In Good Company

Join AIGA Chicago and The Creative Group at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago Ballroom for a circuit of roundtable discussions focused on the unique experiences available to in-house designers. In each 20-minute session, attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions to a panel of designers from some of today’s leading in-house studios (Trunk Club, Morningstar, Leo Burnett's Dept. of Design, Shedd Aquarium, Hu-Friedy, Aquity Group, and more). Register today to secure your spot!

All attendees have a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card from The Creative Group. All you need to do is bring a business card to the event. In fact, bring a bunch so you can do some real networking while you're there.

Kyra Foster, Morningstar
As Director of Design Operations at Morningstar, Inc in Chicago, Kyra Jacobs Foster manages the Product Design group which includes the design development of Morningstar's new product initiatives, mobile design, ongoing support of design on existing interactive products and report/publication design. In this role, she is responsible for managing and maintaining the visual brand identity for Morningstar within and across these products. It also includes managing multiple design teams, resource planning and advocating for consistent process across the organization.

She joined Morningstar in 1997 as a Web designer working on Through the late nineties and early 2000, she contributed and managed the design of multiple new product initiatives, including the first offerings of Morningstar's professional software for financial advisors and institutions.

Kyra has also been involved at Morningstar in defining competencies for designers, has participated in the organization of their annual tech conference and sat on a committee evaluating quality in their software products and processes.

In 1993, Kyra received a B.A. in Art History from Wheaton College in Massachusetts. She did extensive coursework in Graphic Design at the UIC from 1994 to 1996 and in 1996 she attended the Yale University Summer Design Program in Brissago. In 2005, Kyra earned her M.S. in Human Computer Interaction from DePaul University.

In the past Kyra has spoken on behalf of Morningstar at and AIGA Chicago Small Talk and the The D Conference presented by Built in Chicago. She has also taught classes at UIC as an adjunct professor.

Brian Loehr, Leo Burnett Dept. of Design
Brian Loehr joined Leo Burnett in 2011 and is VP Director of Design. He’s played an integral role in the development of the agency’s Department of Design. He’s had several roles as a designer over the last 13 years including working in house at Target Corporation as a Sr. Art Director, he was the principal designer/owner of a boutique design shop he founding in Minneapolis and a Design Director at VSA Partners in Chicago where he worked on global brand account such as IBM and Motorola. At Leo Burnett he’s been able to push the boundaries of design with global brands such as McDonalds, Pfizer, P&G, Samsung, Intel, and Purina.

His work on the Allstate Save11 campaign, a grassroots campaign to foster legislative support for a bill co-authored by Allstate to help reduce teen deaths from auto accidents in the United States, was signed into law by President Obama in 2012. The campaign received a Gold Clio and a Gold Lion at the Cannes International Creativity Festival. 

Brian is an active member of AIGA Chicago and is a 2 time North American Hockey Association Champion. 

Patrick Bernardi, Hu-Friedy
As Chief Marketing Officer, Patrick Bernardi is responsible for directing and managing the global brand marketing function at Hu-Friedy, a world leader in the design and manufacture of dental instruments and products.

Over the past 4 years, Mr. Bernardi has directed a wholesale repositioning of the Hu-Friedy brand and has helped shift the perception of the 100+ year company from being predominantly known for its high-quality heritage in the periodontal category, to a truly global brand that is now more broadly positioned around its ability to help dental professionals perform at their best across a diverse solution portfolio and through a more expansive unique selling proposition around products, service and community. Mr. Bernardi has also led Hu-Friedy’s marketing evolution, including a rationalized brand architecture, a re-imagined visual identity and an investment in contemporary marketing approaches which leverage web, social-media and database marketing platforms.

Mr. Bernardi’s diverse background includes 20+ years’ experience in the development and execution of strategic marketing plans focused on delivering messages to B2B audiences that inspire emotion, action and engagement. Mr. Bernardi’s work experiences in both client and agency environments have helped to frame one single question that acts as a guiding principle for how he approaches communication of all types – what is the “one thing,” or message, that an audience needs to understand?

Prior to his role leading global brand marketing for Hu-Friedy, Mr. Bernardi’s experience included marketing leadership positions with such companies as OfficeMax, Experian and Forysthe Technology, as well as agency leadership positions with Leo Burnett and Harte-Hanks.

Mr. Bernardi ‘s work has won several awards including a 2011 REBRAND 100 Award or the Hu-Friedy rebrand initiative, a 2009 TOWER Award, a 2009 W3 Award, a 2009 RACie Award and a 2007 PRO Award.

Valerie Craig, Aquity Group
Twitter: @valeriejcraig
Valerie Craig is a designer who is fueled by ideas, passion and people. She thrives on process, ideation, experimentation, execution and apparently lists. In addition, she loves the creative community, and is honored to be a part of such a rich group of people.

She has worked for a range of types of businesses from small to big. To diversify her skills, she ventured out on her own for a number of years, working with the most interesting clients near and far. Today, she is a Senior Designer at Acquity Group, a digital company that excels in ecommerce and digital marketing. In this role, she infuses the brand’s passion into pixels and paper, creating all things Acquity Group (and with a recent acquisition, some things Accenture Interactive). Valerie serves as a Programming Chair on the AIGA Chicago Board of Directors.

Claudia Renzi, Crate & Barrel
Claudia is a graphic designer based in Chicago. She’s been a leading art director at the iconic furniture and housewares retailer, Crate and Barrel, since 2009. Her design career began in 1996, while still a student at Atlanta’s Portfolio Center, when she was asked to join an animation-graphics design team assembled specifically to launch CNN en Español, the Spanish-language sister of the pioneering cable news network. In 2000, she moved to Chicago and since then has worked for design and branding houses including VSA Partners and Simple Truth as well as freelance engagements of her own. With expertise in everything from print to website design to broadcast animation, she has worked both on the client and agency sides, for profit and nonprofit clients across a range of industries. She specializes in branding and photography art direction, but is especially passionate about the creation and redesign of logos and identity systems. She has helped retool industry leaders and launch dozens of start-ups.

Andy Schwegler, Trunk Club
Twitter: @trunkclub

Dominika Jozefiak, Shedd Aquarium
Dominika is a senior designer at the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. Her work involves translating the beauty and wonder of aquatic animals into a wide range of print and electronic applications. She is a graduate of the School of The Art Institute of Chicago, where she received a BFA in visual communication. Quality is everything, design is her passion and she is driven to create beautiful work that makes an impact. When she’s not designing, you can find her exploring new places, loving yoga and immersing herself in great conversations.

Great news: Attendees will automatically be entered to win an invitation to the 25th Unisource Paper Show!

Special thanks to our Event Chair, Stephanie Plenner.

When & Where
Tue, Nov 30, -0001