Membership Committee

Mandate:

  • Examine the status of Membership on an ongoing basis; make recommendations for new policies/eligibility/category refinements
  • Propose and develop new programs and services for professional Members (Provisional RGDs, Affiliates, Certified RGDs)
  • Develop new and refine existing tools and resources available to professional Members, in particular our Webinars, Video Archive, RGD Handbook and RGD Directory
  • Assist with the coordination and update of supplier discounts and special offers for Members

 

  • (a) Membership Categories
    • Review and recommendations for changes to the RGD Emeritus Category

    (b) Member Programs

    • Work with Events Committee to ensure Membership is being effectively promoted at events
    • Develop the new pilot program for Members consisting of virtual/in-person round-tables
    • Develop the new RGD Slack Channel for Members to engage/connect and share with their RGD Community.
    (c) Member Resources
    • Begin the process of developing a content plan for a new edition of The Business of Graphic Design: The RGD Professional Handbook with the goal of producing the new edition in 2020.
    • Develop a best practice / guideline / tool for Members to use to track design effectiveness.

     (d) Member Benefits

    • Make recommendations for new/replacement programming/benefits specifically for Provisional RGD Members (brief to be created by RGD staff)
    • Develop more extensive, relevant, up-to-date set of supplier discounts/special offers (incl. co-working spaces, type foundries, stock imagery.)
       
  • Member Communications

    This Committee oversees and assists with the development of content to promote various levels of RGD Membership.

     

    Member Recruitment and Retention
     
     

    Certified, Provisional RGD, Affiliate and Jr. Affiliate Members are invited to join RGD's Slack Workspace to connect, ask questions and start discussions with fellow Members.

     
    Virtual Communities bring RGD Members together for regular, open conversation to share knowledge, discuss challenges, propose solutions and support each other. This initiative reinforces the idea that we are not alone, we are a part of a rich community of RGDs working to make our better. Each community is comprised of RGD Members working in similar areas, facing a particular set of challenges.
     

     

  • Chair & VP: Elyse Maxwell RGD, St. Catharines

    Elyse is a Senior Graphic Designer and Project Manager at Patch Design. From developing comprehensive branding systems to designing web and print materials, she uses her passion and curiosity to identify optimal solutions for her clients. Elyse is a life-long student with over 12 years experience. She graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design and earned a diploma in Marketing from McMaster University.

     

     

    Celina Fischer RGD, Toronto

     

    Brent Long RGD, Markham

    Brent is Principal & Co-founder of Fusion Design Group. Brent leads with his strategic, creative and unique perspective, providing focus and direction, but most importantly support to his amazing team. In addition to sitting on RGD's Board, he is on the advisory committees for the Graphic Design Programs at Georgian, Humber and St. Lawrence College.

     

    Norm Lourenco RGD, Toronto

    Norm is Creative Director and founder of Toronto-based Truth and Dare (formerly K9 strategy+design). Norm has 25 years of experience in creating strategies to execute branding and publication design for many of Canada’s small independent to large multi-title publishers and countless entrepreneurial, professional and non-profit clients with their design and communications opportunities.

     

    Austin Mateka Provisional RGD, Toronto

    Austin is a creative and designer who has been consistently working and looking for new opportunities in a wide range of industries. From collaborating with people in advertising and print shops to transportation and health, his goal is to always produce exceptional work that reflects a company's endeavours and audience interests. Austin is currently freelancing, but searching to become part of an agency/studio team. He recently graduated from Humber College with an Advanced Diploma in Graphic Design.

     

    Wendy Millard RGD, Kingston
    Wendy 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.

     

    Rod Nash RGD Emeritus, Vineland

    Rod experienced the thrill successful communication design can bring early in his career in Australia. As one of RGD's founders Rod's communications and promotions helped with the founders' efforts to move The RGD Act through the Ontario Legislature. Rod is an active advisor to the RGD Board and Creative Director at Nash & Nash Ltd.

     

    Noah Ortmann RGD, Toronto

     

    Linden Polos RGD, Ottawa

     

    Kyle Schruder RGD, Toronto
    Kyle is Director of Design at Coactuate, a Toronto-based strategic design consultancy. There he helps coach the design team, as well as leading execution on client deliverables. Kyle is passionate about helping emerging designers build their skills and their careers, volunteering in RGD portfolio reviews, awards judging and more.
     
    Mike Scott RGD, London

    Mike Scott is an independent designer with 15 years of professional experience. Mike is a multidisciplinary designer with a focus on brand, print and digital design. Throughout his career he has worked with a variety of brands including Canada Life, Columbia Sportswear, and major hospital and educational institutions in Ontario. Mike is a certified RGD and sits on the RGD Membership Committee and also teaches design courses as professor in the Fanshawe College Graphic Design program.

     

    Danielle Wong Provisional RGD, Edmonton

    Danielle graduated with a BDes in Visual Communication Design from the University of Alberta in May 2020 and then joined the RGD as a Provisional RGD Member. As a Student RGD, she served as co-Chair of the RGD's Student Rep Committee and also as a Student Advisor to the RGD Board. Danielle works as a graphic designer at Destroythebox Creative. She is passionate about how design can be used to highlight important issues. Specifically in terms of raising awareness for the challenges faced by at risk communities. Danielle's work spans branding, information design, print promotions and website design.

     

  • Presented by Brent Long RGD; VP of Membership, Committee Chair at RGD's AGM on April 18, 2020

     

    A big thank you!


    None of this would have been possible without the Committee Members themselves:


    Firstly, Paul Gomirato RGD in Sudbury, Olivia Montagnese Prov. RGD in Toronto and Nicole Galatis Prov. RGD in Ottawa who were on the Committee until January of this year.


    And with those losses we also had a few gains to the Committee in January, including our newest additions: Linden Polos RGD in Ottawa and Kathleen Scott RGD in Kincardine.


    And to all of those that haven’t given up on me, and keep on keepin’ on: Norm Lourenco RGD in Toronto, Austin Mateka Prov. RGD in Toronto, Elyse Maxwell RGD in Waterdown, Wendy Millard RGD in Kingston, Celina Fischer RGD in Toronto, Rod Nash RGD in Vineland, Noah Ortmann RGD in Toronto, Kyle Schruder RGD in Toronto, Mike Scott RGD in London, Paul Gomirato RGD in Sudbury, Olivia Montagnese Prov. RGD in Toronto, and Nicole Galatis Prov. RGD in Ottawa.


    Mandate

    • Examine the status of Membership on an ongoing basis; make recommendations for new policies/eligibility/category refinements
    • Propose and develop new programs and services for professional Members (Provisional RGDs, Affiliates, Certified RGDs)
    • Develop new and refine existing tools and resources available to professional Members, in particular our Webinars, Video Archive, RGD Handbook and RGD Directory
    • Assist with the coordination and update of supplier discounts and special offers for Members

     

    2019/2020 Goals

    (i) Membership Categories

    • Review and give recommendations for changes to the RGD Emeritus Category
    • Review messaging for Team Membership and develop new value proposition

    (ii) Member Programs

    • Work with Events Committee to ensure Membership is being effectively promoted at events
    • Develop the new pilot program for Members consisting of virtual/in-person round-tables
    • Develop the new RGD Slack Channel for Members to engage/connect and share with their RGD Community

    (iii) Member Resources

    • Begin the process of developing a content plan for a new edition of The Business of Graphic Design: The RGD Professional Handbook with the goal of producing the new edition in 2020
    • Develop a best practice/guideline/tool for Members to use to track design effectiveness

    (iv) Member Benefits

    • Make recommendations for new/replacement programming/benefits specifically for Provisional RGD Members (brief to be created by RGD staff)
    • Develop more extensive, relevant, up-to-date set of supplier discounts/special offers (incl. co-working spaces, type foundries, stock imagery)

     

    Membership categories

    Student RGD: $40

    • Part-time or full-time enrollment in a post-secondary program (minimum 1-year in length)
    • Proof of enrollment required

    Provisional RGD: $150

    • Graduation from a recognized post-secondary program and 8 or less years of professional experience
    • Proof of graduation and portfolio review required

    Certified RGD: $335

    • Successful completion of RGD’s Certification Process

    RGD Emeritus: free (more details later in report)

    • For Certified RGDs who have retired (were RGDs for at least 10 years)

    Affiliate: $275

    • Open to anyone, including professional designers and “others”

    Jr Affiliate: $50

    • Graduation from a recognized post-secondary program and 4 or less years of professional experience

    Team Membership: starting at $1,000

    • Design firms, agencies and in-house creative teams of 5 or more

     

    Membership by the numbers

    4,129 total Members, up from 4,096 at this time last year. This includes:

    • 819 Certified RGDs (up by 4)
    • 137 RGD Emeritus (up by 11)
    • 374 Provisional RGDs (down by 34)
    • 394 Affiliates (up by 110)
    • 55 Junior Affiliate Members (down by 7)
    • 2,281 Student Members (down by 166)
    • 31 Teams – up from 22 last year.

     

    Key successes over the past year include:

    RGD’s Emeritus category
    Knowing that this is a growing category, led by Rod and Noah, great research was put into making some changes to find a way to allow this audience to have some choice in their level of engagement with the Association. The final decision was to break the category into two:


    (1) RGD Emeritus

    Eligibility: Certified RGD Member for 10 or more years, retired from active practice, signed verification letter

    Pricing: Free

    Benefits: Basic


    (2) RGD Emeritus Subscriber (“Subscriber” title would be internal only)

    Eligibility: Same as RGD Emeritus

    Pricing: One time fee: $200 (for those 65 or older), $250 (for those 56 to 64), $300 (for those 55 or under)

    Benefits: Access to Live RGD Webinars; Designated Member Rates to DesignThinkers and other RGD Events; Access to Slack Workspace; Discounts to enter RGD Competitions (where appropriate); Opportunity to sit on RGD Committees; Option to have copies of RGD publications emailed (additional annual fee to receive printed publications/Applied Arts subscription?)


    Promotion of RGD at events

    Our Events Committee had been doing some great things with getting people together, both in-person and virtually, including communities existing outside of Toronto, which has been a pain point in the past. However, because many of these events were open to non-RGD Members, many attendees didn’t learn anything more about RGD. Some didn’t even know what it was. At events such as Designers + Discussion + Drinks (which has now evolved into Design Socials) and Future by Design, we have started developing scripts for hosts to use that can consistently communicate about what RGD is, the benefits it offers, and the amazing community it supports. We are also working on digital and printed materials that can be handed out or emailed to attendees that will promote RGD and drive them to the website for more information.


    For our biggest event of the year, DesignThinkers Toronto, RGD, after many years without, had a booth! Many of the attendees are not Members, and RGD is always looking for ways to educate attendees on why they should join. A big thank you to Mike and Elyse for designing and managing the execution of the booth. It was right as you came in the main doors of Meridian Hall and was a big success. We learned a lot, and will be tweaking the layout of the booth for the next DT event. And thank you to all of the Board Members that volunteered to take turns running the booth to answer questions and hand out promotional material in between sessions.


    Slack Channel for Members

    Being a member of the RGD Slack Workspace means having access to a highly curated community of experienced design professionals who are available to engage in conversation and answer questions. It’s a place where Members can share many of the things that make our community special. It is exclusive to Certified, Provisional RGD, Affiliate and Jr. Affiliate Members from around the world and offers region-specific channels to help users connect with local RGDs in their communities. An example of a few key channels include: #events, #jobs, #random links/gifs, #career-advice, #design-educators, #inhousede- sign, #ethicalissues, #logolove and #vendors. So, join RGD’s Slack Workspace today to connect, ask questions and start discussions with fellow Members.


    Thank you to Wendy, Elyse, Kyle and Nicole for getting this rolling. As of recently we had 957 Members (748 active members, 22 owners/admins, and 187 pending invites). Certified, Provisional, Affiliate and Jr. Affiliate Members.


    Mentorship

    Since the inception of the program in 2016, we have had 133 pairings (103 Certified mentors and 133 Prov. RGD mentees). In the recent Winter 2020 Session, we had 15 pairings (14 Certified mentors and 15 Prov. RGD mentees). As an extension of this program, RGD is now inviting select Provisionals to mentor Student Members, and so far we have had 13 pairings.


    For the upcoming summer session, we have 38 virtual mentors (primarily RGDs and a couple of Affiliate members, too!) and we have opened mentee eligibility to include Junior Affiliates and Student RGDs in their final year of study as well as Provisional RGDs. We also have 14 mentors for Student members, and have opened mentee eligibility to be Student RGDs in any year of study, not only their final year.


    Some other great membership-related initiatives from the past year include:

    • Accessibility Handbook
    • RGD Team’s category promotional video

     

    Thank you!

  • Presented by Brent Long RGD, VP of Membership, Committee Chair at the Annual Meeting

     

    The primary mandates of the Membership Committee are to:

    • Examine the status of Membership on an ongoing basis; make
    recommendations for new policies/eligibility/category refinements

    • Propose and develop new programs and services for professional
    Members (Provisional RGDs, Affiliates, Certified RGDs)

    • Develop new and refine existing tools and resources available to
    professional Members, in particular our Webinars, Video Archive,
    RGD Handbook and RGD Directory

    • Assist with the coordination and update of supplier discounts and
    special offers for Members

     

    Currently we have 4,096 Members, up from 3,674 at this time last year. They include 815 Certified RGDs (up by 16); 126 RGD Emeritus (retired RGDs, up by 14, which we assume will be a continuing trend); 340 Provisional RGDs (down by 24); 284 Affiliates (up by 28); 62 Junior Affiliate Members (in its second year as a new category, up by 33); 2,447 Student Members (up by 367 because of the additions of students from University of the Fraser Valley, Durham College and ) and 22 Teams – up from 17 last year.

     

    One of the key challenges for the Membership Committee over the past year has been with the generality of our goals. In theory, technically everything that every committee does is related to membership in one way or another. For that reason, we have refined the mandate of our committee and subsequently our goals for the upcoming year. A number of our initiatives have been re-routed to the Communications Committee and Board responsibility, allowing us to streamline our focus.

     

    A brief synopsis of our 2019/2020 Goals for the Membership Committee includes:

    (a) Membership Categories

    - Review and make recommendations for changes to the RGD Emeritus Category

    (b) Member Programs

    - Work with Events Committee to ensure Membership is being effectively promoted at events

    - Develop the new pilot program for Members consisting of virtual/in-person round-tables

    - Develop the new RGD Slack Channel for Members to engage/connect and share with their RGD Community

    (c) Member Resources

    - Begin the process of developing a content plan for a new edition of The Business of Graphic Design: The RGD Professional Handbook with the goal of producing the new edition in 2020

    - Develop a best practice/guideline/tool for Members to use to track design effectiveness

    (d) Member Benefits

    - Make recommendations for new/replacement programming/benefits specifically for Provisional RGD Members (brief to be created by RGD staff)

    - Develop more extensive, relevant, up-to-date set of supplier discounts/special offers (incl. co-working spaces, type foundries, stock imagery)

     

    A focal point for RGD is transitioning members from one category to another. Specifically, Student Members to Provisional. Many students have their
    membership dues wrapped into their overall yearly fees, so they may not be fully aware that they ARE members, combined with the task of staying in touch with students after they graduate (many have a school email address which no longer exists once they leave school). On top of that, there is the membership cost for someone with limited income straight out of school.


    In light of these challenges, last year was the first full year with the Membership categories as follows:


    Overview of Membership Categories:

     

    Student RGD: $40

    - Part-time or full-time enrolment in a post-secondary program (minimum 1 year in length): Proof of enrolment required

     

    Provisional RGD: $150

    - Graduation from a recognized post-secondary program and 8 or less years of professional experience: proof of graduation and portfolio review required

     

    Certified RGD: $335

    - Successful completion of RGD’s Certification Process

     

    RGD Emeritus: free

    - For Certified RGDs who have retired (were RGDs for at least 10 years)

     

    Affiliate: $225

    - Open to anyone, including professional designers and “others”

     

    Jr Affiliate: $50

    - Graduation from a recognized post-secondary program and 4 or less years of professional experience

     

    Team Membership: starting at $1,000

    - Design firms, agencies and in-house creative teams of 5 or more.

     

    The decision was made early in 2018 to create the Junior Affiliate category that would allow a recent graduate to continue as a member of RGD and receive very basic benefits for very little cost. More serious graduates, as well as designers with a few years experience can get on the “Certification Track” by joining as Provisional RGDs, a category that includes professional designation for a cost that is excellent value and an easier stepping stone between Student and fully certified RGD categories.

     

    A new step added to achieving Provisional status is a virtual portfolio review by a certified RGD. This is meant to be a way of ensuring the integrity of RGD as a whole, presentation practice for the prospect, and an opportunity to receive feedback on the process and work presented by an industry professional with years of experience. Feedback we have been receiving from new Provisionals about their Portfolio Reviews has been extremely positive. These reviews are not meant to be overly critical of the young designers’ work, but ensure that they can present solid reasoning behind their solutions, as well as prove they understand the basics of graphic design as a practice. In return they get a mini mentoring session and potentially one of their first one-on-one industry networking opportunities. I have had the pleasure of taking part in a number of these portfolio reviews and have been pleasantly surprised with how the reviewees have presented their work, and responded to feedback.

     

    A big thank you goes out to the many, many other RGDs who have been participating in these primarily virtual reviews.

     

    A few other key highlights from the past year include:

    • Reviewing feedback from the Dues Survey on the state of RGD.ca’s Design Directory. The majority of respondents were clear in that the overall experience is dated. This is definitely on the Membership Committee and Board’s radar and we’ll be discussing in the coming year how to make the Directory an easier tool to both use and look at

    • I’d like to thank Elyse Maxwell RGD for all of her work looking into the viability of LinkedIn as a desirable solution for further membership engagement

    • I’d also like to thank Norm Lourenco RGD for taking on the initial research and development of our first membership “whitepaper resource” on Design Effectiveness; Norm has joined Design Industry Advisory Council (DIAC) which has a history of conducting research on this very subject

    • I would like to thank all of the Committee members for their work on the initiatives that I have talked about today, as well as all of the many, many other tasks that have gone on over the past 12 months.

    These people were:

    Mary Davis RGD in Thunder Bay, Denver Dewar RGD in Sudbury, Andrew Edgecombe RGD in Toronto, Wafé Gara RGD in Burnaby, Shanti Hadiotomo RGD in Toronto, Norm Lourenco RGD in Toronto, Austin Mateka Prov. RGD in Toronto, Elyse Maxwell RGD in Hamilton, Wendy Millard RGD in Kingston, Angela Simon RGD in Simcoe and Silvia Stanziola RGD in Ottawa.

     

    Going into 2019/2020 we have had some changes to the committee, and I would like to welcome our new additions: Celina Fischer RGD in Toronto, Rod Nash RGD in Vineland, Noah Ortmann RGD in Toronto, Kyle Schruder RGD in Toronto and Mike Scott RGD in London.


  • Presented by Brent Long RGD at RGD's AGM on April 25, 2018

     

    The primary mandates of the Membership Committee are to:
    • Examine the status of membership on an ongoing basis, including retention, recruitment and member satisfaction;
    • Propose, develop and review recommendations for programs and services
    available to members.
    • Propose, develop and review recommendations for membership recruitment strategies.
    • Propose, develop and review recommendations for new discounts and special offers to arrange for members.


    Currently we have 3,674 Members, down from 3,730 at this time last year. They include 799 Certified RGDs (up by 11); 114 RGD Emeritus (retired RGDs, up by 14, which we assume will be a continuing trend); 362 Provisional RGDs (up by 5, which is amazing considering the increase in dues from $90 to $150); 248 Affiliates (down by 22 but the good news is quite a few of our previous Affiliate Members have become Certified RGDs); 34 Junior Affiliate Members (an entirely new Category); 2,100 Student Members (down by 100 due to a two programs not being able to sign up for Automatic Membership due to the Ontario teachers’ strike on the fall) and 17 Team Members – up from 12).


    One of the key challenges the association faces is transitioning members from one category to another. Specifically, Student Members to Provisional, and increasing the number of Provisionals going through the certification process to become RGDs. Many changes that were made this past year to membership were responses to these concerns, and this continues to be a focus of this year’s goals.


    We realized, from past Member surveys, that Provisional Members value their designation above everything else. Ironically, these same Members have difficulty understanding why they pay $80 as Provisionals, and jump to $350 as Certified RGDs (and also pay a $75 admin fee to go through the Certification process) with what they see as very little difference in benefits. The decision was made to create an entirely new category, Junior Affiliate, that would allow a recent graduate to continue as a member of RGD and receive very basic benefits. More serious graduates, as well as designers with a few years experience, can get on the “Certification Track” by joining as Provisional RGDs, a category that includes professional designation. A new step added in achieving Provisional status is a virtual portfolio review by a certified RGD. This is not meant to be a roadblock, but a way of ensuring the integrity of RGD as a whole, presentation practice for the prospect, and an opportunity to receive feedback on the process and work presented by an industry professional with years of experience. Feedback we have been receiving from new Provisionals about their Portfolio Reviews has been extremely positive. A big thank you goes out to the many, many RGDs who have been participating in these, primarily virtual, reviews.


    Also changed for Provisionals is the amount of time that they can stay in this category before going through the process of becoming a fully certified RGD, or switching to Affiliate status. It is now eight years specifically of work experience. Previously it was seven years combined education and experience—and had to be determined on an individual basis depending on how many years of schooling a Provisional had.


    We were concerned that Provisionals were being required to become RGDs before they were ready, before they had a portfolio of appropriate work. A significant number of Provisionals were leaving RGD because they could not remain in the professionally-designated Provisionals category, but didn’t feel ready to become RGDs. Raising the fee for Provisionals allows us to extend the time that they can remain in this category in a fiscally responsible way and reduce the gap between what they will pay as Provisionals compared to as Certified RGDs. It also allows us to entirely waive the Certification Admin fee. The goal for the future is to allow Provisionals to potentially take the Online Test portion of Certification process in stages.


    A brief synopsis of our 2018/2019 Goals for the Membership Committee includes:
    (a) Reviewing member feedback from the past few years’ dues surveys to
    ensure we are always focused on keeping our current members happy
    and engaged
    (b) Raise awareness of RGD within our own communities, and within the business communities (clients) so that they know why we are the best
    (c) Continue to improve member transitions (as mentioned earlier) and promote the RGD membership path
    (d) Continue to promote Team Membership (previously Corporate Membership) to studios and in-house departments

     

    The Teams category (previously known as Corporate Membership) allows creative teams to be a part of the RGD community. It has only been around for a few years and has continued to grow. The Teams category is a focal point for the committee. In three years we have added 17 groups to this list. Originally, studios with five or more designers were targeted, however, the new focus is in-house departments at larger corporations, helping them promote themselves as capable, thought leaders to their senior leadership and internal clients. As more and more of our originally grandfathered RGDs retire, we see Team Membership as a way to reach the mid-generation of designers who will be the future leaders of the Association. There is a great story about a fairly large studio where one of the owners was an RGD but none of the other staff were Members. Last year the studio joined as a Team Member which connected several of his staff directly to the Association as Affiliate Members. The Certified RGD Member has now retired but 5 staff remain affiliated and at least one has indicated his intention to get his RGD designation this year.


    A big step in the GDC/RGD relationship is the ability for a GDC Member who has passed the GDC’s certification process can now apply for fully certified RGD status without the need to take the RGD exam. This also works for RGDs becoming GDCs.


    I would like to thank our Committee for their work over the past year. They are: Silvia Stanziola RGD, Ottawa, Angela Simon RGD, Simcoe, Elyse Maxwell RGD, Hamilton, Shanti Hadiotomo RGD, Toronto, Wafé Gara RGD, Burnaby, Andrew Edgecombe RGD, Toronto, Denver Dewar RGD, Sudbury, Mary Davis RGD, Thunder Bay, Randal Boutilier RGD, Toronto


    And we would also like to welcome our newest additions for 2018/2019: Wendy Millard RGD Kingston, Norm Lourenco RGD Toronto, Austin Mateka Prov. RGD Toronto

  • Criteria:

    • Interest in and/or understanding of RGD membership categories and policies.
    • Time to contribute to the work of the committee via email feedback, teleconference discussions and independent and group work.
    • Must be a Certified RGDProvisional RGD or Affiliate Member (Affiliates can serve for up to 1 year, during which time they are required to become Certified if they wish to remain on a Committee.)

     

    Get Involved: 

    • Those interested in joining the Committee should fill out the online form: Get Involved with RGD.
    • Click here for a list of initiatives and other ways to get involved with the Committee's activities