daughter, Genevieve.

Eva Foussat is an award-winning creative director who has been working in the Columbia, SC area for more than 20 years. From brand launches to copy editing, healthcare to roller derby, on the web and etched (literally) in stone, she has worked on it all. She currently owns her own design and marketing company, Eva Foussat Creative, which she started in early 2020. Her previous roles include creative director for the South Carolina Hospital Association and graphic designer at Lexington Medical Center.

Eva has served on a number of boards in her career and is currently president of AAF Midlands. Her other board service has included the Columbia QuadSquad Rollergirls, the Carolinas Healthcare PR & Marketing Society, AAF District 3 and Trustus Theatre. She holds professional memberships with the Carolinas Healthcare PR & Marketing Society, AIGA South Carolina and AAF Midlands.

Eva is from the San Luis Rey Band of Luiseño (Payómkawichum) Indians in Oceanside, California. Her family relocated from California when she was young, and she was raised in Aiken, SC. She moved to Columbia in 2001 to attend the University of South Carolina. She enjoys discussing beautiful typography, sharing her latest audiobook listens and debating the Oxford comma.

Register Now

Registration for this event has closed. You can access the schedule here.

Thank You

Conference partners make this event possible.


Interested in being a sponsor? Email AAF District 3.