We asked Carima to share everything ATypI members could ever want to know about her. She had many things to tell us.
Please provide us with your bio.
Carima El-Behairy, a Buffalo native born at Children’s Hospital, had an atypical upbringing. She is the daughter of two teachers; her father a full professor at Buffalo State and her mother a Grand Island teacher, both of whom instilled in Carima a love of learning, travel, and community. Carima has lived in four countries and three states, and, with twenty-nine countries across five continents under her belt, she is rapidly working through her travel bucket list—but Buffalo is home. This love of travel and education has guided Carima throughout her career.
Currently the Executive Director of the Buffalo Heritage Carousel, she brings to the organization her extensive knowledge of startups, design, finance, operations, and board development, her community contacts, and an entrepreneurial can-do mindset. Carima is also an experienced public speaker.
Prior to becoming the full time Executive Director of BHC in May of 2022, Carima was its Acting Executive Director as well as the Director of Operations and Development. Prior to this position, she ran her own consulting company, CCE Consulting, providing strategic support for small businesses in transition, whether it was in the startup phase, after merger, or for the next generation, as well as board training and coaching. The opportunity to use all her skills and work in a creative environment at BHC was too good an opportunity to pass up, so CCE Consulting has been put on hiatus for the moment.
In 1994, Carima co-founded P22 type foundry, a boutique software company that specialized in fonts, and was its managing partner until 2017. She cultivated relationships with designers, foundations, and museums, licensing designs from their collections for resale at P22 type Foundry. Carima is also currently the acting as the part-time CFO for an international non-profit, Association Typographique Internationale (ATypI), incorporated in California. She is a founder and helped launch the Western New York Book Arts Collaborative in 2006, a hands-on working print museum in downtown Buffalo.
Carima is very active in the Western New York community and currently serves as the Vice Chair for the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library System; the Vice President of the Library Foundation; the Treasurer for the Ascension for the Performing Arts Board; and a Trustee for the Buffalo Society of Artists. Carima is also an active volunteer for Basenji Transport and Rescue (Brat), starting as an adopter, then providing home screening, transport, and now fostering—whenever needed, it seems—for Basenjis who are in need.
Give us a sentence that perfectly describes your love for type.
It doesn’t work if you have to explain it.
Before this year, were you a member of ATypI? If so, when?
Were you previously a member of the ATypI board, or a country delegate? If so, when?
Describe your experience/involvement with ATypI activities.
Former board member, from 2012 to 2019 and treasurer from 2015 to 2020; member of Finance Committee.
Tell us about your current and past involvement with other type and design organizations.
Incorporated SOTA (which presents TypeCon), and filed its 501(c)3 status. Managing partner in addition to being the CFO for P22 from 1994 to 2017.
Describe your leadership experience with other nonprofits and work with conferences, workshops, publications, teaching, or other activities in the type, design, tech, and related communities.
Founder of WNY Book Arts Collaborative, and Treasurer of the board from 2006 to 2012.
Why should ATypI members elect you to represent them on the board of directors?
I have over ten years experience with ATypI. I’m very familiar with the accounting practices employed as well as the auditor. I was a member of the Governance Committee, part of the Steering Committee, and was involved in planning every conference since 2012.
Answers and materials were provided by the candidate as part of their self-nomination for the ATypI board election. Candidate is a paid ATypI member in good standing and agrees to remain so if they are elected.