At approximately seven o’clock in the evening on August 2, 2016, the AIGA Orlando community meeting kicked off the current program year. Bodies packed into the office space of The Iron Yard located in the picturesque Church Street Exchange building in downtown Orlando. The meeting commenced with an introduction by the former president, current co-president, Devon Hoernschemeyer, welcoming members and guests back after a quiet July.
She began with the news of the five board members who, in June, traveled to the National AIGA Leadership Retreat where three to four hundred attendees from across the country’s seventy chapters gathered. She and Victor Davila, the former vice president, and current co-president were asked to speak while there about AIGA Orlando’s member increase of 68% in 2015. The rise in membership is record breaking, and the rest of the nation wanted to know what our board is doing that’s making such considerable progress. One thing we know for sure they mentioned are these community meetings. Getting the word out on a monthly basis and opening the invitation to include those who work in and outside the design profession was key in raising those 2015 numbers.
Next up, Devon, Victor, and Tibby Starks, current cruise director, presented overviews of past events: The Ultimate Mixer on June 14 where AIGA Orlando joined other organizations around the city to expand the connections in the network, The Framer Workshop on June 16 with visiting product designer currently working for Facebook, George Kedenburg, III, and Love By Design on June 25, which was AIGA’s response to the Pulse tragedy – news the board members learned about while returning from the aforementioned retreat. It’s events such as these that continue to impact the rising numbers AIGA Orlando’s membership.
And how will we keep the momentum in the year to come? With a new and expanded board, of course. As previously mentioned, Devon and Victor are now co-presidents, Ayana Campbell remains as secretary, Kenny Roy as programming director, Tibby Starks is staying on as cruise director, Cliff Manspeaker and Chad Cameron are now co-education directors, Katie Crawford is now the student liaison, Paul Hershey is the new UX/UI content director, Brian Nutt joins the board as the design for good chair, the board welcomes Reina Castellanos and Jamin Smith as co-social media chairs, Wink is in charge of membership experience, and Anna McCambridge-Thomas has taken on the role of community liaison. Three additional members are committed to a year as community board members as well, Shannon Calderon, Christine Dupont, and Sarah Garrison. With a strong board and a community such as ours, this year is sure to be the beginning of something groundbreaking.
Victor expressed the attitude of the new board when he said, “If anyone wants to see something happen, ask one of us. We’ll say, ‘yes’ and set your free to make it happen.”
“With our resources and connections, we can make it possible for you,” added Tibby.
Then, in a breakout session exercise, all attendees were asked to answer four questions by writing them on post-its and sticking them around the room:
- What do you think when you hear “AIGA?”
- What do you think when you hear “AIGA Orlando?”
- What are your favorite things about the AIGA creative community?
- Where would you like to see AIGA Orlando expand our efforts in the community?
Once the room settled and the table displaying posters left over from Love By Design had been picked over, a sampling of answers to each question were read aloud. Words such as “creatives,” “community,” and “connecting” were used to answer 1 and 2, while “people” and “events” were a common theme to answering number 3, and expanding the diversity of creatives within the group even more plus continuing to create design for good events were expressed in answer to number 4. Those not read aloud at the meeting were collected for perusal and consideration by the board at a later date.
To conclude the meeting, upcoming events and general announcements were made. Here’s a rundown of what’s to come:
Design with a Purpose presented by Jason Beaird and discussing design pattern craftsmanship is happening August 4, at Purple Rock Scissors at 6:30 pm.
Always Be Learning with Bob Ewing is happening August 5, at the new BIGEYE offices at 6:30 pm.
On Tuesday August 9, Purple Rock Scissors is hosting an open studio night.
On Tuesday August 16, the Downtown UX Meetup is holding an open discussion and meet-and-greet.
And, in the works is a social gathering tentatively scheduled for August 25, inviting designers and writers to gather and get to know each other. More details will be shared via Facebook once they’ve been finalized.
The general announcements made were as follows:
Full Sail University will have two job openings coming up soon. Keep an eye on their job board for the positions of Graphic Designer and Visual Academic Designer.
The UCF GDSA, a student organization similar to AIGA, invites students from any school to attend their bi-monthly Thursday night meetings. They’ll be hosting a social on September 1, and the first meeting will be held September 8.
And, one final note must be made. A huge thanks is owed to Three21 Creative for their recent sponsorship of Love by Design, it couldn’t have happened without them, and much love to The Iron Yard for continuing to allow us to use their space.