2020 Journey Awards: Introducing Trailblazer Roy Milton

Posted on Jul. 13, 2020  /  Journey Awards  /  

This week, we’re celebrating our Kansas City visionaries virtually at the 2020 Journey Awards. Check out this video introducing Roy Milton, our 2020 Journey Awards Trailblazer, and read his full acceptance letter below.

2020 Trailblazer of the Year - Roy Milton from AAF - Kansas City on Vimeo.

Dear AAF-KC,

First, I’d like to thank you for your continued work and service in the Kansas City advertising community. To my friends, colleagues and leadership of VMLY&R, thank you for your nomination and support for the 2020 Journey Awards. Every day you bring a great sense of inspiration and innovation and I am grateful to work alongside each of you.

Upon learning of my nomination for the Trailblazer of the Year Award, I was overwhelmed and at a loss for words. To be nominated by your peers is a tremendous honor – one that I do not take lightly. My initial thoughts were, “What really is a trailblazer and why would others think of me as such? And if I am a trailblazer, where do I go from here?” Well, the short answer is... I go back to work!

Though I’ve never considered myself a trailblazer, one goal has always served as a beacon in my career (and life)—to leave the world a little bit brighter than how I found it. As an advertising professional, I believe our craft is a powerful one that must be more than just selling things. Sure, those briefs are necessary to keep the lights on, but I believe the real work is when we can utilize our craft to save things. And that may be the environment or even life itself. That is the superpower we possess.

Being a trailblazer isn’t always glamorous or rewarding. Sometimes the journey is a lonely one when you’re trying to do something that has never been done before and there is no path before you. It is often fraught with obstacles and opposition, yet it also blooms full of promise and potential even when you can’t see it. That is the true depiction of a visionary. It also requires unwavering certainty that the work must be done, no matter the cost or consequence. I came across a quote from Bran Ferren that perfectly articulates the work of a trailblazer — “Visionaries not only believe that the impossible can be done, but that it must be done.”

In conclusion, thank you for the recognition and award. I am both humbled and honored to accept the 2020 Journey Award as Trailblazer of the Year. Though the year has undoubtedly been full of unforeseen challenges already (and we’re not even halfway in!), I am encouraged to know that we are only just beginning to reach the heights of greatness and excellence for generations to come.

Humbly Submitted,

Roy Milton

Associate Creative Director, VMLY&R


About the Journey Awards

The AAF-KC Journey Awards honor Kansas City’s best and brightest advertising professionals where they stand today. These awards recognize five 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.

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