Warren Jaquith joined the American Advertising Federation as the receptionist in 1998. For the next nine years, he embraced his position, literally receiving every visitor, phone call and delivery that came to the AAF. Warren had a very specific and unique ability to connect with people instantly. Everyone who met him—and even those who only spoke with him over the phone—were happy to say they knew him.
Like Betty Riehl, Warren was an essential member of the AAF family. And also like Betty, he possessed an unending supply of warmth, humor and patience. From behind his desk in the center of the AAF’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., Warren represented the AAF at its best. He cared for our members in every way he could. He was great with details and never overlooked any request. Warren understood that the smallest gestures can mean the most, and he took every opportunity to make anyone who walked through the door feel at home. And to those both in the office and across the country, he was the voice of the AAF—a warm, mellifluous, meant-for-radio voice. Warren without fail was welcoming, charming, friendly and helpful.
Warren also played an integral role at each of the national conferences he attended. His domain was the staff room, where he kept everyone focused, cheerful, on schedule and supplied with food and chocolate, which Warren insisted was full of Vitamin C. He was the epitome of “grace under pressure,” and his assured demeanor was a steadying force for the entire staff.
Outside of the AAF, he brought joy and his perfect dry comic delivery to legions of square dancers. Warren was a founding member of the D.C. Lambda Squares and a revered teacher and caller. He and his partner of 24 years, Tom Pearson, enjoyed traveling, good food and Bombay Sapphire martinis.
Warren died suddenly on February 28. We present the Betty Riehl Award in honor of his dedicated service to the American Advertising Federation and to celebrate the nine years of kindness, quips, puns and smiles he gave to every member of the AAF family.