Just yesterday, AFOL Designer Chris McVeigh a.k.a. Powerpig just posted that he will be headed to the mothership as an official LEGO Designer for the Creator Expert and Architecture teams!
He is a household name in any AFOL community and has generously shared his designs on his webpage for free. Chris has even published a series of LEGO building books over the last couple of years which are great for beginners and intermediate builders.
I think it is great that the LEGO Group recognises the potential that these fan designers can bring to the table.
I sincerely wish Chris the best in this endeavour and I cannot wait to get my hands on your first set!