“I don’t know where the Events Committee would be without Kathleen — she makes us go. As co-chair, she brings a high-level of leadership and project management that keeps our team focused, motivated and active in reaching all of our committee goals.
She has been the driving force behind several in-house design initiatives and has literally become the voice of them in her role as moderator of the In-house Perspectives webinar series.
Kathleen is the type of design professional you want by your side when heading into battle because she is going to be right there putting in the work, leading by example and supporting the team in any way she can to reach a successful outcome. She is THE role model for creative leadership in the industry.” - Greg Dubeau RGD, VP & Chair, Events Committee
How long have you been volunteering with the RGD and in what capacity?
Over the years I have volunteered with the RGD in different ways including contributing to the RGD Word
e-newsletter and working on the branding for the 2017 RGD In-House Design Awards
. I became much more active at the beginning of 2020 when I joined the Membership Committee
and soon after moved over to the Events Committee
. I became a Director on the RGD Board in April 2020.
What contribution are you most proud of / What experience/memory stands out for you?
I’m most proud of the webinar series I produced and am currently moderating for in-house designers, In-House Perspectives
. A lot of the themes and topics for the series came out of conversations I had during the Virtual In-House Conference
last year. It’s been great to do a deeper dive into these topics with some of the best designers in the industry. I am consistently blown away by the knowledge and talent we have within RGD's Membership and I really hope the designers tuning in are learning as much as I am on these topics.
What is the most surprising/unexpected thing to come out of volunteering with the RGD?
The most unexpected thing to come out of volunteering with the RGD is how much I’ve benefited both personally and professionally. I was looking forward to helping with programming and pushing initiatives forward, but was surprised at how many opportunities there were for ME to grow. Whether it was gaining more experience public speaking, organizing events or even writing, I’m finding the activities I’m involved with are presenting opportunities for me to hone my skills in areas other than graphic design.
What have you learned about the industry since volunteering for the RGD?
I’m learning just how varied our industry is and how fast it’s changing. It seems like there is a lot of pressure on designers right now to be experts in more and more things. The RGD plays an important role in supporting designers and providing resources to help navigate this ever-changing industry.
Based on your experience volunteering with the RGD, how would you describe the role of the organization in the industry?
From my experience, I feel the RGD plays a huge role in supporting designers, especially during the challenging times the pandemic has presented us with. I think the Creative Earners Survey
is a great example of this. The volume and depth of the resources the RGD has is also an important way they are supporting designers. Resources like the Accessibility Handbook
, weekly webinars
and one of the best design conferences (DesignThinkers) in the world, are all part of the many ways the RGD provides Canadian designers opportunities to learn and grow.
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?
Being an RGD volunteer has given me the opportunity to make so many new connections in the design industry. I work in a small design team in a rural area and it’s easy to fall into the trap of working in a bubble. Having relationships with other designers is helpful for sharing resources and getting feedback. I’ve met some really cool people and feel lucky to now call many of them my friends.
Do you have thoughts on what you might like to do as a volunteer with the RGD in the future?
Going forward, I’d like to continue to develop programming and resources for in-house designers. I have worked in-house for more than a decade now and I can relate to the unique struggles (and opportunities!) in-house designers face. I’m also interested in having more conversations around designers and mental health. We are learning from the latest Creative Earners Survey
that there is a very real concern about mental health and I think we need to keep talking about that.
Kathleen (she/her) is an award-winning designer who brings creative solutions to corporate communications. For the past decade, she has been Creative Strategy Team Lead at Bruce Power where they deliver all things design, including a complete rebrand for the company in 2019. In 2017, they were honoured to be the design partner for RGD’s In-House Design Awards. Kathleen is a Director on the RGD Board and the Vice-Chair of the Events Committee.