“It’s with humility that I thank AIGA and its vibrant membership. You’ve enriched my life and career beyond my wildest expectations.”
With those words, VSA Partners’ CEO Dana Arnett accepted his AIGA Medal at the AIGA Centennial Gala, held last Friday in New York City. The Gala honored 24 design leaders for their achievements in the profession, bringing together a once-in-a-lifetime group of design professionals whose careers embody the values of AIGA, the professional association for design. Arnett accepted the award with his family and a number of VSA colleagues present.
After the Gala, Arnett shared his thoughts on being part of an event that was attended by friends, colleagues and AIGA members, as well as VSA clients Sappi and IBM, the latter of which was the very first recipient of AIGA’s Corporate Leadership Award in 1980. “It was a beautiful expression of the organization,” said Arnett, an AIGA member since 1991. “Not as much seen from the perspective of the Medalists, but the broader set of ideals that AIGA has stood for for 100 years. So it was very meaningful to be a part of that Medalist group.” His acceptance speech focused on the two compelling lessons taught to him by his mentor, VSA co-founder and AIGA Medalist Robert Vogele: “First, the importance of nurturing creativity by fostering a community of respect. And second, holding tight to the belief that the focus of any creative business must be on one thing: the people.”
Browse the Flickr gallery to see photos of the Centennial Gala (and spot your design heroes). And join VSA in congratulating Arnett for his Medal win. As he said of the experience, “For me, the Medal was as much an expression of what we’ve built at VSA as it is a representation of my personal body of work.”
Cover images courtesy of Angela Jimenez Photography for AIGA.