Tag Archives: advocacy

Spotlight on Jennifer Sun


The San Diego City Center Advocacy team recently had a wonderful conversation with our newest co-director, Jennifer Sun. While she is not new to holding a leadership position within IIDA nor to the community (she has been an integral part of the IIDA Fashion Show and a respected designer at FS Design Group for over four years), we thought it would be great to spend some time with Jennifer one-on-one to get to know more about her.

Q: What inspired you to begin a career in design?

A: Since I can remember I have always been creative and like to make things and spaces beautiful and functional.  It wasn’t till my early 30’s did I decide to go to school to make design and architecture my  career choice.

Q: What has been your greatest asset in studying for NCIDQ?

A: I have not started, but once I do, I am very excited to know that San Diego IIDA has a study group  and Christina Garvie (IIDA SOCAL Director of Professional Certifications).  Christina has been running  this group for a couple of years and has a lot of insight and knowledge of the certification process.  I  am planning on taking full advantage of this IIDA perk! 

Q: What has been your biggest challenge in studying for NCIDQ?

A: Qualifying for the test.  My education is non‐traditional for a commercial interior designer.  I have  two associate degrees: one in fashion design from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising  and another in architecture from Mesa Community college.  I also have a bachelor’s degree in  economics from the University of California San Diego.  This background is considered non‐traditional, therefore NCIDQ requires an alternative review program that requires proof of 5 years of applicable  work experience, a $525 processing fee and an education and dossier review.  Short answer, lots of  additional paper work and money. Wish me luck! 

Q: What is your favorite project you have worked on? 

A: It’s difficult to choose a favorite because so many of the projects I have worked on have been  special or interesting. I have learned that even the most basic tenant improvement can present  unique challenges that must be addressed, resulting in valuable experience and knowledge.  But, if I  had to choose one, it would be Pacific Plaza at Torrey Hills.  The commercial complex was designed by  the architect Brian Paul in the late 90s.  My firm re‐imaged the lobbies, restrooms, elevators,  corridors, courtyard and gym.  I was able to work on the project from the schematic phase through  construction and completion.  It was a wonderful learning experience and the finished product was  very satisfying to all involved.

Q: What led you make the decision to take on a leadership role within IIDA? 

A: A little friendly peer pressure from some of my favorite people in the industry and the desire to  give back to the profession that has brought be so much joy.

Q: Where do you find your inspiration? 

A: In the organic forms and geometric lines that can be found in nature and science. 

Q: What is your absolute favorite thing about San Diego? 

A: The people and ocean.  I grew up in the San Fernando valley, a suburb of Los Angeles, and it was my  dream to be able to live near the water.  San Diego is quite diverse and overall a very warm  community.  There is a lot of love and compassion in this city and many people dedicated to making it  a wonderful place to live. 

Q: Who is your favorite designer or architect? 

A: My grandmother, Nancy Sun.  She is gone now but she was my inspiration to study  architecture.  She was a female architect in New York city from 1960s to the early 1990s and worked  for I. M. Pei.  You should see her hand drawn details and renderings.  Absolutely exquisite. 

Q: How would you describe your design style? 

A: I am not really sure if a have a particular “style”.  I do prefer to design with neutral colors, clean  lines and natural finishes and when appropriate adding pops of whimsy and color with furniture,  accessories and art.  

Q: What do you do to unwind after a long day? 

A: I am very into fitness, so I tend to unwind daily with a workout at the gym or a yoga class. The more  sweat the better! I also enjoy ending the day sewing and snuggling in bed with my cats with a good  book… Thanks for spending some time with us Jennifer. We are so excited to have you as co‐director of the San  Diego City Center of IIDA! 

California Interior Designers Bring Advocacy to Sacramento’s Capitol Hill

Wagner, Weeman, Susan Coddington (CID, IIDA, NCIDQ, president of CDG Interior Design and Architecture), McLean-Bergel, Carlos Posada (IIDA, LEED AP, principal at Gensler Los Angeles), and Burry pose in the California State Capitol

On February 13, several IIDA SoCal professional members joined the IIDA NoCal chapter to participate in an inspiring and effective Capitol Day in Sacramento. The primary purpose of the outreach opportunity was to communicate to our legislators, the importance of Advocacy to further advance the profession of Commercial Interior Design. In many cases, our legislators don’t know what the role of a commercial interior designer encompasses, nor do they fully understand the complexities of professional interior design services. The day was very positive in presenting typical project examples, answering questions and developing personal contact with our governmental representatives. The following article, written and published by Interiors and Sources covers the highlights of the day:


IDCC Elects IIDA NoCal Board Member, Bill Weeman, as its New President

IDCC_BillWeemanBill Weeman has been practicing Interior Design for over 25 years with experience in interior architecture/design, project management, program management, systems furniture design, purchasing and move management. Bill has both strong design skills and leadership skills. Bill has never believed in a “one size fits all” solution, rather by understanding his clients and their particular needs, he strives to develop solutions that are tailored to achieve their immediate goals and their long-term objectives. Good design must encompass an understanding of the clients business and enhance productivity while still portraying the company brand. Bill is certified by the National Council for Interior Design Qualifications (NCIDQ) and is a Certified Interior Designer (CID) in California. He has served on several program/curriculum advisory councils for colleges in Arizona. Bill is a professional member of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) serving many board positions including president of the Southwest Chapter. He continues to serve on the board of the Northern California Chapter as VP of Advocacy. Prior to joining the Interior Design Coalition of California, Bill was a board member of the Interior Design Coalition of Arizona. Bill began his two year Presidency on October 29 at the IDCC Annual Meeting.

Read more on the IDCC newsletter here.

Little Hoover Commission Report on
 Occupational Licensing in California

On October 4, 2016 the Little Hoover Commission released their report on Occupational Licensing in California.  The final draft makes a case for licensing commercial interior design in California, although at the first hearing and in initial discussions between commission staff and the Interior Design Coalition’s lobbyists, Interior Design was used as an example of a profession that should not be licensed.  Continued discussions with Commission staff and IDCC testimony in subsequent hearings resulted in the case for licensing of commercial design.


Little Hoover Commission Report on
Occupational Licensing in California

On October 4, 2016 the Little Hoover Commission released their report on Occupational Licensing in California.  The final draft makes a case for licensing commercial interior design in California, although at the first hearing and in initial discussions between commission staff and the Interior Design Coalition’s lobbyists, Interior Design was used as an example of a profession that should not be licensed.  Continued discussions with Commission staff and IDCC testimony in subsequent hearings resulted in the case for licensing of commercial design.

During the first hearing, one panelist raised interior designers as an example occupation that did not require licensure because the panelist confused the work of designers and decorators. To counter this point, the Interior Design Coalition of California (IDCC) was thrilled to participate in the second hearing in June.  Deborah Davis, FASID, Director at Large for the IDCC, testified to the Commission regarding the work of interior designers and the need for interior designers to be licensed in the state of California.  Deborah was able to educate the Commission on our work and raise a variety of relevant points as to why licensure for interior designers working in the code-impacted environment would especially help those who own small businesses, 90% of whom happen to be women.  The Commissioners responded well to Deborah’s testimony, featuring our arguments in the final report.  IDCC is looking forward to continued collaboration with the Little Hoover Commission and other stakeholders in the future as we continue to work towards our goals for the interior design profession in California in 2017 and beyond.

The Little Hoover Commission, formally known as the Milton Marks “Little Hoover” Commission on California State Government Organization and Economy, is an independent state oversight agency that was created in 1962. The Commission’s mission is to investigate state government operations and – through reports, recommendations and legislative proposals – promote efficiency, economy and improved service. The Commission’s creation and membership, purpose and duties and powers are enumerated in statute.  By statute, the Commission is a balanced bipartisan board composed of five citizen members appointed by the Governor, four citizen members appointed by the Legislature, two Senators and two Assembly members.  The full Commission selects study topics that come to its attention from citizens, legislators and other sources. In addition, it has a statutory obligation to review and make recommendations on proposed government reorganization plans.

This year the Commission took on the challenge of putting together a series of thoughtful hearings to discuss occupational licensing in California. The focus of the Commission’s review is on the impact of occupational licensing on upward mobility and opportunities for entrepreneurship and innovation for Californians, particularly those of modest means.  The Commission also examined the result of occupational licensing on the cost and availability of services provided by licensed practitioners to consumers.

Read the entire report on our Advocacy page.

Featured Professional | Angela Lafica


Angela is one of our Professional member’s for San Diego City Center. She has great involvement in the Design industry here in San Diego and with IIDA. We reached out to Angela to learn more about her and asked her a couple questions about the importance of being licensed!

“With 10 years of experience in the interior design industry, I am a Senior Associate, currently working in the San Diego office for Cuningham Group Architecture. Much of my career has been invested in the healthcare design market, but I have worked in a broad range of markets including education, hospitality and even theme parks with intention to leverage my acquired knowledge across all of them to be a more flexible and well-rounded designer. I am also co-chair for IIDA San Diego’s NeoConnect, and have found incredible value in being an involved member in our local city center’s events.”
– Angela Lafica

1. What made you decide to take NCIDQ?

When I was in school, they talked about the NCIDQ as a “matter-of-fact” issue, that everyone should take it. I never questioned whether it was something I wanted to do or not. For me, it was the bare-minimum, professionally, to let my clients and colleagues know I’m committed to my career and continuing to be educated throughout the course of it.

2. How has the exam helped to shape your career?

Passing the NCIDQ prepared me to take the IDEX (and become CID) as much of the material crossed over, and since I had made studying a habit again, I went on to take the EDAC not long after that. I believe that passing the NCIDQ gives my clients additional confidence in me and my abilities to serve them on their project.

Similarly, because I believe it was important for me to have passed the NCIDQ, I definitely look at that as one of the most important traits, if not a necessity, of a new hire, especially if they have 5+ years of experience.

Our firm has deemed passing the NCIDQ as a requirement for moving from an Interior Designer (Level) 1 to a 2.

3. What advice would you give to someone looking into taking the exam?

Unless you don’t see (Commercial) Interior Design as a long-term career path for you, I believe that taking the NCIDQ should be a priority, as it is one of the most important ways you can prove that you have the fundamental knowledge necessary for designing spaces that are safe, functional and thoughtful.

Thank you Angela for taking the time to share your thoughts with us! To learn more about becoming certified, click here!

Tanya Villalpando
IIDA San Diego Communications Co Chair

Meet Susan Coddington, IIDA Co-VP Advocacy

From pursuing her childhood goals to become a business owner to recently being sworn in as chair of the Century City Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Susan Coddington is an active local figure who enjoys all aspects of the neighborhood, from exercising to dining.

Can you tell me about what you do in Century City?
I own and manage a boutique commercial interior design and architecture firm, called CDGLA, located in our own small building in Century City at 10215 Santa Monica Blvd.

What motivated you to get into this role?
From young age of 6 or 7, I knew that I wanted to be a business owner and I also loved space planning and figuring out how to re-arrange spaces.

I attended University of Texas in Austin where I graduated with a double major of Interior Design and Business Administration/Marketing—combining both of my interests into a career that would blend creativity with business.

I like people and enjoy personal customer service. I chose commercial design because I like to make a positive difference in the lives of working people by improving their business environments.

As a board member and co-VP of Advocacy for the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), I work to support the advancement of the interior design profession, through education, outreach and legislative efforts.

IDCC Annual Meeting

On August 9, 2014 the Interior Design Coalition of California (IDCC) held their annual meeting in the ASID Orange County office at the Laguna Design Center. The meeting was very well attended by members of California ASID and IIDA chapters; Don Davis, Vice President, Government and Public Affairs, ASID; William Dessert, Specialist, Government and Public Affairs, ASID; Susanne Molina, Vice President IIDA; Susan Stuart, Partner, Capitol Advisors and Erin Evans-Fudem, Legislative Counsel, Capitol Advisors, IDCC’s lobbyists.

Outgoing IDCC President Katherine Fern reported on the many significant achievements of the Coalition this past year, including developing alliances with many interior design organizations as we worked to achieve common goals; successful outreach and education efforts to building officials, legislators and community college representatives; the enactment of SB 308 that extended the CID law until 2018 with added provisions; and the defeat of AB 2192, which would have allowed for Architects to implement a peer review system for plan approval, specifically for residential design.

Ongoing goals were also outlined that include obtaining uniform acceptance statewide of the CID stamp; the continued strengthening of collaborative alliances with other stakeholders and organizations; reinstatement of the NCIDQ as an alternative to the IDEX for certification; legal recognition of the profession of interior design; and continued vigilance for proposed legislation that could affect our right to practice.

Don Davis spoke about National efforts and recent legislative success in Massachusetts. He also explained the need to remain vigilant for proposed legislation similar to AB 2192. Also stressed was the fact that with new energy codes, nationally and in California (changes to Title 24 and the adoption of the CalGreen Building Code), all interior design work is becoming code-impacted work and legal recognition will be even more important to all interior designers.

Susan Stuart congratulated the Coalition on the success of the grass roots effort in defeating AB 2192 and discussed outlining goals for the Coalition going forward.

Susanne Molina discussed IIDA’s position on legislation, outreach efforts to expand awareness and understanding of the interior design professional, and the importance of the NCIDQ exam.

A lively and informative question and answer session followed that included many suggestions from the attendees for new alliances.

Nicole Rosetti, IIDA, was welcomed to the Board as Director-at-Large. Michel Dory, Allied ASID was also welcomed to the Communications team. In closing, Katherine Fern, who is leaving California, passed the torch to Patricia K. Weiss, IDCC’s new President. Katherine’s dedicated efforts resulted in a year of significant accomplishment for IDCC. We are all deeply appreciative and know that she will remain involved as a strong advocate for the profession. The IDCC Board is delighted to have Patricia returning to the Board and we look forward to her strong guidance and leadership.

The Interior Design Coalition of California seeks the legal recognition of the professional practice of interior design in the state of California. Through collaboration, education and advocacy, IDCC strives to present a unified voice for the California interior design community to support and protect the profession of interior design. Please visit our website www.idc-ca.org to become a member and to learn more about how our efforts affect your profession.

Kelsey Myatt, IIDA
Mohawk Group

A Note of Appreciation

2013-14 IIDA SoCal Board of Directors

As my Presidency of IIDA SoCal comes to a close, we can look back on a year that has been very productive and successful. We started out financially strong, and I am pleased to report that we continue to be one of the most financially strong chapters within the IIDA organization.

Last year when I began my Presidency, I outlined a series of challenges to the Board. Not only have we met those challenges, but we have been able to exceed them in ways we could not have imagined.

  • Advocacy, formerly known as GRA, was challenged to collaborate with our allied industry partners. Today, our relationships with ASID and IDCC are stronger than ever, and by working together we were able to succeed in our Sunset Review of SB208 and the defeat AB2192
  • The City Centers were asked to validate that every event is consistent with our Chapter mission. Not only are we well into this process, but we have established an entirely new City Center to better serve our members in the IE.
  • Communications was charged to evaluate all our methods of communication.  As a result we have forged media partnerships with Biznow and Architect’s Newspaper, created a strong alliance with WestEdge, and we are in the midst of redesigning our website to strengthen communication with our members.
  • My goal for Membership was to enhance the participation of our members, and to communicate the benefits of IIDA membership to our community. Based on the findings from last year’s Membership Survey, we are starting to better address what our members are looking for from IIDA.
  • The Professional Development team was asked to support the City Centers in providing the CEU’s required for active membership. We are now well on our way to providing those CEU’s at the local level and at the Chapter level through a very successful Speaker Series, and by sponsoring round tables and panel discussions for our community.
  • Student Affairs has continued to expand the number of Campus Centers and helped make them a relevant part of our Chapter.  And next spring we will be hosting the first West Coast Regional Student Design Charette.
  • Sponsorship has expanded our base by reaching out to new industry partners, at all levels of sponsorship. We have succeeded in increasing our sponsorship commitments in a very challenging corporate environment.

The role of President of the IIDA SoCal Chapter can be challenging and frustrating at times, but it is also infinitely rewarding. What is sometimes overlooked in the midst of the constant hurdles that we all encounter, is that by taking an active role in this organization you are forging relationships with some of the best people in arguably the best niche of the design profession. Over this past year, I have been truly honored and humbled to have been able to be able to support the work of this Chapter, and I thank you for inviting me to represent you as your President.

David Fridlund, IIDA, AIA, LEED AP
President, IIDA Southern California Chapter

Breaking News! Advocacy Update

Breaking News! The new bill AB 2192 affects YOU!  

Drafted by the AIA, AB 2192 sets up a building plan “peer review” review process that favors architects and excludes interior designers. IIDA opposes this legislation and encourages you to get involved.

Please read the attached Assembly Floor Alert to learn more and check out the IDCC website here.

Kelsey Myatt, Industry IIDA
Mohawk Group