Two well-known names in the American Advertising Federation are serving as judges this year for the AAF Roanoke Western Virginia Advertising Awards, the first step in the prestigious three-level national competition.

Jeffrey DeLong and Matt Fera bring experience with the national ADDY committee to judging with great eyes for creative. They’ve also judged district and local awards competitions multiple times and have an eye for what makes a piece of work shine.

Jeffrey DeLong

Jeffrey DeLong

DeLong was a District 3 judge in 2007 and served on the national committee for many years, running the AV side of the competition, until 2014. He’s the director of ad technology for Hearst Magazines/Hearst Autos and has worked in in the advertising, communications, and print industry since the early 1990’s.

He has served on the board of directors of numerous advertising and communications groups including local AAF chapters, AAF district boards and the National American Advertising Awards Committee.  He has been recognized regionally and nationally for his achievements in the industry.

DeLong spends most of his spare time with his partner in crime, Susan, and children Alex and Amelia. He also continues to find new ways to use both sides of his brain.

mat fera

Matt Fera

Fera says “I trademarked the phrase, ‘Let’s take this to level Fera’, in case it ever catches on.”

Matt, or Matty Fresh as he’s often called thanks to his breakdancing skills back in Michigan,

is a Creative Director at Bader-Rutter helping lead creative on Zoetis. Other clients include Western Union, Disney, Rust-Oleum, Marriott, American Express and new business. Before making the move to Chicago, he worked at numerous Detroit agencies including Doner, Campbell-Ewald, and Team Detroit. Past accounts include, Chevy, US Navy, Kaiser Permanente, Ford, Lincoln Mercury, Chiquita, La-Z-Boy, Alltel Wireless and OnStar.

A recipient of the DraftFCB employee of the month a record 9 times, he’s also helped MacGyver save the world, true story. Growing up with few friends, young Matt befriended small toys, inanimate objects and woodland creatures. He lives in Chicago’s northern suburbs where he spends time with his wife and 2 kids, and way too much time wondering why he can never tan. He also writes his own bios but wants you to think someone else is writing them so he seems important.

This year’s professional awards competition will open in December (student awards will open in mid-October).

The annual awards competition recognizes exceptional professional and student advertising created in the Roanoke and New River valleys. The American Advertising Awards honor advertising excellence in all media including online, non-traditional, print, broadcast, and out-of- home. Student judges will be named later.

Winning awards at the local level are eligible to compete in the second level of competition, the District 3 American Advertising Awards, conducted in April. District winners are then eligible for entry in the National American Advertising Awards. National winners are honored at the American Advertising Awards celebration during the American Advertising Federation’s ADMERICA.