Noël Claro is an art director and educator based in New York City. She holds a BFA in Graphic Design from the School of Visual Arts. She is currently a consulting Art Director overseeing the on-air rebranding of Nickelodeon’s preschool network, Nick Jr and she teaches Illustration at Parsons The New School for Design. She’s the principal of a design studio that specializes in promotion, book design and editorial projects. Following graduation from SVA, Noël was on staff at a number of magazines, including Vogue, Details, Sassy, and Nickelodeon Magazine.

"I had no idea what to expect when I agreed to judge the CADC Awards. I was excited and nervous and a bit apprehensive but also flattered to be included. I don't think I could've anticipated the fabulosity that ensued. From the minute I spied a lovely Connecticut-themed welcome gift in my hotel room the the heartfelt goodbyes at the end of the judging, it was an awesome experience. I think I actually said at some point that it was one of the best professional opportunities I had ever had. My fellow judges were friendly, smart, thoughtful and incredibly talented and all the CADC people were, too. The work was really impressive and the discussions they started were stimulating and productive. So glad I got to participate in this!"


Ira F. Cummings is an independent Brand Strategist and Designer. He is a veteran of several boutique design studios in Boston, but recently struck out on his own. Over the years, his clients have ranged from Fortune 500 companies to top-selling rock ’n’ roll bands; from tech start-ups to passionate small businesses. His identity and branding work has been featured in several books showcasing the best work in the field.

"My assessment of the work in CT (based on the submitted work) is that it's generally solid. I didn't see a lot of work that was highly conceptual, but the pieces that stuck out had a strong personal vision. By that I mean that it had a high level of craft and clear vision from the creator(s). The best work often resulted in a strong, creative piece without a huge photography budget or gimmicky special techniques."


Liz Linder’s ability to connect with her subjects also applies to her clients. It's a quality that allows her to give you just what you want – but in a way you never expected. The resulting images are accessible and refreshingly unique.

It's an approach Liz has used for over 20 years. To capture personalities - from public to private; to showcase corporate entities such as MTV, EMC and Millenium Pharmaceuticals; and to convey visual stories at institutions like Harvard University, MIT and Berklee College of Music. Her commercial work has appeared in dozens of leading publications, including Rolling Stone, The New York Times and Martha Stewart Magazine. She's been heard on On Point Public Radio and seen on ABC World News Tonight. Her personal work is exhibited and collected throughout the U.S. and Europe.

"I loved this experience, and felt it was an exceptionally well-run jury process. I enjoyed seeing the breadth of submissions, and found it interesting to see how the submissions related to the category headings." 


Nick is a Brooklyn based freelance art director, designer, and illustrator. With work ranging from art direction, fashion design, graphic design, web design, typography, illustration and branding. Over the years, Nick, has had the pleasure of working with Lucas Films, Zoo York, Kr3w, Marc Ecko Enterprises, Hatchet Wound Skateboard Happenings, Playboy, N.Y. Jets, California Cheap Skates and The Food Network. He has also recently begun showing sculptural and fine artwork.

"Overall this was one of the best experiences of my professional career. I definitely left more invigorated in design and completely inspired. What an amazingly talented team to work with! I'm very happy to be able to call each one of the judges and CADC members a friend now. And WOW, Connecticut design continues to blow my mind!"


Richard Graumann is a Sr. Fashion Design Manager at Summer Infant and Creative Director for nusery and gear soft-good products, new and growing categories. Richard went to design school at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn New York, and graduated with a BFA from New England School of Art and Design in Boston. His parents have owned retails stores in Connecticut which allowed him to design and manage their stores and also become a buyer for over 100 products in the gift and bath industry.

"I came to the two-day judging with excitement, but not knowing what to expect. In my shallow thoughts, I assumed I'd arrive at a lonely hotel room, sleep, creatively muscle my way thru a sea of art alongside a handful of overly opinionated designers, eat local pizza, and leave...Much to my surprise, it was nothing even close to what I had imagined. We were treated professionally with strong guidance and clear directions. The atmosphere was creative, friendly, and encouraging, right from the personalized paint bucket filled with local connecticut products waiting in our rooms, to talented designers, who have since become friends.

As we began the process of judging hundreds of submission, we were respectfuly informed of the judging guidelines. In order to keep us creative and focused, we were fed like kings! By the end of the two-day judging process, we felt we could have tackled even more art and were actually sad the experience was over."