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The Pele Awards has been bringing our industry together for over 40 years. A showcase of creativity, a melting pot of ideas, an expression of community—the Pele Awards is back once again to elevate us, inspire us, unify us.

This year, we've implemented some new ideas to adjust the entry process and awards show to reflect the current challenging landscapes.



1. 100% Online Entry Submissions Only

2. No Physical Entry and/or Official Entry Envelope needs to be turned in

3. Buy 1, Get 1 Free Entry Promotion for all Professional and College Entrants 

4. No Late Fees 


1. New Category

     •  Political Advertising

2. Deleted from 2020-2021

     •  Locals Only: Retail Advertising

     •  Locals Only: Travel & Tourism


1. Online Virtual Judging at both the Local and National levels 

     • Judging will be done online using digital content provided that was uploaded during the entry process and or URL


1. 2021 Pele Awards Facebook Live Virtual Awards Show*

     •  Scheduled for June 5, 2021 (Sat.) from 6pm—7:30pm

     •  Web Posting of Winners

     • TBD “By Appointment Only Scheduled” Awards Pick Up & Picture Taking

*The possibility of an in-person event may be evaluated as the date of the show gets closer



Each year, AAF Hawaii and District 13 take an opportunity to recognize and celebrate exceptional professionals of Hawaii’s advertising and design industry who rise above and make an impact in our community. We are pleased to announce our 2021 People of the Year winners!



Co-Owner & Art Director, Hawaii Skin Diver Magazine


Clifford Cheng is a graduate of UH Manoa with a BFA in Graphic Design. He is the founder of VOICE and is co-owner and art director at Hawaii Skin Diver Magazine as well as a partner at the Hawaii Fish and Dive Expo.

He started his career locally in 1990 at The Art Directors International, Hill & Knowlton Commpac and Info Grafik. He then moved to Los Angeles and worked at Delta Airlines cleaning planes (mostly for the flight benefits). A year later he landed a position designing environmental graphic systems at Scott Architectural Graphics in Sonoma Country CA. Moving back to Hawaii in 1994, he founded VOICE, whose local, national and international clients are a diverse mix of corporations, emerging start-ups and non-profit organizations. No stranger to agency life, he is often called in as a hired gun/mouse for special projects.

Clifford is a former multi-term board member of the AIGA Honolulu and has volunteered annually at the nationally recognized AIGA Design Lab since its inception. He speaks to UH and HCC portfolio classes and attends portfolio reviews on a regular basis. He has mentored a multitude of aspiring emerging designers through the award winning Abstract Magazine. He has also served as a judge for the Hawaii Department of Education’s SkillsUSA competition for many years and for the AAF’s College Pele Awards in the publication design category.
Hawaii SkinDiver | One World One Breath



Principal & Creative Director, WASISWAS


Brad manages Wasiswas, an independent, boutique advertising agency based in Honolulu, Hawaii. He's a creative director and advertising copywriter who has worked on many of Hawaii's most recognizable brands including American Savings Bank, Central Pacific Bank, Hawaii State FCU, Farmers Insurance, DTRIC Insurance, Aston Hotels & Resorts, Hawaiian Host, Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee, Zippy's, Poke&Box, Island Air, Windward Mall, Ala Moana Dental Care, Aloha United Way, Hospice Hawaii/Navian Hawaii, Olelo TV, Hawaii State Department of Health, UH System, HGEA, Kapiolani Medical Center, Hawaii Pacific Health, HSTA, Foodland, HomeWorld, SlumberWorld and many others.

Prior to starting up Wasiswas, Brad was a Founding Partner and Creative Director at Hendrix Miyasaki Shin Advertising, a Senior Copywriter at Peck Sims Mueller, and a Copywriter at Ogilvy & Mather, Hawaii.
Wasiswas | Hawaii Advertising Agency | Founded by Bradley Shin



Account Executive, Digital Communications—Becker Communications


After graduating with a degree in business marketing and communications at the University of Oregon, Lauren returned home to pursue a career in the marketing industry. She got her start in Hawaii's market at Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum as part of their marketing team, notably helping to plan and promote the commemoration of the Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary. Lauren is currently Assistant Account Executive of Digital Communications at Becker Communications, Inc. where she works on accounts such as Iolani Palace, Castle Resorts and Hotels, Waikiki Aquarium, Palolo Chinese Home, and more.

Lauren serves as President of Ad 2 Hawaii where she first joined the organization in 2017. She contributed to that year's public service campaign for Aloha Harvest and from there, found a love for developing advertising and marketing campaigns for local nonprofits. Lauren joined Ad 2 Hawaii's Board of Directors as the Public Service Co-Chair the following year, leading a campaign for Malama Mentors. She continued to serve on the board as Treasurer while also enhancing the club's communication channels through the brand refresh project in 2020.
Integrated Communications | Public Relations, Marketing, Advertising, Digital Communications Agency | Honolulu, Hawaii (


All “Professional” work entered in the 2021 Pele Awards Competition must have first appeared in media between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020. 

All “College” work entered in the 2021 Pele Awards Competition must have been created between January 1, 2020, and February 28, 2021.

Please see 2021 Pele Information Guide for specific entry rules, guidelines, and categories.

New for 2021:  Political Advertising

*any COVID Pivot Communications should be entered in the appropriate category.

Deleted for 2020: Retail Advertising & Travel & Tourism

*any Retail Advertising and Travel & Tourism should be entered in the appropriate category.

JANUARY 1, 2021 11:59PM HST
MARCH 15, 2021 11:59PM HST
MARCH 17, 2021 4PM HST to HonBlue
MARCH 24, 2021 to APRIL 4, 2021

This section is for the Professional and College Division.


2021 Pele Judges

Mary Knight

Partner & Executive Creative Director

Hydrogen, Seattle


After years as a writer and creative director in Dallas, Chicago and Seattle, what is Mary’s first word of advice to clients? Beware the sea of sameness. You know, those all-too-common, forgettable “me too” ideas that fail to capture people’s attention. Much less their hearts, minds and wallets. She is a firm believer in the power of simple emotional connections—be it laughter, empathy, wit or even heartstrings. The true test, she says, comes in understanding which emotion will best resonate with a brand. And delivering on that connection in an authentic, respectful way. She knows it’s not always the easy answer. But it is the answer for brands that want to truly strand out.

Like DiGiorno Pizza. Under Mary’s creative watch at FCB Chicago, DiGiorno passed the coveted billion-dollar sales mark. And the Tabasco® Brand Jalapeño Sauce launch she worked on while at DDB was so successful, the work had to be pulled due to a global jalapeño mash shortage. 

Creatively, Mary’s work has been honored by Cannes, The One Show, Clio, D&AD, ADDYs and Effie. She has been featured in Communication Arts, ARCHIVE, Print, Best Spots, Creativity Pick of the Day, Adweek Creative All-Stars and The Wall Street Journal. In 2020, Mary received the Seattle American Advertising Federation chapter’s prestigious Silver Medal Award for her contribution to the Seattle advertising community. Her work for Group Health Cooperative (a Northwest closed healthcare system) was lauded in The Seattle Times two years in a row as one of Seattle’s favorite advertising campaigns by popular vote and was awarded in D&AD.  Recently, Mary’s work was shortlisted in Communication Arts and won an Obie award for outdoor effectiveness.

Mary is often asked to speak at industry events and has served on several prestigious juries including The One Show, Communication Arts, Effie, The Mercury Awards and the National ADDYs. In addition, Mary is a member of the invitation-only International Women’s Forum, a global group of over 7,000 female leaders that includes artists, activists, business owners and sports figures.

 She lives on an island in the Puget Sound with her family, which includes two kids (at college), three dogs and six or seven chickens at last count.

Hydrogen Advertising | Seattle Ad Agency | Branding, Digital Marketing

Amy Hood

Designer, Principal & Co-Founder–HOODZPAH, INC

Orange County, California


Amy Hood is a designer and co-founder of Hoodzpah, Inc, a brand identity studio in Southern California that has worked with companies like Disney, 20thCentury, Nike, The Lakers, Target, and Red Bull. Amy's logo and identity work centers around custom lettering solutions. She is the font designer behind Palm Canyon Drive, Beale, and Beverly Drive. When she's not spewing Lakers stats at the local watering hole, Amy can be found driving up PCH – wailing along to honkytonk love songs – looking for the closest In-N-Out. She co-authored the book “Freelance, and Business, and Stuff: A Guide for Creatives” (and it's related online course) with her sister Jennifer based on the Professional Practices class they taught at Laguna College of Art & Design. The FABAS course is open for enrollment now!
Instagram: @hoodzpahdesign

Roz Romney

Freelance Art Director & Creative Director

San Francisco


Roz Romney is a freelance art director and creative director based in San Francisco. She has created advertising for a broad range of clients including Levi's, Microsoft, The Gap, HP, Google, Samsung and Busch Beer.

Most recently, she had the cathartic pleasure of creating ads for The Lincoln Project. Here are 2 favorites.

Fairy Tale: 

Covey Spreader: 

Covey Spreader is an homage to the Honey Badger and we tracked down the original narrator ("Randall") who is now my new best friend.

Roz has been freelancing forever and has worked with many agencies like BBDO, DDB, Ogilvy, Argonaut, 72andSunny, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, Butler Shine – to name a few. She's also consulted directly with companies like Amazon and Nest. The constant variety of clients, projects, subject matter, talented collaborators and creative challenges is something Roz really enjoys. She does not, however, enjoy writing about herself in the third person.

Jeremy Wirth

Senior Creative Director for Apple, TBWA/Media Arts Lab

Los Angeles


My name is Jeremy, pronounced Jérémy with a French accent.
That’s because I was born and raised in the South of France (Marseille to be exact). I grew up eating brioche, staying up late to watch Celtics games, and dreaming of living in the States.

I currently live in LA and work for TBWA/MediaArts Lab as a Senior Creative Director for Apple.

Lately I’ve worked on the launch of the iPhone12, the Privacy campaign for iPhone, Behind the Mac, Apple’s Holiday campaign etc..

TBWA\Media Arts Lab

Fabian Herrmann

Communication Design Director, IDEO

San Francisco


Fabian is a Communication Design Director at IDEO in San Francisco. His focus is on challenges at the intersection of business and brand – where shaping a business, product or service go hand in hand with its expression and communication. He enjoys passionate strategic discussions just as much as detailed typographic tweaking, and is motivated by the opportunity to influence an organization strategically and to bring that strategy to life through design.

At IDEO, Fabian has helped Los Angeles win the 2028 Olympic Games, envisioned the future of pet care for a national veterinary organization, and helped numerous startups define how their brand shows up in the world. With over a decade of experience, he came to IDEO from design consultancy Pentagram in London, where as an Associate Partner he led projects ranging from global rebrands and packaging solutions to wayfinding systems and editorial design.

Fabian’s work has received awards from numerous industry organizations, including the Tokyo Type Directors Club, the British D&AD, and the American Art Directors Club.