Bios of national board members

Filed Under: About AIGA , governance

AIGA’s board of directors plays a crucial role in determining the mission of AIGA, ensuring that the organization continues to operate in the best interest of past, present and future members.

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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.

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Helen Armstrong views design from across the spectrum of a practicing designer, a college professor, and a published author. She is an associate professor of graphic design at North Carolina State University. In addition to teaching, Armstrong works as principal of her company, Strong Design. Her clients have included Johns Hopkins, T. Rowe Price, and Euler ACI. Her work has been recognized by Print and HOW Magazine, and included in numerous publications in the U.S. and the UK. From 2013–2015 she served as co-chair of the AIGA Design Educators Community Steering Committee, striving to build up AIGA communities of students and educators, and is currently on the editorial board of Design and Culture.

Armstrong designed and authored Graphic Design Theory: Readings from the Field and co-authored Participate: Designing with User-Generated Content with Zvezdana Stojmirovic. Over the last few years Armstrong’s practice focused on building communities through user participation. Her most recent book, Digital Design Theory builds upon these experiences as she explores the effect of computation upon the methodologies of design from the 1960s to present.

Currently, Armstrong is combining her knowledge of participatory practice with computational thinking to explore the potential of intelligent interfaces to address the needs of individuals with disabilities. 

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Dana Arnett is the vice chair and founding partner of the internationally recognized firm, VSA Partners. Arnett leads a group of 280 associates in the creation of design and marketing programs, as well as digital and interactive initiatives, for a diverse roster of clients, including: Harley-Davidson, IBM, General Electric, Bloomberg, Anheuser Busch, and Google.

Over the course of his 30 years in the field, Arnett and the firm have been globally recognized by numerous prestigious competitions. In 2014, Arnett was awarded the AIGA Medal, the highest citation honoring lifetime achievement and contribution to the industry. He was a 1999 inductee into the Alliance Graphique Internationale, and holds the honor of being named to the ID40—who cited him as one of the 40 most important people shaping design internationally.

Arnett is a former member of the AIGA national board of directors, is an AIGA Fellow, and he currently serves as a board member of the Architecture and Design Society of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Chicago Children’s Theater, and Project &.

Arnett is also active as an advisory member of the Cueball Collective, a private equity consortium that funds and incubates consumer and socially-driven ventures. These current and past accomplishments continue to grow Arnett’s reputation as one the world’s leading design and marketing practitioners.

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Ashleigh Axios is the Design Exponent at Automattic, an editorial board member for Design Observer, an international speaker, and an advocate for design's ability to break barriers and create positive social change.

Prior to her role at Automattic, Axios served as the creative director and a digital strategist at the Obama White House, where she managed design from within the first-ever Office of Digital Strategy. Her achievements in this role include: leading the product and design strategy for multiple State of the Union addresses; leading the responsive redesign of WhiteHouse.gov; the redesign of the White House petitions platform, We the People; and establishing a digital system for presenting the Obama administration policy record.

Axios is a president emeritus of AIGA Washington, DC., where she served for five years and formed DotGovDesign, an initiative connecting and empowering government designers. She has been named one of GDUSA's "People to Watch" 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. Axios and her work have been featured in many publications, including Print, Essence, HOW, Net, GDUSA, The Verge, AIGA, HOW Design, Playbook by Magic Johnson, Digital Arts Online, Design.blog, and The United State of Women.

Born in Northern Virginia and raised in New Jersey, Axios received a BFA in Graphic Design and a wonderful husband from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).

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Sarah Brooks is a service designer, researcher, strategist, and advocate for social change. Brooks’ work includes practice, teaching, writing and large-scale systems thinking about interventions for a better world. For the past 15 years, she has led multi-disciplinary teams creating products and services ranging from food systems, healthcare, media, education, finance, civic innovation, and worked with a broad range of Fortune 500, startup, nonprofit, and foundation clients.

Brooks has taught at Stanford University d.school’s Change Labs, California College of the Arts, and Centro Diseño. In her role as AIGA SF sustainability board chair, Brooks produced the Compost Modern13 Resilience conference that brought together over 500 attendees and 24 international design leaders at this edge of practice.

Brooks served as a 2014–2015 Presidential Innovation Fellow at Veterans Affairs with the V.A. Center for Innovation, and went on to co-found the Customer Experience Office at Veterans Affairs, ending her tenure there as the chief design officer. She is the author of the chapter “Shifting Systems,” in the book Strategic Design Thinking: Innovation in Products, Services, Experiences and Beyond, and the essay “Collective Strength And Greater Understanding Through Co-Design” in the book Leap Dialogues.

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Antionette D. Carroll is the Founder and CEO of Creative Reaction Lab, a nonprofit social enterprise designing healthy and racially equitable communities for Black and Latino populations. Creative Reaction Lab is creating a collaborative youth-led, community-centered movement challenging racial inequities in the education, media, health and healthcare, and government and public service sectors. Throughout her career, Carroll has worked for nonprofits working for social justice, human rights, and diversity and inclusion. Carroll's personal mission in life is to CHALLENGE standards, make CHANGE, and CHAMPION approaches resulting in foundational and community impact. As a former Ferguson resident, the death of Michael Brown, Jr. changed her from a typical 9-to-5 graphic designer to a social entrepreneur, design thinking facilitator, community organizer, and social impact design advocate.

Carroll is an active community volunteer, served as the Founding Chair of AIGA’s Diversity and Inclusion Task Force in 2014, and is currently Chair Emerita, working on long-term strategic initiatives such as the Design Census Program with Google and AIGA’s national Inclusivity in Design Summit. With her encouragement, AIGA created the first Racial Justice by Design program, with Carroll co-organizing and assuming the role of online producer for the national Town Hall in 2016. At the local level, she is currently serving as the President Emerita of AIGA St. Louis, and co-founder of the Design + Diversity Conference. Carroll also sits on several awards and programming committees for local and national nonprofits. Carroll is a TED Fellow.

Carroll credits growing up in economic poverty, but having supportive community wealth as catalysts that guide her journey as a lifelong social changemaker.

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Sara Frisk believes everything can be made better through design. It’s this belief that has fueled her career, with the goal of creating deeper impact on her clients' brands and businesses.

From the starry-eyed student who landed her dream job at Pentagram under Michael Bierut, Frisk ventured through design, advertising, and brand strategy before landing at IDEO Chicago in 2005. There she grew communication design into a mature discipline, team, and portfolio of work, moving on to portfolio director to round out her nine-year IDEO tenure. A firm believer in the power of a first impression, her award-winning work across disparate industries has proven that an interactive, intuitive, and lovable brand experience is the key to customer success and loyalty.

In 2015 Frisk signed on as chief creative officer at Uptake, a Chicago-based startup whose goal is to harness the power of underutilized data. Combining her knowledge of human centered design with the power of data, Frisk currently leads a product incubator for Ignite, a special ops team tasked with visioning and building transformational experiences with key customers. Ignite was recently deemed by Forbes as “Salesforce’s secret weapon.”

An excellence freak with a wicked sense of humor, Frisk is an avid traveler, sure-footed runner, and no-holds-barred color addict. A long-time vocal advocate for all-things design, she served as AIGA Chicago’s president from 2012–2015 and is honored to be considered for AIGA's national board of directors.

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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.

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Richard 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 community empowerment initiatives. 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.

Hollant 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 one of the top 11 designers creating social value by Fast Company.

Hollant has lectured and conducted workshops on ethics, business models, design for good, diversity/equity/inclusion, and outreach 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, founder of the artist residency and mentorship program Parkville Studios, and past president of AIGA Connecticut. Hollant is the Commissioner of Cultural Affairs for the City of Hartford.

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Randy J. Hunt is Head of Design at Artsy, where he leads a team of designers who define and realize Artsy’s path to be the best place to buy, sell, and learn about art.

Previously he was VP of Design at Etsy. In 2014, Etsy was honored with the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award for Corporate & Institutional Achievement. Randy is the author of Product Design for the Web, which explores the evolving discipline of software product design. He also co-founded Supermarket, a curated design marketplace, and founded Citizen Scholar Inc. He is an active writer, lecturer, critic, and visiting designer at many colleges and universities.

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Terry Marks is principal of TMarks, a creative firm in Seattle. His work has been recognized by Print Magazine, Communication Arts, Critique Magazine, HOW, Neenah, Potlatch and more. Marks is an AIGA Fellow, wrote and illustrated Mr. Crumbly Dreams A Tiger for Rule29, and authored Color Harmony: Layout, 3 Feasts, and Good Design.

He serves on the AIGA Seattle Chapter’s Link Leadership Team, having helped found the outreach program in Seattle 20+ years ago. Link serves high school students by hosting art workshops and scholarships to edify and encourage self-esteem and self-expression. Marks was a board member and vice-president for AIGA Seattle for eight years. He co-chaired the Oodles of Doodles For Your Noodle project: an award-winning activity book for hospitalized and seriously ill children for the nonprofit foundation Art with Heart. With AIGA Seattle, he helped lead SoulFood, feeding homeless teens at the Orion Center.

Marks has worked with Powerful Voices, ASTAR for Autism, the Experimental Education Unit and was awarded a SAPPI Ideas That Matter Grant on behalf of ASTAR and the YES! Foundation of White Center. Marks has spoken on creativity and inspiration across the country, including the HOW Design Conference three consecutive years. He has judged numerous regional and national design competitions is co-creator of Design Family Reunion, a bi-annual conclave of creatives.

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Gage Mitchell is constantly exploring new ways to design a better world. Through his sustainable brand design studio, Modern Species, he works alongside passionate people to build mission-centered brands that make healthier and more sustainable lifestyles possible. As an AIGA Design for Good and Living Principles Task Force co-chair, he co-authored the Path to Impact which leads designers through the process of designing for measurable impact. In Gage’s role as the AIGA Presidents Council Chair he works with the AIGA staff to ensure the organization is being inclusive in it’s approach to designing the future of the organization and the industry. During his tenure as the AIGA Seattle President, he worked with his board to rewrite the chapter’s mission to focus on harnessing the power of design to build a better future.

Gage’s design and thought leadership has been featured in prominent books, magazines, and blogs. He’s spoken at local, regional, and national conferences, events, webinars, and podcasts. He’s received awards for sustainable design, branding, package design, environmental design, advertising, promotional design, and illustration. Gage’s proudest achievement to date, however, is designing a career that allows him to combine his passions for business, design, food, and sustainability.

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Jamie Myrold is the Vice President of Adobe Design, where she has led large-scale design efforts at Adobe for 13 years, leading the company’s development of the next generation of design tools. Myrold’s experience goes beyond restructuring and redesigning applications, but to redefining Adobe’s design business as well. In her role, Myrold aims to inspire the next wave of design leaders, encouraging her teams to push boundaries and develop leadership skills to define guidelines that help with all aspects of business strategy and product creation.

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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.

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Richard Ting leads R/GA’s global Experience Design (XD) team as EVP, global chief experience officer. The XD team is responsible for the overall user experiences of all communications, products, and services that R/GA launches into the marketplace. During more than 15 years with R/GA, Ting worked on a wide range of clients, including Nike, Samsung, Google, and Johnson & Johnson. Ting has received nearly every major industry award, including the Cannes Titanium Lion, the Grand CLIO, the International ANDY Awards GRANDY, and the D&AD Black Pencil.

Ting is a sought-after digital thought leader and has served on a number of award show juries, such as The One Show, the International CLIO Awards, the London International Awards, the Effies, and the Webby Awards. He has also spoken at numerous conferences, including SXSW, Advertising Week, The One Club, and the Mobile Marketing Forum. In recent years, Ting has published articles in Harvard Business Review, The Atlantic, Advertising Age, Adweek, and Digiday.

An avid follower of startups and emerging digital trends, Ting founded R/GA’s FutureVision program and is a co-founder of the critically acclaimed R/GA Venture Studio program. Ting has strong ties to the academic world. He taught “Designing the Future of TV” at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program and has been a guest lecturer at Brown University, Parsons School of Design, Miami Ad School, and Howard University. In recent years, Business Insider ranked Richard as “third” in its annual “Most Creative People in Mobile Advertising” survey, and Adweek honored him as a top 25 “ad voice” on Twitter. You can learn more about Ting and his sneaker collection by following him on Twitter, @flytip.

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Hugh Weber is a researcher, network theorist, storyteller, community organizer, design advocate, and small town kid.

With clients and partners ranging from Fortune 10 to mom-and-pop bait & tackle shops, Weber uses a variety of emergent research techniques and innovative community building skills as CEO and curator of the Institute of Possibility to reveal the rich stories, vibrant cultures, thriving networks, and infinite possibility that often lays hidden in the communities, organizations and people that we love most.

Weber founded OTA, a for-purpose organization focused on sparking transformation through creative connections and collisions in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota. OTA has convened 11 large-scale events, hosted over 150 national thought leaders, commissioned 35 micro-documentaries and a full-length feature, and invested approximately $2 million in the creatives who call the region home.

Weber is creator of The Potluck Society, a public radio podcast that celebrates ordinary people who are building extraordinary communities. He also recently co-created Leading Good, a learning platform and podcast that exists to inspire and equip leaders of nonprofits, social enterprises, and social impact brands.

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