Executive Director

Kelly Knaga

kel@chicago.aiga.org • Instagram and Twitter: @kellyknaga

Kelly is an artist, designer, teacher, and always up for a great adventure.  After spending time on both coasts she believes Chicago’s creative community is one of the best. Kelly thinks that the small everyday moments are more incredible than the every once-in-awhile spectacular moments. And she believes that ordinary people can make extraordinary differences in the world. She still thinks secret handshakes are cool too.

You can often find Kelly in Andersonville or on an acre of land just outside of Chicago where she designs, paints and is building a small urban farm. When she’s not teaching at IU Northwest, Kelly is busy advocating for Chicago’s creative community and arts education through her work with the EPIC Board of Directors and as Content Director for the Hike Conference. Kelly also sits on the AIGA National Diversity and Inclusion Task Force. She is slowly fulfilling her dream of hiking and photographing every single U.S. National Park. Feel free to drop her a line and say hello!


Valerie Craig

valerie@chicago.aiga.org • Instagram: @valeriejcraig

Valerie Craig is a designer who is fueled by ideas, passion and people. She thrives on process, ideation, experimentation, execution and, apparently, lists.

Today, you can find her leading design at the industrial software company Uptake. As the Brand Director, she leads a kick-ass team to create strategic communications that are impactful and beautiful to tell the story of the brand. Prior to Uptake Valerie served as Senior Designer at Acquity Group, a part of Accenture Interactive, where she transformed the brand’s passion into pixels and paper. For a number of years, she worked for herself (which translates to many people) creating meaningful work for clients from places like CBS Interactive to local pet training startup FetchFind to the Cheesemonger Invitational.

She has served the Chicago chapter for more than a decade in many different roles and is honored to be a part of this rich creative community.


David Sieren

david@chicago.aiga.org • Instagram: @davidsieren

David solves design problems, makes pictures, keeps analog creative practices alive, and teaches students both young and old to care about all of the above.

He currently leads the design discipline at One Design Company, an independent Chicago studio focused on brand strategy and experience design. In 2007 he co-founded the Post Family, an independent Chicago-based collaborative focused on creating experiences that engage communities through art and design. An adjunct faculty member within DePaul University’s School of Design and a visiting instructor at Marwen, he considers engagement in the educational field to be an essential part of his practice.

Vice-President of Communications

Bianca Smith

bianca@chicago.aiga.org  • Instagram and Twitter: @biancapsmith

Bianca is a writer who marries personal anecdotes and colorful language to communicate compelling brand messages. As a trained journalist and editor, she is passionate about the entire scope of the creative process—from pitching a story idea through to creating a piece’s social media posts, she is invested in all facets of the projects she’s a part of. Bianca is currently a copywriter at One Design Company. Most recently, she edited Mouthwash magazine and was the managing editor of Echo Magazine—a nationally award-winning student-run publication—while she completed her BA in Magazine Journalism at Columbia College Chicago.

Vice-President of Community Engagement

Mary Foyder

mary@chicago.aiga.org  • Instagram and Twitter: @milktummy

Mary loves to partner with clients to plan, envision and bring content to life. An award-winning interdisciplinary designer, brand strategist and IDEO alumnus with over 15 years of experience, Mary is versatile communication design leader who has worked with dozens of clients, from fortune 500 brands to top nonprofits. Her experience includes a diverse range of projects—from microfinance banking in rural Kenya to the creation and branding of a birth control support network for women. She has worked with a broad range of clients including, The Trust for Public Land, The University of Chicago, The Chicago Department of Public Health, American Express, Nike, Sara Lee, Bank of America, and The National Campaign to Prevent Teen & Unplanned Pregnancy.

No matter what the project, Mary believes in a Human Centered Design approach—great design starts with understanding the needs of individuals as well as organizations. Among the press and accolades Mary’s work has received, her work with Bedsider garnered an IDEA gold for service design and bronze for both research and design strategy, as well as a Core77 strategy and research award. Her work was also featured in the Pasadena Museum of California Art.

Vice-President of Diversity & Inclusion

Antonio Garcia

antonio@chicago.aiga.org • Instagram, Twitter and medium: @a_m_garcia

Antonio is Group Experience Director at Rightpoint. Before that he helped launch Northern Lab, Northern Trust’s internal innovation accelerator focused on experience design within financial services. Before that he led gravitytank’s interaction design discipline and social innovation practice. Prior to working in innovation, Antonio was strategic director of Firebelly Design. He holds a BFA in Advertising Design from the Atlanta College of Art (now SCAD) and attended the Harvard Business School AIGA Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders Executive Education Program in 2007. Antonio teaches Visual Storytelling and Communication Design at Northwestern University’s Segal Design Institute and previously taught Customer Discovery as part of University of Chicago’s Polsky Center Entrepreneurship Essentials. A frequent contributor to community conversations on the topics of diversity, culture and creativity, Antonio believes design’s sole function is to create change. Antonio’s side projects include DJing, illustration and an upcoming book on 8-bit and 16-bit video game iconography.

Vice-President of Education

Jo-Nell Sieren

jo-nell@chicago.aiga.org  • Instagram and Twitter: @jonellsieren

Jo-Nell Sieren is a photographer, designer, educator, and advisor. Currently she is an Internship and Career Advisor for the Career Center at Columbia College Chicago. She advises students majoring in Photography, Design, Art, Art History and Interactive Arts Media (IAM). In addition to this role, she is Adjunct Faculty for both Design and Photography departments. Jo-Nell also mentors and directs a small group of students each semester who create Frank Magazine, a digital publication available from the Apple App Store and created with Adobe Digital Publishing Suite (DPS). A graduate of the School of Visual Art in New York City, Jo-Nell’s professional background includes; working as a Photographer, Designer, Assistant Gallery Director, Curriculum Director and Instructor for a children’s art program.

Co-VP of Programming

Jen Lemerand

lemerand@chicago.aiga.org • Instagram: @upsidedwnglsses

Jen is an idea generator with an infectious passion for design, who builds and motivates dynamic teams to solve design problems in unexpected, original ways. When it comes to smart design, Jen sees things differently, so she does things differently. She believes in taking a fresh look at creative, which is why people always ask if her glasses are upside-down. That’s what it takes to stand out – and leave a lasting impression. Her background includes roles leading designers, developers and writers as Creative Director with companies large and small, including Vis-à-vis Creative and Revelry Agency.

In 2012, Jen founded the Chicago chapter of SheSays, providing mentoring opportunities and educational / networking events for women in the creative industry. She’s also been known to break the ice at conferences such as HOW Design Live by inviting attendees to turn her into a “walking typography” experiment. When she is not being a crazy creative, you can find Jen biking the streets of Chicago, playing and writing original songs (often about her bike), or simply melting into the couch watching Netflix.

Programming Co-Chair

Buddy Boor

buddy@chicago.aiga.org • Instagram: @wpbpor
Studio: http://otherthin.gs/
Personal: http://buddyboor.com/

Buddy Boor is a designer with a passion for exploring the intersection of art and code. Curious about people and their environment, his favorite aspect of design is the requirement to dive deeply into outside disciplines. By day he runs Other Things Creative, a branding and interaction studio in Ravenswood.

Prior to starting Other Things, Buddy worked in interaction design at the agency Mightybytes and supported multiple publications at Tribune Interactive. He holds a BFA in Graphic Design and a BA in Advertising from Michigan State University. On the side he’s a passionate runner, illustrator, & podcast-listener.

Programming Co-Chair

Pamela Steiner

pamela@chicago.aiga.org • Instagram: @pshellostudio
Personal: https://www.pamelasteiner.com/

Pamela is a design strategist with a focus on experiences within the built environment, specializing in experience, brand and service design across diverse disciplines and markets. She has a passion for solving complex creative problems rooted in context and empathy. During the day she is a design strategist at Blue Cottage of CannonDesign.

Prior to joining CannonDesign, Pamela worked as a Branded Environments Designer at Perkins+Will. Her background includes a Bachelors in Interior Architecture from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and an MBA in Design Strategy from California College of the Arts. In her free time you’ll find her crafting, sketching, and reading.

Interactive Programming Co-Chair

Megan Jackson

megan@chicago.aiga.org • Instagram: @megnicjack

Megan is a digital designer that utilizes their energized, organized mind to develop engaging solutions to creative problems. They create digital experiences at Mess while pursuing their passions in motion and package design whenever possible. Megan has experience designing for a variety of industries and mediums, as well as leading teams at the small-medium agencies they have worked.

Megan earned their Bachelor’s for their design chops back in 2014 with multiple honors and awards under their belt. Since college, Megan keeps those chops sharp regularly by participating in competitions, mentoring and volunteering with AIGA Chicago and discovering new tools to continue making better content and designs. The most notable competition they competed in was Pixels of Fury back in 2017 where they were first competitor to be selected from a small-sized agency.

Megan is Midwest born and raised on a healthy mixture of jokes, naturalistic hippie sh*t and emo music. Outside of design, they co-parent two squish-faced pups, Chowder and Flapjack. They can also be found traveling across the U.S. with their partner to tattoo conventions in their Plum Crazy Jeep Wrangler.

Interactive Programming Co-Chair

Michael Vaughn Green

green@chicago.aiga.org • Instagram & Twitter: @raptorsrevenge
Personal: https://www.michaelvaughngreen.com/

Michael has been crafting digital experiences for over a decade. Passionate about design and FED, Micahel believes in empowering users with delight and discovery. He currently works on the internal design systems team at Conversant Media. There he leads the motion design practice and helps craft the visual experiences for the company’s web application offerings. You can find out more by visiting: https://cui.conversantmedia.com. Michael also teaches FED design and development at Columbia College and is co-founder of Night City Games; a small shop focused on designing experimental indie games. 

Michael has a background in leading the design and creative direction for web & app design interactive digital experiences, games and FED. Michael earned his Master’s degree in Interactive Media from Indiana University-Bloomington in 2007. Since then he has worked for Disney Interactive, Salesforce and created a small “indie-darling” called GetClose, for the Nintendo Wii U. 

In his spare time, Michael loves “attempting” to draw on his iPad, obsess over horror films and practice his abysmal pinball skills at Logan Arcade. He has way too many Mondo posters.