Bennie F. Johnson Takes the Helm of AIGA as Executive Director

Bennie F. Johnson Takes the Helm of AIGA as Executive Director

AIGA has announced Bennie F. Johnson as Executive Director of the organization, effective immediately. A proven executive leader in nonprofits with chapter-based organizational experience, Johnson joins AIGA from the Council of Better Business Bureaus (BBB), where he led strategy and marketing for the organization as Chief Strategy Officer.

At the BBB, Johnson managed partnerships with Google,, Federal Trade Commission, Coca-Cola, Verizon, and P&G, while working with strategic marketing and a portfolio self-regulatory programs on strategy, brand, customer acquisition, marketing and market research and insights.

"Bennie brings a 360-degree view of association leadership, from managing people to influencing communities and enacting change," said Dana Arnett, President of AIGA Board of Directors. "His proven leadership skills will help us harness the power and passion of our AIGA community."

"I'm drawn to organizations where I can play an active role leading and creating new modes of business and enterprise to inspire stronger visions for the future," said Johnson. "Since AIGA is entering a new decade of growth, I am thrilled to join this organization where my educational background, professional experience and personal passions merge and align with the organization's needs and vision."

Johnson's initial connection with design came through Professor Robert Reed, his personal mentor and an inspirational teacher for generations of students. At Yale, Reed's undergraduate class titled "Design" helped Johnson understand how design is a tool to shape and solve real world, business and structural product problems. At Columbia University while earning an MS in Strategic Communications, Johnson mastered the use of design strategy to drive expansion, collaboration and growth.

"I have been passionate about design as a part of innovation and creativity my entire life," said Johnson. "Just as design has been a catalyst and spark in my life professionally, design can serve that role for organizations. From large multinational concerns to next-generation family endeavors, businesses are thinking about ways to solve problems, bring new products to market, and create a better future for themselves and their customers. Design is an integral part of that."

Photo: Lawrence Jackson