SEGD Love Stories – Virginia Gehshan

The 2024 SEGD Love Stories series is presented by Archetype.

Dear SEGD,

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. 

Opportunity. The organization has always been willing to let members come forward with ideas and programs that advance the profession. SEGD allowed me to initiate projects such as the Partners & Principals luncheon at the annual conference, the Process Guide and the seminar “The Secret Life of Proposals.” On the other hand I could sit back and learn from the many contributions of others. The profession is relatively young, and constantly evolving, so SEGD allows us to have a say in its development. 

Camaraderie. Once I went to a pre-bid meeting for a large project. Entering the room I saw 4 or 5 fellow SEGD members. We all started hugging each other. This confused our marketing person, as well as the client, who both knew that we were all trying to win the same job. 

Playfulness. In spite of the intensity of our profession SEGD has offered comic relief, whether the wit of Ann Makowski, swimming at Cranbrook, cookie baking, raucous auctions or a sand castle competition in Miami. Along with the education there is plenty of fun.

Creativity. Take a look at the amazing badges from past conferences: designed with local flair and made with TLC by fabricator members to show off the latest materials and processes. They are a wonder to behold. No other design organization has ever come close!

Friendship. I am forever grateful for the exceptional people I’ve met through SEGD, whose talent, work ethic and accomplishments have been an inspiration to me. Even as competitors we could call on each other for advice and support. We remain lifelong friends and confidants.

Marketing. Some of our earliest clients found us through SEGD. Thank you for serving as a hub of information for clients who have no idea what they’re doing, or do know and still need help!

Leadership. Special shout out to Sarah Speare and Leslie Dilworth for demonstrating what it means to be a leader. It was a privilege to witness their boundless energy, organizational skills, creative initiatives, arm twisting talents and understanding of how to build a plane as it barrels down the runway. Respect must be paid.

Connections. SEGD has offered a way for Philly design firms to connect, sponsor events, reach out to students and educate the allied design professions about EGD. Across the country the regional reps deserve a lot of credit for giving members local programming and networking opportunities.

Rewarding. The more time and effort I have contributed to SEGD, the more I’ve gotten out of it. The benefits are numerous. Belonging to the organization has been incredibly valuable, both for me personally and for Cloud Gehshan. I’m very thankful.


Virginia Gehshan, FSEGD

Virginia Gehshan is an SEGD Angel Award honoree from 1995, and served as SEGD President from 1992-1993. She and Jerome Cloud were the recipients of the SEGD Fellow Award in 2010.

If you would like to share your SEGD Love Story, click the link below. We’ll highlight a range of SEGD member stories on our website and in our weekly newsletter throughout the year. The 2024 SEGD Love Stories series is presented by Archetype.

People also viewed