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Kathman, the “K” in LPK and Chief Executive Officer from 1999 to 2015, is recognized for his lifelong work in design—and for making it a more inclusive, diverse industry.


In the latest issue of dmi:Review, the Design Management Institute (DMI) spotlights LPK founder and former CEO, Jerry Kathman, reflecting on his long and colorful career in design and brand-building. Through decades of disruption—from emerging technologies to the globalization of markets—Kathman championed design as the tool to help businesses thrive: “the ascendancy of design as a contributor in business success continues. Our impact has never been more significant and yet the challenges we face have never been more complex.”


Jerry Kathman reviewing work early in his career

“It is vital that those of us who lead in our industry give back to future generations.”

Now, Kathman is transitioning into a new leadership role with DMI, shifting from dmi:Emeritus Board Chair to an important advisory function as a dmi:Life Fellow and Senior Advisor to the dmi:Board of Directors, helping the next generation navigate the currents of change through design.

“It is vital that those of us who lead in our industry give back to future generations,” Kathman says. “The DMI, for me, has been the best platform for that work.”

In his 30-plus years of work in branding, Kathman helped countless brands reach their full potential to resonate with consumers—always with a focus on creative excellence and inclusive design. “[Jerry] was always a few steps ahead of everyone in his visionary thinking,” says Carole Bilson, President of DMI. “He was the biggest advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion in design, and was the leading voice and supporter when we launched the dmi:Diversity in Design Conference, now in its sixth year.”

To learn more about DMI and explore the full feature in dmi:Journalhead here.