Cha at FWD: The AIGA Leadership Retreat
Written by
June 13, 2013

Board Directors, Fernando Martinez, a.k.a. Nano & DJ Trischler, recently represented AIGA Chattanooga at Forward: The 2013 AIGA National Leadership Retreat. Fernando & DJ congregated with board representatives from all over the nation in Philadelphia for the three day conference. Literally, hundreds of design leaders gathered to share war stories, kindle new friendships, and fuel the inspiration needed for the work ahead of them and their chapters.

Much was gained and learned at the conference from what other chapters are doing, and about what the organization is doing at the national level for AIGA’s centennial anniversary coming up in 2014.

Over the next few weeks AIGA Chattanooga will post blog entries with notes, stories, and more lessons learned from the 3-day long leadership retreat. Come back and read all about what we learned about in-house programming, developing mentoring opportunities, and what the future holds for design, designers, and AIGA. We invite you to post and share your comments, questions and ideas for how we can put some of the cool stuff other chapters are doing into action for our chapter and design community. To give you a taste of the experience  we’ve curated some photos from the retreat below.




Nano & DJ depart from Cha at 5:30am on Thursday, May 30th. 



AIGA100_Forward_img7905General session presentation by Ric Grefe, on the future of AIGA as the organization moves into its second century.


What AIGA does.


Looking forward.


DJ, Denise Wood (AIGA chief operating officer), George Fernandez (AIGA membership director) discuss ideas for membership. 


Doug Powell opens the annual membership meeting to ratify several actions by the national board.


We got to consider, comment and vote on the selling of the AIGA building in New York.  All in favor say “aye”!


Presentation by Michael Lejeune, Josh Silverman and Ann Willoughby for AIGA 100.


AIGA Atlanta, Birmingham, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis, and Nashville discuss ways to partner over lunch at a Khyber Pass Pub. Talk of a regional retreat kept coming up.  It was funny that so many of us got barbeque and other rather Southern dishes.


Saturday morning general session presentation by AIGA Chicago and some of the reasons participants joined their mentorship program.


Nano works with Sara Frisk and George Aye of AIGA Chicago. National asked the chapters to brainstorm ways to increase membership between now and 2020.


DJ and Nano with AIGA Pittsburgher’s Neha Agarwal and Jacob Metzger. DJ was excited since he’s originally from Pittsburgh.


Made good friends with the Raleigh crew!


And connected with AIGA Chicago.


The final night of the retreat lead us to the after-after party at Fire & Ice, where a full band played us some dance music.  Yes, that’s a keytar.  We dubbed it the lightsaber.


DJ and Nano chum up to next year’s leadership retreat chapter host member, Cat Fincun of AIGA Colorado.


Ric Grefe’s talks about AIGA’s continued commitment.  Which of these fires you up?


Just a few ideas from a brain dump after arriving back in Cha.


“The future is in your hands” ~ Ric


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