Volunteer of the Month for July 2022

The RGD thanks Alex Vranjesevic RGD for her contributions to the RGD community. 


"It's been a pleasure getting to know Alex through our volunteer work with the RGD's Events Committee these past few years. I have come to rely on Alex's organizational skills and practical solutions in her role as Committee Secretary. She's incredibly reliable, far too humble and a valuable part of the team. She also did an amazing job with guiding the In-House Design Conference Steering Committee. I can't wait to see what she does next!"
   — Kathleen Scott RGD, Chair, Events Committee
How long have you been volunteering with the RGD and in what capacity?
Once I became fully Certified in 2020 and attended my first DesignThinkers in September of the same year, I signed up to volunteer on the Events Committee. Since then, I have taken on the role of Secretary while also leading the planning of the annual In-House Design Conference in June 2022.
What contribution are you most proud of? 
I have to say that I am most proud of the contributions I made to the In-House Design Conference in 2021. My experiences starting with helping plan the event and then taking on the role of hosting a panel host was a confidence booster, to say the least. These experiences have paved the way for new opportunities and have helped me to come out of my shell. 
What is the most surprising/unexpected thing to come out of volunteering with the RGD? 
Starting anything new can be very intimidating. When I joined the Events Committee, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Being surrounded by many amazing and accomplished designers was scary!  Everyone was so welcoming and encouraging and they were open to all my suggestions. I could see how excited they were to have a new Member on the team. Being that welcomed that quickly was unexpected to me and it was a wonderful experience.
What have you learned about the industry since volunteering for the RGD? 
Great question! It is really hard to choose just one thing really. I have to say that the deepest impact on me was that everyone is on the same side: working together, sharing knowledge to help each other improve. It doesn’t matter how impressive someone's portfolio may be or how much experience they have, everyone wants to help to see other designers improve. It does come back to the confidence building; the fear I had speaking to accomplished designers has gone away and that has opened up possibilities for me tenfold.
Based on your experience volunteering with the RGD, how would you describe the role of the organization in the industry? 
I have always viewed the RGD as a hub for learning. It's Designers teaching Designers and there is something impactful about learning from people who are actively working in the industry and wanting to help you succeed! This type of education is priceless and it doesn’t matter how experienced you may be. There is always something new to learn and having a place to learn it and grow is what makes the RGD so valuable. 
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? 
The networking, common ground and a place to share and grow as a designer and a person is why I would recommend the RGD to others. It comes back to being confident in myself and when speaking with my peers.  That came from being a volunteer and a Member of RGD. 
Do you have thoughts on what you might like to do as a volunteer with the RGD in the future? 
I would love to be involved in the planning of the annual DesignThinkers Conference in the future. It is such an impactful event for the design community. Being a part of that in any way I can will be a dream come true.