Each year, AdClub WNC members are invited to nominate a deserving individual for the Silver Medal Award, the highest honor awarded by the American Advertising Federation’s local clubs.

The Silver Medal Award program was established in 1959 to recognize men and women who have made outstanding contributions to advertising, been active in furthering industry standards, exhibited creative excellence and demonstrated responsibility in areas of community development.


Judges use the following criteria when making their selection: 

Contribution to His/Her Company
The recipient must have achieved success in one of the following areas of work: advertising agency, advertiser, broadcast or interactive media provider and/or advertising services. 

Creative Ability
The recipient must have shown a consistent, high degree of original thinking in their field. 


Contributions to the General Advancement of Advertising
The recipient must have worked to increase the stature and raise the standards of the advertising profession. 

Contributions to the Community
The recipient should be someone who has been active in civic, religious or other groups dedicated to human or social welfare. 



2017 Silver Medal Award

The Western North Carolina chapter of the American Advertising Federation (AAF), has named Elizabeth Sims, an all-encompassing strategic communications professional, as the recipient of the 2017 Silver Medal Award in recognition of a lifetime of service to the advertising and marketing community, to Asheville and to the surrounding region.

Sims routinely brings fresh ideas and strategic thinking to every communication opportunity she encounters. She began her communications career at Price/McNabb’s former Asheville location, followed by the Biltmore Company where she worked for 18 years and served as Vice President of Marketing Communications. Within this role she played a pivotal part in building a world-class marketing communications department along with a talented team of marketing professionals for America’s Largest Home. In 2009, Sims switched gears and established her own marketing communications company. Her clients have included the Blue Ridge Parkway’s 75th Anniversary, the Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Asheville Independent Restaurant Association, Magellan Strategy Group, John C. Campbell Folk School, the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, Grovewood Village, the Tryon International Equestrian Center, the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina, Biltmore Farms and Tupelo Honey Café.

She became Vice President of Marketing for Tupelo Honey Café in 2012 and was part of a team that led the restaurant’s geographic expansion throughout the Southeast. She also authored two national cookbooks with Andrews McMeel Publishing, a subsidiary of Simon & Schuster. The first book, entitled Tupelo Honey Cafe: Spirited Recipes From Asheville’s New South Kitchen, was published in 2011. The second book, Tupelo Honey Cafe: New Southern Flavors from the Blue Ridge Mountains, was published in 2014. A third Tupelo Honey Café cookbook about cocktails and small plates will be published by Andrews McMeel in fall 2017.

As a freelance writer and public relations professional, she has also been published in National Geographic Traveler, Southern Living Magazine, Garden & Gun
Magazine, US Air Magazine, Taste of the South Magazine, The Bitter Southerner, Our State Magazine and numerous daily newspapers.

“She has generated a body of work–from well-crafted public relations stories, to astounding business successes covering a range of topics–by using her skills as a master communicator in order to make things happen. The woman has stamina,” said Russell Shuler, a colleague of Sims.

Described by her peers as having an innate way with words, Sims has maintained a strong presence not only in the Asheville’s marketing industry, but throughout the community. She is on the board of the Asheville Independent Restaurant Association, Edible Asheville and the Appalachian Food Summit and served as a 2017 James Beard Awards judge in media. She is the past president of the Southern Foodways Alliance and a past board member of the Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity, the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority and Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway.