Sep 25, 2023 By Vasia Rigou
Meet Michelle Merry
IIDA HQ’s new Senior Manager of Corporate Membership Sales and IIDA Foundation on building bridges and fostering growth
By Vasia Rigou Sep 25, 2023
Published in Articles

In the dynamic world of interior design, the role of fostering connections and nurturing talent is pivotal. Stepping into this crucial role is Michelle Merry, the newly appointed senior manager of corporate membership sales and IIDA Foundation at IIDA. Bringing a rich background from her tenure at the American Red Cross, she is poised to be a beacon of support and guidance for IIDA members. In this interview, we dive into Merry’s vision for her role, the experiences that have shaped her career, and the aspirations that drive her forward. From her commitment to enhancing the membership experience to her passion for community service, discover the journey and the spirit of the dynamic force tasked with steering IIDA’s corporate membership and philanthropic endeavors to new heights.

You’re IIDA’s newly-appointed Senior Manager of Corporate Membership Sales and IIDA Foundation. What does this entail?

In this role, I work directly with our IIDA Industry members to ensure they have an impactful membership experience. I’ll serve as a one-stop shop for any questions, helping members utilize their benefits, get more closely connected to IIDA chapters, and discuss opportunities to deepen their engagement with IIDA. Additionally, I oversee activities for the IIDA Foundation, organizing initiatives aimed at advancing the interior design industry in partnership with the Board of Trustees.

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?

Before working at IIDA, I spent 12 years at the American Red Cross working in several roles during that time—from disaster relief to event management and fundraising. I bring comfort to working in a fast-paced environment, a deep commitment to cultivating strong relationships, a customer/client-driven focus, and a passion for serving others and serving our community.

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

In this first year, my goal is to establish connections with our current IIDA Industry members, learn what they love about their membership experience, and understand their ideas for growth, benefits, and engagement. In the long term, I look to expand our industry membership to more companies within the A&D Industry—both nationally and globally.

As for the IIDA Foundation, I am currently focused on supporting our generous funders who make many of our foundation awards possible and available to our membership. In the long term, I will be exploring opportunities for our IIDA membership and others to support philanthropic initiatives that further the interior design profession and industry.


What inspires and motivates you?

In my past career in disaster relief, I have seen many communities face life-changing natural disasters, and I have also seen those communities come together to recover and rebuild. I am really inspired to work alongside IIDA and its members who build and design human-centered spaces and products that have such an important place in our lives and well-being. I am also motivated by the emphasis on sustainable design in this profession. It’s amazing to see the innovation and care that goes into making each product, each design, and each space as healthy and sustainable as possible. It certainly isn’t always the easiest path, but it’s clear that it’s one our IIDA members all take to heart in their work.

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

I really enjoy going to the Morton Arboretum with my husband, Dave, and daughter, McKenzie; evening walks around the neighborhood with our pup, Blue; cooking or grilling on the weekends; heading to the pool or lake during the summer and reading a great book —I recently received a Kindle and I am loving it!

What are you most excited about moving forward?

I am so excited to spend more time getting to know our dedicated IIDA Industry members. I love learning about their products, their passion for this professional community, and how we can partner together to best support their unique goals. I am also excited to help all our members learn more about IIDA Foundation’s mission, grant awards, and opportunities for involvement in the year ahead.

Learn more about the benefits of IIDA Industry membership here

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