Conference 18 October 2019
Women in Leadership + Design: Day of Empowerment
8:00 am - 5:30 pm


130 Sutter Street, Suite 600

San Francisco

Event is over
8:00 am
Experienced Leader Track Begins
9:00 am
Rising Leader Track Begins
5:30 pm
Event Ends

Join an intimate group of women and non-binary design leaders from a variety of backgrounds for a day of inspiration and connection. Throughout our time together, we’ll share our dreams and push the boundaries of what it means to be a leader in design as we collectively shape our future.

Industry luminaries will inspire experienced leaders with presentations on leading in design and life, heart-centered leadership, and more while rising leaders will glean insights on how to uncover our unique leadership styles, how to evolve our portfolios from designer to leader, and more.

All leaders will enjoy lunch and drinks together and we’ll spend time connecting through small group creative activities to share challenges/opportunities with one another.

This event is intended to build meaningful connections within our community and is limited to only 100 seats for both experienced and rising leaders.


5+ years of management experience

8:00 am Breakfast and connection

9:00 am Katrina Alcorn, Leading in Design and Life

9:45 am Kim Williams, Design is Resilient

10:45 am Erika Lutz, Cultivating Heart-centered Leadership

11:45 am Lunch with experienced + rising leaders

1:30 pm Group creative activities (choose 1):

    Experienced leaders will leave from the event location at 130 Sutter St and travel to their group activities together. Everyone is responsible for their own transportation.

  • Group 1 SFMOMA inspiration, 151 3rd St
  • Group 2 Succulent workshop at WorkshopSF, 1798 McAllister St
  • Group 3 Pottery workshop at Clay By The Bay, 1618 Pacific Ave
  • 4:30 pm Cocktail Hour with experienced + rising leaders


    1-4 years of management experience or those moving into a management role

    9:00 am Group creative activities: (Choose 1)

  • Group 1 Succulent workshop at WorkshopSF, 1798 McAllister St
  • Group 2 Pottery workshop at Clay By The Bay, 1618 Pacific Ave
    1. Rising Leaders will travel to the event location at 130 Sutter for lunch and presentations. Everyone is responsible for their own transportation.

    11:45 am Lunch with rising + experienced leaders

    1:30 pm Jennifer Sonderby, Discovering your Unique Leadership Style

    2:30 pm Zhen Zeng, A playbook for new managers to develop their teams

    3:30 pm Aynne Valencia, Evolving your Portfolio from Designer to Leader

    4:30 pm Cocktail Hour with rising + experienced leaders


    About WILD

    We believe that through community we can empower underrepresented women and non-binary persons in the field of design. Our goal is to close the gender gap and make sure every person feels supported to be the design leader they aspire to be or already are. WILD is an initiative of AIGA SF.

    Katrina Alcorn
    Katrina Alcorn is an experience design strategist, public speaker, and award-winning author. She has spent about 20 years leading strategic design projects in financial services, high-tech, health care, energy, and the non-profit sector. Katrina’s writing has appeared in many national publications including The New York Times/Motherlode, The Huffington Post, and, and she has spoken at dozens of conferences and corporate events, including The Commonwealth Club, SWSX Interactive, and TEDx Monterey.

    Katrina joined Autodesk in 2016 where she now leads the digital design team of about 100 interaction designers, visual designers, researchers, program managers, and front-end web publishers. Katrina is also a certified LUMA instructor and has taught design thinking to Autodesk employees around the world.
    Kim Williams
    Kim Williams has deep roots in Creative Direction and Branded User Experience Design Leadership. She led major client work at prestigious agencies such as Ogilvy, a global advertising, marketing and public relations agency. Kim also orchestrated large scale cross-functional design systems for dual-sided marketplaces; first connecting buyers with sellers at eBay and now job seekers with employers at Indeed. Find Kim on LinkedIn and Twitter.
    Erika Lutz
    Erika Lutz is a heart-centered artist, designer, and storyteller. Formerly VP of Design at Lumosity, her creative leadership produced top-ranking mobile apps that have helped over 100 million people nurture healthy minds through play. Erika’s design and direction of kids apps, educational games, and broadcast television have earned Emmy Award-winning recognition. Erika lives in northern California amongst the redwoods and writes about mindfulness, interconnectivity, and stewardship for Lost in Forestville.
    Jennifer Sonderby
    Jennifer Sonderby is an award-winning creative leader, visual storyteller, educator, and results-oriented practitioner. As principal and creative director at Sonderby Design, she shapes large-scale programs that build vital connections through the intersection of branding + identity, exhibitions, wayfinding, digital platforms, print media, and books. Recent projects include a brand refresh for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the exhibition design and identity for an artist-de-signed roller rink at Fort Mason Center for Arts + Culture.

    As Design Director at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, she led the museum’s design studio to successfully conceive of and launch its award-winning brand strategy and visual identity which coincided with the opening of the institutions’ expanded new building. Under her direction, the design team re-envisioned the visitor’s experience of the institution—from environmental signage, digital platforms, print media to product in the museum’s store.

    She teaches in the undergraduate design program at California College of the Arts and has taught design workshops in Harare, Zimbabwe and Nagoya, Japan.

    Her work is included in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection and is recognized in publications and by professional organizations worldwide.
    Zhen Zheng
    Zhen leads the consumer experience design team for Uber Eats, a product that she helped to build from the ground up 4 years ago. During this time, she worked on multiple initiatives that drove product roadmap and future strategies. These days, she spends most of her time providing creative direction and iterating on process and tools to empower her team to achieve their career goals.

    Before embarking on the design manager journey, she was a designer at Uber, Airbnb, Square, and IDEO. Her approach to product design is grounded in her experiences in interaction design, service design, research, and illustration. She enjoys designing for multi-sided marketplaces, which often require solving problems that don’t have obvious answers.
    Aynne Valencia
    Aynne Valencia has over 25 years of professional experience leading design & strategy of next-generation products & services. She is Chair of the Interaction Design program and Associate Professor at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. Most recently, she joined the team at the City of San Francisco Digital Services as Design Director.

    Her background features a blend of service design, creative management, design research, business strategy, visual design, branding, advertising, marketing, and technology.

    She has worked with clients such as eBay, University of Phoenix, SunTrust Bank, McDonald’s, and Visa with tackling strategic business problems through service and product design.

    Her past experience includes: lead product designer at Microsoft focusing on consumer products, digital advertising at AKQA as Digital Product Design Director, Design Lead for the Cisco Flip Camera shipping 4 releases of the camera and other consumer products, Service Design Lead at Fjord and Associate Creative Director at R/GA.

    She actively contributes to the design community through speaking engagements, panels, and organizing community events. She taught design at San Francisco State University and the Masters of Design Program at CCA, and created the innovative User Experience Design Immersive at General Assembly.