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Oct 18, 2021 By IIDA HQ
Leaders Virtual: Celebrating Design Leaders Across North America
This year we gathered virtually as one for international and regional programming addressing what it means to be a leader, and celebrating leaders across 8 regions.
By IIDA HQ Oct 18, 2021
Published in

To celebrate the importance of design and leadership in the global interior design industry, IIDA created a new ideation of Leaders Breakfast for 2021, Leaders Virtual. Broadcast from eight cities simultaneously, and with over 2,100 participants, it was the largest North American IIDA event in history. The event was open to members and non-members alike, with each region honoring seasoned and emerging industry professionals. The event included a keynote address, and regional networking and programming from eight cities, with ticket holders receiving 6-month access to the Socio platform for continued networking opportunities.

The day kicked off with an address from IIDA Executive Vice President and CEO, Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA as she welcomed attendees, and shared the importance of having an interconnected global design community. Followed with an address by international benefactor Herman Miller, the participants migrated to eight regional programming rooms hosted by Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Toronto with the Interior Designers of Canada (IDC).

In each regional room, chapter leaders addressed and celebrated what designers in their communities have been achieving over the past year, and to celebrate those doing the exceptional work of moving our industry forward, and supporting their communities.

The 2021 honorees include:

  • Atlanta, IIDA Georgia Chapter | Vivian Bencich, IIDA, ASID, Founding Principal, Square Feet Studio
  • Chicago, IIDA Illinois Chapter | John M. Rouse, Hon. IIDA
  • Dallas, IIDA Texas/Oklahoma Chapter | Jan Parker, PhD, IIDA, FASID, Adjunct Faculty, Texas Tech University
  • Houston, IIDA Texas/Oklahoma Chapter | Megan L. Ebert, IIDA, Principal, Kendall/Heaton Associates
  • Los Angeles, IIDA Southern California Chapter | Charlene Reed, Professor and Program Coordinator, Orange Coast College
  • New York, IIDA New York Chapter | Bill Bouchey, FIIDA, ASID, Principal and Director of Design Interiors, HOK
  • San Francisco, IIDA Northern California Chapter | The Northern California IIDA Chapter, the Northern California Design Community, and PRC
  • Toronto, Interior Designers of Canada (IDC) | Kara MacGregor, FIDC, LEED AP, Principal, MAC Interior Design Inc.

Attendees then returned to the mainstage for a conversation between Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA and keynote speaker Elaine Welteroth, "Project Runway" Judge, New York Times Bestselling Author, and Cultural Ambassador for Michelle Obama’s “When We All Vote." The conversation touched on leadership, activism, the wherewithal of women, and making design and the world more equitable.

We thank all those that attended, and look forward to gathering next year to celebrate a new cohort of impactful leaders, and our communities.

Launched in New York in 1989 by Jeannie Bochette of Steelcase, the IIDA Leaders Breakfast series began as a single event. The goal was to introduce IIDA to the business world as a leading association of commercial interior design and to inform IIDA members about the major issues affecting them and the industry. The event established a forum where members and their clients could participate and network with their peers.

The IIDA Leaders Breakfast is an annual, international event series that celebrates design’s importance in the global marketplace and honors the people who are both the legacy and future of design. Though not a replacement for this program, Leaders Virtual provided the opportunity for a wider audience to attend, and not only connect you with local practitioners and professionals, but allows participation in a larger, interconnected design community from coast-to-coast and beyond—with the hope that we will see you all in person for the return of Leaders Breakfast in 2022.

This event was made possible with the support of our International Benefactor, Herman Miller, and Media Partner Interior Design.

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