Challenges of In-House Designers
Panelists include Tina MacKenzie RGD, Kelly Nicoll and Dianne Semark. Moderated by Wendy Millard RGD.
Listen in on an expert panel of In-House Designers who discuss the challenges that in-house creatives face, how teams can best create value for their organizations and get the creative work opportunities they want.

Panel Questions:

  • What is your biggest challenge as an In-house Design team?
  • How do you remain inspired? How do you inspire your team?
  • How do you balance internal and external design resources?
  • What have you done lately to attract talent? And how does your corporate culture play into that?
  • How do you keep your team's skill set up to date with all of the rapidly changing software and tools we use?
  • Some teams are at the "Design as a Service level" where others have been able to expand into more of a "Design as a Strategy Role". Tell us where your team is at on this scale and how did you get to a higher level?
  • AODA Accessibility rules have impacted how we produce both online and web pdfs. For your in-house design team, how are you dealing with the additional work?
  • How do you deal with the intake of the work requests? Do you have a traffic manager? Do you use online tools to manage the flow of the work and approvals?
  • What key skills or behaviours, competencies do you think an in-house designer needs to have to be successful on the inside? Versus a designer that works at an agency or freelances?

Date: Thursday, June 16 at 12:00pm ET



Tina MacKenzie RGD is Manager of Creative Services for the City of Mississauga. She began her in-house career at Honeywell and Scotiabank. Her team provides a range of expertise and was honoured as the DesignThinkers 2012 Design Partner, the first time an in-house design team was given this opportunity.



Kelly Nicoll started with PwC Canada as a temp for a two month contract. Fifteen years later - the last five as National Creative Lead - after two global rebrands; a stint in the London, UK office; assignments in New York, Brussels and Montevideo and six months off to explore South America; and through working with loads of fabulous teams (and a couple of really great mentors), she found that in-house design for accountants was a lot more fascinating that it first appeared.


Dianne Semark, Design Director for Canadian outdoor retailer, Mountain Equipment Co-op, based in Vancouver. With more than 20 years of experience in the corporate and retail sectors, she was instrumental in crafting the strategy and design behind MEC’s recent rebrand. She has also taught part-time in the York|Sheridan Bachelor of Design program for ten years. 




Wendy Millard RGD is the Design Manager at Empire Life and has an extensive background with in-house design management. With over 18 years of experience, she’s led several design rebrands in the technology and financial services sectors.


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