Volunteer of the Month for November 2021
"Enthusiasm for days with a capital E! Amanda has been a joy to volunteer with, contributing great ideas and being a beacon of positivity and energy. It's evident when she's in "front of the camera" moderating the Certification Committee's Freshly Certified Webinar Series or during the most recent DesignRethinkers, but it also trickles behind the scenes with the planning and development of the various goals and activities she's involved with. I've yet to meet a brighter cheerleader for RGD and we're all lucky to have her!"
How long have you been volunteering with the RGD?
I have been volunteering with the RGD in small ways since 2014. After joining the Certification Committee, I have taken on more and more responsibilities. I have had the honour to serve as a Mentor, act as a judge for various RGD awards including the Student Awards, host and present for the Freshly Certified Webinar Series, moderate roundtables at conferences, review portfolios and more. I am also a Board Member and co-chair of the Certification Committee.
What contribution are you most proud of / What experience/memory stands out for you?
Tough one — so many moments (big and small). I loved hosting the Freshly Certified Webinar Series. These webinars celebrate designers and give them a unique opportunity to talk about their work, and most importantly, they answer so many questions for designers planning to go through the RGD Certification process.
Also, I'll always fondly remember my first DesignThinkers — George Lois, Chip Kid, Jessica Hische. There was no going back after that.
What is the most surprising/unexpected thing to come out of volunteering with the RGD?
As a part of the Certification Committee, I am amazed at the diversity of work produced by our Members. And it's astounding to see how Hilary, Heidi, Karin and the team at the RGD manages such a vast range of work so seamlessly. We are truly an incredible organization!
What have you learned about the industry since volunteering for the RGD?
I have learned that there is no end to what the design industry can do. We can solve problems, help climate change, provide a voice and stand up for what is important. Volunteering with the RGD helps make those contributions stronger and more aligned for me. I am continuously learning, listening and absorbing as this industry grows.
Based on your experience volunteering with the RGD, how would you describe the role of the organization in the industry?
The RGD has a far-reaching effect on the design community in Canada. We are a strong collective that sets the bar for professional standards, accountability, accessibility in design and business for graphic designers across Canada. I believe we still need to put in some work to showcase the RGD's value and standards to those outside the design community, but I see that as we grow these conversations are beginning and welcomed.
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?
You really get more out of what you put in. The RGD has been a foundation of my career. Being a volunteer, I have made meaningful connections that have supported me as I grow and change. Volunteering has given my career the exposure it needs to gain new opportunities and clients.
Do you have thoughts on what you might like to do as a volunteer with the RGD in the future?
One thing I can say — I’m not going to stop volunteering anytime soon. At this year's AGM, I was newly elected to the Board of Directors, so in the immediate future I will be navigating that opportunity. I am also invested in the goals of the Certification Committee and I would love to increase speaking engagements with the RGD sharing my crazy journey as a designer and celebrating others. Overall, I am eager and excited to continue contributing my time to RGD initiatives.
As an award-winning designer and Creative Director bringing with her over 20 years experience, Amanda has lead creative teams for clients such as Tim Hortons, A&W, Harley Davidson, Labatt Breweries, FCA Canada (Chrysler), Jolly Jumper, Sears Canada & more producing packaging, branding, print, photography, digital signage and new media. Her well-versed knowledge in brand development has also successfully launched new businesses and products across North America. Her work has been featured on the thedieline.com, packagingoftheworld.com and has won top honours from the RGD and the Design Edge Regional Design Awards (redgees).