2023 Board of Directors
Katie began to serve with AIGA at the beginning of 2022 to connect with like-minded creatives in her local community. Her day job is Digital Communications Specialist at Dechra, a global animal health organization, where she creates content particularly focused on communicating the organization’s sustainability strategy and related activities to a global audience.
A native of Massachusetts, Katie obtained a business degree from Suffolk University in Boston. She spent time living in Sweden and Texas before making Portland her home in 2014. Outside of work, her hobbies include writing, reading, exploring (ideally on a bike), playing pool, and spending as much time with her two cats as possible.
Rachel Guthrie is currently a Professor in Communications & New Media at Southern Maine Community College. She was born and raised in Texas where she spent the 50s and 60s learning more about ranching than shoveling snow. So when she moved to Maine, the four seasons inspired her creativity. Rachel earned her BFA in Fine Arts from the University of Southern Maine, followed by a one-year exchange in London at Whitelands College. From there, her graduate studies began in France, where she earned a certificate of Higher Education in European studies, then pursued a career in graphic design.
Rachel had a successful career in the field, working for such companies as LL Bean, Cuddledown, Tom’s of Maine, UNUM and the Ohio Art Company. These experiences, along with the inspiration from a few amazing educators inspired a career change, and she earned her M.Ed. at Goddard College in 2003. Rachel taught first in elementary education, then at the middle level, and finally, after a two-year stint at the high school level, she was recruited by her mentor from Southern Maine Community College.
Rachel is a painter and also a registered yoga teacher.
Elissa is a designer, educator, and artist. Having spent time honing her craft in-house at Stonewall Kitchen, The Peabody Essex Museum, and Winter Holben Architecture and Design, she is the founder and creative director of the award-winning boutique firm, Elissa Von Letkemann Art & Design, which she founded in 2000.
Elissa has an MFA in Graphic Design from Boston University, a BA in Studio Art from the University of New Hampshire, and a Certificate in Public Relations from New York University. She has taught design at McIntosh College, The New England School of Art & Design at Suffolk University, Lesley University College of Art & Design, and The University of New Hampshire. She enjoys regularly exhibiting her own artwork which consists of digital art, shibori textiles, collage, and painting.
Aressa Goodrich learned the language of graphic design at Maine College of Art & Design. There, she learned about typography, photography, illustration, collage, and painting. Aressa likes to find ways in which her design skills can facilitate communication.
Aressa has interned with both Decor Maine and The Book Fairy Pantry Project. Decor Maine is a magazine made in Maine that promotes local artists and craftsmen. The Book Fairy Pantry Project is a non-profit organization that collects donations of used children’s books and gives them to families in need. Aressa designed their board book, Please Read To Me, in the Dyslexie font to give out to families for free and to promote literacy. Aressa has also interned with The Quarto Group, a publishing house focused on illustrated books. Most recently, she worked at Woods Creative as an Associate Designer.
Nicole Holmes is a multi-disciplinary graphic designer based in Portland, Maine. She graduated with a BFA degree in Graphic Design from Maine College of Art in 2014. A combination of dynamic color and a playful spirit, her impactful, vibrant design style is seen across a diverse range of skillsets, including branding, graphic design, website design, and content marketing. With this flexibility, her career includes collaboration with a broad variety of clients in multiple industries.
Nicole is an avid learner with a love of experimentation, collecting design magazines, and dying her hair every color imaginable.
Chris Laryea is a designer at VIA, an advertising agency in Portland, Maine. He was born and raised in Queens, NYC, but moved to Maine in 2014 after meeting his wife on a dating app. Prior to working at VIA, he worked as a graphic designer for Madame Paulette – a high-end dry cleaner in NYC – where he worked on all their branding, print and digital. Chris receiving his Associates Degree in Digital Media from the Katharine Gibbs School in Manhattan, NYC.
He draws on inspiration from his love of comics, music and Black culture. He now resides in Sanford with his wife and three children.
Alphan Günaydın is a seasoned full-stack developer with over 14 years of experience in software and web development. Originally from Istanbul, Alphan spent two decades in Boston, earning his bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts Boston and a graduate degree in Information Technology from Harvard University. He gained significant experience working at creative agencies, contributing to award-winning projects.
In 2019, Alphan moved to Maine, where he established his own boutique software and web development studio. Visit his website to learn more about Alphan and his work.
Mia Del Bene
Mia Del Bene is an interdisciplinary Designer as well as a Studio Owner, Design Director and Gallery Manager based in Portland, Maine. Originally from New York, Mia trained at the Pratt Institute and then the Maine College of Art and Design, allowing her to find her perfect slice of paradise in this ocean town arts community.
Mia is an passionate advocate for design thinking in every arena of life; Driven by arts, culture, the environment, and the invisible power of people through community, Mia is curious about design in all forms that lead to positive impact and a social change. Mia has been a proud member of AIGA since 2018 via the New York chapter, and now Maine’s.
Gina is a young, expressive digital designer and artist living in Portland, ME. She began using design software in middle school computer club, and although she had a life plan to become a German professor after graduating from Hood College in 2020, the pandemic pushed her back towards her creative roots. In her creative endeavors, she has grown a healthy online community of other designers, both young and old, from across the globe. Gina seeks to merge art and design to create work that is emotional, thought provoking, and cathartic.
You can find more of Gina’s work at her website
and connect with her and her community on Instagram