The Structure of the Program
For a period of 9 months, you will have 6 sessions with your Mentor, 1 hour each. Sessions can be held locally or remotely depending on the location of both the Mentor and Mentee.
Any applicant not paired with one of our Mentors will be given the opportunity to participate in the Program with a different RGD Mentor in the industry with similar qualifications.
Designing your Sessions
Once the pairing has been finalized, you and your Mentor are ready to start the program! RGD will provide you with a list of discussion topics for each session, however, it is completely up to you and your Mentor what you'll want to cover in each session.
"As your mentor, I will tell you all I know about the design field, my design process, how to present that work and in-turn, build your portfolio and grow your career."
Ryan Booth RGD, Creative Director at Zulu Alpha Kilo
Ryan is an internationally-recognized designer. Over the past 20 years, he has been a member of a handful of award-winning creative teams. His work spans brand identity programs, packaging, interior design, advertising and photography for a range of clients like Tim Hortons, Bell, Interac, Fairmont Hotels and Harley-Davidson.
"As your mentor, I will share my insight and experience as a multi-disciplinary designer - shifting from print to motion design to interactive and now experiential design. And, more importantly, I'd share the design-adjacent skills for running a business."
Darren Carcary CGD, Creative Director at Resolve Design Inc.
Since 2001, Resolve Design has helped museums and real estate developers deliver their messages using beautiful design, carefully crafted digital tools, original films and engaging environments. Darren has more than 20 years experience designing storied content for interpretive centres, museums and arts and cultural institutions.
"As your Mentor, I can help you push your conceptual and strategic thinking, navigate your design career in the corporate in-house world, provide insight on the sports marketing industry and give you advice in fantasy hockey."
Josh Dudych CGD, Director of Creative Services at True North Sports & Entertainment
Josh manages an in-house design team of 5 as part of a total team of 8, and has 14 years of experience in the graphic design industry - 12 of which in the sports and entertainment space. His strengths are in identity design, design systems and brand strategy - all tools he has leveraged professionally for his primary focus of the Winnipeg Jets and Manitoba Moose Hockey Club brands.
"As your mentor, I will help you improve presentations, work better under pressure and continue to be challenged. I'm friendly, easy to talk to and believe that being true to yourself is the key to success."
Alison DuHart RGD, Graphic Designer at Benefit Cosmetics
Alison's expertise is in brand communications, packaging and, most recently, visual merchandising and influencer marketing for the beauty industry. She has worked in several companies, including Loblaws and Umbra.
"As your mentor, I will provide you with guidance to move your career forward and share with you my unusual career path and how thinking differently can lead you to interesting opportunities."
Emilio Genovese RGD, Senior Exhibition Designer at Reich+Petch
Emilio has 19 years experience developing unique and successful exhibitions of all sizes and types. He enjoys creating experiences that surprise people, inspire them to action and encourage them to see the world differently. He's excited by the challenges faced by museums today and how storytelling has the power to change people.
"As your mentor I will share insights for working in both corporate and agency settings, as well as a business owner. I will provide guidance on asking the right questions, selling your concepts to clients, being an active listener, sharing creative ideas and implementing strategies that ensure that designers are enabled for success."
Carolyn Harman RGD, Graphic Designer at the City of Ottawa
Carolyn is an award-winning, bilingual, innovative and driven creative leader with over 22 years of confident, leading-edge graphic design and marketing experience. She has designed successful state-of-the-art materials for various industries including military, automotive, retail, museums, municipal and federal governments, arts and culture, medical entertainment and the 2SLGBTQ+ community.
"As your mentor, I will share my process of brand strategy and development as well as how to present to clients. Having a process and making it your own is something we can work on together to make you both more effective with ideation and to find your inner extrovert to be comfortable presenting or defending your work."
Robin Honey RGD, Brand Consultant at Robin Honey
"So you want to make a dent in this world? Let's talk about how you can leverage strategy, clear communication and design to redeem the stories you tell in the marketplace and make our world a better place."
Diego Lopez RGD, Creative Director at Compass Creative
With experience in research, brand strategy, copywriting and marketing, Diego has spent the last decade helping brands of all sizes (from Porter Airlines, Manulife, Costco, and beloved local brands) find clarity and express authentically, so they can better connect with their audience.
"As your mentor, I will provide insight into the design world for those who are new and guidance for those looking to further their career. I am a strong believer that great design is rooted in conceptual stories and effective communication is an expression of these ideals. I will assist you to recognize areas that are working well in your work and highlight directions that are yet untapped. "
Gord McTaggart CGD, Partner at Entro
Over the past 18 years, Gord has managed diverse signage and wayfinding programs including healthcare, airports, resorts, sports and entertainment venues and municipal and civic projects. His sensitivity to the scale of projects and collaborative approach to working with clients is further enhanced by his care and meticulous attention to detail.
"As your mentor, I will share my knowledge and love of typography, lettering and colour. I will offer assistance in building and refining a Typography-focused portfolio. Moreover, I could help with your presentation and business practice. Together, we can get you wherever you want to be!"
Andrea Rodriguez RGD, Digital Media Specialist at the City of Toronto
Andrea has an MA in Art Direction from Penninghen (Paris), a B.Des in Graphic Design from OCADu, a Typeface Design certificate and a UX Design certificate. She has over 7 years of experience both national and international; working for companies such as Lacoste, TFO, Publicis, Pilot PMR, Canadian Tire.
"As your mentor, I'll share tips and tricks to get that great idea into your work without sacrificing a compelling design. I'll also share insights on how to navigate the advertising world as a woman in a male-dominated field."
Pamela Rounis Affiliate Member, Associate Creative Director at Rethink
After completing a BFA at Emily Carr University, Pamela studied design and illustration at Capilano University. She currently works with clients that include A&W, Shaw and Coast Capital. Her work has been recognized by One Show, Clio Awards, Communication Arts, The Advertising & Design Club of Canada, Applied Arts, Marketing Awards and the National Magazine Awards.
"As your mentor, I will help navigate you to find that ideal niche where you can thrive. If you are an introvert but want to do meaningful work that shouts look at me, then consider me because I am the mentor for you!"
Sharm Thiagarajah Affiliate Member, Creative Director at Vancouver Police Department
With over 20 years experience, Sharm designs, develops, consults and speaks about visual communications and building brand integrity. She started her career doing agency work and spent 5 years as the lead designer for the University of British Columbia. An introvert with an extroverted presence, it was the call of public service that appealed to her. And, in 2006, she was recruited by the Vancouver Police Department as the first civilian designer in its history. She has played a leadership role developing the VPD brand in everything from its award-winning police cars to business cards.
"As your mentor, I will help you assess your needs and goals and work on a set of objectives that will help channel your creative mind and achieve success."
Chris Wynia RGD, Creative Director at 360 Athletics Inc.
With over 18 years experience as a creative director, graphic designer and photographer, Chris currently leads the rebranding and design efforts for a variety of in-house products. He's overseen integrated marketing campaigns across print, email, display advertising and social media. Driven by strategic and logical thinking, his efforts focus on design for new and existing brands, delivering emotionally resonant creative that achieves business goals.
"As your mentor, I will provide insight into the wide world of in-house graphic design, including what it's like to work in collaboration with agencies, working on global marketing campaigns and working within a government sector."
Tamiko Young CGD, Senior Graphic Designer, Creative Services at Destination Canada
Born and raised in Vancouver, Tami has found her place as an in-house graphic designer for a crown corporation where she's able to market Canada to the rest of the world. Fuelled by chocolate, other people's puppies and cycling to work everyday, she's always been passionate about flexing her creative muscle.