2018 Emerging Professionals Workshop

Emerging Professionals
February 10 @ Central Connecticut State University

Calling all students! Emerging Professionals comes to Central Connecticut State University February 10 for a day of portfolio reviews, networking, discussion, free food, and more!

Panel Discussions

We're starting off the day this year with two engaging panel discussions–one comprised of industry-fresh recent graduates, and one of seasoned professionals. Whether you're seeking fresh and newfound insight or a deeper knowledge and wisdom, we've got you covered! All panelists will also be hosting roundtable lunches.

Roundtable Lunches

Wish you could pick a pro's brain? Our roundtable lunches allow you the opportunity to connect on a deeper level with our facilitators and explore a design topic that's important to you! Roundtables will fill up quickly and are on a first-come basis. Registration for roundtables will be available at check in.

Portfolio Reviews

After lunch, we'll sit you down one-on-one with several experienced creatives who are eager to help you hone your design craft and professional presentation skills. Come prepared with your work in print, or on your laptop or tablet (guidelines here). Student attendees have been hired by reviewers in the past, so bring your best self!

NOTE: We're at capacity for portfolio reviews. Didn't sign up in time? Do it ASAP and come prepared; in the event of no-shows, open spots go to attendees in order of registration.


We're ending the day with a social! Talk with the professionals you've met throughout the day, and form new connections with other design students from around the state.

Tentative Schedule

9AM–9:30AM Check-in and Breakfast
9:30AM–10AM Welcome
10AM–12PM Panel Presentations
12PM–12:45PM Roundtable Lunches
12:45PM–3PM Portfolio Reviews and Presentation by Randy Herbertson
3PM–4PM Social

Young Professional Panelists

Edyta Jezewska

Edyta Jezewska: 2018 Emerging Professionals Young Professional Panelist and Roundtable Host

Edyta Jezewska is a design professional with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Graphic/Information Design and a minor in Business with a concentration in Marketing from Central Connecticut State University. Edyta is an experienced Graphic Designer with a demonstrated history of working in the marketing and advertising industry. Her skills in website design, photo editing, photography, and print design have established her as a multi-media designer capable of bringing any project to life.

Currently, Edyta is a Graphic Designer at Image Marketing Consultants, an advertising, public relations, and design agency based in Southington, Connecticut. At Image Marketing Consultants, Edyta works with a variety of both local and national clients, such as Tomz Corporation, Centennial and Kringle Candle. Projects that Edyta has had the pleasure of working on with her team are; website design & development, campaign identity, logos & branding, product line design, and even assisting in the art direction of a Holiday campaign photoshoot. Her designs have been displayed in locations across the country, ranging from a billboard near the Connecticut shoreline to in-center signage at a mall in southern California.

Danerick Peralta

Danerick Peralta: 2018 Emerging Professionals Young Professional Panelist and Roundtable Host

A practicing art director and designer, Danerick is always seeking new problems to solve.

Burdened with a desire to travel, Danerick’s exposure to design is often found through the world itself.

Paired with countless sleepless nights, and a never-ending relationship with caffeine, Danerick has been able to work with a variety of clients. From social media design with Nike, artist development at Universal Music Group, to explaining how a Jet Engine works with Pratt & Whitney.

Sounds weird, huh?

Ashkan Salehi

Ashkan Salehi: 2018 

<p>Emerging Professionals Young Professional Panelist and Roundtable Host

In 2017 Ashkan joined the design team at Jack Morton, a global branding agency. With a diverse background in fine arts, graphic design and motion graphics, Ashkan is excited to develop his career as part of the Jack Morton team and gain valuable insight into many different areas of expertise. Notable work that Ashkan has recently completed at Jack Morton includes brand campaigns for Subway, animated web icons and an infographic for Eaton.

Prior to working at Jack Morton, Ashkan graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Visual Communication Design from the Hartford Art School (University of Hartford) in 2016. From there, he went on to work as a designer for LEGO in Enfield, CT, where he helped develop unique brand activations and marketing campaigns for the LEGO Ninjago Movie products and LEGO Batman Movie products for stores across North America and Europe.

Iris Tao

Iris Tao: 2018 Emerging Professionals Young Professional Panelist and Roundtable Host

Iris Tao is currently a designer at Taylor Design in Stamford, CT. Iris started as an intern in 2016, and graduated from the Hartford Art School in 2017. Several of her clients from Taylor include Columbia Business School, Landmark Ventures, and the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC).

Seasoned Professional Panelists

Don Carter

Don Carter: 2018 Emerging Professionals Seasoned Professional Panelist and Roundtable Host

Don Carter is a creative director, designer and illustrator. A graduate of Paier College of Art in Hamden, Don has over thirty years of experience designing and art directing for Connecticut ad agencies. For the past sixteen years, he has been a creative director with Adams & Knight in Avon.

Don has made more than a few trips up to the stage to accept awards for art direction, design and copywriting from organizations such as Boston’s Hatch awards, New York’s ADC, The One Show, Clio Awards, The Effie’s, Ad Club of CT and CADC.

The illustrator of seven picture books for children, he has also created two Disney animated short-form series, Happy Monster Band and Dance-A-Lot-Robot.

Amy Graver

Amy Graver: 2018 Emerging Professionals Seasoned Professional Panelist and Roundtable Host

Amy is the Principal & Creative Director of Elements®, overseeing all projects that come through the studio. She works closely with clients to identify their marketing and design needs and develop effective strategies with her team to meet and exceed their goals.Her design work has been recognized and awarded internationally by leading industry publications such as Print, Package Design Magazine, Communication Arts, HOW Magazine and more. A fierce proponent of design, Amy is a co-founder and past vice president of the AIGA Connecticut Chapter and past president and board member of the Connecticut Art Directors Club. In 2012, her book Best Practices for Graphic Designers, Grids & Page Layouts was published by Rockport Publishers.

Nick Healy

Nick Healy: 2018 Emerging Professionals Seasoned Professional Panelist and Roundtable Host

Nick Healy is a Creative Director at Mascola Group in New Haven, CT.  Mascola specializes in creating strategic marketing for lifestyle brands from the local to the international markets.  Working on all print, video, and interactive campaigns for the company Nick has over 14 years experience building destination brands that move people. Nick is also currently an adjunct professor of graphic design at the University of New Haven and the Shintaro Akatsu School of Design at University of Bridgeport.

Greg Stewart

Greg Stewart: 2018 Emerging Professionals Seasoned Professional Panelist and Roundtable Host

Greg is the founder and executive creative director of Ingenuity Design, a branding and communication agency in Norwalk, CT. Greg built his career in design, retail promotions, branding, employee communications and digital with clients that include eBay, PayPal, Facebook, Visa, Pepperidge Farm, TD Bank, Gap, Columbia University and Yale Cancer Center.

Greg founded Ingenuity Design to simply create excellent design, while treating every project as an opportunity to win the hearts and minds of the client and the consumer. That commitment pays off even today, because excellent work is great for everyone.

Additional Roundtable Host

Becca Bliss

Becca Bliss: 2018 Emerging Professionals Roundtable Host

Becca is an internationally featured photographer, who photographs weddings and boudoir in CT and worldwide. She got her start in graphic design, and worked on an award winning design team before starting her own business focusing on photography. Travel has always been one of her biggest passions, and she began her business when her full time job wasn’t giving her the flexibility she wanted long term.

Becca is inspired by travel, black and white photography, and fashion. She has spent time abroad in Paris, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands, and spends her free time reading epic novels and painting board game figurines.

Bob Handelman

Bob Handelman: 2018 Emerging Professionals Roundtable Host

For 25 years Bob’s lifestyle and portrait assignments have taken him around the world on behalf of advertising, design, corporate, and education clients. His award-winning imagery is recognized for it’s contemporary yet classic, graphic compositions evoking Americana with a feeling of energy, intimacy, with a timeless quality.

Bob photographs interesting PEOPLE, in interesting PLACES, doing interesting THINGS; or at least makes them look that way. He affectionately refers to his brand of photography as Planned Spontaneity.

He started out as an advertising account guy at DDB Needham in Chicago then dove into commercial photography. Bob operated a studio in NYC for many years and is now based in Guilford, CT. He has served on both the NY and CT boards of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP).

Noemi Kearns

Noemi Kearns: 2018 Emerging Professionals Roundtable Host

Noemi is the Principal and Creative Director of Ink & Pixel Agency, formerly How2Design. Her love of high quality, creative problem solving has built her a loyal clientele of businesses of all sizes, who bring with them jobs of all scopes. Noemi's love of learning and 30 years' experience has enabled her to rise to any challenge, and to continue to expand the agency's capabilities. The simple question of "What do you do?" has evolved into the answer of "We do it all."

Based in the beautiful shoreline town of Guilford, CT, she’s worked with clients that include Fortune 10 companies and produced work in 11 languages. Her client portfolio represents a diverse range of industries, including pharmaceuticals and healthcare, finance, academia, insurance, consumer products, food and beverage, and retail.

Kirsten Modestow

Kirsten Modestow: 2018 Emerging Professionals Roundtable Host

Named as one of Graphic Design USA’s "People To Watch," Kirsten Modestow is the Founder and Executive Creative Director at BRIGADE. Over the last 12 years, she has built an exceptional branding and design studio that’s garnered National attention while creating award-winning work for a notable roster of local and global clients. Under her leadership, in the few years, BRIGADE has won over 60 awards for their creative work on clients that include SVEDKA Vodka, Black Box Wines, Wyndham Hotels, and Weleda skincare. BRIGADE was also recognized among the Top 50 Places to Work by AdAge magazine in 2017.

Roundtable Host and Presenter

Randy Herbertson

Randy Herbertson: 2018 Emerging Professionals Roundtable Host and Presenter

Randy is a recognized brand strategist and creative director with over 25 years of marketing and innovation experience. He has played a key role in a number of product innovations and corporate transformations and has worked with a diverse range of companies and industries that include retail, finance, professional services, technology, entertainment, pharmaceutical, automotive, and consumer-packaged goods. He has spoken on numerous industry panels, and is a corporate mentor to a number of emerging companies and young professionals. After founding and selling a similar studio in NYC, Randy currently owns The Visual Brand (TVB), a thriving brand innovation studio based in a converted post office in Westport, CT. Randy is involved with the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship and lectures regularly across metro NY, and is a board member for AIGA CT, The Westport Library, and The Westport Downtown Merchants Association.

When & Where
Tue, Nov 30, -0001