Jennifer Ford
Jen is an experienced designer and communicator and currently works as Marketing & Communications Director at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications for online graduate programs. She is also an adjunct lecturer in the UF CJC's Web Design and Online Communication program. Jen earned a Master's Degree from the University of Florida in Web Design and Online Communication. Jen also graduated from Idaho State University with a B.A. in Mass Communication specializing in Visual Communication and Graphic Design. Jen spent several years designing for various publications and clients in Pocatello, Idaho before moving to Gainesville. Working as a page designer for the New York Times Company at their Gainesville Editing Center, she primarily designed pages The New York Times International Weekly. She also aided in the development of new products for the NYT Syndicate, including The New York Times Spending Well, a personal finance supplement for various U.S. newspapers. Spending Well received a New York Times Publisher’s Award in 2015. In her time at the University of Florida, she has also worked as a multimedia developer at the Career Resource Center and Senior Graphic Designer/Social Media Manager for UF Online.
Jim Harrison
Vice President
Jim is a Senior Creative Director at the University of Florida and an award-winning communicator, graphic designer and visual artist. He currently leads creative strategy at The Agency, an integrated communications firm within the College of Journalism and Communications. From 2010-2016 he was instrumental in guiding strategic creative efforts for the UF brand within the department of UF Communications, as well as across campus for other units. He is also an adjunct instructor of upper-division Graphic Design at the UF College of the Arts, and has taught design thinking for UF’s Innovation Academy. A designer and creative director in Gainesville since the early 90s, Jim founded the design studio MetaVisual, specializing in branding and visual communication, and is perhaps best known for the Gainesville Fruit Company — a series of graphic prints featuring local landmarks, executed in the vintage style of classic fruit crate labels. His graphic work, featured in multiple solo gallery exhibitions, has won numerous Gold and Best in Show ADDY awards, and is in the collection of the Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division. He is also a past recipient of a prestigious SAPPI Paper “Ideas That Matter” grant.
Patricia Vernon, APR
Membership Director
Patricia Vernon is a craftsperson and communicator who leads public relations, marketing and creative services teams in conceptualizing and executing content, design and messaging which supports the expression of an organization’s identity and aligns with business strategies. Over the course of her career, Patricia has offered business strategy and content solutions to for-profit and non-profit clients in a variety of industries with an emphasis on health care and commercial construction. Having earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida and an MBA from the University of Phoenix, Patricia has instructed courses in business communications and business management for Northern Arizona University and Davenport University.
Gaby Hernandez
Education Director
Gaby is an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at the University of Florida. Her work specializes in Social Design, Design Research, Community Engagement, and Diversity in Design. Her multidisciplinary and multinational design work has been featured at multiple national and international conferences and exhibitions, including in the UK at the Design Research Society Biannual Conference in 2016. Her professional design service is active and wide, specifically with the AIGA, which includes her membership in national committees such as the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and the Design Educators Community. Until last month, Gaby worked also as Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at the University of Houston-Downtown, where she directed the Graphic Design Research Initiative— a collaborative design studio project working with regional, national, and international clients in the fields of Biology, minority education, and public arts. Her previous AIGA chapter experience includes participation in the AIGA Houston Board of Directors, where she held the Director of Engagement and Education position for two years.
Alex Liebold
Development Director
Alex is Creative Director of national marketing and branding firm 160over90's Gainesville office. Through his time with the agency—both in Gainesville and Philadelphia—he has designed and led efforts for a wide range of clients including the University of Florida, The Miami Dolphins, Ferrari, Old Dominion University, the Philadelphia Eagles and the City of Gainesville. Previously he spent a number of years collaborating with organizations like Good Mythical Morning, Comedy Central, TYR Athletic, Saucony Footwear among others through freelance and other agency experience. His work has been featured in STEP, HOW, FPO's Best of 2012, Brand New, Graphis, the CASE Awards and DesignWorkLife. He holds a master’s degree in design from the Savannah College of Art and Design and degrees in design and advertising from the University of North Florida.
Layne Thue-Bludworth
Communications Director

Layne is the Communications Director of AIGA Gainesville. She oversees AIGA Gainesville’s email newsletters, social media, and other communications channels. A native of Gainesville, FL, she received degrees in Printmaking and Art History from the University of Florida. In addition to printmaking, she has worked in graphic design, arts administration, and museum education. Layne currently works for UF’s School fo Art + Art History in undergraduate advising and has held positions at the Harn Museum of Art, Oconnor Art LLC, The Doris Bardon Community Cultural Center, The Arts and Crafts Center, and Video Rodeo.

Heather Bjorn
Strategic Initiatives Chair
Heather is the Strategic Initiatives Chair on the programming team. She is responsible for identifying and sharing relevant social design and in-house design initiatives with the local design community. Through her focus on events & projects that are cause-driven, we hope to raise awareness of the social impact of design, challenges & opportunities faced by in-house designers, as well as encourage diversity in all areas of design.
Edith Williams
Professional Development Chair
Edith serves on our programming team and is responsible for identifying and sharing relevant opportunities for our members to engage in professional development initiatives with the local community. Through the design and implementation of events and projects that are development driven, this chair focuses on providing education and value for our members to grow and further their development and careers.
OPEN-Finance Director
Finance Director
If you’d like to apply for this volunteer position, apply on the Join the Board! page.