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Executive Board

 

Archie Bagnall
President

Archie is our incoming President for 2017—and he is also British. He joined the AIGA in 2015 with an enthusiasm for contributing to the greater design community in Orange County. He co-chaired our Field Trip series, eager to help organize events that allow people an all-access look into the teams and environments that exist behind great Design. Outside of the AIGA, he is a Graphic Designer passionate about designing with and for people. He creates for Digital and Print, working with Brands, Logos, Products, Typography, Layout, and the Web. Process is his jam. He is married to Noelle, and together they have a Norwich Terrier called Snackpack.

 

Christopher DeCaro
Vice President

ChristopherDeCaro_5521Christopher DeCaro is bravely filling the role of Vice President. He has joined to AIGA-OC board due to his undying passion for the design industry. Christopher is currently the creative director at Kneadle and serves on the board for the North Orange County Chamber of Commerce. Christopher has over 20 years of experience in design and development. In addition to his typography addiction, Christopher likes to walk the line between design and technology in his work. He has been acquiring Hot Wheels since birth and has amassed a collection well into the thousands.

 

Bill Thompson
Board Ambassador

Bill contributes with the board because he loves to be around change agents within the design industry and learn from those interactions. He received his BFA from the Art Center College of Design and is currently a principal photographer at Pencilbox Studios as well as an Adjunct Professor of Photography at  California State University, Fullerton. As a photographer, his gift is the ability to make people look friendly and approachable He enjoys  listening to information on mirror actions and micro expressions and uses these to his advantage when photographing really smart people. He also has an amazing ability to always get the “crazy fork” at a restaurant (he is commonly known as the “Fork Whisperer” within his circle) and also has an awesome ghost story that happened on his honeymoon which he will only tell you if you buy him a cocktail.

 

Board of Directors

Lauren Vajda
Director of Events
President Emeritus 

Lauren is deeply passionate about promoting community, sharing design that is unique to SoCal, and elevating the value of design in our community. Lauren got her BFA at Tyler School of Art/Temple University and now works as an art director/designer at Lauren Vajda Design. She specializes in branding, print and web design and loves working with a diverse range of clients and media. Her work has been featured in Graphis, UnderConsideration’s FPO, How Magazine, Paste Magazine, Mohawk’s Felt & Wire, 1000 More Graphic Elements: Unique Elements for Distinctive Designs and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Regional Awards. She can write upside down and describes herself as the “clumsiest person” despite having studied dance for 14 years.

 

Eric Chimenti
Director of Education

Eric was nominated to join the board because he wanted to help build a stronger connection between design students and the local design community in Orange County. He received his Bachelors of Science in Graphic Design from Biola University and a Masters of Fine Arts in Illustration from the acclaimed Savannah College of Art and Design. Eric currently freelances at his own company, EMC Illustration & Design and also holds several titles at Chapman University such as Associate Professor of Art, Co-Head Graphic Design Program, Chair Department of Art and Associate Dean of Wilkinson College of Humanities and Social Sciences. He has a special fondness for illustration, data visualization and identity design. He enjoys playing tennis, reading theology and has beaten every Halo game on Legendary.

 

Jennifer Lee
Director of Membership

Jennifer is responsible for overseeing the growth of our chapter and maintaining its current roster. She feels privileged to be part of our dynamic profession and joined the board to help make a positive impact on the design community. Jennifer graduated with a B.A. in Communications Studies with a minor in Art History from University of California, Los Angeles and also holds a Certificate of Design Communication Arts from UCLA Extension. She currently works as a designer at Gunn | Jerkens, a full-service ad agency in Long Beach that specializes in real estate marketing.

 

Jamie Stark
Director of Mentorship

Jamie oversees the development of mentorship initiatives for our chapter. A recent transplant to Southern California, he was motivated to become involved in the creative community by volunteering as a mentor because of the rewarding experiences he had with great mentors while building his career as a young designer. He is a graduate of Fordham University and is now the Principal and Creative Director of Stark Designs LLC. He specializes in his role as a designer, art director and creative professional and has worked with big brands such as Pepsi, Dannon and Equal. He loves pugs and had once served Henry Kissinger and Jacqueline Onassis Kennedy hot dogs!

Advisory Board

 

Rachel Elnar
Advisory Board Member

Rachel is an AIGA lifer and an avid fan of creative communities. She began her board involvement (or ‘drank the kool-aid’) beginning with AIGA Los Angeles as VP of Communications in 2006 and was hooked from there. Over the last 10 years, she provided public relations, acted as editor-in-chief, joined a National advisory committee to help guide AIGA with social media strategy, started the first AIGA Chapter Twitter account, served as chapter Secretary and more. When she’s not busy with AIGA, she runs a design firm called Ramp Creative in downtown Los Angeles, manages the TypeEd community and tour schedule, teaches interactive design at Cal State Los Angeles, maintains a typography Meetup group of over 700 members, and hosts a biweekly typography interview show.

 

Bridget Soden Mills
Advisory Board Member
President Emeritus

Bridget brings to us a wealth of wisdom from her past experience as Chapter President here at AIGA OC. She joined the board because she wanted to be a part of the creative community, keep up with the latest trends and learn to be successful as a creative business owner. She has a Bachelors in Fine Arts from Edinboro University of PA and now serves as the Principal + Creative director at her company, Creative Vortex, Inc. She enjoys solving business problems with creative solutions and specializes in branding, packaging and marketing materials. She clears her head with a workout, de-stresses with a great bottle of wine and keeps herself motivated by overbooking her work. She has been part of AIGA since 1994 as a student member and has  continued to maintain her association with us through various relocations and life changes.

 

 

Board Chairs

 

Jenna Clayton
MIX Event Chair

Jenna is passionate about design and is excited to be apart of a creative community that is growing everyday. She currently works as a graphic designer at Toshiba Business Solutions and tackles freelance projects like no other. She graduated from San Diego State University (go Aztecs!) with a BA in art with an emphasis in graphic design and took a liking to UX/UI design for websites and other interactive interfaces. Jenna is a chronic chocoholic and brunch enthusiast.

 

Prax Cruz
OCDA Chair

Prax is handles OCDA web maintenance. After attending our monthly MIXes for many years, he felt it was time to give back to the AIGA OC chapter. He has a Bachelors in Graphic Design from California State University, Long Beach and now works as a senior web designer/art director in house, designing and developing websites for various clients. He enjoys building websites, typography and print jobs with big juicy budgets. A  few fun facts: He drank out of the Stanley Cup in the Ducks locker room when they won it and has ridden his dirt bike from California to Cabo 4 times.

 

Paul Elliston
Content Creation Chair

Paul is a wordsmith surrounded by visualists. Luckily he’s also a visual thinker who’s extremely curious—which works really well if you’re a copywriter. Before he made a 20 year career out of asking why and how he received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics/Psychology, an Associates Degree in Advertising Writing and Broadcast from Red River College, studied film and video through Manitoba Film and Sound, VideoPool and the Independent Film Group (deep breath) and studied music through the Royal Conservatory of Canada. He’s worked in-house, agency side and as a freelancer. He’s written, produced, shot, edited and directed commercials and videos. Paul has had the pleasure of creating print, interactive, broadcast and social work for brands ranging from household names like P&G, Blue Cross, AMEX, Experian, Apple, Toshiba, Allergan and Kaiser Permanente to niche products like restaurants, beverages and real estate. Everythings starts—and continues—with conversation, listening and good questions. Engagement means everything, let’s find the best angle.

 

Arturo Jimenez
Design Co-Chair

Hailing from Hoodzpah Design and riding high as a freelancer, Arturo joins our team with the motivation to be exposed to new opportunities. He graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design and Illustration from CSU Fullerton and specializes in a combination of design and illustrative work for print and web, while dabbling in app design, packaging design, and photography. Outside of spinning up sweet design solutions, Arturo mends some hip-hop beats under the alias ‘arthritis’ while ingesting one raw lemon daily—which may or may not be simultaneous.

 

Cheri H. Main
Content Creation and Design For Good Co-Chair

Cheri became involved with the AIGA Orange County to meet new people, give back and help promote a welcoming environment that encourages others to explore their passions in design. She returned to freelancing after working 10 years for the City of Irvine. Under the DBA Open Your Mind Designs (which originally started as a school project theme) she believes that no one thing defines a person and she is always ready to try new things and help out. Once a practicing attorney, one class at Orange Coast College (OCC) launched a course of study and career transition into commercial design and art.

Attending both OCC and Irvine Valley College, she credits her success to wonderful teachers, hands-on experience, a strong work ethic, networking and being surrounded by friends, clients and family that believe in her. Cheri believes that anything is possible and that it is up to the designers, creative thinkers and communicators to help people work with new technologies. In doing so, people can achieve goals, ensure progress, enforce preservation and make our world a better place. Her tenacity may come from the fact that she is a Chicago Cubs fan (go Cubbies!) but really it’s her love for community, engagement and a person’s well-being that keeps her battery charged.

 

Sarah Kustera
Workshop Event Chair

Sarah is a so-cal native, who first became involved with AIGA as a student at Chapman University where she received her degree in Graphic Design. After a few years apart she has recently reconnected with AIGA OC and is excited to be more involved and connecting with other designers. Sarah loves the evolving nature of design and there is always an opportunity to learn more. She currently works as a designer for Modera Inc., a small marketing company in Irvine. Her daily work involves both print and digital work including branding, layout, web design, but she is most passionate about typography and lettering and has recently been practicing watercolor. She and her husband Mark are Airbnb hosts with two dogs who love to travel and try new things.

 

Sara Natelli
Design for Good Co-Chair

Sara loves being involved in the design community and programs that have meaningful impact on local culture. She’s been a graphic design professional for over 15 years and received her B.A. from UCLA in Art History and Graphic Design Certification from UCLA Extension. Her experience includes in-house design for Experian, as well as freelance for companies such as Landmark Theatres, Deustch LA, and UnitedHealthCare. She is also passionate about teaching and holds a credential from Cal State Long Beach. Her perspective on design is derived from her world travels, teaching and great appreciation for sophisticated visual communications. Fun facts: Sara has swum with sharks, climbed to the top of Angels landing, and travelled to 16 countries.

 

Giuliana Rendon
Design Co-Chair

With a passion for design, Giuliana joins our Design Team with a desire to continue to grow her skills while contributing to the greater community. She graduated from the Art Institute of Orange County and currently works at Aperion Inc. as a Designer and Project Manager. Word on the street is that her socks are frequently mismatched, and she loves avocados—so much that she even has a tattoo of one!

 

Laurie Schiada
In-House Programming Chair

Laurie is dedicated to ensuring In-house creative teams are well served by our chapter. She was motivated to volunteer for our chapter by a love of design and a desire to engage and inspire in-house talent. A BFA Graphic Design and Packaging, with Honors, graduate of Art Center, Pasadena CA, she now works as the General Manager, Southwest Region, Boeing Creative Services. She cites her specialization and interests  as branding, corporate ID, experiential design, typography and product development. She was inspired to become a designer by industry pioneers Saul Bass, Walt Disney and George Lucas and has been fortunate enough to work for two out of the three. Quirky Facts: this apple obsessed lady was one of nine kids and once built a gingerbread replica of Case Study house 22.

 

Denise Tang
Social Media Strategy Chair

Denise is a Social Media fanatic. She is driven to connect with other designers so we can all learn collectively. An intern at Wyland Worldwide, LLC she holds a BFA in Design and Digital Media from Laguna College of Art and Design. Focusing on Brand Identity and Packaging Design is the future she hopes to achieve. In the meantime she’ll spoil herself with the taste of Cheetos, smell of real books and disdain for cutlery (food tastes better with your hands).

 

Margaret To
Design Co-Chair

Margaret moved from Hong Kong to sunny California to pursue her passion in motion design. She is excited to be a part of the board’s design team, giving her the chance to further connect with and promote the thriving design community in Orange County. Margaret graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Animation at University of Southern California, and now works as a Multimedia Designer at a digital marketing agency. She specializes in 2D animation and enjoys bringing the groove to graphic design by integrating motion and music. Outside of work, she explores ways of visual storytelling through video installations/ projections, and have had her work screened at multiple international film festivals. When she’s not nerding out in After Effects, she’s drawing doodles of her food and friends, or planning her next travel adventure.

 

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Newport Beach · Friday, March 10, 2017
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Newport Beach · Friday, March 24, 2017
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Thursday, April 20, 2017 - Thursday, July 20, 2017
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