West Michigan
Elyse Flynn

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.

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Lee May
Vice President

Lee is the Creative Design Manager at USA Financial in Ada. He received a BFA in Design at the University of Michigan and graduated with an MAAE at the School of the Institute of Chicago. He’s been a member of the WM AIGA Diversity + Inclusions committee and was a member of the Grand Rapids Young Professional’s PR committee. Lee is passionate about design, education and the arts and hopes to integrate it within the Grand Rapids community. He also loves working on his cartoons and illustrations for his social media fans.

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Chris Chiles

Chris is a user experience designer and developer. As a Design Engineer at Visualhero, he helps to solve problems in technology through the synthesis of design and development. He also works to improve collaboration between these disciplines. Outside of the office, Chris enjoys spending time with his wife, Erin, and son, Bennett.

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Sara Klele
Programing Director

Sara is the founder and lead designer of Neapolitan & Co, an independent design firm located in Grand Rapids. Serving as the first Design Week Chair for AIGA West Michigan, Sara has collaborated with other local designers and businesses to organize West Michigan Design Week which celebrates its 3rd year in April, 2016. In her free time, Sara tries to see as many concerts as possible and explore the great outdoors.

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Jean Strate
Education Director

Jean is lead graphic designer at Stiles Machinery and also works on freelance projects within the community. She enjoys collaborating with a variety of vendors, agencies and marketing professionals to drive creative solutions. An active mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters, she has a desire for helping others achieve their goals. Prior to the Education Director role, Jean served on the Membership Committee.

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Joe Becker
Communications Director
Joe is a Detroit expatriot who brings hard work and thoughtful decisions to West Michigan design. Joe put his BFA to good use over the past 22 years and has worked as a Graphic Designer and a Creative Director across Michigan. Joe currently works as the International E-Commerce Marketing Manager for Cat Footwear at Wolverine Worldwide in Rockford, and has held positions at QLTD in Ann Arbor, Carhartt in Dearborn, and Marketing Associates in Detroit. A transitional designer that embraces change and technology, Joe thrives on new ways to communicate, loves design (from keylining to coding) and hopes he can pay it forward.
Kyle Rice
Student Representative

Kyle lives in a world of curiosity and exploration as a design student at Ferris State University. As the Vice President—and now President—of his local AIGA Student Group, he looks towards making an impact in the design community by offering new insights and new conversations. Kyle believes that design should consist of more fun with less of the work, because when work becomes work, it is no longer fun.

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