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AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) Members Georgia Chapter

AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) Members are featured on today’s episode of High Velocity Radio.

Debbie Smith/Design Seven Inc.

Debbie Smith is the owner of Design Seven Inc., a design company based in Atlanta. For over 20 years, Design Seven has provided services for over 200 clients from start-ups to educational institutions to Fortune 500 companies.

Design Seven’s work has been featured in Print, Art Direction Magazine and The Best in Business Card Design and The Best in Brochure Design books. The firm has been recognized with design awards from Art Director’s Club, International Association of Business Communicators, Public Relations Society of America, Women in Communications and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.

Debbie is the creator of the idbids – iddy biddy steps for a greener world – eco-friendly characters and brand. The first idbids toy product was launched at The American International Toy Fair and was named a “Top Toy” by Time Magazine and a “Toy Fair Breakout Hit” by CNN/Money.

idbids products have been the recipient of many industry and parenting awards including Creative Child Magazine’s Preferred Choice Award, Dr. Toy’s 10 Best Socially-Responsible Children’s Products, NAPPA Honors Award Winner, Winner of The National Parenting Center’s Seal of Approval and the Toy Industry Association’s Nominee for Education Toy of the Year.

For her development and design of the idbids characters, Debbie was the recipient of a Wonder Woman of Toys Award in the Inventor/Designer category. The idbids Eco-friendly Starter Kit won the 2009 Grand Prize in the Georgia State University’s MAX Awards program which honors the best in new products, services and marketing innovations developed by Georgia based companies.

Debbie is a founding trustee and a past president of the Atlanta Chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA).

Specialties include graphic design, front end web design, brand strategy and management, product design and development from concept to market.

Lynn Browder/InComm

Lynn Browder is the Creative Services Manager at InComm: Innovative Commerce. A leading provider of prepaid wireless and gift cards, InComm also develops transaction technologies for retailers. Her team designs the retail presence for the company’s products, along with advertising, tradeshow graphics, etc. She is also the current president of the Atlanta chapter of AIGA, the professional association for graphic design.

Lynn is an experienced design and brand manager with a passion for leading creative teams. After being a part of in-house design groups at Accenture, The Coca-Cola Company and UPS, she is currently managing the creative services team at InComm.

Throughout her career, in addition to meeting the challenge of solving communications and marketing issues through successful design, she thrives on keeping the team inspired while helping them build a positive reputation within the company.

As an active member of AIGA, the professional association for design, Lynn brings their resources to her role in developing designers along the arc of their careers. She is in her second year as president of the Atlanta chapter.

Lynn is also an avid student of the social media sciences. A few of Lynn’s favorite things are open-minded clients, white space and doing dangerous things with type.

Albert Whitley/Sapient Nitro

Albert Whitley is an award-winning creative director with over 13 years creating memorable digital experiences. He joined Sapient Nitro as a Senior Art Director in 2011 where he is shaping brand moments by combining multi-channel marketing, multi-channel commerce, and the technology that binds them. His client list spans from Fortune 500 brands Adobe, Amway Global, AT&T, BMW, Carter’s, Herman Miller, Maybelline New York, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and Tele Atlas. Albert is a former adjunct professor at Georgia Data University and The Creative Circus. As a recognized thought leader, his work has been recognized in many publications, such as Communication Arts, Contract, Graphis, How, Interior Design, STEP Inside Design and Metropolis magazines. His honors include IIDA Creative Excellence Awards and AIGA Atlanta’s SEED Awards.

As a creative director it is Albert’s goal and passion to drive original thinking and cultivate ideas into smart visual solutions that impact client market distinction and increase business profitability. As a persuasive, strategic creative thinker and designer. Charismatic, vision-driven team leader and mentor.

In his free-time, actively volunteer on the board of directors AIGA Atlanta chapter, the professional organization for design.



Allison and Everett Steele with Baby Robot Industries and Tracey Vasallo with Perk-N-Pooch

Allison & Everett Steele/Baby Robot Industries

Allison and Everett Steele are the founding partners of Baby Robot Industries, one of Atlanta’s fastest growing digital marketing agencies. With clients ranging from startups to international corporations, their work has been featured on CNN, NPR, MTV, Vice, Slate, HuffPo, Boing Boing, USA Today, the AJC, ScoutMob, Creative Loafing, and countless other outlets around the world. Over the last three years, Baby Robot has quickly grown from a two-employee boutique agency into one of Atlanta’s most innovative creative agencies. Baby Robot serves clients in a wide range of industries, and currently provides services including design and development, search engine marketing, social marketing strategy and community building, and publicity.

Tracey Vasallo/Perk-N-Pooch

Tracey Vasallo is Manager at Perk-N-Pooch, a new coffee café and dog wash concept created by local Sandy Springs family, the Guerrisis. Tracey has a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Wheeling Jesuit University and is a Licensed Veterinary Technician with experience in the veterinary dermatology specialty field.

Perk-N-Pooch was born out of the owners’ love of dogs and coffee as well as their frustration with being unable to find a comfortable place to wash their rescued Basset Hounds and the poor customer service they received at other coffee shops in the area.

Perk-N-Pooch has 4 washing tubs to accommodate the needs of dog owners who wish to do DIY washes for their dogs. They also provide drop-off washing services and have professional grooming by appointment.

The Coffee Café serves a full line of coffee and espresso drinks for carry out or table service. Customers can stop by for a favorite hot or cold coffee drink, smoothie, or low-calorie, low-carb ice cream.



Special Edition: Meeting Expectations

Christine Hilgert/Meeting Expectations

As vice president of the Meeting Management Business Unit with Meeting Expectations, Christine is responsible for the day-to-day staff/client management and strategic direction of the unit’s staff, which is comprised of meeting planners, registration staff and contract management staff. Her focus is to introduce the latest ideas and opportunities offered by the industry to her staff and clients. In September 2012, Christine will celebrate her 15 year anniversary with ME!.

Christine has extensive experience in budget management, and has overseen client budgets ranging from $100,000 to $10,000,000. Christine has also facilitated speaker management for programs consisting of 30 – 350+ speakers. In addition, Christine has managed show floors with up to 300+ exhibiting companies and 100,000 gross square feet. She has also coordinated the fulfillment and management of many high profile partner programs.

She has experience working on meetings at hotels and conventions centers throughout North American, Europe, Asia PAC and the Middle East. Christine has been the lead venue liaison for programs ranging in attendance, 200 – 10,000.

Before joining Meeting Expectations, Christine worked as a multi-sport manager with Special Olympics of Georgia.

Christine holds a Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality Management from Florida State University.

Katie Pereira/Meeting Expectations

Conference Manager Katie Pereira manages logistics, sponsorships and exhibits for a diverse range of clients.

Previously, she served at Meeting Expectations as a registration coordinator, handling multiple clients’ registration needs, including building online forms and managing on-site logistics. She also coordinated speaker programs for a large conference with over 500 speakers. Her clients include groups and companies in the technology and salon/spa industries, higher education, communications/marketing field, and a networking group for women in the STEM field.

Prior to joining Meeting Expectations in 2007, Pereira was a sales assistant at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta, where she was responsible for managing projects. She gained valuable experience in the hotel industry which she uses in serving her clients daily.

Katie has a Bachelor of Business Administration in hospitality management from Georgia State University.


Special Edition: Dunwoody Chamber of Commerce

Upcoming February Dunwoody Chamber Events

Bryan Tate/Digitel Corporation

Bryan C. W. Tate is the Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer for Digitel Corporation; a Georgia based IT Solutions Company, providing “CLOUD Services”, datacenter, virtualization, data storage, unified communications and network infrastructure solutions to mid-market business customers, and wireless solutions to rural municipalities. Mr. Tate has acquired seven companies and sold an Internet subsidiary in 2008. Prior to founding Digitel Corporation, Mr. Tate held various management positions at NCR Corporation, Questor Corporation and was interim Chairman and CEO of a publically traded NASDAQ company.

Mr. Tate earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Technology in 1968 from Ohio University. Mr. Tate served in the United States Army from 1968 to 1974, and was an Airborne Combat Infantryman in the Republic of South Vietnam. He led a rifle platoon with the 1st Infantry Division, and later served with the 173rd Airborne Brigade.

Cam Higgins/First Financial Merchant Services

Cam Higgins has run event marketing companies from 1980 to 2005 acting as marketing and sales director, creative director, writer, designer and executive producer of major corporate events worldwide. Since retiring in 2005, Cam invested in residential real estate, and developed mountain subdivisions, supervised home construction and laid roads and utilities.In 2008, he became part of First Financial Merchant Services to develop Sales and Marketing for Business and Professional Associations and Business buying groups. Cam designs, implements and directs the sale and marketing of merchant services as a member benefit and added revenue stream to associations and chambers of commerce. His goal is to save client-merchants fees on credit and debit card transactions and provide them with the systems, hardware and software that maximize their earning potential and increase revenue for associations, community banks and chambers of commerce. Specialties include: set up merchant services programs for trade and professional associations and organizations and for their members as a member benefit; provide software and hardware solutions, fee savings and PCI compliance.



Peter Pasternack with Foundations Designs, Jeremiah Jarmin with The Jarmin Law Group, Lisa Johnson with Coldwell Banker and Krisztina Bell with Virtually Staging Properties

Peter Pasternack/Foundations Designs

Peter Pasternack, from Foundation Designs, is one of the stars of Flip This House,  one of television’s most recognized real estate investment and home renovation shows. His company designs, builds, and renovates residential and commercial property.

Peter is in charge of the largest real estate networking event in town, Real Estate Connections, that is held every month.

Lisa Johnson/Coldwell Banker Intown Office

Lisa Johnson joined Coldwell Banker in 2002. She became the Assistant Manager in the Coldwell Banker Buckhead office in 2003, took over the Coldwell Banker Roswell Office as the Managing Broker in 2006 and then took over the Coldwell Banker Intown Office as the Managing Broker in March of 2010. Originally born and raised in Southern California, Lisa moved to Atlanta in 1992. She’s been in Real Estate since 1997 after being with 2 other firms. Intown is where she plans on growing old.

Jeremiah Jarmin/The Jarmin Law Group

Jeremiah Jarmin is the owner of The Jarmin Law Group. He is a Georgia attorney who practices real estate and corporate law. His practice areas include commercial real estate transactions, commercial financing, business formation, and foreign investment in United States real estate. Jeremiah’s clients include real estate investment groups, individual investors domestic and foreign (Israel, South Africa, Europe), and banks and lenders both institutional and hard.

Krisztina Bell/Virtually Staging Properties

Krisztina Bell is a professional home stager and got into the business after receiving herrealtor license about 10 years ago. Krisztina’s niche market is the staging of vacant properties listed for sale. She, along with her husband, pioneered a new marketing tool called “virtual staging” that they offer nationwide and in Canada. Her company, Virtually Staging Properties, is a patent-pending process that digitally transforms any photo of a vacant home into a beautifully “staged” home using images of REAL furnishings and decor. 90% of home buyers search for their next home online and 85% of those buyers say it’s the photos that are the most important factor when deciding to go view a home. Krisztina developed this process for agents and sellers as an economical marketing tool that creates more attractive photos online, instantly drives buyer traffic and sells vacant properties faster.