After graduating with a BFA degree and business minor, Rich
started his career in Chicago in the late 90’s as a web designer. Over the years, he’s worked on projects of all sizes and levels of complexity. Rich
has worked on projects of all sizes and levels of complexity, from web design and code to digital art direction, web project management, video production and business management.
Spending some formative years overseas in Saudi Arabia and after filming gigs in the Middle East and Europe, Rich
has traveled pretty extensively. When he can’t be traveling, Rich
channels that sense of adventure into Next Creative,
the company he cofounded to gather great creatives who love taking risks.
Megan J. Norton is a technically experienced IoT (Internet of Things) director with over 2 decades of launching new eCommerce and digital solutions through Agile Scrum Fortune 500 organizations and start-up ventures. Her passion is helping companies and people transform through these areas of expertise.
* Capital program direction
* Strategic decision making & leadership
* Startup operations implementation
* Technical project management (e.g. infrastructure sizing thru the use of AI & AR)
* Web & mobile app design and delivery
* Agile scrum coaching and proctoring
* Social media marketing
* Teaching & training
* Career coaching & resume services
* Custom illustration & artwork
Community & Connection Director
Naomi is all things creative. From writing, to singing to designing - she’s done it all and sometimes the creativity just overflows. During her 10 years of design experience, she had the opportunity to to work on some amazing brands, such as GE Healthcare and Coalesse. She is excited to apply everything she’s learned to her independent design studio, Seventh Creative and client work.
Naomi has served on the AIGA WM Diversity & Inclusion committee for almost two years, before stepping up to take the role of Director. Naomi is also one of four 2017 AIGA Design Conference Diversity and Inclusion Scholars. When not designing, she loves to help her son use design thinking to solve problems.
Vinicius was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and moved to the United States in 2005. He received a Bachelor of Architecture Degree in Brazil and an MFA Design from The University of Iowa. Since then, Vinicius has dedicated his career to Design education. He is now Assistant Professor of Graphic Design and Foundations at Grand Valley State University, where he teaches courses in typography, logo design, print layouts, digital experiences, and branding. Prior to becoming Education Director, he served on the AIGA WM Programming Committee for two years. As a designer, his favorite skills include User Interface Design, Coding, and Publication layouts.
Lydia is a freelance conceptual copywriter with more than a decade of experience writing for advertising clients, both big and small. She’s tweeted for toilet paper, re-branded a 150-year-old university, made parody horror movies for a grocery store, and created marketing campaigns for some of the top brands in the world. But, Lydia does more than just write; she is also the co-founder of the Grand Rapids Feminist Film Festival, an adjunct Graphic Design professor at Kendall College of Art & Design, and a hand-lettering artist. As Programming Director of AIGA WM, Lydia aims to strengthen the West Michigan design community through passion-provoking and advocacy-inducing programming. When not at her desk, she’s usually drinking. But, sometimes, she does that at her desk, too.
Katy is entering her senior year at Grand Valley State University where she is majoring in Graphic Design and minoring in Art History. She is also starting her second year as the President of the schools AIGA Board. She began her graphic artist career working in the marketing department with the insurance brokerage firm Acrisure working with agency partners to produce advertisement, logos and event material. She continues that work today while finishing her degree. While not attending school, working or tending to AIGA matters, Katy loves to spend her free time traveling when the opportunity presents itself. She was able to take a trip to Europe this past year and experienced Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary along the Danube River. She looks forward to working with West Michigan Design Students to represent their voice, while helping them grow as AIGA has done for her.
Design Week Chair
With a BFA in medical illustration from Kendall College of Art and Design, Samantha went on to intern and work for a period of time in New York City. After returning to Grand Rapids in 2016, she started and grew her own company, Blue Leaf Illustrations LLC, by taking on over 50+ clients in 30 different locations across more than 7 countries. Samantha shifted her interests into web development and user experience when she completed an intensive, six month front-end web development bootcamp. With a focus on personal and professional growth, Samantha looks to become a larger advocate for the design community while finding her own path here in West Michigan. Samantha often works in the company of her two dogs, a 110 lb Great Pyrenees named Silas and a 10 lb Chihuahua named Satchmo. Board games and summer adventures with friends is what she lives for!
Alexandra van Milligen
Alexandra is a former high school literature teacher turned UX designer. She currently works at Kmotion Design in Grand Rapids and is passionate about educational equity and reform. Formerly an instructional designer (ISD), Alexandra now works on content strategy, copywriting, and project management. She also teaches yoga.
Kendra is a graphic designer, hand letterer, photographer, and dog mom. Her career has covered corporate, in-house, and agency settings, with extra focus on the beauty, nutrition, entertainment, and law industries. She served on the board for AIGA’s student group at GVSU, before joining AIGA WM’s Communications committee for the last two years. When Kendra is not in the office, you can find her in the great outdoors, doing something crafty, or working on her fixer upper.
Kegan is the founder of Midgard Creative, an independent design studio, and the in-house digital graphic designer for Macatawa Bank. After obtaining his BFA from Central Michigan University, he kicked off his career as a freelance designer before joining Macatawa Bank and starting Midgard Creative. The primary focus of his career has been on mastering all areas of corporate creative strategy in the finance industry. He has done branding and website design work in the energy, restaurant, fitness, and nutrition industries. When he isn’t working, you can find him doodling or diving deep into sci-fi or fantasy media of any kind.