February 2022

Insights from Steve Pacheco

President & CEO, American Advertising Federation

At the Heart of It All

February is the month with the most heart.  It may well be the shortest month on the calendar—but it has always had the most heart, and it always will. Especially February 14th

Valentine's Day has been around since 496 AD in one form or another. And through the years, it has morphed into one of the top USA Holidays each year by all accounts.  As a matter of fact, in 2021, Valentine's Day was singularly responsible for over $21 billion in total spending on gifts, cards, flowers, candy, dinners and such.

It would seem that there's a lot of investment made in matters of the heart.

And we’ve all made investments like that.

I’ll never ever forget being in the 5th grade and saving up all of my lunch money for weeks and using it to buy an oversized Russell Stover heart shaped chocolate sampler and a big red heart shaped Valentine’s Day card (with glitter) purchased at the Rexall Drug Store near my house which I biked to after school one day to do my shopping.  All this was for my 5th grade crush—Shari Brand. 

After waiting until just the right time, I presented this thoughtful package of treats and sentiment to her nervously standing by our lockers at the end of the school day.  I asked her to be “My Valentine”…she responded by telling me to “mind your own beeswax” as she walked away with the goods. #HeartBroken

And while I don't know a lot about anatomy or cardiology…I do know that the heart is the only muscle in the human body that never stops working…that steady beat makes everything run.

The heart is the hardest working muscle in the human body. It pumps out 2 ounces of blood each and every heartbeat.  Each day your heart pumps at least 2,500 gallons of blood. The human heart has the ability to beat over 3 billion times over a person's life.

At the heart of the AAF is the AAF Staff and our volunteer leadership all across North America. They are the hardest working muscle that makes the AAF run! And just like the human heart, they never stop working and pumping and beating so that the AAF can run efficiently and effectively. They are the lifeblood of our organization and provide that steady beat that helps drive us all.

It all starts with the AAF Board of Directors Chair Tiffany R. Warren from Sony Music Group and Vice Chair Carter Murray from FCB. They set the pace and help make everything get started.  And the AAF grass roots network is led by our incredible Council of Governors Chair Larry Brantley, and Vice Chair Danielle Salley. We keep that rhythm going through our AAF Club Presidents, Ad 2 leadership, and our College Chapter leadership. We also get tremendous support from our AAF Executive Committee, the Mosaic Council, our National Executive Education Council, our Corporate Government Affairs Committee and the AAF Digital Media Committee.

That’s a lot of moving pieces, a lot of beats and rhythms—so many arteries that have to work together in unison to help make this organization’s heartbeat. And to see it all work together is pretty amazing!

Let’s all put a little extra heart in to our work this month.

February is actually American Heart Month. For info and resources on heart health, #OurHearts and self-care,  visit American Heart Month.

And for more info on heart disease and stroke, visit the American Heart Association


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 Posted: February 2022