2017 Slate of board nominees

Filed Under: About AIGA , governance

2017 board slate

We are delighted to submit for your consideration and vote a 2017 slate comprised of seven outstanding individuals who bring unique and diverse capabilities.

The nominating committee selected five potential members for AIGA’s 2017 national board of directors based on nominations from AIGA members, chapter leaders, and design opinion leaders. In addition to these five, the board, as authorized in the bylaws, has asked Su Mathews Hale to serve as president of AIGA for the third and final year of her term, effective July 1, 2017–June 30, 2018; and appointed two ex officio directors, each for a one-year term: Dana Arnett, VSA Partners (AIGA Chicago) as president elect to work closely with Mathews Hale in the final year of her presidency, and Ann Willoughby, Willoughby Design (AIGA Kansas City) who will serve as ambassador for the AIGA Design Archives.

Consistent with AIGA’s bylaws, the proposed slate is submitted to the voting membership for ratification. 

Members at the Trustee, Design Leader, and Sustaining levels should vote via the proxy ballot. The vote is either for or against the entire slate. Ballots must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. PST on Wednesday, April 5, 2017, in order to be counted. Ballots will be counted at a special membership meeting on Thursday, April 6 at 10:00 a.m. EST at the AIGA national office, 233 Broadway, New York. No other business will be transacted at this meeting, and no members are required or expected to attend.

The nominating committee is made up principally of AIGA members, not AIGA board members, in order to reflect members’ views. The 2017 nominating committee received an extraordinarily strong pool of qualified candidates who were willing to serve, from which this group was selected. These candidates met the criteria and fit best with the immediate priorities facing the organization.

2017 board slate

Members who will begin a one-year ex-officio term on July 1, 2017:

Members who will begin a three-year term on July 1, 2017:

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 2017:

About the 2017 board nominees


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. 


Dana Arnett is a founder and CEO 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Ann Willoughby  has been a leader in brand experience design and design education for almost four decades. She has taught, written, and given lectures all over the world.

AIGA has been at the center of her professional career since the mid 1980s. Willoughby is an AIGA Medalist and served on the AIGA national board of directors and chaired the 2004 AIGA Design Conference in New York. Willoughby was co-chair of the AIGA centennial celebration in 2014. Willoughby helped launch the pilot AIGA Design Leadership Program at Harvard Business School. She writes and speaks about systems design and design thinking as a method to improve the product and service experiences making them more sustainable, useful, and beautiful. She was one of 50 women leaders featured in the design book, Women of Design by Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit.

Ann founded Willoughby Design in 1978. Over the years, Willoughby has developed a business culture and process where designers and clients work together collaboratively at the Design Barn, or at the offices in Kansas City and San Francisco. Willoughby has designed brand identities and interactive brand experiences for scores of clients, including the Kauffman Foundation, United Nations, Hallmark Cards, Lee Jeans, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Spin Pizza, and Panera Bread. The company has provided pro bono design for Harvesters, the regional food bank for 20 years. Kansas City civic and community organizations such as Visit KC, KC Chamber, Max Rapid Bus, and the win|win initiative are examples of Willoughby rebrands that helped revitalize the city over the past ten years. Willoughby is currently designing the new streetcar and regional transit brand system for the greater Kansas City region.