Our Board of Directors

Get to know the board a little better! We asked each of them a few questions and compiled the list below…

PS: Use the links below to navigate through the page if you’re looking for a specific person!

Ben Ko
Engineering Manager, Kaleidoscope

Where do you come from? 

I grew up in Fairfield and tried to get out of southwest Ohio my whole life until I moved to Clifton to attend the University of Cincinnati and fell in love with the urban core. I now live in Walnut Hills and work downtown as a biomedical engineer at Kaleidoscope, a product development firm, where I lead design teams that create surgical procedures and medical devices for life-improving or -saving therapies. I consider myself incredibly lucky in that I truly love the medical device design work I get to do every day.

Why did you say “yes” to being on this board? What about DI’s work taps into your passion?

Kaleidoscope and Design Impact share office space, coffee addictions, and creative inspiration. I joined Kaleidoscope five years ago, and a strong factor in the decision was that its owners so fully share and invest in Design Impact’s mission of driving social change. I learned more and more about the passionate DI group, and I jumped at the opportunity to invest my own time to promote them, problem solve with them, and contribute to the community we all strive to improve.

What do you hope to bring to this board? 

I share DI’s background in design process and my experience working through clients’ challenges translates into a different perspective on how to attack problems. I understand a consultancy’s lifeblood: balancing billable work with internal initiatives, all while maintaining the pipeline, and I hopes to have some hard-learned lessons to share. I strive to face any challenge with optimism, seeking to elevate rather than isolate team members.

Kathie Maynard
Associate Dean for Education Innovations & Community Partnerships; College of Education, Criminal Justice, Human Services, & Information Technology, University of Cincinnati

Where do you come from? 

I am Appalachian; grew up in the coal region of Eastern Kentucky on the border of West Virginia. I am a first generation high school graduate and from a background of extreme poverty, but also from a robust familial network that taught me the power of relationship and community. I have lived in Cincinnati for the last 20 years and consider it home.

Why did you say “yes” to being on this board? What about DI’s work taps into your passion?

Design Impact brings power through process to very complex social change issues. They believe in the wisdom of lived experience and the possibility of creating change through community coming together. I believe that DI can help facilitate transformation for this city I call home.

What do you hope to bring to this board?

I bring connections to the University of Cincinnati, as UC leans more into its expanding role to support and drive better Urban Futures for the city of Cincinnati and the region.

Tim Vogt
Executive Director, Starfire Council

Where do you come from?

Physically, I am from Bellevue, Kentucky. I am the 5th generation of my family to live in Campbell County and my children are the 6th generation. Our family’s goal is to live there for the rest of our lives and take care of the place and people in it as best we can. Philosophically and professionally, I come from a place of having built a set of programs that exacerbated the problem I purporting to solve, so I transformed them. This has led me to understand the importance of family, community, and careful organizations.

Why did you say “yes” to being on this board? What about DI’s work taps into your passion?

I used a design thinking process to transform parts of my work. When I heard Kate and Ramsey’s vision, I knew they were on the right train. Social innovation is an imperative for our future generations to live better than we do. Design processes are the best bet at doing that, in my opinion. I also spent a few years working alongside them and came to deeply respect their thinking and commitment. They are one of the very few who are re-thinking the legacy structures of non-profits and government in a positive and optimistic way. I admire that. So when they asked, I said, “Of course.”

What do you hope to bring to this board?

Being an Executive Director, I hope to bring support to Kate, primarily. I remember sending out emails that no board members responded to. I remember asking for donations and hearing crickets from my Board. I want to cheerlead and encourage. I also hope to bring my perspective, that designing toward an outcome for community and family is possible and important.

Margy Waller
Senior Fellow, Topos Partnership

Where do you come from?

  • DC (born and lived there longest as an adult)
  • Parktown in the West End
  • Daughter of two artists and union members (Musicians Local 1)
  • Over-the-Rhine, in all its glory and pain
  • Legal Aid experience
  • The pace and demand for the excellence of high stakes politics and policy-making

Why did you say “yes” to being on this board? What about DI’s work taps into your passion?

  • Every time I interact with DI I learn something
  • The people who work there are ?
  • Belief in meeting people where they are in policy development/community building

What do you hope to bring to this board?

  • Communications knowledge, framing for good
  • My network
  • Commitment to creating community with art and artists

Ashlee Young
Manager of Community Strategies, StrivePartnership

Where do you come from?

I come from a mother who instilled in me at a young age the value of service and she continues to live and share that value with my daughter today.

What do you hope to bring to this board?

What I bring to the board is my passion for people and ability to embrace multiple perspectives in order to drive system change. I’m also a connector and an avid learner committed to supporting Design Impact in addressing complex social challenges.