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

 Gage Mitchell, AIGA Seattle 
Gage is a design studio owner/principal, creative director, and strategist living in both Seattle (business hedquarters) and Raleigh (wife and dog). Through AIGA and his professional practice he is constantly pursuing his passion for demonstrating the power of design to make a positive impact on the world. Gage is President Emeritus of AIGA Seattle and currently serves as the Presidents Council Chair of AIGA and on the Design for Good national task force.

Incoming Presidents Council Chair

 Andy Rich, AIGA Houston
Andy bleeds AIGA. As a Houston-based multi-disciplinary designer, creative director, and copywriter with 12+ years of agency and inhouse experience, Andy currently runs his own design business with an emphasis on brand strategy and UX design. Since 2005, Andy has been leveraging his involvement in AIGA to become a community leader, public speaker, and mentor. As a two-term AIGA Houston chapter President and still-active President Emeritus, he believes in building a strong and vibrant design community for the city of Houston and beyond.

Chapter Advisory Council

 Jess Moore, CAC region 1
Jess is a designer, artist and educator somewhere in the Rocky Mountain West. AIGA Colorado  President Emeritus, serving as president from 2015-2017, and still advising the board in her Emeritus role, she fell in love with the mountains and has gone mobile with art making living in her travel trailer named Sylvia. She loves seeing growth from emerging designers not just in their applying design, but in contributing to the larger community. She firmly believes in the wider AIGA family, from her start as a designer on the east coast being a member of AIGA Baltimore in her formative years. Jess is looking forward to expanding that family to the west coast as Region 1 CAC representative.

 Bri Picarri, CAC region 2
Bri is a designer, front end developer & yogi formerly of Lancaster, Pennsylvania and currently in Denver, Colorado. She is President Emeritus of AIGA Central Pennsylvania, serving as the chapter's first female president and instating a Women Lead mentorship program, instigating the formation of a Diversity in Design scholarship fund, as well as kickstarting the chapter's professional development series, led by local creatives. Bri is currently diving into discovering how to make wellness, mindfulness and conscious leadership more prominent in the design field, while mentoring and supporting her region's chapters in their initiatives and planning.

  Paul Mendoza, CAC region 3 
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.

 Sarah Spalding, CAC region 4
Sarah is a designer and in-house advocate living in Cleveland, Ohio, where she helps lead her company’s corporate brand strategy and marketing efforts. She is President Emeritus of AIGA Cleveland, where she also served as Treasurer and continues to act as an advisor and mentor to the board. During her tenure as president, Sarah led programs, initiatives, and the organizational development of the chapter and continues to serve AIGA nationally as a member of the Chapter Advisory Council. When she’s not focusing on all things AIGA, you can likely find her binge-watching Netflix—specifically The Office—or indulging her foodie alter ego by sampling new restaurants around town.

 Lauren Dougherty, CAC region 5
Lauren is a designer and strategist living in Philadelphia. She has been an active and dedicated member of the AIGA community for over 15 years. She is President Emeritus of AIGA Philadelphia (2015–2017). In her tenure as President, she helped AIGA Philadelphia build a strong and engaged Board of Directors, reach record membership highs, diversify programming, improve communications and better connect with the city’s greater creative community. 

 Devon Hoernschemeyer, CAC region 6
Devon is an art director/designer with an overactive imagination and outgoing social tendencies. She spends her daylight hours as the  believing her passion and tenacious grit are gifts intended for the service of others. During her tenure as President of AIGA Orlando, Devon led her creative community to increased growth by implementing an open chapter format, improving communications, and streamlining board operations. She continues to stay involved with her local chapter by overseeing their finances while mentoring other chapters as a member of Chapter Advisory Council.

 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.