2008 Barton A. Cummings Gold Medal Award

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2008 Barton A. Cummings Gold Medal Award Recipient: Carla Michelotti

Carla Michelotti

While Carla Michelotti believes that all worthy accomplishments are necessarily “collective/team” efforts, one that she is most proud of is her election to and her work as chairman of the AAF. In her role as chairman, Carla was influential in promoting the unification of the advertising community, encouraging communication at all levels and seeking opportunities to reinforce the varying elements of the industry.

During her time with the AAF, Carla has always had the unique ability to see the unseen potential in something and capitalize on its strengths. She recognized the value of the Chairman’s Advisory Council and assembled the members together as an active committee that serves the AAF. Carla stressed the importance of “connecting the dots” and worked to merge the issues and interests of AAF club members and corporate members—an idea that still resonates today. She has led advertising forums at national conferences and is always willing to address AAF clubs and districts. Most recently, Carla served as part of the selection committee for the new AAF president and CEO. She currently serves as chairman of the AAF government affairs committee.

The legal background and expertise Carla brings to the AAF and our community are unprecedented. Carla is recognized as one of the industry’s foremost legal authorities on a broad scope of issues pertaining to commercial speech, intellectual property and communications. She has also served as a key strategist in the development of many industry positions on topics including intellectual property, compliance, contracts, advertising regulation, free speech, privacy, the Internet and e-commerce.

Carla has been recognized and honored time and again for her commitment and service to the advertising industry. She received the IAA with a Medal of Merit in recognition of her work promoting self-regulation and freedom of speech and was named to the Today’s Chicago Woman Hall of Fame in 2003. She was named Women’s Advertising Club of Chicago’s “2003 Ad Woman of the Year” and selected in 2004 as the DePaul University’s College of Law “Outstanding Service to the Profession” honoree.

Carla has said the best professional advice she ever received was from her mother, who said, “Always tell the truth,” and “do the right thing.” In light of this, it is in truth and great confidence we can say, Carla has truly been a “right thing” for the AAF, and it is an honor to recognize her lifelong commitment to the AAF.