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.
Megan Jonas is the founder and chief strategist of Jonas Digital, a firm that provides web development and digital marketing strategy services to small businesses. Prior to founding her own company in June of 2015, she spent 18 months as the Senior Account Executive for an advertising agency in Asheville, NC. Megan moved to WNC from Washington, D.C., where she worked for C-SPAN for more than six years as a television and online producer. She earned a Masters in Journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., and a dual Bachelors Degree in Political Science and Television, Radio and Film from Syracuse University. Outside of work, her interests include whitewater rafting, rock climbing, and hiking. She lives in Arden, N.C.
Company: Martin-McGill, Inc.
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.
American Advertising Award Chair / Past President
Company: Habitat for Humanity
After working as a copywriter and account manager for Jaffe Communications of Newark, NJ, Marty Steinberg relocated to Weaverville, North Carolina, where he lives with his wife, Laura and their three cats.
In 2014, he served as Campaign Manager for Nancy Waldrop, candidate for Buncombe County Commissioner. In 2015 he became Marketing Manager for Whitestar Solar Energy, helping to brand the company and install 200 thermal solar collectors on the roof of the Clarion Inn Hotel on Airport Road in Asheville. In 2016 he served as Campaign Manager for Nancy Nehls Nelson during her successful primary campaign for Buncombe County Commissioner.
He is currently a truck driver for Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity where he picks up donated furniture, appliances and building supplies for the Habitat ReStore, which helps raise funds to build affordable homes for hard working, low income families.