CHICAGO, Sept. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The Chicago Advertising Federation (CAF) announced today that Draftfcb Executive Chairman Howard Draft, a 33-year and counting industry veteran, will be the recipient of this year's Silver Medal Lifetime Achievement Award. Since 1959, the Silver Medal has been awarded to a distinguished member of the Chicago advertising community for his/her contributions to the local ad scene as well as for his/her personal accomplishments.
Draft will be honored during a dinner scheduled for Thursday, November 11. It will be held at The Drake Hotel in Chicago.
"Howard is a pioneer in the Chicago advertising community. His vision and leadership have kept him at the forefront of the industry. He is admired for consistently fine-tuning the agency model to provide clients with offerings that are right for the current times and for the future as well," said Anne Rago, CAF president. "In looking at all that he has accomplished—not only in the advertising industry, but also in the Chicago community, CAF is proud to recognize him as this year's Silver Medal honoree."
Recipients of the Silver Medal are chosen by a 24-member board who evaluate candidates based on a set of key attributes. They are:
- Contributions to His/Her Company;
- Creative Ability, demonstrating a consistent, high degree of original thinking in their field;
- Contributions to the General Advancement of Advertising;
- Contributions to the Community, active in civic, religious, or other groups dedicated to human or social welfare.
A native of the Chicagoland area, Draft is the executive chairman of an organization with Chicago roots that date back to 1873.
Draft was initially named chairman and CEO of Draftfcb following the merger of direct marketing powerhouse Draft and general creative agency FCB in 2006, and the result was the first and only global, behavior-based, fully integrated marketing communications organization with a unified management team operating against a single P&L.
Today, the agency's Chicago office—with more than 1,100 employees—is the single largest holistic ad agency in the United States working with some of the world's most recognized companies and brands, including companies such as Boeing, SC Johnson, Kraft, MillerCoors, KFC, Kmart, Brown-Forman and Dow Chemical.
Draftfcb Chicago has been regularly honored as one of the best places to work in Chicago and the state of Illinois, and in January, just three short years after its merger, Draftfcb was lauded by Advertising Age as one of the 10 top agencies to make its esteemed annual "A-list."
"Howard has been in this business 33 years—having gone through every imaginable scenario with the agency and the ad community—and it's wonderful to see the CAF recognize him for his many achievements along the way," said Laurence Boschetto, CEO and president of Draftfcb. "Indirectly this honor also recognizes the efforts of everyone at the agency, whom Howard loves to credit at every opportunity, which is just one of many admirable qualities."
Previously, Draft was chairman and chief executive officer of Draft. He was one of the agency's original 13 founders in 1978 and rose rapidly through the ranks, becoming chairman and CEO within 10 years. His entrepreneurial spirit and vision led him to turn the direct marketing firm into one of the world's premier marketing services networks with expertise in direct, retail, promotion and digital marketing.
Throughout his career, Draft has earned honors from his peers both within the advertising industry and the business community, being named one of the "50 Business Leaders Who Matter Now" by Business 2.0 and listed among "The 50 Who Matter Now" by CNN Money.
In July 2008, he was named International Advertising Man of the Year at the Pubblicita e Successo awards and in May 2010, he was recognized with the Mac Dane Award for Humanitarian Excellence by the UJA-Federation of New York, which is awarded annually to a member of the advertising community who has enhanced the lives of others in the worldwide community.
Draft is often invited to speak on advertising issues, trends and the future of marketing, most recently speaking at El Ojo de Iberoamerica in Argentina and the Spikes Festival in Singapore, and he has served as a judge at major international award shows including the International Advertising Festival in Cannes where he has been jury president.
He is currently a member of the board of directors of the Advertising Council, with whom he helped spearhead the first pro bono campaign to raise awareness of shelter pet adoptions. He also supports several philanthropic organizations benefiting children (Chicago's After School Matters and Pediatric AIDS Chicago Prevention Initiative) and serves as a trustee of the Francis W. Parker School.
"I'm truly humbled to receive this honor from the Chicago Advertising Federation, I share it with the thousands of agency colleagues I have worked with over the years; my success is due to their success," said Draft. "Throughout my career, each recipient of the Silver Medal has been someone whose accomplishments and contributions to the Chicago advertising community I have deeply appreciated, and while I am honored to now be included among them, I won't be slowing down any time soon."
Past Silver Medal recipients include: Keith Reinhard, Needham Harper & Steers/USA; William E. Ross, Tatham Laird & Kudner; Joe Sedelmaier, Sedelmaier Productions; George Lazarus, Chicago Tribune; Ralph Rydholm, EURO RSCG Tatham; Tom Burrell, Burrell Communications; Bud Frankel, Frankel; Rick Fizdale, Leo Burnett; Ralph Campagna, Off The Street Club; Bob Scarpelli, DDB Chicago; Jack Klues, Starcom MediaVest Group; John H. Johnson, Johnson Publishing; Bill Lamar Jr., McDonald's Corporation; Betsy Holden, McKinsey & Company; and Carla R. Michelotti, Leo Burnett Company, Inc.
To purchase tickets and learn more, visit www.chicagoadfed.org/silvermedal.