Chapter Advisory Council
Chapter Advisory Council

About the Chapter Advisory Council


The Chapter Advisory Council (CAC) is made up of seven recent chapter board members working in close collaboration the Presidents Council Chairs and AIGA’s Membership and Chapter Development team. The CAC provides guidance on chapter issues from direct experience, empowerment for developing chapter leaders, and a wealth of institutional knowledge from their years of service in both local and national roles—all with the goal of helping set chapters up for long-term success. All chapter board members (not just presidents) are encouraged to contact their region’s Chapter Advisory Council representative for advice.

The goal of the Chapter Advisory Council (CAC) is to provide chapter leaders with guidance, empowerment, and knowledge to set them up for long-term success. The CAC is a mentorship, coaching, and knowledge transfer body for chapters.

The Chapter Advisory Council serves several functions:

  • Acts as intermediary point of contact between chapter leaders and national office; this body acts as volunteer regional directors, or a conduit between both parties to ensure relevant information is reaching appropriate people on both ends.
  • Utilizes prior experience to provide immediate guidance and counsel to chapter leaders on a range of matters (both benign and dire) pertaining to governance, membership, community support, best practices, etc.
  • Empowers newer chapter leaders through encouragement and leadership mentorship via new board member on-boarding assistance, by being available for online/phone meetings, in-person at chapter visits, and in-person at the Leadership Retreat.
  • Facilitates connections and knowledge sharing between chapter leaders, National Board, and staff to encourage organization-wide collaboration and mentorship.
  • Provides an ongoing source of information about chapters for the President’s Council, AIGA national office, and fellow CAC regional representatives.
  • Identifies stand-out chapter leaders who may want to stay involved with AIGA after their chapter service and have knowledge and experience to share.
  • Escalates dire or potentially dire matters (e.g. financial crisis, tax issues, governance issues, etc) to the presidents council and the director of membership and chapter development as needed.
  • Serves as a local point of contact for code of conduct violations; investigates and reports on behavior complaint(s) to director of membership and chapter development.
  • Advocates for the chapter’s perspective while being a sounding board for strategic direction, policy, program, content ideas from the national office.

The presidents council chair is the liaison between chapters and the AIGA board of directors. The designee serves as incoming chair for one year before filling the position. The presidents council chair is a voting position on the AIGA national board of directors.

Meet the CAC

Presidents Council Chair
Frances Yllana
Frances Yllana

Frances is a designer, writer, teacher, speaker, non-profit advisor and volunteer. Along with co-chairing AIGA’s Design for Democracy, she is Incoming Presidents Council Chair to the AIGA National Board, and has played various cameos in initiatives such as Women Lead, 2016's Get Out the Vote and Emerge 2.0. She is an Experience Director at projekt202 in Dallas and Design Director for AIA Dallas’s Columns Magazine. In addition, Frances is a national board member for Creative Reaction Lab, a champion of multiple community and civic organizations, and dedicated to advancing the impact and value of design as a strategic and cultural force. 

CAC Chair
Lori Patton O'Hara
Lori Patton O'Hara
CAC region 7

Lori is the owner of Design5sixty4, is a design and brand strategist living in Colorado Springs, CO. She is a Navy Veteran, small business owner, professional UI/UX design, photographer and President Emeritus of AIGA New Mexico. AIGA has always been a part of Lori’s design career, as a constant support to her career and in turn supporting others develop their passions. Pursuing her love for design, Lori is excited to support chapters across the nation, covering Region 7 on the Chapter Advisory Council for AIGA.

Chapter Advisory Council
Vanessa Ulrich
Vanessa Ulrich
CAC East

Vanessa Ulrich is a marketing and public relations professional who works at a full-service agency in Baltimore, where she wears many hats including art direction and meeting facilitation. She served on the AIGA Baltimore board for five years, first as visibility director and vice president, and then as president. She is currently president emeritus on the chapter’s Advisory Board. Vanessa earned her M.A. in Design Management from the Savannah College of Art and Design, and enjoys writing, styling, and being in front of and behind the camera for her fashion blog, The Primpy Sheep. She lives in Baltimore city with her husband and russell terrier, Otis.

Dallas Duncan Franklin
Dallas Duncan Franklin
CAC South

Dallas Duncan Franklin serves on the AIGA Chapter Advisor Council as one of two representatives for CAC South, partnering with Kyle Larkin of AIGA Arizona to support the region. She is the current President Emeritus of AIGA Atlanta. Her previous positions on the AIGA Atlanta Board include the roles of President / Co-President, In-House Co-Chair, and Mentorship Chair. She is passionate about organizing and empowering AIGA members to leverage our unique talents and resources to create a national conversation with Design at its center. As the Creative Director for Neenah Paper, Dallas loves the tactile immediacy of high-end print processes, obsesses over beautiful typography, and is an avid believer in strong, simple communication that informs as well as surprises. Her work has been published in Communication Arts, Graphis, and Graphic Design USA. A native West Texan, Dallas is a graduate of Georgetown University and The Portfolio Center. She lives in Waleska, GA on her 10 acre farm with her husband and four dogs, and enjoys yoga, gardening, and preserving her signature “jammies”.

Kyle Larkin
Kyle Larkin
CAC South

Kyle is an interaction designer and partner at Extra Small Design in Phoenix Arizona. He is past President of AIGA Arizona where he has served in a number of roles over the past 6 years, and remains on the Advisory Board. He is also adjunct faculty in The Design School at ASU where he teaches interaction design and front-end web development in the Visual Communication Design program. Kyle holds an undergraduate degree in Architecture and a graduate degree in Interaction Design from Arizona State University. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife, son, and border collie. When he's not working, teaching, or drinking espresso, he's usually adventuring with his family in the mountains of Northern Arizona.

Brendan Shanley
Brendan Shanley
CAC Midwest

Brendan is a multidisciplinary creative with 15 years experience in visual design, photography and strategy. He has served on the Board of Directors of AIGA Chicago and as Chapter President of AIGA Seattle. Now based in Seattle, he leads creative and strategic efforts for clients in a multitude of industries at Lost In Print. Brendan is an Eagle Scout, a wannabe sommelier and he’s looking for the next story to tell.

Savannah Kaylor
Savannah Kaylor
CAC East
Paul Mendoza
Paul Mendoza
CAC-West

Paul is a graphic designer and copywriter at UCLA. He develops and executes communication strategies for Residential Life and Student Affairs, and he also teaches and mentors student designers on campus. As Membership Director of AIGA Los Angeles, Paul co-created the Membership Toolkit and Chapter Orientation Handbook that now serve as foundational onboarding tools for all chapters nationwide. He enjoys karaoke bars, ballet class, and Disneyland churros, but not all at once.