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. 


_Com16 DontreseJ. Dontrese Brown, former director, brand creative, CapitalOne
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.


_Com16 VanessaVanessa Dewey, lead, development and creative experiencesMattel, Inc.
A native Vermonter, Francophile, and a devoted single-origin coffee drinker, Vanessa is an award-winning designer based in Downtown Los Angeles. She is an art director for toymaker Mattel's Toy Box division. While at Mattel, Vanessa has worked across numerous IP properties and well as properties for licensors such as 343 Studios, Mojang, and Disney. Passionate about building inspirations connections, she's the VP of the Women of Mattel organization, and is the co-founder of several Mattel internal creative groups. Currently, she is on the Board of Directors for AIGA Los Angeles, where she champions the chapter's Women Lead Initiative as well as the In-House INitiative.  



Karen ButlerKaren 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.


_Com16 AlexAlex Center, design director, The Coca-Cola Company
Alex  is a Brooklyn-based designer leading the strategy and design vision for brands at Coca-Cola including vitaminwater, smartwater, and Powerade. He has created packaging for hands across the globe, breakthrough marketing campaigns, and innovative new products. In 2014, Alex was named a Person To Watch by GDUSA Magazine. He speaks and writes about his story and the expanding landscape of in-house design through AIGA, The Dieline, HOW, and Design Matters. In his personal time, he enjoys rooting for New York sports teams that wear orange/blue, editing Instagrams for far too long, and searching for the freshest prosciutto in New York City.


Seth JohnsonSeth 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.  


_Com16 ElizabethElizabeth Olson, former vice president of design, P&G
Elizabeth is a design midwife, director and strategist. In her 35-year career at P&G, she led the creative development of brand expression and innovation for billion-dollar brands, across a wide range of consumer product categories, around the world. Known as a champion of curiosity, creativity, clarity, collaboration, Elizabeth is a proven organization-builder, and has been involved in every aspect of developing Design as a creative advantage in business. Throughout her career, she has explained and demonstrated the power of Design to other disciplines, developed internal design capability, and nurtured strong relationships with external agencies to deliver brilliant work.


_Com16 LarryLarry S. Sorrel, global graphic design director, Newell Rubbermaid
At Newell Rubbermaid, Larry is responsible for ensuring best in class strategic creative solutions for all brands across the global portfolio for multiple consumer touch-points. He studied marketing at Louisiana State University and retail-marketing design at The Art Institute of Houston. Larry has broad exposure to multiple facets within the retail industry. After 11 years in multiple positions at Macy's Corporate/Federated Department Stores, he worked on the agency side within the luxury sector—on brands including Hermes, Gucci, Bottega Veneta, and Armani. His last agency position focused on integrated/digital campaigns for large retailers like The Home Depot.


Nikki VillagomezNikki 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.

_Com16 Andrew

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.


Diane DomeyerDiane Domeyer, executive director, The Creative Group
As executive director of TCG, a specialized staffing service placing interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations professionals, Diane manages operations for the firm's locations in major markets throughout the United States and Canada. She is a noted career expert and frequent presented on hiring and management topics. She has been interviewed by numerous publications, including the Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, and more. She has also been named by the San Francisco Business Times as one of the Bay Area's Most Influential women for six consecutive years and "Forever Influential" in 2013. Diane holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of St. Thomas.


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.

Presenting sponsor

hp logoAs the presenting sponsor of AIGA's In-house INitiative, HP Inc. Graphics Solutions Business provides hands-on support, inspiration, education and industry expertise. AIGA members are offered exclusive access to AIGA HP Innovation Labs at the HP Graphics Experience Center in Alpharetta, Georgia to help increase their capabilities in digital print innovation.