Leaders Breakfast 2019 in Review

This past December, IIDA’s Leaders Breakfast series wrapped another successful year, and an incredible decade of celebrating the history of IIDA, its design leadership, and our dynamic community of designers and industry members.

During our fall season, we presented five design professionals and one charitable organization with the prestigious IIDA Leadership Award of Excellence. Each honoree was presented with the iconic Eames stool, customized in Leaders Breakfast red, to commemorate their achievements. We were pleased to recognize and honor the career achievements of Collin Burry, FIIDA, Vicki VanStavern, Isabelle Talbot, Diane Schroeder, Mitchell Cohen, and Humble Design, for their contributions to and the advancement of the design industry as well as the philanthropic work they do within their own communities.

Collin Burry, FIIDA, and principal at Gensler was our 2019 San Francisco honoree and receiver of the Eames stool. IIDA Executive Vice President and CEO, Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA, sat down with Heather McGhee, political contributor and Distinguished Senior Fellow at Demos for an open, honest, and timely conversation on racial healing. This talk was prompted by an encounter Heather had with a white male caller on C-SPAN who admitted to being prejudiced and wanting to know how he could change. She spoke about their conversation that day, as well as the many that followed in the months and year after, until the racial divide was bridged, and they could call each other friend.

IIDA Leaders Breakfast San Francisco 2019-photographed by Sam Breach 2019974C7814 Large

Heather McGhee delivering her keynote speech at the San Francisco event. Photo by Sam Breach.

Urban revitalization strategist and public radio host Majora Carter returned to the IIDA Leaders Breakfast stage, this time in Los Angeles, to share her work in urban development, specifically working towards environmental equality to revitalize neighborhoods without pushing residents out, and encouraged others in our industry to join her in this work. Her mantra, “nobody should have to move out of their neighborhood to live in a better one,” is a personal quote, and appears on the wall of the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington.

“Nobody should have to move out of their neighborhood to live in a better one.”
Majora Carter

She spoke about her work in her neighborhood in South Bronx where she pushed for eco-friendly and green-related economic and urban redevelopment and shared the positive economic and health results. The 2019 Los Angeles recipient of the IIDA Leadership Award of Excellence was Humble Design, honored for their work transforming homes for families emerging from homelessness through donated furniture and design work.

At the Dallas and Chicago events, IIDA favorite Terri Trespicio, an award-winning author, speaker, and brand advisor, spoke to attendees about why following our passion isn’t always the right course to chart when choosing and growing our career. She explained that “passion is a tricky topic” and that “passion is not a plan or a goal, it’s a feeling—a wonderful feeling.” She went on to recommend we find the passion in the job we’re currently doing instead of continuously seeking out a job based on what we perceive to be our passion. Once we find passion in what we’re doing, we’ll find more fulfillment in our lives.

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Chicago Leaders Breakfast attendees listen raptly to Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA in conversation with Mitchell Cohen and Diane Schroeder. Image courtesy of IIDA headquarters.

The 2019 Dallas leadership honoree was Vicki VanStavern, owner and founder of VanStavern Design Group; Chicago honored the husband and wife team of Mitchell Cohen, principal at DESIGN Advisory and Diane Schroeder, owner at Diane Schroeder: Art & Design.

Toronto’s event honored Isabelle Talbot, principal at Ray Inc and featured speaker Drew Dudley, founder of Day One Leadership and best-selling author. Drew helped us discover the leader within each of us and instructed us to celebrate ourselves and our own achievements because, “if we only celebrate giants, we devalue what we do as leaders every day.” He encouraged us to learn why we desire certain behaviors because “if we don’t know what the behavior means, how can we live the value?” IIDA President-elect, Sacha Wagner, FIIDA, AIA, also addressed the audience and implored us to “keep designing for the human experience.”

“If we only celebrate giants, we devalue what we do as leaders every day.”
Drew Dudley

Over 2000 industry professionals gathered to celebrate and honor their design community during our Fall 2020 Leaders Breakfast series, each participant walking away with valuable insight applicable to both their personal and professional lives. We are looking forward to 2020another year filled with amazing networking opportunities, noteworthy educational experiences, and the celebration of design industry leaders. We can’t wait to see you at our Spring 2020 events in New York, Houston, and Atlanta.

A special thanks to our international benefactors Herman Miller and Interior Design.

Featured Image: Collin Burry, FIIDA is presented with the IIDA Leadership Award of Excellence. Photo by Sam Breach.

 

IIDA Headquarters to Host Designers and Architects Talk

I am excited to welcome the design and architecture community of Chicago to the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) headquarters this spring for a superb series of talks.

IIDA, together with AIA Chicago in a first-ever collaboration, will present a series of Wednesday evening talks called “Designers and Architects Talk: A Series About Design and its Impact on Client Success,” that will address commercial interior architecture and design. Both architects and commercial interior designers will learn from the provocative discussions about projects, firm leadership, and design strategy.

March 20 – McDonald’s Headquarters: Impact on a Company, a City, and a Neighborhood

Speakers are Tish Kruse, principal, IA Interior Architects; Primo Orpilla, FIIDA, principal, Studio O+A; Scott Phillips, director of workplace management, McDonald’s; Neil Schneider, Assoc. IIDA, principal IA Interior Architects; and Grant Uhlir, FAIA, co-regional managing principal, Gensler. I will be moderating.

April 17 – New, Bold, and Entrepreneurial: Design Firms Changing the Face of Chicago

Speakers are Jason Hall, principal, Charlie Greene Studio; Ami Kahalekulu, partner, Twofold Studio; Sarah Kuchar, IIDA, creative director, Sarah Kuchar Studio; and Deon Lucas, AIA, NOMA, director, Beehyyve, E.G. Woode. The moderator is Chicago-based architect and AIA national board member Peter Exley, FAIA.

May 22 – Women Leading Hospitality Design in Chicago

Karen Herold, principal, Studio K; Jackie Koo, AIA, IIDA, principal, KOO; Laurie Miller, AIA, principal, Anderson/Miller; Meg Prendergast, principal, Gettys Group; and Patricia Rotondo, Assoc. AIA, IIDA, senior principal, Antunovich Associates. IIDA EVP/CEO Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA, will be the moderator.

Ticket sales have begun for all sessions, and advance purchase is necessary to reserve a seat. Members of IIDA or AIA have a special ticket price of $10/session or $25 for a seat to all three sessions. The public is welcome at $20 per session. Student members of IIDA, AIAS, or AIA Chicago are free.

Sessions allow for 1 IDCEC-approved CEU for interior designers and 1 AIA-approved LU for architects.

Order your tickets now.

Thank you to Host Sponsor Corporate Concepts, Inc., and Champion Sponsors: Bernhardt Design, Mohawk Group, Mortarr, Patcraft, Shaw Contract, Steelcase, Tarkett, and Wilkhahn.

5 IIDA Student Members Share Their Memorable Moments from the IIDA Student Conference

Last year, the Trustees of the IIDA Foundation added a new initiative to the Designing for the Future Campaign: A portion of the funds raised from the campaign sponsored five IIDA Student Members for an all-expenses paid trip to the 2018 IIDA Texas Oklahoma Chapter’s Student Conference. The annual Student Conference brings together an array of top students, educators, and design industry professionals for a multi-day professional enrichment experience that includes project and firm tours, mock interviews, and a variety of other networking opportunities. Here, these five students talk about what they took away from the experience, the value of portfolio reviews, and what getting outside of your comfort zone can do for yourself and your career.

Making Fast Friends

With my sponsorship from IIDA, I was able to attend the 18th annual IIDA Texas Oklahoma Chapter Student Conference, an opportunity I otherwise wouldn’t have financially been able to do. I was the only student from my school and from the state of Utah to attend the conference — I was pretty nervous. However, on the first day, I rode the bus from the hotel to the pep rally at the Haworth showroom. I randomly sat by another student who was also there by herself from Kansas. We realized that we were both recipients of the same sponsorship from IIDA. That evening we met another student from California who had been sponsored to attend the conference and we all quickly became friends.

I participated in the portfolio review and mock interviews. I was nervous but I was paired with incredible designers who were very genuine, talented, and eager to help me. They gave me great feedback and comments on my portfolio and how to interview with ease.

Allison Newell, Student IIDA, Utah State University, Inter Mountain Chapter

Realizing What You Want to Focus On 

I’ve always been told that to be the best designer, you have to walk out on a limb, make that extra effort, and step out of your comfort zone. Well, in my two years of traveling from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to Houston and Dallas, I can say that this conference has taught me some of the most valuable and interesting lessons about being the best designer I can be!

This year my experience was nothing short of amazing. Each year the Texas/Oklahoma Chapter make us Alabama students feel so welcome with their generosity and hospitality. Seriously, these volunteers who put together this conference give their hearts and souls to making this the most educational and rewarding experience for students. I have always known that I wanted to be a commercial designer, however, it was at last year’s student conference that I realized I wanted to focus on corporate and office design and create spaces that make work environments enjoyable.

Carmen Jenkins, Student IIDA, University of Alabama, Alabama Chapter

Surrounding Yourself with Passionate People

This was my first time ever attending the IIDA Student Conference. I’ll admit that I had no idea what to expect but the whole time being there was such a learning experience because I got to meet so many students that were just like me who knew what it was like to stay late in the studio to complete projects. It was so inspiring to see how passionate other people are about interior design, why they chose this career path, and what they are striving to be. There was so much to take in and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Nicolle Soriano, Student IIDA, Chaminade University of Honolulu, Hawaii Pacific Chapter

Learning How to Stand Up for Your Design

Any professional that I met, I made sure to grab their business cards. If they didn’t have one, I took a picture of their name tag. I now have a phone full of name tags and business cards. Each one of the professionals encouraged us to tap into their resources, ask them questions, email them about products, ideas, resumes, portfolios, etc. They wanted to help us succeed.

Our keynote speaker for the event, Primo Orpilla, co-founder of the firm Studio O+A, left all of us with some very wise words. He told us to find our voice, define our narrative, leverage space types to building flexibility, and to customize and curate success. We need to be in control of the design. Stand up for our design. We need to understand the things that make the space a memorable experience. Have empathy for the client and the space, not sympathy. He concluded his talk by reminding us that our design can change attitudes and how the users treat one another. Your designs have an impact!

Kellie DeVries, Student IIDA, Michigan State University, Michigan Chapter

The Power of a Portfolio Review

Our final day was loaded with panels and speakers, filling my head with very valuable information about stepping out into the world after school successfully. The best part of my day, however, was the portfolio review. After two conversations with a very kind Susan Bellson from JSI she pulled me over and set me up to do my review with Elizabeth Trupiano from Corgan and I got very lucky with that. Elizabeth asked great questions of me, listened intently and gave helpful critiques, and then sat and answered all of my questions until we ran out of time. I loved making friends and connections that I’m sure will last me years.

Chelsea Bainbridge, Student IIDA, Kansas State University, Mid America Chapter


To learn more about IIDA student membership, including professional development and leadership opportunities, visit iida.org.