GRAND RAPIDS — Since 1961 the Ad Club of West Michigan has been celebrating the accomplishments of one of the community’s outstanding advertising practitioners, and this year was no different.
Well, maybe a little different.
Bonnie Payne, co-founder of Norman Payne Advertising in Spring Lake, walked away with the Silver Medal Award at last Wednesday’s award ceremony. She is the second female in the organization’s history to earn this highest honor.
The award acknowledges the individual’s lifetime achievements and contributions to their company’s success, demonstrating original, creative thinking, involvement in the advancement of the advertising industry and support of local community interests.
Six previous Silver Medal Award winners — Stan Felder, Gregg Hagley, Tom Quinn, Donald Bratt, Ted Etheridge and Ed Kastelz — comprised the committee that reviewed nominations and selected the winner.
Payne “exemplifies all of these professional qualities, while personally demonstrating leadership, vision, commitment and integrity,” said Steve Westphal, president of the Ad Club.
She was presented the Silver Medal by way of video and by partner and friend Jack Norman. Norman described Payne as someone with good humor, who loves life and lives it with adventure.
“She’s a literary lady and a hard-working woman,” he said. “I call her Lincoln Navigator ‘Air Force One’ because she conducts so much business out of there. No matter if she is in our office in Grand Haven or working on production with a client or somewhere else in the country, she is always on that cell phone.”
Payne answered the standing ovation from her peers with a look of surprise and joy.
“I am astounded and delighted; this is amazing,” she said. Payne added that she was glad to join Adrianna Snyder, the first woman to win the Silver Medal Award in 1991.
Payne joins a group of past award recipients that includes Jim Hanon and Bill McKendry, co-founders of Hanon McKendry; Stan Felder, of Felder Communications; and Patrick Mullen, of Tribune Television.