Professional Competition Judges
Principal, Online Advantage, Austin
As a military brat, I grew up in all parts of the world, then more than 40 years ago, headed to Austin to study journalism and mass media. While at the University of Texas, I worked on concert promotions and Â discovered my love for advertising and marketing.
With boutique agencies and small production companies, I’ve been lucky enough to make a living by writing and producing radio and television spots, corporate videos, print and digital brochures, online advertising campaigns, and websites for a variety of startups and small businesses. New product launches, corporate brochures and videos, trade-show theater, attract loops and interactive kiosks for high-tech companies like IBM, Motorola, Wayport, SciComp, and Advanced Micro Devices have kept my muse working overtime.
I also got to produce a cooking show for KLRU a PR guidelines and strategies manual for Motorola; marketing materials for the Texas film production industry ; a TV pilot and cookbook for a popular Austin restaurant; a Spanish-language AdWords campaign for a Texas ranch broker targeting the affluent in Mexico City; and tradeshow comedy skits for a private Wi-Fi network in America’s largest fast-food chain.
Throughout, on projects high-tech, low-tech and no-tech-at-all, I’ve been fortunate to work with brilliant and creative people who always made me look much smarter than I am…God bless ’em!
Art Director, Amazon Fresh
A native of New Mexico who grew up in Albuquerque, Rhys graduated from The Southwest University of Visual Arts in 2009 with a degree in Graphic Design. He secured a position with Northrop Grumman a month later as a graphic designer.
Two years later, he moved to Seattle, WA to further his career options. He worked at several smaller firms before being hired on to what would eventually become Amazon.coms team responsible for global advertising operations. Amazon’s reach and influence meant working with national and international brands like L’Oreal, Covergirl, Phillips, 20th Century Fox, Sony, Samsung, Microsoft and more was a daily occurrence.
Now, six years into his career at Amazon, Rhys is Art Director at AmazonFresh; Amazon’s grocery delivery business. He creates strategies and campaigns for the likes of Martha Stewart, Tyson, General Mills, Kellogg’s and more, as well as a slew of internal Amazon brands and initiatives.
Beyond the office, Rhys very much enjoys hiking, architecture, landscape design, cycling, weightlifting, and anything and everything with green chile on it.
Director of Marketing, Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia & the CSRA
Vicki Mills started her career in marketing and advertising as the Vice President of Bright Ideas Group, a full-service advertising agency specializing in destination and tourism marketing. While there, she honed her skills in media buying and business development. Next, she joined iMedia Group as Vice President. Mills grew the company’s group of publications by serving as a business development leader and strategic marketing partner for clients. For the past seven years, Mills has served as the Director of Marketing for Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CRSA. Her impressive reign has seen year-over-year growth, the opening of new programs and the expansion of retail locations. She is responsible for the organization’s most successful fundraising campaigns and events. Mills also has a deep connection to the American Advertising Federation. Starting as a member over 20 years ago, Vicki has served on all committees, including serving several times as the ADDY chair, and at all levels of the organization including President of the Central Georgia club, a run as Governor of District 7 and, most recently, as Eastern Region Representative for the national organization. Vicki lives in Macon, Georgia with her husband Rocky and their furbaby, Bear. She’s an avid Georgia Bulldogs fan and wants you to know that they were recently robbed of their National Championship Title. #GoDawgs
Student Competition Judges
Sam Maclay is a co-founding partner and creative director of 3 Advertising in Albuquerque. Sam’s work has earned One Show pencil and merit awards as well as recognition from Communication Arts Advertising & Design Annuals, National Addys, Archive, Print Design Annuals, Cannes shortlist, How, and Shoot Magazine. Sam grew up in Albuquerque and graduated from UNM. He has worked in client business categories of all types, from start ups and mom-and-pop businesses to Fortune 500 clients, including brands such as Facebook, McDonald’s, Presbyterian, PNM, Dean Foods, Growth Energy and Constellation. He has also served on the United Way of Central New Mexico creative team.
Sam runs around his backhand in tennis, struggles to include legumes in his diet, and possess a near-encyclopedic knowledge of 80s heavy metal bands.
Zac Van Note
Zac Van Note has over 25 years of experience in graphic design, web development, marketing and communications. He has worked on a wide range of projects, including websites, mobile apps, user experience research and design, print catalogs, magazines and tradeshow booths. He is currently the manager of User Experience (UX) Research and Design for Northrop Grumman in Albuquerque. Since 1999, he has been an instructor at UNM and Santa Fe Community College, teaching a variety of digital arts classes. In 2014 he received an Excellence in Volunteerism award from Northrop Grumman for his work coaching numerous FIRST Lego League and FIRST Tech Challenge robotics teams.
An Art Director and Designer by training, Craig began his advertising career at Esparza after handling marketing and management positions at several small businesses around the Albuquerque area. A graduate of the Southwest University of Visual Arts, Craig has extensive knowledge in the areas of digital communications, print and traditional mediums, as well as print production and manufacturing.
Since joining Esparza, Craig has ascended through the creative team, starting as a Junior Art Director before ultimately becoming Creative Director. He has experiencing conceptualizing, designing and executing campaigns for a wide variety of clients in the education, tourism, gaming, automotive, healthcare, social causes, residential development, retail and financial industries.