Founded in 1977 as the Minnesota Graphic Designers Association (MGDA), AIGA Minnesota is one of the largest AIGA chapters in the nation, serving members in Minnesota and the upper Midwest. AIGA Minnesota is the first place to turn for inspiration, professional development, and excellence in design in Minnesota. Our mission is to advance design as a professional craft, strategic tool, and vital cultural force. We encourage the exchange of ideas and information among professionals involved in design and other related fields. From design fans to the profession’s leading practitioners, AIGA members come from all backgrounds, all fields, and all levels of experience. Our members include designers, strategists, students, educators, writers, photographers, illustrators, printers, prepress, and paper manufacturing/distribution. AIGA Minnesota offers a wide range of programming to serve the needs of our diverse membership. We offer education and events that promote excellence in design and opportunities for students and professionals to grow and to network. AIGA Minnesota is a chapter of AIGA, the professional association for design. AIGA is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.

AIGA Minnesota Chapter Values

Belong

Embrace diversity.
Nurture an inclusive and unbiased environment with a commitment to justice and equity.

Connect

Lean on us.
Be a place of community and support to share knowledge through engagement and collaboration.

Partner

Work together.
Cultivate relationships with like-minded organizations and institutions for combined action and participation.

Inspire

Grow your passion.
Encourage and instill confidence in individuals to enjoy life through making and creating

Contact

Mailing Address
International Market Square 275 Market Street, Suite C-21
Minneapolis, MN 55405 USA [email protected] 

Executive Committee

Heather Brooks
Heather Brooks
President

For as long as she can remember Heather has been a lover of color and pattern and a skilled problem solver. Design brought these two passions together and there has been no looking back.

 Currently in-house at a local nonprofit, Opportunity Partners, Heather spends her days designing print and digital materials to support the mission of advancing the quality of life for adults with disabilities.

Heather holds a BFA in graphic design from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire where she was encouraged to join AIGA as a student. 

In her free time, Heather is out enjoying all the wonderful places in the Twin Cities with her partner, family, friends and dogs, Paisley and Guthrie.

Carla Januska
Carla Januska
Vice President

Carla Januska is the founder of Smart Hive, a data visualization focused creative consultancy. Carla is a firm believer in using consistent, creative visualization to drive branding and marketing through story-led differentiation. She uses data-driven storytelling to create unique, ownable experiences across multiple platforms.

Open
Position
Position Open
Treasurer

The Treasurer oversees the overall financial health of the Chapter and act as advisor to and liaison between Chapter board and Chapter financial resources and systems. Advise board in financial matters to ensure that Chapter programs and activities are fiscally viable; establish long-term financial goals for the Chapter; and ensure alignment of local financial goals with national AIGA initiatives as well as local Chapter purpose statement.

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Open
Position
Position Open
Secretary

Directors

Ted Kusio
Ted Kusio
Director of Alliances

A relative newbie to MN (almost four years!), Ted Kusio is, or has been, a Creative Director, Interactive Designer/Developer, Mechanical/Aerospace Engineer, TV Critic and Professor. He designed a record-breaking presentation for Vogue magazine; animated effective online ads for The New York Times paywall; directed a Flash agency’s creative and technical evolution to HTML; and made web sites, web apps, presentations, online ads, videos, motion graphics and other digital content for other big names you’ve heard of (DDB, Macy’s, The Discovery Channel, Estée Lauder) and some you haven’t.

At AIGA MN he’s been a member of the Diversity and Inclusion and Design Camp committees, helps his wife run The Redeeming Time Project, draws impossible people, and explores the many flavors of creativity available in the Twin Cities.

Open
Position
Position Open
Director of Career Practice

The Director of Career Practice oversees Chapter programming efforts and initiatives that serve the Career Practice needs of membership segments in terms of their Career Stages (e.g. emerging, expert) and Career Specialties (e.g. in-house, solopreneur, UX/Digital). The Director will ensure that programs and initiatives generated for the benefit of these segments are developed in the Chapter’s best interests, are open to all members, are sustainably produced and within budget. Further, the Director will ensure that programs align with Chapter objectives by offering benefits including inspirational, educational, and networking opportunities to the membership.

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Grant Hasbrouck
Director of Communications

Graphic Designer, Communications Specialist, Photographer, Environmentalist.
Grant has been a member of AIGA since 2012 when the Student Design Organization of University of Minnesota Duluth was visited by AIGA members Chank Diesel and Ken Friberg.
He graduated from UMD with a BFA in Graphic Design in 2013, but has been designing graphics professionally since 2012 with a strong focus on brand-systems, and began his communications career with the MN DFL party in 2016.
He has worked for a variety of clients and employers, but his favorites are always causes and non-profits with goals and beliefs that resonate with his-own: Clean Energy, Environmentalism, Human Rights, and Social Justice.

Open
Position
Position Open
Director of Design Impact

The Director of Design Impact oversees Chapter programming, initiatives, and operations that serve to demonstrate, protect, or increase the impact of design as a professional craft, strategic tool, and vital cultural force.

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development
development
Director of Development

Julia Hunter Rancone is a Managing Partner and VP of Creative Strategy for Ultra Creative, an independent creative agency in Minneapolis. She has been in the strategic design services industry for over twelve years, positioning brands of all sizes and ages and advocating the importance of design to achieve brand and business objectives.

She holds a B.A. from Whitman College in Art History and Visual Culture Studies and a Masters in Strategic Communication from the University of Minnesota. As Director of Development for AIGA MN, she aims to establish the strategic framework for chapter development goals and opportunities, working with the board and members to create connections with the broader community to enrich the AIGA MN experience.

Precious Wallace & Michael Sasorith
Precious Wallace & Michael Sasorith
Co-Directors of Diversity and Inclusion

Precious N. Wallace is the owner and creative of King P. Studio and Art In Many Forms. She is a true creative both from childhood and being professionally trained. Precious is on a mission to give a voice to women of color creatives and those alike, while providing knowledge to those are creating more thought leadership around art.

Michael Sasorith is the Lead Designer at ArcStone, a digital agency in Minneapolis. He is also a Board Member for The SEAD Project, a nonprofit organization based in Minnesota that focuses on helping members of the Southeast Asian community connect with their heritage and amplify their narratives to thrive, mobilize, and heal. He graduated with his BFA in Graphic Designer from the University of Minnesota — Twin Cities. His professional focus is on web, UI, and UX. His skills extend to a variety of design disciplines — including print, brand and identity, and type design. He is also an illustrator who strives to make Lao/Lao-American culture more visible and amplify narratives from the Southeast Asian community. His passions include racial equity, culture, and identity.

Bert Lee
Bert Lee
Director of Education

Bert Lee is a speaker, dancer and digital magician. He specializes in public speaking and is a member of Toastmasters club competing in speech competitions and hosting his own workshops teaching the art of effective communication, listening and building confidence on stage with an understanding of body language. With Bert being an active dancer, he oversees a community group called Hmong Breakers Leadership Council organizing local charity events and dance competitions in support of his local dancers and artists. Bert enjoys designing marketing collaterals and visuals to craft compelling brand stories for small businesses.

Michelle Schulp
Michelle Schulp
Director of Technology

Michelle is an independent graphic designer and frontend developer in Minneapolis. Prior to beginning her career, she studied Visual Communications, with minors in Psychology and Sociology. As her work progressed, she also branched into front-end development and user experience design to round our her skillset. This combination of disciplines led her to adopt a strategy-based approach to design, focused on solving tangible problems and achieving real goals based on how people think.

She loves the open source community, and when she is not working on projects she speaks/volunteers/organizes at events and workshops around the country. Her passions are communication and empowerment, and she believes in the power of "Why?"

Ashley Green
Ashley Green
Director of Membership

Ashley is the senior web designer at Gradient Positioning, and has been an active AIGA member since 2011.

Earning her B.A. in Graphic Design and graduating with honors from AIPX (Phoenix, AZ) in 2014, she’s demonstrated success in leadership from her nomination and induction into Alpha Beta Kappa in 2012, to her collaboration as a Co-chair for AIGA MN’s Portfolio 1-on-1 in 2018.

With a special interest in diversity and inclusion, she has a passion for bridging together all facets of the creative industry. Ashley has a strong belief in people-motivating people to make great things happen and she works diligently to promote improvement through change.

In her down time, she can be found backpacking through a Minnesota State Park, running on one of the Minneapolis regional trails, or ‘nerding-out’ over an episode of The X-Files.

Associate Directors

Emily Weigel
Associate Director, Archives

Emily is a (book) designer living and working in Minnesota. She previously worked at Faceout Studio in Bend, Oregon as a book designer with many large publishing houses as well as small university presses and self-publishing authors. Emily discovered her love for book design while studying at the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul which, sadly, is no longer open.

Prior to her (working) adventure in Oregon, Emily served as AIGA Minnesota's Associate Director of Archives as well as co-chaired Portfolio 1-on-1 for two years.

Abby Wichman
Associate Director, Social Media Engagement

Lydia Kalpin
Lydia Kalpin
Associate Director, Content Management

Alex Esse
Associate Director, Student Affairs

Jenni Lathrop
Jenni Lathrop
Associate Director, Registration

With over 18 years as a graphic designer, brand manager and marketing team member, Jenni Lathrop has a wide range of graphic design experience ranging from print to digital. Her work includes websites, logos, event collateral, advertising and publications. She also has a background in writing and editing.

Jenni is currently an independent, Twin Cities-based graphic designer working collaboratively with nonprofits, small businesses and individuals. A member of the AIGA since 2014, Jenni has worked with the In House Designers and Solopreneurs Committees and served as AD of Registration since 2016.

When she’s not enjoying time with her family, she spends time consuming too much pop culture, reading and knitting. Lots and lots of knitting.

Past Presidents

  • 2016-2019: Katrin Loss, President 1
  • 2014-2016: Jenny Price, President
  • 2012-2014: Jenny Schmitz-Hinshaw, President
  • 2010-2012: Seth Johnson, President
  • 2008-2010: Christina Jackson, President
  • 2006-2008: Jim Madson, President
  • 2004-2006: Amy Anderson, President
  • 2002-2004: Scott Geiger, President
  • 2000-2002: Joelle Sather (née Anderlik), President
  • 1998-2000: Doug Powell, President; AIGA Minnesota Fellow (2014)
  • 1996-1998: Dan Woychick, President
  • 1994-1996: Grant Pound, President
  • 1992-1994: John DuFresne, President; AIGA Minnesota Fellow (2012) 2
  • 1990-1991: Paul Wharton, President
  • 1988-1989: Jo Davison (née Strand), President; AIGA Minnesota Fellow (2014)
  • 1986-1987: Carol Capistrant, President 3
  • 1985-1986: Mark Odegard, President, MGDA
  • 1984-1985: Bruce Rubin, President, MGDA
  • 1983-1984:  Heather Olson (née Soladay), President, 
MGDA; AIGA Minnesota Fellow (2012) 4
  • 1982-1983: Robert “Bob” Fleming, President, MGDA
  • 1981-1982: Dale Johnston, President, MGDA
  • 1980-1981: Timothy “Tim” Larsen, President, MGDA; AIGA Minnesota Fellow (2007)
  • 1979-1980: Patrick Redmond, Chairman > President, MGDA 5
  • 1978-1979: Peter Seitz, Chairman, MGDA; AIGA Minnesota [first] Fellow (2000)
  • 1977-1978: James “Jim” Johnson, Chairman, MGDA
  • 1976-1977: Timothy “Tim” Larsen, Founding Chairman, MGDA; AIGA Minnesota Fellow (2007)

Notes: 1. Three-year term 2. 1992-1994 First time AIGA Minnesota President is two-year term 3. MGDA becomes AIGA Minnesota (AIGA Minnesota Chapter) in 1986 4. First female president 5. Although elected with the title “Chairman”, title was changed from “Chairman” to “President.”

Contact Leadership

Heather Brooks
Heather Brooks
President
For as long as she can remember Heather has been a lover of color and pattern and a skilled problem solver. Design brought these two passions together and there has been no looking back.

 Currently in-house at a local nonprofit, Opportunity Partners, Heather spends her days designing print and digital materials to support the mission of advancing the quality of life for adults with disabilities.

Heather holds a BFA in graphic design from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire where she was encouraged to join AIGA as a student. 

In her free time, Heather is out enjoying all the wonderful places in the Twin Cities with her partner, family, friends and dogs, Paisley and Guthrie.