The Game of Life: Emerge Edition

Register here for the livestream.

Please note that the location has changed to Cowork Frederick

We are thrilled to share with you the first-of-its-kind AIGA chapter-led and co-created national awareness week: EMERGE. Designers locally and across the country will be actively participate in this initiative. More information on how you can participate below. 

EMERGE is a series of experiences tailored to help the emerging designer hone their skills, discover their talents, and grow their career. We’re kicking off this new EMERGE Initiative with a week’s worth of events and content.

EMERGE programming will continue on throughout the year ahead and supported nationally by all 70 AIGA local chapters. Your participation will ensure its continued success. EMERGE is the result of AIGA Minnesota’s awarded AIGA Innovate grant


The Game of Life: EMERGE Edition (panel discussion & mixer)

You’re a designer just starting out in the game of life, if only there really was a path for you to follow! You have tons of questions about employment, growth, leadership, entrepreneurship and life skills. We are bringing together a panel of experts who are ready and waiting to answer your questions, share their experiences and help you figure out your path. Whether you want to hone your skills, discover your talents, or figure out how to grow your career; this is the event for you! Come get YOUR questions answered and take your design career and your life to the next level.

Once you register for this event, share your questions and talk with your peers using the hashtags #AIGAemerge and #AIGAblueridge. We’ll compile and curate the best questions and put them to our expert panel on Saturday, August 20, at 10 am – noon, while you join us at in historic downtown Frederick, Maryland. We’ll be serving lunch and providing time to network and talk to the speakers and each other from noon – 1 pm. 


  • Emerging designers seeking to advance their careers
  • Designers seeking to make changes in their careers
  • Seasoned designers seeking to interact with and advocate for emerging designers


  • First 50 attendees will receive a digital copy of Underconsideration's Flaunt, a resource for design students as well as young, experienced, freelance, and independent designers. 
  • All in-person attendees will receive 3-months free access to Front Row, General Assembly's e-learning platform. 
  • All in-person attendees will receive goodie bags, provided by Sappi, with Print Works magazine, Sustainability Report, Building a House Sheet, Ideas that Matter, and a stock book. 


Cowork Frederick is located on 122 E Patrick Street in Frederick, Maryland. Street parking is limited and metered, or you can park in the nearby at the Carroll Creek Parking Deck (44 East Patrick Street) for $1 per hour. 


We're live-streaming our event via GoToWebinar. Register for the live-stream here. 


Mira Azarm

Mira Azarm

GoodJinn, Founder 

Mira Azarm is the founder of GoodJinn, a micro-design-lab of mysterious origins and curious propensities, where she serves as creative instigator, social designer, and inventive educator. Mira consults with organizations dedicated to creating or invigorating an internal culture biased toward innovation. She facilitates Design Thinking at the University of Maryland's Academy for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, teaches emerging business leaders at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), and serves as a Design Coach in a climate change technology initiative at The World Bank. She’s known for developing interdisciplinary, experiential coursework, and bringing design methodologies to undergraduate and graduate students, teachers, and global financial experts. Lately, she’s become a career coach of sorts to designers—and young people of all disciplines, helping them develop strategies for success through principles of entrepreneurship. She hopes to become a Futurist in her next career, a move that appeals to her worst-best instincts of embracing ambiguity.

Billy Candela

Billy Candela

Conservation International, Creative Director 

Billy Candela is Creative Director at Conservation International (CI), a multi-national environmental non-profit based in Arlington, VA. With over six years at CI, Billy has become the organization’s de-facto chief brand ambassador by codifying CI’s brand into a comprehensive message, including implementing a style brand guide. He has grown a meager creative team from 1 staff to 5 in a few short years, by showing the value that strong creative can bring to furthering mission based work. Before CI, Billy worked as a graphic designer for an agency in Honolulu, HI. While there, he served as AIGA-DC Sustainability Chairperson, organizing events that aimed to encourage the adoption of green-graphic design practices within the design community. Billy continues to be passionate about empowering designers to find a seat at the table—and firmly believes that good design can change the world. 

Colleen B. Kradel

Colleen B. Kradel

Be Well, Owner

Colleen Kradel is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over a decade of experience in a variety of settings. She enjoys teaching people how to feel relief from anxious thoughts and fears, and wants to help her clients live more bravely, love themselves more and live a more authentic life. 

Colleen graduated from the University of Maryland, School of Social Work in 2003 and has been in private practice since 2009. She specializes in treating those with anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic attacks, and social phobia. Colleen serves on the Board of Girls on the Run of the Shenandoah Valley - a non-profit organization teaching young girls about self-love and empowerment. She is also on the Healthy Berkeley committee - a group that focuses on improving the health of Berkeley County. 

Justin Howard

Justin Howard

Deloitte Digital, Creative Director

Justin Howard is Creative Director of Deloitte Digital DC, where he leads digital projects that transform clients’ businesses. He has over 15 years of experience as a creative professional, building brands and delivering strategic creative solutions to a diverse range of clients in the commercial, federal, and public sectors. Justin’s ethos is design, and he directs this passion to every project—whether he’s helping a client reimagine their digital customer experience or building a healthcare mobile app. When he’s not spending time collaborating with his team to create awesome digital experiences, Justin can most likely be found eating his way through the lively restaurant scene in MD/VA/DC. If you ever need a recommendation, he’s definitely your guy. 

Justin is an alum of Virginia Tech and VCU, where he holds a BA in Graphic Design and an MFA in Design.

Nathan Hill

Nathan Hill

Nh.d. Studio, Art Director/Partner 

Nathan Hill is a founding partner of Nh.d Studio, a graphic design and branding studio based in DC’s Petworth neighborhood. Nathan’s design skills and interests extend to woodworking, screen printing and illustration, which he regularly shares through a variety of creative, hands-on workshops. A current client project includes the creative direction and fabrication of custom fixtures and furniture designs to be used in an upcoming retail space. The studio is also creating a publication on experimental and experiential design. This forthcoming work will highlight a variety of both U.S.-based and international artists who are pushing boundaries within graphic design.

Nathan is a former Education Director for the AIGA DC chapter and is a current adjunct faculty member at George Washington University’s Corcoran College of the Arts & Design. He is a founding member of the Petworth Business Community and is the host of the monthly design podcast Design Intercourse.

James Hersick

Emcee, James Hersick

Native, Founder & Creative Director

James is a multi-discipline designer, brand strategist, facilitator, illustrator, and photographer. As a founding partner & the creative director of Native Communications, a branding and design agency, his work spans industries and helps businesses and organizations large and small communicate and design positive changes for people and communities. 

He served with AIGA | the professional association for design’s national staff on the National Design for Good movement and is past president of the AIGA Blue Ridge Chapter. James is a graduate of Leadership Berkeley, organizer of the Martinsburg Farmers Market and What’s Next West Virginia Berkeley County, and serves on the boards of Healthy Berkeley County, The Berkeley County Backpack Program and The Burke Street Promise Neighborhood.

The Blue Ridge chapter's event is part of AIGA's nationwide
EMERGE Awareness Week. EMERGE is a series of experiences tailored to help the emerging designer hone their skills, discover their talents, and grow their career. AIGA is kicking off the new EMERGE Initiative with a week’s worth of events and content, across a variety of chapters.

The EMERGE initiative offers customizable content, scalable to all chapters and their community needs, in the areas of Employment, Growth, Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Life Skills, for designers who are just launching their careers and for those who have up to five years of experience in the field.

EMERGE Awareness Week is made possible through our collaboration with the following AIGA chapters across the country:

August 15, Monday: AIGA Wichita, 5 Rounds: Agency vs. Freelance

August 16, Tuesday: AIGA Minnesota,
Designer as entrepreneur

August 17, Wednesday: AIGA St. Louis,
Portfolio development

August 18, Thursday: AIGA Arizona,
Talent is overrated: life skills for young designers

August 19, Friday: AIGA Seattle,
EMERGE inspired: five speakers share experience & advice for early career success

August 20, Saturday: AIGA Blue Ridge,
The game of life: EMERGE edition

To learn more about about all of the EMERGE Awareness Week activities and how to get involved click here to participate and attend the nationally shareable chapter events.


Browning Reagle Insurance


When & Where
Sat, Aug 20, 2016 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Cowork Frederick
122 East Patrick Street
Frederick, MD 21701
Currently Registered