Why is Michael Maynard an RGD?
04/11/13
Senior Advisor (Design) to the VP Academic, University of New Brunswick, Michael Maynard explains his reasons for re-engaging with RGD and the importance of membership for designers at all levels. 
 
I became an RGD in 1996 following years of work with the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC), including terms as President of the GDC Ontario Chapter and the GDC National Council. In those roles I supported the process to get provincial legislation for a designation for graphic designers in Ontario and subsequently I served on the RGD Examination Board. But as an academic leader I found less and less time for community service, and my membership lapsed.
 
There are several reasons for my recent re-engagement with the RGD. Last year I was invited to serve as a juror for the GDC National Scholarships. I was impressed with the calibre of entries and the commitment of my fellow jurors to the adjudication process. I was reminded of my work with GDC Ontario in the 1980s to establish the province’s first student design competition (the precursor of today’s RGD Student Awards), and the excitement of celebrating design education in an annual event involving students, instructors, design professionals and industry representatives. I missed that excitement.
 
Another reason was more pragmatic. As a senior administrator of college design programs I have promoted membership in Canadian design associations to instructors and students, knowing from first-hand experience the value of the professional resources and networking opportunities. Re-engaging with RGD would underscore the sincerity of my messages regarding the importance of membership.
 
And perhaps most compelling, I have watched my son Nathan grow and mature as a design professional and his enthusiasm for graphic design has rekindled my own passions. His post-secondary studies introduced him to the benefits of RGD membership and now that he’s working as a designer in Toronto he is even more appreciative of those benefits. He is currently a Provisional RGD and attended his first DesignThinkers conference this November. 
 
I am proud of my contributions and those of my colleagues towards establishing a professional association of vision and integrity, especially one that adds value to the education and career development of young designers such as Nathan. It feels good to be back!