"Amanda has provided well-rounded insight that has given the RGD a better understanding of how it can make meaningful change for our members. She has been amazing to work with on our Diversity & Inclusion Committee and I've appreciated her efforts on getting our projects off the ground. The RGD is so much better for having people like Amanda volunteering on these initiatives."
— Jennifer Taback RGD, Vice President & Chair, Diversity & Inclusion Committee
How long have you been volunteering with the RGD and in what capacity?
I started volunteering with the RGD in 2019 and initially was part of in the Events Committee. Once the Diversity & Inclusion Committee was formed in 2020, I moved over as it seemed like there was a lot of work to do in this area!
What contribution are you most proud of / What experience/memory stands out for you?
I always value the content that the RGD brings to our industry and so I appreciate being able to add that content, for instance in contributing newsletter articles like here and here. I also believe in giving back what I've learned to those who are in the early stages of their career, so presenting at a Freshly Certified seminar was also a great way to share knowledge.
What is the most surprising/unexpected thing to come out of volunteering with the RGD?
In capacities like hosting roundtables and socials, I've made some very genuine connections with other RGD Members. I am grateful that, despite the primarily virtual platform we've been using for the last few years, we are still able to cultivate authentic relationships with like-minded people.
What have you learned about the industry since volunteering for the RGD?
That there is more support and encouragement than competition amongst my peers. That there is still a lot of work to do if we want to see more women as leaders of creative agencies. That we need to level the playing field to help young BIPOCs see that a design career is not only possible and accessible, but that their voices are valuable.
Based on your experience volunteering with the RGD, how would you describe the role of the organization in the industry?
An indispensable tool for resources in developing your career and an important place to make genuine connections with your peers
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?
If you think that public speaking or presenting might be in your career's future, volunteering at the RGD gives you a safe and supportive environment to practice that skill. If you want more opportunities to use design to educate an audience, the RGD provides that possibility. Volunteering gives you an excellent platform to practice real-world skills that will ultimately benefit your career and beyond.
Do you have thoughts on what you might like to do as a volunteer with the RGD in the future?
I am excited by the new sub-committee we've formed within Diversity & Inclusion Committee of which I will be a part. More details to come soon!
Amanda DeVries RGD has been an independent brand and graphic designer for 17 years, specializing in branding and packaging for food & beverage companies. She spent 10 years in Ottawa, where governmental agencies kept her busy but not terribly inspired. Moving to Southwestern Ontario in 2009 presented her with the opportunity to work with small businesses and real people. She works in other areas of design including prop styling and interior design consulting. You will often catch her in the kitchen trying to upgrade her Indian culinary skills or rummaging through a vintage store.