“Talent, talent, talent” has become our CEO's mantra. When Nancy Hill visits agencies, any type of agency, they tell her that attracting, nurturing and retaining talent is their biggest challenge and concern. At the 4A’s, Nancy champions multiple talent initiatives to ensure that the development of talent is also our members' biggest opportunity for future success.

Toward that end, the 4A’s launched three significant initiatives in 2014.

In June 2014, we hosted a one-day event called ReSolve that was primarily planned and programmed by the ADvocates, a group of young talent associated with the 4A’s. Leaving their agency names at the door, 120 Millennials gathered to share their skills and experience to prove that advertising works. The group chose a non-profit organization, City Harvest, to benefit from their hard work. 

Following a morning of inspiring speakers, 10 teams brainstormed for the rest of the day before presenting their advertising ideas to a panel of judges. Those of us in attendance marveled at the passion, focus and determination of these emerging advertising executives.  

The goal was to bring together members of that generation and to offer inspiration and guidance. The ADvocates called it a success. We call it just the beginning. 

The overwhelmingly positive reaction from the participants only illuminated the need for more consistent engagement. 

Shortly after, Nancy enlisted Sylvain Labs to develop a comprehensive business plan to engage the industry’s young talent throughout the year. The 4A’s has made it a priority to develop a program to engage and inspire young talent on a daily basis, while providing mentorship and networking in new and exciting ways. You’ll be hearing more about those plans in 2015. 

Nancy Hill, ReSolve keynote Lauren Bush Lauren and 4A's Board Chairman Bill Koenigsberg

Nancy Hill, ReSolve keynote Lauren Bush Lauren and 4A's Board Chairman Bill Koenigsberg

A third talent initiative came in August, when the 4A’s launched its first-ever, comprehensive event focused on talent issues and culture. Called Talent@2030, this event was designed to elevate the talent conversation to include industry leaders with candid dialogue. The morning keynote address by Cindy Gallop certainly got the day off to a bold start.

While talent development and retention has become a top priority for the 4A's, it is by no means the only priority. In 2014, Agency Management Services continued to guide and provide counsel to members regarding all aspects of agency operations. Our undefeated team in D.C. continued in 2014 to protect the health and wealth of the agency community and is gearing up for quite a fight over ad tax deductibility in 2015. Our Training division continues to add webinars and seminars to provide ongoing education to all levels of advertising professionals. And with the pace of change accelerating in the advertising business, we've strengthened the 4A's management team with new hires in 2014 in three key areas: marketing, media and membership.

We hope you enjoy our "Year in Review" that showcases some of the highlights of 2014, and shares what’s in store for 2015.