2019 Journey Awards

Posted on Apr. 25, 2019  /  Journey Awards  /  

We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s the journey, not the destination.” Sometimes the advertising journey can seem more like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book: Unexpected delays. Budget cuts. Promotions. Challenging clients. Pitches gone wrong (and so, so right). Not enough booze. New technology. Staying motivated. It can all be hard to navigate, and even harder to plan.

Some of us are doing it well. They take alternate routes without worrying about the consequences. They know when it’s time to be patient and when it's time to press. You might even call them advertising gurus.

Hear from your winners,
about the long strange trip.


  • Happy Hour: 5:30 p.m.
  • Introductions: 6 p.m.
  • Award Ceremony: 6:30 p.m.

The Journey Awards honor Kansas City’s best and brightest ad professionals where they stand today. This award recognizes four local leaders who make an impact on the Kansas City advertising community through volunteerism, personal or agency-led efforts, or commitment to the development of others. No matter where they are on their career journey or how they got here, they’ve got something to teach us. And teach they shall.

Thank You to Our Sponsors!

  • MMGY Global - Video
  • Stockyards Brewing Co. - Beer


Meet Your Winners:

Dominic Davis - Young Advertising Professional of the Year

Dominic is a Kansas City native who completely fell in love with branding at the University of Central Missouri where he obtained his degree in Public Relations. But getting to where he is was not always an easy journey.

As a product of the Kansas City Missouri Public School District, he defied the odds and statistics that said he could not; and he did. Dominic then dedicated his life to helping others in his community build equity, ultimately encouraging them to profit off of the changes that are taking place in Kansas City.

Fresh out of college, he began to seek opportunities that warranted more experience than he had obtained. His internship at Crossroads Public Relations taught him to shoot for the stars, and he did.

Along the way, he discovered an increase in entrepreneurship in the greater Kansas City area. Dominic elaborates on his vision: “I saw there were a lot of people who had amazing ideas but just didn’t know how or where to start.” So he developed BrandHouse.

BrandHouse is dedicated to helping small business owners get their start. Dominic says, “At BrandHouse, we help you leverage your unique business idea and assist you with shaping your brand to ultimately find your place in the market.”

Dominic is truly excited for this milestone and looks forward to the next stop on his Journey!

Tug McTighe - Creative Professional of the Year

Every day, Tug tries to do something great. In his role as Executive Creative Director at DEG, he leads the direction of DEG’s creative team from ideation and strategy through the creation and delivery of that meaningful output. Fortunately, he’s only got one speed: ON.

Throughout his 25-year advertising career — which began in an agency mail room — Tug has amassed a portfolio that features projects for brands like AMC Theatres, Sprint, Elanco, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Nudges Dog Treats, Boulevard Brewing Company, Pizza Hut, Sonic Drive-In, the Salvation Army, Helzberg Diamonds and the Coleman Company.

If fancy advertising awards mean anything to you, he has won a lot of them during his career. His work has been featured in national shows such as the CA Ad Annual, AAF National Addys and the Clios. He’s won more than 50 Addys locally, several “Best Ofs” including two Best of Show Awards as well as Best of TV, Best of Radio and Best of Print.

Of further interest (perhaps) is the fact that Tug co-created American Copywriter, one of the first and most-popular advertising-themed podcast-blog-things ever. Tug is also a well-known speaker on the subject of marketing and advertising creativity. He talks to Ad Clubs, students and other professionals around the country on a regular basis.

Away from the office, he can be found spending time with his family, coaching competitive youth soccer, and consuming as much pop culture as he possibly can. And if he ever gets out of the biz, he plans to write intensely personal (read: bad) poetry and hang out in the mountains of Colorado.

Kevin Fullerton - Advertising Professional of the Year

Kevin Fullerton is a designer and creative director who launched Springboard Creative in 2006. And he is all about Kansas City advertising. In fact, we can’t get him to shut up about it.

Kevin serves as the AAF Central Region chairman and is a member of both the National AAF Board of Directors and AAF Executive Committee. Before that, he served on the National American Advertising Awards Committee, was AAF District 9 governor, AAF-Kansas City president and Art+Copy Club president.

In order to spread the Kansas City word, he judges creative shows across the nation and helps run awards competitions at all levels. He even helped rewrite the rules and revamp the categories for the American Advertising Awards. So, yeah, you’ve probably cussed about him at some point.

He does do a few things not related to AAF — like leading business associations, mentoring students and young creatives, and he even teaches. But the Kansas City advertising community is his passion.

Ken Hickerson - AAF Silver Medal Award

Ken Hickerson is a long-time fixture of the Kansas City advertising community.

Ken started his career in New York City in the late ‘60s at Christian Barclay and Shaw. He left CB&S to work with Walt Eggers from 1970-72 and then opened an office for the Minneapolis-based shop Peterson Morris. In 1974, he started what was eventually known as Hickerson Powell Phelps. This 50-person agency was a boutique shop handling business to business and consumer advertising. One of Ken’s early clients, Grandview’s Peterson Manufacturing, may well be the longest-running client-agency relationship in the City. Ken and the Armacost family have worked together for over 45 years. In 1998, Ken formed Hickerson Wahaus.

In 2011, Tom Bowser, the former CEO and President of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City gifted funds to the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Kansas in honor of his good friend Ken, who graduated from the KU journalism school in 1967. The grant established a scholarship and lecture series to help mold the minds of young journalism professionals.

In 2014, after almost 45 years in the advertising business, Ken retired.

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