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IIDA Announces Recipient of the 2021 Anna Hernandez/Luna Textiles Visionary Award
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CHICAGO — The IIDA Foundation is pleased to announce Samantha Josaphat, NOMA, founder and principal at STUDIO 397 Architecture as the recipient of the Anna Hernandez/Luna Textiles Visionary Award, which recognizes contributions made by women business owners in the design industry.

“This award celebrates the power and importance of diverse leadership in the design profession and we couldn’t be more honored to have Samantha Josaphat as this year’s recipient,” said IIDA Executive Vice President and CEO Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA. “Samantha’s entrepreneurial talent, fearless perseverance and deliberate mentorship is defining a new standard for the A&D community while forging the way toward a more inclusive and representative outlook for the industry.”

will receive $5,000 from the IIDA Foundation. STUDIO 397 is an architecture and interior design firm founded by Josaphat, who was the 397th African American female architect to achieve licensure in the US. STUDIO 397 provides a range of services to clients spanning the property ownership, banking, small business and fashion design industries.

Anna Hernandez was the founder and president of Luna Textiles and was known for advancing and celebrating the work of women in the interior design industry. This award was founded to honor her contributions to the profession.

“We could not have chosen a more forward-thinking, groundbreaking recipient than Samantha Josephat to honor Anna’s legacy this year. We’re looking forward to seeing her continue to lead the way for strong female entrepreneurs in the design industry.” said Hernandez’s husband and acclaimed multidisciplinary designer, Michael Vanderbyl, IIDA, principal of Vanderbyl Design.

Entries were reviewed by a committee of interior design industry professionals including Gilbert Broco, IIDA, chief operating officer, The CI Group; IIDA Foundation Board Chair, Tara Headley, Associate IIDA, interior designer, Hendrick: Jon Otis, IIDA, founder and creative director, Object Agency; and last year’s Luna Award winner Kia Weatherspoon, president, Determined by Design.

“It’s inspiring to see Samantha’s journey help to pave the way for a more inclusive architecture and interior design community. Starting, and rapidly growing, her own firm illustrates her resilience, strong leadership, and passion for the arts. Samantha is a great example of what the Anna Hernandez/Luna Textiles Visionary Award represents—successful women entrepreneurs that are carving the way for underrepresented professionals in our industry,” said Gilbert Broco, IIDA, chief operating officer at CI Group and 2021 IIDA Foundation Trustee.

For more information or questions in regards to this or other IIDA awards, contact brand@iida.org.

Press Contact:
Ciara Merouan
Jo Chicago Communications