Board of Directors 2021 Public Slate

Vote in white text on a black background.

Based on an extraordinarily strong pool of nominations, the 2021 AIGA DC Nominating Committee has selected a slate to fill open seats on the Board of Directors for a two-year term through June 15, 2023. The term begins July 1, 2021.

Consistent with our commitment to community and principles of transparency, the following slate of candidates is submitted to the membership for ratification.

Proposed Slate: 2021 Oncoming Board Members


Communications Director

she / her

Samantha Sekellick is an accomplished communication professional with expertise in developing integrated campaigns. As the Graphics Specialist for the City of Gaithersburg in Maryland, she oversees branding and graphics for numerous programs, events, and departments. In addition to her graphics work, Samantha is an adjunct instructor at American University’s Graphic Design program, integrating design principles, communications, functionality, code, and artistic form to inspire and educate the next generation of designers. With a Bachelor’s in Mass Communications and Advertising and a Master’s in Psychology, Samantha brings a uniquely strategic and creative approach to her work.



DC Design Week Jr. Chair

she / her

Kela is a strategist and self-taught designer that thrives between design and business. After leading a marketing team to a successful startup acquisition, she’s been using her talents for good in the social impact field – writing SheaMoisture’s first impact report, building campaigns for the Ford Foundation, and more. Kela has been featured in esteemed publications like Harvard Business Review, the Women’s Entrepreneurship Program at Cornell University, and several other award-winning projects. She looks forward to joining the board and continuing to make space for designers in the DC area.


Community Editor

she / her

Stephanie Rudig is a freelance graphic designer, writer, and illustrator who works with publications, non-profits, agencies, and small businesses. Her focus is on creating vibrant editorial experiences, user-friendly assets for non-designers, and joyful, accessible designers. As a writer, she spotlights DMV artists, covers cultural topics, and critiques contemporary art and theater. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Rhode Island School of Design. Her other interests include making artist books, George magazine, chickens, puns, and her three-legged cat.





Community Coordinator

he /him

Being a Salvadoran-American creative, he enjoys celebrating the joys of life through art and motion graphics. He is constantly sipping on a cold brew coffee while sketching out new ideas.You can find him reading a good book or playing video games online when he’s not designing. Talk to him about the latest gaming news or NBA action to become best mates! ✌




Mentoring Chair

she / her / they

Natalia Celine Arias is a multidisciplinary creative based in Baltimore, MD, with roots in Miami, FL. With expertise in fine art, graphic design, sound, illustration, and film, she possesses a diverse skillset. Natalia holds a BFA in Graphic Design from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and has mentored emerging creatives with MICA, the T. Howard Foundation, AIGA DC SHINE, and ADPList. Dedicated to supporting mission-driven organizations through branding, Natalia serves on the design team of higher education nonprofit ITHAKA and owns Play By Celine LLC, uplifting gender diverse, queer, and BIPOC stories in media. Natalia pushes boundaries in design, fostering inclusivity and equity in the industry.

Portfolio, LinkedIn, Instagram


Education Coordinator

he / him

Antwon Key, an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at the University of Maryland, is a graphic designer and photographer. With degrees from Vermont College of Fine Arts and the University of Alabama, he has executed digital campaigns for various institutions. His award-winning project, “Red, White, and Black,” appeared in HOW+PRINT Magazine’s Best of Design 2019. Currently, Key is interested in Design for Social Change, aiming to educate designers about the impact of their subtle messages on society.




Social Media Chair

she / her

Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Wendy and her family moved to the suburbs of Maryland in the age of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. As an immigrant, she didn’t know what Bel Air was nor could she keep up with all the chapter books her classmates were already reading in class. It was sometimes an isolating experience until she took solace in art and creative opportunities that broke her out of her shell.  Not shy to explore and take a tumble, and to get back up and keep exploring, she had a whirlwind education and career path accompanied by travels that took her to many places. Besides countless trips around the world, her journey took her to study digital art and art history at Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia, back to Taipei to teach in her hometown, then to London where she received her Masters degree in education within the arts and cultural sector from University College London.  Most recently, Wendy’s work in museums and non-profits in Washington DC led her to her strong commitment for education equity and bridge-building within the arts and humanities domain.

She is looking forward to serving the AIGA DC Community as the new Chair of Social Media and excited to tell the story of this creative community through AIGA DC’s presence online.


Emily C.

Design for Good Chair

she / her

With over 20 years in the creative business, Emily Christenson is a strategic partner sought after for her design intuition, her collaborative spirit, and her ability to see how her clients’ immediate needs fit into the larger picture of their brand.  She is a communicator, and believes that design should enhance and never impede the message at hand.

Before she launched Paintbox Creative, Emily worked as a graphic designer at Fannie Mae and Fairmont Federal Credit Union, and assistant creative director at SQN Communications Design. She has a strong background in branding and print media, publication design, B2B and B2C communications, digital graphics, and large format design.

Emily has a M.A. in Publications Design from the University of Baltimore and a B.A. in studio art and anthropology from the University of Virginia.


Vote to Accept, Reject or Abstain via this digital ballot.

Deadline to vote is 11:59PM EST on June 9, 2021.

Continuing Board Members

  • Claire Blaustein, President
  • Nick Fabiani, Vice President
  • Lisette Baylor, Programming Co-Director
  • Raksa Yin, Programming Co-Director
  • Khanh Pham, Programming Coordinator
  • Susan Taylor, Civic Design Chair
  • Joe Greeley, Design Continuum Fund Chair
  • Jessica Kerbo, SHINE Mentorship Chair
  • TJ Gioconda, Digital Programming Chair
  • Richard Bentham, DC Design Week Director
  • Brian Whittaker, Operations Director & Treasurer
  • Nicole Cohn, Community Coordinator
  • Radhika Bhatt, Development Chair
  • Laura Svites, Volunteer Chair
  • Mike O’Brien, Communications Director
  • Rebecca Price, Social Media Chair
  • Eric Johnsen, Email Chair & Secretary

Members Leaving the Board

  • David Ramos, Educators Chair (outgoing)
  • Cass Olson, Board Experience Chair (outgoing)
  • Leon Lawrence III – Design for Good Chair (outgoing)
  • Puneet Kaur – SHINE Chair (outgoing)
  • Dian Holton – Programming Co-Director (outgoing)
  • Liz Rose Chmela – Vice President (outgoing)
  • Rebecca Perez – Salons Chair (outgoing)

The Selection Process

For more information about the selection process for our new board members, please read the explainer blog post by our nominating committee.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact