8:45-9:00 Welcome

Welcome and an introduction to our speakers.

9:00-10:00 Natalie Tyree: Stand Up and Stand Out: Practical Steps for Conquering Imposter Syndrome and Defining Your Creative Self

Learn practical tips to conquer imposter syndrome and how to get past comparing yourself to others. Figure out who you are and what you do well, and capitalize on that.

10:00-11:00 PANEL: Freelance 101

Curious about that side-hustle life? Feeling a little entrepreneurial? This panel of designers will answer your questions and speak about their own experiences freelancing.


  • Leslie Parker


  • Rachel Bush – Designer/Professor, Austin Peay State University, Tennessee
  • John Lloyd – Sr. Director, Design & User Experience, Hilton Corporate (Memphis)
  • Jeremiah Matthews
  • Kayla Selby

11:00-12:00 PANEL: Navigating Workplace Cultures

The culture of a workplace is dependent on a lot of things: employees, leadership, management style, policies, communication, and so much more. How do you gauge the culture of a workplace before accepting a new job? How do you peacefully integrate? How do you position yourself as a valuable team member once you’ve accepted the job? This panel speaks to their own experiences navigating workplace cultures.


  • Leslie Parker
  • Nikki Arnell


  • Jackie Brightwell – Graphic Designer, The Westmoreland Museum of American Art Greensburg, Pennsylvania
  • Micah Brightwell – Animator, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Jessa Wilcoxen – Chair and Associate Professor of Arts Technology & Administration, Millikin University
  • Christine Lhowe – Designer/Professor, Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey

12:00-1:00 PANEL: User Experience and Beyond - Jobs in Tech

This arm of design seems to be hiring like crazy, so what does it take? From UI/UX to app design to new media and beyond, this panel will discuss the critical drivers to this developing field. Fun stories will also be shared as reviewers explain their career paths, which were not always direct. Join in even if you aren’t sure and you might just find your future.


  • Sabrina Sturtevant


  • Nicole Lewandowski – UI Web Design Manager, Autozone corporate (Memphis)
  • Destani June – User Interface Designer, Autozone corporate (Memphis)
  • John Lloyd – Sr. Director, Design & User Experience, Hilton Corporate (Memphis)
  • Matt Elbert – Senior Product Designer at Amazon
  • Austin Sandy – KLTV Audience Development and Brand Manager, Tyler, TX

1:00-2:00 Julio Ramirez: Cutting through the Noise: Using Personal Projects as your Competitive Advantage

The purpose of this presentation is to go over why it is imperative to use your personal projects as a tool to define your own style, differentiate yourself and define what you stand for as a designer. This exploration focuses on trying to distill the critical questions to ask in order to determine what moves you and how to centralize energy and efforts towards such goals.

2:00-3:00 Nakita Pope: How to Network Like A Creative: Building Community YOUR Way

We hear often about how important your network is to your success, but it can seem daunting. Join us and find out how to use the powers you already have to create a community that you love and that will help you meet your goals.

3:00-4:00 PANEL: Using Social Media the Right Way

Clear out the old and create the new. As you become your own brand, a new social media presence is a must. But should you be a real person on your socials or do you create a corporate-neutral voice? How often should you post? What do you do with other social media you use personally and does it matter? Lots of things to consider, so get advice from those in the mix.


  • Nikki Arnell


  • Jason Prater – Farmhouse Branding, Memphis
  • Chris Kindrick – Sr. Art Director, Stone Ward, Little Rock, AR
  • Sophie Hedge – Creative Marketing Specialist, Optus Inc., Jonesboro, AR

4:00-5:00 PANEL: The Flexible Career Plan

After a year like 2020, we all know to expect the unexpected. Being adaptable is the best way to position yourself for success. Hear from professionals on this panel about pivoting in your career when things don’t go as planned.


  • Rod Thompson


  • Madison Blancaflor – Credit Cards Reporter, The Points Guy, Charlotte, NC
  • Tristen Click – Visual Designer / Instructor, San Diego
  • Melanie Uribe – Creative Director / Assistant Professor, Connecticut
  • Jimmy Henderson – Graphic Designer, North Carolina

5:00-6:00 Ken Zinser and Ibbie Osman: Design in a Good Way: Using your Creative Superpowers to Make a Difference

How do you make a career in design for social impact? How does culturally appropriate design work? How do you stay motivated in the face of severe public health inequities? Hear about the experience of two designers building a creative practice inside a Native-led, non-profit community health center—and how they’ve changed in the process.

6:00-6:15 Closing