Claire Blaustein
President
Claire is a content designer, working across content strategy, information architecture, graphic design, writing, and editing. In her more than a decade in DC she's worked for NPR, Washington National Opera, the Textile Museum, the IRS, and HHS. Currently she is a senior information architect and content strategist for Sapient, working at the National Cancer Institute. Outside of work she plays fiddle in the bluegrass band By & By, and pets her cats Thing 1 and Thing 2. comms@dc.aiga.org
Liz Rose Chmela
Vice President
Liz Rose is the Founder and Creative Director of Made by We, a collaboration-focused design agency. Originally from Louisiana, she made her way here after pit stops in several other states, Norway, the UK & Venezuela. It took awhile, but she now calls DC home. Always up for exploring the DMV (usually accompanied by @heyjasperdog), you can also find her hiking, screen printing and probably looking for a good Tempranillo. vp@dc.aiga.org
Dian Holton
Programming Director
Dian is a deputy art director at AARP Media and freelance stylist of retail window installation. Her background includes publishing (print/digital), integrated marketing, branding, and styling. She is part of AIGA national’s Diversity and Inclusion Task Force Guidance committee. Gets distracted by shiny things and believes you can never have enough striped shirts. Never. dian@dc.aiga.org
Raksa Yin
Programming Director
Raksa Yin is a digital product designer who is also obsessed with letterforms and the color red. raksa@dc.aiga.org
Brian Whittaker
Operations Director
Brian is the Acting Executive Director of 18F, a digital consultancy within the federal government. When he's not working with federal agencies to improve how the government interacts with the public, he enjoys discovering new music, trying new food, and watching mixed martial arts. operations@dc.aiga.org
Tracy Mextorf
Communications Director
Tracy is a creative services and communications leader working for Verizon’s Learning and Development team. Previously, she was creative director and lead of communications for the non-profit, PAEA, leading digital asset creation for product launches, marketing for major conferences/events, and developing education campaigns. When she’s not creating, you can find her playing Ben Folds on the keys, boating on the open water, or watching the best comedians — all while holding a stiff cup of coffee. comms@dc.aiga.org
Puneet Kaur
Mentorship Chair
Puneet is a graphic designer at Abt Associates, enthusiastic about the endless possibilities of design. Her fascination with visual communication began in Houston, TX and since then, she’s dived into all things branding, space, and most recently video animation. On weekends when she’s focused on designing her life instead, you’ll probably find her cooking up a Pinterest-inspired recipe, listening to a soulful podcast, or out appreciating nature. pkaur@dc.aiga.org
Cass Olson
Experience Chair
Cass is a senior graphic designer at a non-profit, where she works to oversee brand execution, print work, web graphics, publication design, and various in-house needs for the organization. Past design lives include on-site graphics director for an event/multimedia firm and in-house designer for a global PR firm (don’t tell anybody she knows Powerpoint). Cass dabbles in animation, lettering, and illustration, with the occasional knitting project thrown in for good measure. cass@dc.aiga.org
Rebecca Perez
Salon Chair
Rebecca is a designer and soloprenuer of Studio Civico, a design consultancy for social impact. She believes passionately in the power of design to effect change. She is also a painter, a mom, and a native New Yorker who loves dark humor and cheery musicals. salons@dc.aiga.org
Eric Johnsen
Communications Coordinator & Secretary
A native of Maryland, Eric is your friendly neighborhood pixel pusher. As a Digital Experience Designer for the University of Maryland, he designs/animates graphics for UMD's core websites, campus screens, and social media outlets, along with coding responsive emails. Outside of work, he's an avid moviegoer, comic-book collector, coffee addict and baseball romantic. ejohnsen@dc.aiga.org
David Ramos
Education Chair
David Ramos is a designer, developer, and design educator based in Washington, DC. He teaches in the graphic design program at American University, offering classes that integrate culture, code, and form. His research and creative practice looks at using products of design — maps, images, interactive systems, and in-person events — to help us imagine landscapes past and future. education@dc.aiga.org
Nick Fabiani
DC Design Week Chair
Nick is the design associate at Democracy Fund, where he creates engaging reports, data visualization, infographics, and presentations to help advance the organization's mission to make democracy work better. His free time is spent learning fun facts about his home state (Connecticut) and creating new transit maps for systems real and imagined. dcdw@dc.aiga.org
Leon Lawrence III
Design for Good Chair
Leon is design director at the National Association of Counties and oversees all branding and visual communications. He has worked for USA Today, Black Entertainment Television, and in Yosemite National Park. When he’s not directing pixels, he enjoys mountaintops and wild places, in addition to solving the world’s problems over good wine and good food. designforgood@dc.aiga.org
Rebecca Price
Social Media Chair
Rebecca is a graphic designer and illustrator currently working as Senior Digital Designer at Edelman. There, she helps clients reach their audiences through engaging social media content and thoughtful branding. Outside of work, you can catch her sipping a fancy cocktail, watching a horror flick, or walking her dog Ipa (yes, like the beer). As a recent transplant from Atlanta, Rebecca will never get used to the cold weather, but does love exploring the DMV and all the region has to offer. socialmedia@dc.aiga.org
Jessica Kerbo
Programming Coordinator (Awards Chair)
Jessica Kerbo is a graphic designer and illustrator at Abt Associates with a background in public health. Previously, she worked in Communications at Jhpiego and as a Peace Corps health teacher. In her free time, you will probably find Jessica either baking, chatting with her family in Oklahoma, hiking, or drawing."}">Jessica Kerbo is a graphic designer and illustrator at Abt Associates with a background in public health. Previously, she worked in Communications at Jhpiego and as a Peace Corps health teacher. In her free time, you will probably find Jessica either baking, chatting with her family in Oklahoma, hiking, or drawing. jkerbo@dc.aiga.org
Khanh Pham
Programming Coordinator
Khanh is a senior graphic designer at The Hatcher Group, where she works on projects ranging from print to motion graphics to UI for national foundations, local nonprofits, and as government agencies. Her past life involved international relations, PR, and marketing. Khanh enjoys visiting museums, learning about sea creatures, going to concerts, and reading in-depth articles. She knows which boba milk tea shops in the DMV are good. kpham@dc.aiga.org
Laura Svites
Volunteer Chair
Laura is a designer and animator at APCO Worldwide where she works on a broad range of clients and projects. She’s passionate about working with non-profit organizations and purpose-led campaigns. Outside of work, you can find her listening to true crime podcasts, fostering doggos, and spending time with her twin sister. lsvites@dc.aiga.org
Lisette Baylor
Programming Coordinator
A D.C. native, Lisette is a Visual Designer whose design practice is focused on human-centered design and conceptualizing digital products that create holistic solutions for end-to-end user experiences. She has worked for many civic, nonprofit, and federal entities over the years and has a passion to create design systems that provide solutions for complex problems in a meaningful way that is usable and beautiful. When she isn’t trying to make the world a better place one pixel at a time, she enjoys spending time with her family and making their world better through corny jokes and good cooking. lbaylor@dc.aiga.org
Mike O'Brien
Editor & Digital Content Chair
Mike O’Brien (Mike O.) is an independent artist + creative director inspired by folk, lowbrow and outsider culture. He's lived in DC for 9 years; worked at the creative agency ISL for most of them, and spent spare time organizing art shows at his studio collective Hole in the Sky. Lately he spends a lot of time collaborating artistically with his partner Rachel Wallach, walking his dog Simon, drawing comics, and animating editorial illustrations. mobrien@dc.aiga.org
Susan Taylor
DotGov Design Chair
Washington, D.C.-based photographer and graphic designer Susan Taylor founded her studio in 2016. In a previous life she was a company cog for the Department of Defense, working as a photographer and designer by night (like reverse Batman). She now works at the Library of Congress as a Graphic Designer and dedicates all of her time to graphic design projects and photography. You can often find her aiming her camera toward points of interest while walking her small herd of dogs around Capitol Hill. Don’t hesitate to stop her on the street (or at the cheese stand in Eastern Market) to discuss history, camera gear, or font choices. dotgov@dc.aiga.org
TJ Gioconda
Digital Programming Chair
For over a decade, TJ has been delivering websites, games, apps, and creative with a variety of nonprofits and governmental agencies. His ability to discover and understand users' goals helps him design and lay a strong foundation for any product build. Currently, you can find TJ serving as the Design Director at Brllnt Creative in Washington, DC. When he is not at work, TJ enjoys crushing an opponent in overly-complicated board games, exploring new-to-him destinations, taking advantage of other friends' hobbies, and staring back at his cats. tgioconda@dc.aiga.org
Joe Greeley
Community Coordinator
Joe works at Advoc8, an experiential marketing agency in DC, managing a team of in-house and freelance creatives. In this position and his previous one at a digital agency, Joe’s role has been air traffic control, managing creative resources, bandwidth, budgets, and freelance talent across design, video, and copywriting. A sixteen year DC resident, Joe’s a walking encyclopedia of restaurants, bars, and running routes, and is passionate about film. jgreeley@dc.aiga.org
Megan Lewin-Smith
Programming Coordinator
Megan is an interactive designer at Threespot, supporting cause based organizations through web products, branding assignments, and a print piece here and there. Off screen she can be found at a show, sitting next to her roommates' plants, or in the nearest patch of direct sunlight. mlewinsmith@dc.aiga.org
Nicole Cohn
Programming Coordinator
Born, raised and educated in the DC area, Nikki is here to stay. Nikki is a right and left brain thinker. Design is not just about making things look good! By day, she works as an Associate at Booz Allen Hamilton. By night, you can find her cooking, practicing yoga, or out for a leisurely run. Previously, she spent a few years in hospitality working for Marriott International leading the creative vision for many prestigious events including the 2019 and 2020 Academy Awards (she has been twice!) ncohn@dc.aiga.org
Dara Adams
Chapter Administrator
Dara has been the AIGA DC Chapter Administrator for 20 years. She is also a social work graduate student and works in the field of mental health. She continues to provide support to the dynamic, ever-changing board of volunteers with AIGA DC. Her favorite party conversations involve power rangers, baked goods, and military personnel/dog reunion videos.
Chris Montwill
VP Emeritus
Chris is the Design Director at Threespot who believes good design can do great things. He has worked on a broad range of clients and projects from digital products to large rebranding assignments to national campaigns. He came to DC via Chicago, and like any good Midwesterner, enjoys a good drink, great food, and honest company (not necessarily in that order). chris@dc.aiga.org