Tag Archives: Leaders Breakfast

Get to know the Leaders Breakfast Speaker, Julie Burstein, Part One


Julie Burstein is a Peabody Award-winning radio producer, TED speaker, and best-selling author who has spent her working life in conversation with highly creative people – interviewing, probing, guiding, and creating live events and public radio programs about them and their work. In her book Spark: How Creativity Works, she maps out some of the coordinates and dimensions of creativity.  No one can exactly explain creativity, but Julie offers a tour through some of its essential byways; shining a beam onto its mysterious workings in a way that is illuminating and can help us find more of that dimension within ourselves, and put it to good use.

Here’s what Vanity Fair says about the book: “In Spark, Burstein offers enlightening answers from the culture’s heavy hitters, including Chuck Close, Yo-Yo Ma, and Richard Ford, on which experiences, memories, tragedies, or landscapes ignited their imaginations, as well as the process by which they stoked these embers into a roaring fire, and how you, yes, you, might too.”

Julie is host of Spark Talks at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and produced and directed the museum’s TEDxMet in 2013, the first TEDx in an art museum, which dazzled the audience with talks from curators, artists, dancers, and a Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist. The Met asked Julie to collaborate on the second TEDxMet, in September of 2015. Julie often speaks about creativity and innovation at museums, corporations, and universities.

In 2000, Julie created Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen, public radio’s premiere program about creativity, entertainment and the arts. Julie is also the host of the podcast pursuitofspark.com, conversations about creative approaches to the challenges, possibilities, and pleasures of everyday life and work.

When Julie is not writing, making radio, producing events, or spending time with her family, she can usually be found in the pottery studio.

This week, we explore Part One of our conversation about creativity with Julie:

Many people correlate the word “creative” to “artistic” – do you feel that being creative necessarily has to do with being artistic?  What makes someone creative?

I believe that artistic creativity is an aspect of creativity.  But I do deep down believe that creativity is in all of us and there are different ways to express it.  It’s something we can avoid – there are a lot of people say they aren’t creative, some of them are right –  they are not creative!  But I have a friend who’s a doctor and she had read my book and after she read my book, she commented she’s not creative at all.  I asked her, when she sees a new patient – what happens?  She talked about the checklist in her head, that she has to be open to what’s going on in that room, and to draw from her previous experience and observe what’s going on with that patient.  She’s coming to conclusions based on her own experience and what’s going on right there.  You wouldn’t say you want a doctor to be “creative” in the way an artist is making something entirely new, but you do want your doctor to not just follow a checklist, but to be open to the “uncertainty” and to respond to you right there and not to a checklist that they have.  My friend who’s the doctor is extraordinarily creative because she’s able to first, ask the questions in order to know what the problem is and pull from her own experience to create a novel approach to that particular patient.  I do believe that in so many different professions, creativity is an essential component, it’s just not talked about the way that it is in the arts.

One of the main points you drive in your TED talk, 4 Lessons in Creativity is to embrace challenges and accept the unsettling feelings to lead us into creating something new or having new ideas, the “VUCA Environment” as the military describes it (VUCA: Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity).  What tips do you have for people to help embrace the challenges and uncertainty in order to flourish with creativity?

Uncertainty is one of the key challenges in any creative profession because it’s built in [to the process]. If we’re going to make something new, we can’t be certain about it because it hasn’t existed yet. It may draw on all of the pieces that we know, but if it’s truly new, it’s going to be unexpected and will have uncertainty.

The first tip would be identifying it in your own life and understanding that it isn’t something we can avoid, and as you’re in it, understanding where you are. When I was writing my book, Spark, I knew to a certain extent what each chapter was going to be about, what the overall arc was going to be like. There were some things that happened in the writing of the book that I hadn’t expected, but one of the key things I learned in the process was in every single chapter, I’d get to a point where I’d think to myself, “I don’t know how to do this!” and throw up my hands and say, “forget it!”. [My friend noticed this pattern] and it was usually right after that I would come to some realization that I hadn’t had before that allowed me to move forward. In that experience, it really helped me understand and be able to look at that pattern and say, “Oh right, I’m here again, this is what it feel like. I know I’ll get to the next point.”  It was my friend giving me that observation then allowed me in subsequent chapters to say, “I’m in that point again where I want to throw up my hands…okay, what will happen next? Let’s see…”, instead of getting pulled down into the despair that this isn’t going to work. If I look back at other creative processes for me where I think that it’s not going to happen, and often I need to go “there” in order to open up to whatever it is that I need to pursue that I hadn’t expected beforehand.

One of the things a lot of the creative people I interview talk about is sometimes the abandoning frees you up. I think identifying that [uncertainty] is part of the process and acknowledging it and saying, “Okay I know that I’m not a failure”, and knowing it’s part of the creating process – once you can identify it, it frees you up and allows you to say, “Alright where am I going from here?”. This is a part of the process and it’s not the I’m failing, it’s that this feeling is a piece of getting to what it is I want to do. The other piece about uncertainty is PRACTICE. I do think that the more we put ourselves in situations where we don’t know what that outcome is going to be, the better we get at sustaining ourselves to get through that difficult time. Just play with the idea of uncertainty. Great art follows uncertainty.

Julie Burstein will be speaking at the 2017 Leaders Breakfast in Los Angeles.

Friday, September 15th, 7 – 10am
InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown
900 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90017

Purchase tickets and become a sponsor today at iida.org. For more information about the event, visit the event page here.

Sylvia Yoo, CID, LEED AP
Herman Miller

2017 Leaders Breakfast Sponsor – USG


The IIDA SoCal Leaders Breakfast is quickly approaching, less than two months away! USG is excited to aid in sponsorship to this year’s IIDA Leader’s Breakfast 2017, held on Friday, September 15th. Additionally, USG would like to congratulate this year’s honoree, the Affordable Living for the Aging (ALA).

Leader’s Breakfast sponsor, USG, manufactures ceiling and wall products that are committed to sustainability and the Architecture 2030 challenge.They recently introduced the first sustainable wall-board in the industry, EcoSmart, which uses 25% less water and 22% less embodied energy in the manufacturing process.

To reach out to a local USG representative for more information, contact: Lisa Friedman at 310-339-4990 and lfriedman@usg.com

Meet the 2017 Leaders Breakfast honoree, ALA!


Affordable Living for the Aging is a group of passionate individuals committed to eradicate senior homelessness and early institutionalization by providing low-income and homeless seniors with affordable housing options and ancillary services. By providing cost-effective alternatives to institutional long-term care, ALA’s innovative senior housing options and services encourage independence through interdependence.

ALA’s work is grounded in the belief that housing is the foundation for improving health outcomes. The intersectionality of housing and health is a key contributor for creating healthy vibrant communities. Through their supportive services programming and Social Services team trained in age-related challenges, ALA not only supports the entire range of the homeless spectrum, but also help the most critical cases.

Established in 1978, ALA’s founder, Janet Witkin, was caring for her ailing grandfather and struck with the inadequacy of his options: he could remain alone at home with little support or move to an institution where he’d forfeit much of his independence. This experience inspired her to envision new options for aging Angelenos.  Funded initially by a five-year federal grant in 1979, Janet began to explore the shared housing model. She created a roommate matching service where seniors shared space in their private homes. ALA’s Home Share Program was designed to match compatible individuals, enabling them to age in place while enjoying the benefits of mutual support and companionship.

During the time period between 1982 and 1991, ALA developed five shared living residences that provided homes for 60 seniors. In 2010, ALA opened its first permanent supportive housing site expanding its beneficiaries to include homeless seniors with mental illness. In 2013, ALA began delivering social services at its second project for homeless seniors, and in 2014 ALA opened the Janet L. Witkin Center in honor of the organization’s visionary founder. Today, ALA’s senior communities are home to 227 residents and another 200 individuals a year receive program services.

ALA is a pioneer in the shared housing field and the home-sharing service for seniors is the only one of its kind in Los Angeles County. ALA collaborates with local organizations that have similar goals for supporting seniors in the community instead of institutions. Many of ALA’s home-sharing clients are referred by human service agencies operating throughout Los Angeles. A few partners include the Westchester Playa Village, St. Barnabas Senior Services, LA Kitchen, Culver City Senior Center, Jewish Family Services, Wise & Healthy Aging, Pasadena Senior Center, and the City of Beverly Hills. All of these efforts are made possible by ALA’s leadership team, the organization’s history of success, and its relationships with community leaders.

ALA’s work has been featured on MSNBC’s ‘The Cycle’, in the Column One section of the LA Times, online at abcNews.com, and on NPR’s local affiliate KPCC.

Friday, September 15th, 7 – 10am
InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown
900 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90017

Purchase tickets and become a sponsor today at iida.org. For more information about the event, visit the event page here.

2017 Leaders Breakfast Tickets On Sale Now!


Announcing the 2017 IIDA Leaders Breakfast in Los Angeles!

Friday, September 15, 7 – 10am
InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown
900 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90017

IIDA Southern California will host this year’s annual Leaders Breakfast on Friday, September 15, 2017 at a new location, the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown –  a brand-new hotel inside the Wilshire Grand Center, the tallest building west of Chicago! This annual event provides a great opportunity for IIDA Members and their peers to network with industry leaders and experts, as well as celebrate design’s importance in the global marketplace. The event also features a keynote speaker sparking inspiration and new ideas, as well as recognizes as well as a deserving honoree providing exceptional service in our local community.

This year’s inspiring keynote speaker is Julie Burstein – author, Peabody award-winning radio producer and TED speaker. Her TED talk, 4 Lessons in Creativity, has been viewed more than 1.7 million times!

We are also honoring Affordable Living for the Aging – a passionate group committed to supporting homeless and at-risk seniors with affordable housing, resources and services in Los Angeles.

Tickets are now on sale and available to purchase here.
Members: $195
Non-IIDA members: $225

Become a sponsor!
$3,000 includes the following:
– Table of 10
– Preferred Seating Location
– Company logo on event materials, website, & onscreen presentation at event
– Company logo on table signage
– One blog post in IIDA SoCal newsletter distributed to 3,000 local design professionals.
Sponsor provides copy. Restrictions apply. Content subject to approval by IIDA SoCal Board of Directors.

International Benefactors

Herman Miller
Interior Design

In Partnership with
Interior Designers of Canada

Chapter Sponsors

Mohawk Group

Herman Miller

Emser Tile
Garrett Leather
OFS Brands
Pivot Construction Services


Leaders Breakfast 2016 Was a Huge Success!


Celeste Headlee captivated the audience of more than 450 attendees last Friday at the LA Hotel for the Southern California 2016 Leaders Breakfast. Everyone walked away from the event with a refreshed sense of conversations. “Over the 18 years that I’ve been a journalist, our conversations are dropping in quantity and deteriorating in quality. I see the effect that has on our politics, our education, and our medicine because I am reporting on those issues daily. Once I found what was lacking in my own conversations, I decided to spread the word as far as I could.” – Celeste Headlee 

A favorite audience quote – “A good conversation is like a miniskirt: short enough to retain interest, but long enough to cover the subject.” – Adaptation of a Winston Churchill quote.


Herman Miller, an event sponsor, honored this year’s Leadership of Excellence recipient, Skid Row Housing Trust – which provides housing for those in need in the greater Los Angeles area – with their custom Eames walnut stool,  an innovative and steadfast symbol of design excellence.


Thanks also to Sponsors ID Magazine, Howard Building Corp., Clune Construction, Taslimi, and USG…and our Chapter Sponsors as well!

See the photos from the event here!

2016 Leaders Breakfast – Herman Miller: Behind the Red Stool


Herman Miller — Throughout the years, Herman Miller has presented recipients of the Leadership of Excellence Award with an innovative and steadfast symbol of design excellence. Until late 2014, Herman Miller honored award recipients with a molded plywood splint in its original packaging from World War II designed by Charles and Ray Eames. With the splint in limited quantities and held in the Herman Miller archives, Herman Miller produced a special edition stool made from sustainable ash, stained in a signature translucent aniline red, a favorite color of Charles and Ray Eames. Exclusive only to Leaders Breakfast award recipients, the stool is now the symbol of the Leaders Breakfast series. A specialty book about the history of the stool, including a framed print from the Herman Miller design archives, accompanies the award.

Leaders Breakfast
Friday, September 16, 7 – 10am
The LA Hotel Downtown
333 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071

Celeste Headlee
Public Broadcast Radio Show Host & Author of Heard Mentality

Skid Row Housing Trust

To purchase tickets and sponsor visit iida.org. For up-to-date information about the event and to read more about the speaker and honoree, visit iida-socal.org. See Sponsorship Opportunities here.

6 questions with Celeste Headlee – Leader’s Breakfast Keynote Speaker


Which one of your professions was the key driver for Branching into motivational speaking?
Journalism. It’s been clear, over the 18 years that I’ve been a journalist, that our conversations are dropping in quantity and deteriorating in quality. I see the effect that has on our politics, our education, and our medicine because I am reporting on those issues daily. Once I found what was lacking in my own conversations, I decided to spread the word as far as I could.

Who was your most notable interview subject?
I’ve interviewed presidents and celebrities and Nobel Prize winners, so many of them are notable. But my favorite is Salman Rushdie. He’s a delight to talk to and taught me how to really listen to a question and make sure I understand it before I answer.

Biggest success story.
My son. He starts college in the fall at Georgia State University.

Favorite pastime?
My favorite pastime is hiking or kayaking, I haven’t been able to do it for a couple years because I need foot surgery. But once that’s done, I’ll be back out in the hills of Georgia or paddling down the rivers. Once you get into a rhythm with your paddle or your feet, it’s almost like meditation.

You help lead the Next Generation Project for NPR, training young broadcast journalists, what do you see as the most challenging factor for graduates now?
I think the biggest challenge is to get past the social media identity. Connection can feel like communication and young people sometimes struggle to understand the difference. Some confuse a text exchange for a conversation or feel they are close to people whom they only know over Facebook. When you communicate with printed text only, through email or text, you are missing out on a lot of data that helps you understand the meaning of what’s being said: non-verbal cues and tone of voice. That’s two-thirds of the meaning in a conversation and it’s lost if you are connecting through text.

What keeps you motivated?
The response of people that I meet. I can tell that I’m making a difference because I see the lights go on in people’s eyes. And I get emails from people that are so heartfelt and touching, it’s impossible to mistake the impact that I have.

Leaders Breakfast
Friday, September 16, 7 – 10am
The LA Hotel Downtown
333 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071

To purchase tickets and sponsor visit iida.org. See Sponsorship Opportunities here. For up-to-date information about the event and to read more about the speaker and honoree, visit iida-socal.org.

Elise Ozawa, IIDA
VP of Communications
Momentum Textiles

2015 Leaders Breakfast


On Friday September 18, the Southern California design community was treated to a fantastic Leaders Breakfast program – see event photos here. This is an annual international event series that celebrates design’s importance in the global marketplace by honoring the people who are both the legacy and future of design.  Held in 8 cities across the US, the IIDA Chapter in each host city organizes a breakfast that features a renowned keynote speaker to provoke and encourage new ideas, and recognizes one city-selected honoree that has made significant contributions to the design industry.

The event is sponsored internationally by Herman Miller and Interior Design Magazine, and in Los Angeles, sponsored as well by our Southern California Chapter and Event Sponsors.

The event started with a “smoothie shot” for each guest in the salon, followed by a fantastic, hearty breakfast as the morning’s program opened.

IIDA Chapter President, Robyn Taylor, welcomed the nearly 500 guests, and introduced the program. She hinted at what is to be IIDA’s unique approach to next year’s Calibre Awards, which will be called the 2016 Calibre Design Awards. It will focus on project design as well as the teams that make it happen. She provided an additional insight, noting that the event will offer a unique presentation perspective to guests and nominees, and include a few format surprises.

LB2015_02Our Leader’s Breakfast event this year honored Frances Anderton, Executive Producer and Host of KCRW’s DnA: Design and Architecture, a radio show and blog exploring what matters in our design world. Frances was recognized for her commitment to the industry, as renowned author, USC School of Architecture educator, exhibit curator and as the producer of award-winning current affairs radio programs.

Frances received the coveted, one- of- a- kind, custom red-finished Eames stool, from Herman Miller, signifying her unique contributions to our industry.


Keynote speaker, Jonathan Perelman, new head of Digital Ventures for ICM Partners, former VP of Strategy for Motion Pictures at BuzzFeed, and branding at Google, is a creative industry branding and development specialist, who enlightened and engaged the crowd with his keynote address. Focusing on the value of simplicity and storytelling in design and business development, his message resonated with the audience, as they found themselves quoting some of Jonathan’s points and how these concepts integrate into their own practices during post-presentation networking.

With the upcoming IIDA SoCal Fall Speaker Series, highly anticipated LA and San Diego Fashion Shows, Orange County and Inland Empire NeoConnect trade shows, exclusive architecture tours, and local city center events, Leaders Breakfast was the perfect event to kick off a new year of innovation, substantial growth and change for the IIDA Southern California Chapter, on behalf of its sponsors, industry supporters and nearly 1000 members.

Visit our calendar of upcoming events in your area!

Get to Know Leaders Breakfast Speaker Jonathan Perelman


To gear up for this year’s Leaders Breakfast we had a chance to talk to the keynote speaker, Jonathan Perelman about the startup world, his weekend activities, and what makes a good partner. We are also excited to announce that Jonathan has taken a new role as the digital head at ICM Partners.

1. How has the tech startup world changed over the past year, 5 years, or more?

The tech start up world is always changing. It’s interesting to look how quickly the business is innovating and changing. Many of the most successful companies today weren’t around 5 years ago (Snapchat as an example). Look at Uber, it’s changing the world in so many ways… I was at the farmers market a few weeks ago and saw someone demonstrating a new app ‘Uber for dog walking’!

2. How do you see the world of animated GIF’s and online videos changing in the coming years?

I think we have only seen the start of the online video revolution. With internet speeds getting faster, the proliferation of mobile viewing, video will only expand. I think we’ll see it grow in the shorter than short form (6 to 15 seconds) space all the way to feature length films released online. Creators will have more creative outlets and platforms to play with. Anyone with an idea and a camera on their phone can become a filmmaker.

3. You’ve been described as one of the biggest influences behind the tech startup world. How did you break into this industry and how are you shaping its growth?

That’s very nice, but I don’t think it’s true. There is so much innovation in the start up world, most of the biggest innovators and influencers are people behind the scenes who have a spark of an idea and make it happen. I don’t believe in failure, I take everything as a learning experience. Einstein once said, “I have no special talents, I’m only passionately curious”; I live that every day. Almost 10 years ago I saw technology as where future business were going to be built. After over six years at Google, I became fascinated with the content that used or leveraged the technology. I like to say content is king, distribution is queen and she wears the pants!

4. What makes a good partner or ideal company to work with for video content?

Be it video or other creative ideas, I think it’s most important to have a partner who understands what you are trying to do and your voice. However, the best partners are the ones that will push you. Get you out of your zone of comfort and expand your ideas.

5. Let’s learn more about you – Where would we find you on the weekend? How are you influenced by design? Any favorite places around the city?

I’m with my family. We try to do something different each weekend, take a hike, go to a museum, play golf or tennis…  We’re still new to LA so we love exploring new areas, neighborhoods and restaurants. I love design, while not an expert in the field, space and design easily set my mood. I love open and green spaces and interplay of indoor and outdoor. Living in LA provides that.

We are excited to have Jonathan Perelman as this year’s guest speaker. Don’t miss out on his inspiring talk on September 18th, buy your tickets for Leaders Breakfast here!

Jaclyn Giuliano, Ind. IIDA, LEED Green Associate
Herman Miller

Meet Leaders Breakfast Speaker Jonathan Perelman


How do you stand out, rise above the noise, and get your organization’s voice heard online? Jonathan Perelman is the vice president of BuzzFeed motion pictures, which covers all moving content ranging from animated GIFs to a feature films. He leads business management, partnership development, and BuzzFeed’s branded video team. Before BuzzFeed, he spent more than six years at Google as the global lead for industry relations.

Perelman believes that “content is king but distribution is queen – and she wears the pants.” Pulling from his extensive experience at two of the world’s most successful and influential brands, he shows audiences how to tell their story in a genuine, authentic, and meaningful way that generates word of mouth marketing at internet scale. With great energy and stage presence, he breaks down the tactics and mindset that propelled Buzzfeed from a small blog to a cultural phenomenon read by millions of people the world over (including the President of the United States). Perelman not only addresses how to create shareable, social content but also offers insights into how to maximize its reach and impact. By respecting the platform you’re using (Twitter is about timelines, Facebook is about feelings) and creating content that appeals to emotion, he offers eight tips for creating content that people want to consume and share. Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, his presentations are visual, entertaining, and as memorable as BuzzFeed’s signature listicles.

Awards and Accolades. Perelman is renowned for his expertise. AdWeek named him one its 2014 “Top 50 Real Movers and Shakers Behind the World’s Top Brands” and one of its 2013 “Top 50 Executives Making the Wheels Turn.” The Internationalist magazine named him a “Trendsetter” in 2013, and Como listed him as one of the “Top 5 Behind The Scenes Tech Talent.” He also won Google’s 2011 OC Award, the second highest award given for “substantial contributions to company,” and 12 Peer Bonus Awards for excellence.

The Future of Digital Marketing. Perelman was previously BuzzFeed’s general manager of video and the vice president of agency strategy, where he played a central role in the company’s advertising efforts—which famously include no display ads and only carefully crafted sponsored content posts, serving as a model of successful consumer engagement for the world’s top brands.

Perelman is also a senior fellow at the Center for the Digital Future at the USC Annenberg School and serves on many industry boards including Advertising Week (U.S. and Europe), Internet Week, and Ad:Tech. He advises several startups, and is a member of several international foreign policy think tanks. He’s also an investor in early stage tech and media companies as part of NextGen Angels NYC.

Prior to Google, Jonathan worked at the financial services firm, Unifund. He was also the deputy finance director on Cory Booker’s 2002 mayoral run in Newark, NJ and then a foreign policy advisory for his 2013 Senate campaign.

We are excited to introduce Jonathan Perelman as this year’s guest speaker. Don’t miss out on his inspiring talk on September 18th, buy your tickets for Leaders Breakfast here!

Jaclyn Giuliano, Ind. IIDA, LEED Green Associate
Herman Miller