AIGA Atlanta Board of Directors
Dallas Duncan Franklin, President
Dallas is passionate about organizing and empowering AIGA members to leverage our unique talent and resources to create a vision for Atlanta with Design at its center. As the Creative Director for Neenah Paper, Dallas loves the tactile immediacy of high-end print processes, obsesses over beautiful typography, and is an avid believer in strong, simple communication that informs as well as surprises. A native West Texan and Portfolio Center Grad, Dallas lives in Atlanta with her husband and four dogs. She enjoys canning, preserving, and pickling her signature “jammies”.
Stephanie Grendzinski, Vice President
Stephanie is a designer, educator, and natural facilitator. As Vice President, she will be a sounding board, and support the initiatives being rolled out by every committee. Her longevity in the design industry and educational community allows her to make connections with cultural and civic leaders through design. She has been an art director and designer for over a decade, and child advocate for longer. Stephanie believes the Fibonacci sequence is the most impeccable example of design.
Dione Jensen, Secretary
After a few years of practicing accounting as a CPA, Dio decided to completely change careers and follow her passion in design. She feels this is the best decision she has ever made and is now a designer at The Partnership, an Atlanta based agency. Dio takes every opportunity she can to broaden her design horizons, like the SVA Masters Typography Workshop in Rome with Steven Heller, Lita Talarico, and Louise Fili. If you don’t find Dio at work or working on her personal design projects, you will find her strolling down the streets of Virginia-Highland with her husband and adorable dog.
Shawn Brasfield, Treasurer
With more than 20+ years in the design profession, Shawn has a passion for all things visual. An accomplished graphic designer, illustrator, photographer, artist and teacher, Shawn has been involved in the Atlanta design scene for almost all his career. He currently is the Graphic Design Director for tvsdesign, a multi-discipline architectural and interiors firm headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Shawn has a love for education in helping young talent grow and has spent many years teaching graphic design at Miami Ad School @Portfolio Center. As AIGA’s Treasurer, Shawn enjoys his role ‘orbiting the giant hairball’ keeping all things financial in order.
Brian Rice, Partnerships Chair
With more than 20+ years of experience with Procter & Gamble, The Coca-Cola Company, and Bristol-Myers Squibb, Brian has led the design and creative communications on a regional and global level for several of the world’s most valuable, trusted, and iconic brands. Today, Brian serves as the Senior Director of Design & Package Innovation for Georgia-Pacific, headquartered in Atlanta. As head of design, Brian is responsible for overseeing best practice and capability development in many areas of design for company’s consumer brands. Brian holds a BS degree with honors in Graphic Design and Management from Florida A&M University, where he currently sits on the advisory board for the School of Journalism and Graphic Communications. Brian often mentors emerging designers and youth who have an interest in design related careers and looks forward to working with the local design community in Atlanta!
Carolyn Cavanaugh, Membership Co-Chair
Carolyn is an in-house designer at BCG. In addition to her love for design, Carolyn enjoys reading historical fiction, travel, and exploring national parks with her dog Chloe and husband Ryan. As Membership Chair, Carolyn strives to let Atlanta know how awesome AIGA is and does her best to contribute to that momentum through events that nourish the community as well as help to keep designers proud of their profession and city.
Pauline Pellicer, Membership Co-Chair
If you think of a designer as someone who creates pretty things that make the world a better place, then Pauline completely agrees with you. You see, Pauline has been creating pretty things for some time now and even though we’re not sure of her global impact, she is certainly having a positive effect as a Senior Art Director at Brown Bag. Before Brown Bag, Pauline worked at Coastal Living Magazine, American Cancer Society, The Reynolds Group and id8 (formerly Sellier Design). A rare Atlanta native, Pauline likes exploring her city with her pup, Blue Ivy, but also traveling the world.
Ariana Rivera, Communications Co-Chair
Ariana Rivera is a Puerto Rican born and bred artist, who made her way to Atlanta in ’99 to flourish as a designer. She graduated with a B.F.A. from the Art Institute of Atlanta in 2013 and has since become versed in a variety of applications. She has extensive experience in packaging, Point-of-Purchase, and retail design as well as letterpress printing and production. One of her favorite ways to spend her downtime is volunteering with AIGA and encouraging minority designers to share their voice!
Jess Gerjets-Hawkins, Communications Co-Chair
Jess is a Senior Graphic Designer at id8. With a desire to connect strategy and design she works with the team to create memorable and well thoughts out brands for a variety of companies. As Communications Co-chair, Jess wants to connect the local design community to creative inspiration and the amazing events that AIGA Atlanta has. She has a tremendous amount of love and support from her husband and loves to hang out with her dog and new baby girl.
Lauren Foster, Programming Co-Chair
Lauren Foster is an in-house visual designer at a commercial real estate firm, Newmark Knight Frank. She also freelances for startup technology companies which have sparked her interest and ongoing pursuit of UX and web design. Lauren graduated from UGA with a dual Marketing and Advertising degree in 2014. Prior to Newmark Knight Frank, Lauren has interned at creative agencies, Atlanta magazines, newspapers, nonprofits and educational institutions. Although she clearly has a strong visual design background with a love for branding, Lauren is fascinated with airports, public transportation and other systems that offer unique experiences through intricate design. She hopes to work on more impactful design projects moving forward in her career. Lauren loves the outdoors, loves to travel, loves working out and most importantly, loves exploring Atlanta’s design community. With that said, she is beyond excited to participate in AIGA.
Katie Bryl, Programming Co-Chair
Katie joined the AIGA Programming Committee to stay involved in ATL’s creative community after graduating from Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta with a BFA in Graphic Design. An event programming guru, she is constantly working on new events to show off Atlanta’s design scene with her amazing committee. When she’s not planning an AIGA event, she can usually be found at Piedmont Park with a good book and her dog, Moose. If she’s not there, she’s probably traveling and attempting to find the best donuts in whatever city she’s in – the more sprinkles, the better!
Hank Richardson, Education Co-Chair & AIGA Fellow
Hank is the Design Coach at Portfolio Center. He is an AIGA Fellow and recipient of the New York Art Director’s Club 2010 Grandmaster Teacher’s Award. He is a Director of the Museum of Design Atlanta and has served on the AIGA National Board and board of The Society of Typographic Aficionados. He is the AIGA/Atlanta Education Co-Chair. As an educator, he brings strategic design-thinking into his teaching integrating design, business, and technology. Hank advises student leadership teams that translate design-led business development for start-up companies and products within a real-world context. Hank works with industry leaders from The Coca-Cola Company, Georgia Tech School of Architecture, and the Advanced Technology Development Center at Georgia Tech among others. He has contributed to such books as Design Wisdom, The Education of a Graphic Designer, Becoming a Graphic Designer, Design for Communications, The Education of a Typographer, Graphis, and Teaching Graphic Design. He travels widely, speaking at universities, and conducting workshops and seminars at conferences around the country. His students inhabit the most respected corporations, design firms, advertising agencies and entrepreneurial companies in the world — living testaments to his ability to nudge each student to a personal threshold where their best work is conceived.
Nakita M. Pope, Education Co-Chair
Nakita M. Pope is the Chief Chick Brand Strategist at Branding Chicks, a boutique branding studio in Atlanta, GA. Branding Chicks specializes in branding women-owned businesses and female-focused brands. As a brand strategist, she helps clients narrow their focus, gives their brands a voice, slingshots their confidence, and clarifies their message so that it resonates directly with their target markets. She also helps businesses large and small to brand or re-brand to attract and grow customer bases for new products and professional services through custom, creative, relevant brand-promoting strategies. Over the past 18 years, she has worked as a strategist, graphic designer, creative director and brand manager which has given her experiences that inform how she works with her clients. Her passion for brand strategy is also evident through her teaching advertising strategy, branding and design at the Creative Circus (one of the top-rated advertising portfolio schools in the U.S.) for the past 10 years. Along with her work and passion projects, she now she gets to share her knowledge and experiences with a variety of audiences on the national speaking stage.
Jay Rogers, Business of Design Co-Chair
Jay Rogers is Owner/Creative Director of Jayro Design & Illustration, a firm that provides design and illustration to kids media and entertainment studios. Shortly after starting Jayro, Jay joined the AIGA Atlanta board and created the long-running Studio Owner’s Roundtables to connect new and veteran creative business owners. Jay has been an active AIGA member since the 2nd season of LOST, and lives in Marietta with his wife, two daughters and two adorable mutts.
Therese Huffman, Business of Design Co-Chair
Therese combines storytelling with environmental graphic design to create experiences that entertain, educate and inspire wonder. In 1993, she established Signature Design as a collaborative firm specializing in interpretive design, wayfinding, and signage for museums, historic sites, state and national parks, and even entire municipalities. As Co-Chair of Business of Design, she established the Women’s Business Initiative at AIGA Atlanta. She is a passionate advocate for the cities, sites, and people she represents: her goal is always to convey the authentic story of these communities and environments in a respectful, memorable, and meaningful way.
Sam Eckersley, In-House Chair
Sam Eckersley is a founding partner and creative director of Rogers Eckersley Design (RED), an Atlanta based design studio specializing in branded identities, campaigns, and events. One of his primary goals is to work with admirable people that in some way bring value to the world. That basic philosophy has lead to years of building meaningful relationships that go well beyond client work. He regularly plays the role of advisor, lecturer, and speaker, and is currently an adjunct professor at Portfolio Center. Sam is working with AIGA to help support and unite Atlanta’s vast in-house design community through a series of small, medium, and large events.
Mike Williams, In-House Chair
Mike is an in-house Creative Director at AT&T, where he has the privilege of building the value of one of the world’s most iconic brands across the company’s consumer offerings. Prior, he was on the agency side building brand experience and identity programs, working closely with in-house design and marketing teams at some of America’s top brands. He has a passion for examining how brands and society shape each other. He’s excited to support Atlanta’s in-house design community with programs and content that inspire designers and help them be more valuable and effective.
Nicky Riale, Mentorship Co-Chair
Nicky Riale is a freelance graphic designer and illustrator currently living in Metro Atlanta. With a background in fashion, Nicky switched career paths and completed Georgia State University’s Graphic Design Program in 2017. Her primary interests are branding, user experience, and conceptual design. She is passionate about finding ways that design can intersect with and promote public/community art. Nicky is excited to support Atlanta’s design community by bringing people together in order to mentor, network, and accomplish amazing ideas. When not designing, Nicky enjoys art shows, design talks, road trips, night cheese, and taking her dogs to the river.
Lennie Gray Mowris, Design For Good
A printmaker, model, adventurer, climber, partner, and strategist. Lennie’s design career grew out of a desire to create beautiful communications that serve people and their environment. For more than 15 years she has worked with purpose-based organizations creating interdisciplinary designs. She specializes in social impact strategy and brand development for nonprofit organizations working within social justice, environmental protection, and arts & culture. Her letterpress studio, Lenspeace, focuses on creating and serving the community by exploring the spectrum of human relationships and facilitating empathetic communication through design thinking and art therapy approaches to identity development.
Deanna Clark, Diversity & Inclusion Chair
With a past career as an Art Historian in Museum Education, Deanna has worked in Public Programming at illustrious institutions such as The Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice, Italy, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC and The High Museum of Art in Atlanta. She decided to change careers and pursue her passion for the arts as a Creative. Now a Designer, Art Director and Illustrator, she’s worked with Ogilvy & Mather as well as freelances with various organizations in Atlanta. In her spare time, she’s usually writing songs, singing and playing her guitar, Azulita. She is passionate about Diversity in all aspects of the arts and looks forward to the influential impact it will bring to AIGA.
Wade Thompson, President Emeritus
Wade is the founder and creative director of Son&Sons. He is a creative visionary with a kind heart, gentle spirit and sharp mind. What’s really nice is that he’d never say that about himself. As President Emeritus, Wade is helping the Atlanta chapter connect with business and cultural leaders to address our communities’ greatest challenges through design.
Atlanta Chapter Student Board