Bios of national board members

Filed Under: About AIGA , governance

AIGA’s board of directors plays a crucial role in determining the mission of AIGA, ensuring that the organization continues to operate in the best interest of past, present and future members.

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Justin Ahrens has led his creative firm, Rule29, for over 15 years in its commitment to “Making Creative Matter®” through great design and by helping others think differently about the world around them. With a collaborative approach to both strategy and design, Rule29’s culture is just as important as the work it creates; the firm is involved in many social causes, including substantial work in Africa.

Rule29 has been recognized by major competitions and publications, including AIGA, Communication Arts, Graphis, HOW, Print, The Webby Awards, and many more. Ahrens has been a consistent voice for the design and business community in areas around Design for Good and work/life balance, which he has spoken about at the AIGA Design Conference, Design Thinkers, Adobe Max, Brand New, and HOW, and has written about in his book, Life Kerning™: Creative Ways to Fine Tune Your Perspective on Career and Life.

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Helen Armstrong views design from across the spectrum of a practicing designer, a college professor, and a published author. She is an associate professor of graphic design at North Carolina State University. In addition to teaching, Armstrong works as principal of her company, Strong Design. Her clients have included Johns Hopkins, T. Rowe Price, and Euler ACI. Her work has been recognized by Print and HOW Magazine, and included in numerous publications in the U.S. and the UK. From 2013–2015 she served as co-chair of the AIGA Design Educators Community Steering Committee, striving to build up AIGA communities of students and educators, and is currently on the editorial board of Design and Culture.

Armstrong designed and authored Graphic Design Theory: Readings from the Field and co-authored Participate: Designing with User-Generated Content with Zvezdana Stojmirovic. Over the last few years Armstrong’s practice focused on building communities through user participation. Her most recent book, Digital Design Theory builds upon these experiences as she explores the effect of computation upon the methodologies of design from the 1960s to present.

Currently, Armstrong is combining her knowledge of participatory practice with computational thinking to explore the potential of intelligent interfaces to address the needs of individuals with disabilities. 

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Dana Arnett is a founder and CEO of the internationally recognized firm, VSA Partners. Arnett leads a group of 280 associates in the creation of design and marketing programs, as well as digital and interactive initiatives, for a diverse roster of clients, including: Harley-Davidson, IBM, General Electric, Bloomberg, Anheuser Busch, and Google.

Over the course of his 30 years in the field, Arnett and the firm have been globally recognized by numerous prestigious competitions. In 2014, Arnett was awarded the AIGA Medal, the highest citation honoring lifetime achievement and contribution to the industry. He was a 1999 inductee into the Alliance Graphique Internationale, and holds the honor of being named to the ID40—who cited him as one of the 40 most important people shaping design internationally.

Arnett is a former member of the AIGA national board of directors, is an AIGA Fellow, and he currently serves as a board member of the Architecture and Design Society of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Chicago Children’s Theater, and Project &.

Arnett is also active as an advisory member of the Cueball Collective, a private equity consortium that funds and incubates consumer and socially-driven ventures. These current and past accomplishments continue to grow Arnett’s reputation as one the world’s leading design and marketing practitioners.

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Ashleigh Axios is the Design Exponent at Automattic, an editorial board member for Design Observer, an international speaker, and an advocate for design's ability to break barriers and create positive social change.

Prior to her role at Automattic, Axios served as the creative director and a digital strategist at the Obama White House, where she managed design from within the first-ever Office of Digital Strategy. Her achievements in this role include: leading the product and design strategy for multiple State of the Union addresses; leading the responsive redesign of WhiteHouse.gov; the redesign of the White House petitions platform, We the People; and establishing a digital system for presenting the Obama administration policy record.

Axios is a president emeritus of AIGA Washington, DC., where she served for five years and formed DotGovDesign, an initiative connecting and empowering government designers. She has been named one of GDUSA's "People to Watch" and was honored by Essence Magazine as one of the 29 most powerful black women in the Obama administration, notable for her support of the historic same-sex marriage decision with the rainbow White House. Axios and her work have been featured in many publications, including Print, Essence, HOW, Net, GDUSA, The Verge, AIGA, HOW Design, Playbook by Magic Johnson, Digital Arts Online, Design.blog, and The United State of Women.

Born in Northern Virginia and raised in New Jersey, Axios received a BFA in Graphic Design and a wonderful husband from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).

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Sarah Brooks is a service designer, researcher, strategist, and advocate for social change. Brooks’ work includes practice, teaching, writing and large-scale systems thinking about interventions for a better world. For the past 15 years, she has led multi-disciplinary teams creating products and services ranging from food systems, healthcare, media, education, finance, civic innovation, and worked with a broad range of Fortune 500, startup, nonprofit, and foundation clients.

Brooks has taught at Stanford University d.school’s Change Labs, California College of the Arts, and Centro Diseño. In her role as AIGA SF sustainability board chair, Brooks produced the Compost Modern13 Resilience conference that brought together over 500 attendees and 24 international design leaders at this edge of practice.

Brooks served as a 2014–2015 Presidential Innovation Fellow at Veterans Affairs with the V.A. Center for Innovation, and went on to co-found the Customer Experience Office at Veterans Affairs, ending her tenure there as the chief design officer. She is the author of the chapter “Shifting Systems,” in the book Strategic Design Thinking: Innovation in Products, Services, Experiences and Beyond, and the essay “Collective Strength And Greater Understanding Through Co-Design” in the book Leap Dialogues.

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Sara Frisk believes everything can be made better through design. It’s this belief that has fueled her career, with the goal of creating deeper impact on her clients' brands and businesses.

From the starry-eyed student who landed her dream job at Pentagram under Michael Bierut, Frisk ventured through design, advertising, and brand strategy before landing at IDEO Chicago in 2005. There she grew communication design into a mature discipline, team, and portfolio of work, moving on to portfolio director to round out her nine-year IDEO tenure. A firm believer in the power of a first impression, her award-winning work across disparate industries has proven that an interactive, intuitive, and lovable brand experience is the key to customer success and loyalty.

In 2015 Frisk signed on as chief creative officer at Uptake, a Chicago-based startup whose goal is to harness the power of underutilized data. Combining her knowledge of human centered design with the power of data, Frisk currently leads a product incubator for Ignite, a special ops team tasked with visioning and building transformational experiences with key customers. Ignite was recently deemed by Forbes as “Salesforce’s secret weapon.”

An excellence freak with a wicked sense of humor, Frisk is an avid traveler, sure-footed runner, and no-holds-barred color addict. A long-time vocal advocate for all-things design, she served as AIGA Chicago’s president from 2012–2015 and is honored to be considered for AIGA's national board of directors.

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Agustín Garza has been a leader in the field of intercultural communications with a focus on brand strategy, positioning, and destination branding solutions in the United States and internationally. He’s a member of the Design Council of Mexico, where he helped two former presidents develop positioning and branding solutions for the country. He served as the president of AIGA Los Angeles, as well as on the NEA Mayors Institute for City Planning, the L.A. Cultural Affairs Design Steering Committee, and the L.A. Mayor’s Design Advisory Committee.

An AIGA Los Angeles Fellow, Garza’s work has been widely recognized and is part of the permanent collection of the National Library of Congress. For more than 11 years, he taught at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, and was a founding professor of Art Center Europe, in Switzerland. As part of a lifelong interest in anthropology and the role of design as a force for change, Garza travels extensively to areas where isolated cultures in extreme natural environments struggle to survive and preserve their heritage.

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Karin Hibma's understanding of how the power of design and visual thinking impacts our economy and culture enables her to work with clients to see the world through the eyes of their customers, using cognitive identity insights and design thinking to find the strategic “big idea” inherent in every project.

An early entrepreneur, Hibma founded creative research company Design Resource in 1974 to work with artists, photographers, and filmmakers on advertising, illustration, commercial, and documentary projects. She founded and is the president of Cronan Artefact, a product development, manufacturing, and marketing company whose Walking Man apparel line won International Design Magazine's 1992 Consumer Product Gold Award and was one of the earliest online catalogues. Hibma is an AIGA SF Fellow, and has been acknowledged as a Fast Company "100 Most Creative People in Business."

As co-founder and principal of : : CRONAN : :, she creates names, strategic identities, and designs strategies for startups as well as some of the world’s most successful products and organizations, including Amazon Kindle, Apple, Estée Lauder, Origins, Levi Strauss & Co., SFMOMA, TiVo, and the White House. Hibma also consults with Dr. Paul Polak's international organizations on advising multi-nationals and ending rural poverty.

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Richard Hollant is the principal, strategist, and design director at CO:LAB, a firm he started In 1988. After nearly two decades developing brand and product launches for Fortune 500 corporations, he now works exclusively on initiatives with social value that are in the public interest. With an interdisciplinary degree from Boston University and a degree in media from the Museum School of Fine Arts, Hollant’s approach blends comprehensive strategic thinking with tightly orchestrated execution.

He and his firm have received numerous awards from AIGA, CADC, Print, How, Graphis, Cause/Affect, CXD, and Best of New England. His design work has appeared in trade publications and design books. Additionally, Hollant has been featured in Business Weekly and Communications Arts, and was named one of GDUSA’s 20 People to Watch and by Fast Company as one of the top 11 designers creating social value.

Hollant has lectured and conducted workshops on ethics, business models, design for good, and branding for socially conscious organizations. He has juried competitions including the Strathmore Paper Show, American Graphic Design Awards, Say Something Posters, Start-Up CT, Flux, and Sappi Ideas that Matter. He’s a co-founder of the teen volunteer workforce Giv2, past president of AIGA Connecticut, and board chair of COMPASS Youth Collaborative/COMPASS Peacebuilders. He’s also the founder of CROP, an emerging artists residency space and 360° mentoring program in Hartford, CT.

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Su Mathews Hale is a senior partner in design based in Lippincott’s San Francisco office. For over two decades, she has thrived at the intersection of graphic design and brand strategy. Using the power of design to develop inspiring creations while solving business problems, she has worked with a broad range of notable clients including Chick-fil-A, eBay, Hayneedle, Hershey’s, Hyatt, IHG, Liz Claiborne, New York Public Library, RadioShack, Red Robin, Samsung, Shutterstock, the U.S. Department of State and Walmart.

As a senior partner in design for Lippincott, Mathews Hale works on global projects spanning the full gamut of brand creation and identity development. She served as creative director on the famed Walmart rebranding—a massive repositioning and brand revitalization engagement that contemporized the global retail giant while retaining the values of its heritage. The program included a new visual identity, an enhanced omni-channel customer experience, an award-winning employee brand book and an overall alignment with the retailer’s new brand essence, “Save money. Live better.” Recently, she led the creative team for the refreshed brand identity of eBay that signaled strategic changes of eBay Marketplaces and a cleaner, more contemporary experience.

A frequent speaker and design judge, Mathews Hale was featured as a “Symbol Master” by AIGA and was selected by Graphic Design USA as one of the 2013 “People to Watch.” Her work has been published in design books such as Designing Brand Identity, Go Logo, LogoLounge V and Symbol, and featured in leading design publications such as Communication Arts, Graphis, Huffington Post, Identity, and PRINT. She currently serves the President of AIGA where she has spearheaded Women Lead, a committee dedicated to celebrating the achievements of women in design, cultivating awareness of gender-related issues, and connecting women both within and beyond the design industry.

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Matthew Muñoz is chief design officer and partner at New Kind, a company whose purpose is to bring people together to share in the adventure of creating the future. Muñoz uses design methods to facilitate collaborative experiences, shape organizational culture, craft stories and brand identities, and ultimately help New Kind’s clients shape their communities.

In 2014, Muñoz co-founded the Hopscotch Design Festival, a two-day gathering to discover the people designing the future. He’s a nationally award-winning designer, and in 2013 was honored with a Triangle Business Journal “40 Under 40” leadership award. His work has been recognized by AIGA chapters, The Webby Awards, The Type Directors Club, The Advertising Club of New York, HOW Magazine, and Communication Arts.

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Jenny Price is a designer, strategist, and program director. She currently is a design facilitation leader and mentor, guiding higher education teams through discussions and strategies for enhancing community engagement and experiences. Jenny is President Emeritus of AIGA Minnesota and currently serves as Presidents Council Chair of AIGA National, advocating for the betterment of design profession.

For more than a decade, Jenny Price has executed exemplary and award-winning art direction, design, strategic management and educational excellence for clients ranging from health and wellness to the medical device industry and higher education. Since 2002, Jenny has also taught design and new media technologies for the University of Wisconsin-Madison and currently Associate Program Director in the graphic design department with the Art Institute – Online Division. In these positions, she promotes innovation within education and the design practice by utilizing a variety of methodologies and technologies, to enhance user interactions and experiences. As a design leader, Jenny continually innovates ways in which to improve engagement and collaboration within business, industry practice, and higher education. In 2015, Jenny received the “Outstanding Online Experience” award for developing and producing virtual community engagement initiatives deployed for aspiring designers.

As president of AIGA Minnesota, from 2014-2016, Jenny collaboratively led the local design community and a 25 member board of directors. She has continued the rich chapter legacy of AIGA Minnesota forward and cultivated the state’s design culture by leading 1,300+ members in developing their professional practice and business ethics. In 2015, she developed and implemented a design thinking workshop in collaborating with IBM Design Studio and AIGA Austin. This prototype was awarded a grant by AIGA National to scale and produce a customized design thinking Pop-up Innovate Mash-up in 2016 with design leaders from across the country. Out of that experience was born a developing national initative, EMERGE, a tailored set of experiences to engage the emerging designer. Previously, she served as vice president and director of education for the AIGA Minnesota chapter.

Jenny is originally from Franklin, WI and received her B.F.A. and M.F.A in graphic design, photography, and new media technologies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

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Christine Taylor is a multidisciplinary creative with a degree in psychology from the University of Texas at Austin and graduate studies in design from Portfolio Center in Atlanta. After several roles in both the psychology and design fields, she landed at Hallmark Cards in Kansas City, where she works as a creative account manager in the Licensing Studio, managing the creative product development and relations between Hallmark’s internal development teams and outside movie and TV studio licenses like Warner Bros., DC Comics, FOX, NBC/Universal, Star Wars, Star Trek, and AMC’s The Walking Dead. Previously at Hallmark, she worked as a designer in several areas of the company including gift books, the internal branding studio, and the B2B emotion marketing studio that created content for brands like State Farm and Target. Taylor has also worked as a freelance art director and designer for local theaters, bars, restaurants, and nonprofit organizations, and helped start Bungalow Creative, a prolific but short-lived Kansas City design collective.

Before serving as president and advisory board member of AIGA Kansas City, Taylor helped revive the membership as the chapter’s programming director, launching the city’s first annual design awards. She has spoken at the Brand New Conference and has been recognized by many award shows and publications.

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Richard Ting leads R/GA’s global Experience Design (XD) team as EVP, global chief experience officer. The XD team is responsible for the overall user experiences of all communications, products, and services that R/GA launches into the marketplace. During more than 15 years with R/GA, Ting worked on a wide range of clients, including Nike, Samsung, Google, and Johnson & Johnson. Ting has received nearly every major industry award, including the Cannes Titanium Lion, the Grand CLIO, the International ANDY Awards GRANDY, and the D&AD Black Pencil.

Ting is a sought-after digital thought leader and has served on a number of award show juries, such as The One Show, the International CLIO Awards, the London International Awards, the Effies, and the Webby Awards. He has also spoken at numerous conferences, including SXSW, Advertising Week, The One Club, and the Mobile Marketing Forum. In recent years, Ting has published articles in Harvard Business Review, The Atlantic, Advertising Age, Adweek, and Digiday.

An avid follower of startups and emerging digital trends, Ting founded R/GA’s FutureVision program and is a co-founder of the critically acclaimed R/GA Venture Studio program. Ting has strong ties to the academic world. He taught “Designing the Future of TV” at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program and has been a guest lecturer at Brown University, Parsons School of Design, Miami Ad School, and Howard University. In recent years, Business Insider ranked Richard as “third” in its annual “Most Creative People in Mobile Advertising” survey, and Adweek honored him as a top 25 “ad voice” on Twitter. You can learn more about Ting and his sneaker collection by following him on Twitter, @flytip.

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Andrew Twigg is an assistant teaching professor at the Carnegie Mellon University School of Design, where he focuses on web design, visual communication, and cross-media design systems, and is an independent designer practicing visual-verbal design strategy, branding, and web design.

Prior to establishing Andrew Twigg Design Studio, LTD, he lived in Chicago, where he worked at start-ups and agencies on established and emerging consumer and business-to-business brand and content strategy, web strategy, and SEO.

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Jennifer Visocky O’Grady is an author, designer, and educator, whose work is recognized by HOW, Print, and Communication Arts, among others. She’s a professor and chair at the Art Department at Cleveland State University, a public research university where, for the past 15 years, she has dedicated herself to providing access and opportunity to a diverse group of aspiring creatives. Together with her husband and creative partner, Ken Visocky O’Grady, she has co-authored three internationally distributed books (Design Currency, The Information Design Handbook, and A Designer’s Research Manual) that strive to make academic concepts approachable while celebrating the power, impact, and potential of good design. Her leadership with AIGA has spanned more than a decade and includes roles as faculty advisor, Cleveland chapter president, education chair, advocacy chair, advisory board member, and national design education steering committee member. She presents workshops and lectures at creative industry events, including those held by AIGA, HOW, and RGD, and is committed to promoting the value of design to external groups like NASA and the Canadian Institute For Advanced Research (CIFAR).

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Hugh Weber is a researcher, network theorist, storyteller, community organizer, design advocate, and small town kid.

With clients and partners ranging from Fortune 10 to mom-and-pop bait & tackle shops, Weber uses a variety of emergent research techniques and innovative community building skills as CEO and curator of the Institute of Possibility to reveal the rich stories, vibrant cultures, thriving networks, and infinite possibility that often lays hidden in the communities, organizations and people that we love most.

Weber founded OTA, a for-purpose organization focused on sparking transformation through creative connections and collisions in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota. OTA has convened 11 large-scale events, hosted over 150 national thought leaders, commissioned 35 micro-documentaries and a full-length feature, and invested approximately $2 million in the creatives who call the region home.

Weber is creator of The Potluck Society, a public radio podcast that celebrates ordinary people who are building extraordinary communities. He also recently co-created Leading Good, a learning platform and podcast that exists to inspire and equip leaders of nonprofits, social enterprises, and social impact brands.

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Ann Willoughby  has been a leader in brand experience design and design education for almost four decades. She has taught, written, and given lectures all over the world.

AIGA has been at the center of her professional career since the mid 1980s. Willoughby is an AIGA Medalist and served on the AIGA national board of directors and chaired the 2004 AIGA Design Conference in New York. Willoughby was co-chair of the AIGA centennial celebration in 2014. Willoughby helped launch the pilot AIGA Design Leadership Program at Harvard Business School. She writes and speaks about systems design and design thinking as a method to improve the product and service experiences making them more sustainable, useful, and beautiful. She was one of 50 women leaders featured in the design book, Women of Design by Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit.

Ann founded Willoughby Design in 1978. Over the years, Willoughby has developed a business culture and process where designers and clients work together collaboratively at the Design Barn, or at the offices in Kansas City and San Francisco. Willoughby has designed brand identities and interactive brand experiences for scores of clients, including the Kauffman Foundation, United Nations, Hallmark Cards, Lee Jeans, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Spin Pizza, and Panera Bread. The company has provided pro bono design for Harvesters, the regional food bank for 20 years. Kansas City civic and community organizations such as Visit KC, KC Chamber, Max Rapid Bus, and the win|win initiative are examples of Willoughby rebrands that helped revitalize the city over the past ten years. Willoughby is currently designing the new streetcar and regional transit brand system for the greater Kansas City region.

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