Dr. Troy Abel received his PhD in Human Computer Interaction and MFA in Graphic Design, both from Iowa State University. He has 25+ years of industry, and 10+ years of academic experience, in Graphic Design, User Experience Design, Usability Testing, Design Education, and Human Computer interaction. He is currently an Assistant Professor of User Experience Design at University of North Texas where he teaches research and design in both the undergraduate UX program, and the graduate IxD program. He has worked with a wide range of industry clients on high-level usability testing and iterative agile-design methodologies. These clients include Southwest Airlines, Citibank, Kaspersky Labs, Belk, ADP, and Bose to name a few. His experience with eye-tracking technology also includes creating new methods to incorporate eye-tracking into traditional usability testing methods. His current research areas investigate Ethics in User Experience and design education, as well as the intersection of perception and usability evaluation methodologies utilizing multiple data-streams including eye tracking, qualitative data and facial reading. He is currently working on a User Experience and Interactions Design book for designers who wish to understand more about UX research methodologies and how they influence design decisions.
A designer-turned-personal brand coach, Fin Al-Yousifi works with thoughtful business owners determined to energize their unique voice to make an impact on the world. Her background in literature, social work, and brand design helps her clients create meaningful personal brands rooted in conscious business, a philosophy based upon core values, a deeper connection to the self, and a higher purpose.
Fin’s identity-driven work centers around connection, storytelling, and clarity. She guides her clients to connect with themselves, own their stories, and build businesses around their “why”. Above all, Fin believes that branding is a spiritual practice, that stories are at the heart of every brand, and that no story is more powerful than your own.
As an introvert and empath, Fin’s mission is to guide like-hearted people in finding and expressing their voice.
How do you build a business that stands out, is memorable and builds trust with your audience so that your business is the only choice? You start by creating an authentically human brand– a brand that deeply aligns with your values and those of your ideal client.
Join Laura Beauparlant for this engaging, interactive and thought-provoking talk and learn what a brand is, what your brand is really saying and why the key to success is chemistry.
Andrew Burnett is a brand strategist based in Edinburgh, Scotland. He once read that a tagline should be short and simple, he agreed and registered Short and Simple as his trademark.
Andrew has over 2 decades experience branding and marketing brands ranging from nations, blue chips and multinationals to owner operated start-ups.
For 13 years his personal website, andrewburnett.com, was the top result on Google for the search term Social Media Scotland.
Andrew believes that his greatest piece of writing ever was his Tinder profile. After reading this bio, he is sure you will agree.
Jacob Cass is a brand designer, strategist, educator, business coach and the founder of JUST Creative, an award-winning branding & design firm that doubles as an industry-leading blog. Jacob helps brands grow & get results by crafting distinctive logos & brand identities that are backed by strategy. He recently rebranded San Francisco and Puerto Rico, and also branded New York’s Digital District. Other clients have included the likes of Disney, Nintendo and Jerry Seinfeld. Jacob has spoken at TEDx, been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur and has been awarded LinkedIn’s “Best of” for branding.
For him, design is a lifelong journey of continuously honing his craft, as well as educating other fellow designers & business owners to build on theirs, which has allowed him to build a large and loyal following, including his website which has been viewed over 55 million times. Jacob is an avid traveler and has traveled to 87 countries.
Jacob co-hosts the “JUST Branding Podcast” that helps designers & entrepreneurs grow brands, and has interviewed leaders such as Chris Do & Marty Neumeier, on the topics of branding & strategy.
Jacob is a business coach and helps creatives level up through 1:1 coaching and in a group setting, in his Inner Triangle Group Coaching Mastermind.
Find him at JustCreative.com
Dave Clayton is a UK-based graphic designer and creative specialist with over 30 years of design and marketing experience. With a great passion for all things design, Dave particularly loves working in InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator. He specializes in creating branding projects and logos and has had design work published by design industry outlets such as Rocky Nook, Peachpit and KelbyOne. Dave is also the author of How Do I Do That In InDesign, part of the successful series of How Do I… books by Scott Kelby. Available on Amazon world-wide.
Dave’s main day to day role is Training Manager for Astute Graphics, creators of professional plugins for Adobe Illustrator. Dave has been with Astute Graphics for 3 1/2 years and also manages their community side of the business.
Dave is also a KelbyOne instructor with six design classes on their platform as well as being a Photoshop World Instructor of 4 years, teaching InDesign and Graphic Design. He also writes a regular feature called “Photoshop for Designers” for KelbyOne’s Photoshop User magazine.
Additionally, Dave is the co-host of the popular photography and design podcast, “He Shoots, He Draws”. Dave has been an Adobe Influencer since 2012 and can often be found at Adobe events such as Adobe Max and other international graphic design conferences learning, networking, and teaching.
Jamal Collins is a Visual Design Consultant who teaches at risk youth graphic design throughout the inner city of Cleveland, Ohio. Jamal provide these youth with the benecial resources to develop the necessary skills that will introduce them into the creative field. He provides a solid visual educational experience by guiding youth in developing the capacity for challenging their sense of imagery and creativity, systemic critical thinking, and preparing them for client-based practices. They explore the latest design technology such as Adobe Creative Cloud, photography, and video editing. They also learn about social awareness, marketing, branding, and promotions.
Growing up in the inner city of East Cleveland, Ohio, I was considered an at-risk youth. I faced a lot of challenges and stumbling blocks along the way. I was always a creative kid with a big imagination, but something was missing. I always yearned for help from a mentor or an advisor to encourage my creative tenacity.
Prior to the completion of high school, I really didn’t have an outlook on plans post-high school, but I was sure I didn’t want to follow in the footsteps of some of the kids in my neighborhood who had fallen to a lifestyle consumed of drugs, and crime. After visiting a local university, I was motivated to apply; I got accepted to Akron University, and graduated with a Bachelor in Fine Arts in 1997.
Upon graduation, I began my career as a graphic designer in the corporate field in which I remained for 9 years. I always felt incomplete. There I was, pursuing my career in the field of graphic design, but there was no passion!
In 2014, I started working for The Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland as an Art Instructor. BGCC changed my life, literally. My second day at work, my car was stolen by a kid from the club, but I didn’t lose hope. I wanted to reach out to the kids who were maybe living in single-parent homes, or living in an environment of drug, or alcohol abuse, poverty, and most of all, education disparity. Many kids in our society need more than a mother, and father; they need a community. I’m a part of that community.
After 7 months as an art instructor, I really wanted to expose the kids to something they didn’t know existed. I presented the idea of providing graphic design classes, and began traveling to various club locations as a consultant. Using iMacs, the kids began learning about the latest design technology such as Adobe Creative Cloud, photography, and video editing. I influenced the children, ages 9-19, to realize their ability to transform the world through design; to imagine new possibilities. I help point children in the right direction by using graphic design. Teaching children has become my ultimate passion. I’ve become their mentor.
Chris Do is an Emmy award-winning designer, director, CEO and Chief Strategist of Blind and the founder of The Futur—an online education platform with the mission of teaching 1 billion people how to make a living doing what they love.
He currently serves as the chairman of the board for the SPJA, and as an advisor to Saleshood. He has also served as: advisory board member for AIGA/LA, Emmys Motion & Title Design Peer Group, Otis Board of Governors, Santa Monica College and Woodbury University.He has taught Sequential design for over 15 years at ArtCenter College of Design as well as Otis College of Art and Design. Additionally, he has lectured all over the world including: AIGA National Design Conference, Birmingham Design Festival, Awwwards New York/San Francisco/Amsterdam, AIGA Miami, The Design Conference Brisbane, Creative South, Digital Design Days Milan/Geneva, Lu Xun Academy Fine Art Dalian, Motion Conference Santa Fe, VMA Design Conference, MIT Boston, Bend Design Conference, Graphika Manila, Create Philippines, Rise Up Summit Cairo, RGD Design Thinkers Toronto, California Institute of the Arts, LA Art Institute, Otis College of Design, UCLA, MGLA, Cal State Los Angeles/ Northridge, Post Production World, Adobe Video World and San Diego University.
Mr. Do has given talks and conducted workshops on: Negotiations, Pricing & Budgeting, Leadership Mindset, Branding, Graphic & Motion Design, Social Media Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Business Management, and Client Relations.
Vickie started her career at Mitsubishi Semiconductor as a hardware design engineer after earning her EE degree at Duke University. Seeking to be a bridge between technology and business and with the long term goal of launching her own business, she attended UNC’s Kenan Flagler Business School to earn her MBA in 1998.
Since then she has worked at a number of high tech startups, including OpenSite, Art.com, Motricity, and others. Her focus has been in launching new products and gaining market traction. She also spent 3 years with Viacom and has launched 3 businesses as a co-founder, including a clothing store, a SaaS software company, and a consulting practice.
Vickie has been involved in the general entrepreneurial ecosystem in RTP as an advisor/mentor, and she was one of the co-founders of Soar Triangle, whose mission is to close the funding gap for female entrepreneurs. In Sept 2018, Vickie joined the Entrepreneurship Center at KFBS as the Executive Director to expand her work with entrepreneurs and support the ecosystem in a more direct way.
Shanxi Omoniyi has worked in digital marketing since 2010. A homeschool graduate, Shanxi graduated from the University of Kansas with honors and degrees in journalism and English. She worked for the Lawrence Journal-World, then a KC-area nonprofit as its online content manager, before founding her own company in 2013.
Her company, Wordspire Media, helps businesses and nonprofits share their stories through content marketing, social media management, and email marketing.
Shanxi enjoys her company’s freedom and flexibility to create customized service options for each client. Her favorite quote: “Always remember you’re unique, just like everyone else.”
Colleen Gratzer is an award-winning designer with more than 23 years of experience in branding, print, and web design and development.
Four of those years include being an accessibility consultant after having been trained by one of the top accessibility providers to the U.S. government who knew of her solid design and technical skills and asked her to take her InDesign/PDF accessibility course. After taking the course, Colleen spent a lot of time learning about designing and developing accessible websites and educating clients about the importance of accessibility.
She’s since provided InDesign accessibility training to the U.S. Department of the Interior (May 2019) and has appeared on several podcasts and given presentations about website accessibility.
Her client-based business, Gratzer Graphics, provides accessibility consulting to nonprofits, creative firms and developers.
Through Creative Boost, she hosts the “Design Domination” podcast, mentors designers, teaches a Foundations of Website Accessibility course and provides many resources for designers.
Anneli Hansson is a an international Brand strategy consultant on a mission to create sustainable brands. She works with purpose driven entrepreneurs who wants to make a positive impact in the world. For over 20+ years she has been building brands for both international and national companies and she is based in Stockholm, Sweden.
Her way to becoming where she is today hasn’t been the easiest road. From moving from home at the age of only 17 and working with telemarketing just to be able to pay for her rent to become the Corporate Marketing Officer for a global brand, founder of a Branding agency and now an international brand strategist.
She landed her first three jobs by just reaching out to companies she wanted to work for and showed up with the right attitude and drive. The companies saw a rough diamond and offered to train her for the right skillset. Actually, one of them even payed for an education at an expensive private school where she was studying Marketing strategy in the evenings for two years while she was working full time in the agency. She later returned to the same school to study “Design and Innovation management” and also been invited as a guest speaker. The circle was closed.
Anneli sees herself as the underdog and truly believes that all people can be great sales persons. Its all about the right attitude and mindset. When you start focusing more on the client than yourself everything will change. She also believes that energy is key and gets more inspiration from studying animals and their behavior than from marketing gurus. Now she wants to inspire you. “ If I can do it, everybody can do it” is her motto.
Gay Hendricks has been a leader in the fields of relationship transformation and bodymind transformation for more than 45 years. After earning his Ph.D. from Stanford in 1974, Gay served as Professor of Counseling Psychology at the University of Colorado for 21 years. He has written more than 40 books, including bestsellers such as Five Wishes, The Big Leap, Conscious Loving and Conscious Loving Ever After, (the last two co-authored with his co-author and mate for more than 35 years, Dr. Kathlyn Hendricks). He is also a mystery novelist, with a series of five books featuring the Tibetan-Buddhist private detective, Tenzing Norbu, as well as a new mystery series featuring a Victorian-era London detective, Sir Errol Hyde. His latest book, Conscious Luck, reveals eight ways to change your fortunes through the power of intention. Gay has appeared on more than 500 radio and television shows, including Oprah, CNN, CNBC, 48 HOURS and others.
Phim is a senior product marketing manager at The Washington Post, where she leverages her strategic marketing and creative storytelling expertise to support democracy and the free press. She is an active member of AIGA, where she most recently served as Co-Chair with Douglas Davis on the National Diversity & Inclusion Task Force and Content Lead on the National EMERGE Initiative.
As a community advocate and creative storyteller, she has been invited to do keynotes, panel discussions and workshops for organizations and institutions such as the United Nations’ Global People’s Summit (DC Hub), the Embassy of Italy, the AIGA National Conference, OCA Asian Pacific American Advocates, ACE NextGen and Drupal GovCon.
One of Phim’s favorite quotes is: “We must move from talking about the world of design to talking about the design of the world.” This is why you will see her talking about politics in a design meeting, and design in a meeting about politics and social impact.
Michael Janda is an award-winning creative director, designer, agency owner and author. In 2002, he founded the creative agency Riser, which provided design and development services for clients that included Disney, Google, Warner Bros., Fox, NBC, ABC, National Geographic and many other high-profile brands. Following 13 successful years, Michael sold his agency in 2015. He now spends his time writing, speaking, and mentoring to help freelancers and agencies navigate the complex world of design.
Prior to founding his agency, Michael served as a Senior Creative Director at Fox Studios where he managed the design, editorial and development teams for the Fox Kids and Fox Family brands.
Michael’s book, Burn Your Portfolio: Stuff They Don’t Teach You In Design School But Should, was published in 2013 and has been one of the top-selling design industry books since its release. In 2019, his book, The Psychology of Graphic Design Pricing: Price Creative Work with Confidence. Win More Bids. Make More Money., was released in English. A Russian version has been contracted and will be published later in 2020.
His work, book and agency have received awards and recognition from Inc. 5000, FWA, Awwwards, HOW Magazine, Print Magazine, Ad News Magazine, Huffington Post, Promax/BDA, AIGA 100, Addy Awards, Webby Awards, and BusinessQ Magazine.
Michael lives in Utah with his wife of more than 20 years, their three sons, and a collection of more than 150 bobbleheads.
Henry Kaminski Jr. is the founder of Unique Designz, a full-service design, branding, and digital marketing agency that is dedicated to helping personality brands; coaches, consultants, inﬂuencers, speakers + authors design / grow their brands, scale their proﬁts + increase their exposure online.
He is author of the Amazon best seller Refuse To Give Up. He’s also the host of the popular “Brand Doctor’s Podcast” where he talks about strategies that help entrepreneurs design reputable and proﬁtable personal brands. As a self-taught graphic designer and brand consultant, he’s overcome all the odds to build a wildly successful multi-million-dollar business over the past 12 years. He has worked with a diverse range of business owners and professionals, including celebrities like Jon Bon Jovi + Fabio Viviani as well as Internet marketing expert Russell Brunson who has named Henry the “Million Dollar Brander” and recently has been inducted into the Click Funnels 2 Comma Club, by generating over $1 million with one single sales funnel, using the Click Funnels software.
Dustin Lee is the founder of RetroSupply, a leading provider of digital resources for designers and illustrators.
RetroSupply provides digital brushes, textures, fonts, and training from industry leaders to over 100,000 creatives.
In 2013, combining his background in design, online business, and email marketing, Dustin built RetroSupply into a six-figure business from his grandmother’s kitchen table in less than a year.
Today, RetroSupply offers nearly 200 products, has a 9.1 Net Promoter Score®, and has become a seven-figure business.
He is also a co-host of “The Honest Designers Show” podcast with co-hosts Tom Ross, Lisa Glanz, and Ian Barnard. In his spare time, Dustin offers training programs to help creatives build a passive income at Passive Income for Designers.
Dustin lives in the countryside outside Portland, Oregon with his wife and three children.
Although her fair skin speaks to the contrary, Melinda Livsey has lived her whole life in sunny California. She attended Cal State Fullerton and earned her BFA in Graphic Design and Illustration in 2008. Since them, Melinda has had the pleasure of working with notable names like Oakley, Paramount Pictures and Loot Crate.
In 2015, Melinda transitioned from a generalist graphic designer to brand identity designer, and in 2017, she made the leap into brand strategy. That change was the missing link that enabled her to finally reach her creative potential, not to mention charge more than double for branding projects. She now teaches other brand identity designers how they too can make the same transition from order taker to brand expert.
She is also the co-host of on an ongoing series, The Process, on The Futur with Chris Do and the founder or Pre-lance, a resource for graphic design freelancers.
Donají Mejía helps purpose-led women build their brand and grow into fulfilled, empowered, and energized solo business owners while making an impact in the lives of others.
After growing up in Nicaragua, and spending her teens in Miami, Donají joined the U.S. Air Force in search for different opportunities. Almost a decade later, she received a BFA in Graphic Design at the Academy of Art in San Francisco.
As a multi-disciplinary designer, her experience lies in brand strategy, branding, web, and print design.
Her passion and focus is to empower solopreneurial women to ditch overwhelm, lead their personal brands with confidence, and fearlessly step into their superpower by using their vision and deeper purpose as the guiding force in their business.
Donají currently lives in the Bay Area with her husband and dog, a sweet whippet named Nala.
Asha Mody is a certified brand specialist & multidisciplinary designer, who specializes in building brands whose visual identity connect mindfully & seamlessly to the story that needs to be told. She has worked for over 10 years in the design industry, both in the U.S. and India. She draws on her authentic roots and international experience in her approach to clean, mindful design. Asha has designed for an INC 500 company, and her work has been featured in World Packaging Design. Her work consistently elevate her clients’ brands and products to the top of their markets, resulting in a loyal and engaged audience that drive profits. Asha is on a mission to support the wellness industry with her talent and services to create a better future for this and the next generation.
Claire O’Connor is a brand midwife, designer, and collaborative dreambuilder who helps emerging entrepreneurs illuminate the path to greater ease, joy, presence, and impact—in all areas of life. With over 30 years of experience as a professional catalyst, strategist, and business mentor, Claire is a delightfully down-to-earth, warmly engaging and intuitive facilitator and workshop leader. Her private clients and workshop participants come from all walks of life and include creatives, coaches, consultants, and self-reinventors. Her background includes degrees in Holistic Human Development and Transpersonal Counseling Psychology.
You know how most creatives can often feel overcommitted and overwhelmed, like you’re being pulled in different directions, with no time to do anything about it?
I help you untangle your brain and find your focus, so you can get on top of your business, and not the other way round.
I run workshops that help you organize your ideas, prioritize your goals and move forward with clarity, so you can get back to doing the work that gets you jumping out of bed in the morning.
I’m a brand strategist who fell in love with workshopping and facilitating people to solve problems. I have the distinct pleasure of working with Melinda Livsey to run her Brand Strategy Bootcamp. It’s the bee’s pajamas.
Mario Quezada is a Level C Brand Specialist, an award-winning Creative Director and owner of Made X Maker Branding Agency in Honolulu, HI. He received his BFA in Graphic Design / New Media from Pasadena Art Center College of Design.
Leveraging his 25+ years of experience working in the advertising and entertainment industries as a Creative Director, he crafts meaningful brands from the inside out.
With a unique “People Forward” approach, Mario believes “placing people at the forefront of your brand’s focus is the bulletproof way to succeed in life and business.”
Mario has worked with the industry’s top entertainment studios and brands; Disney, Warner Bros., Fox, Universal, ABC, NBC, Google, Ford, Microsoft, Al Gore, Conor McGregor, Hawaiian Airlines, Toyota and the Make-A-Wish Foundation to name a few.
Mario has been on numerous award-winning teams that have won awards such as Cannes Grand Prix Cannes Lions, Silver Cannes Lions, Webbys, Cleos, One Show Interactive, and many w3 Awards.
When Mario isn’t creating meaningful brands, he’s chasing after his kids, throwing around heavy weights, coaching designers and business owners, creating content for social media, making sourdough bread, or cooking for his family.
Corrina is a hands-on designer and art director who thrives on bringing new ideas and a passion for design to every project she is a part of. With more than ten years of experience helping businesses make an impact by creating visually strategic brand stories, Corrina believes in the power of creative campaigns to solve difficult problems in profound and delightful ways.
A solutions-focused leader with deep expertise in branding, print, web, and visual design concepts, Corrina has a natural ability to lead and motivate teams while building consensus with key stakeholders. Adept at creating and defining guidelines to produce top-quality, innovative, and impactful design solutions, Corrina is an avid learner with thorough expertise in relevant tools, software, and methodologies including mastery of Adobe Creative Suite.
Before starting Riddlesticks Creative, Corrina was designer and art director at Zoom Creates for eight years where she lead the creative team in transforming great ideas into engaging creative. Corrina actively mentored a team of designers while working seamlessly across departments, managing client relationships, presenting creative work to clients and actively seeking new business.
The CEO and founder of DesignCuts.com, the most high-quality marketplace for designers.
Design Cuts helps their community of 500,000 creatives to save money on the best digital resources to help their regular projects.
Tom also hosts the popular “Honest Designers Show” and “Honest Entrepreneur Show” podcasts, which have received over 1.5 million downloads. He loves teaching other creatives to master their marketing and speaks regularly at creative events across the world.
Scotty Russell is an artist, designer, coach, podcaster, and speaker. He works under the name Perspective-Collective based in the Majestic Plains of Cedar Falls, Iowa.
He has spent over 5.5 years building his creative side hustle to the point he was able to make the leap from Corporate Cubicle to full-time Side Hustle Coach in 2020.
His passion and focus is helping other creatives build profitable, fulfilling, and sustainable side hustles outside their day jobs.
He does this through: Digital products and value-packed content. Services like his Side Hustle Growth Mastermind (formerly Side Hustler’s Coaching Program).
His weekly Perspective Podcast which is “Fuel for Your Mind and Creative Grind”.
When he’s not being a rad dad, you can catch him eating absurd amounts of pizza and then burning it off at the gym.
Crystal has spent over 24 years in higher education and has a graduate degree in Educational Leadership and a doctorate in Instructional Design and Development. She loves to help people succeed. “Helping students, faculty, and people in general equip themselves with the tools, knowledge, and practice to succeed. This gives me great satisfaction.”
Her love for teaching began when she was a teenager and volunteered for many years at a youth summer camp in Minnesota. Crystal has since conducted workshops, created instructional material, and presented on various topics including online communication.
While choosing a dissertation topic, Crystal’s advisor suggested that she investigate the topic of Powerful Language. When Crystal began to look at the research, she re-discovered that words matter. Not just big words or main ideas, but the little words we use when communicating with each other. Powerful and Powerless Language affect how we are perceived by others and how effective we are in getting our ideas across.
Acclaimed Los Angeles photographer, Bonnie Tsang, has been bringing her unique eye to lifestyle photography for over a decade with an impressive list of international clients ranging from Gap to Estée Lauder. She and her work have been featured in magazines such as Time, The Atlantic, Bon Appétit, and InStyle. Using social media as an outlet for her work, Bonnie Tsang was amassed a combined base of over 7 million followers from Pinterest to Instagram. She has been a keynote speaker at conferences such as Alt Summit and SXSW.
The recognition of her photography led to an invitation from Michelle Obama to preview the release of the official White House State China service for the Obama Administration. Bonnie finds herself most in her element when using her candid, journalistic style in concert with capturing people “in their element.” Combining her ability to “find the moment” along with her negative-space framing and asymmetric composition has led to stunning pictures that have captured the essence of her subjects.
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