Board of Directors Biographies
Abby Covert, President Elect
Abby Covert is an independent information architect working and living in New York City. With a proven track record in establishing user-centric practices in a variety of creative environments, Abby also has a reputation for stellar information architecture work in a variety of consulting contexts. Abby prides herself on being an active organizer and mentor within the IA community. She served as Executive Producer for the IDEA conference in 2010 and the Information Architecture Summit in 2010 and 2012. She currently serves as Co Chair for the 15th annual Summit to be held in March 2014. Abby also serves as an adviser for and holds credit for inventing World Information Architecture Day, which held an inaugural event in 2012 with 14 locations globally serving over 1600 attendees. World IA Day 2014, now in its third year, looks to serve 20+ locations globally. Abby speaks and writes under the pseudonym Abby the IA, and currently serves as faculty for Parsons, The School of Visual Arts, General Assembly and Hyper Island.
Rhonda Ranney, Secretary Elect
Rhonda is an experienced Instructional Designer dedicated to creating simple solutions to complex problems, while cleverly balancing business goals and learner's needs. She has over 15 years experience designing and developing learning solutions.
As technology advances and learning solutions evolve she is passionate about infusing Information Architecture and Usability practices into the Instructional Design process.
Rhonda is also committed to educational advocacy to improve public policies and leveraging technology into the classroom. She recently completed a Parents Supporting Educational Excellence leadership program and volunteers her time on her Superintendent's Think Tank Team, Parent Teacher Advisory Committee and Curriculum Committee.
Dan Romano, Treasurer Elect
Daniel is the CTO and a co-founder of Los Angeles-based Pico Experience Studios.
Most recently, he was the Head of User Experience & Design for Disney Interactive, overseeing UX and creative and front-end development for the flagship sites Disney.com and DisneyJunior.com, as well as digital marketing experiences for Disney Studios. Before stepping into lead UX and design, Daniel directly oversaw the team responsible for designing and developing the new Disney.com — the first technological refresh of the platform in nearly 14 years.
Before joining the Walt Disney family, Daniel was the product and development lead of the New Ventures Group at Idealab, the incubator responsible for launching more than 125 companies with 40 IPOs and acquisitions since 1996. He worked closely with Bill Gross to identify and test new opportunities and build products. Prior to Idealab, he ran product for JibJab, and oversaw the launch of the Starring You! platform and personalizable eCards product line, as well as the enormously popular ElfYourself — entertaining billions of people around the world.
He serves as an advisor to the USC’s Annenberg Program on Online Communities, where he mentors students. Daniel is also on the Board of Advisors for California State University Fullerton’s User Experience program, helping to shape and drive Los Angeles as a center for excellence in design and technology.
Daniel holds an MFA in New Media from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In his spare time he is an amateur carpenter, urban homesteader, backyard chicken rancher, restorer of old things, and public speaker on the UX conference circuit. You can see a video of his talk “Princesses, Executives and Unicorns: Managing the Rethink of Disney.com,” given at the Managing Experience Conference in 2013.
Cassandra Moore, Incoming Strategic Planning & Projects Director
Information Architecture is my second career. My interest in how we gather and use information began as a cognitive scientist, researching the parameters of natural thought, perception and attention. Understanding how our minds work has helped me create information systems that resonate with our natural cognitive abilities. This resonance has directed my work in IA over a decade.
I’ve worked in a range of environments – from corporate to agency to government. I am passionate about understanding the nuances of organizations so as to create strategies that meet people where they are and help them address the challenges of managing information in a rapidly changing world. Although a little pointy-headed, I’m practical when things need to be done and, on occasion, can even be amusing.
Judy Siegel, Incoming Development Director
Judy is a Senior User Experience at CNN Digital, based out of CNN Headquarters in Atlanta, GA. At CNN, she provides UX support for Product Design and News Design updates – site redesigns and mobile app updates as well as new product launches and UX support for interactives and “long-form” custom multimedia stories, respectively.
Judy is relatively new to IAI, but is an active volunteer with IXDA and the Society for News Design. This year she presented her work at CNN at IXDA in Toronto. She also was asked to contribute and participate in UX 4 Good this year (ux4good.com), an invite-only 4-day workshop for UX designers where a particular social problem is tackled via UCD principles and design solutions proposed.
Previous jobs include fellowships at the DNC (where she designed the first mobile canvassing app and Govloop.com, a resource and social networking site for government employees and stints at Fiserv, VMware and the CDC.
In past professional lives, she worked in non-profits as a grant writer and researcher and on political campaigns as an organizer.
Erin Stratos, Incoming Programming & Events Director
Erin Stratos is an Information Architect at Grand River, an e-commerce agency in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She was previously employed as an Information Architect at Techstreet, a division of Thomson Reuters, and has worked with the National Science Foundation and the Chicago Office of Tourism & Culture. Erin holds a Master's degree in Human-Computer Interaction from the University of Michigan School of Information and a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Eastern Michigan University. While at UMSI, Erin was bestowed with the exclusive Margaret Mann award, joining the ranks of IA luminaries Peter Morville and Louis Rosenfeld.
Kate Wilhelm, Incoming Membership Director
Kate is Associate Creative Director, User Experience Design at Quarry, a buyer experience agency in St. Jacobs, Ontario. She has experience in IA and UX in both corporate and consulting environments. Prior to Quarry, Kate established the IA practice at BlackBerry and helped improve the user experience for mobile developers.
Kate strongly believes in continued professional growth and improvement and the role that mentoring can play. She is an active mentor and speaker, most recently completing a UXConnect webinar for the IA Institute and Kent State and facilitating a 3 hour career growth workshop at Fluxible, a Canadian UX conference.
Kate holds an MA in Professional Writing from University of Waterloo. Outside of her professional life, Kate is a karate student and Boston Terrier aficionado.
This page was last modified on December 31, 2013 09:10 PM.