Colorado
By Justin Cline | September 9, 2013
Get to Know the 2013 – 2014 Board

It’s unde­ni­able. Colorado has become a cre­ative hub. But not until recently has our state been rec­og­nized for any­thing other than min­ing, moun­tains, and snow. Now, as more cre­ative peo­ple are real­iz­ing that Colorado is the place to be, our city is evolv­ing. In the past five years or so, Colorado’s cre­ative com­mu­nity has grown strong with fresh design­ers, strate­gic devel­op­ers, warm sto­ry­tellers, pho­tog­ra­phers, project plan­ners, and many more.

We’ve taken advan­tage of this influx and revamped our entire board. This is the biggest AIGA Colorado has ever been and we’re so grate­ful to have roped in all this great tal­ent. As we con­tinue to develop our chap­ter, we wanted to intro­duce our new board by ask­ing them a few fun ques­tions. Get to know every­one below.

Presidents

helen-young

Helen Young, President
Helen is the Creative Director and Owner at EnZed Design. She comes to us with 23 years of expe­ri­ence in the cre­ative indus­try. Yea, she’s a pretty big deal.

  • What’s one thing you can’t stop talk­ing about? Tennis and typefaces
  • What’s your motto? Reward the reader.
  • Define your style in five words: I live for small details.

elysia-syriac

Elysia Syriac, President Emeritus
Elysia is a designer at Relish cre­ative. She is a dri­ven and pas­sion­ate young lady with nine years of experience.

  • What’s one thing you can’t stop talk­ing about? Game of Thrones and Colorado Beer. Lettering. AIGA. Pushing the bound­aries of cre­ative communities.
  • What’s your motto? Exceed Expectations and Take Vacations
  • What does design mean to you? Finding the best solu­tion to the prob­lem at hand.

Administration

connie-tran

Connie Tran, Admin Chair
As an Art Director at Philosophy Communication, Connie comes to us with 4 years of solid experience.

  • What’s your motto? My motto and approach to design has long been inspired by Saul Bass. “Design is think­ing made visual.”
  • Define your style in five words: Minimalist, Simple, Funky, Typographic, Contrast
  • What do you like to do when you’re not being cre­ative? Fidgeting with gadgets/gizmos, video games, tae kwon do, more video games

Membership

Kate WrightKate Wright, VP of Chapter Development
She is the Career Services Alumni Advisor at the Art Institute of Colorado, and has 15 years of expe­ri­ence as a designer.

  • What does design mean to you? Design is huge, it’s every­where, even when you think it’s not. It’s won­der­fully sub­tle, yet auda­cious at the same time.
  • Who are you influ­enced by? Awesome design­ers, big names or unknowns. Everyone inspires me.
  • Where is your happy place? At home on the patio with a glass of chilled wine, my hus­band and dogs.

Programming

cat-fincun

Cat Fincun, VP of Programming
Contract Project Director at Battery 621

  • What path lead you to AIGA Colorado? I was mov­ing to Denver and wanted to get involved in the design com­mu­nity here. At an infor­ma­tion inter­view I was told to check out AIGA’s ice cream social at lit­tle man and the rest is history!
  • What’s your motto? Go BIG or go home
  • What does design mean to you? Design is every­thing. We use it to build the envi­ron­ments we want to live and inter­act with every day. We use it to show who we are. It is our visual com­mu­ni­ca­tion piece to the world.

 

kat-devers

Kat West, Co-Programming Director
Kat is an Art Director for Western Media and Kat West Ink. When you add it all up, Kat has ten years of experience.

  • Where do you see your­self doing in five years? In five years I would love to be liv­ing in the moun­tains of Colorado, in my newly built con­tainer home! Working as a full time free­lance designer, who is a rock­star mom and gar­dener. O’ the dream!
  • Define your style in five words: Funky. Colorful. Innovative. Enthusiastic. Happy.
  • What does design mean to you? Design is not a thing, or a place, its me. It means that I have been given a gift that must be shared with the world. I just fin­ished design­ing graph­ics for the World Cup 2013 cloth­ing sold at all the games. Design is only col­ors, fonts, and shapes until you add the spark of a good designer.

 

amanda-lenz

Amanda Lenz, New Programming Chair
Creative/Owner at Lenz Illustration & Design, Amanda has been in design/illustration for seven years.

  • What path lead you to AIGA Colorado? I found AIGA while I was going to col­lege at DU. The stu­dent pro­gram­ming was great. I got to par­tic­i­pate in port­fo­lio reviews, speaker series and the first edi­tion of the AIGA Colorado Educational Journal. Being part of the ini­tial team was excit­ing, and I learned more about build­ing a brand, lay­out, and copywriting/editing. So it was a no-brainer to con­tinue being a mem­ber through­out my pro­fes­sional career.
  • Where is your happy place? Anywhere with a sketchbook.
  • What do you like to do when you’re not being cre­ative? Hiking, moun­tain bik­ing, trav­el­ing and eat­ing sweets.

 

amy-malanga

Amy Malanga, Craftworks Chair
Amy is the Digital Media Coordinator at Furniture Row Companies

  • What path lead you to AIGA Colorado? I wanted to be more involved in the design community
  • What’s one thing you can’t stop talk­ing about? My pho­tog­ra­phy. In addi­tion to being a graphic designer, I have been a pho­tog­ra­pher since the ten­der age of 14. Its my hearts one true passion.
  • Where is your happy place? Any place near water at sunset.

 

mike-hornbeck

Mike Hornbeck, Drink & Draw chair
Owner Soapoint with just about six years of experience.

  •  Where do you see your­self doing in five years? SOAPOINT!
  • What’s your motto? Measure twice, cut once.
  • What does design mean to you? An oppor­tu­nity to change the world and the way it thinks.

Communication

Justin Cline

Justin Cline, VP of Communication
Art Director at Diablo Media and Partner at Proper Agency

  • What’s your motto? Ichigoichie (Each Moment Only Once)

 


rob-stefanski

Rob Stefanski, Director of Communications
Self employed at the moment, Rob is always on the hunt for new work and or a per­ma­nent posi­tion. Hit him up!

  • What path lead you to AIGA Colorado? As a recent col­lege grad last year, I was look­ing for a way to get involved in the design com­mu­nity, get my foot in the door and meet other design­ers. I saw the posi­tion for Communication Director and threw my hat in the ring. I’m glad I did, because it’s been a great expe­ri­ence for me to be a part of this sto­ried orga­ni­za­tion and help con­tribute to its success!
  • What does design mean to you? Design means the oppor­tu­nity to cre­ate some­thing mean­ing­ful. It’s all about edu­cat­ing and inform­ing peo­ple and open­ing their eyes, hop­ing that they will make pos­i­tive changes in their lives. And when they do, that’s when the real magic and power of design happens.
  • Who are you influ­enced by? Artistically, van Gogh is my idol; even though his story is kind of sad and tragic. His paint­ings are so visu­ally strik­ing, engag­ing and charming.

 

Brenda Geary, Branding Chair
Currently work­ing as a graphic designer for Vail Resorts, Brenda has ten years of experience.

  • What path lead you to AIGA Colorado? I set a goal to attend at least three AIGA events per year. The first two were so inspir­ing, I found myself pok­ing around on the site and vol­un­teer­ing for the board.
  • What’s your motto? What’s meant to be is meant to be
  • What do you like to do when you’re not being cre­ative? Anything out­side. Biking, back­pack­ing, yoga, snow­board­ing, and reading.
  • Who are you influ­enced by? Pinterest in general.

 

chris-arnold-150x150

Chris Arnold, Web Chair
As the owner of Limber Creative / Authentic Form & Function, Chris is a tal­ented young man with seven years of design experience.

  • Where is your happy place? Suffering on two wheels up a beau­ti­ful moun­tain climb.
  • What does design mean to you? An oppor­tu­nity to stake a claim, evoke mean­ing­ful emo­tion and spawn action.
  • Who are you influ­enced by? Really enjoy­ing work the last cou­ple years by Draplin, Foundry Collective, and OMFGCO.

 

miranda-mccourt

Miranda McCourt, Web Chair
Graphic Designer at Stortz Design

  •  What do you see your­self doing in five years? Something silly, like cod­ing a graf­fiti app for the Google Glass or build­ing replica cityscapes out of beer bottles.
  • What does design mean to you? To me, design is the leg­end to help you nav­i­gate com­mu­ni­ca­tion: it helps you nav­i­gate and tells you what sym­bols you should be look­ing for.
  • Who are you influ­enced by? Marcel Duchamp, Kurt Vonnegut, Adrian Frutiger, Robert Crumb, Margaret Atwood, René Magritte, Jacques Derrida

 

christy-wedge

Christy Wedge, Web Chair
Currently a Contractor UX Designer at Vail Resorts, Christy has been in the indus­try for nine years.

  • What path lead you to AIGA Colorado? I like con­nect­ing with other creatives.
  • What’s one thing you can’t stop talk­ing about? New technology
  • What’s your motto? Balance.

 

jane-mcgillem

Jane McGillem, PR and Social Media Chair
Jane is a PR Account Executive at Amélie Company

  • What’s one thing you can’t stop talk­ing about? Finding/ cre­at­ing bal­ance. I don’t know if that’s nec­es­sar­ily some­thing I’m always talk­ing about, but def­i­nitely always think­ing about it.
  • What do you like to do when you’re not being cre­ative? Everything we do is cre­ative, right? At least I tend to believe so. I love to cook, I’m pretty into cross­fit and just being active in general.
  • Who are you influ­enced by? Personally, the words of my 102 year old great grand­mother are always in the back of my mind, “You can choose to be happy or you can choose to be mis­er­able. If you choose to be mis­er­able, no one gives a damn.” This famous quote from her always reminds me that what­ever I am doing, it needs to con­tribute to my hap­pi­ness so I can be a bet­ter per­son to be around.

 

peter-neils

Peter Neils, Copywriter Chair
Copywriter at Diablo Media

  • Where is your happy place? Whole Foods
  • What’s one thing you can’t stop talk­ing about? Music. It’s arguably the most influ­en­tial form of art and media we have. I’m really into new sounds, soul, and R&B. Basically any­thing that has a super thick bass line.
  • What do you see your­self doing in five years? Continuing my quest to make the world a bet­ter place by bring­ing out the best in people.

Mentorship & Education

ed-popovitz

Edward Popovitz, VP of Mentorship and Education
Ed has been a part of The Art Institute of Colorado’s Faculty for 15 years and counting.

  • What’s one thing you can’t stop talk­ing about? Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
  • What’s your motto? I can do it stand­ing on my head.
  • Define your style in five words: Flannel, cargo shorts, flip flops, dorky, overworked.

 

mike-ruberto

Mike Ruberto, Mentorship and Education Co-chair
Mike has been a Professor at Front Range Community College for five years.

  • What does design mean to you? Design means crit­i­cal think­ing and prob­lem solv­ing. Design is meant to make liv­ing a lit­tle eas­ier and more enjoyable.
  • What path lead you to AIGA Colorado? I was first intro­duced to AIGA as an under­grad­u­ate stu­dent. My pro­fes­sors at SUNY Fredonia, Jan Conradi, and Paul Bowers, encour­aged us to join and we had a pretty active stu­dent group that I even­tu­ally took over. We would hold cri­tiques, share ideas, visit design stu­dios, and have lots of fun. As pres­i­dent of our stu­dent group we vis­ited firms in Pittsburgh, Toronto, Buffalo, and a port­fo­lio review in Cleveland. I really enjoyed orga­niz­ing these events and I’d like to do the same for stu­dents in Colorado!
  • What’s your motto? “Be excel­lent to each other” –Bill S. Preston, Esquire (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure)

 

amber-atkins

Amber Atkins, Co-Director of Education and Mentorship
Amber is the Director of Outreach Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design and has been for six years.

  • What path lead you to AIGA Colorado? Volunteering on Bordo Bello for RMCAD and get­ting Syriaced into Mentorship pro­gram­ming for AIGA. It has been an amaz­ing oppor­tu­nity and it’s hon­estly my favorite thing I do. I’m even try­ing to find a way to make it one of my top pri­or­i­ties because it brings more smiles to my face than any­thing I’ve ever put my energy into.
  • Where do you see your­self doing in five years? Running a Non-Profit pro­gram cen­tered around build­ing resources for under­served move­ments, social change cat­a­lysts, and edu­ca­tional oppor­tu­ni­ties therein.
  • What’s one thing you can’t stop talk­ing about? Mermaids, uni­corns, and magic.

 

Cindy Sewick, Awards Chair
Cindy is a Freelance Designer look­ing for a team she can change the world with. She comes to us with 25 years of expe­ri­ence, so get in touch with her if you need some work done.

  • What’s your motto? To Thine own self be true.
  • What does design mean to you? Determining the appro­pri­ate con­cepts, mate­ri­als, tools, and skills to solve cre­ative problems.
  • What do you like to do when you’re not being cre­ative? Wakeboarding, Snow ski­ing, Camping, Hiking, being out­doors away from the computer.

 

miachel-chavez

Michael J. Chavez, Higher Education Chair
Michael is on his sixth year as a Graphic Design Instructor for the Art Institute of Colorado.

  • Where do you see your­self doing in five years? Being the most encour­ag­ing dad, aware hus­band, inspir­ing teacher, cre­ative designer, active board mem­ber, kick ass bike rider, anti repub­li­can demo­c­ra­tic and respon­si­ble human I can pos­si­bly be.
  • What do you like to do when you’re not being cre­ative? Ride bikes.
  • Who are you influ­enced by?Designers and ath­letes break­ing thresh­olds to dis­cover new territories.

 

gwen-penner

Gwen Penner, Awards Chair
She is the Assistant Program Director for the Art Institute of Pittsburgh’s Online Division. Gwen comes to AIGA with 15 years of teach­ing experience.

  • Define your style in five words: I am a min­i­mal­ist designer.
  • Where is your happy place? By the ocean.
  • Who are you influ­enced by? Mother Nature.
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