Ad People of the Year

  • AAF Hawaii Person of the Year

    Brian Watanabe

    Executive Creative Director, MVNP

    For over twenty years, Brian has been wearing out laptop keyboards as a copywriter, creative director, and storyteller at ad agencies in San Francisco, Detroit, New York, and his hometown of Hawaii. His clients have included AT&T, Mastercard, Wendy’s, and some of Hawaii’s biggest brands, including the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, Kamehameha Schools, Hawaiian Airlines, McDonald’s Hawaii, and Servco Pacific. 

    Brian has worked on projects that have won awards from the American Advertising Awards, Telly Awards, Communication Arts, and the Pele Awards. His writing work won an Emmy for Hawaiian Airlines with NMG Network, and a Silver Telly for Kamehameha Schools as a writer and director.

    Brian is also a produced screenwriter, the Education Director of the ‘Ohina Filmmakers Lab, a former AAF Hawaii board member, and a former Faculty Lecturer teaching screenwriting at the University of Hawaii at West Oahu. He’s at his happiest when he’s coming up with big ideas, listening to 80’s music, watching movies, and laughing with his kids.

  • AAF Hawaii Extra Mile Award

    Gerald Elmore

    VP of Film, NMG Network

    Gerard is a creative producer/director/editor/cinematographer. He is the vice president of film at NMG Network, responsible for developing branded content, editorial videos, commercials and films. He has shot, directed and produced a number of award-winning commercials and he is a 2022 Sundance Institute Producer Intensive Fellow. He produced, directed, and served as the director of photography for Ka Huaka'i: The Journey to Merrie Monarch, a feature length documentary produced in partnership with Hawaiian Airlines, that was included in Brand Storytelling 2022, a sanctioned event of the Sundance Film Festival. Gerard serves as the executive director for 'Ohina, an artist collective that nurtures, cultivates, and showcases Hawaiʻi filmmakers and their films. Through ʻOhina, he has produced a number of short films that have been distributed nationwide, including Kālewa & Other People, which are now a part of the Criterion Collection. He is also a governor on the regional EMMY® AWARDS board (The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences SF/Northern California).

  • Ad2 Hawaii Person of the Year

    Michael Choe

    Social Media Specialist, Hawaiian Electric Company

    Michael Choe has served Ad 2 Hawaii as chair of the public service, membership, and communications committees and as the secretary. Since his involvement in 2017, Michael has helped Ad 2 Hawaii receive various awards, created the ADvise mentorship program, and assisted in revitalizing “Signature Socials” to boost membership engagement.

    Michael graduated with an English degree from UH Manoa, followed by a memorable two-year teaching experience in Korea. He came back to Hawaii where he dabbled in freelancing, worked with Frolic Hawaii, and was eventually hired as a social media specialist for Hawaiian Electric. Recently in his spare time, Michael has been exploring new hobbies, attempting escape rooms, and pursuing a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.

  • AAF District 13 Silver Medal Award

    Ric Noyle

    Photographer, Ric Noyle. Photo Productions

    Known as one of the premier photographers in the Pacific Rim, Ric is an island artist with a global perspective, serving a diverse international clientele from his home base in Honolulu.

    Ric has excelled in photography’s most demanding genres, people, lifestyle, resorts food and aerial photography. Bringing a fresh eye and a unique approach to each one.

    Ric Noyle, born in Cape Town, South Africa, has resided in Honolulu, Hawaii for the past 45 years.

    He has gained an unsurpassed reputation for quality and dependability. Both for his strong technical skills with light and composition and his ability to capture the emotions, beauty and intensity of his subjects.

    Need sets built, locations, casting, permits, equipment rentals, make-up, hairstyling, food displays? No problem. He does it all! Ric has worked with the Department of Education for years, not only with PhotoCon but also visiting schools for their career days, as well as working with the faculty and staff also. He has given workshops for Photo Clubs and anyone who has requested his help. He has volunteered his services for many various groups around town to take group photos or document an event for them.

    He has worked with Aloha United Way, Kupuna Aikido, Goodwill Hawaii, and various others. And each job that comes in, whether it is paid or unpaid, it is always handled the same with 100% of Ric’s effort.

Pele Awards Winners

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