Membership Committee


  • 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.


  • (a) Review of Member Feedback - Make recommendations to address common areas of concern with a goal of increasing overall satisfaction in 2019 survey.


    (b) Raise Awareness of RGD

    - Develop and refine clear and concise lists of tangible AND intangible benefits to help promote RGD membership at all levels.

    - Develop initiatives to raise awareness of RGD, and particularly Certified RGDs, to the business community, such as through promotion of RGD directory and soon-to-be-available How to hire a designer pdf.

    - Discuss strategies/processes to promote newly Certified RGDs on social media.


    (c) Member Transitions

    - Create a “Path to Success” graphic that can be used to clearly explain the different categories of membership and the journey from Student to Certified RGD.

    - Develop strategies to increase transition rates: Affiliate to RGD / Student to Prov/Junior AFF; Prov to Certified RGD.


    (d) Team Membership

    - Develop value proposition, refine messaging and raise awareness of Team Membership with goal of raising our totals from the current 16 to 25.

    - Review messaging with in-house design departments with the plan to focus on this target audience. Seek input from in-house design managers. Recognize in-house interest in professional development, need to fight complacency.

  • Member Communications

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



    This program is open to Provisional RGDs and Student RGDs in their final year of study may sign up for Mentorship Program. For a period of 9 months, Mentees have 6 sessions with a Mentor, 1 hour each. Sessions can be held locally or remotely depending on the location of both the Mentor and Mentee. 



  • Chair & VP: Brent Long RGD, Markham

    Brent is Principal & Co-founder of Fusion Design Group. He is a firm believer in asking “why” in the pursuit of creating design solutions that will work for his clients. And that “fun” should always be an integral part of the creative process. 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. 


    Mary Davis RGD, Thunder Bay

    A self-proclaimed packaging enthusiast with a love for a good dieline, Mary strives to make the world a more colourful place one design at a time. As a Senior Graphic Designer at Korkola Design Communications in Thunder Bay, Ontario, she produces work for clients including Wildly Canadian and OLG.


    Andrew Edgecombe RGD, Toronto

    As Designer/Director and Consultant at andyegde ltd., Andy develops brands, websites and products, including helping Western University build awareness for their new ESL program, Tucows increase .ca domain sales by 20% and Uberflip quadruple their customer base in less then a year with a new brand nobody had ever heard of. Previously Andy worked at top ad agencies in London, UK, where he designed global brand guidelines, websites and ATL campaigns at agencies that included Y&R and Wunderman. 


    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.


    Elyse Maxwell RGD, Hamilton

    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. Elyse is a life-long student with 6 years experience. She graduated from OCAD, and is currently pursuing a diploma in Marketing at McMaster.


    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.


    Angela Simon RGD, Simcoe

    Angela is Production Design Manager at Annex Business Media.


    Silvia Stanziola RGD, Ottawa

    A graduate from Cambrian College's Design Program, Silvia has been working in a Federal Government setting since 2012. Bringing in new solutions to Print Production and Illustration projects has been a fun journey and a challenge, specially in an environment that is progressively becoming more embracing of Graphic Design as an essential tool in Communications strategy.

  • 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 Member of RGD.


    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