Volunteer of the Month for May 2018

RGD thanks Director and Provisional Committee Chair Heather Angell Provisional RGD for her contributions to our community.

Heather is a graphic designer with 4+ years experience in web, interactive, print, and branding. She is dedicated to applying her creativity, personal passions, education and life experience to design solutions that make a positive impact. She has lived and worked in three countries on two continents. Her diverse experience allows her to apply a unique lens to her work, which has been recognized by Applied Arts and Design Edge. 


Q: How long have you been volunteering with RGD, and in what capacity?

I've been volunteering with RGD since my first year of design school back in 2011. I've been involved at multiple levels throughout the years. I started as a student volunteer in the office, then joined the Student Committee and became chair in my last year. After a couple of years off, I missed volunteering and joined the Provisional Committee where I served as co-chair for the last year.


Q: What made you want to get involved with RGD?
I found out about RGD as a student. My instructor mentioned RGD and DesignThinkers in our Typography class. She told us that one could volunteer in the office to earn an opportunity to attend the conference for free in exchange for volunteering. As a student, anything "free" caught my attention, and so started my journey with RGD!


Q: Of the RGD initiatives you have contributed to, what are you most proud of?
The initiative I'm most proud of is launching the RGD Book Club. I pitched the idea to the Provisional Committee as an opportunity for Members to learn more about design and related topics through reading and group discussion. Fortunately, the idea got approved by the committee, Hilary and the Board, and next thing I knew, we were off and running and had a book club! Now more than a year later, we're on on our tenth book and have done Q&As with five authors. Not only have we had many great discussions about design, we've also gotten to know fellow RGDs and developed a wonderful group of active members.


Q: What is your most memorable experience as an RGD volunteer?
I'd say one of my most memorable experiences as an RGD volunteer was the first time I volunteered at DesignThinkers. I hadn't ever been to a conference and didn't know what to expect. I helped at the check-in desk in the morning and as soon as I walked into the convention centre, I was blown away by the size of the conference and how well-organized it was. As a volunteer, I was allowed to see speakers when I wasn't busy helping with the event. They were all so inspiring and truly shaped my perspective of design early in my career. Most of all, it made me very proud and thankful to be part of such a great event and organization.


Q: What have you gained from being an RGD volunteer, and why would you recommend it to other members who might be thinking of getting involved?
I've gained so much from being involved with RGD. I've experienced very tangible gains like getting my first full-time job offer (with a wonderful company that I stayed at for over four years) because of being chair of student committee and attending Board meetings. I've also experienced intangible gains like the joy and satisfaction of being part of an organization that makes the design community so much better. I highly recommend anyone thinking about getting involved does so. There are opportunities for everyone, regardless of your experience level, availability or expertise. RGD enriches our community and it's just so great to be able to be involved. 


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