Elyse Flynn
President
Elyse believes life is better spent collaborating. She has served on the AIGA West Michigan board as a Programming Chair and 2015 Leadership Retreat Chair before her current role as Secretary. Currently the majority of her time is spent working as the Associate Creative Director at Design Design, a Grand Rapids-based social expression company, and a studio member at Not Design. As a creative her favorite special skills include: traditional letterpress printing and hand-drawn typography.
Naomi Silas
Community & Inclusion 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 Lima
Education Director
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.
Lauren DePree
Programming Director
Lauren is a graphic designer and West Michigan native. While she spent 5 years on the other side of the lake getting her BFA in graphic design from DePaul University and starting her career, she came back as soon as she could. Her work has been focused on in-house design in a variety of fields, but primarily in the architecture and engineering industry. Outside of the office, she is freelancing as much as possible and refining her hand-lettering skills. Before taking over as programming director, Lauren was a programming committee member and the volunteer chair for AIGA WM. When not designing, you can find Lauren working on house projects, exploring West Michigan, or spending time outdoors.
Sara Klele
Membership Director
Sara is the founder and lead designer of Neapolitan & Co, an independent design firm located in Grand Rapids. As a solopreneur Sara got involved with the chapter for a sense of community and to open new doors in her career. Her experiences within the chapter have helped shape her current focus on strategy and communications design. She previously served the board as Design Week chair and programming director before taking on her current role as membership director. In her free time, Sara tries to see as many concerts as possible and explore the great outdoors.
Gabby Podkul
Student Representative
Gabby is in her Junior year at Kendall College of Art and Design, working towards a BFA in Graphic Design and a minor in Photography. She has also been serving on KCAD AIGA’s board as the Fundraising and Travel Chair. Gabby is excited to engage with students and learn about their goals. She hopes to cultivate conversation and curiosity. She also is self-taught food critic that loves to travel.
Ross Tanner
Communications Director
Ross is Studio Director at Studio Us, a multidisciplinary creative studio in Grand Rapids. Working with a highly collaborative small team of four, he strongly believes the right group of people can tackle just about anything. As a young designer running an even younger business he is passionate about giving back to AIGA, an organization that has done so much for him in return. Ross has previously served two years on the Communications Committee as a Lead Designer and many years prior as volunteer. As a creative Ross loves to get away from the computer to work with his hands, anything ranging from furniture making to metalsmithing; there is never not a backlog of projects he's eager to tackle.