Based in Kingston, Shauna Keating is a designer and a leader of several community organizations, including the HV Tech Meetup and AIGA Upstate.
In addition to her leadership in local tech and design organizations, she’s also actively involved with other community-building groups like Hudson Valley Women in Business and Kingston Stockade FC. And that’s on top of her career as a UX designer who’s worked on numerous projects for companies in the Hudson Valley and beyond.
Hello! Who are you? Tell us about yourself. What are you passionate about? What do you enjoy doing?
Hey there! I’m Shauna Keating, and I am a UX designer and community organizer. I am currently working remotely as Product Designer with TurnTo Networks, whIch is based in NYC. We build customer review software that you see on websites like Nike, Staples, and Pier One Imports. I am often out and about in Kingston anywhere I can get wifi and power. A lot of the time, that means Rough Draft.
I am an organizer of the Hudson Valley Tech Meetup. You can catch me on stage as an emcee at the Kingston meetup every other month. I also am currently serving as Co-President on the board of the Upstate NY chapter of AIGA, the professional association for design.
Aside from that in the winter outside of working hours I really enjoy rollerblading (I have 3 rinks within a reasonable distance from my house!), snowboarding (mostly at Hunter these days), and traveling (I’m currently writing this while in Ireland for a family reunion).
How did you discover the Hudson Valley?
I grew up just over an hour south of Kingston in northern New Jersey. I originally came up in 2012 to attend SUNY New Paltz as a student in their Graphic Design program. When I finished my BFA a few years ago, my roots were here, so I decided to stay.
Do you have a go-to coffee or beer order, and from where?
I don’t drink coffee but there a couple are beers/ciders of local breweries that I usually order. I love sour beers so I am always happy to see Hudson Valley Brewery (based in Beacon) on a tap list. I am also really into cider and really love Graft’s ciders (especially Lost Tropic in the summer!) and Awestruck Cider.
How has the Hudson Valley influenced or impacted your creative work?
The biggest impact of being here vs. being in a large city is that my voice can actually be heard and I am given the opportunity to advocate for myself and other young people starting their careers. Had I started my career in New York or Boston I would have been lost in a sea of entry level designers. In the Hudson Valley, there is more space to grow. I would not have had the opportunities I’ve had here anywhere else.
What’s surprised you most about living and working in the Hudson Valley?
The sheer amount of opportunities to network and grow in my career while living somewhere that isn’t so densely populated has definitely surprised me. When I moved up here originally, I thought I’d be here for school, cross the graduation stage and head back to the suburbs to work in NYC like everyone else from the area I’m from. It was pretty weird to finish school and feel like going back would result in a net loss of resources and connections. I think a narrative of “there’s no jobs here” has been pushed for a long time and while yeah there isn’t a new opportunity popping up every day, most of the folks I know who want to be here have been able to.
Anything you want to plug or promote?
I absolutely do! All of the organizations I mentioned being involved in outside of my job at TurnTo are 100% volunteer run. They just don’t happen if we don’t have folks to help make it happen. If you’re just starting out, or even if you are an established professional looking to branch out more volunteering is a great way to make connections and gain valuable experience.
The Hudson Valley Tech Meetup is also always in need of motivated volunteers. If you are interested in getting involved, feel free to send us a DM on Instagram or Twitter with your email or preferred method of communication.
I am currently on the hunt for some Programming Coordinators to help me plan design events with AIGA Upstate NY in the Hudson Valley. We also are looking to fill some of our board roles, many of which are 100% remote. If that interests you, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org