5 Questions with... John Cornthwait - AAF Roanoke

5 Questions with… John Cornthwait

“5 Questions with… ” is AAF Roanoke’s new series featuring area experts, industry leaders and all around interesting characters in the advertising field.

In this post, we’re highlighting John Cornthwait, who oversees design and programming services at Firefli Media, and is also AAF Roanoke’s official web geek.


John CornthwaitHow long have you worked in the advertising industry?

I started freelancing during my senior year at Roanoke College in 2003, so I’ve officially been around for a decade!

What is the first memory you have of working on a project and thinking to yourself “THIS is what I want to do for a living”

When I worked for The Orvis Company, one of my jobs was to be the liaison between the Roanoke operation center and the buyers, who were based out of the corporate office in Manchester, Vermont.

Part of the job included going to Manchester to meet with buyers and review upcoming product releases, catalog editions, etc. During one of my trips, the new Orvis brand was being presented to the executive team. I didn’t know what that meant, but I was invited join them.

As I sat there listening to the agency present Orvis’ new position, describe the ideal customer, and talk so elegantly about how the company’s logo from the 1890’s had inspired the new brand… I was hooked. I knew immediately that was the field where I had to work.

Mac or PC?

Both! As someone who works in web development, I’m eternally chained to Internet Explorer for website testing.

How are you involved with AAF?

I first got involved at the Ad 2 level during my senior year at Roanoke College when I signed up for a shadow day at The O’Connor Group. I was an Ad 2 member for years, then eventually graduated to AAF, where I’ve been a part of the local board in a variety of capacities for several years.

What’s one talent most people don’t know you have?

I’m a pretty good crocheter! Last year I noticed that my hands and fingers were stiff (presumably from the death grip I hold my mouse with), so I tried to find a hobby that would help me loosen my hands and clear my head. Crochet does both, and I’ll never have to buy another dishcloth!