Board of Directors
Laura Gaines has nearly two decades of experience in advertising. She began her career as part of the account team for Royal Caribbean at McKinney in 1997. From there, Laura went on to the Creative Circus in Atlanta. She has served as an art director for McKinney, Fitzgerald, DDB Chicago, and Wray Ward. Some of her advertising awards include: a Gold Effie, Cannes Lion Bronze, Hugo, Art Directors Club Silver, Chicago Creative Club Merit and Shortlist Addy awards. She has spent the past five years in Asheville specializing in brand building for small businesses. She currently works at Signarama, where she has been dubbed “Director of First Impressions.”
Laura is very enthusiastic about serving on the board as co-president with AAFA and looks forward to contributing to and connecting our amazing and talented community.
Company: Rock Creek Productions
Aimie Burns is a regional Emmy nominated filmmaker, and works full time with Rock Creek Productions, based in Asheville, NC as a producer, project manager and editor. Aimie joined the Asheville AAF to become more involved with the Asheville communications community, and is very excited about her new position as co-president.
Vice President / Membership Chair
Company: Market Connections
Creative Director Nathan Jordan has over ten years of experience in design and management for a wide range of industries, including Lowe’s Home Improvement, Earth Fare, Asheville CVB, HowStuffWorks.com and the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, among many others.
For the past three years Nathan has worked to craft multiple brand experiences in the region with the team at Market Connections. He spent the prior three years as creative director for Earth Fare supermarkets, where he oversaw a full brand redesign. In addition to his experience as a designer, Nathan has worked within a creative cooperative to art direct a wide range of film projects over the past eight years.
As a member of AAF for several years Nathan decided to join the board in hopes of brining new ideas and opportunities for the advertising community to learn and be inspired. He is excited to collaborate with his fellow board members to develop the AAF Asheville membership base and foster a vibrant creative community.
Casey Overcash Nifong
Company: Mountain Laurel Digital
Casey Nifong moved to Asheville from the Raleigh-Durham area with her husband and two dogs. She decided to start her own locally based SEO consulting firm called Mountain Laurel Digital offering expert level SEO and branding research services. She provides valuable online marketing services for small-to-medium sized businesses, specializing in industries such as speciality food, niche consumer products, photography, and other businesses with unique audiences.
She loves putting together fun events and is looking forward to creating new programs for the Asheville advertising community.
Bri Labbate is a marketing specialist at Martin-McGill, a management consulting firm based in Asheville, NC. Bri’s skillset includes graphic design, media relations, event planning, and social media strategies. As Communication Chair for the second consecutive year, Bri hopes to expand the presence of AAFA throughout Western North Carolina.