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Board Members
  • Garreth Blackwell

    President

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    Garreth Blackwell is the founding partner of Wide Open Air Consulting & Design, a design shop focused on service to customers and clear communication. He received a master's degree in journalism from the University of Mississippi where he focused on visual communication and print production. Before moving to Richmond, he was on faculty at the University of Mississippi teaching photojournalism, publication design, and advertising design where his students were awarded three national awards in the AEJMC student magazine competition and a Robert Kennedy Award for their work documenting the lives of struggling communities in the Mississippi Delta. Garreth is the co-author of Design Your Own Magazine and is currently attending VCU to complete an interdisciplinary PhD from the School of the Arts, the School of Mass Communications, and the department of English.

  • Traci Naff

    VP of Operations

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    The Vice President of Operations oversees chapter process, procedures and protocol, maintains appropriate records of all chapter activities, and assists various board committees as needed. The VP of Operations should be knowledgeable with the chapters operational tools and resources, the National Organization, and the resources they provide. The VP of Operations helps keep the chapter running smoothly, by keeping track of chapter operations via an operational calendar, scheduling board meetings, sending reminders for any deadlines, and ensuring that the chapter affiliation requirements are updated yearly. The VP of Operations oversees partner agencies and board operations

  • John Drake

    VP of Finance

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    John opened his agency J Drake Graphic Design in 2012 as a way to provide custom graphic and web design solutions for Richmond companies looking to set themselves apart from their competition.

    “We know that each business is unique and we try to convey that sense of individuality in our work. We strive to create a solution that will work to solve whatever problem our client is facing.”

    As the Creative Director John is responsible for integrating the visual components of a client’s brand and managing their corporate identities. He enjoys creating logos and designing visual solutions to graphic and website problems that clients’ can’t even see or didn’t know existed. He has a B.F.A. in Graphic Design from Old Dominion University. Most recently, Graphic Design USA awarded John with a 2015 American Graphic Design Award.

  • Mark Badger

    VP of Connecting Design

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    A Creative Director at CapTech Consulting, Mark works in the Customer Experience group, helping brands like Dominion Resources and Wells Fargo improve their digital products and services through the design of engaging, usable, and meaningful digital experiences. Previously, Mark worked for Isobar in Boston as UX Director, leading design engagements with clients such as Comedy Central, Fidelity Investments, Mackenzie Financial, Motorola Mobility, Lonza Group, and Hilton Worldwide. Since majoring in architecture at Yale, he has accumulated two decades of experience in information architecture, brand identity, interaction design, and user experience design. Through his work, Mark focuses on understanding and enhancing the relationships that emerge between customers and brands based on their shared interactions and experiences, and he has spoken on related topics in D.C., Boston, and here in Richmond. In addition to serving on the AIGA Richmond Executive Board, Mark serves on the board of Richmond User Experience as their Communications Director and Vice President.

  • Ben Burns

    VP of Impacting Design

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    The Vice President of Impacting Design advocates for the value of design through programming and initiatives that highlight the positive impact of design. The VP of Impacting Design oversees the planning and implementation of the annual events calendar. The VP of Impacting Design oversees the Director of Programming

  • Ben Evjen

    VP of Advancing Design

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    The Vice President of Advancing Design provides educational programming for skill improvement, knowledge growth, and career development. The VP of Advancing Design coordinates with local collegiate AIGA chapters to advance this mission. The VP of Advancing Design oversees the Director of Education and collegiate chapters.

  • -vacant-

    Director of Partnership

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    The Director of Partnership fosters relationships with outside organizations that provide financial and in-kind support for chapter programming and activities. The Director of Partnership reports to the VP of Finance.

  • -vacant-

    Director of Communications

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    The Director of Communications oversees the chapter’s marketing strategy, including the development and implementation of all outbound marketing materials. This position is responsible for all written communications, including but not limited to the chapter website, social media accounts, and chapter email. The Director of Communications ensures that the voice of our chapter is professional, appropriate, and engaging. The Director of Communications reports to the VP of Connecting Design

  • -vacant-

    Director of Outreach

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    The Director of Outreach facilitates membership growth and retention by directing new membership campaigns, supporting active members, and recruiting new ones. This position also oversees chapter volunteer recruitment, including scouting potential future board members and committee chairs. The Director of Outreach reports to the VP of Connecting Design.

  • -vacant-

    Director of Programming

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    The Director of Programming oversees the execution of chapter’s annual events calendar. This position is responsible for logistics planning and implementation of chapter events. The Director of Programming directly supports and oversees programming committees and volunteers. The Director of Programming reports to the VP of Impacting Design.

  • -pending-

    Director of Education

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    The Director of Education oversees the Chapter’s education activities, by developing and nurturing relationships between AIGA Richmond and regional educators, schools, student groups and students. The Director of Education reports to the VP of Advancing Design.

  • Brian Gent

    Webmaster

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    I love lamp.

  • Hilda LeStrange

    The Bomb

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    Hilda LeStrange was recently transplanted from Las Vegas to Richmond, where she works as a visual designer for Unboxed Technology. In 2013, she received a Bachelor's Degree of Fine Art in Communication Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she developed a love for combining typography and design with illustration. She was recently recognized in CMYK Top 100 New Creatives, and was awarded Best in Category at AIGA’s recent GRADE 7 show. When she isn’t having a blast at her day job, she spends her free time doing other things pleasurable to the right-side brain, including freelancing, maintaining a semi-daily sketch blog, travelling, and house plant collecting. Contrary to popular belief, she is not related to Bellatrix Lestrange.

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