Jun 05, 2023 By Vasia Rigou
Cody Czmyr, Director of Member Services
A bold new vision for the future of IIDA membership
By Vasia Rigou Jun 05, 2023
Published in Articles

Self-described as a total extravert, IIDA’s newly-appointed Director of Member Services, Cody Czmyr is all about creating experiences. Bringing an extensive hospitality and membership background, attention to detail, and effective marketing and membership strategies to the table, he has a bold creative vision for the future—one that puts community first. With values that seamlessly align with Association’s own, Czmyr is focused on genuine impact. His mission: to provide meaningful resources, advance the profession, and enhance business value. “Without a members-first mentality, we cannot, and will not, accomplish our intended purpose,” he says. “A strong community instills pride and purpose.” That’s exactly what he’s here for.

Tell us a bit about where you come from. In what ways has your background prepared you and how will it inform your new role at IIDA?

I am a graduate of Eastern Illinois University, where I studied hospitality management and business administration. As a total extravert and ‘people person’ I knew that I wanted to work in a customer-facing capacity, creating experiences that were memorable and providing exemplary service. Since then, I have built my career focusing on membership and marketing in the association and private club industries respectfully. For me, membership is more than just a transactional experience to stay relevant in an industry. It’s an opportunity to learn, grow, develop, mentor, and be the best version of yourself in your career. My hospitality and membership background in private clubs has encouraged me to pay attention to the details and nuances of a member’s experience—and fostered my passion for meeting new people to create innovative opportunities for my members. When looking at IIDA, I will continue to create this white glove experience for our members, maximizing value throughout the year.

What’s the most important thing to keep in mind when working to create thoughtful and engaging member value?

As cliché as it may sound, the members are the most valuable aspect to consider when evaluating the value of IIDA membership. While we can provide a range of benefits, services, and events, it is essential that our members perceive the value we offer. They join IIDA because they trust us to support them in their career journey and drive progress within the industry. If we fail to prioritize them over our own bottom line or self-interest, merely offering something without genuine impact, then we fall short of our mission to provide meaningful resources, advance the profession, and enhance business value. At IIDA we have a firmly established members-first mentality, that allows us to accomplish our intended purpose.

What do you hope to accomplish in this position—both short and long-term?

In the short term, my goal is to acquire as much knowledge as possible about the industry. I plan on dedicating time to connect with our members, understanding how IIDA has aided them, and identifying opportunities for IIDA to further assist them. It is crucial for me to stay aware of the challenges our members face, enabling us to advocate for them both locally and nationally, while also celebrating their achievements.

Looking ahead, my long-term vision is to consistently continue to deliver value to our members by offering innovative and creative benefits that propel the industry forward and advance our members in their careers. Additionally, I aim to streamline internal processes to allow the membership team to focus more on member engagement and the creation of unparalleled value.


Can you talk about the importance of community within IIDA (at a chapter-level,) interior design, and the world at large?

Personally, community is everything to me—encompassing my friends, family, colleagues, and those I am connected with through my extracurricular activities. It holds great importance in my personal life, and I also strive to incorporate it into my professional life. By fostering an environment where people know each other beyond their name and title, I aim to cultivate a complete membership experience that fosters a sense of belonging and purpose within an organization. When collaborating within an international organization, with members spread around the globe, community becomes vital to the membership experience, benefiting not only the individual but also the organization. In such a specialized industry, where interactions often overlap, a strong community instills pride and purpose.

What inspires and motivates you?

Creative people really inspire me. To think freely and in ways that my brain might not think of or look at opportunities gets me excited. My husband, who is more of a right-brain thinker, inspires me to look at life through a more creative, imaginative lens. I can become a little too logical and analytic at times and he helps me see things differently—it’s why we complement each other so well. The concept of untapped potential also excites me. Collaborating with others to generate new and innovative ideas, whether they relate to processes, benefits, or any other aspect, ignites my inspiration. When ideas start to flow, I become highly motivated. I prefer to approach collaboration with a 'Yes, and...' mindset.

When you’re not busy supporting our members and chapters, how do you relax and unwind?

Ironically, one thing I find relaxing is hosting. As mentioned, as someone with a hospitality background, service is at the core of who I am, and I find great joy and pleasure in hosting friends and family for dinner, drinks, picnics, or game nights. I enjoy visiting art museums, playing with my dog outside, and traveling. I am a big volleyball and tennis player—those sports bring me a lot of joy and if I can’t play them, then I keep up with scores and stats. Oh, I also LOVE musical theater! Is there a better way to unwind than coming home, putting your feet up, and turning on the “Broadway Ballads & Duets” playlist on Spotify? I think not!

What are you most excited about moving forward?

I am looking forward to getting to know our members and more about the industry. In my short time at IIDA, the creativity, innovation, and excitement for the industry are contagious. There are a lot of great opportunities to meet our members—some of whom I already know and look forward to reconnecting with. I am joining at a really great time with NeoCon around the corner. I will be able to learn who our members are, see their innovative work firsthand, and dive head-first into the IIDA membership community.

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