Ad community honors golden deeds with Silver Medal

In 1959, pioneering musical entrepreneur Berry Gordy founded Motown Records in Detroit, the Barbie doll debuted at the American International Toy Fair in New York, and in Memphis, the local advertising community honored Marion McAuley as its first “Woman of the Year.”

The following year, Mel Grinspan became the inaugural recipient of that industry’s Silver Medal Award.

And so it continued for a decade, with those two honors being handed out separately until 1970 when women became eligible for the Silver Medal.

The ensuing decades have seen dozens of local industry pros win the annual award for making significant contributions to the advertising industry and to the community.

And now it’s that time again when the local AAF chapter will present the 2013 Silver Medal — the organization’s highest honor. The winner’s name is under wraps for now, but you can witness the live presentation yourself at the AAF awards luncheon from 11:45 to 1 p.m. on Thursday at the Holiday Inn at the University of Memphis, 3700 Central.

In addition to the Silver Medal presentation, national AAF board chairman and FedEx director of advertising Steve Pacheco will be keynote speaker.

Admission is free for AAF members, $10 for students and $25 for guests. Registration is required by 3 p.m. on Monday. To save your seat, visit

If you’re technologically inclined, then you’ll want to join the Memphis Python Users group that meets at 6:30 p.m. on Monday in the Tennessee Room at EmergeMemphis, 516 Tennessee. Special guest will be entrepreneur and software developer Jason A. Myers. There’s no cost to attend, but coordinators would like to get a head count so please check them out online and preregister. For details, visit

On Tuesday, the leaders at LaunchMemphis will host the latest installment of their Founders Toolkit series, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at The Launchpad inside EmergeMemphis. The workshop will focus on business development and is designed for entrepreneurs who are preparing to launch startups.

The program is free, but seating is limited and registration is required, so if you’re interested then send an email to

Talk Shoppe continues its mission to ramp up its educational and networking programming for small business owners in 2013 and on Wednesday from 9 to 10 a.m. the organization will sponsor “What’s New In Computers? Tips On Using Windows 8″ with featured presenter Dave Bensman of Bensman Computer Repair Service.

The free workshop will be held at the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South, 3693 Tyndale.

To learn more, visit or call 901-482-0354.

Start your Thursday humming along on a professionally productive note by attending “Planning for Explosive Growth,” sponsored by the Sales and Marketing Society of the Mid-South. The workshop will be held at Panera Bread, 4530 Poplar in East Memphis, with featured presenter Meg Crosby of People First.

Sign-in begins at 7:15 a.m. and the hourlong program starts at 7:30. Cost is $10 for SMS members and $15 for guests. For more information, visit or call 866-290-4241.

And if you’re contemplating launching your own company, then you’ll want to check out “The Business Startup Course” that begins at 5 p.m. on Thursday at the Renaissance Business Center, 555 Beale.

The workshop is designed as an introductory session for entrepreneurs who are considering self-employment or for small business owners just starting out. Sponsored by the Tennessee Small Business Development Centers, the program will help participants determine their capabilities, offer tips on managing a company and evaluate sales potential for goods and services.

The class is free, but registration is required so go ahead and call 901-526-9300 today to save your spot.

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