Women Lead committee

Filed Under: Womens Leadership

The AIGA Women Lead steering committee works to develop programs, events, and resources for an inclusive audience—women and men, emerging designers and seasoned professionals, members and nonmembers. The group, established in 2014 by Su Mathews Hale and Deborah Adler of AIGA’s national board of directors, was originally based in New York City and in 2015 has expanded to include select AIGA chapter leaders from across the country.


Lynda Decker Lynda Decker, president and creative director, Decker Design | AIGA New York
Since founding Decker Design in 1996, Lynda has propelled the firm’s growth with a client roster that boasts some of the business world’s most dynamic and influential organizations. A native New Yorker, Lynda holds a B.F.A. in design from C.W. Post College in New York and an M.F.A. from Syracuse University. She is also an alumna of the Harvard Business School Design Leadership Program and Goldman Sachs’s 10,000 Small Businesses program, and she studied design and cultural theory at The Cooper Union. She recently completed an M.F.A. in Design Criticism at the School of Visual Arts.

Heather Stern Heather Stern, chief marketing and talent officer, Lippincott | AIGA New York
In her role, Stern brings dedication, creativity, and passion to leading the firm's brand building efforts. Balancing strategic thinking with practical execution, she elevates the firm's visibility through marketing strategy and activation, thought leadership development, media and industry relations, digital marketing, sponsorships and events. She also supports broader strategic initiatives including new platform development, knowledge management, internal communications, and initiatives to build client and influencer networks.

Founding co-chairs

Su Mathews HaleSu Mathews Hale, senior partner, Lippincott | AIGA San Francisco
Su Mathews Hale is a senior partner in design based in Lippincott’s San Francisco office and president of the AIGA's national board of directors. For more than two decades, she has thrived at the intersection of graphic design and brand strategy. Using the power of design to develop inspiring creations while solving business problems, Su has worked with a broad range of notable clients including Chick-fil-A, eBay, Hayneedle, Hershey’s, Hyatt, IHG, Liz Claiborne, New York Public Library, RadioShack, Red Robin, Samsung, Shutterstock, the U.S. Department of State, and Walmart.

Deborah Adler Deborah Adler, principal, Adler Design | AIGA New York
Deborah Adler is a designer, entrepreneur, and mother of two. Her work is guided by the belief that meaningful innovation requires a deep understanding of the people who will use what she creates and the changing world that surrounds them. As the principal of Adler Design, Adler brings new ideas to market and works with industry and nonprofit clients to design experiences, change behaviors, and improve outcomes.


Steering committee

Corporate activation sub-committee

Amy Armock Amy Armock, studio director for Amazon’s device and services design team
Armock drives design operations and research that encompasses UX design for Fire Tablets, FireTV, Alexa, and next generation product design. Beyond running operations and research, she drives the design culture and recruiting efforts for the Studio and runs the Amazon Design Leadership program across the broader Amazon Design community. Prior to joining Amazon, Amy led design teams at Microsoft for Xbox, Zune, Windows Phone as well as several product incubation programs. She’s also held design leadership positions at Yahoo! and TiVo.

Rose NewtonRose Newton, director of product design at Blackboard | AIGA Austin
As a published, award-winning designer, Rose Newton brings 20+ years of creative strategy to her role as Director of Product Design at Blackboard. In this role, Rose is able to leverage her background in design and education to focus on transforming the education industry, and to help develop the overall design strategy of Blackboard. Rose was a professor for over 14 years at several major institutions including Savannah College of Art & Design, University of Houston, and Texas State University. Most recently, Rose managed and led in-house design teams for IBM, and has also worked with several large corporations.

Wacarra Yeomans Wacarra Yeomans, vice president of creative services, Oracle | AIGA Seattle
Wacarra is an expert in creative strategy and user experience in the digital direct marketing channels. At Oracle, she leads a team of designers, writers, and developers who create cross-channel campaigns, enhanced brand experiences, and improved program performance for top-notch brands across the retail, branded food, technology, and entertainment industries. Wacarra was recently named one of the "40 under 40 in Direct Marketing" by DM News. She currently serves as treasurer on the board of AIGA Seattle.


Impact and metrics sub-committee

Laura Kunkel Laura Kunkel, creative director, Blue State Digital | AIGA New York
Laura Kunkel is a creative director at Blue State Digital where she leads teams in designing creative programs and products for purpose-driven brands that want to scale their impact and transform how they engage people. Laura has worked with a broad range of clients, including Tisch School of the Arts, MoMA, WNYC, MIT, Equality Now, Child Mind Institute, University of Chicago, NBCUniversal, Google, Council on Foreign Relations, and the World Economic Forum. She is the chair of BSD Women, an agency initiative with the mission of creating a thriving workplace for female employees at BSD.


Chapter activation sub-committee

Deborah Adler Deborah Adler, principal, Adler Design | AIGA New York
Deborah Adler is a designer, entrepreneur and mother of two. Her work is guided by the belief that meaningful innovation requires a deep understanding of the people who will use what she creates and the changing world that surrounds them. As the principal of Adler Design, Adler brings new ideas to market and works with industry and nonprofit clients to design experiences, change behaviors and improve outcomes.

Anne BemisAnne Bemis, senior designer, Perfect PlanIt | AIGA Pittsburgh
From high-level creative concepts to the devil is in the details design, Anne helps clients communicate their big ideas by turning them into creative action. Her past work experiences include the in-house design teams for the Pittsburgh Pirates and PPG Architectural Coatings. Her true passion lies within helping her design community explore new experiences and develop creative camaraderie through AIGA.

Erin HamiltonErin Hamilton, principal, Erin Hamilton Design | AIGA Alaska
Founded in 2001, EHD is an Anchorage-based design studio focused on brand development for clients in a variety of markets including healthcare, travel and tourism, restaurants and more. Hamilton, a founding member of the AIGA Alaska chapter and president emeritus, currently serves on the chapter's advisory committee. She has been a panel participant and workshop leader at AIGA’s national leadership retreat. She is a frequent reviewer and guest presenter for the University of Alaska's graphic design program.

Jennifer Jericho headshotJennifer Marin Jericho, co-founder, Jericho Vinegar Works | AIGA Baltimore
A strategic thinker with wild curiosity and a drive for building a community of empowered creatives, Jennifer has served AIGA in a variety of leadership roles at a local and national level. Jennifer Marin Jericho is the Marketing Manager for Barcoding, Inc., and co-owner of Jericho Vinegar Works, a design and illustration studio. A writer, designer, and entrepreneur, she brings her expertise in design and communication to her work, creating collaborative partnerships with her clients to help them discover effective ways to reach their audiences.

Elysia Syriac Elysia Syriac, founder and creative director, Relish Creative | AIGA Denver
Relish, a studio focused on branding, packaging, publications and social strategy, brings ideas to life through consumer engagement. Elysia has previously worked with a number of in-house design teams, such as Whitewave Foods, to help concept and execute social design strategy for global brands while assisting innovation teams. She has received awards from Communication Arts, American Graphic Design Awards and Art Director’s Club of Denver. She speaks frequently about mentorship and recently presented on behalf of the Fulbright Commission to Icelandic educators at Design March.

Past members of the committee

Carla Frank, creative director, Carla Frank Creative
Shannon Gabor, founder and CEO, Clever Creative
Cheryl Heller, principal, Heller Communication Design
Debbie Millman, president, Design Group, Sterling Brands
Roberta Ronsivalle Pearce, design consultant and former managing partner, Mucca
Leslie Smolan, co-founder/director of creative strategy, Carbone Smolan Agency
Jill Spaeth, president and director of design, Citizen Creative

AIGA national office liaison

Laetitia Wolff, director of strategic initiatives

Learn more about AIGA Women Lead.