Growing up in Pittsburgh with my three older brothers and my five older cousins close in tow (all of them boys as well), being the only girl wasn’t always a cakewalk. I either had to get tough or get going. They were not about to cut me any slack for being a girl, and I was determined not to be left out of anything. By age 10, I knew how to throw a punch and could beat any boy in a race in gym class. I learned piano to be more like my musically inclined cousins, I played volleyball and snowboarded to be more like my athletic brothers, and took on crocheting and weaving to learn to craft with my grandmothers. What separated me the most from my very large family was my need for creativity.
That feeling of creativity is what led me to pursue design as a career. I began said career in Pittsburgh after completing a degree in graphic design at La Roche College. I have interned for Elisco Advertising, and worked as a designer for the Pittsburgh Pirates and PPG Architectural Coatings. I currently serve on the board of AIGA Pittsburgh as president, where we strive to advance design as a professional craft, strategic advantage and a vital cultural force.
To me, design is problem solving. It involves being aware of your surroundings — their limitations as well as their opportunities — pivoting in real time to make the changes needed, and having the skills required to do so. Design is about helping people understand the most complex ideas in the simplest of terms. Helping people communicate ideas and connect to other people is what I enjoy most about my job.