2020/2021 Committee Report
RGD logo with Designers Supporting Designers to the right beside it

Presented by Elyse Maxwell RGD, VP of Membership and Committee Chair at RGD's AGM on April 24, 2021


PDF of accompanying presentation


I would like to acknowledge the dedication and heart of our members, evidenced by their many achievements this past year. You will hear directly from a few of them in this presentation, and I hope you will agree that their hard work has paid off.


Our Committee Goals for 2020/2021
  • (a) Increase the number of Virtual Communities from 6 to 12
  • (b) Develop a system for offering Dues Relief to members in need
  • (c) Develop an Exit Survey to gain insight into the reasons former members chose not to renew.
  • (d) Identify and develop 1 or more new Tool or Resource
  • (e) Identify and recommend new Member Benefits/Offers
  • (f) Review Existing Programs and recommend improvements
  • (g) Recommend and Develop new content for the Newsletter and Website


(a) Ruth Farrugia has prepared a video about updates to our virtual communities.


(b) Our second goal, the Membership Dues Relief Program was initiated to ensure members who are experiencing financial difficulty are able to continue their membership. This was particularly important in light of the strain that the COVID-19 Pandemic has placed on many of us. The program was developed by members Rod Nash and Danielle Wong, and implemented this year. We have provided dues relief for 16 members to date and continue to review applications on an ongoing basis.


(c) Members Evelyn Csiszar, Linden Polos and Noah Ortmann collaborated on developing an exit survey to help us gain insight into the reasons some former RGD chose not to renew their membership. They were able to pinpoint 8 key reasons, and developed a form which provides an appropriate response, including information that may encourage them to stay, or indicate that they would like to be contacted again in the future. Once this survey is officially launched, we are hopeful that it will ease the workload for staff, and provide opportunities to retain members.


(d) The Members’ section of the RGD website features an extensive video archive that is underutilized due to poor search functionality and general lack of awareness. Ian Chalmers and Kyle Schruder examined the archive from a user interaction standpoint and developed a list of recommendations including tagging, improved layout and a strategy to promote this asset through our social media channels. These recommendations have been partially implemented, and will inform the development of a new website.


(e) As a Committee, we are always on the lookout for new partnerships that can benefit our members directly through discounts and special offers. We routinely perform reviews of current offers, engage with partners to renew past offers, and look for ways to improve those offerings as needed. We welcome any recommendations for potential partnerships, so please feel free to contact me via the RGD Slack channel, or by sending an email to michelle@rgd.ca.


(f) Mike Scott will now provide an update on the mentorship program.


(g) Amy Eaton and Renee Taillon developed and launched the Design+ series for the RGD newsletter which will feature interviews with members in their various areas of expertise.


In addition to the above goals, two of our Members invested countless hours into researching, writing, and hosting two Trivia events to help bring our members together virtually. Thank you to Austin and Noah for your hard work, and we look forward to future opportunities to host more events like this one.


Finally, Rod Nash will present an update to last year’s goal of improving the Emeritus membership category.


Last year we reached a milestone of over 800 Certified Members. This year we are currently sitting at 844 Certified Members, 435 Provisional RGDs, 356 Affiliates, 56 Junior Affiliates, 33 Teams, 148 RGD Emeritus Members and 2 Members in our new RGD Emeritus Subscriber category. We also have 2,207 Student RGDs, 2,000 of these students receive the membership as part of their program.


Our Affiliate Referral Program launched with this year’s dues form has brought 66 new Members into our organization so far, and we hope they will choose to continue their Membership once the year is up.


I would like to recognize our Committee Members: Ian Chalmers RGD; Evelyn Csiszar RGD; Amy Eaton RGD; Ruth Farrugia RGD; Brent Long RGD; Norm Lourenco RGD; Noah Ortmann RGD; Linden Polos RGD; Mike Scott; Kyle Schruder; our Provisional RGD Members are Olivia Baker-Sullivan, Renee Taillon and Danielle Wong and our RGD Emeritus Member Rod Nash.


I would also like to thank former Committee Members: Austin Mateka Prov. RGD; Wendy Millard RGD; Ece Savas RGD and Celina Fischer RGD.