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April 11, 2019


CHICAGO, IL — IIDA is pleased to announce the induction of five IIDA members into the prestigious IIDA College of Fellows. This year’s honorees include Kenneth Baker, FIIDA, Assoc. AIA, Assoc. ASID, Assoc. RIBA, SBID; Edwin Beltran, FIIDA, Assoc. AIA; Julia Monk, FIIDA, FAIA; Thomas Polucci, FIIDA, AIA; and Cindy Simpson, FIIDA. All 2019 honorees will be celebrated in a ceremony during the IIDA Annual Meeting on Sunday, June 9, at 12:00 p.m. (noon) Central at Venue SIX10, 610 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago (RSVP required).

“The IIDA College of Fellows is made up of members who have long demonstrated a strong commitment to the industry and an unwavering dedication to the profession,” said College of Fellows Chairs Guy Geier, FIIDA, FAIA, and Jim Williamson, FIIDA. “From transforming the ethos of healthcare design to empowering young minds, this year’s inductees are thought leaders, industry pioneers, and invaluable educators, and we are pleased to welcome them.”

Admission to the College of Fellows is the highest honor paid by IIDA to its Professional members, recognizing those whose activities and efforts have benefited and enhanced IIDA, and whose design work has significantly influenced the interior design profession. For more information about the IIDA College of Fellows, visit iida.org.

Kenneth Baker, FIIDA, Assoc. AIA, Assoc. ASID, Assoc. RIBA, SBID

Kenneth Baker serves on Gensler’s Board of Directors and Management Committee and is co-managing principal of Gensler’s Southeast Region. As one of Gensler’s major account holders, Baker manages several global client relationships and is considered an expert on workplace design and planning, having designed more than 20 million square feet of corporate headquarters and offices.

Baker is also a leader in Gensler’s furniture and product development practice. His projects have earned multiple IIDA and AIA awards, as well as numerous product design awards including several NeoCon Gold Awards for DatesWeiser Furniture. Baker frequently speaks about the power of design at industry events around the world and writes about workplace design for publications like Contract, Washington Business Journal, and Interior Design. He is a fellow of the College of Law Practice Management and a member of the Board of Trustees for the National Building Museum.

Edwin Beltran, FIIDA, Assoc. AIA

Edwin Beltran is a vice president of the IIDA International Board of Directors and principal of NBBJ’s Interior Architecture and Design Practice, leading some of the firm’s most notable and award-winning healthcare interiors. Influenced by his training as an architect, Beltran’s approach to interiors translates the unique “ethos” of each institution into inspiring—and beautiful—places carefully tailored to nurture healing. A strong advocate for integrated design excellence, Beltran’s multidisciplinary approach consistently promotes a close and collaborative relationship between all stakeholders.

His design work has been recognized with multiple IIDA and AIA honor awards and featured in national and international publications such as Architectural Record, Interior Design, Contract, Metropolis, Fast Company, Healthcare Design, Modern Healthcare, and The Wall Street Journal. Beltran holds an environmental design degree from the University of Puerto Rico and a master's in architecture from The Ohio State University, where he has served as an adjunct faculty member and guest critic of the university’s Knowlton School of Architecture.

Julia Monk, FIIDA, FAIA

With 40 years of experience, Julia Monk is the global hospitality thought leader for international design and architecture firm HOK. Throughout her career, Monk has focused on defining luxury guest experiences, starting with the historic renovation of the St. Regis New York that created the brand as we know it today.

Monk is the recipient of the profession’s highest honors and was co-founder and co- chair of the AIA New York Architecture of Hospitality Committee. She has also been a juror for the distinguished AIA Interior Design Awards, Hospitality Design’s Gold Key Awards, Sleeper‘s AHEAD Awards, and The Hotelier Awards. Her work and design expertise have been published and represented in numerous design publications including Hospitality Design, Contract, Hotel Management, Interior Design, and LODGING Magazine.

Thomas Polucci, FIIDA, AIA

As the firm-wide director of design at HOK, Tom Polucci works to solve his clients’ most urgent design challenges, helping to shape the modern office and set new standards for working environments. With HOK, he leads the interiors practice in 24 offices globally and guides our next generation of design leaders.

Polucci’s dynamic leadership style encourages an open dialogue with designers at all levels. He has been quoted as a workplace expert in The New York Times, Entrepreneur, The Wall Street Journal, Interior Design, Metropolis, Interiors & Sources, Contract, and many others. Polucci has also been a frequent speaker on workplace strategy and design for CoreNet Global, IFMA, and NeoCon events.

Cindy Simpson, FIIDA

A dedicated client advocate, with an intense focus on her clients’ business drivers, Cindy Simpson is the managing director of Gensler’s Dallas office and a member of the firm’s Board of Directors. She serves on the Firmwide Client Relationships Management Committee at Gensler, working to strengthen client partnerships. Under Simpson’s leadership, Gensler Dallas has doubled in talent and grown in a diversity of practice areas.

Named one of the Dallas 500 Most Powerful Business Leaders in Dallas and Fort Worth for two years by D CEO Magazine, Simpson has inspired a dynamic culture of collaboration and design excellence founded upon her people-first leadership approach. She has been recently represented in a number of publications including Architectural Digest, Interior Design, Forbes, and Contract.

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For 25 years, IIDA, the commercial interior design association with global reach, has been a leader in defining, supporting, and enriching the interior design profession. We support design professionals, industry affiliates, educators, students, firms and their clients through our network of 15,000+ members across 58 countries. We advocate for advancements in education, design excellence, legislation, leadership, accreditation, and community outreach to increase the value and understanding of interior design as a profession that enhances business value and positively impacts the health and well- being of people’s lives every day. www.iida.org

Press Contact:
Ciara Merouan
Jo Chicago Communications