Staff Spotlight | Samantha

What I like most about what I do is being able to express myself creatively and then seeing that creativity come to life.

Samantha Chang is the mastermind behind all the beautiful designs at the IBAO, including this magazine. You name it, she’s designed it. But she didn’t start her career that way, nor did she have any idea design was something she was so passionate about. Her career began in hotels and hospitality—a big change from her current role as Lead Designer.

“I went to George Brown for Hotel & Hospitality Management with the intention of working abroad and traveling the world. Over a few years, I travelled across 36 different countries including my favourites Czech Republic and Indonesia”

Sam went back to school for a Bachelor of Commerce at Ryerson University. During her program, she got her first taste of the marketing world and an interest sparked from there. But as anyone who’s graduated from a post–secondary program knows, it’s never easy to land that first job in your chosen career path, and Sam was no different.

“After I graduated, I had a difficult time switching industries, so I applied with a temp agency who referred me to IBAO. It was only supposed to be a two–month contract, but I was offered a permanent position as Receptionist. Almost a year later I transferred to Education Design Coordinator and started working with the Marketing Team, which led to my current role. I’ve been with the IBAO almost eight years now. It’s been quite a journey to say the least.”

Sam’s day-to-day involves many different elements of the association. “I lead and implement all IBAO’s brand standards. I create and execute all our print and digital collateral including brochures, our magazine, promotional materials, business cards, stationary, event collateral, web design, digital assets and advertisements.” The list goes on. Essentially, any time you’ve seen an incredible IBAO design, that’s Sam. Remember the main stage at our last in–person Convention? Enough said.

“What I like most about what I do is being able to express myself creatively and then seeing that creativity come to life. IBAO provides a great platform to take risks and go big in front of a wide audience. One of my biggest accomplishments at IBAO is the reinvention of our logo in 2019, because of the strategy behind it and ensuring it aligned with the new strategic plan.”

When Sam isn’t designing, pre-COVID you would’ve found her exploring different bars and restaurants downtown. She’s always up for a sushi run—her favourite food. Since that’s currently not an option, she’s been able to branch out and explore new interests and hobbies. “I’ve recently taken up biking and yoga, I’ve learned how to cook fancy meals, solve 2000 piece puzzles and recently, I’ve gotten into DSLR photography. As much as I’ve missed going out with friends and family, I’ve had time to pursue other interests and find new things that I love to do.”

When asked what she’s looking forward to most once COVID is over, without missing a beat she says being able to travel again.

“My fiancé Damon and I are planning a destination wedding in Vegas so we can get married by Elvis. It’s always been a dream of ours, not because we’re Elvis fans, but because we think it’d be hilarious. Who wouldn’t want to get married by an Elvis impersonator?”

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