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  • AIGA staff

    AIGA’s staff is here to serve you. You can reach us at AIGA’s headquarters at 212 807 1990. Staff members may be reached through the main number or directly at their personal extensions listed below. Our address is: AIGA National Design Center, 164 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10010.

    Learn more about AIGA’s staff members below.

    sophia-ahn-100x133Sophia Ahn, digital media manager
    Sophia is a web savvy writer and producer supporting AIGA’s communications with all aspects of web production, newsletter development and deployment, social media strategies, and general editorial responsibilities for the AIGA site and AIGA’s blog Eye on Design.

    Previously, Sophia has worked at various publications ranging from producing web content for Condé Nast’s Details to researching and editing for New Jersey Monthly to managing Twitter and reporting for The A.V. Club. She graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism with a BS in journalism, concentrating in print/web publication.

    Katie BakerKatie Baker, director of chapter development, 212 710 3146
    Katie provides information, support, and resources for AIGA’s 69 chapters and individuals interested in starting new chapters; coordinates national initiatives and programs for chapter implementation; and organizes AIGA’s annual leadership retreat. Katie served as AIGA’s conference producer for four years, planning the biennial design conference, business conference, and leadership retreat.

    Prior to AIGA, Katie was a member of the marketing team at Two Twelve Associates, a multidisciplinary graphic design firm in New York City. She earned a BA in history and a BA in East Asian studies from New York University.

    Cliff BorressCliff Borress, production manager, 212 710 3143
    Cliff works with design teams, sponsors, vendors, and AIGA staff in the production of printed and digital design pieces for AIGA. He is also responsible for the production of articles, case studies, and other web-related content.

    He has earned an MFA from the Milton Avery Graduate School of Art at Bard College, a BFA from State University of New York at Buffalo, and received a post-graduate fellowship from the Jan van Eyck Academie for art, design, and theory in Maastricht, Netherlands. He has taught art and design at various universities and art schools, and has nine years of art and design publishing experience.

    Elaine BowenElaine Bowen, director of strategic partnerships, 212 710 3125
    Elaine develops corporate partnerships through sponsorships and affiliations, and builds relationships with foundations, government agencies, and related nonprofits—all of which enable AIGA to advance its mission. She helps communicate the value of design to the business community and the general public, while creating value for partners through their relationships with members. Members benefit from these partnerships as they allow AIGA to produce conferences, exhibitions, initiatives, and events that might not otherwise be possible. Elaine also works with chapters on sponsorship and related issues.

    Elaine brings more than 13 years of experience as a development professional in the arts and culture sector. A skilled strategic planner, she has a track record of building successful partnerships for a wide range of arts organizations. Most recently, she was the director of development with Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC), an entrepreneurial arts council dedicated to supporting the work of creative professionals. Elaine earned an Honors BA in art history from the University of Toronto.

    Kathleen BudnyKathleen Budny, program director, 212 710 3144
    Kathleen collaborates with staff and volunteer committees to orchestrate AIGA’s annual conferences. Kathleen also works to create partnerships with universities and other providers to program professional development at a national level.

    With degrees from the University of North Carolina and the Royal College of Music, Kathleen has directed arts education departments within New York City nonprofits for several years. Previously, she worked in London as an educator with Arts Council England, London Borough of Ealing, and Arts Award UK. Kathleen has also served on the New York City Arts in Education Roundtable, a professional association for arts educators, where she was a member of the conference committee. She also has extensive experience planning and leading professional development workshops.

    Amy Chapman staff photo 2014Amy Chapman, project manager, 212 710 3137
    Amy is responsible for production of AIGA's annual Awards Gala, and works with the committees responsible for nominating AIGA Medalists and AIGA's national board. Additionally, Amy oversees AIGA's Design for Good initiative and co-manages AIGA's Facilitation: by Design workshops.

    Amy earned a BFA in painting from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

    Kathleen Cox, controller, 212 710 3127
    Kathleen is responsible for AIGA’s accounting, bookkeeping, and administration. Her duties include internal controls, policies, and procedures according to established audit norms, liaison with outside auditors overseeing the annual audits, corporate tax returns, and financial reports. She assures that AIGA’s business activities comply with AIGA policies aimed at fiduciary responsibility, as well as with federal, state, and local regulations.

    Kathleen has many years of experience in accounting. She served as the director of finance for the New York Society for the Deaf for three years and as its executive director for four years. Kathleen earned her BS in accounting from Georgian Court University.

    Perrin DrummPerrin Drumm, managing editor, 212 710 3123
    Perrin strategizes and oversees the editorial output across all programs as well as online, and works with members and design writers alike in AIGA’s ongoing commitment to share compelling design stories. She also manages AIGA’s Instagram and works offline on a number of initiatives to engage the wider design community.

    Perrin is also the co-founder of MOLD, a site that explores the intersection between food and design. Previously, she worked at Condé Nast as the senior online editor of Details.com, at The Architect’s Newspaper as an editor, and at the Sundance Channel as the web editor and lead arts and culture writer. She’s written about design for a number of publications, including Print, Interview, Core77, Cool Hunting, and The Paris Review's blog The Daily. She holds a BA in creative writing from Santa Fe University of Art and Design and an MFA in fiction from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Follow her on Instagram @perrindrumm or, better yet, follow AIGA on Instagram @AIGAdesign and on Twitter @AIGAdesign.

    Jonathan FeinbergJonathan Feinberg, director of events, 212 710 3142
    Jonathan creates compelling and profitable educational and networking experiences by defining optimal environments and making sound business decisions that foster the mission and direction of AIGA. For all nationally-hosted conferences and events, he evaluates location, contractor, and vendor options and directs pre-conference, onsite, and post-conference activity. Jonathan serves as tactical advisor for the planning, budgeting, and execution of the Design Educators Conferences, as well as other regional events. He is also the lead producer for AIGA’s web conferencing initiatives.

    Jonathan earned his BA in business from the University of New Hampshire and brings more than 15 years of conference, event, and hospitality management experience to AIGA.

    George FernandezGeorge Fernandez, membership director, 212 710 3132
    George maintains AIGA’s membership database and is the primary customer service contact for membership inquiries from chapter membership coordinators. He is responsible for providing membership recruitment materials, helping chapter board members use the workroom, generating invoices, and monitoring and maintaining group memberships, as well as sending out regular mailings (postcards, new-member packets, membership cards). He answers questions about membership status, which benefits members should have been sent, and who belongs on a group membership.

    George holds a BA in liberal arts from Queens College. Previously, he was responsible for membership at another association and maintained client records for a health care organization.

    Richard GrefeRichard Grefé, executive director, 212 710 3100
    Ric is the CEO of AIGA, the professional association for design. He is generally involved in all of AIGA’s activities, although his major contributions are in strategy, formulating new initiatives to enhance the competitive success of designers, and advocating the value of design.

    Ric earned a BA from Dartmouth College, crafted books at Stinehour Press, spent several years in intelligence work in Asia, reported from the Bronx County Courthouse for AP, wrote for Time magazine on business and the economy, and then earned an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business. Following a career in urban design and public policy consulting, Ric managed the association responsible for strategic planning and legislative advocacy for public television and led a think tank on the future of public television and radio. He has been at AIGA since 1995, developing programs that reinforce the relevance of design as an extraordinary creative gift and a critical element of business strategy.

    Rory LevineRory Levine, director of marketing and communications, 212 710 3126
    Rory heads up marketing and communications, overseeing brand identity, development and positioning, strategic communications, public relations, advertising, and promotions. He also leads AIGA’s social media, community engagement, and content amplification strategies.

    Rory handled marketing and communications for BBC America, the celebrated U.S. cable television network, for more than 10 years. There, he strategically planned, managed, and executed all consumer marketing and advertising campaigns, notably the massively successful launches of global brands like Doctor Who and Top Gear as well as breakout original series Orphan Black, delivering eight consecutive years of record-breaking channel ratings. He also managed and programmed BBC America’s YouTube channel, grown in three years to a hyper-impactful social video platform with more than 115 million video views and 310,000 subscribers. He earned a BA in communications from the University of Pennsylvania and the Annenberg School for Communication, where he graduated cum laude a semester early.

    Aidan O'Connor 100x133Aidan O’Connor, director of strategic initiatives, 212 710 3131
    Aidan is responsible for overseeing a variety of AIGA's national initiatives including Women's Leadership, Diversity and Inclusion, and Design Ed K12. She also manages "Justified," AIGA's annual design competition, and previously organized AIGA's exhibitions and Centennial programming.

    Prior to AIGA, Aidan worked at MoMA as a curatorial assistant in the Department of Architecture and Design. She brings further experience from Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, the National Design Awards, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology in Cambridge, and Vandalorum Museum in Sweden. She holds an MA in design history from Parsons/Cooper Hewitt and a BA in archaeology and social anthropology from Harvard.

    Tiia SchurigTiia Schurig, web development director, 212 710 3134
    Tiia is responsible for managing technical support and integration for AIGA. Her responsibilities include coordinating with all of AIGA’s technical partners to ensure website maintenance, enhance user experience, and oversee the development and execution of new web-based projects.

    Tiia earned a BA in art history and a BA in humanities from the University of South Florida.

    Lauren ShultzLauren Shultz, membership and registration, 212 710 3136
    Lauren manages the registration process for AIGA events and design competitions. She is the primary contact for conference attendees and competition entrants. She is also part of the membership team, providing support and resources to new and existing members.

    Lauren earned her MA in international arts administration from St. John International University in Turin, Italy, and a BA in art history and Italian from the University of Texas at Austin. Her prior experience includes developing and managing a museum membership program, creating unique programming for arts organizations, and assisting in conference and event planning.

    Heather Strelecki, archivist, 212 710 3145
    Heather provides support on a wide variety of information resources. In addition, she manages the AIGA library, institutional archives, and the AIGA Design Archives. Her responsibilities include monitoring the AIGA website for necessary updates; assisting membership and fundraising teams; and organizing digital and print information and artifacts.

    Heather earned a BA in art history from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and an MS in library and information science with an advanced certificate in archives from Pratt Institute. She brings customer service and administrative experience from STERIS Corporation. She was a contributing art writer for the Erie Times News, and she serves on the board at Kentler International Drawing Space in Brooklyn.

    Denise WoodDenise Wood, chief operating officer, 212 710 3135
    Denise is responsible for operational decisions within AIGA, overseeing development, and implementation of AIGA’s budget. She is responsible for knowledge management within the organization and AIGA’s information systems. She works closely with the executive director to implement plans in virtually all membership and strategic areas of AIGA.

    Denise earned a BA from Oberlin College and an MBA in information management from George Washington University.

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