Keisha Croxton
Keisha is a web designer and frontend developer at Finalsite in Glastonbury, and a graduate of Central Connecticut State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic/Information Design. At the suggestion of her college professor, Kinga Wlodarska, she became a member of AIGA, and, after graduating in 2014, joined the board as a communications chair before moving into the role of Vice President of Membership & Inclusion. In this role, Keisha helped foster student groups, created the first membership survey for the Connecticut Chapter, and organized the return of the student scholarship in 2018. Her passion for the design profession has lead her to this point. Keisha is excited to help AIGA Connecticut grow as a thought leader in the Connecticut design community. On a personal level, Keisha loves interesting fashion, traveling to new places with great art museums, and killer makeup & nail art.
Anna Gallo
Vice President, Communications
Anna is furmom and cupcake enthusiast. Born and raised in Connecticut, she studied English and Studio Art at Georgetown University before earning her MS in Interactive Media from Quinnipiac University. Prior to her current role as a web designer, Anna taught creative writing and media arts at the high school level. When given the chance, Anna will tag you on Instagram and talk your ear off about craft beer.
Monique Duquette
Vice President, Programming
Once called "tireless" by Joe Torre, Monique is an award-winning creative with over 10 years experience and a passion for in-house design. Working for numerous consumer-facing and business-to-business brands, she is currently a Senior Graphic Designer at Health New England in Springfield, MA. Her skill set includes design, photography, art direction, and creative leadership. Monique has an affinity for her family, Las Vegas, giving back to the design community, and all things pop culture. Prior to her position at Health New England, Monique worked at TicketNetwork, Winstanley Associates, and Bidwell ID. She holds a BFA in both Graphic Design and Photography from UMass Dartmouth.
Shayla Fender
Vice President, Membership & Inclusion
Fostering a community through creativity and education has always been a calling for Shayla. She earned her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Williams College. Since then, she has worked with various non-profit and government entities to expand and improve their education and community service programming. She has a deep love of design and believes in its power to bridge connections and bring equity to any community space. In her spare time she can be found exploring art galleries around New England with her husband, Vaughn.
Andy Wollner
Director, Education
Andy Wollner is an associate professor of Visual Communication Design at the Hartford Art School. Andy brings a wide range of knowledge to the VCD program, from his roots as a fine art painter, (represented by Conner Contemporary Art, now Conner Smith, in Washington, D.C.), industry experience as a print and web designer, to current research in digital UI/UX design for web and mobile applications. He entered the graphic design industry in 2001 working at start-ups in Boston, MA and eventually started a small studio, Wollner Design. As a freelancer/educator, Andy has gained recognition with awards from AIGA, CASE, and CADC. His clients have ranged from M.I.T, Northwestern University, Suffolk University, to the American School for the Deaf. He is currently working on rebranding the Armenian Museum of America in Watertown, MA and designing a full suite of large-scale environmental pieces for the museum.
Randy Herbertson
Director, Mentorship
Randy is a recognized brand strategist and creative director with over 25 years in marketing and innovation. In roles within the client, agency, media and digital realms, he has worked with a diverse range of companies and industries. As an accomplished creative director and strategist he has played a key role in a number of product innovations and corporate transformations. He has also served as a corporate facilitator and consumer insight specialist. Past employers include E&J Gallo, Allied Domecq, Conde Nast, WPP and Omnicom agency networks, as well as his own brand studio, TVB. He has spoken on numerous industry panels, and sits on a variety of non-profit boards. With a passion for emerging talent development, Randy is a corporate mentor to emerging companies and young professionals, and lectures at a variety of prep and collegiate institutions.
Dan Taylor
Chair, Fairfield County Outreach
Dan Taylor started Taylor Design in 1992 and has built it into a mid-sized studio that serves businesses, colleges, healthcare institutions, tech startups, and non-profits. His firm develops identity programs, websites, packaging, publications, and marketing campaigns and their work has earned awards from Communication Arts, Graphis, Print Regional Design Annual, How Magazine, LogoLounge, CADC, Hatch, and others. From 1985 to 1992 Dan was the Senior Creative Director at William Snyder Design, Inc. in New York City. He was responsible for developing marketing and advertising materials for AT&T, Merrill Lynch, ABC Television, TNT, and MTV Networks. Prior to that he worked as a designer at Pushpin, Lubalin, Peckolick, NYC; Beau Gardner Associates, NYC; and Steve Burnett, Inc., NYC. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Denise Laborde
Chair, Communications
Denise is the Creative Director of Friendly Fire Paper, a letterpress stationery brand she co-founded in 2016. Prior to that she worked freelance in Washington, DC. She became a volunteer at AIGA DC and discovered that engaging with the local design community is a source of inspiration. Before moving to DC in 2011, she worked in France as a contributor to French memory keeping magazines and served on the design teams of notable memory keeping brands. She also worked as an art director in Miami, Florida, her hometown, and won an Addy for her work on the campaign promoting the re-design of The Miami Herald. Denise holds a BFA in Graphic Design from Metropolitan State University of Denver and is apt to making things with her hands. She hopes to help bring Connecticut creatives together.
Guy-Serge Emmanuel
Chair, Education
Born in Ottawa, Canada, he lived in Montreal, Quebec during his youth and for 25 years made Brooklyn, NY his home. He holds a BA in photography from Brooklyn College, NY and an MFA in communication design from New Jersey City University, NJ. His design focus in on communication design for social change, he truly believes design has the power to create a positive change. He has been teaching digital design at the college level since 2001; as an adjunct assistant professor at Pratt Institute for 7 years, as well as at F.I.T, NYU, and Bloomfield College. In 2015, he was a visiting assistant professor in graphic design at Oakland University in Rochester, MI. Since Fall 2016 he has been an assistant professor and the graphic design program coordinator at the University of New Haven, CT. Guy-Serge now lives in New Haven, CT.
Vaughn Fender
Chair, Membership & Inclusion
Vaughn has a passion for connecting the dots and bringing people together to share knowledge and experience. Born in Kingston, Jamaica he is inspired by vibrant colors, bustling streets and music with good vibes. Working primarily in the areas of Design and Illustration, he divides his time between drawing, hand-drawn letters, humor, booming colors and going on adventures with his wife Shayla. Formally of local firms, Fathom and Taylor Design, he has had the pleasure of collaborating with clients such as American Express, Sarah Lawrence College, Pottery Barn, MailChimp, The University of Connecticut, Vox Media and MasterCard. He currently works as an Art Director at Prudential, but takes on select freelance projects that stretch his creativity.
Sara Haney
Chair, Design for Good
Sara Haney works as a Graphic Designer at Prosek Partners where she specializes in branding, web and print design for financial and B2B companies. Previously, she worked as an in-house Graphic Designer for William Raveis Real Estate, where she gained marketing and social media experience in the property development sector. She loves to explore new design trends and learn about new software. Sara is a 2015 graduate of the University of New Haven, where she received her BFA in Graphic Design. She joined AIGA to use her creativity to make a social impact as well as give back to her local community. When Sara is not designing, you can find her eating tacos, scouting new hiking spots or watching The Office.
Nancy Ruzow
Chair, Design for Democracy
Nancy believes design can change the world. Graduating from design school in 1979, Nancy worked here and there until 1985, when she formed Ruzow Graphics Inc., which she built into an expandable studio that's won over 70 national and a few local creative awards. Ruzow Graphics works on branding, logos, annual, financial, and special report, ads, and websites. Nancy also designs for good in the local community, having donated or discounted her services for A Better Chance of Westport, Builders Beyond Borders, Embrace Hope Sandy Hook, Gen Equality NYC, Groton Alliance for Substance Abuse, Near and Far Aid, Pink Aid, Play With Your Food, Project Return, RYASAP | Regional Youth Adult Social Action Partnership, Staples Tuition Grants, and The Westport Library. Nancy is owner and chief moderator of Creatives’ Roundtable (CR), an accountability group that helps creatives grow and fine-tune their businesses, as well as hosts business speakers once a month to benefit the CR membership. Additionally, Nancy sits on the board of Fly Female Founders in NYC (formerly Grind Female Founders), and she doodles in her spare time.
Jacina Serbalik
Chair, Programming & Events
Hailing from Saratoga Springs, NY, Jacina is a free-spirited, fun-loving designer with a passion for bringing brands to life through creative, memorable experiences. She received her BFA in Graphic Design from The College of St. Rose. In 2014, Jacina moved to Stamford and became a designer at Advantage, a sponsorship and brand experience agency. She instantly fell in love with experiential marketing and the ability to make personal connections between brands and consumers. Currently the Associate Creative Director, she has designed innovative campaigns, activations, and events for the likes of Microsoft, LG, NYX Cosmetics and Papa Johns. She loves the challenge of dreaming up big ideas rooted in strategic insights and crafting them to existence. When not designing, Jacina loves practicing yoga, attending concerts, and exploring all CT has to offer by hiking and brewery hopping. She is excited to bring her event expertise to AIGA and loves being a part of the creative community.
Ryan Thorp
Chair, In-House
Ryan is an in-house Graphic Designer within the Central Marketing department at Legrand, North & Central America, located in West Hartford, CT. A double-alumnus from Central Connecticut State University, he received a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic/Information Design, as well as a Master of Arts in Information Design. In his current role as an in-house designer, Ryan reports directly to the Creative Director and produces on-brand material while also communicating out new templates and guidelines to the other designers within the company across North and Central America. A Connecticut native, he is a proud “nutmegger” and enjoys visiting different cities and towns across the state, seeking out museums, breweries, art galleries, and music venues.
Manny Vargas
Chair, Pre-College
Manny is a Designer and Photographer from West Hartford Connecticut. His life has always revolved around creative thinking. It’s not a job but a passion that you grow with every day. Photography is also one of his favorite passions. Even though it is just a hobby, the ability to treat and art direct images has been fundamental to his skills as a Designer. His interests in many different fields has helped me to stay curious. These attributes have been essential in his career throughout the years. He's been fortunate to work with talented creatives that have helped me with my journey on becoming a better designer and leader.