• 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, 233 Broadway 17th floor, New York, New York 10279.

    Learn more about AIGA’s staff members below.

    sophia-ahn-100x133Sophia Ahn, digital media manager, 212 710 3138
    Sophia is a web savvy writer and producer deeply involved in AIGA’s communications, largely working on front-end web production, newsletter development and deployment, social media strategies and implementation, on-brand language and visuals, and general editorial responsibilities for AIGA.org, AIGA’s blog Eye on Design, and other subsidiary channels comprising the organization’s web presence.

    Sophia comes from an editorial background, with experience ranging from Condé Nast’s Details, to NBC’s digital division, New Jersey Monthly, and 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 70 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-budny-2015Kathleen 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, editorial director, 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.

    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.

    faustyna-hariasz-staff-headshotFaustyna Hariasz, sponsorship and marketing manager, 212 710 3121
    Faustyna is instrumental in maintaining relationships with AIGA’s sponsors and affiliates, partnerships that allow the organization to advance its mission of communicating the value of design to a wider audience. She also supports the marketing and communications team, playing an integral role in AIGA’s promotional strategy by developing and implementing ways to broaden the organization’s reach.

    Prior to AIGA, Faustyna was the head of sales and marketing at World Screen, the leading trade publication in the international television and media business. She earned her degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University.

    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 & Inclusion, and Design Ed K12. She also manages "Cased," 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, member engagement director, 212 710 3136
    Lauren manages all things membership, providing a variety of resources and support to new members as well as AIGA’s 26,000+ existing members. Additionally, she manages the registration process for AIGA’s national events, programs, scholarships, and competitions. She is the primary contact for members, conference attendees, and competition entrants.

    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.

    lilly-smith-staff-headshotLilly Smith, project manager, 212 710 3111
    Lilly handles all AIGA programming related to grants, awards, and scholarships. She is the main point of contact for the Worldstudio AIGA scholarship and the Sylvia Harris Citizen Design Award. Lilly manages AIGA Innovate, a new initiative that will allocate $1 million over the next four years toward exciting projects across the country. She also oversees AIGA 2020 Vision, a new means for identifying projects that help meet the objectives of the AIGA strategic framework for 2015-2020.

    Lilly earned a BA with honor in Interdisciplinary Humanities from the honors college at Michigan State University, where she focused on modern American history, art, and design. Her studies were complemented by extended study in Florence, Italy. She also earned an AAS in fashion design after completing the intensive one-year design program at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. She has worked previously in academic and archival research, in collections at an art and history museum, and for the Tribeca Film Festival.

    Heather Strelecki, archivist, 212 710 3145
    Heather provides support on a variety of information sources. With internal and external teams, she identifies and engages resources to develop and safeguard AIGA's archives and special collections. She manages projects that enhance access to collections and promote research and inspiration. Heather has contributed to the success of legacy projects including: AIGA 100: A Century of Design, AIGA Design Archives, Get Inspired!, and A Tradition Over Time.

    Heather earned an MS in library and information science with a certificate in archives from Pratt Institute and a BA in art history from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. She brings experience from New York Public Library, Museum of Arts and Design, Erie Art Museum, and STERIS Corporation. She is an active board member 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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