In the past we have celebrated the work of D&AD’s education team in the Hot 50, such is the importance of its contribution to students and practitioners in the creative industries and the tireless commitment team members have shown over time.
Now, though, D&AD as a whole gets the accolade, for holding its nerve in the face of extreme financial adversity and making an inspired choice for its new chief executive in Tim O’Kennedy, who joined some 18 months after the abrupt departure of previous incumbent Michael Hockney in 2007.
The list of credits for that appointment, and for holding the organisation together in the interim, is legion. D&AD chairman Anthony Simonds-Gooding – who was rightly awarded a CBE in the New Year’s Honours List – and finance director Dara Lynch deserve praise, but so, too, do successive elected presidents Tony Davidson, Simon Waterfall and Garrick Hamm, not to mention the executive team, who have carried on regardless.
With adman Paul Brazier as president, D&AD can expect an interesting time with O’Kennedy at the helm. His focus is on leading theorganisation into the digital age and making it all the more relevant for the converging industries it serves.