President’s Report, presented by Stüssy Tschudin RGD

Stepping down from the position of RGD's President after four years, Stüssy Tschudin RGD, Co-founding Principal at Forge Media + Design in Toronto, will continue to serve on the Board as Past President. 


At RGD's 2018 AGM on April 25, Stüssy announced his resignation. He also took to LinkedIn to share some more departing words with the community. All are welcome to comment on the post to thank Stüssy for his contributions to RGD over the past 4 years!


Below is his official statement.


I would like to thank everyone for being here this evening and in particular the Board Members who have presented their Committee reports so that we can learn how Members have been working over the past year to grow the Association, support the industry and raise awareness of RGD.


As a Member of the Board for the past 6 years and President over the last 4, I have found it thrilling at each successive annual meeting to hear about how all of our many initiatives are progressing and to consider how so many of our Members contributed to these achievements.


As many of you know, I am stepping down as President as of this meeting, but will remain on the Board in the role of Past-President… for a little while longer. I look forward to continuing to serve RGD and giving back to the Association and the industry, as so many of you do. At events like DesignThinkers, where I have had the priviledge of MC’ing, members often come up to me and thank me for my efforts. I always feel a bit awkward, as I feel like I was being given credit for the work of so many others within the RGD Team, especially the amazing RGD staff.

I never intended to get that credit, but, I must say, you guys made me look very good! Thank you for that.


But more seriously, most of this credit must be extended to the RGD staff.

Please join me in thanking:

Executive Director Hilary Ashworth;

Chief of Operations & Director of Membership Heidi Veri;

Creative Director Karin Heinsch RGD;

Director of Communications Michelle Pereira Hampton (currently on parental leave);

Communications Coordinator Kim Wells;

Membership Coordinator Zaria Pucknell,

Programs Coordinator Abdul Omar and

Amanda Khoo, our new Education Coordinator.

And last but not least, thank you to part-timer Lauren Nisbet.


It has been my pleasure to work with all of them over the past 6 years and I will miss working so closely with you very much. Although I have a feeling I will be involved in the one or other meeting in the future.


As I present my last President’s Report I would like to highlight some specific goals and achievements from this past year. However, I would also like to acknowledge, and I know all of our Board Members would agree, that there is still so much left to do and I am committed to these on-going efforts.


To begin I would like to remind everyone of the bold decisions we made this past year, related to our DesignThinkers Conference. First, after negotiating holding DesignThinkers in Montreal instead of Toronto as part of the World Design Summit in 2017, we decided to pull out, which I announced at last year’s AGM. I am thrilled to report, in large part due to the RGD staff’s tireless efforts, that we were able to hold DesignThinkers in Toronto last fall. And, it was a success despite the late launch date and also the Ontario teachers’ strike which forced us to cancel the Design Educators Conference and reduced our student attendance.


The second bold DesignThinkers decision I reported on last year was to organize, in partnership with the GDC, an additional conference in Vancouver. I am pleased to report that this decision was an unparalleled success and resulted in a strengthening of our relationship with the GDC and an increased recognition and presence for RGD in Western Canada.


We are currently in the planning stages for our second DesignThinkers Vancouver Conference and, with a little more than a month to go, we are close to surpassing our total attendance from 2017!


One of the tasks that I have personally undertaken during my Presidency is the nurturing of our relationship with the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC). This is probably the work that I am most proud of. Over the past 4 months, Hilary and I, have been meeting almost bi-weekly with GDC’s President, their Certification Committee Chair and Executive Director to work on aligning our two associations Certification Processes.


We have come quite far, matching up our eligibility requirements, addressing the differences in our processes such as our online test and in-person portfolio presentation, refining the fields on our application document and comparing our Rules of Professional Conduct and Code of Conduct documents. That being said, there is much work still to be done and even though both I and the GDC President are stepping down, we are both absolutely committed to finalizing this process before our 2019 AGMs.


Lastly, before I conclude, I’d like to remind everyone of RGD’s brand statement. Through RGD, Canadian designers exchange ideas, educate and inspire, set professional standards and build a strong, supportive community dedicated to advocating for the value of design.


This statement sums up so perfectly to me what RGD is about and what I, the RGD staff, and our Committee Chairs, Board Members, Committee Members, and countless volunteers are all a part of.


The work will never be done but as some of us take less active roles, others will fill our places to lead the charge. And the Association of Registered Graphic Designers will continue to be relevant to and valued by our Members because of all of our combined efforts.




Now, before we move forward with the election of NEW board members, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge the individuals who will be leaving our board after today.


First, I would like to thank one of our hosts this evening, Entro’s Laura Sellors, for her two years on the board, for all her contributions and we are glad to have you stay on the Ethics Committee moving forward.


And then I would like to extend a very special thank you to a very special RGD. Bob Hambly. Thank you for your guidance and input over the past 8 years. Your support, ideas and help with many other  areas, such as redesigning the RGD logo, are invaluable. I am sure I speak for all RGD board members and staff, that your contributions truly have shaped where RGD is today and is going to be in the future. We are very excited to still have you support us through committees and events, such as your upcoming speech at DesignThinkers Vancouver.


Thank you very much.