Every trip is made better by a stand-out tour guide. Meet the experts who shared their insights and knowledge at Creative Directions 2020.



Roanne Adams, Chief Creative Director of RoAndCoHeadshot of Roanne Adams

Chief Creative Director Roanne launched her female-led creative studio RoAndCo in 2006. The studio first gained buzz in the design world for Roanne’s intrepid ability to build successful, scalable brands from the ground up. Over the past decade, Roanne and her team have helped launch hundreds of new brands across the fashion, beauty, tech and lifestyle industries and have worked with Fortune 500’s, among them Google, Nike, and several Estée Lauder companies. Roanne has dedicated time and professional effort to non-profit initiatives like the Women’s March, Together We Rise, and more. In 2017, Roanne was named by UN Women, a Champion Of Change for her leadership in advocating for equal pay for women in the Design & Advertising industry. In 2017, Roanne launched her passion project, Romance Journal – a publication devoted to exploring truth and raising collective consciousness through the female lens. She lives and works between NY & LA with her husband and two children.


Gavin Barrett, Owner, Founding Partner and Chief Creative Officer of Barrett and WelshHeadshot of Gavin Barrett

Gavin is the Owner, Founding Partner, Chief Creative Officer of award-winning Toronto agency Barrett and Welsh, and a co-founder of People of Colour in Advertising and Marketing (POCAM) and of the Multicultural Marketing Alliance of Canada. He was the inaugural Jury chair and has been a multiple time juror at Marketing’s multicultural awards. In pursuit of big ideas he has nibbled on pigs' ears (not on a live pig at the time); gone elephant-back in the Thai jungle (no elephants were hurt); gambled in a Macau casino (was utterly destroyed). His work has been brought to life on screens and on pages by Deepa Mehta, David Carson, Bruno Barbey and Louis Ng. His work has run in 35 countries, helped elect prime ministers, attracted the ire of the lawyers for Dolly the clone sheep, drew an angry crowd in Lagos, been studied in business texts in Canada and India and received derisive mention in a John Irving novel. His poems can be found in Understan, his new book and in Penguin’s anthology of 14 contemporary Indian poets, Reasons for Belonging. He has accumulated 1 wife, 2 kids, a BA (econ.), an MA (eng. lit), a murderous guppy, a scruffy cocker spaniel poodle and 100+ awards for his work. He cannot: sing.


Daniela Buitrago Prov. RGD, Design and Creative Direction at Oh Manova Design StudioHeadshot of Daniela Buitrago Provisional RGD

Daniela is a forever-curious-student passionate about design, art and technology. Daniela holds a Bachelor of Design from Emily Carr University of Art & Design and a Diploma in Art History from the University of British Columbia. Currently, Daniela is finishing a Master's degree in Branding and Brand Communication from SHIFTA by Elisava. In between her education adventures, she has worked as an in-house graphic designer, and she also volunteers as a member of the RGD's Education Committee. Nowadays, when Daniela is not busy studying and working as a freelance designer under her new one-woman design studio, Oh Manova, you can find her walking on Vancouver's seawall listening to podcasts, and always with fruity tea.


Anthony Burrill, Graphic Artist, Designer & Print-Maker

Headshot of Anthony Burrill

Graphic artist Anthony combines a knack for simplicity that packs a punch with analogue craft skills and powerful, positive messages. Anthony frequently collaborates with other forward-thinking creatives across disciplines spanning music, architecture, curation, education and more; pushing his traditional discipline of choice, letterpress printing, into bold new territories. Words, gentle humour, no-nonsense communication and people are at the heart of Anthony's practice and his distinctive brand of upbeat messaging: its core DNA is one created through a longstanding passion for creativity without limitations, the power of simplicity and an innate curiosity about the world and people in it. He was born in Littleborough, Lancashire. After studying Graphic Design at Leeds Polytechnic he completed an MA in Graphic Design at the Royal College of Art, London. He now lives and works on the Isle of Oxney, Kent. Head of Design and Special Projects at The Block


James is a self-taught user-centered Digital Designer, formally educated in Math and Physics. He is currently the Head of Design and Special Projects for The Block, a news and research organization based in New York CityHeadshot of James Cabrera focused on digital assets and cryptocurrencies. Previously he was the Design Director for Gimlet Media leading up to their acquisition by Spotify. He previously held design roles at Refinery29, Say Media, and Foot Locker, Inc. His experience is focused on scaling and prioritizing design from the ground-up for smaller start-ups.


Lucas Carmona, VP of Creative Services at Brainrider

Panel Discussion: Staying Current from Home and How to Feel Less DisconnectedHeadshot of Lucas Carmona

Lucas is an Argentinian-born father, husband, longboard rider, rugby player, graphic designer and studio lead working at Brainrider, a B2B creative agency in Toronto. As Brainrider’s VP of Creative Services, Lucas oversees all things related to Content, Design and Digital Marketing. He also works closely with the client services and production teams to ensure that the work addresses client goals and objectives, while maintaining the highest degree of quality. Lucas has been working in the industry for around 14 years now and has enjoyed providing creative solutions for his clients and teams. Whether it’s creating product packaging and branding, or overseeing high-profile marketing campaigns, Lucas believes that in order to get great work, you need to care for your people and teams first.


Sean Carter, Founder and Design Director at Carter Hales Design LabHeadshot of Sean Carter

Panel Discussion: What happens when you lose your passion for design?

A kid graduates from a dumpster-fire design program and starts shopping his portfolio. Big design houses laugh. He considers professional cycling. But designing is so easy, and it pays mad stacks! He lives on Ichiban. Then he opens his own design shop at 22. It does okay, but he wants more, so he co-founds Hangar 18 Creative. It takes off. So does he, 16 years later, to start Carter Hales Design Lab. Meantime, he also founds The Pink Door Paper Company, an award-winning line of luxury stationery and spa products. But his Uncle Lenny tells him, “Kid, ya can’t ride two horses with one ass. Commit to something.” So he sells Pink Door to go all-in on Carter Hales, a brand-focused studio with clients in every corner of the globe and with exclusively-senior-level talent among its design team. Turns out, that was a good idea. One Show, Lüerzer’s Archive, Pentawards, Applied Arts, ADCC, and Communication Arts agree, about 300—and counting—times over.


Jacob Cass, Brand Designer & Strategist (CEO/Founder) at JUST™ Creative

How to Earn $10k of Passive Income as a DesignerHeadshot of Jacob Cass

Jacob is a brand designer, strategist, educator, podcaster, business coach and the founder of JUST Creative, an award-winning branding & design consultancy that doubles as an industry-leading blog (and passive-income machine!)
 Jacob helps grow brands strategically and has worked for clients such as Disney, Nintendo, Jerry Seinfeld and even San Francisco, which he just finished designing the logo for. For Jacob, design is a lifelong journey of continuously honing his craft, as well as educating other fellow designers & entrepreneurs to build on theirs, which has allowed him to build a large and loyal following, including his website which has been viewed over 70 million times. Jacob co-hosts the JUST Branding Podcast that helps designers & entrepreneurs grow brands, and has interviewed leaders such as Chris Do & Marty Neumeier. Jacob is also business coach and helps creatives level up through 1 on 1 coaching and in a group setting.


Alex Center, Founder of CENTER

Panel Discussion: Staying Current from Home and How to Feel Less DisconnectedHeadshot of Alex Center

Alex is a Brooklyn-based designer and founder of the branding company CENTER.  Prior to launching his own studio in 2018, he spent 10 years at the global beverage leader Coca-Cola where he led the vision for the billion dollar brands vitaminwater, smartwater & Powerade. Today, Alex and his team are building the icon brands of tomorrow, partnering with startups like Kin Euphorics, Conbody and United Sodas of America. Over his career, Alex has designed packaging that has been in the hands of millions, launched breakthrough marketing campaigns, given talks around the world and once met rapper 50 Cent who told him “You must think you're pretty special.” He got nervous and instantly started sweating. In his personal time he enjoys rooting for New York teams that wear orange & blue, eating/taking photos of delicious meals and spending time with his wife Jacquelyn De Jesu and their zero kids and zero pets.


Ian Chalmers RGD, Design Director & Principal at Pivot Design Group

Headshot of Ian Chalmers RGD


Panel Discussion: Shifting Your Business in Changing Markets

As a graduate of the OCAD U, Ian brings a creative curiosity and influence to the design research work he does across a spectrum of corporate, healthcare and academic pursuits. As Founder of Pivot Design Group, his professional focus is in the healthcare vertical, bringing a people-centric design focus to the work Pivot creates for researchers, scientists and institutions. He is also the founder of DesignMeets, a 10-year in the making event forum to bring the design conversation to the community.


Pansy Cheung Prov. RGD, Senior Strategic Designer at Klick

Panel Discussion: Agency, Studio, Freelance or In-House?Headshot of Pansy Cheung Prov. RGD

Pansy graduated with honours from the recognized York Sheridan Bachelor of Design program. As a design strategist, Pansy works alongside agency teams to provide design expertise, solution design and discovery, as well as storytelling applications to client facing and internal projects. She is also passionate about advocating for how designers can contribute their skills on a strategic level in non-design industries, and runs her own pitch design studio for female startup founders: The Visual Narrative Company.


Annie Chou, Partner & Managing Director at Arc & Co.Headshot of Annie Chou

Panel Discussion: Shifting Your Business in Changing Markets

Annie is Co-Founder of physical brand experience agency Arc & Co Design Collective and Pac & Go. food delivery packaging system. Annie has spent the last 15 years leading the development of products for launch in the consumer packaged goods industry, and working with marketing executives to pitch tier-one buyers. She started out as a creative persona with a rebellious streak, whose interests in designing for a better world have gradually expanded to focusing on leadership and business strategies. Annie believes passionately that the design industry must reflect our zeitgeist in order to remain relevant. And so she sees it as her mission to bridge the gap between creative visionaries and innovative business leaders, to form collaborations that transform the way in which products are conceived.


Sami Christianson, Co-founder & Design Director at Best Studio

9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ... and Passion ProjectsHeadshot of Sami Christianson

Sami is the Co-founder and Design Director of Best Studio, a branding and packaging agency based in Vancouver, B.C. Over her twelve years in the industry, her work has been recognized by The Dieline Awards, Print Awards, Graphis, Applied Arts, and more. Beyond her 9-5, which often looks more like 5-9, she is never without a side hustle, constantly imagining and executing passion projects. In 2017, Sami became a published author with the release of “Please don’t do Coke in the bathroom”, a cheeky book featuring her love of hand-lettering. Sami is most in her happy place when crafting any sort of liquor packaging, but is still waiting for her dream wine project. When she’s not in the office, she is most likely enjoying a hike with her dog, or hatching a plan for the next side hustle.


Henry Chu, Senior Designer at Microsoft and Digital Design Instructor at Vancouver Film SchoolHeadshot of Henry Chu

Creating Clarity for Impactful Designs

Henry is a designer and educator based in Vancouver B.C. Canada, designing media experiences across consumer and enterprise services at Microsoft.  He has experience from crafting ecosystem level experiences in Microsoft 365 to releasing products across PC, Mobile, Xbox and HoloLens.  He also teaches design research and documentation at Vancouver Film School.


Chrisanne Daniel Prov. RGD, UX-UI Designer at HARD-LINE

Panel Discussion: Agency, Studio, Freelance or In-House?Headshot of Chrisanne Daniel

Chrisanne is a designer, third culture kid and self proclaimed do-gooder.  As a UI/UX Designer she works to create, enhance and ensure user experiences are meaningful, relevant, informative and delightful. Over her career she has worked in a marketing agency, as an in-house designer and now as the sole designer as part of a software development team. Chrisanne is a passionate and dedicated volunteer and community builder and has found that volunteering is not only fulfilling and meaningful, but it has provided her career with endless opportunities and growth.


Aaron Draplin, Draplin Design Co.

Keynote on May 4 | An Update from The Draplin Design Co.: And Other Fibs, Lies and PerjuriesHeadshot of Aaron Draplin

Located in the mighty Pacific Northwest, the Draplin Design Co. proudly rolls up its sleeves on a number of projects related to the Print, Identity and Illustration categories. They make stuff for Coal Headwear, Union Binding Co., Richmond Fontaine, Esquire, Nike, Wired, Dinosaur Jr, Timberline, Chunklet, Eaux Claires Music Festival, Poler, Incase, Sub Pop Records, Fender, Marc Maron, Cobra Dogs, Jill Soloway, Sasquatch Music Festival, Rhett Miller, Old 97s, Jason Isbell, Nixon Watches, Bernie Sanders, Patagonia, Target, Chris Stapleton, NASA/JPL, John Hodgman, Timex, Ford Motor Company, Woolrich and even the Obama Administration, if you can believe that. They've traveled the world telling their story. They co-created Field Notes with older brother Jim Coudal, and their memo books are sold in over 2,500 stores worldwide, with limited-edition special editions shipped quarterly to a booming subscriber list. Their six Skillshare classes are raging along, teaching kids all over the world. Their first book titled Pretty Much Everything came out on May 17, 2016 on Abrams Books, which incredibly, is in its eighth printing. Their roster of DDC Merch is up to 260 products and growing! Them pride themselves on a high level of craftsmanship and quality that keeps them up late into the wet Portland night.


Fungi Dube, Creative Director at Asambe Mobility

15-minute PresentationsFungi Dube headshot
A scientist by training and a Creative Solopreneur by calling, Fungi Dube is an intentional and self-taught brand and visual identity graphic designer from Harare, Zimbabwe with 6 years of experience. Fiercely driven by passion, she is a delicate balance of process; years of applied experimentation and research have nurtured the ability for her to think divergently and process creative solutions in a fluid and dynamic way. A sunflower obsessor and lover of sunsets, she is passionate about sustainability and sustainable practices for the long term. She  is an advocate for solidifying creative landscapes and networks. She believes in the power of passing on knowledge and sharing experiences as a means of unifying and supporting creatives as they navigate their professional journeys.

Greg Dubeau RGD, Freelance Graphic Designer and Design InstructorHeadshot of Greg Dubeau RGD

Building Good Habits and Avoiding Bad Habits

Greg is freelance graphic designer who has lived and worked across Canada from coast to coast. He runs a small design studio in Halifax, Nova Scotia where he collaborates with agencies, organizations and entrepreneurs to make their businesses look and work a little bit better than they did yesterday.


Blair Enns, CEO of Win Without PitchingHeadshot of Blair Enns

Untethering Financial Success From Effort

Blair is the author of The Win Without Pitching Manifesto and Pricing Creativity: A Guide to Profit Beyond the Billable Hour. He lectures throughout the world on how creative professionals can win more business at higher prices and lower cost of sale. Blair also co-hosts, along with David C. Baker, the popular podcast 2Bobs: Conversations on the Art of Creative Entrepreneurship.


Kay Fleury, Head of Content & Strategy at Techboomers.com

Presentations & Discussion — Technology TidbitsHeadshot of Kay Fleury

Kay is Head of Content & Strategy at Techboomers Media Inc. She has worked on SEO and content strategies for dozen of websites across various industries and niches including Techboomers.com, and is currently working with a small team at SearchEngineUnity, an SEO collective aiming to change the way startups and small business owners struggle with obtaining quality, useful, and fairly-priced help with their SEO — without being taken advantage of.


Julian Franklin, President, Franklin Management Group Inc. (FMG)Headshot of Julian Franklin

Creating Equity in the Design Industry as Senior Professionals

Julian is a Canadian Marketing Hall of Fame member and business leader with 20+ years client and agency experience in consumer-packaged goods and sports industries. His expertise includes strategic planning, communications, and marketing. His career is distinguished by marketing leadership roles in Canada and the U.S. where he perennially achieved successful business results. He is President, Franklin Management Group Inc. (FMG), a strategic planning, sponsorship and activation consultancy for blue chip clients. Julian’s corporate governance experience is extensive; he is also a Founding Member of POCAM (People of Colour in Advertising & Marketing), an association that advocates for the inclusion and advancement of Black, Indigenous, & People of Colour(BIPOC) within Marketing.


Verònica Fuerte, Founder & Creative Directress of Hey StudioHeadshot of Verònica Fuerte


Verònica is a designer and illustrator from Barcelona. After earning a degree in Graphic Design from ELISAVA and a MA in Typeface Design from EINA, she worked for several design studios in Barcelona. In 2007 she founded her own studio, Hey, which has grown steadily since. She received the ADC Young Guns 7 award and her work has appeared in prestigious media such as It’s nice that, DesignBoom, Communication Arts and AIGA. Verònica also teaches in several different universities in Barcelona and frequently speaks at international conferences.


Cedric Gagnon, Motion Designer at Le Devoir

Panel Discussion: Agency, Studio, Freelance or In-House?Headshot of Cedric Gagnon

Cedric is a Montréal based graphic designer who’s been working since 2018 for Le Devoir, a trustworthy newspaper looking to reach new audiences through social media, videos, and innovative web-based projects. He previously studied graphic design at Cégep de Sherbrooke and UQAM, where he learned that he knew nothing and that fun was the essence of good design. Invariably seeking better solutions, his creative approach tends to be minimalist and playful.


Dani Hall, Partner at Design of BrandHeadshot of Dani Hall

Career Journeys

Dani is a designer and co-founder of Design of Brand, a Toronto-based consultancy that specializes in brand design and strategy for entrepreneurs. Their clients include Greenhouse Juice, Ace Valley, Superette, Rainbo and Sunscoop. Prior to founding DOB in 2018, she spent a decade in New York, working at MoMA, Pentagram and Interbrand. She has a BFA from Parsons School of Design.


Richard Hatter, Creative Director at Hired Guns Creative

Career JourneysHeadshot of Richard Hatter

Richard is an award-winning designer, illustrator, and conceptual thinker. He has 21 years of experience in graphic, print, and web design, as well as creative direction, market strategy and artistic management. He is a graduate of the Graphic Design Program at Malaspina University-College (which is now known as Vancouver Island University). Richard has worked for several large design firms, first at the production level and then working his way up to Creative Director. He has worked on a wide range of projects, including multi-million dollar accounts for nation-wide clients. He has a black belt in judo and two young children at home.


Diana Beltran Herrera, Designer & Artist

Career Journeys — Designing with PaperHeadshot of Diana Beltrán Herrera
Diana is a designer and artist from Colombia currently based in Bristol, UK. After graduating from her MFA from the University of the west of England, she has been developing her practice by researching ordinary materials and its uses. She collects, documents and categorizes the different uses of materials creating an inventory that she later applies in her formal and sculptural work. Paper is the most featured material in her work. Her work presents experiences and ideas related to the ways in which she experiences the world, and also, performs as a model of representation of a reality that does not suffer any change. For Diana, there is a considerable distance in the relationship between human and nature that she aims to repair by making visible the fragility of nature through the use of material. Diana's work has been exhibited around Europe, Asia and America. She works for agencies, museums and commercial clients around the world. Her coming solo show at the Singapore Children's Museum will open in 2022.


Ceri Higgs Prov. RGD, Graphic Designer at Techboomers.comHeadshot of Ceri Higgs Prov. RGD

Panel Discussion: Staying Current from Home and How to Feel Less Disconnected

Ceri is a graduate of the Graphic Design Diploma Program at Conestoga College. Her love of design and bringing people together for social events led her to become part of the Committee. With a background in psychology and research, she brings a unique analytical perspective to all her projects. She currently works as a designer for a tech company in Kitchener and freelances as a hand letterer.


Michael Janda, Business Coach for Creative Professionals

Presentation: How to Sell Creative ServicesHeadshot of Michael Janda

Michael is an award-winning creative director, designer and agency veteran. In 2002, he founded the creative agency Riser, which provided design and development services for clients that included Disney, Google, Warner Bros., Fox, NBC, ABC, National Geographicand many other high-profile brands. Michael sold his agency in 2015 and now spends his time speaking, developing books, courses, and social media content to help creatives level-up. He is the author of “Burn YourPortfolio” and “The Psychology of Graphic Design Pricing.”


Leo Jung, Creative Director, Pop-Up Magazine & The California Sunday Magazine, Pop-Up Magazine ProductionsHeadshot of Leo Jung

Tours/Presentations  Exploring Specialties

Leo is the Creative Director of The California Sunday Magazine, a two-time winner of the Magazine of the Year Award from the Society of Publication Designers, and Pop-Up Magazine, the critically acclaimed live magazine. He is the former Design Director at Wired and Deputy Art Director at The New York Times Magazine. His work has been recognized by the Art Directors Club, Type Directors Club, and the Society of Publication Designers.

Photograph by Thomas Bollier


Paul Kawai, Design Director at FrontierHeadshot of Paul Kawai

Panel Discussion: Job Searching in a Pandemic

Paul has over ten years’ experience designing and leading teams in creating visual identities, architectural environments, publications, websites, and campaign initiatives for a wide range of clients. As design director at Frontier, Paul provides creative and organizational leadership across all projects while also fostering relationships with clients and collaborators. Prior to Frontier, Paul contributed to teams at Roundabout Studio as an architectural designer, Bruce Mau Design as an environmental and graphic designer, and Indigo Books as the senior design lead on brand and innovation. He is a graduate of OCAD University and continues to guest lecture and critique for the Faculty of Design. Paul also studied Culinary Arts at George Brown College. His work has been featured as part of Nuit Blanche and the Gladstone Hotel’s Come Up to My Room exhibit in Toronto, as well as part of the Pratt Institute’s Design Incubator in Brooklyn


Diego Lopez RGD, Creative Director at Compass CreativeHeadshot of Diego Lopez RGD

15-minute Presentations

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.


Ellen Lupton, Senior Curator of Contemporary Design at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Keynote on May 5 | Extra Bold: Redesigning Power FlowsHeadshot of Ellen Lupton

Ellen is Senior Curator of Contemporary Design at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City. Her exhibitions include “Herbert Bayer: Bauhaus Master,” “Face Values: Understanding Artificial Intelligence,” “How Posters Work,” and “The Senses: Design Beyond Vision.” Lupton is the Betty Cooke and William O. Steinmetz Design Chair at MICA in Baltimore, where she has authored numerous books on design processes, including "Thinking with Type," "Graphic Design Thinking," and "Graphic Design: The New Basics." Her recent books “Design Is Storytelling” and “Health Design Thinking” were published by Cooper Hewitt. She is co-author of “Extra Bold: A Feminist, Inclusive, Anti-Racist, Nonbinary Field Guide for Graphic Designers,” published by Princeton Architectural Press, 2021. She is an AIGA Gold Medalist and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.


Dan Mall, Founder & CEO of SuperFriendlyHeadshot of Dan Mall

Presentations & Discussion — Technology Tidbits
Dan is a creative director and advisor from Philly. He’s the founder and CEO of SuperFriendly, a design collaborative that helps in-house teams make better digital products with design systems. Dan is an enthralled husband & dad, author of Pricing Design, and co-founder of Arcade, a fun way to manage design tokens for enterprise teams. He writes about design and other issues on Twitter and on his industry-recognized site, danmall.me.


Kevin Moran RGD, Creative Team Lead at Kira SystemsHeadshot of Kevin Moran RGD

9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ... and Passion Projects

Kevin is a designer and illustrator from Toronto, Canada. With over 10 years experience, he's had the opportunity to collaborate with a ton of brilliant minds at amazing brands and publications such as Molson Coors, Lindt Canada, Meridian Credit Union, Huffington Post, Rogers Communications, Fast Company, Spotify, and UberEATs.


Chino Nnadi, Talent Acquisition Specialist at MetaLabHeadshot of Chino Nnadi

Creating Equity in the Design Industry as Senior Professionals

Working in the talent strategy space for 7 years, Chino has had the pleasure of building some of the best teams for top agencies and global brands. Chino is currently is at MetaLab, focused on building out their Global Design team where their work includes products for clients such as Slack, Google, Headspace, Pitch, and Amazon (to name a few). Over the years, working directly with executive leadership to make hiring decisions has given Chino a unique, behind-the-scenes insight into the industry. An advocate for diversity, Chino has pushed to break barriers and challenge how the industry hires talent. Now, Chino has joined POCAM’s steering committee to continue to use her voice and insights on how the industry hires for the future.


Lin Oosterhoff Prov. RGD, Art Director at Critical Mass

9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ... and Passion ProjectsHeadshot of Lin Oosterhoff Prov. RGD

Born and raised in the Netherlands, Lin’s design aesthetic has always been influenced by the Dutch design — characterized as minimalist, experimental, innovative and quirky. Lin blends these bold, hard edges with Canadian thoughtfulness to create design concepts that are beautiful, meaningful and full of stories. The majority of her work has been created for brands and people that are like-minded and draw awareness to the community, environment and outdoor culture. By providing her skillset, Lin has managed to amplify the voices of artists, outdoor enthusiasts and book publishers locally and internationally.


Howard Poon, VP Design for DDB Canada (Edmonton)

Panel Discussion: Hope in UncertaintyHeadshot of Howard Poon

Howard has a reputation for frank feedback and has a low tolerance for complexity. He feeds his curiosity with a subscription to the Sunday edition of The New York Times. As VP Design for DDB Canada (Edmonton), Howard collaborates with a cross-disciplinary agency team of strategists, creatives and designers to use insight-driven design to build exceptional brands. Over the years, his team’s work has appeared in Applied Arts, Communication Arts and has been recognized with international, national and regional awards. In 2019, DDB was recognized by Strategy Magazine as Bronze Design Agency of the Year.


Pamela Rounis, Creative Director at RethinkHeadshot of Pamela Rounis

Panel Discussion: Hope in Uncertainty

Pamela is a Creative Director at Rethink. After completing a BFA at Emily Carr University in 2006, Pamela went on to study design and illustration in the IDEA program at Capilano University. Her work has been recognized by the One Show, Clio Awards, Communication Arts, the Advertising & Design Club of Canada, Applied Arts, Marketing Awards and the National Magazine Awards.


Kaleena Sales, Interim Chair & Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at Tennessee State University

Keynote on May 5 | Extra Bold: Redesigning Power FlowsHeadshot of Kaleena Sales

Kaleena is a writer, illustrator, and graphic design educator at Tennessee State University, an HBCU (Historically Black College and University), in Nashville, TN. She is endlessly interested in the intersection of Black culture and aesthetics and believes that identities and experiences have an invaluable role in helping to diversify the ways in which designers solve problems. Through her service on AIGA's Design Educators Community Steering Committee, Kaleena has advocated for a more inclusive view of design history through her Beyond the Bauhaus series. Her recent illustration work has been selected for inclusion in the 2021 Communication Arts Illustration Annual.


Roberth Smith RGD, Chief Creative Officer at Greenmelon Inc.Headshot of Robert Smith RGD

Panel Discussion: Shifting Your Business in Changing Markets

Robert is a creative director, agency owner, author, creativity professor and a founding member of RGD (Association of Registered Graphic Designers). Throughout his 30 years in the creative industry, he has worked for a corporation, a government department, four design studios, started two successful agencies, and continues to run Ottawa-based creative agency greenmelon and teaches brand strategy at Algonquin College. In 2009 he was recognized as a 40 Under 40 for business achievement and community service. Robert had the opportunity to work with brands including Warner Brothers, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, DC Comics and the Royal Canadian Mint. He speaks and facilitates at events across North America including DesignThinkers, the RGD In-House Design Conference, Creative Mornings, and upcoming HOW Design Live.


Victor Szeto RGD, Creative Director at Green Living EnterprisesHeadshot of Victor Szeto RGD

Giving Good Portfolio Presentations … Virtually

Victor is the Creative Director at Green Living Enterprises. A graduate of York/Sheridan’s Design program and a Member since his student days, Victor’s work spans experiential, print and digital media with a focus on corporate and social responsibility, cause marketing and sustainability with varied experiences within the studio, in-house and freelance spaces.


Jennifer Taback RGD, President & Partner at Design de Plume Inc.Headshot of Jennifer Taback RGD

Panel Discussion: Job Searching in a Pandemic

“Miikawaadizi Waaskonee Giizis Kwe” is an urban, Indigenous member of the Shawanaga First Nation. Jennifer has worked in the design industry for over 15 years, with work experience ranging from research and assessments to implementation and support for both the private and public sector. She facilitates active discussions and goal setting, helping her clients build brands and communications that represent themselves, their communities and the mission they want to achieve. Understanding the fundamentals of business, networking, and politics, Jennifer sits on a number of boards to help provide insight and advice.


Ashley Tomlinson Prov. RGD, Freelance Graphic Designer

Panel Discussion: Agency, Studio, Freelance or In-House?Headshot of Ashley Tomlinson Provisional RGD

Ashley is a multidisciplinary graphic designer based in Toronto, Canada. She received an Advanced Diploma in Graphic Design from Humber College in 2019. Recently, she was the junior designer at Studio Wyse where she worked on editorial projects for the University of Toronto, Ryerson University, and the Creative Destruction Lab. She’s also a cofounder of Cove Collective, a community that centres the voices of BIPOC women through events, workshops and podcasts. Ashley is always up for a conversation; her favourite topics include intersectional feminism, books and dogs.


Paul Twa Prov. RGD, Graphic Designer at Sticks & StonesHeadshot of Paul Twa Prov. RGD

9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ... and Passion Projects

Paul is a graphic designer, illustrator, and letterer based in Edmonton, Alberta. A graduate of the University of Alberta's Bachelor of Design program, he currently works at Sticks & Stones, a marketing and advertising agency in the city. A proud maximalist with a keen interest in history, Paul enjoys studying the art and design of the past as a way to inform the work he is making today. A firm believer in the importance of cultivating a personal creative practice, Paul uses this outlet as a way to experiment and inspire future client projects. Paul's work has been recognized by the RGD So(cial) Good Design Awards and he was a finalist in last year's RGD ULTRABOLD Awards.


Diana Varma RGD, Educator & Writer, Producer & Host of Talk Paper Scissors

Technology Tidbits — Podcasting for DesignersHeadshot of Diana Varma

Diana is an award-winning 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, where she helps students connect their technical left brains, creative right brains and entrepreneurial hearts for fulfilling careers in creative industries. Diana also writes a monthly column in Canada’s leading trade publication for the printing industries, Graphic Arts Magazine, where she has written 140+ articles about trends affecting both the technical and human sides of the graphic communications industry. Lastly, she believe that more problems in this world should be solved by 'lip syncing for your life’.


Armin Vit, Co-founder of UnderConsideration

Panel Discussion: What happens when you lose your passion for design?Headshot of Armin Vit

Born and raised in Mexico City, Armin is a graphic designer and writer now living in Bloomington, IN. He is co-founder of UnderConsideration, a graphic design firm generating its own projects, initiatives, and content while taking on limited client work. Although he has written for most well-known design publications he is most recognized for his writing on the blogs that make up the UnderConsideration online network—particularly Brand New, the popular blog for opinions on corporate and brand identity work. Along with his wife and partner, Bryony Gomez-Palacio, Armin has co-authored various books for publishers and for UnderConsideration and has organized multiple design events, including the annual Brand New Conference and bi-monthly Austin Initiative for Graphic Awesomeness speaker series. Previously, Armin worked at the New York office of Pentagram and his professional experience stretches back to 1999. Since then he has become a regular speaker and juror in events and competitions around the world. When not working, he is either out for a run or washing the dishes.