MLB Creative, MaLinda Media Clean Up at ADDY Awards

MaLinda Media was awarded Gold Addy Awards for both St. John Magazine (Issue No. 4) and St. Thomas Magazine (Issue No. 1), in addition to five silver Addy Awards.

The best of the territory’s on-line, print, television and radio advertising were recognized by the American Advertising Federation of the Virgin Islands on Saturday, April 24, at Antilles School’s Prior-Jollek Hall.

MLB Creative of St. Thomas took home the most Addy Awards as well as the coveted Best of Show. Not to be outdone, MaLinda Media earned just as many awards as MLB, taking home three gold and five silver Addy Awards recognizing the quality of the company’s publications, St. Thomas Magazine and St. John Magazine.

All gold medal winners — and silver medal winners in categories that had no gold winners — advanced to the district round which pitted the professionals against the tops in their field from across the Caribbean and Florida.

MaLinda Media took home a silver medal in that round for the 2010 St. John Magazine, winning recognition for the publication design from the region’s top advertising agencies.

“With a silver Addy Award from district, MaLinda Media is now known in Florida and can attract regional  and national advertising,” said Terri Brown, treasurer of AAF of the VI and CEO of MLB Creative.

Both the local and district recognition serve as an affirmation of MaLinda Media’s effort to showcase the islands in the most professional way possible and as inspiration to maintain and improve that level.

“For the MaLinda Media team, winning gold Addys affirms that our product is top-notch and that professionals in our industry agree,” said MaLinda Nelson, MaLinda Media LLC owner. “It proves that we’re continuing to move forward with our original vision — to create magazines which present St. John and St. Thomas in the most professional way possible— and it encourages us to continue to do even better.”

All Addy entrants are judged by fellow professionals and the Virgin Islands’ material was judged by some of the top judges in the country, explained Brown.

“Our judges here and the judges in the states are national-caliber judges,” Brown said. “We always go for the best judges we can find and we got one of the best judges in the nation in Chic Davis. He is the national chair and he has judged more shows than most of us have entered combined.”

“We always want the best judges so we can have the best work going forward to district,” said Brown.

In addition to Davis, Lisa Colantuono and Leslie Winthrop, both advertising executives from New York City, also judged the Advertising Federation of the Virgin Islands’ Addy Awards entries. MLB and MaLinda Media, raking in the most awards, were the judges’ favorites.

“The judges loved MaLinda Media’s work,” said Brown. “They just kept picking MaLinda Media’s work time after time.”
While the local and world economy continue to recover, the American Advertising Federation of the Virgin Islands is doing what it can to make its members’ lives easier.

“It’s been a tough couple of years and we had a few fewer entries, but a lot more companies became members and first time entries,” said Brown. “I think that says a lot about good small businesses being able to get started here and do good work. Another thing that was different this year was that we tried to respect that it was a tough year for many businesses and we tried to keep the event to a very reasonable price.”

While previous Addy Awards show tickets went for upwards of $100, this year’s event tickets were only $30 for members and $35 for non-members.

“We really did the show on a shoestring budget and it would not have been such a success if not for the many volunteers who worked so hard behind the scenes,” said Brown.

For the first time this year, the V.I. advertising club awarded a Best Of Student work to Paul Remy Jr.
“We had our largest student show this year,” said Brown. “We only had five entries, but it’s a start, and we gave out our first ever Student Best Of award.”

As the business landscape begins to improve, Advertising Association membership certainly has its privileges, explained Brown.

“It’s a trade association and it’s not just for advertising agencies, but for publishers, photographers and copywriters,” Brown said. “Everyone gets together and we kind of look out for each other and become friends. You always like to hire your friends so you can see the benefits there.”

“It’s a really great thing to be a member to increase business especially in the world in which we operate today,” said Brown.

Although she has several years of publications now under her belt and more than a handful of Addy Awards, MaLinda Media publisher Nelson is not about to rest on her laurels. Instead, the MaLinda Media team is eagerly looking ahead to the release of her next magazines.

“My inspiration comes from my experiences on St. John and St. Thomas — based on what I find unique and interesting about each island,” said Nelson. “It is the diversity of the Virgin Islands community that gives me my main inspiration. Over the last few years,

I’ve received so many telephone calls and emails from people with story suggestions — my editorial idea list keeps growing each year.”

“Our 2011 editions are currently in the works with another dozen or so incredible features for each of the island magazines,” Nelson said.

For anyone who didn’t fare as well as Nelson, the publisher offered a bit of advice.

“Never think you can’t achieve something — always challenge yourself by stepping out of your comfort zone,” said Nelson. “It’s healthy to feel nervous and excited at the same time — take calculated risks and always strive to do better. You’re never the best you can be; there’s always room for improvement.”

For more information on the Advertising Association of the Virgin Islands and a complete list of 2010 Addy Award winners check out