Meet our new board members!

Welcoming our new RUX officers and supporting members

Officers

Supporting Members

A hearty thank you

We give our heartfelt thanks for our outgoing officers and supporting members: Scott Childs, Sam Poulin, and Heather Schaefer.

And, a big shout-out to our community and those who attend our events and keep in touch!

Get to know the new board

Check out their bios and see you soon at our fall events!


Shannon Leahy (she, her)

Position: President

Fun fact: I’m a dual citizen of the US and Australia.

Why I joined the board: I’m grateful to all the people who helped me find my way into content design and UX, and I want to pay it forward by helping others learn something new or connect with others.


Lisa D. Dance (she, her)

Position: Vice President

Fun fact: My path to user experience started when I was 9 years old…


Megan McCalester (she, her)

Position: Secretary

Fun fact: I have lost over 100lbs. 

Why I joined the board: I joined the board to make a difference within the Richmond UX community. I discovered my passion for ux late within my career and I wish I had events and a group of passionate people give insights and support out when I was discovering my path.


Katie Moriarty (she, her)

Position: Treasurer

Fun fact: I have a furbaby that keeps me on my toes. His name is Maverick and yes, he’s a Maverick! 🙂 

Why I joined the board: I am passionate about increasing the visibility of design as a career opportunity to both students and career switchers. When I was presented with the opportunity to move into design, I did not realize the growth opportunities with it and now I’m very thankful I took that move! 


Lawrence Altaffer (he, him)

Position: Supporting Member

Fun fact: I once blew myself up with gunpowder. It got better.

Why I joined the board: I joined to be a part of the local UX community, to learn from others, and to share my unique background with others. 


Phoebe Atkins (she, her)

Position: Supporting Member

Fun fact: I was a Forensic Scientist and an English teacher in Spain before becoming a Product Designer

Why I joined the board: I became a supporting member to help cultivate an active and vibrant design community in RVA. As a career changer myself, I’m particularly passionate about helping aspiring designers get started in the field.


Pollie Barden (she, her)

Position: Supporting Member

Fun fact: Completed half-marathon at Virginia Beach at beginning of 21st Century

Why I joined the board: There is so much potential in the Richmond UX/Design community. I want to be a part of bring us all together to learn and achieve great things together.


Chris Birkmeyer (he, him)

Position: Supporting Member

Fun fact: While growing up, I have moved to 5 different states and 7 different cities.

Why I joined the board: I would like to share my experience and insights with the community. I also want to help educate the community on UX, as it is a passion of mine.


Tyrone Frye (he, him)

Position: Supporting Member

Fun fact: I conquered my fear of diving/sinking by jumping from a big rock into the Mediterranean.

Why I joined the board: I joined the board because I wanted to entrench myself into the RVA Design ecosystem. I had also been to a few events and was interested in how I could give back and be involved. I knew that there was a mentorship program in the works and that is something that greatly interests me since I’ve been around mentorship programs a lot in recent years. I even revamped and ran one for nearly a year until COVID happened.


Carl Joseph (he, him)

Position: Supporting Member

Fun fact: I have recently kicked off a new platform for RVA neighbors, small organizations and businesses to share about the impacts they are making in the city. It’s called On Behalf Of | Richmond.

Why I joined the board: I realized there’s a need for community and access to learning about design in the city of Richmond. I joined the board and I’m now supporting to to help fill needs where diverse perspectives can promote problems solving at a greater scale.


Ashley Moody (she, her)

Position: Supporting Member

Fun fact: I love reading (primarily contemporary fiction by POC).

Why I joined the board: To be more involved in the community especially around diversity.


Lauren Pleveich (she, her)

Position: Supporting Member

Fun fact: I have a 15×20 foot food forest taking up the entirety of my tiny backyard in Church Hill.

Why I joined the board: I want to understand how we can integrate with the broader Richmond community in positive ways. How do we dismantle the “tale of two Richmonds?”


Laura Smith (she, her)

Position: Supporting Member

Fun fact: I’ve been riding motorcycles for 25 years. I can also wiggle my ears. Sometimes I do both of these things at the same time.

Why I joined the board: I really enjoy being a connector in the community. I love when I can connect people to other people, resources, or knowledge. Anything that helps someone develop a more meaningful relationship with the world around them.


James “Sully” Sullivan (he, him)

Position: Supporting Member

Fun fact: In the summer of 2018, I taught myself some basic woodworking skills and now a lot of my furniture in my living room is stuff I’ve built.

Why I joined the board: I’m really passionate about design and helping others navigate the crazy world of being a professional designer. The job itself can be tough but getting into a good job is even tougher. I want to provide any and all insight I can to designers in RVA.