IIDA Announces Susanne Molina as Member of the Year


CHICAGO, IL — IIDA is proud to announce the 2019 Member and Student of the Year. This year’s Member of the Year, sponsored by Contract magazine, is Susanne M. Molina, FIIDA, principal, ONE design collective in Los Angeles. The 2019 Student of the Year, sponsored by OFS, is Sydney Gunty, Student IIDA, a graduating senior at Purdue University.

The IIDA Member of the Year Award recognizes and honors an IIDA Member who has demonstrated outstanding volunteer service through commitment, passion, professionalism, and dedication assisting IIDA as it advances the interior design profession and advocates for interior design excellence. The award includes a $7,500 cash prize sponsored by Contract.

“Through hands-on professional advocacy and the unique ability to form strong client relationships, Susanne has proven to be the true definition of an industry leader,” said IIDA Executive Vice President and CEO Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA. “In her role at ONE design collective and with the Association, Susanne has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to promoting design excellence and transforming our industry for the better. We’re proud to honor Susanne’s achievements by naming her the 2019 IIDA Member of the Year.”

With over 30 years of industry experience, Susanne Molina, FIIDA, focuses her practice in commercial interiors with an emphasis on workplace innovation. Molina is actively engaged in IIDA and involved in legislative efforts across California. She chairs the IIDA SoCal Advisory Committee and was an advisor to the Interior Design Coalition of California. Molina also served as Vice President of Advocacy for the IIDA Southern California Chapter and as Vice President on the International Board of IIDA. Molina has participated in the IIDA Student Mentorship program, and is called upon by local schools with interior design programs to speak, provide critiques, and participate in advisory roles.

The IIDA Student of the Year Award recognizes an IIDA Student Member who has significantly impacted their school’s interior design program through outstanding leadership, insight, and involvement. The award includes a $5,000 cash prize, sponsored by OFS.

“Sydney demonstrates the kind of ambition and tenacity that is synonymous with design excellence, and she is on track to become a design leader of tomorrow,” said Durst. “Her work ethic, eye for design, and passion for the industry have landed her prestigious design internships and earned her a LEED certification. We are very proud to recognize Sydney as the 2019 IIDA Student of the Year.”

Sydney Gunty, Student IIDA, is a 2019 graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in interior design and minors in construction management and building information modeling. As a student, Gunty was the president of her university’s IIDA/ASID chapter among many other leadership roles. Having gained experience interning at major companies like Tesla, Holder Construction, and Marc-Michaels Interior Design, Gunty has wide-reaching familiarity with many facets of the industry and a clear picture of what she wants her future in interior design to look like. Gunty is a LEED Green Associate, received the 2017 IIDA Winners Circle Award, Indiana Chapter, participated in the 2018 Student Design Charette at NeoCon, and was a winner in the 2019 IIDA Indiana IDEA Awards.

The 2019 Member and Student of the Year Awards presentation will take place at the IIDA Annual Meeting on Sunday, June 9, 2019, at Venue SIX10 in Chicago. For more information about the Of the Year awards, visit the IIDA website.


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

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