Design Director, The Coca-Cola Company
Alex Center is a Brooklyn-based designer who currently works as Design Director for the global beverage leader, The Coca-Cola Company. He grew up in the town of Oceanside NY, home to the world's second Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs. He once worked for the New York Knicks as a designer where he worked with both his childhood idol, John Starks and his nemesis Isiah Thomas. He has spent most of his professional hours being creative on behalf of the beverage brand vitaminwater. Over the years, he has designed packaging that has been in hands across the globe, created breakthrough marketing campaigns, launched innovative new products and once met rapper 50 Cent who told him “You must think you're pretty special.” He got nervous and instantly started sweating.
In 2011, Alex was named one of the 200 Best Packaging Designers by Luerzers Archive. In 2013, he started sharing his story with speaking engagements at The Dieline Forum, AIGA INitiative, HOW Design Live and as a guest on Debbie Millman's famous Design Matters podcast. In 2014, Alex was named a Person To Watch by GDUSA Magazine. In 2015, he became a columnist for HOW Magazine, writing about the expanding landscape of In-House design. In 2016, he joined the AIGA In-house Initiative Steering committee, working to address the unique opportunities and challenges faced by the in-house community. Today, he leads the strategy and design vision for brands at Coca-Cola that include vitaminwater, smartwater & Powerade. In his personal time he enjoys rooting for New York sports teams that wear orange/blue, editing instagrams for far too long and searching for the freshest prosciutto in New York City.
HEAD, THE BOSS GROUP, Cella Consulting
Former leader, AIGA INitiative
Andy Epstein is a veteran in-house design manager, having created and grown in-house design teams of various sizes for multiple companies. He started his career as a freelance designer and illustrator. Jumping into the world of in-house in 1992, Andy created and grew in-house design teams for Commonwealth Toy and Gund. He later restructured and expanded the hundred-person creative team at Bristol-Myers-Squibb and consulted at Johnson & Johnson. After a three year stint at Designer Greetings leading an in-house design team responsible for the company’s product lines and Point Of Sales materials, Andy has moved back into pharma heading up a 65+ managed services team for The BOSS Group at Merck.
Andy has written and spoken extensively on in-house issues and published “The Corporate Creative”, a book on in-house design, in partnership with F&W Publications in the spring of 2010. He is a co-founder of InSource, an association dedicated to providing support to in-house designers and design team managers and recently completed a 4 year engagement as head of INitiative the AIGA In-house Design program where he continued his efforts to empower in-house teams and raise their stature in the design and business communities.
He edits and contributes to the HOW “InHOWse Designer Blog,” authored The Corporate Creative, and recently completed a four-year commitment heading up AIGA’s in-house INitiative.
Jeany Ngo (AirBnB)
USER EXPERIENCE Designer, AirBNB
Jeany is a designer and illustrator currently at Airbnb. Her work focuses around creating and improving user experience from everyday products to explorations of futuristic UI.
Off (the computer) screen, she expresses her love for fiction and pop culture through illustrating and painting, showcasing her work in gallery shows. She can also be found caped crusading in homemade cosplay.