Volunteer of the Month for December 2021
"Working with Howard on RGD’s Design Committee has been fantastic. He’s jumped into the Association with both feet, bringing a wealth of expertise and a fresh perspective." — Julian Brown RGD, Chair, RGD Design Committee.
How long have you been volunteering with the RGD and in what capacity?
In 2020, I was one of the judges for the ULTRABOLD Awards. Following that, I presented as a part of the 'What Design Directors Know' webinar series in January 2021. Although I actively started volunteering after becoming a Certified RGD in April 2021. I was on a panel discussion at the 2021 Creative Directions Conference in May and also a portfolio reviewer.
In May, I submitted a proposal for DDB Canada to be the RGD's Design Partner for the DesignThinkers 2022. I also sit on the RGD's Design Committee to review concepts from design partners to ensure that the work meets the RGD brand standards and goals. Recently, I judged the #heyrgd September Challenge for students.
What contribution are you most proud of / What experience/memory stands out for you?
I'm most proud that DDB Canada was selected as the Design Partner for DesignThinkers 2022. It's an exciting opportunity to work on a Conference with a 22-year track record of elevating graphic design in Canada.
What is the most surprising/unexpected thing to come out of volunteering with the RGD?
I love the enthusiasm and initiative of all the RGD volunteers. Their generosity and passion keeps the Association diverse and vibrant.
What have you learned about the industry since volunteering for the RGD?
I'm excited that there is so much passion for learning and professional development within the industry — especially within post-secondary institutions and young designers.
Based on your experience volunteering with the RGD, how would you describe the role of the organization in the industry?
I'm impressed at how active the RGD is with event programming and initiatives, including professional practice resource development. The RGD staff and its Membership are dedicated to elevating the voice and influence of Canadian design. I'm super-excited to see more RGD Members on the West Coast!
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?
I enjoy paying it forward to the design industry I have benefitted from for so long. It feels great to be part of a community like the RGD and I recommend Members to participate actively to maximize their experience.
Do you have thoughts on what you might like to do as a volunteer with the RGD in the future?
I'm going to be open to each opportunity presented by the RGD. These eight months of having contributed as a Member have been amazing!
Howard Poon RGD has a reputation for frank feedback and has a low tolerance for complexity. He stays curious with a subscription to the Sunday New York Times and talks openly about his colour blindness and his addiction to espresso. 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 Communication Arts, Applied Arts and has been recognized with international, national and regional creative awards. Howard is passionate about nurturing young talent.