AAF DC, in collaboration with the American Advertising Federation (AAF), will present the prestigious Silver Medal Award to Karen Zuckerman, Founder and Chief Creative Officer of HZDG. The award presentation will take place on Wednesday, October 4, during Advertising Week DC.  According to AAF DC:

Recipients of the Silver Medal Award are recognized for their contributions to their companies, the general advancement of advertising and the community, and for their creative ability.

Zuckerman launched a one-woman design studio 30 years ago, well before the Internet age and the rise of digital advertising. The agency began with a focus on graphic design and branding, executed through traditional media. With sharp entrepreneurial instincts, Zuckerman expanded HZ’s expertise into digital rather than remain focused solely on graphic design. By the late 1990s, HZ was a fully integrated agency, and one of the first in the Washington, D.C., region to offer clients design and brand strategy, as well as digital services like banner ads and websites at the start.

Today, HZ is one of the largest independent creative agencies in the country, with offices in the D.C.-metro area, New York City, Baltimore and Los Angeles. The agency has 200-plus team members who specialize in brand strategy, design, content, marketing and digital.

Zuckerman is also the CEO of Dormify.com, an online decor brand she launched with her daughter, Amanda Zuckerman, in 2011. In March, 2015, Zuckerman acquired Canvas Co/work, one of the District’s first co-working spaces. In addition to serving as HZ’s office within the city, the space plays host to smaller agencies and start-ups and hosts networking events, art exhibitions, and yoga classes.

Recognizing that her employees are one of the most important assets for the agency, Zuckerman launched HZ Mentors, a professional development initiative that pairs employees up with an in-house mentor. HZU, another employee-focused program, is an agency-wide training academy that allows staff to co-teach classes aimed at upskilling their colleagues and teammates on everything from augmented reality to best practices in social media. Courses are offered twice per year, and more than 60% of the agency has taken at least one class this year.

The agency’s summer interns work alongside agency specialists on a pro bono client. Recently they supported Nourish Now, a nonprofit organization which provides a dependable source of meals for food-insecure individuals and families in Montgomery County, Maryland. HZ interns worked with the non-profit to enhance its brand and presence by developing a refreshed logo, new brand color palette, an updated e-newsletter, homepage refresh, social media recommendations, and marketing collateral.

Zuckerman regularly speaks on topics including workplace happiness, business success, and entrepreneurship, most recently at the SXSW Interactive conference.

“Karen has built her successful company with her ability to identify and adapt to the changes and opportunities in our industry. Her commitment to cultivating and empowering future advertising leaders through her employee programs is laudable,” said Jodie Warren, president of AAF DC. “We are pleased to recognize her creative talent, accomplishments, and contributions to the industry and local community.”

AAF DC will present the Silver Medal Award to Zuckerman on Wednesday, October 4, at 3:30pm, at the FHI 360 Conference Center in Washington, DC. Tickets for Advertising Week DC events, including the Silver Medal Award presentation, are available at www.advertisingweekdc.com.

Past recipients of the Silver Medal Award include Martha Boudreau of AARP; Paul Duning of Capitol Communicator; David Hunke, then of USA TODAY; Cary Hatch of MDB Communications; Mike August of August, Lang & Husak; Doug Laughlin, then of LMO Advertising; Alan Weitzman of Weitzman; Robert Whittle of Williams Whittle; Donald Graham, then of The Washington Post; Michael Jack, then of NBC4; Alex Orfinger, then of Washington Business Journal; Ted Leonsis, then of AOL; and Robert Johnson of BET.

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