Volunteer of the Month for August

The RGD thanks Tomomi Lo RGD for her contributions to the RGD community.


"Tomomi was one of the first RGDs I met during DesignThinkers. As luck would have it, she was on the Education Committee I joined soon after. I have had the great privilege of serving on the Committee with her all these years. Now, as chair of the Committee, I continue to appreciate her commitment, effort and approachable personality. She has led our sub-committees with great success and is always open to engaging and supporting our Committee initiatives where possible. Tomomi deserves recognition for her volunteer work and I am glad to have the opportunity to celebrate it." — Faron Dawe RGD, Chair, Education Committee


How long have you been volunteering with the RGD and in what capacity?

After my RGD Certification in 2017, I want to get involved and volunteer right away. I started with student portfolio reviews and then got involved in the RGD events like leading studio tours, organizing design social events and one of my favourite events was mentoring teams at Designathon. As I got more involved, I saw myself wanting to do more for the design community and was invited to join the Education Committee which I have been a part of since 2018. I assist with various design education related initiatives and develop programs to get more design students and educators get connected, be recognized and get the resources they need.


What contribution are you most proud of / What experience/memory stands out for you?

I am most proud of leading and building the Creative Directions Career Development Conference in 2021 and 2022. Working with a team of creatives to brainstorm ideas for an event that would bring value to designers in all stages of their career was a creatively challenging task. After all the hardwork, planning and discussion, it was greatly rewarding to see the event unfold. It was even more gratifying to have received positive feedback on the event!


What is the most surprising/unexpected thing to come out of volunteering with the RGD?

Friendships and connections that went beyond my province, discipline and career journey. Volunteering with the RGD gives me an opportunity to meet creatives with such vast backgrounds and experiences. I have learned so much along the way from my peers and they’re all very open to connect, help and share. Mentoring young designers and leading teams have also helped me grow more as a designer and hone many essential skills in my career.


What have you learned about the industry since volunteering for the RGD?

I learned that our competitive industry can be isolating and lonely at times, even more so working from home during the pandemic. The RGD has opened me up to a community that is willing to share, give and has made me more proactive in reaching out to fellow creatives to see how they are doing. It made me realize the importance of a supportive and collaborative community.

Based on your experience volunteering with the RGD, how would you describe the role of the organization in the industry?

The RGD has created a safe and collaborative community where designers support fellow designers. This kind of community is important in a competitive industry like ours. When people have questions about their careers that they can’t discuss with anyone, the RGD usually has resources to help you or can connect you with people that can help. For me, the RGD nurtures, enriches and brings our creative community together.


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 recommend all the RGD Members who want to be a part of something bigger than just themselves to volunteer with RGD. Volunteering has given me more purpose in my career by giving me a chance to give back to the creative community which has in return given me back so much more.


Do you have thoughts on what you might like to do as a volunteer with the RGD in the future?

I’d like to be more involved in working with the younger generation of designers. I want to make sure they have the resources to build a career they want, a community that is open to support them and give them a platform to showcase their work and be recognized. It’s something I  searched for when I was young and appreciated all those who helped me shape my career.


Tomomi Lo RGD is currently an Interactive Art Director at McOuat Partnership, a full-service branding and strategic marketing agency specializing in real estate development. With 15+ years’ creative experience working in agencies, in-house and freelance, she has built her skills in various disciplines from event design, print/digital marketing, website UX/UI, brand development and more for clientele in various industries.