The AAF Silver Medal Award
The American Advertising Federation’s Silver Medal Award Program was established in 1959 to recognize people who have made outstanding contributions to advertising and who have been active in furthering the industry’s standards, creative excellence and responsibility in areas of social concern. AdFed has bestowed this honor upon outstanding members of the local advertising community annually since 1960. The award serves to uplift the Twin Cities advertising industry by recognizing a locally well-known person for their advertising and community involvement.
This year AdFed honored Christine Fruechte, CEO of Colle McVoy, as the 2023 recipient of the AAF Silver Medal Award.
Christine was nominated by Mark Jenson, of the University of Minnesota’s Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication and Jennifer Stack, formerly the Executive Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communications at Colle McVoy, and currently the Executive Communications Manager at 3M.
From being the first female CEO of a large Twin Cities agency, to championing DEI&B for more than a decade, to using business as a force for good, to leading the reinvention of the antiquated agency model, Christine Fruechte is a trailblazer.
She started her career in 1988 through an AdFed-sponsored paid internship at the University of Minnesota Women’s Athletic Department. While pursuing a degree in marketing and advertising, Christine also interned at advertising agency Martin Williams where she started in the mailroom. Upon graduation, she was hired by Mark Jenson at Campbell Mithun (now McCann) where she was part of the account leadership team during two stops at the agency. Prior to her 10+ year tenure at Colle McVoy, Christine was principal and director of client services at Preston Kelly, and founder and general manager of KidCom Worldwide, the youth marketing division within the Interpublic Group holding company network. She was also named the first female and youngest director of client services while at the DDB affiliate MVNP in Honolulu.
While she has more than 30 years of marketing and business management experience working with many of the world’s finest brands, and has held leadership positions at many respected agencies, her most remarkable achievements have been while leading Colle McVoy, now the oldest advertising agency in the Twin Cities, since 2007.
During the most disruptive time in the history of our industry, Christine set a course for Colle McVoy to become an agency that’s truly built for change. Seeing that the agency model was broken, she rebuilt it anew transforming it into the integrated creative agency of the future. Over the last two years, this helped produce double-digit growth, an unprecedented 88% new business win rate and welcoming blue-chip clients like Haribo, La-Z-Boy, Goodyear, Perdue, Craftsman, Stanley Black & Decker, and Whirlpool.
While the agency has a long history of embracing good and acting purposefully, Christine spearheaded the intensive process to receive B Corp certification in 2023, which verifies its commitment to using business as a force for good and that its efforts in support of DEI&B and sustainable practices are industry leading.
Under her leadership, the agency has also been recognized in the industry’s most revered award shows such as Cannes Lions, Communication Arts, The One Show, The Webby Awards, the Effies – and of course everyone’s favorite AdFed event of the year, The Show – many times over. Colle McVoy has been consistently named a Best Place to Work by Outside, Ad Age, and the Star Tribune for more than a decade. And most recently, they were named Adweek’s 2023 US Midsize Agency of the year, an incredible accomplishment.
We could spend pages and pages covering Christine’s career and impact: Her passion for creating vibrant inclusive cultures. Her advocacy and commitment to equal pay. Her history of launching the careers of countless creative professionals. Her extensive volunteer and community work, within and beyond the advertising industry.
Chrstine, AdFed was honored to present you with the AAF Silver Medal Award. Thank you for everything you’ve done for our industry and community.