Upcoming Speaker Events

Note: all 2021-22 season speaker events are currently slated to be in-person with virtual, livestream options. We are closely monitoring the state of the pandemic and will make adjustments in accordance with local & national guidance.

With any questions, please contact Thank you!


March 2022

Maren Hamilton, Social & Content Strategist
AAF Talks Professional Speaker Event
Tuesday, March 15, 2022
Live at Sanctuary Events OR Online via Link

Maren's Bio

Maren is a brand and content marketer with experience leading social strategy for brands like Starbucks, The North Face and KeVita. She grew up in the Fargo-Moorhead area and attended Concordia College where she studied Public Relations, Business and Art. She has been working in social media since the birth of Instagram, building and managing digital communities that drive brand loyalty. On the weekends you can find her in the mountains: hiking, skiing and spending time with her pups.


April 2022

Ashley Mary, Ashley Mary Studio
AAF Talks Professional Speaker Event
Tuesday, April 19, 2022
Live at Sanctuary Events OR Online via Link

Ashley's Bio

Ashley Mary is a Minnesota-based multi-disciplinary artist, with an MA in Graphic/Web Design from MCAD. Ashley’s work expands from studio practice to product/surface design and mural installations nationwide. Her studio work focuses on acrylic paintings and collage on paper. Thick textures, vibrant colors, graphic patterns, and organic and familiar shapes are her attempts to give attention to the unintentional and leave space to be surprised: exploring themes of play, balance, movement and curiosity.


May 2022

Joshua Ariza, CHOMP
AAF Talks Professional Speaker Event
Tuesday, May 17, 2022
Live at Sanctuary Events OR Online via Link

Joshua's Bio

Joshua Ariza is an award-winning, multidisciplinary designer who has worked with some of the most iconic brands in the world including ESPN, Nike, Red Bull, Under Armour, Star Wars and Taco Bell. Currently residing in Southern California, he works with his clients to develop creative visual strategies for all types of projects. He provides a full range of services from illustration, graphic design, and apparel design to retail strategy, style guides, storyboards, and art direction.

Upcoming Social Events


Upcoming 2021-22 Social Events

AAF-ND Social Events

More Coming Soon!

As our season gets underway, we look forward to having a variety of social events sprinkled throughout the season, including 4:01 happy hours, TV Timeout, The American Advertising Awards, and more! Stay tuned for additional event details here or contact to learn more about the season ahead. Thank you!

Past Speaker Events


January 2022

Heather Novak-Peterson, hjnovak
AAF Talks Professional Speaker Event
Tuesday, January 18, 2022
Live at Sanctuary Events OR Online via Link

Heather's Bio

Known for her enthusiasm and love for collaborating with people to visually articulate ideas, Heather’s unique point of view and endless imagination is contagious. She is an artist that designs at a very large scale with a design perspective that makes ideas become viable, well designed products and center pieces that turn locations into landmarks. Her work can be seen in offices, restaurants, residences, hotels and public spaces locally and nationally.


December 2021

Deb Gabor, Sol Marketing
AAF Talks Professional Speaker Event
Live at Sanctuary Events OR Online via Link

Deb's Bio

Brand Guru. Brand Impresario. Brand Evangelist. She's written the book on branding (twice!) with bestsellers Branding is Sex and Irrational Loyalty. She's the founder and CEO of Sol Marketing, a strategy-led marketing firm obsessed with solving major business and branding problems for clients in every industry. Companies throughout the world use Deb’s Brand Values Pyramid, Ideal Customer Archetype, and “Brand Swagger Questions” to align their teams and articulate their brands to audiences.


November 2021

Max Wastler, Aparium Hotel Group
AAF Talks Professional Speaker Event
Live at Sanctuary Events OR Online via Link

Max's Bio

Max Wastler is the Vice President of Brand at Aparium Hotel Group, where he oversees the image and experience of the Aparium brand as a whole and each individual brand within the portfolio of hotels and restaurants. Wastler has nearly two decades of branding and marketing experience, having previously consulted on strategy and storytelling for companies such as J. Crew, Madewell, Patagonia, Lands End, and Airstream.


October 2021

Yeosh Bendayan, Push Button Creative
AAF Talks Professional Speaker Event
Live at Sanctuary Events & Online via Link

Yeosh's Bio

Whether it's storytelling, informational, or entertainment-focused, creating a branded podcast could be another weapon in your client's 2020 arsenal. Yeosh will give you some ideas, tips, and tricks for developing concepts and pitching your podcast ideas to your clients. He'll break down the process developed by his company, Push Button Creative Audio, and share promotional, audio branding, and measurement tools to help you along the way.


June 2021

Bonnie Wan, Goodby Silverstein & Partners
Virtual AAF Talks Professional Speaker Event
Online via Zoom

Bonnie's Bio

GS&P has been Bonnie’s agency home since 1998, where she has led strategy on the California Milk Processor Board (“got milk?”), Comcast, Nest, Adobe and SONIC Drive-In, as well as provocative, effective and award-winning campaigns fighting child sex trafficking, cyberbullying and college-campus rape. Bonnie was named an associate partner in 2014 and a partner and the head of brand strategy in 2016.


May 2021

Ashley Bright, The Message Fixer
Virtual AAF Talks Professional Speaker Event
Online via Zoom

Ashley's Bio

Ashley Bright is The Message Fixer. After 18 years of pitching to Fortune 500 companies in the design and marketing industry, he founded Ashley Bright Presents to teach entrepreneurs and business leaders how to avoid messaging and communication mistakes that cost them millions. Microsoft, Honor Health, and the University of Arizona are amongst the many clients who rely on Ashley’s IMPACT Speaking Method to help their leaders conquer fears, avoid costly mistakes and get the money they need to succeed.

Other Past Events

Join us for our celebration of the best advertising & marketing work of the year at the Virtual American Advertising Awards Show!

We’ll be coming to you live from the comfort of your own this year, at our “At Ease” show. The night will be complete with breakout rooms during the social hour, the addition of a “show supplies box,” and entertainment mixed in throughout the show. Of course, you’ll also get to see who won gold & silver awards, and which work took home the Best of Show!

What: American Advertising Awards
When: February 26, 2021 – 6 pm (social hour); 7 pm (show starts!); 8:30-9 pm (expected show close)
Where: online (via Zoom – with a link emailed to you after you sign up)
Cost: Non-members $20 — Students $10 — AAF-ND Members — Free (1 ticket per membership)

Join us for AAF-ND’s commentary of the best and worst commercials aired during the big game.

Join us for a play-by-play critique of the best & worst commercials showcased during football’s biggest game of the year. This year, we’re rocking the Pandemic Edition. The event is virtual with some new twists. Attendees become the panelists with live voting as our hosts, Bill, Sarah, and Noah, usher you through the evening. It’s a bummer we can’t be with you in person but there’s no reason we can’t have a stellar time online. Whip up your piping hot wings, saddle up with a cold beverage, and get the bucket of ranch dip ready and let’s do this! Oh, did we mention it’s free?

What: TV Timeout
When: February 11, 2021 @ 7:00 PM
Where: Online via Zoom
Cost: FREE!

Portfolio Review Day is an annual FREE event hosted by the American Advertising Federation of North Dakota (AAF-ND) for current college students, of all levels, in North Dakota and Moorhead, Minnesota in the design, interactive, advertising, copywriting, print and photo journalism and video related fields. During the event, students can have their portfolios reviewed by area professionals and receive feedback in 30 minute one-on-one sessions.

What: Student Portfolio Review (and Mock Interview) Day 2019
When: Tuesday, April 30, 2019 | 10:00 – 3:00 PM
Where: M State – Minnesota Community & Technical College | 1900 28th Avenue South | Moorhead, MN, 56560
Cost: $0