Ann founded Willoughby Design in 1978, 40 years ago (yes, 40!). In 2014, she won the AIGA medal in recognition for her work and influence in the design community. Ann is known for championing the role of women in the design profession. She has helped launch the pilot AIGA Design Leadership Program at Harvard Business School.
She is the founding board member of the AIGA Centre for Sustainable Design, co-chair of the AIGA National Centennial Celebration and currently serves as the ambassador for the AIGA Design Archives.
Ann is also my mentor. Knowing her has been one of my greatest honors. Her kindness and warmth shines through in everything she does. Ann's answers mark the beginning of my 100 days project.
If you could be rich with one thing, what would it be and why?
Vibrant physical and mental health because without these our dreams are harder to imagine and achieve. When I was young, I was baffled when people mentioned health as an important gift but with experience I understand the wisdom.
"When I was young, I was baffled when people mentioned health as an important gift but with experience I understand the wisdom."
Do you recall a specific experience when your action created an observable impact on your team? If yes, can you tell us how?
When I was about 7- 8 years old I attended a scout’s troop week-end camp. I was asked to lead the girls through the woods and at some point we were lost. Some of the girls began to cry. Somehow I managed to ignite the untapped courage of our troop and we began to move from fear to mutual support and confidence. It was the first time I realized leadership was about empowering individuals to move beyond personal fear and act for the good of the whole.
What do you have that you think the world should too?
The ability to see possibilities and goodness when others feel hopeless and defeated.
If you could give more of one thing that you have, what would it be and why?
For most of us nature is not too far away if we make the effort. The exhilaration, beauty, peace, wonder, and awe of nature are intoxicating and healing. For me, the Willoughby Design Barn feels like a 1000 mile journey without the hassle of travel. I would share more time at our barn and farm with others.