Written by The Business Journal Staff
Long-time leaders in the industry and a handful of young up-and-comers were awarded for their contributions.
Al Smith, known for his years as senior vice president and marketing manager at CBS and for serving 10 years as the CEO of the Greater Fresno Area Chamber of Commerce, was inducted into the FAF Hall of Fame and received a standing ovation as he walked to the podium to be presented his award.
“We’ve had a great privilege as people in the media industry and advertising community,” Smith said. “People will joke about our commercials and I remind them that those commercials bought me a house on Van Ness extension and a very shiny black Jaguar. I love commercials. I’m not trying to impress you with everything I’m doing, but I’m trying to impress upon you that this is a great industry and if you have children coming up, get them into it and let them enjoy the benefits that we have. Thank you for this award.”
Jane Olvera Quebe, the president of JP Marketing, was also recognized as a leader with the AAF Silver Medal Award.
“At this point in my career I still have so much left to do and there is so much left undone that I feel like I have big shoes to fill now that I’ve received this award,” Quebe said.
Other big players honored were Jan Edwards, the director of development and marketing for the Central Valley Women’s Conference and a lecturer at Fresno State, who received the J.U. Berry Award; Jessica Blanchfield, the owner of Archer and Hound Advertising, who received the Nancy Thielen Award; and ABC 30, which was named Media Company of the Year.
Startup software company Benchmark Intelligence, led by 27-year-old CEO Eric Santos, was also recognized with the Ralph E. Brown award.
Other young professionals honored were Kari Larson, the Media Planner of the Year, Joshua Krause, the Creative Talent of the Year, Denis Sislain, the Outstanding Media Salesperson of the Year and Mia Villarreal, the individual Rising Star award winner. Marketing Plus was also honored as the Rising Star Company.
The FAF also paid tribute to the late Cliff Davis, one of FAF’s key supporters, who passed away earlier this month.