Volunteer Story: Dena Portuesi

I have been a designer and marketer in both the agency and corporate settings for the past 15 years. In my current role in corporate design, I’ve experienced firsthand the importance of having a strong, collaborative team and outside support that provides additional perspectives and resources. My involvement with AIGA has given me just that.

I officially joined AIGA back in 2017 after attending a Women Lead Initiative (WLI) open forum. The event focused on challenges that women face in the creative work environment. I left feeling motivated and inspired. I wanted to help bring the ideas that emerged from the forum to life, so I reached out to AIGA Pittsburgh to become a volunteer and committee member.

I also signed up for the Mentor Mashup program and joined an incredible team who shared my aspirations for organizing women-focused events and continuing the WLI. Together, we created a series of events called “Lead Like a Gi

rl,” which were focused on addressing issues women face in their careers, helping them grow, and providing support. More than 40 people attended our first event, “Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Career Advice for Creative Women.” We received tons of positive feedback from attendees, and the demand for these types of events was obvious. We’re currently planning more events that reflect the feedback and suggestions we have since received.

After working with AIGA Pittsburgh, I was hooked. I wanted to attend more events, but because I live in Wexford and work in Robinson, it was challenging for me to make it to events in and around downtown. To accommodate others who live or work in the suburbs, I organized “Brews in the Burbs,” a series of happy hour events in the outer parts of the city. Our first happy hour is planned for later this month in the North Hills and will cater to creatives working in Cranberry, Warrendale, Wexford, and the surrounding areas. Through “Brews in the Burbs,” I hope to bring more creatives together and help them feel connected to the local design community.

My involvement in AIGA has made me feel part of something bigger in the design world. Without the support of this group, I would not have met so many great people willing to help me bring my ideas to life. I am grateful for these opportunities and encourage others to join, co-host an event, and be part of this amazing organization.

Dena Portuesi
Senior Creative Services Specialist at Industrial Scientific
AIGA Member since 2017


Banner image credit: Erin Zima