RECAP | December Community Meeting & Upcoming Events

Much like our June meeting, the December community meeting celebrated our members by giving them the spotlight. Three AIGA Raleigh members—Joe Schram, Tessa Wood and David Burney—shared stories about personal growth in their careers and beyond. If you missed the meeting, catch up on these great stories and lessons below.

Part 1: Lightning Talks

Joe Schram

Designer, technologist, humanist

Joe’s career shows what it means for designers to also be humanists.

Like many designers, Joe developed an early interest in storytelling from watching cartoons and Star Trek after school. He took summer classes at the Ringling College of Art and Design and ran a comic book store after high school before moving to Chicago to study design at Columbia College.

There, he had his first realization that design was part of a greater good. After the First Things First manifesto was re-published in 2000, many designers and business people believed creatives should just do what they’re told, rather than influence strategy or change. Joe knew this wasn’t right.

Joe has channeled that energy and mission into the AIGA Raleigh chapter, helping rebuild it from the ground up with Jonathan Opp and Matt Munoz.

“What you’re doing in the local chapter is what matters the most to people in that community,” Joe said.

Joe also attributed many of his successes and skills to his involvement in AIGA.

“AIGA changed the course of the my career,” he said.

He noted the many changes currently impacting the design field and discussed the evolution of his role from designer, to mapmaker to facilitator.

“I wouldn’t have gotten those skills if it wasn’t for AIGA.”



Tessa Wood

Brand designer, art director, lifestyle marketer

Tessa’s foundational skills lie in painting and illustration. She brings these skills and passions with her to every design project.

“Recognizing that design exists in everything has been my greatest inspiration,” she said.

Throughout all of Tessa’s artistic endeavours, she has always sought to tackle the hardest challenge first. She said Greenwich England was the most important and pivotal place in her artistic career. From photography to watercolor, she found inspiration in her surroundings.

While her career has spanned four continents and roles from brand direction to marketing, she feels at ground zero again. She finds her true self while making art and she’s ready for a new challenge.



David Burney

CEO, partner, leadership coach

David Burney has been a member of AIGA since 1979. He founded the AIGA Raleigh chapter and local design agency New Kind.

Part of New Kind’s mission statement reads: “In this future, we see a world filled with thriving organizations shaped by a new kind of leader.”

David is particularly passionate about this new kind of leader and has made it his goal to not only be one, but also grow future leaders. David believes leadership coaching helps to fuel a more thriving life.

“Having someone who can challenge your assumptions is an immense value,” he said.

He said it is his mission to “coach future leaders to succeed in the chaos of the digital age.” While it helps to be coached through tough decisions, he challenged the audience to be leaders of their own lives as well.

Part 2: Events

Check out other chapter and community events coming up:

Student Portfolio Review
When: April 21, 2018
Where: PointSource



January Community Meeting with a Focus on Realignment
When: Jan. 10



Thrive “A conference where design thrives for everyone”
When: Feb 23, 2018, 12-6 p.m.
Where: Church on Morgan
Registration open!



What is UI/UX Talk & Workshop
When: Jan 18 (talk) and 20 (workshop)
Where: TBD

By Chelsea Brown
Published December 14, 2017