Members are invited to apply for a Virtual Mentor

Deadline to apply: Friday, November 17, 2023 at 11:59 PM PT


Apply for the RGD Mentorship Program to be paired up with a Mentor who has knowledge and experience that can help you grow your design career. The program provides a chance to connect with a senior professional and benefit from their unique insight. 


Fill out an application by November 17, where you will be asked to select your top 3 choices from our current round of available mentors. This program is open to Provisional RGDs and Junior Affiliate Members.


The Structure of the Program
Over a period of 9 months, beginning in December 2023, you will have 6-8 sessions with your Mentor, each about 1 hour in length. Sessions will be held virtually.


Any applicant not paired with one of the Mentors on their list will be given the opportunity to participate in the Program with a specially-selected RGD Mentor with similar qualifications and experience.


Designing your Sessions
Once the pairing has been finalized, you and your Mentor are ready to start the program! RGD will provide a list of discussion topics for each session, however, it is completely up to you and your Mentor what you'll want to cover in each session.


If you have any questions about the program or you would like to be a Mentor, email .



"In the ever-evolving field of design, forging a clear career path can often be perplexing. As your mentor, I want to empower you with a comprehensive toolkit of strategies, enabling you to navigate your journey as a unique designer. I can offer practical guidance on crafting a robust portfolio, cultivating a distinctive personal brand and strategically positioning yourself for sustained, long-term success."
Miki Arai (she/her), Senior Manager, Information Design, Artificial Intelligence at Deloitte Canada in Toronto, ON
Areas of Expertise: Digital Product Design, Editorial Design, Information Design, UI/UX Design, Data Visualization
Miki leads the design practice within Deloitte Canada's AI practice, where she has established a design capability and team from scratch. Her innovative design methodology seamlessly integrates UX/UI, information design and data visualization, bridging the gap between business and technical requirements through a human-centred design approach.
"Great design starts with great conversation. This is the best wisdom that I've learned in the past 20 years in this business. I want to have great conversations with you about your work, your values and your goals to help you launch and/or take your creative career to the next level."
Danielle Autran (she/her), Art Director at District Design Co in Dartmouth, NS
Areas of Expertise: Advertising, Branding, Illustration, Packaging
Originally from K'jipuktuk/Halifax, Danielle graduated from NSCAD in 2002. She brings a fresh edge to any project along with an awareness and enlightened view of contemporary culture. Danielle’s mantra is that good design is not merely “putting lipstick on a gorilla”, it’s a matter of making something meaningful, memorable, and worthwhile.
"As your mentor, I will help guide you through the dynamic terrain of the design world."
Brian Banton RGD (he/him), Creative Director at Plan of Recorde
Areas of Expertise: AR/VR, Branding, Digital Product Design, Motion Design, Print
Brian has worked as a Creative Director at SAP, a Visual Designer for Oculus VR at Meta Reality Labs, a Principal Designer at Frog Design and as a Senior Designer at Pentagram. After completing a Master’s Degree in design, Brian designed award-winning books, identity systems and motion graphics for cultural and non-profit institutions, before heading to New York City. Brian has worked with an array of clients in the commercial and non-profit space, leveraging design, strategy and technology to create scalable, human-centred, delightful experiences. 
"As your mentor, I can help you navigate a career path for both in-house and studio environments, and share my insights of both. We will review your portfolio to curate your design strengths. I can help to provide my perspectives that will help you understand how design thinking will help you achieve your career goals. I'm also a bonus if you are interested in regulated design in Cannabis."
Amanda Bolte RGD (she/her), Creative Director at Motif Labs in London, ON
Areas of Expertise: Advertising, Branding, Packaging, Print
An award-winning designer and creative director, Amanda brings over 20-years of creative experience to fast-paced studio environments, with large national and international campaigns. Amanda has led creative teams for clients such as Tim Hortons, A&W, Labatt, Harley Davidson and Jolly Jumper, producing packaging, brand design and strategy, digital environments and outdoor media. 
"Passion is the most important quality that cannot be taught. As your mentor, I’m most excited to share in your interests. I’ll help in any way I can to develop your eye, your skills, the ability to communicate your visions and a whole lot of industry ins and outs that can be so daunting as you’re starting out."
Trista Capitano (she/her), Associate Creative Director at Full Punch in Vancouver, BC
Areas of Expertise: Advertising, Branding, Editorial Design, Packaging
Trista is a tenacious and meticulous designer known for her commitment and thoughtful nature. Strategy and storytelling serve as the backbone of Trista's work, enabling her to create impactful and cohesive brand experiences. Her career took off as she adeptly navigated complex brand systems at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson). Her journey includes stints at boutique agencies before her tenure at TAXI and collaborations with organizational behemoths like TELUS, Microsoft, and Facebook. Trista has played a fundamental role in the rebranding efforts of prominent brands such as DivaCup, BC Dairy, Moxies and Denny’s Canada. Her keen attention to detail and wide-ranging experience both inside and outside agency environments adds depth to her creative prowess.
"As your mentor, I will offer insights both from a national and international perspective, while sharing expansive conversations and our love for what we do."
Vanessa Eckstein RGD (she/her), Creative Director + Founding Principal at Bløk Design in Toronto, ON
Areas of Expertise: Advertising, Branding, Editorial Design, Packaging
Known for her passion for taking on initiatives that blend cultural awareness, humanity and a love of art to advance society and business alike, Vanessa’s experiences living and working in Buenos Aires, LA, New York, Mexico City and Toronto, have given her a unique international perspective.


As you mentor, I hope to be able to share my experience on how to set yourself up for a career of continual learning and growth. Positioning yourself to take advantage of the opportunities that come your way while at the same time getting the fulfillment needed to make this a lifelong career.”

John Furneaux RGD (he/him), Principal at B3 Strategy in Toronto, ON

Over the past 30 years John has been worked closely with organizations of all sizes from Canadian icons and global leaders to startups. Prior to founding B3, John held leadership positions at a number of leading brand consultancies including Identica Branding, karacters design group, Ove Design and Publicis Brand|Design. John also teaches at George Brown College in their Design Management Program.
"As your mentor, I will tell you all I know about the design field, my design process and how to stand out in your career."
Monique Gamache, Founder & Design Director at Matter in Calgary, AB
Areas of Expertise: Branding, Corporate Communications, Packaging, Print, Signage and Wayfinding
Monique's ability to distil complex companies and organizations into simple and powerful brand platforms has gained her international renown. Trained at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Monique creates and revitalizes brands from the ground up: strategizing, conceptualizing and finessing their unique visual language to speak distinctly to consumers and stand out in saturated markets. Her work has been recognized by the One Show and the Type Directors Club, earning her among other awards a Cannes Silver Lion and a coveted D&AD Black Pencil.
"As your Mentor, my role is to support your growth and development in the field of UX/Product design. I will provide guidance, share industry insights, and help you refine your design skills. Together, we'll explore creative problem-solving, and effective communication within the design realm. I'm here to assist you in becoming a confident and successful designer."
Magued Hanna RGD (he/him), UXMC, User Experience & Design in Toronto, ON
Areas of Expertise: Accessibility, UX
Magued is a creative leader with over 20 years of strategic, management and hands-on expertise across media and industries–from fintech and real estate to high tech and automotive. As one of only a handful of UX Master certified professionals in Canada, he has a deep understanding of UX for web and mobile, and a passion for accessibility.
"As your mentor, I’ll walk you through the journey and evolution of a brand designer, from junior to senior to owner of your own business (whether you want to be a freelancer or run a design company). We can discuss: inspiration, creative and critical thinking, collaboration, client and project management, business and administration, fun and play, frankly anything that might help you be a better creative."

Will Hum RGD (he/him), Co-Founder at Clear Space in Toronto, ON

Will was Design Director at Ove Brand Design for 6 years before co-founding Clear Space in 2004, where he leads the strategic vision and creative direction. With 23+ years of experience, Will has shaped the identities and communications for some of Canada’s most notable organizations. He has an obsession with the HBC brand and counts chopping wood as a favourite hobby.


"The reason I got into the ad industry is that I love to make things. Especially weird, crazy and wonderful things. Things that get people talking, and sharing, and wanting to come back for more. Things that make people laugh. Things that make people think.  And I love it when what I make lands squarely in a place that makes my clients shine. If you have a passion for ideas that blow up, maybe I can help you with some detonators."

Chris Moore (he/him), Creative Director at Partners & Hawes, Vancouver, BC
Areas of Expertise: Advertising, Print, Signage and Wayfinding
A 22 year ad industry veteran, Chris spent time working for the likes of TBWA, DDB, Rethink, McCann and more; working on brands like Molson, Volkswagen, Slack, Lululemon, and Agent Provocateur. His work has gained recognition in D&AD, One Show, Clios, Comm Arts, Lürzer's Archive; he was named Strategy Report Card's 2011 #5 Top Art Director in Canada. 
"As your mentor, I will share my experiences building a sustainable studio based practice focused on serving small businesses and producers. I will work with you to develop how to best showcase and champion your voice in design, and share my ups and downs in keeping my voice and passion alive over a long creative career."
Chad Roberts (he/him), Creative Director of Chad Roberts Design Ltd in Toronto, ON
Areas of Expertise: Branding, Packaging
Chad has always been passionate about food. So much so that he studied to become a chef before discovering he was more interested in the visual culture of the food industry. He quickly shifted his focus to a career path that married his two loves: cuisine and aesthetics. Chad studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, where after graduating as Valedictorian, he became a faculty member. During his time in New York, Chad spent five years working as a senior designer with Louise Fili Ltd. creating brand identities for many leading gourmet food companies. He left the studio to become an art director at New York-based DesignWorks BBDO before moving to Toronto and establishing his own boutique studio.
"As your mentor, I can help you figure out how to tell your story, both about you and your work. We will dig into the nitty gritty of the thinking behind what you've created, help you articulate your process and perform better in interviews."
Kyle Schruder RGD (he/them), Associate Creative Director at Creative Currency in Toronto, ON
Areas of Expertise: Branding, Corporate Communications, Editorial Design, Print
Kyle leads projects in branding and editorial projects. He's worked on rebranding companies from small to large, designing magazines for audiences from nurses to opera aficionados and countless one off projects in different disciplines. Before joining CC, he spent time leading design teams in consulting and developing a multidisciplinary skillset that helped him understand user research, UX and more.
"As your mentor, I will listen and help you articulate what it is you want to do next and how to get there. I will also provide insight into what it's like working in a large design studio as well as starting your own business. I look forward to having an open and honest exchange about design and hearing about your experience in the industry so far!"
Carolina M Soderholm (she/her), Creative Director & Founder at in Toronto, ON
Areas of Expertise: Branding, Corporate Communications, Editorial Design, Information Design, Signage and Wayfinding
Carolina is known for her keen understanding of how to communicate strategically and with authenticity. She is particularly passionate about city building and placemaking projects. With more than 22 years of global design and branding experience, Carolina has worked in her homeland of Sweden, in Vancouver and New York, and spent six years as a senior designer for Bruce Mau Design in Toronto. With expertise in large-scale strategy and identity projects, Carolina led the branding for Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films and worked on the re-brand of Harpo Studios, the re-brand of the Santa Monica transit system and the wayfinding and communication touch points for Fogo Island Inn. She started her own design studio in 2011. 
"As your mentor, I will draw on my experience as an in-house designer to guide and inspire you. I will share my cross-platform design knowledge and also provide constructive feedback to nurture your growth and refine your skills."
Emma Tarswell RGD (she/her), Manager, Strategy & Design at CIFAR in Toronto, ON
Areas of Expertise: Branding, Digital Marketing, Editorial Design, In-house design, Print
Emma is a seasoned designer with a passion for print and editorial design. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for translating ideas into visually compelling experiences, Emma is dedicated to crafting designs that resonate with audiences across various platforms. Emma's design journey is marked by a commitment to excellence and a focus on creating cohesive brand experiences. She thrives on the challenges of bridging the gap between digital and print mediums, ensuring that the visual identities she works on remain consistent and engaging.
"As your mentor, I will help guide you as you embark on your own unique career path. Together, we will identify your core strengths, discover what sets you apart and review areas for growth to achieve your goals. I'll share my experiences starting out as a designer in small firms to being a partner at a mid-sized design agency, and then building my own boutique design agency for over 10 years."
Jennifer Weaymouth RGD (she/her), Founder and Creative Director of Weaymouth Creative in Toronto, ON
Areas of Expertise: Advertising, Branding, Corporate Communications, Digital Marketing, Editorial Design, Illustration, Motion Design, Packaging, Print, Signage and Wayfinding, Web Design
Jennifer is a multi-faceted designer with over two decades of experience in the creative industry. Throughout her career she has developed smart, strategic, and memorable work for major brands as well as small start-ups. She's art directed and designed many integrated retail promotions, large packaging directives and fundraising campaigns. 
"As your mentor, I will share my knowledge and experience of wayfinding and information design. We can discuss ideas on how context-based concepts are created and how to create a clear and intuitive design. I will also offer advice on how to find your core design strengths to create your own career path."
Mostafa Zohdy RGD (he/him), Wayfinding Designer at Arcadis IBI Group, Toronto
Areas of Expertise: Branding, Illustration, Information Design, Signage & Wayfinding
I’m a Graphic Designer with a background in Architecture and Urban Development. I have 8+ years of experience working in visual communication including branding, illustration, data visualization and wayfinding design. I have worked with organizations such as the UN-Habitat, GIZ, the British Museum and the World Bank. 

Another round of RGD Mentors will be announced in the Spring of 2024.


Interested in becoming a Mentor?

Click here for more details, or email 


Thank you to all RGDs who have Mentored in the past! See a list of past Mentors here.