The Road Ahead for 2012-2013: Even Kitties Can’t Break Our Focus

On July 14, 2012, members of the AIGA Board of Directors met at a gracious home in Suffolk to conduct the serious business of setting the association’s goals and planning events for the upcoming year. We were, however, under constant attack from fuzzy felines the entire time. Undaunted, we ignored their antics and set about making lists, taping paper to the walls, breaking out into discussion groups, and typing furiously on our laptops—except when someone gave the chirping kitten (known as Little Bird) an ice cube to play with; all productivity then ceased for a few seconds.

Fear not, AIGA Hampton Roads members! We survived this onslaught of cuteness and put together a great plan. Our focus for 2012–2013 will be on quality over quantity, so that instead of spreading time and resources too thin, we will concentrate our efforts into bigger, more inspiring events and initiatives. Your leaders analyzed and discussed the Annual Programming Survey results (thank you again to those who provided such valuable feedback) and made decisions based on your wants and needs. We hope that when the 2013 calendar is revealed that you will recognize the impact your voice has had!

One of the many steps in our planning process is to define strategic goals for the chapter; we then refer back to these when programming suggestions are made to ensure that we stay on track. We acknowledge our weaknesses and identify our strengths, which lead to a solid set of goals we know we can deliver on.

In 2012–2013, AIGA Hampton Roads will:

1. FOCUS OUR ENERGY ON STRENGTHENING THE BOARD THROUGH BETTER ORGANIZATION & STRUCTURE.

It’s no secret that there has been a bit of turnover in Board positions this past year. Sometimes life gets in the way of living, and volunteering isn’t always an option that everyone can handle. We’ve brought together a fantastic bunch of professionals now, and if we’re handed lemons in the future, we’ll just turn them into orange juice and leave everyone guessing how in the world we did it.

That being said, even the most awesome people need support systems, and we have vowed to make serving on the Board as painless and pleasant an experience as possible, through better documentation, clearer rules of order, and more realistic expectations. (It’s never been a better time to get involved!)

2. SECURE SUFFICIENT FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR THE CHAPTER SO THAT WE MAY PROVIDE BETTER QUALITY EVENTS & SERVICES TO THE MEMBERS AND THE COMMUNITY.

Operating an association and putting on events does, in fact, require funding. Putting together huge events (like SHRED) or bringing in fantastic speakers (like Paula Scher) takes major funding, but those are the kinds of things we’d like to do more of. We will be reaching out to more people this year to help us make our dreams come true. As members, we want to see more local students and professionals join up. And of course, we adore our sponsors and vendor partners! We want to grow this family and put Hampton Roads on the map—which leads to the next goal…

3. CONNECT & ENGAGE WITH OUR LOCAL COMMUNITY TO DEMONSTRATE THE VALUE OF MEMBERSHIP.

When you tell someone you are a member of AIGA, what kind of response do you get? There is plenty of work to be done to increase our recognition in the local design community, and even more to be done to raise awareness of professional design as a force for change in the community at large. Membership in AIGA should be a top priority for every designer and artist who is serious about their craft, and we aim to make it so.

Through networking and educational events, we hope to show that we provide a valuable service to our members, offering them opportunities for growth and advancement that they otherwise may not have access to. It’s important to us as members of the Board, so we know it’s important to you, too.

4. ENCOURAGE & BUILD A STRONG VOLUNTEER COMMUNITY.

When you give back to your community, you make things better for yourself. Each one of us on the AIGA HR Board has seen our efforts reflected back in lots of ways, and it’s an experience that’s easy to get addicted to. When people you’ve never met come up to you after an event to thank you or to share how inspired they are by it, you feel amazing. When you see something you’ve worked on come to life and succeed, you feel proud and useful. Or, maybe you’re just a design groupie and you want more chances to hang out with rock star designers. Whatever your motivations are for getting involved, there are all sorts of tasks—large, small and in-between—that we could use a helping hand with. The more members get involved, the better AIGA HR will become.

At the end of our session, even though the to-do lists seemed a mile long, each of us left with high hopes and a stomach full of butterflies. We just laid out an exciting year for you, AIGA HR—even the cats approved.

By Kim Breeding
Published July 26, 2012