Meet the New Executive Director

Since 1906, AdFed has been the heartbeat of Minnesota’s advertising community. From agencies to students, we’re the go-to hub for networking, education, and celebrating the creativity that puts Minneapolis on the global map. The AdFed legacy is one of impact and innovation, and now we’re excited to welcome a new Executive Director to help make that legacy even more enduring. 

Introducing: Kate Kearns, Executive Director 

A powerhouse of enthusiasm with a killer knack for strategic planning, Kate is ready to kick off a thrilling new chapter for AdFed. She’s spent the last two years on the AdFed scene – serving first as Programs Chair and then as Marketing Chair for the board of directors. Kate was also a 2023 recipient of the Paul Foss Award, recognizing those who have made an outstanding contribution to the Advertising Federation of Minnesota. 

By day, Kate runs Advokate Communications, a full service all-things-content shop helping clients across a multitude of industries transform their brands and business. Her client list is a diverse lineup of food, farmers, fintech, and more. She’s always excited to dig into something new – especially when a project has far-reaching impact. Kate was one of the communications brains behind the successful legislative campaign for free school meals in Minnesota, providing no-cost meals for K-12 students across the state.

“Kate is the textbook definition of the ideal teammate,” says outgoing AdFed president Anton Friant. “She’ll anticipate a need coming from a mile away and somehow get ahead of it, transforming what would have otherwise been an all-hands-on-deck fire drill into a perfectly executed, whip-smart solution. We’re really lucky to have her in this role, and I can’t wait to see what she does with it.” As Executive Director, Kate will work with both the AdFed and Ad 2 boards, providing strategic oversight and input across committees and events. She’ll foster decision-making at every level that drives growth, delivers value to AdFed members, and champions the excellence of the Minneapolis advertising industry. 

Kate is poised to dive into the board year and start making progress. “I’m beyond thrilled to support and guide committees and events across all of AdFed and Ad 2,” says Kate. “I have a feeling this year is going to be full of innovation, growth, and some unforgettable achievements. It’ll be one for the books.”