Side Hustle

I currently serve as the President Emeritus of AIGA DC, the local chapter of the professional association for design. My team and I advance design as a professional craft, strategic advantage and vital cultural force. We bring together practitioners, enthusiasts and patrons to amplify the voice of design and create the vision for a collective future. We define global standards and ethical practices, guide design education, enhance professional development and make powerful tools and resources accessible to all.

Fun Facts

  • AIGA DC is a 501(c)(3) organization with ~1,200 members and $155K in assets. We are the 4th largest chapter of the professional association for design and serve the DC Creative Community.
  • My kickass team consists of 27 Board Members, 4 Advisory Board Members and a number of community volunteers.
  • Last year, our chapter established an endowment for our Design Continuum Fund, an annual merit-based scholarship program that supports local design-minded students by offering them financial assistance to pursue their design education.
  • Our chapter produces 60+ events, including DC Design Week, in a single programming year (September – May) and partners with other community organizations such as Creative Mornings DC, DCFemTech and ColorCoded to elevate DC as a design and tech city.
  • My team has codified a lot of our processes, allowing us to scale our programming and initiatives to other chapters across the country.

The Backstory

In the summer of 2007, I decided I needed a change of scenery. I had my sights set on moving to New York City because that’s the thing to do as a newbie creative. Right? Right. I quit my first design job, sold most of my stuff and moved across the country with two suitcases. However, I randomly found myself in Washington, DC instead…

The first couple of years in DC were really tough. I missed California and to top it all off, I had no design friends. My boss at the time was a fellow designer, but he traveled so much I was basically running solo. I remembered my undergrad design professor say something about AIGA, so I decided to look into it. My first few AIGA experiences weren’t great. It seemed like people already knew each other and since I’m not one to put myself out there in social settings, (yes, I realize this a me problem) I decided to volunteer.

Next thing I know, I’m running the show. I’ve served of the Board of Directors for 6+ years. As cheeseball as it sounds, AIGA changed my life. I found my people. I found my tribe. I’m so grateful for these awesome humans I’ve befriended along the way. It’s been an honor to serve my profession and the creative community—especially in DC.