Committee Members
RGD logo with \"Designers Supporting Designers\" tagline
Meet our Committee Members:

Chair: Faron Dawe RGD, Moncton

With 20 years of experience as a professional graphic designer, Faron has worked with clients from a variety of sectors, providing solutions in visual identity, print, user interface design for web and more. During his tenure as Lead Instructor of the Graphic Design diploma program at McKenzie College, he strived to pass his experience and expertise onto the next generation of designers, mentoring and directing them in a classroom studio environment.


Vice Chair: Noah Ortmann RGD, Toronto

Noah is a Toronto-based designer with a passion for clear design solutions, creative problem solving, and design process. For over 8 years, he has been working with clients and agencies, designing for print and for screen. His work with Avro Design Company has been featured in the National Post, MentalFloss, Bloomberg’s CityLab, CTV News, and on CBC Radio One. Noah is proud to be a Certified RGD and active in the design community.


Daniela Buitrago Provisional RGD, Vancouver

Daniela has a B.Des in Communication Design from Emily Carr University, where she was the creative director of Woo publication for two years. She is currently finishing a diploma in Art History at UBC and is the lead graphic designer for the Undergraduate Journal of Art history and Visual culture. For the last three years, Daniela has worked as an in-house designer and freelancer in Vancouver. Her work spans editorial, branding and web design.


Yasaman Fakhr Student RGD, Toronto

Yas is a third-year Graphic Design honours student at George Brown College. She found the field of graphic design through her early exposure to architecture and computer programming. Over time, she became completely enthralled in the vast field and would spend hours on end exploring all its different forms. Quickly, it became clear to her that this field was the one she wanted to study and eventually become a contributing leader.


Tomomi Lo RGD, Markham

Tomomi is an Art Director at Richard Robbins International Inc. (RRI), a business coaching and events organization for real estate professionals. She oversees all design work from web, print and event spaces as well as designing custom marketing tools for RRI clients. Recently becoming RGD certified, continuing her education in design and helping young designers strive has become a strong passion of hers.


Raphael Maturine Provisional RGD, Bowmanville

Raphael is a Graphic Designer at Earnscliffe Strategies with 7 years of experience having worked as an art director, educator and graphic/web designer for several non-profit and marketing organizations, including Heritage Toronto, Queen’s University and Durham College. He holds an Honours BA from the University of Toronto, a Diploma in Art and Art History from Sheridan College and an Advanced Diploma in Advertising and Marketing Communications from Durham College. Raphael consistently strives to elevate the brands and clients that he works with and is committed to staying on top of new and emerging design trends.


Amelia Nash Provisional RGD, Edmonton

With over 8 years of varied design experience, Amelia is a professional graphic designer and brand strategist that focuses on building cohesive brands for businesses and individuals. Currently working as a freelance designer for her business, Amelia Nash Design, her passion lies in helping businesses rebrand — getting clear on their messaging, their values and creating all the visual elements to communicate effectively. Having graduated from the University of Alberta with a BDes specializing in business and marketing, Amelia is a proud Provisional RGD and loves collaborating with enthusiastic people to create magical brand experiences. She’s also a big fan of sushi, all-dressed chips and adventures, in no particular order.


Richard Plantt RGD, London

Richard is a Senior User Experience Designer at SchoolBundle, a scalable, unified communication platform geared toward the K-12 education market. Richard’s expertise includes a user-focused approach to design with an emphasis on creating digital experiences that are easy and delightful to use. He is also involved with the Hope for Rural Children and Orphans (HORCO), a charity aimed at clean water, sanitation, education and HIV/AIDS awareness projects in developing nations.


Ania Shichkova Provisional RGD, Toronto

Ania is a highly creative and multi-talented graphic designer with extensive experience in editorial design, multimedia design, and advertisement. Ania works as the In-House Graphic Designer for Urban Strategies, a global urban design and planning consultancy based company in Toronto, and she aspires to be a professor in the future. She has 4+ years of experience in the management of the complete design process, from conceptualization to delivery. She is a higher education advocate and is currently a design mentor for George Brown College.


Kathy Sigstad RGD, Chilliwack

Kathy works as the Brand & Graphic Design Specialist at the Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC and as a sessional design instructor at the University of the Fraser Valley. In the years leading up to her current role, Kathy focused on multidisciplinary communication design projects with clients such as SFU, Variety Children's Charity, Alzheimer Society, Technical Safety BC and Health Canada.


Ashlea Spitz, M.Ed, RGD, Vancouver
With close to 20 years experience in professional practice as a communications designer and entrepreneur; Ashlea's combined experience in design, business and as a design professor, has been key to preparing her students for a complex profession. Ashlea's curriculum design values have been fundamental in ensuring curricula and instruction today will meet the needs of the future. She was integral in helping VCC's graphic design program develop and grow into a new two-year Diploma which is Western Canada's first program that offers students the opportunity to work in a college-studio environment with real clients. Her established digital media company, Pixsoul Media, has also played a role in advancing Ashlea's latest venture, a new online learning platform aimed at designers building their freelancing careers. Her passion as a teacher has been to motivate and inspire students through the art of instruction and cultivating one’s learning potential that inspires students to grow and ultimately be able to carve out new and successful careers for themselves.


Elisabeth Springate, Affiliate Member, Toronto

Elisabeth is a freelance Graphic Designer with an M.A. in Communications. She lectures in Digital Media, Writing, and Pop Culture at Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). She has authored and delivered courses in Design Fundamentals and Typography, as well as industry-standard design software for a range of learners at OCADu. From 1999 to 2010, she co-taught Creative Writing at York University's Joseph Atkinson College - among some of the earliest online courses - addressing the challenges of web-based learning within the rapid advance of web authoring tools and platforms. 


Diana Varma RGD, Markham

Diana is a lecturer and columnist by day, and an avid podcaster by night. She teaches within the School of Graphic Communications Management (GCM), as well as the Master of Digital Media (MDM) Program at Ryerson University. She teaches in the areas of design, typography, print management, book publishing and interdisciplinary innovation. Diana writes a monthly column in Graphic Arts Magazine. She also writes, hosts and produces a podcast called Talk Paper Scissors, focused on design and printing, typography and branding, books and publishing.


Bec Westcott Provisional RGD, New Liskeard

Bec is a freelance Graphic Designer and Web Designer and Developer. I have an Advanced Diploma from Cambrian College and a graduate certificate from Sheridan College. As a structure-based thinker, I use these skill sets and apply them to the work I do by creating documents as accessible as possible in InDesign and help small businesses develop an online platform using HTML/CSS and other program languages. I am currently taking courses through Deque university and plan to work towards my IAAP Certifications.