A time of transition

It has been my great pleasure and sincere honor to serve AIGA Philadelphia as President. My two-year term comes to an end on Friday, June 30th. Eight years ago I joined the board of AIGA Philadelphia and the time has flown by so quickly. These years have had a tremendous impact on my life. I have enjoyed every moment of this journey and feel incredibly blessed to have met so many smart, dedicated and big-hearted people. I am grateful for the friendships I have formed with our board and committee members and within the design community here in Philadelphia, as well as with leaders of other AIGA chapters across the country.

I am thrilled to continue my AIGA journey as a member of the Chapter Advisory Council, a role in which I’ll work closely with AIGA’s chapter development team to counsel other chapter leaders, facilitate connections between chapters, and serve as a conduit between chapter leaders and the National Board.

I am so proud of all our chapter has accomplished the past two years. My goals for the chapter were to build a strong and engaged Board of Directors; to reach and engage new and longtime members; to diversify our programming by integrating special initiatives like Design for Good, Diversity & Inclusion, Women’s Leadership and Design & Business; to improve our board operations and communication; and to better connect with the city’s greater creative community.

Some of my favorite moments include:

  • Producing our first In-house Conference;
  • Bringing in an incredible line-up of women speakers including Louise Fili, Lucille Tenazas, Gabriele Wilson, Debbie Millman, Emily Cohen, Grace Bonney and Isabel Urbina Pena;
  • Hosting the Get Out the Vote poster exhibition during the DNC;
  • Planning our “Through a Prism” event on why diversity matters in design and tech;
  • Celebrating our 35th Anniversary with a commemorative poster project that involved members who had a significant impact on our chapter’s history;
  • Hosting memorable exhibitions like Sorry We’re Closed, Cover Girls, Design2Unite, and Underground Images;
  • Launching a series of new social events, including Drink & Draws and Coffee and Creatives;
  • Bringing in IBM Design to learn about design thinking and designing to scale;
  • Hosting design icons like Steve Frykholm and Stefan Sagmeister
  • Running our 4th biennial Philadelphia Design Awards program; and
  • Awarding the 2017 Fellow Award to Allan Espiritu

Thank you to the many volunteers, committee members, board members and partners that have helped us achieve all this and reach new heights. You make everything we do possible. This chapter belongs to you, our members, and the opportunity to lead is open to all. AIGA Philadelphia is entirely led by volunteers who are passionate about design and serving our community. I encourage those who have the time, to give back and strengthen our design community in Philadelphia by getting involved. I promise you, you will love every minute of the AIGA experience, reap so many rewarding benefits, and create wonderful memories along the way.

I am so excited for the future of AIGA Philadelphia. We have an exceptional Board of talented and dedicated people and a strong new leader in Christine Sheller, who I know will do amazing things to creatively and positively impact our community.


By Lauren Dougherty
Published June 27, 2017