August 27, 2021 – Los Angeles-based Shelli Herman and Associates has assisted in the recruitment of Steven J. Brittan as the 14th president of the Laguna College of Art + Design (LCAD). “Steve is an intentional leader with a commitment to positioning education for social good and leveraging the full potential of creative intelligence,” said Terry Jones, chair of the LCAD board of trustees. “We engaged in an intensive global search for the role, finding several qualified, talented individuals. But Steve stood out among the others for his breadth and depth of experience, as well as his compatibility with LCAD’s institutional values and artistic identity.”
Mr. Brittan brings with him more than 30 years of leadership and experience in art and design, within academia, government and corporate commercial sectors. Throughout his professional career he has focused on sustainable and human-centered design. As principal of national architectural firms, he led the design of major building and urban development projects. Mr. Brittan was also active in the venture capital community, mentoring young entrepreneurs and innovators.
Mr. Brittan attended Studio Arts College International (SACI) in Florence, Italy. He later became a teacher and a board member there and served as president for the past five years. During his tenure as president, he established interdisciplinary partnerships for study abroad students with the Italian fashion industry in collaboration with the Ferragamo Foundation, Dainese (manufacturer of smart protective clothing) and EarthDNA, which was founded by scientists, designers and entrepreneurs from NASA and MIT. Mr. Brittan expanded consortium partnerships with premier U.S. art and design institutions, including Parsons New School, University of Southern California, Maryland Institute College of Art, College for Creative Studies and LCAD. Prior to the pandemic, he engaged SACI art and design students and faculty in creative projects within major art museums and provided SACI an opportunity to exhibit at the Florence Art and Design Biennale.
“I believe in the power of artists and designers to change the world and make a positive contribution to society by tying together threads of innovation in different disciplines,” Mr. Brittan said. “Creative problem solving is particularly important in these challenging times with global climate change and the global pandemic. The educational environment must reflect an ecosystem of diversity, equity and inclusion for true creativity, productivity, and positive change to coexist,” he said. “LCAD is an extraordinary place of learning that prepares artists and designers with the know-how, critical skills and integrity to connect and engage more effectively with the professional workplace. I am excited to propel the successes of the exceptional and committed LCAD faculty, staff and students.”
Founded in 1961, Laguna College of Art + Design is a dually accredited, non-profit college located in Laguna Beach, CA. LCAD offers undergraduate degrees (BFA) in animation, drawing + painting, drawing and painting with sculpture emphasis, drawing and painting with illustration emphasis, entertainment design, experimental animation, game art, graphic design and digital media, graphic design and digital media with action sports emphasis, graphic design and digital media with illustration emphasis and illustration.
Shelli Herman and Associates has a long roster of clients, including Otis College of Art and Design, Catalina Island Conservancy, the Annenberg Foundation, Pacific Northwest College of Art, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and University of California, Los Angeles.
Ms. Herman, who has 20 years of executive recruitment experience, has a strong record of leading searches and building upper management teams for a diverse clientele, including Fortune 500 companies. She has completed senior-level assignments in many industries, including consumer products, healthcare, high technology, and finance, as well as for non-profit and cultural organizations.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media