About this event

We’ll discuss the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in advertising and beyond. How do you navigate social justice in the workplace? Are DEI initiatives making an impact? To gain a deeper understanding of these issues, we’re getting the perspective of industry professionals in our community. Join us February 8, 6-8 PM at BES Studios.

André Johnson

As a multi-faceted Creative Director and working artist, André stays busy developing brands and driving creative initiatives for companies both large and small. In his 19+ years of experience, he’s been very fortunate to work on a variety of projects that have historically and positively shaped the communities he loves.

As an only child growing up in Oklahoma City, André knew at an early age that he wanted to create things for a living. He would often draw and get lost in his imagination, sharing his wonky ideas along the way. Today, André considers himself to be one of the "lucky ones". His passion for visual storytelling has only grown and developed into a career that has allowed him to generate wonderful partnerships and create meaningful work that will undoubtedly outlast him.

However, like most, André’s journey to today wasn’t guided. He had to find his way in a space that had little, to no, representation for him. While navigating through this lack of diversity, André would develop a heightened motivation and determination to excel. 

André hopes to see the creative and advertising industry become more diverse and inclusive over the next 5-10 years. He encourages all the beautifully–colorful minds who still don’t feel included to find your value — then own it; surround yourself with inspiration; always try to see things for what they can be — not just for what they are; and stay humble during the process.

Everett Ching

I am a freelance creative director/art director working in the advertising industry, creating national and global campaigns for the past twelve years. During that time, I've collaborated with many agencies and brands coast to coast, including Adidas, Apple, Converse, Disney, Google, Movado, and Peloton, to name a few.

I grew up in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, which was the perfect place to cultivate my love for skateboarding, photography, design, hip-hop, and fine art. I am an alumnus of Art Center College of Design with a BFA in Fine Art Media and VCU Brandcenter with an MS degree in Mass Communications: Art Direction, where I learned how to blend my fine art background into the commercial world of branding.

Outside of work, I'm passionate about mentoring students and recent graduates to elevate their creative portfolios while providing insight into entering the job market as creative professionals, no matter their background or skill level.

After living in Brooklyn, NY, for the past ten years, I recently moved back to the RVA area with my wife and tabby cat, Ronin, where we enjoy walking around the fan, exploring the local coffee shops, and hanging out at the VMFA.

Lauryn Fauntroy

Lauryn began her journey at Red Orange as a graphic design intern through our HBCU partnership with Virginia State University. She immediately fit right in with the team and began to create impact for clients. One of her most notable accomplishments was designing the logo for Rich Wine, a wine delivery service based in Richmond, as part of the PIP Project. Lauryn’s design was selected by the client from several options presented by the team. Her outstanding design and illustration work and exceptional attitude earned her a full-time spot as a junior designer at Red Orange Studio.

Karen Kardian

Karen Kardian, Senior Vice President, Good Run Research and Recreation is a keen collaborator.  She works to understand all sides of a problem before designing the best solution. Karen is a firm believer that broad input and diversity of thought develops smarter products, more efficient projects, and stronger client relationships. 

She has a wealth of experience working at a Fortune 100 company in a variety of marketing and advertising roles, starting her own business and past experience as a Diversity Recruiting Manager. Currently, Karen manages our Recruiting and Project Management team at Good Run Research including being responsible for growing our Superstar community and ensuring that all voices are represented in our Consumer research. 

Yasir Afzal

Hi, I'm Yasir! I was born in Pakistan and moved to the U.S. when I was three after my mom won the Citizenship Lottery that was big in the 90s. After graduating from VCU with a Strategic Advertising degree, I spent my summer interning at mcgarrybowen, an Ad agency in Manhattan. My short time there helped engross me in the diversity and energy the city emits. While interning, I was selected to participate in BBH's Griffin Farley's Beautiful Minds Workshop, which included people worldwide. I always try to bring the energy of the city anywhere I go. I've been a Senior Recruiter at a National Healthcare company for over two years. I love bridging the gap between people and opportunities. My motivation in life comes from seeing others succeed! We're all in this together!

About our Sponsors

Red Orange Studio is a collaborative marketing and creative agency that helps clients make a greater impact. We specialize in working with marketing teams and small business owners who need a brand partner that can keep up with the pace of business and help them stand out in a crowded marketplace. Red Orange offers creative and compelling solutions in the areas of brand development, marketing strategy, graphic design, ADA compliant WordPress web development, video production, illustration, content creation, digital marketing, copywriting and more. Committed to making an impact on the community, Red Orange Studio founded the PIP Project in 2018, which provides pro-bono marketing and creative services to Virginia-based nonprofits and start-ups.

BES Studios is one the region's top award-winning Film, Broadcast, and Commercial video production companies. Boasting a 3,500 square-foot broadcast studio with cyc wall, a team of visionary and dedicated producers and directors, award-winning cinematographers and crew, and imaginative editors, animators, and audio recording engineers, BES has a tradition of producing outstanding, award-winning commercials and films.

Member Ticket:
Non-Member Ticket:

Special thanks to our sponsor(s)

More events

See all