Monday, June 7, 2010

Recap: AIGA Leadership Retreat 2010

A few hours ago I got back from the 2010 AIGA Leadership Retreat in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It was such a blast and very motivational!

The annual AIGA Leadership Retreat is an invitation-only event for chapter board members to gather together, share successes of the past year and plan for the future. The event offers an opportunity to hear about what’s happening nationally as well as what other chapters are doing. Delegates from AIGA’s 65 chapters assemble to build leadership skills and community.

The three-day leadership retreat for AIGA board members has a different theme each year. In 2010, we ENGAGE.

In the beginning it was a little rough for the six AIGA DC board members who went went to the retreat, as we had our AIGA 50 reception the night before and many of us packed our clothes after the reception and then left for Dulles airport where we were all to meet at 4:30 AM. I got about 45 minutes of sleep. Now we all know I am used to not sleeping, but 45 minutes is hardly even a nap. Either way, we still managed to party like rock stars.

The small group discussions I attended were: Utilizing Social Media (Kevin Berger, AIGA Seattle; Dawn Zidonis, AIGA Cleveland), Creating Digital Content (Roy Levitt, AIGA Metro North; Doug Grimmett, AIGA Atlanta), and Communications Strategy (Jane Naillon, AIGA Idaho; Matt Muñoz, AIGA Raleigh; Alison Davis, AIGA Nashville; Charles Carpenter, AIGA Colorado).

I also signed up for the Friday lunch Social Programming (with Wes McWhorter, AIGA New Orleans) and the Saturday lunch Gain Presentation Follow-Up (with Kenna Kay - unfortunately Stanley Hainsworth was not able to make the lunch).

What I liked about the retreat was the experience of meeting people from all over the United States who are passionate about what they do. I truly enjoyed learning about what the other chapters were up to and meeting people. I talked so much I even lost my voice. Many of the people there were super smart design leaders who have so much to offer. It was amazing to have so many amazing people in one room and it was great to hear Richard Grefé and Debbie Millman talk about the design industry.

There was not much time to really see Chattanooga. I would have liked to see more of the trains, but the Leadership Retreat is not really a vacation anyway. When we did get out we went to Hair of the Dog Pub and played darts with people from Salt Lake City, Jacksonville, Charlotte, Indianapolis, and Cleveland. We also stopped by Leo Handmade Gallery which had vintage fashions, zines, vegan cookbooks, silkscreen posters and more.

I am impressed with the way the retreat was presented and all the great people I got to meet. It is an honor to represent the Washington, DC chapter at the retreat. Thank you AIGA.

To see more photos, visit my Facebook page or see the AIGA DC Flickr page (tag 'aigaretreat2010'). Plus keep updated about the retreat on Twitter by using the #aigaretreat hashtag.

Carolyn Belefski
Continuum Chair, AIGA DC

1 comment:

Sean Brennan said...

I love your picture of the picture of me. That's me in the top right:)

Sean Brennan