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IIDA Leaders Breakfast (Leaders) is an annual international event series hosted by eight local IIDA chapters with the support of IIDA Headquarters, international benefactor MillerKnoll, and media partner Interior Design.

Leaders events celebrate design’s importance in the global marketplace by honoring the people who are both the legacy and future of design. Each event features a renowned keynote speaker who enlightens, provokes, and encourages new ideas, and a celebration recognizing one local Award of Excellence Honoree who has made significant contributions to the design industry.

About the Leaders Breakfast Award of Excellence

A Leaders Breakfast History

2024 Leaders Breakfast Series

Dallas | September 27, 2024

Leadership Award of Excellence Honoree

Kris Walsh

Interior Design Director, Principal
Page

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Kris Walsh is a celebrated interior designer whose work has gained widespread attention and publication. Walsh launched her career at Gensler NYC, followed by a dynamic stint at Gensler L.A. She later relocated to Austin, Texas, where she joined Page Southerland Page as a senior designer. Now Interior Design Director at Page, Walsh has refined her collaborative design approach, discovering the joy in working with diverse design teams and clients. This passion for collaboration has led her teams to win numerous awards and garner significant recognition. Her career is defined by a commitment to nurturing and working alongside exceptional designers. Among her most recently acclaimed projects are the public spaces of Indeed Tower in Austin, Texas, and the PGA of America Headquarters in Frisco, Texas. With an eye on the future, Kris remains excited about continuing to work with talented teams and exceptional clients, confident that the best is yet to come.

Houston | August 16, 2024

Leadership Award of Excellence Honoree

Lauri Goodman Lampson, IIDA
President and CEO
PDR

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Lauri Goodman Lampson is a business visionary who challenges founders and executives to rethink their approach to work and place. She is the mastermind behind the firm’s innovative business model and integrated approach to consulting, design, and brand services. Goodman frames business challenges as optimistic calls to action. Complacency is her nemesis, and she motivates organizations to move forward faster. She believes the wave of changes in technology, health and wellness, and the marketplace are undeniable. Organizations must restructure their fundamental approach to how they communicate their purpose, how they gather, and how they work.

Keynote Speaker


Kelli Harding
Assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University and author of The Rabbit Effect: Live Longer, Happier, and Healthier with the Groundbreaking Science of Kindness

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Dr. Kelli Harding is an expert in human health and wellbeing. She’s celebrated for her ability to make complex medical and public health research meaningful to a broad audience. She helps individuals and organizations apply the science of kindness and connection to help them thrive. Dr. Harding's work as a doctor – seeing patients, doing research, and serving in national leadership roles – led her to write The Rabbit Effect: Live Longer, Happier, and Healthier with the Groundbreaking Science of Kindness. Dr. Harding has spent much of her career in the emergency room at New York-Presbyterian Hospital as an attending physician seeing patients who come in with both medical and behavioral symptoms. As part of her mission to educate the general public about important health topics she’s appeared on Today, Good Morning America, NPR, The New York Times, Medscape, Oprah.com, and US News & World Report.

Atlanta | July 19, 2024

Leadership Award of Excellence Honoree

Karen S. Freeman, IIDA

Principal, Pediatrics Practice Leader
HOK

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Karen S. Freeman is an HOK principal and practice leader of the Atlanta healthcare studio and serves on HOK’s firmwide healthcare leadership team. With over 25 years of planning and design experience, she has delivered more than 4 million square feet of healthcare space in her career and has special expertise in and a passion for children’s health design. In January of 2024, Freeman was promoted to a firmwide role to lead HOK’s new pediatric center of expertise. In this new role, Freeman will expand HOK’s work with leading children’s health providers designing tailored solutions for the specific needs of environments to support pediatric patients and their families. In addition to her work at HOK, Freeman is president of Women in Healthcare, a national nonprofit that empowers and supports the mentorship and growth of women in healthcare leadership roles. She is a founding member of Women in Healthcare’s Georgia Chapter, where she served previously as president. During her tenure, Freeman and the Women in Healthcare Georgia Board of Directors were recognized as the organization’s chapter of the year.

Keynote Speaker


Katie Peditto, PhD
Co-Director, Human Experience Lab
Perkins&Will

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Dr. Kati Peditto is not just a voice in the design psychology field; she's a trailblazer with a unique story. As a woman living with autism and ADHD, her personal experiences deeply inform about the transformative power of evidence-based design for mental health and wellbeing. Her transition from academia to the architecture and design industry has been marked by groundbreaking insights and contributions. Her work, which resonates globally, has been showcased in prestigious platforms. Dr. Peditto’ s journey is a testament to how neurodiversity can shape and enhance our understanding of the spaces we inhabit.

New York | May 9, 2024

Leadership Award of Excellence Honoree


Dale Alan Greenwald
Vice President, Interior Design Leader
CannonDesign

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Greenwald loves what he does, he brings heart and dedication to everything he takes on and this passion radiates as he leads CannonDesign’s New York City interior design practice. With a 30+ year career, he’s honed the power of design thinking and its ability to improve the human experience. He approaches design with an open mind and meticulous craft, ensuring teamwork is always at the heart of his projects. Schooled in industrial design, he has a rare ability to translate bold, audacious vision into tangible solutions that enhance and enrich life. Greenwald's design portfolio encompasses diverse sectors, from higher education to healthcare and workplace design. Beyond his professional achievements, Greenwald is an active figure in IIDA. He served as president of the IIDA NY Chapter in 2008, co-chaired its Futurists Forum (formerly Facilities Forum) and most recently co-chaired its Business Leadership Training program with Pace University's Lubin School of Business. Reflecting on his involvement with IIDA, Greenwald expresses gratitude for the energy and creativity of his colleagues, who continually inspire him.

Keynote Speaker

Cassi Chandler

Motivational Leadership Expert | FBI’s First African American Female Special Agent Assistant Director

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Cassi Chandler is an innovator, strategist, investigator, and leader who has broken barriers, led diverse teams, and built cultures of motivational leadership and inclusivity. In a career that has included many “firsts”, she served as the FBI’s first African American female special agent assistant director as well as the Bureau’s first female national spokesperson and director of public and community affairs. The founder, president, and CEO of Vigeo Alliance – a leadership and talent risk management partner helping organizations elevate their cultures of belonging. Chandler draws from her personal experiences leading diverse teams as a change agent in a broad range of fields to facilitate honest conversations on what can be achieved when organizations go “all in” on diversity.


Previous Years
2023 Leaders Breakfast
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New York
Award of Excellence Honoree | Hilda Longinotti
Keynote Speaker | Candace Doby

Houston
Award of Excellence Honoree | Kristin Ledet, IIDA
Keynote Speaker | Maria Brito

San Francisco
Award of Excellence Honoree | Joan Price
Keynote Speaker | Sloan Leo

Vancouver
Award of Excellence Honoree | Carol Jones, Emeritus FIIDA
Keynote Speaker | Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA

Los Angeles
Award of Excellence Honoree | Rose Tourje
Keynote Speaker | LaToya Ruby Frazier

Dallas
Award of Excellence Honoree | Ana Pinto-Alexander, FIIDA
Keynote Speaker | Minda Harts

Atlanta
Award of Excellence Honoree | Chris Heard, IIDA
Keynote Speaker | Donna Dennis

Chicago
Award of Excellence Honoree | Jennifer Sobecki, Ind. IIDA
Keynote Speaker | LaToya Ruby Frazier
2022 Leaders Breakfast
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New York
Award of Excellence Honoree | Jennifer Graham IIDA
Keynote Speaker | Leyla Acaroglu

Houston
Award of Excellence Honoree | Stephanie Burritt, IIDA
Keynote Speaker | Scott Dikkers

San Francisco
Award of Excellence Honoree | Donald Cremers, IIDA
Keynote Speaker | Jane McGonigal

Toronto
Award of Excellence Honoree | Marilyn Donoghue, FIDC
Keynote Speaker | Ian McCallum

Los Angeles
Award of Excellence Honoree | Barbara Bouza, IIDA, FAIA
Keynote Speaker | Ben Nemtin

Dallas
Award of Excellence Honoree | Art Bloodworth
Keynote Speaker | Michael Ford, AIA, NOMA

Atlanta
Award of Excellence Honoree | Ronnie Belizaire, FIIDA
Keynote Speaker | Maria Brito

Chicago
Award of Excellence Honoree | Jim Prendergast, IIDA, FAIA
Keynote Speaker | Annie Jean-Baptiste

The Leadership Award of Excellence

Presentation of the Leadership Award of Excellence is the signature activity at every Leaders event. This award recognizes an honoree, typically a member of the local design community, for their exemplary leadership within the profession of commercial interior design and architecture or a non-practitioner for outstanding contributions to the profession. Honorees are presented with the iconic Eames stool, customized in Leaders Breakfast red, to commemorate their achievements.

Honorees are selected for their achievements recognized by IIDA that have advanced the interior design profession, have a history of conscientious and ethical behavior with colleagues, clients, and others in business interactions, and have been recognized within their local professional design community. Honorees have a strong connection to IIDA and reinforce the Association’s significance in the design community.

History

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.

Since expanding to Toronto with the help of the Interior Designers of Canada (IDC) in 2007, and through the support of international benefactor MillerKnoll and media partner Interior Design, Leaders Breakfast has become an annual international event series that celebrates design's importance in the global marketplace.


Made possible by our International Benefactor and Media Partner: