AIGA’s staff is here to serve you. You can reach us at AIGA’s headquarters at 212 807 1990, and individual staff members may be reached through the main number or directly at their personal extensions listed below. Our office address is: AIGA, 233 Broadway, Suite 1740, New York, New York 10279.
Meet AIGA’s staff, below:
Julie Anixter, executive director, 212 710 3100
Julie is the CEO of AIGA, the professional association for design. Since January 2016, she has been working in the design space to oversee strategies and new initiatives to enhance the value and competitive success of designers.
A vocal advocate for the power of design for more than 20 years, Julie’s career has spanned business, education, and the public sector. She boasts global experience working with world-class brands and institutions, including Chanel, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, GE, P&G, Roche, and the U.S. Military, and utilizing design, business strategy, and technology to activate and realize transformation and growth. Additionally, Julie has experience in almost every facet of the creative and business disciplines, including consulting, curation, business development, education, management, marketing, product, service and UI/UX development, and R&D, in the process collaborating with leading designers and design supporters around the world.
Hezron Gurley, chief operating officer & chief financial officer, 212 710 3127
A seasoned and versatile executive, Hezron has more than 20 years of experience in a wide array of challenging industries, from banking to healthcare, with global multi-nationals such as Siemens, KeyBank, Sumitomo, and ICON Capital. He earned his Master’s degree in finance and accounting from Regis University in Denver, Colorado. Most recently, he served as Chief Financial Officer for the Girl Scouts of Central California South where he was responsible for the fiscal function of the Council and supported the Chief Executive Officer, most particularly with regard to membership. In addition to membership development, Hezron brings a significant suite of management skills to AIGA that include strategic business development, risk management, marketing, revenue growth, and finance and accounting.
Amy Chapman, chief of staff, 212 710 3137
With over a decade of experience in the nonprofit design space, Amy specializes in programming development and direction, operations, and balancing resources to align with strategic priorities. As part of the executive team, Amy provides support and oversight to both the staff and the national board of directors, and works closely with external design leaders to elevate the profession through annual fundraising at AIGA Awards Gala and other programs. Additionally Amy oversees the committees responsible for selecting AIGA Medalists and AIGA’s national board each year. Amy’s prior experience includes development of programming and initiatives focused on advancing AIGA’s mission and goals; recruiting and connecting members to organizational initiatives; and developing systems for increasing member involvement and communication. She holds a BFA from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Kathleen Cox, controller
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.
Lauren 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. She manages membership processing, provides membership resources to chapter leaders, and works to ensure positive member experience.
Lauren earned her MA in international arts administration from St. John International University in Turin, Italy, and BAs 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.
Nick Prestileo, chapter development director, 212 710 3146
Nick is a designer, illustrator, and teacher based in Philadelphia, PA. An AIGA member since 2005, Nick served as president of AIGA Philadelphia from 2013–2015, regional representative on the AIGA Chapter Advisory Council in 2015, and served on various national task forces. Prior to AIGA, he was adjunct faculty at Philadelphia University, Rowan University, and a K-12 Arts Education Consultant for Sunrise of Philadelphia. He is still partner of Caret.Studio, a Philadelphia-based design studio. Nick holds Bachelor’s degrees in both Marketing and Graphic Design from St. Joseph’s University and The Art Institute of Philadelphia respectively.
Corey Strausman, chapter development associate director, 212 710 3122
As a core member of the chapter development team, Corey works closely with the chapter development director to provide information, support, and resources for AIGA’s 70 chapters and individuals interested in starting new chapters; facilitate a number of national initiatives and programs (including the Innovate grant, Designers Educators Community (DEC), and Ambassadors) for chapter implementation; and help organize AIGA’s annual leadership retreat.
Corey worked as the chapter relations manager at the Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS), an international society made up of chapters in North America, Asia, and Australia. He earned a BA in Political Science from Rutgers University.
Kathleen 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.
Laetitia Wolff, strategic initiatives director, 212 710 3126
A creative strategist, design curator, writer and educator, published author, and self-described cultural engineer, Laetitia is interested in building bridges between design and communities.
In 2013, she joined AIGA New York to direct Design/Relief, a creative placemaking program and has been building the civic initiatives arm of the chapter through community-centered projects, such as Identity Design Action: East New York, under the moniker Making the City. She headed the nonprofit start-up desigNYC as its first executive director, creating a successful partnership with the Bloomberg Foundation, following her 2010 launch of expoTENtial, an urban intervention platform that investigated design’s strategies to address pressing environmental issues.
Jonathan Feinberg, events director, 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.
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.
Susan Augenbraun, registrar and events coordinator, 212 710 3133
Susan manages the registration process for AIGA’s national events, programs, scholarships, and competitions. She is the primary contact for conference and event attendees.
Susan has provided programming support and customer service at museums and theaters throughout New York. Most recently, she handled group reservations at the New York Transit Museum. She holds a BA in History from the University of Chicago.
Obed Figueroa, Diversity & Inclusion resident, 212 710 3128
Obed has a proven track record in real world diversity and inclusion. His experience encompasses new workshops, academic programs, and minority-focused initiatives at an array of universities, graduate schools, and nonprofits in New York City; including Touro College and the University of Medicine and Health Sciences. At AIGA he leads a key national initiative while helping imbed the values and behaviors that will make our organization, and our profession, demonstrably more diverse and inclusive. He holds a Master’s degree from Stony Brook University and is currently a second year Doctoral Candidate in Education at Northeastern University. Obed’s peer reviewed research in diversity, management, and sustainability can be found at Medical Education Online and the Journal of Management and Sustainability.
Darralyn Rieth, marketing and communications director, 212 710 3131
Darralyn is a highly creative and resourceful design leader with a successful 20+ year track record in large corporate settings and design consulting firms. She is a former member and treasurer on AIGA’s national board of directors, chairs the INitiative task force, and is a recognized leader in the design industry.
As global design director at Campbell Soup Company, Darralyn led design strategy and brand communications for a decade, and worked in every aspect of the design team there prior to the leadership role. She has also served on a similar role for Kimberly Clark. Under her own brand, Pixi Dust Design, Darralyn provides leadership and guidance to help organizations build sound design functions with intent on delivering business growth.
Previously, Perrin worked at Condé Nast as the senior online editor of Details magazine, as an editor at The Architect’s Newspaper, and as the editor of the Sundance Channel’s blog. She’s written about art, culture, and 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.
Sophia Ahn, managing editor, 212 710 3138
Sophia strategizes and oversees the editorial output across all programs and initiatives, as well as online for AIGA.org. She is also deeply involved in AIGA’s web production, communications, AIGA’s blog Eye on Design, and other subsidiary channels comprising the organization’s web presence.
Sophia’s experience ranges from Condé Nast’s Details magazine, to NBCUniversal digital division, New Jersey Monthly, and The Onion’s sister publication, The A.V. Club. She holds a BS in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.
Justine Jablonska, social media marketing manager, 212 710 3130
Justine is a multimedia digital producer with extensive expertise in social media strategy, initiatives, and content development. With a background in film and journalism, Justine has worked in corporate and government environments, helping leverage complex content into compelling stories, and built communities and audiences through creative applications of social media campaigns across digital platforms.
Justine’s past experience includes Boeing, where she spearheaded an extensive audit and developed initiatives for the defense and space units; C-SPAN, the Atlantic Council and the Polish Embassy in the U.S. Justine has been published in a variety of publications, including the Washington Post, Federal Times, UPI, McClatchy, and more.
Lilly Smith, editorial project manager, 212 710 3111
Lilly works closely with the communications and editorial teams to amplify AIGA programs, events, and initiatives. She is also integral the day-to-day activity of AIGA, including scheduling visits to the AIGA national office New York City, and serves as the primary point of contact for the Worldstudio AIGA scholarship, the Sylvia Harris Citizen Design Award, the AIGA Fellow Award.
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.
Vanessa Crews, development and strategic partnerships director, 212 710 3125
Vanessa is responsible for driving the development and strategic partnership efforts of AIGA. She has 15 years of experience in development in nonprofit and for-profit area. Before joining AIGA, Vanessa was the director of business development and a senior member of an executive leadership team for a world renowned engineering firm with $20 million in sales annually. Prior to that, Vanessa was assistant director of development at The New School University, where she supported the philanthropic goals of the newly established School for Public Engagement. Prior to this, Vanessa served as senior manager of business development at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Architecture where she managed a portfolio target of $15 million. Vanessa has also worked as director of development at the American Institute for Architects (AIA) New York Chapter, and as fundraising manager at The Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation. She holds an MA in International Relations from University of Kent at Canterbury and a BA in Political Science & International Studies from Stonehill College.
Faustyna Hariasz, development associate director, 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.
Frank Migliorelli, digital strategies director, 212 710 3124
Frank is an award-winning interaction designer specializing in media-rich software and exhibit development. With a portfolio that includes children’s projects, corporate websites, and media enhanced installations around the world, he has been a creative and innovative leader in interactive media design for a wide range of clients.
Most recently, Frank served as director of digital experience at The New York Public Library. From 2000 to 2011, Frank was the senior vice president of design at ESI Design, a leading experience design firm based in New York City. He has taught digital media design for interactive technology at the Steinhardt School of Education and Tisch’s Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University as a visiting clinical professor.
Tiia Schurig, technology 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.
Heather Strelecki, archives director, 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.
Cliff Borress, art director, 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.
John Snowden, content production specialist, 212 710 3129
John’s an award-winning filmmaker whose credits include feature films, independent movies, and music videos as well as projects that have saved organizations and changed how brands tell their stories. He has a proven eye for narrative and enjoys capturing real situations in a way that reveals the most authentic view. John’s also worked with some of the most prominent international research firms directing videography that brings insight to life in a way that’s relatable and shareable. Film and photography are also John’s hobbies and where he gives back by volunteering for worthwhile causes that need help making their case. His talent and passion for storytelling is abundant and contagious. As he’ll gladly tell you, “A picture’s worth a thousand words and I roll thirty of them a second.”