In-house INitiative Steering Committee

More than half of AIGA’s members are in-house creatives employed full-time by corporations and organizations. In 2016 AIGA is reactivating an in-house steering committee to help address the unique opportunities and challenges faced by this community. Led by in-house ambassador Darralyn Rieth, this INitiative committee will offer a first-hand understanding of the needs of in-house designers and play a key role in helping to shape content and strategy at both the national and chapter levels. 

Co-Chairs
J. Dontrese Brown
J. Dontrese Brown
Executive Director | EDGE Center for Career Development at Randolph-Macon College

Dontrese is a motivational creative design professional who has recently relocated to Richmond from southern Connecticut. He holds BFA, MA, and MFA degrees in Graphic Design from Georgetown College, Kentucky, Morehead State University, and Savannah College of Art & Design. He has led various teams from a creative and developmental perspective, building strong relationships and pushing processes and design to the maximum. His thirst for brand design, creative strategy, and teamwork is the driving force that inspires all those around him. He was formerly North America creative director at Victorinox Swiss Army and on the board of directors for AIGA Connecticut.

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Vanessa Dewey
Vanessa Dewey
Sr. Product Marketing Manager | Enterprise Special Events at Adobe Systems Incorporated

A native Vermonter, Francophile, and a devoted single-origin coffee drinker, Vanessa is an award-winning designer spanning both coasts. While in LA, Vanessa held the role of art director for toymaker Mattel's Toy Box division. She also worked across numerous IP properties and led the Women of Mattel. Now based in NYC, Vanessa works in collaboration with Adobe and their customers to curate Creative Jam. These are creative experiences unique to each customer’s creative organization. Creative Jams are a two-part experience: part creative tournament and part inspirational talks. 

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Committee
Karen M. Butler
Karen M. Butler
Senior Art Director at Prudential

After several years spent working in the legal field, a life-long love of the arts led Karen to boldly pursue her goal of obtaining a degree in graphic design. Her relentless drive to improve herself and those around her quickly established her as a catalyst for excellence within the creative team at Victorinox Swiss Army and helped to propel her into her current role with Prudential Retirement. She currently serves as President on the board of directors for AIGA Connecticut. In her free time she enjoys traveling, scuba diving, photography and hand lettering.

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Alex Center
Alex Center
Founder CENTER

Alex is a Brooklyn-based designer and founder of the design and branding company CENTER. Prior to opening his own studio, he worked for over a decade for the global beverage leader, The Coca-Cola Company. He grew up in the town of Oceanside NY, home to the world's second Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs. He once worked for the New York Knicks as a designer where he worked with both his childhood idol, John Starks and his nemesis Isiah Thomas.

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Seth Johnson
Seth Johnson
Design Advocate, Head of Client Experience for IBM Studios

Seth leads IBM Design’s efforts to integrate design thinking into dozens of sales organizations across a global network of 36+ IBM Studios. He works closely with IBM managing directors, sales executives, teams, and clients to demonstrate the business value of applying design thinking across the enterprise. As an expert design thinking facilitator, he develops many of the facilitation practices in use by more than 65,000 design thinkers at IBM today. A former president of AIGA Minnesota and a long-time educator, he currently serves as an advisor and visiting faculty member of the Graphic Design Graduate Program at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California.  

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Nikki Villagomez
Nikki Villagomez
Creative Studio Manager at Dixon Hughes Goodman, LLP

Nikki Villagomez is a nationally recognized speaker on how culture affects typography. She is the former founder and president of AIGA South Carolina. Currently, Nikki is the Creative Studio Manager at Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP (the 17th largest Accounting firm in the United States) in Charlotte, NC.

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Andrew Vollo
Andrew Vollo
director, client engagement, SGK

From soup to sutures, Andrew has spent more than 25 years on the business side of design management, unifying design operations and translating consumer insights across a wide variety of categories and industries to achieve successful business outcomes for global and regional clients in the CPG, retail and pharma industries. He is especially talented in unifying agency creative teams with client stakeholder groups representing multiple disciplinary functions. He is hard-wired to advocate for the consumer and provide an objective point of view. Andrew resides in the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania with his partner Mark.

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About INitiative

Since 2010, AIGA's In-house INitiative has provided the skills, tools, technologies, inspiration, and resources needed to enable in-house designers to advance design competencies, build leadership skills, make a greater impact on business, and connect with a broad network of peers and experts.

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