MEET THE DESIGN CORE DETROIT TEAM

OLGA STELLA

VICE PRESIDENT OF STRATEGY AND COMMUNICATION AT COLLEGE FOR CREATIVE STUDIES

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Olga Stella has over 20 years of experience in economic development, public policy and coalition-building in Detroit. Her career has spanned working alongside residents in Detroit neighborhoods to help to facilitate over $200 million in investment in the city to advocate for Detroit’s design economy. In her role at CCS, she supports the Community Arts Partnership, Design Core Detroit, Marketing and Communications, and Office of Partnerships.  Olga lives with her family in Detroit and is active in the community, serving on the boards of several nonprofit organizations. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan Ford School of Public Policy.

BONNIE FAHOOME

CO-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

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Bonnie Fahoome has over 12 years experience serving the entrepreneurs and small businesses of Detroit.  In leading Design Core’s business programs the last 5 years, Bonnie grew membership in the Detroit Design Network to over 120 businesses, developed the Design Guide workbook series, created a series of B2B matchmaking services, and organized the ongoing Design Jam event series to increase potential for new Michigan made accessible products. In her new role as Co-Executive Director, Bonnie will add oversight of Detroit’s UNESCO City of Design designation to her responsibilities.  Bonnie’s education and early career experiences included communications, human resource administration, and sales.

KIANA WENZELL

CO-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

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Kiana Wenzell has more than 18 years experience researching, planning and executing design projects in metropolitan Detroit. In her current role, Kiana co-leads the organization overall and serves as Director of Detroit Month of Design, Drinks x Design and manages other key Design Core public programming.  Kiana has an undergraduate degree in interior design from Eastern Michigan University and a graduate degree in technical writing and professional communication from Lawrence Technological University. She was born and raised in Detroit.

KAREN PEGG

MARKETING MANAGER

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Karen Pegg has a background in growing start-ups for over 14  years by developing creative, brand and marketing strategies. Karen holds a degree in Advertising Design from the College for Creative Studies. In her current work at Design Core, Karen will serve as a communications partner to every department of the organization.

ADRIANE ZACMANIDIS

PROJECT LEAD - CITY OF DESIGN

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Adriane brings a deeply diverse background with over 25 years experience in inclusive design, project management, participatory planning, living systems analysis, emergent technologies, exhibition production and curation, research, and education. Her expertise lies in managing complex partnerships to collaboratively vision the Big Idea and bring it to life. Her approach is inclusive, holistic, regenerative, and place-based. She understands that equitable projects start with deep listening, and are achieved through coalition building, inclusive design, participatory decision-making. Over a lifetime of engaging with diverse communities, cultures, and places across the globe, she understands that each person and place has a unique story to tell in their own voice. Adriane is a skilled translator between the expert, wisdom, and diverse stakeholders.

ASHLEY SEAY-GREEN

PROJECT LEAD

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With an educational background in Interior Design and a passion for Detroit, Ashley has worked with the built environment over the last 10 years for small business and large companies like Quicken Loans, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, and Wayne State University. As a designer, project manager, and program lead, she has experience in executing small and large residential, retail,  and commercial projects across Michigan and the US. With Design Core, Ashley will serve as a resource to connect designers to growth opportunities, and help local businesses solve their challenges with design solutions.

FRANCES BERNARDO

PROJECT LEAD

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Growing up in a household surrounded by Art, Culture, Business and Community involvement, Frances Bernardo has strived to stay close to her roots and core sensibilities where she started her career as a designer for the City of Los Angeles’ Community Development Department. She has since worked closely with small local businesses from LA to Detroit and is currently serving as a Project Lead for Design Core, with the goal of providing support to both designers and businesses in Detroit.

CHARLOTTE WILSON

OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR

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Charlotte Wilson provides administrative support, promotes economic development projects  and performs all bookkeeping operations for the Design Core team. Charlotte has a B.B.A. from Northwood University and has more than 20 years of experience in office management, client relations and financial operations.

The photography on this website has been taken by photographers we work with and sourced from Detroit City of Design Partners, Detroit Design Network members, the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, organizations across the city, and more.

Photographers we work with include: Desmond Love, Noah Elliott Morrison, BreAnn White, Paul Taylor, Three Lyons Creative, and Erada Svetlana.