About DesignMil

Create change


About DesignMil

Create change

DesignMil is a one day collaborative event in Milwaukee, Wisconsin that connects nonprofits with designers to create work that elevates their identity, branding, or otherwise visual needs.

On Saturday, November 4, 2017, Milwaukee's creative professionals will have 12 hours to use their talent in a meaningful way.


According to HOW Magazine, there are 1,600 designers working in Milwaukee and Spectrum Nonprofit Services affirms that Milwaukee has nearly the same number of nonprofits.

Bringing the two groups together is an opportunity to create change that serves the greater good of our community.


How It Works

How it works

How It Works

How it works

Fill out an application

If you want to participate in DesignMil, you must first fill out an application (and be accepted).

Who can/should apply?
Designers, developers, creatives of all experience levels (students, too!,) and nonprofit organizations that have a brilliant new idea, but lack the resources to make it happen.

Meet your team

We organize teams based on the ability of designers and the needs of the nonprofit. One of the goals of DesignMil is to foster new and unexpected collaborations. For this reason, we do not take requests for teammates. Teams are assigned based on skill level and design experience.

One week prior to the event teams will meet for the first time for a project pre-planning. This is also each team’s chance to meet their nonprofit. No work is completed at the pre-planning meeting, instead team’s plan for the DesignMil event so they can hit the ground running. This meeting is mandatory for all participants and nonprofit representatives.

Day of DesignMil

The event starts bright and early at 9:00am. Designers will have nine hours to complete their project, presenting their hard work at the end. Food, coffee, and more will be provided throughout the day!



Meet the DesignMil team


Meet the DesignMil team

Anthony Lauer

Anthony is an area designer and educator serving as DesignMil's Lead Organizer. He has been combining design and education as a freelancer, adjunct professor and cooperating teacher with regional businesses, schools and universities for most of his career. These experiences will help Anthony coordinate the DesignMil team and ensure a quality event for all involved this fall.

Angela Ryan

Angela serves as Assistant Organizer for DesignMil. Angela is a Senior at UW-Milwaukee pursuing a BFA in Design and Visual Communication. She currently works as a Graphic Designer for UW-Milwaukee’s Restaurant Operations. Angela joined the team to coordinate DesignMil to aid in providing a great opportunity for nonprofits, designers, developers, students, and Milwaukee alike.


Emily Adkins

Emily serves as Assistant Organizer for DesignMil. Emily works as a Designer in the Milwaukee area. She joined the team to coordinate DesignMil, because it combines her two passions: design, and giving back to the community. After working at United Way of Greater Milwaukee, Emily is excited to be working again to benefit Milwaukee non-profits and the community.

Cassie Bonner

Cassie joins DesignMil as the co-coordinator for nonprofit organizations and design professionals. She recently graduated from UW-Milwaukee and currently holds the position of Studio Manager at Northern Ground. Cassie is thrilled to be a part of the DesignMil team because she is passionate about people and eager to make a difference in the Milwaukee community.

Steve Kodis

Steve is the Creative Director for DesignMil. He believes design is a tool that can make change better. That understanding a problem from the inside out, creates solutions that work from the outside in. Steve also believes designers have a responsibility to give back to the community by using their skillset for the greater good.

Brad Fisher

Brad joins DesignMil as the co-coordinator for nonprofit organizations and design professionals. He works as Marketing Coordinator for Henricksen, and also serves on the Board of Directors for the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Greater Milwaukee as both Vice President and Membership Co-Chair, leading organizational member recruitment efforts. Brad is energized by the important work in Milwaukee’s nonprofit sector and is excited to connect organizations to this event.

Rodney Hahn

Rodney serves as Lead Designer for DesignMil. He's been a designer/art director over the past 14 years in the MKE community, from working with non-profits to the corporate side to being self employed. He has a passion for brand identity and building strong looking brands. Rodney is looking forward to connecting the design community to deserving non-profits and continue to elevate our MKE community.

Rita Dragotta

Rita is a web developer and designer in the Milwaukee area, who works primarily with HTML, CSS and responsive web. She enjoys working with both graphic and interface design, and the mechanics of the code behind them. Joining the DesignMil team as Web Developer, Rita looks forward to getting involved with local nonprofits and talented Milwaukee creatives.

Chris Trejo

Chris is a fourth year student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee studying Graphic Design and Printmaking. He has a passion for art, design, problem solving, and creativity. As student coordinator, Chris is excited to introduce new students to the Milwaukee design community and connect them with local non-profit organizations.


Jillian Duckwitz

Jillian joins the DesignMil with over a decade of experience in a variety of disciplines from Design Thinking to Surface Design. Her belief is that design is the ultimate platform for creating positive change—best when it's human-centered and leveraged to empower communities. Jillian co-organized Design Like Mad Milwaukee in 2015, and continues her passion for activism, design and civic tech as a contributor to a multitude of projects and campaigns at Chi Hack Night and Open City Workshop. At the moment, she spends her days at IBM in Chicago as a UX Designer, specializing in iOS.

Kate Pociask 

Kate serves as consultant to DesignMil. She is an independent designer and art director who works in everything from UI/UX to brand strategy. She has been working in the Milwaukee design community for 8 years. She plans events for CreativeMornings /Milwaukee, a breakfast lecture series for the creative community, and brings that knowledge to help organize and implement the team at DesignMil.

Donovan Green

Donovan is a senior in the Design & Visual Communication undergraduate program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Donovan’s current position as a graphic designer III student lead at UWM Union Marketing allows him to improve his design skills. He has worked on campaigns for both campus departments and student organizations, taking their concepts to create branding in the form of banners, posters, and flyers.

Lydia Jarvis

Lydia is an interdisciplinary communication designer based in Milwaukee. As one of two primary organizers of Design Like Mad - Milwaukee in 2015, she coordinated a team of volunteers to execute Milwaukee's first 12 hour design marathon, raising over $40,000 in design services for local nonprofits. In addition to freelance design work, she currently assists in managing the Pabst Theater Group's graphics department and organizes a number of side projects.

Mary Marren

Mary serves as the Social Media Coordinator. With a BFA in Design, she currently works as a Packaging Designer for Kohls Corporate creating and establishing the brand and identity for seven of their private and exclusive brands. Apart from design, Mary has a background in social media and a passion for working with nonprofits. Mary believes a life without creating lacks satisfaction, and creating without purpose lacks impact. Keeping that mantra in mind, Mary joined DesignMil excited to see the positive impact it will bring to the Milwaukee community.