• AIGA staff

    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-100x133Julie 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-aiga-100x133Hezron 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 staff photo 2014Amy Chapman, chief of staff, 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.


    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. 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.

    will-titus-100x133Will Titus, membership manager, 212 710 3132
    As part of AIGA’s Membership Team, Will co-manages AIGA’s membership recruitment and retention efforts, as well as member support services to group memberships, individual members, and students.

    Previously, Will has worked with the New York Metro Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers, The Center for International Business Travel, and The Public Relations Society of America. Will holds a BA in Communication Arts from the Ramapo College of New Jersey.


    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.

    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.


    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.

    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 Lead, Diversity & Inclusion, INitiative, Get Out the Vote, and Design Ed K12. She 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.

    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.

    susan-augenbraun-100x133Susan Augenbraun, registrar, 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-100x133Obed 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.


    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.

    sophia-ahn-100x133Sophia Ahn, managing editor, 212 710 3138
    Sophia is a web savvy writer, editor, and producer deeply involved in AIGA’s communications, with a focus on editorial strategies and implementation for AIGA.org and its initiatives. She also manages AIGA’s front-end web production, newsletter development, social media, on-brand language and visuals, and general management of AIGA.org, AIGA’s blog Eye on Design, and other subsidiary channels comprising the organization’s web presence.

    Sophia’s 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.


    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.

    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.


    Cliff BorressCliff 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.

    tiia-schurig-100x133Tiia 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.

    john-snowden-100x133John 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.”

    AIGA Design Archives:

    heather-strelecki-100x133Heather 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.

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