Firstbank, MaLinda Media and MLB Creative, Win Big at 2012 ADDY Awards


“St. John After Dark,” a St. John Magazine photographic essay by Steve Simonson, took home a Gold Addy Award for Editorial Spread locally and a Silver Addy Award at the district level. Publisher MaLinda Nelson said she had a difficult time choosing from hundreds of Simonsen’s photographs to graphically create the award-winning spread.

Nelson, right, with Firstbank’s Marketing Officer Iscah Rampersad on the red carpet. Firstbank was awarded the Donald Plantz Best of TV and the coveted Best of Show among many others awards.

More than 200 advertising professionals gathered on St. Thomas at the Marriott Frenchman’s Reef Beach Resort on Saturday night, May 19, to celebrate the best of the best in their field at the 2012 ADDY Awards Gala.

Presented by the American Advertising Federation of the Virgin Islands, this year’s theme was “Celebrating 45 Years of Excellence,” and the night feted both up-and-coming talent as well as industry veterans.

Sheldon Turnbull was toasted with the Emerging Leader in Media Award and Lee Carle, who took home a limited edition Virgin Islands timepiece crafted locally by Cardow Jewelers, was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

FirstBank was awarded the big Best in Show honor for its Local Consumer Campaign commercial “The Bank Belongs to Them.” The Best in Television award was given to FirstBank as well, and the Best in Print went to Bellows International Ltd.

Other big winners of the night included MLB Creative and MaLinda Media, both of which won their local award categories in the AAF 4th District and will now compete on the national level which includes 200 member clubs.

MLB Creative is the advertising agency behind campaigns for clients including Banco Popular, McDonald’s Virgin Islands and Choice Wireless. MaLinda Media is owned and published by MaLinda Nelson who is the creative talent behind the popular St. John Magazine publication and also the publisher of St. John Tradewinds newspaper.

Last weekend was not Nelson’s first time accepting ADDY awards; the publisher has more than a dozen gold ADDYs to her credit.

“I have won numerous local ADDY Awards since St. John Magazine debuted in 2007 — silvers and golds — however, to date, 14 Gold ADDY Awards hang on my office wall,” said Nelson. “I have a special medal for winning at Districts and I also have the beautiful glass honorary Donald Plantz Award for Best of Print, which I won last year.”

Being honored by fellow advertising and design professionals is a true honor, Nelson added.

“Winning silver at District last year as well as this year is incredible,” she said. “I’m up against some of the largest agencies in Florida, some of which create marketing material for Disney World and Virgin Atlantic.”

“St. John Magazine has been recognized as one of the most creative and beautiful magazines in the industry, and for that I am extremely proud,” said Nelson. “It is a real honor to be so highly-recognized and awarded by the media and advertising industry.”

While happily accepting accolades for her annual, over-sized, glossy keepsake publications, Nelson is quick to point out that she does not work alone.

“It’s a team of great writers and photographers that create the award-winning St. John Magazine each year,” she said. “My role is to put it all together graphically and harmoniously. My collaboration with so many talented professionals is why MaLinda Media continues to have success.”

Nelson also took the opportunity to thank the advertisers in St. John Magazine which allow her to put out such a quality publication.

“My advertisers are the backbone of St. John Magazine,” said the publisher. “With their continued support, MaLinda Media will create the highest quality publication and promote St. John in the most beautiful and professional way possible.”

Already at work on the next issue of St. John Magazine, Nelson is not about to rest on her laurels.

“Our 2013 edition is in the works and is sure to be another crowd pleaser,” she said.

For more information about the ADDY Awards including a full list of winners, check out

For more information about St. John Magazine or to advertise in the 2013 edition, which has a release date of mid-November, email or call 340-776-6496.