Summer 2019 Mentors

Thank you to Ross Chandler, Jane Vita Costa, Erin Craig, Lionel Gadoury, Jackie Duys-Kelly, Nadine Kuhlkamp, David Nuff, Chad Roberts, Rebecca Rosenberg, Udo Schliemann, Michelle Wilkin and Marko Zonta!


If you have any questions about the program or you would like to be a mentor, email .




"As your mentor, I will help you refine your creative development process from start to finish. I will also help you navigate the industry by leveraging all of the promotional strengths you didn't realize you had at your disposal."

Ross Chandler Affiliate Member, Founder & Creative Director of Becoming Creative Projects 

Ross worked at Hambly & Woolley and Subplot Design (Vancouver) before opening his own design shop. His studio has clients in the not-for-profit sector, universities, cooperatives, architects, beer & spirit companies and industrial and environmental companies. One of his heroes, Milton Glaser once said that as designers we have access to people's minds. This notion is a constant reminder that we have a great opportunity and responsibility to affect positive change in the world through design. 


"Are you looking for a mentor that loves Design in theory and practice? Are you looking to develop your career towards Interaction or Service Innovation and Design? If you are, I might be the right mentor for you."

Jane Vita Costa Affiliate Member, Design Director at Digitalist NA

With over 20 years experience under her belt, Jane's used her expertise in many design competencies to work in projects for a range of different industries and countries. At Digitalist, she supports a team of 13 designers in Vancouver and facilitates internal and external dialogue around the Service Design practice. In client projects, she acts as a lead consultant helping customers discover their digital future.


"As your mentor, I will share my development from designer to creative director and how to move through different job titles and responsibilities. I will help you prepare your portfolio for the world of book publishing and help you understand what makes a great cover design and how to work effectively as an in-house creative."

Erin Craig RGD, Creative Director of Trade Publishing at Harlequin

At Harlequin, Erin leads a team of 9 creatives. She started her career as a graphic designer working for clients in different areas of corporate communications, fashion and retail until she found her passion as an Art Director in Book Cover Design over 14 years ago. 


"If you share the belief that it is your role as a designer to be deeply inquisitive about issues facing society and want a mentor that will help you strive towards making a difference through design, we could be a good fit. By challenging, critiquing and sharing ideas, I will work with you to see your possible future and how it can be obtained."
Lionel Gadoury RGD, Founder & Director of Strategy and Creative Services at Context Creative

Lionel leads a 20+ person team that serves clients in society's most critical sectors: energy, healthcare, finance, education, and culture. Lionel's goal is to put graphic design and communications to work by helping clients act on new opportunities and creating memorable brands and campaigns that achieve goals. Lionel is also a past President of RGD.


"As your mentor, I will share my knowledge and experience around using a human-centred approach to all facets of your practice (both professional & personal). This includes exploring how to use a variety of qualitative research methods to gain insights and identify real problems and how to put your audience needs first to deeply impact the effectiveness and success of your work and design for positive change/innovation."

Jackie Duys-Kelly Affiliate Member, Communication Designer & Creative Facilitator at Awarewolf Creative

Growing up in South Africa, studying in the UK, The Netherlands and Canada, Jackie completed a degree in Communication Design at Emily Carr U. Followed by a Graduate Degree at NSCAD University, she has utilized her skills to teach, learn and practice the distinctions of design for positive change for over 15 years. She utilizes a co-creative, human-centred approach to developing learning experiences, brand and communication strategies, and information and service design solutions.


"Considering a career in-house? As your mentor, I will share my perspectives on being an in-house creative, including how to navigate the corporate structure and build business acumen while being your authentic self."

Nadine Kuhlkamp RGD, AVP & Creative Director, Global Brand 

Marketing at Foresters Financial

Nadine has over 15 years of experience as a marketing 

professional,specializing in brand strategy, advertising and creative direction. She has extensive experience in people leadership, budget and project management. She recently completed Advanced UX courses at HackerYou. 


"If you're looking to find your own voice and carve your own path in this industry, I can help with that. As your mentor, I can help you hone your skills and plot your course."
David Nuff RGD, Graphic Designer at DesignByNuff

David runs an independent practice creating brand identities, digital products and interactive installations. He has worked with clients like Nestle, Cisco, Google the Museum of Jewish Montreal and Crosslinx. He spends most of his time firmly outside his comfort zone - working with new mediums and technology, speaking at conferences despite having stage fright, and generally biting off more than he can chew.


"As your mentor, I will help you develop and showcase your personal design point of view and share how to build a sustainable studio practice by attracting and developing relationships with clients that align with your unique viewpoint."

Chad Roberts Affiliate Member, Creative Director at Chad Roberts Design
For the last 10 years, Chad has run his own design studio in Toronto. Leading a team of 5 designers, Chad works with a diverse range of creative clients, with a focus on boutique food and hospitality. The studio's branding and packaging work includes Balzac's Coffee Roasters, la Palma, Rockwell Razors, Constantine, Heritage Bee Co, Viaggio, the Preservatory and Kitten and the Bear. Before developing his practice in Toronto, Chad spent several years in New York as an art director for BBDO and designer with Louise Fili Ltd, creating iconic brand identities for many gourmet food companies. 


"If you're looking to learn more about the (maybe boring, but still important) administrative and management side of things, I'm here to help! From creating estimates, work-back schedules, tips for managing client expectations/feedback and overall studio process, I've done it all and am happy to share my insights."

Rebecca Rosenberg RGD, Senior Project Manager at Context Creative 

I always tell people that no one ever says "I want to be a project manager when I grow up" and yet here I am, in a job I absolutely love. I may have fallen into this profession by accident but luckily it's one I feel am well suited to. I now have a decade of experience guiding and managing the needs of public sector clients, particularly in the healthcare, energy and culture sectors. I am involved in projects from back-of-the-napkin briefs, to detailed estimate, work back schedules, creative presentations, final deliverables and execution, follow-up reporting, results and post-mortems.


"As a mentor I will help you develop your design thinking process, enhance your ability to find the right solutions from a content standpoint and hone the quality of your work."
Udo Schliemann RGD, Principal Creative Director at Entro Communications

Udo leads Entro's team of professionals in identity development, corporate communications and branded environments. His unique approach to design problems, fostered by the mentorship of renowned German artist Anton Stankowski, combines artistic and poetic sensibilities to create powerful designs that elevate the everyday experience. A native of Germany, Udo came to Canada and started at Gottschalk+Ash International in 1999. In 2011, Udo joined Entro. Half a year later, Entro merged with G+A.


"As your Mentor I will help you find your focus. Creatives are naturally free-thinkers, but when you are a brand designer you need to define clear parameters, while still retaining your creative edge, and always looking at the bigger picture. I can provide guidance, advice and tricks to create memorable customer-centric brands that lead with design."

Michelle Wilkin RGD, Creative Director + Co-Owner at Pilot Coffee Roasters

Michelle has spent her career creating memorable brands and engaging experiences at design agencies across the world, successfully completing countless reinventions of top global brands. But her lifelong goal was to harness experience building other people's brands to create something of her own. Pilot is a customer-centric and design-forward brand that Michelle built, with her business partners, from the ground up. 


"As your mentor, I will assist in developing a process for mapping brands and campaigns, by helping you to develop a solid structure from initial meeting to delivering value through a brand. This involves ways you can organize yourself to build a successful career."

Marko Zonta RGD Co-Founder & Creative Director at Zync

With 25 years of experience, he works with a team of designers,

developers and managers to bring brands, websites, online applications and campaigns to life in bold, creative ways. From startups to not-for-profits to multinational companies, he's worked with them all. Marko has helped clients like Canadian Olympic Committee, Aviva and Osler go from the drawing board to award-winning projects, and picking up accolades like the Webby's and the Good Design Awards along the way.