Rick Valicenti is the founder and design director of Thirst/Chicago. In 2006, he was awarded the AIGA Medal for his sustained contribution to design excellence and the development of the profession. In 2004, he was awarded the AIGA Chicago Chapter Fellow, and he has been a member of AGI (Alliance Graphique Internationale) since 1996. His works and the works of Thirst are currently on exhibit at the Schmidt Center Gallery & Ritter Art Gallery at Florida Atlantic University in the show "Curiosities: Rick Valicenti & 21st Century Thirst." His work has been published in practically every major graphic design publication. A monograph, Emotion as Promotion, was published by The Monacelli Press in 2005.
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Cook County helps abused and neglected children in foster care find new homes. The organization is a member of both the National CASA Association and the Illinois CASA Association.