At our June Leadership Retreat, we welcomed three active members in hopes we could recruit them for our community board. After a long, productive day in Raleigh, I reached out to Taylor, Alisa and Kimberly to learn more about their experience and what they’re excited to contribute to our chapter.We’re very excited for these new leaders to help shape AIGA Raleigh and grow our community. Here are their insights:
What was your biggest take-away from your first board retreat?
Taylor: I’m excited for the slew of programming that’s being planned. Seems like some unique events that accurately fall within our focus areas.
Alisa: I love the passion that everyone on the board has for building community. The conversations around programming for this coming year all centered around what would be most useful and fun for the entire design community in and around Raleigh.
Kimberly: This is a community that is committed to empowering local designers. The retreat really helped me understand just how much detail and thought is put into planning quality, relevant events for AIGA. I loved the collaboration and ideas that were presented.
Thinking back to your first community meeting, what made you want to get involved in the AIGA Raleigh chapter?
Taylor: I wasn’t getting any sort of creative corroboration at work and needed to be around people who understood what I meant if I said “what’s the CMYK values for that color?”
Alisa: From the beginning, the whole chapter opened their arms to me and welcomed me like I had been a member for years.
Kimberly: The warm welcome and strong sense of community. I was in college and there were so many people that seemed to be doing amazing things. I wanted to learn from them and look up to them.
What are you most excited about in terms of the future of AIGA Raleigh?
Taylor: That it’s flexible—no idea is a bad idea, and no idea doesn’t earn the same amount of talk-time as another. Our willingness to adapt to our community’s needs/wants will determine if we as a chapter, and organization, will survive and our chapter is geared up to last.
Alisa: I am excited about continuing to be involved and connect with more people in the local design community. I’m excited to help the organization grow to be more inclusive to everyone—because everyone’s lives are impacted by design.
Kimberly: The ways in which we will continue to make design a place for everyone. I love the focus on diversity and inclusion, students/emerging designers, and senior level professionals to keep building. I know amazing things are coming.
Where do you want to make an impact?
Taylor: In the areas of awareness and outreach. Groups like AIGA, and in general, tend to feel very clique-y after a while, despite everyone’s welcoming nature. I want to be sure that any newcomer or person who’s interested realizes that, with a little bit of effort, everyone can contribute and feel “part of the team.”
Alisa: I want to learn about how to join the community board and join the Women Lead Initiative. Helping to build a support system and network for other women is something I’m passionate about. There is nothing more exciting than discovering your own leadership style and finding your innate confidence to take the steps to stand out.
Kimberly: I would love to partner with Nikki on diversity and inclusion and get more involved with helping emerging designers find their place. I’d also love to work with mentorship.
What advice would you give to new members who want to get involved but aren’t sure how?
Taylor: 1. Show up. 2. Pick a person on either board and use them as a bouncing board for your ideas. 3. Take it upon yourself to go the extra mile when it comes to planning, preparation, and volunteering to help.
Alisa: Come on out to a community meeting and share your passions. You’re sure to find others who relate!
Kimberly: Come to an event you’re truly interested in! Find someone who does what you do and start a conversation. So many connections are found in just saying hello and friendships are powerful. Be genuine and just engage with someone around you. I would also say volunteer at larger events like the portfolio review or Hopscotch in some capacity. That’s a great way to meet people and connect as well.