Volunteer of the Month for December 2019

RGD thanks Elyse Maxwell RGD, Senior Graphic Designer & Project Manager at Patch Design, for her contributions to our community.


A lifelong student with over 12 years of experience, Elyse graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design in 2007 and earned a diploma in Marketing from McMaster University in 2015.


Q: How long have you been volunteering with RGD, and in what capacity? what made you want to get involved?

My first experience volunteering with RGD was in 2016 when I joined the Membership Committee. I saw it as an opportunity to give back to an organization that I have benefitted from in my career and to support the design community in Canada. I have since mentored a team at a Designathon, served as a judge for Student Awards and joined the Board of Directors.


Q: What have you learned about the industry since volunteering for RGD? 
Mentoring at the Designathon showed me that young designers are excited to do work that makes a difference and bring positivity into the world. By coming together as a community, we can build each other up and create incredible work. I hope everyone involved saw how important good relationships and clear communication are to the design process.

Q: Based on your experience volunteering with RGD, how would you describe the role of the organization in the industry? 
RGD supports designers in so many ways. The organization provides business resources, sparks inspiration through webinars and conferences, creates a sense of community with other members and advocates for design within the Canadian business community. As an RGD, these initiatives show me that I'm not alone. By serving on the Membership Committee and Board I have an opportunity to help these offerings grow and I can help shape the future of the organization.


Q: Can you share any ideas or suggestions for what individual designers and/or organizations like RGD can be doing to further improve the industry? What would you like to see change in the next 5-10 years?
It is important that we continue to speak out about spec work, advocate for fair rates and promote the value of the designer's voice at the table. I would like to see design recognized as an essential component from the planning stage of any large project, not just a decorative afterthought.

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 recommend volunteering with RGD for the people you will meet. I have had the opportunity to get to know so many people with a wealth of experience and perspectives from across the country. This is an especially good opportunity for designers who may live in communities without a design scene, or who work in situations without the support of other creatives.


Interested in getting involved with RGD? Fill out our online form.