In-House Perspectives: Design Management

Presented by Hector Crespo, Josh McInerney RGD, Michael Lewis & Gabriela Gonzalez-Milroy. Moderated by Kathleen Scott RGD.


Whether you are an experienced manager or someone who is transitioning into a team lead role, managing a team can be both rewarding and challenging. This webinar is for those looking for advice, tips and best practices for design management and leading an in-house creative team.




Bringing Agency-level Talent, Creativity and Know-How to In-house Design Teams

Presented by Hector Crespo, Head, Strategic Design, RBC Ventures at RBC


RBC Ventures is a new kind of business – one that’s reimagining the role we play in people’s lives and helping to move RBC ‘beyond banking’. To do this we’re attracting a new type of talent to RBC, exploring new business models, launching new ventures, and obsessing over designing exceptional customer experiences. One critical component of RBC Ventures is Strategic Design (SD). SD is a shared-service team of talented and seasoned designers, writers, researchers, strategists and leaders responsible for conducting in-depth consumer research, designing simple and elegant user experiences, building memorable and unique brands, and launching effective marketing campaigns. We start by rooting our ventures in Brand Strategy in order to define their core values and consumer value proposition. We then move to Qual and Quant Consumer Research to gain new insights into the people we’re trying to serve. Then we move to agency-level Branding, from venture naming support to building beautiful visual identity systems. We do all of this in-house at a level akin to the best agencies available to hire. And because we're in-house, our level of investment and support goes beyond our final deliverable due date – we remain with each venture to ensure they’re delivering on their brand promise. While external agency support will always be necessary for an organization like RBC, strong in-house agency-level talent and capabilities is part of our DNA and how we’re able to produce award-winning and successful businesses.


Key takeaways: 

  • Advantages you have as in-house 'owners' of the brand

  • Gaining buy-in from leadership that in-house talent and capabilities are essential

  • Demonstrating tangible business value that resonates with business leaders

  • On-going work required to maintain quality and ensure the brands you’ve developed evolves as the business evolve

  • Creating a culture that attracts and retains top design talent


About Hector Crespo

Hector is the Head of Strategic Design at RBC Ventures, a division of RBC. In this role he and his team works closely with Venture Founders and partners to help them discover new business opportunities, conduct consumer research to gain insights on the human experience, and design exceptional and innovative products and services. Hector has the ultimate blend of creative thinking, business acumen and execution excellence. He has worked in consulting at advertising and digital agencies where he created and managed creative service and marketing practices. His clients included Fortune 500 companies such as the Cleveland Clinic, Goodyear, Eaton Corporation, and sport franchises such as the Cleveland Browns and Columbus Blue Jackets. He has also led digital and mobile strategy and design and delivery teams at large financial institutions such as Capital One, Charter One Bank, and Genworth Financial. Hector has undergraduate and graduate degrees in Visual Communication Design from Kent State University. While he grew up and lived throughout the U.S., he now makes his home in Oakville, Ontario with his wife and two children.



“But don’t you miss being creative?” and Other Myths of Being in Management

Presented by Josh McInerney RGD, Manager of Creative Services at Bow Valley College


After a long career, Josh has finally crossed the threshold to the land of management (a word which he loathes by the way). He gets a lot of the same scared stares from designers thinking that this is the end. “No more creativity to be had. A land of budget sheets and meetings. Not for me” they say. But it’s this pessimistic frame of mind that needs to change in order for more creatives to become not “managers” but creative leaders. Leaders who can help grow business, inspire others to help build your vision and yes, be incredibly creative. 


Key takeaways: 

  • The important difference between “leading” a team vs “managing” them.

  • Keeping the creative spirit alive for yourself and passing inspiration to your team.

  • Adapting to the shift from “designer” to delegator and finding satisfaction. 


About Josh McInerney RGD

Josh is a creative director, graphic designer, public speaker and brand strategist with over 18 years of experience. He was the Manager of Design and Creative at Ryerson University and is the former Creative Director and Partner at Modu Design Communications. He currently is Manager of Creative Services at Bow Valley College in Alberta.  Josh has worked with clients like BMW, Manulife Financial, Cineplex, The University of Toronto, The Writers Trust of Canada and Grand and Toy (among others). As a public speaker, Josh has presented at numerous conferences on branding, design and creative thinking. He has spoken at the Schulich School of Business, at the Design Thinkers Conference, is the creator of the Start Up Design speaker series and has also sat on the judging panel for numerous design competitions including the Juno Awards. Josh has been recognized by HOW Magazine, RGD In House Awards, Marketing Magazine, the Web Marketing Awards, and the Retail Advertising and Marketing Awards. An obsessive idea guy who ignores silly things like sleep, Josh likes to make big ideas even bigger by intersecting storytelling, graphic design and technology to create a memorable user experience. When not designing (which rarely happens) he's probably chasing his 2 children around, burning a perfectly good risotto, or playing a pretty bad ass blues harmonica.



How to Manage Yourself

Presented by Michael Lewis & Gabriela Gonzalez-Milroy, Senior Graphic Designers at Bousfields Inc.

Join Michael and Gabriela as they discuss building their small creative department from the ground up. Michael and Gabriela are Senior Graphic Designers at Bousfields Inc. – a community planning and design firm in Ontario. They will talk about becoming managers of their own team, learning to build structure and developing best practices to become an efficient department. They’ll also cover how they navigated a whole new working environment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key takeaways:

  • Adjusting to growing pains as a small in-house team while managing the expectations of fast growing company
  • Choosing a Project Management tool
  • Keeping the communication lines open
  • Creating templates for efficiency and consistency
  • Getting support from upper management

About Michael Lewis

Michael is a Senior Graphic Designer specializing in identity design and brand management. He is a graduate of Ontario College of Art + Design University (OCAD U), Michael holds a Bachelor of Design with a major in Industrial Design. Michael’s work at Bousfield’s focuses on understanding the value that graphic design can add to Planning, Urban Design and Community Engagement. Over his 6 years with Bousfields he has grown an in-house team which handles the firm's production design, website design, marketing materials and company branding and identity. His current skills also facilitate complex, multi-stakeholder brand solutions, art direction, concept development, copywriting, and environmental design.

About Gabriela Gonzalez-Milroy

Gabriela is a Senior Graphic Designer, with a focus on Brand and Identity design. Her design education began at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) as a 2013 graduate with an Associate Certificate of Design (Distinction). Inspired to learn more, Gabriela continued her education, earning a diploma from the Visual College of Art & Design (VCAD) in 2015, where she presented her work in the VCAD Portfolio Show held at the Harbour Centre in Vancouver, BC. Gabriela looks at each project from every angle, to create fresh ideas and appropriate designs. Her current work as a Senior Designers at an Urban Planning firm includes, but is not limited to; production design, preparation of graphics for the Planning and Community Engagement departments, website design, designing marketing materials specifically for social media marketing, and company branding.



About Kathleen Scott RGD – Moderator

Kathleen is an award-winning designer with 15 years experience. For the past decade, she has been Creative Strategy Team Lead at Bruce Power where they deliver all things design, including a complete rebrand for the company in 2019. In 2017, they were honoured to be the design partner for RGD’s In-House Design Awards.


Get Webinar Updates by Email

RGD Members receive weekly email updates on RGD Webinars. If you are not a Member but would like to be notified about upcoming webinars, subscribe here.