As of June 1st, GDC has elected its 34th National President for the 2018-2020 term, at the annual general meeting that was held in Vancouver. Please welcome – Mark Rutledge!!!
Being the first president from the Arctic Chapter, from 2014-2018, Mark is confident that his previous experience will help in ensuring a broader awareness of GDC for designers in Canada’s north. “When I look at the diversity of our membership and the uniqueness of each chapter, and how each chapter is woven into the beautiful tapestry that is the GDC, it makes me proud to take the leadership role as the National President,” the new president states.
Furthermore, Mark continues to remark, “And as an Indigenous person, I’ve always made a concerted effort to raise awareness of, and about Canada’s first peoples, not only in my private life, but also as a professional. In my new role, I will continue to do so. I’ll look for opportunities to ensure that all of Canada’s voices are heard and included.”
It is through his indigenous roots that Mark has also founded a GDC scholarship at the GDC Foundation which establishes and encourages indigenous youth to pursue a career in design, “I’m not here to do this for myself,” “I’m working for the next seven generations. I keep moving forward for youth, taking with me their spark of potential because that ember can become their fire of creativity and opportunity”.
Marks’s career began in 1996 after graduating from the Graphic Design Program at Seneca College in Toronto, at “Aboriginal Voices,” where he was the Creative Director and Lead Designer.
It was only until he moved on to agencies like Hangar 13, and grassroots organizations such as Royal Bank, Xerox and Bell Mobility that he built a reputation for innovative work for non-profit. Mark’s prior experience as a freelance designer on many Yukon based-projects such as: Yukon Quest, Carcross/Tagish First Nations, the Yukon Wildlife Preserve, Gwaandak Theatre, Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre and others, has provided him with diverse knowledge and expertise.
Currently, Mark is the lead designer at Animikii, a 100 percent Indigenous-owned web services company, which uses technology for social, economic and cultural initiatives with a goal to achieve better outcomes for Indigenous people. Although based in British Columbia on Coast Salish territory, the company works with groups across North America.
It is with such rich experience that Johnathon Strebly, outgoing GDC President has said, “We are extremely fortunate to have someone of Mark’s calibre step forward to take the helm,”Mark’s natural ability to lead from within will provide an inclusive future in Canadian design we can all be proud of.”
Congrats again to Mark Rutledge, the New President of GDC!