2016 Slate of board nominees

Filed Under: About AIGA , governance

2016 board slate

The AIGA nominating committee selected five nominees for AIGA’s 2016 national board of directors based on nominations from AIGA members, chapter leadership, and design opinion leaders. Consistent with AIGA’s bylaws, the proposed slate is submitted to the voting membership for ratification. Members at the Trustee, Design Leader, and Sustaining Member levels approved the slate with 99 percent voting in favor.

The nominating committee is made up principally of AIGA members, not AIGA board members, in order to reflect members’ views. The 2016 nominating committee received an extraordinarily strong pool of qualified candidates who were willing to serve, from which this group was selected. Although others who were nominated may be equally qualified, these candidates met the criteria and fit best with the immediate priorities facing the organization.

2016 board slate—members who will begin a three-year term on July 1, 2016:

Current members of the national board continuing their service:

    Current members of the national board who will complete their terms at the end of June 2016:

    About the 2016 board nominees


    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.


    Ashleigh Axios is the creative director and a digital strategist at the White House Office of Digital Strategy, where, for the past four years, she has worked to serve the mission of connecting people with purpose by creating meaningful opportunities for engagement and participation between the administration and public. She is also the president of AIGA Washington, D.C., where she has been instrumental in forming DotGovDesign, an initiative connecting and empowering government designers. Prior to her role a president of AIGA Washington, D.C., Axios served as the chapter’s vice president, programming director, and programming coordinator. Recently, she was named one of GDUSA's People to Watch in 2015 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. Previously, she was the manager of online editorial and engagement for the National Wildlife Federation, interactive designer for Cortina Productions, and graphic designer for openbox9, Fleishman–Hillard Digital, and Rhode Island School of Design, where she received a BFA in graphic design (and a wonderful husband).


    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.


    Rich 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.


    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.