Anne H. Berry is a writer, designer, Assistant Professor in the Department of Art and Design at Cleveland State University, and the former Student Development Chair and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Co-chair for AIGA Cleveland. She received her MFA degree from the School of Visual Communication Design at Kent State University. She has been featured in Communication Arts magazine
, Letterform Archive
, Black, Brown + Latinx Design Educators: Conversations on Design and Race by Kelly Walters
, and was interviewed for Maurice Cherry’s award-winning podcast Revision Path
. She is also co-creator of the award-winning project Ongoing Matter: Democracy, Design, and the Mueller Report
and managing editor of the forthcoming book The Black Experience in Design.
Design For Good Co-Chair
Maria Ahmad is a Cleveland-based UX/UI Designer, researcher, and educator. She is a 2022 graduate of the Master of Fine Arts in Visual Communication Design program at Kent State University. Maria received her Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design from Cleveland State University in 2020. She is the former Design Life Balance Co-Chair and Design for Good Co-Chair for AIGA Cleveland. While working as a Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT), she developed a passion for making experiences in healthcare easier, and exploring how delivering care can be enhanced. Her Master's Thesis
explores how the service design methodology utilizes innovation and improves the experience of patients and visitors in primary care waiting areas in healthcare facilities. Maria believes that human-centered design and learning about users through research encourages people to share their ideas and passions with the world, increase empathy and a sense of community, and make people's lives easier. If you would to chat or get in touch, connect with me on LinkedIn
VP of Finance
Stephanie is a graphic designer for the Western Reserve Historical Society, where she has been managing the brand identity for WRHS’s 150th anniversary year and created the brand identity for the new permanent exhibit, Cleveland Starts Here®. Stephanie is also an assistant regional manager for ZG Properties, LLC. Stephanie earned her Bachelors of Art in Graphic Design from Cleveland State University and her Bachelors of Business Administration in Marketing from Drexel University. During the warmer months, you can normally find Stephanie photographing cycling races at the Cleveland Velodrome or cheering on friends at criterium or cyclocross races.
Malieka Gurrera is a Cleveland-based freelance illustrator and full-time art director at Marcus Thomas LLC, where she concepts successful ad campaigns, creates strategic social media content, and leads brand photo shoots. She graduated from the University of Akron in 2018 with a BFA in Graphic Design. Malieka sees her work as an opportunity to connect with people and help them tell their stories. In her free time, you can find her hosting board game nights, watching outdated horror movies, or playing DnD.
Shawn Gray is an independent Web Designer and Developer with 10 years' experience in the design game. Shortly after graduating from Cleveland State with a Bachelor's Degree in Graphic Design, he set out as a freelancer to help budding entrepreneurs grow their businesses. His design skills and coding knowledge continued to grow with each successful project and satisfied client. He is always looking for a new, great challenge and plans on bringing a high level of dedication and expertise to Cleveland AIGA as the new Web Chair.
Jeff Haynes is a Senior Producer at WVIZ/PBS ideastream, where he oversees on-air promotion and design. He is a graduate of the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at Kent State University. His previous work includes in-house design and production at Young & Rubicam, CBS, The World Series Of Poker, and Time-Warner. He has successfully launched multiple digital series that have led to generous funding, national distribution, and 4 Emmys.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force Co-Chair
Asha McClendon is a native Cleveland graphic design creative and a graduate of Cleveland State University. She currently works as a Designer at Cleveland-based communications and marketing agency, Adcom. When she isn’t designing for clients, she enjoys expanding her mind creatively though other mediums of design.
Kristen has over 18 years of experience in Cleveland and Chicago in roles on both in-house and agency creative teams. She earned her B.F.A. in Visual Communication Design from Kent State University and is now the Creative Director at Muse in Cleveland. She balances her day job with personal creative work, making and selling candles and art prints under her alias, Poko Studio
Austin J Reitz
Community Meeting Co-Chair
Austin J. Reitz is a graphic designer, illustrator, and tabletop game designer. He graduated from Kent State University with a BFA in Visual Communication Design in 2019. During his time at KSU, he wrote his thesis, Realms of Màgia: Exploring Roleplaying Games as Interaction Design Systems, before starting his career in the in-house and freelance design worlds. Austin is looking forward to building and serving the Cleveland creative community as Community Meeting Co-chair.
Design 730 Co-Chair
Michael Rogers is the former Director of In-House for AIGA Cleveland and Manager of Design at ERC where he contributes to the design, creative direction, and business development of ERC and its subsidiaries. Michael is also a member of the NorthCoast 99 committee where he helps oversee the production, delivery, and creative direction of their annual awards event. Prior to joining ERC, Michael was a Graphic Designer for BioMed Specialty Pharmacy in Cincinnati where he helped grow the organization from $1 million to $10 million annual and quadrupled BioMed’s geographic reach. In a freelance capacity, Michael has had the honor to work with some great brands including TEDxCincinnati, Ocean Accelerator, and Q Commons.
Women Lead Co-Chair
Olivia Vitou currently works as a senior designer, art director for American Greetings within the in-house creative marketing agency. She received a BFA in Graphic Design from Ohio University with a minor in Business Administration and Studio Art. Olivia has worn several hats within the creative marketing world, with experience in both agency and in-house design teams. She also serves as the design consultant for the Women’s Leadership Council Board at American Greetings. Olivia is passionate for infusing her fine art background into her life through freelance and as a hobby.
Design for Good Chair
Jennifer Vokoun is an Associate Professor of Graphic Design at Walsh University in North Canton. She also serves as the Director of the Food Design Institute at Walsh University, facilitating community engagement through design thinking on food systems issues. She previously taught part-time at Kent State University and served as the Internship Coordinator for the Visual Communication Design department. Jennifer earned her BFA in Illustration from Columbus College of Art and Design and her MFA in Visual Communication Design from Kent State University. She has over 25 years experience working in graphic design, for clients including The Cleveland Orchestra and the Akron Art Museum. In 2017, Jennifer was a Design Incubation Fellow, and also participated in the AIGA + IBM F.ACT Summit in NYC, focused on design thinking facilitation activation.
Community Outreach Director
Kyra Wells is a local graphic design professional and alumna of Cleveland State University. Kyra currently works at American Greetings as a Creative Marketing Designer. She is also the owner of Seven Pillars Design Co., where she helps women entrepreneurs grow their businesses through strategic branding design. Kyra has been working in the Cleveland creative community for over 5 years and has a passion for helping other designers grow by sharing knowledge and resources to build our creative community.
VP of Partnerships
Ben is a product and brand experience design leader. He founded Council, an experience design consultancy, and has collaborated with numerous cities, brands, and individuals, including Spotify, Google, Store No. 8, The Washington Post, and Mozilla. His company was established to foster creativity, growth, and innovation through inclusive design practice. Ben moved back to Cleveland to focus that energy on the city he loves.
Director of Membership
Jennifer currently works as a freelance graphic designer. In 2015, she created Knotts Design, an independent design practice focusing on print design and data visualization. Over the years, Jennifer has built long-lasting relationships with many nonprofit organizations, professional associations, and small businesses. Jennifer has a Data Analytics and Visualization MPS from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), a B.B.A. in Marketing, and an A.A.S. in Communication Design. She is new to Cleveland and is looking forward to building a community of creative collaborators and exploring her new hometown.
In-House INitiative Chair
Shay currently leads all things creative for Pet Honesty. She has been working as an in-house designer for the last 10 years which has included the fashion, music, tech, and food industries. Shay received a BFA from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia. When Shay isn't designing she loves reading, watching docuseries, hand-lettering, and spending 24/7 with her dog, Dobby.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force Co-Chair
Thao Nguyen is a Korean-Vietnamese illustrator, designer, and creative. She's currently employed at American Greetings, working as a product designer on a variety of different projects. Outside of work, Thao has taken contracted work for companies to create custom, hand-lettered logos, and illustrating the highlights of the minority experience. Her curiosity over the world fuels her drive for art. Overly optimistic, she spreads her happiness and passions with the people she meets every day. Thao is dedicated to expressing the beauty in life and supporting other creatives in their own journeys.
Student Development Chair
Lauren Zawie is a recent graduate of Cleveland State University with a dual degree in Graphic Design and Production Design. Since graduation, she has been exploring different avenues to use her knowledge gained from both degree programs. Some of her most recent professional opportunities have included: interning as a graphic designer for Adcom – a design and marketing agency in Cleveland, working in the Prop Department for the latest Netflix Production filmed here in Cleveland, and continually honing her craft as a multi-client freelancer. As Cleveland State's former AIGA Student President, she is excited to get more involved with AIGA's Cleveland Chapter.
Student Development Co-Chair
Joel is an immersive media specialist who studies the entertainment industry and creates contemporary design works from that research. As a media designer, Joel has led projects in virtual reality film, documentary, interactive animation, and public installation for over 15 years. Recently his creative works have screened at the Moss Arts Center at Virginia Tech, Federation Square in Melbourne, and Dark Mofo in Hobart. Joel is best known as the creator of the Dark Ride Project, an initiative to conserve and study the heritage of haunted entertainment. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Visual Communication Design at Kent State University.