News from AAF-Akron

AAF-Akron Names Janet VonGunten 2017 Silver Medal Award Winner

The Akron chapter of the American Advertising Federation (AAF-Akron) is pleased to announce that Janet VonGunten, former business development specialist at Veritiv Corp., is the 2017 recipient of its distinguished Silver Medal Award.

The American Advertising Federation (AAF) Silver Medal Award program was established in 1959 to recognize men and women who have made outstanding contributions to advertising and have been active in furthering the industry’s standards, creative excellence and responsibility in areas of social concern. This local award is the highest level of recognition given by the Akron chapter of AAF and is akin to a lifetime achievement award in advertising.

“Janet has been a true asset to the Akron ad community, from agency and in-house creative teams to area printers,” said Steve Govern, president of AAF-Akron and art director at Kleidon & Associates. “Her vast knowledge and proven expertise in making paper recommendations – combined with her collaborative spirit – have tangibly improved overall project results for more than three decades.”

From early 1998 until her retirement in June of 2016, VonGunten has worked tirelessly to raise the standards of the advertising profession in the Akron and Cleveland area. Through her position at xpedx and then Veritiv, she regularly educated local companies on paper-related market conditions, proven business strategies, global industry issues and environmental news. She served as a member of the Sustainability Advisory Board for the GL Region of xpedx, a Paper 101 instructor and the xpedx Akron/Cleveland event coordinator.

VonGunten has been the past recipient of a variety of industry honors, from being inducted into the 2005 Graphic Arts Council (GAC) of Cleveland Hall of Distinction to being named “Ad Person of the Year“ by AAF-Akron that same year. She is a long-time supporter of AAF-Akron, having sponsored students, donated paper and assisted with billboards for the ADDY awards in the past. Other accolades include a 2007 Presidential Citation, 2009 Award of Merit and the 2012 “Graphic Arts Person of the Year” award from the Northeast Ohio Craftsmen Club (NOCC).

The AAF-Akron special selection committee chose VonGunten, who was nominated by WhiteSpace, during a closed session vote in late December. VonGunten will receive the Silver Medal Award at Akron’s American Advertising Awards (formerly called the ADDYs) on Friday, Feb. 24, at the Akron Civic Theatre. Details are available at

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