To celebrate Women’s History Month, AIGA Seattle’s Women Lead Initiative is presenting a five-part series of events themed Designed to Lead. Its second event, in partnership with POSSIBLE, collaborates with the Emerge Initiative to host a roundtable event to discuss topics which include leadership, diversity, growth and entrepreneurship. The roundtable discussions will be facilitated by emerging creative women. Conversations will celebrate, cultivate and connect with emerging creatives.

Drinks and light refreshments will be provided. 

Special offer! When you purchase one full-price ticket to Designed to Lead: Emerging Creatives you'll receive a discount code for 50% off your ticket to Designed to Lead: Sustainable Design on March 16th. Check for the code in your purchase confirmation.


Erica Esper, Strategist 

Hailing from Brooklyn, NY, Erica got her start in social media marketing via Gary Vaynerchuk, getting a hands-on learning experience at his agency VaynerMedia. There, she worked on social accounts for Oreo and Pepsi before moving to Seattle and working with Walgreens and Microsoft. Most recently, she spends her days as a Social Strategist, and her nights blogging and hanging with her pug Paco in West Seattle.

Hillary Burberry, Recruiter 

Hillary is a Seattle native and has been recruiting in the agency and consulting setting for the past two years. She is currently part of Amazon’s talent strategy pilot team aimed at increasing women’s diversity in the tech workforce at scale. Before recruiting, she worked in the Seattle restaurant industry for 7 years to pay her way through college. Needless to say, she has become a huge foodie in the process! Hillary’s passion for creating a memorable experience when in the hospitality industry has transcended into her recruiting career. And with her adventurous spirit, working at Amazon is the perfect fit for her career. Outside of work, Hillary volunteers at a homeless shelter once a month, loves to cook and bake, cruise on her café racer, hike, or tool around town with her family, friends, and boyfriend. She also enjoys travelling, and her last trip was backpacking through Thailand Aug 2016.


Aparna Kumar, UX Researcher

Originally from Australia, Aparna moved to the Pacific Northwest at a young age. She left the Greater Seattle Area for Knox College in Illinois where she graduated with Bachelor Degrees in Biology & Psychology. Following graduation, Aparna went on to obtain a Master's degree in Experimental Psychology at Western Washington University while interning as a UX Research Intern at Amazon. After graduation, she moved to Portland and began her full-time career in UX Research at Urban Airship. Last year, Aparna moved back to Seattle and now works at Qualtrics as a UX Researcher for Qualtrics' website feedback product. When she's not working, Aparna volunteers as a Career Events Manager for ChickTech, travels to places with delicious desserts, and explores new coffee shops in Pioneer Square. 


Lu Zhang, Intern Architect

Born and raised in China, Lu attributes her understanding on urbanism to twenty years of high-density living experience. She completed her Bachelor degree of Environment Art Design at the Hubei Fine Art Institute and received her Master of Community Planning from DAAP, University of Cincinnati. As a visual “addict”, Lu has developed a variety of infographics and realistic renderings to support marketing, site analysis and feasibility studies. She enjoys bridging technical fields with the rest of the world by intuitive and creative approaches. Lu is also an entrepreneur devoted to modular design, human behavior and urbanism to technology, in the form of design application, online social media and offline human interaction. 


Shree Lakshmi Rao, Global Health Fellow & UX Designer

Shree Lakshmi (SL) Rao is a social impact designer with a background in theatre and Interaction Design. She grew up in India and fell in love with theatre while getting a degree in electronics engineering. Her interest in combining storytelling, electronics and social action to create interactive experiences took her to Carnegie Mellon University's School of Design. There, she has the opportunity to immerse herself in solving real world problems using design thinking in health care, education and transit. She moved to the Seattle to work a UX designer with Microsoft; eventually leading end to end design for a small team at Microsoft Research. 

SL is currently a Global Health Fellow at the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, using design thinking to solve global health inequities. When she isn't taking over every surface of her workspace with her concept maps or organizing design events in Seattle, she can be found hiking in the mountains.

As with every AIGA event, this is all inclusive and welcomes people of any gender, sex, orientation, race, religion, ethnicity, ability, class and background.

This is part of the Emerge Iniative. Emerge is a series of experiences tailored to help the emerging designer hone their skills, discover their talents, and grow their career. Emerge offers content in the areas of employment, growth, leadership, entrepreneurship, and life skills to designers who are just launching their careers or have up to five years experience in the field. For more information and to get involved, contact Director James Holt,

This is also part of the broader Women Lead Initiative which is committed to empowering women in design and advancing the vital discourse on issues facing professional women. Woman Up celebrates the achievements of women in design, cultivates awareness of gender-related issues—while building knowledge and leadership skills—and connects by facilitating relationships within and beyond the design industry. For more information and to get involved, contact Director Kirsten Kenning Kent at

Lead Chairs, Lauren Georgian and Nikki Glaberman
Graphic by Chelsea Sheridan of CES Design.
Partnership with Possible

When & Where
Thu, Mar 9, 2017 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM PST
414 Olive Way
Seattle, WA 98101