AAF Silver Medal Award

Don Regole

2019 Award Recipient

Don was born on a farm in Geneva, Illinois and soon after, developed an interest in drawing cartoon characters such as Fred Flintstone and Mighty Mouse. His ability to create graphic images evolved and refined through college, which advanced him to graduate among the top ten graphic designers in his class at Arizona State University.

Don began his career as a senior designer in Los Angeles in 1983 working for clients in the entertainment industry including Universal Studios, Columbia Pictures, Playboy and others. He worked long hours and gained further insight into the creative process in addition to the operations of running a business. His love for Arizona lured him back in 1986 with a position as Art Director for DuVal Advertising, who had offices in both Phoenix and Tucson.

In 1989, Don transitioned into self-employment and opened Regole Design. He has since received numerous awards for creativity, national recognition in publications for excellence in graphic design, and has been exhibited in the Smithsonian National Postal Museum.

Attaining success can often be attributed to “giving back” and Don has contributed his services pro bono since the inception of his business: Michael Landon Tennis Classic, Tucson Pops Orchestra, Postal History Foundation, American Advertising Federation/Tucson and many others.

Inspiring students is another means of giving back that Don engaged for more than 25 years. Speaking to 3rd grade through university level classes, Don shared experiences with his creative career along with overcoming obstacles while navigating a path toward success in life.

In 1997, AAFT awarded Don the “Tucson Advertising Professional of the Year Award”.

AAF Silver Medal Award

Steven Meckler

2018 Award Recipient

Steven Meckler was born in Brooklyn, New York where his passion for photography began. He attended the State University of New York at Stony Brook, earning a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in photography. His first job was as a medical photographer at Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital in New York. In 1980, he moved to Tucson and established Meckler Photography. In addition to his commercial photography business, Steven has taught digital photography at Pima Community College, and workshops for high school photo students throughout the county. He is on the Business and Industry Council for the Pima County Joint Technical Education District.

He has published two photo books, “Steven Meckler Photographs Tucson Artists” and “Vera: The Art and Life of an Icon”, which showcases the artwork of Vera Neumann.

Steven has been a strong advocate for the local advertising market for many years and has been a member of the American Advertising Federation Tucson Board of Directors since 1998. He has given support and mentorship to new generations of marketing professionals with his work on the Education Committee.

Steven was awarded the “Advertising Professional of the Year” in 2006 by the AAFT and inducted into the Tucson Advertising Hall of Fame in 2014. In 2018, Steven was presented the Chic Davis Memorial Award from the American Advertising Federation for over 20 years of support of Tucson’s American Advertising Awards competition.


 The American Advertising Federation’s Silver Medal Award Program is a nationally recognized award that honors 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. The award is presented to a local person in advertising for their life-long contributions to advertising and the community. A new inductee will be honored each year during the annual Hall of Achievement awards ceremony.

Know someone who should be nominated for a Silver Medal Award? Just fill out the online form, explain why you think they fulfill the criteria, and submit!

Past AAF Silver Medal Award Recipients

2015 Mary Dunkel

2014 Richard Rose

2013 Art Waller

2012 Jay Taylor

2011 David Slavin

2010 Rich Moret

2009 Rochelle Lang

2008 Mary Martin

2007 Jack Parris

2006 Dave Sitton†

2005 Jim Arnold

2004 James Rowley & Peter Zimmerman

2003 Jay Zucker

2002 Ray Depa

2001 Ron Bergamo†

2000 Michael Bolchalk

1999 Ed Ackerley (Awarded by AAF District 12)

1998 Susan Mannion

1997 Robert Shelton

1996 Hank Lominac†

1995 Jim Slone

1994 Jon Ruby†

1993 N/A

1992 Josh Young

1991 Gladys Sarlat†  

1990 Ruth Blesch

1989 Joe Crystall†

1988 Jack Jacobson†

1987 George Wallace†

1986 Larry Schnebly

1985 Gene Ackerley

1984 Pete Tufts†

1983 Phyllis Ehlinger†

1982 Earl Wettstein†

1981 Phil Richardson

1977 Rex Kisro†

1975 David Bloom†

1974 Harry Sinclair†

1972 Gonzalo T. “Chalo” Urias†

1971 Quentin “Q.J.” Robb†

1970 Ella Breazeale†

1969 Lee Little†

1968 Frank E. Drachman Sr.†

1967 Ernie Cabat†

1966 W.R. “Dewey” DuBois†

1965 Elwin G. Wood