CAF Logo

Signature Event

CAF 2023 Advertising Woman of the Year:
Danielle Austen


The Chicago Advertising Federation (CAF) is proud to announce Danielle Austen as the 2023 CAF Advertising Woman of the Year. Danielle is the Managing Partner and CEO of fluent360, a full-service advertising agency that acts as a single-source solution for its clients in developing communications plans for African American, Asian American, US Hispanic and LGBTQ consumers.

The CAF will honor Danielle and her accomplishments with an award dinner on March 23rd at the Swissotel Chicago.

About Danielle

A Chicago native, Danielle Austen founded Team Ignition LLC in 2008, with a single client and five employees. The vision was to create a cultural marketing hub that revealed the power of multicultural consumers, and recognized them as an integral part of the American fabric. Fast growth followed, and the agency rebranded as fluent360 seven years later. Today, it boasts a multifaceted team of over 100 employees and a roster of Fortune 500 clients spread across three offices in Chicago, New York and Nashville. Danielle remains the majority owner, placing her agency among the few minority and female-owned major agencies in the country.

Austen’s passion for and commitment to telling the stories of multicultural consumers in a positive, honest and insightful way is rooted in her years in the corporate world, leading marketing efforts for Nordstrom, Jaguar North America and Sony. Driving marketing and product launches both in the U.S. and abroad, Austen’s business acumen earned her a place at the table where she was often the only woman of color. Her strategic advocacy for inclusion is pivotal in the marketing efforts she leads.

Austen graduated from Emory University with a BA in English and Northwestern University with an MS in Integrated Marketing Communications. Currently, Austen serves on the Mosaic Council and is a corporate board member for the American Advertising Federation’s National Board of Directors. She also proudly serves on the Board of Directors for the Girl Scouts of Chicago and Northwest Indiana. A lover of art and fashion, Austen enjoys spending quality time with her husband, two teenage children and dog, Blue. Through her life’s philanthropic work, Austen continues her tireless mission to level the playing field for professionals of color.

Past Honorees

2022: Marla Skiko
2020: Lizette Williams
2019: Tina Manikas
2018: Esther “E.T.” Franklin
2017: Laurel Flatt
2016: Morgan Flatley
2015: Trish Chuipek
2014: Laura Desmond
2013: Susan Credle
2012: Jackie Woodward
2011: Lisa Donohue
2010: Nina Abnee

About the program

The annual Advertising Woman of the Year Award program began in 1958 as a way to recognize women in the Chicago advertising community who contribute greatly to both her company and the industry at large, advance the practice of advertising through her development of concepts and innovations and foster the growth and development of others.

Stay inspired, current and connected.

Become a member today and take advantage
of all the benefits of CAF.

Become a member