Tag Archives: Leaders Breakfast


2018 Leaders Breakfast Keynote Speaker, Ruth Carter, wins Oscar

Congratulations are in order to Ruth Carter, the first African-American woman to ever win an Oscar for costume design. She was awarded this honor on Sunday, based upon her recent costume creations for Marvel’s mega blockbuster, Black Panther. Ruth recently served as IIDA Southern California Chapter’s keynote speaker at the Los Angeles Leaders Breakfast in September 2018. Over 400 design community attendees enjoyed Ruth’ s presentation, as she shared personal sketches and explained the methodologies for over 1,000 Black Panther hand crafted costumes.

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Ruth has provided her creative expertise to more than 40 films, earning Academy Award nominations in Best Costume Design for her work on Malcom X (1992) and Amistad (1997). However, this past Sunday’s 91st Academy Awards, marked Ruth’s very first Oscar win. During her speech, Ruth describes what the win symbolizes: “It means that we’ve opened up the door… Finally, the door is wide open. I’ve been struggling and digging deep and mentoring and doing whatever I could to raise others up, and I hope from my example there is hope and other people can come in and win an Oscar just like I did.”

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During a recent interview with FastCompany, Ruth discusses her ideation on conceptualizing the costumes, stating that she wanted the costumes to not portray typical superheroes; “We didn’t want them to be these sexy girls walking around with a guy in a bulletproof catsuit. We wanted them to be serious fighters”. Furthermore, Ruth goes on to describe where her iconic costume design originating, largely from the east African tribe known as the Maasai. The color red was important symbolism: ”This brilliant red is a consistent color in Africa. So I upped the ante on the tone… I wanted it to be almost like an intimidating red, just intense and saturated”.

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Photo Credit: Marvel Studios / Walt Disney Pictures

IIDA Southern California is thrilled to congratulate Ruth Carter on her recent Oscar win and forever changing the history of costume design. We are thankful to have experienced Ruth speak at our recent Leaders Breakfast event, along with honoree Jayna Zweiman, co-creator and mastermind behind The Pussyhat Project, a global women’s movement which has reached over 600 rallies across multiple continents. To see more photos from the 2018 Leaders Breakfast event, click here.

Congratulations Ruth!


Leaders Breakfast 2018 Recap

What a great morning our design community shared at the 2018 Leaders Breakfast, returning to the Intercontinental Wilshire Grand in Downtown Los Angeles. With a room full of 400 attendees, the early Thursday morning was praised as “one of the best Leaders Breakfasts yet”. The community rose early to enjoy company, mimosas and great inspiration. To see the entirety of the event photos, please visit here.

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Keynote Speaker Ruth Carter, Moderator Cheryl Durst and Honoree Jayna Zweiman

Honoree Jayna Zweiman shared her personal stories behind passion projects Pussyhat Project and the Welcome Blanket. She proudly wore one of her handcrafter pink hats, representing a global women’s movement which appeared nearly overnight, with millions of women, men and children gathering across 600 rallies internationally to sport their hand-made knitted garments.

Jayna Zweiman, Leaders Breakfast 2018 Honoree
Jayna Zweiman, Leaders Breakfast 2018 Honoree

The keynote presentation was truly fascinating, as Ruth Carter, costume designer for the Black Panther, shared her behind the scenes sketches and stories for designing over 1,000 costumes. Ruth has practiced the craft of costume design for over three decades across over 40 films including Academy Award nominations on Malcom X (1992) and Amistad (1997). Cheryl Durst, CEO of IIDA, joined Ruth on stage to moderate a question and answer panel halfway through the presentation to facilitate questions which spoke to designers across Southern California.

Keynote Speaker, Ruth Carter
Keynote Speaker, Ruth Carter

Thank you to all who attended, we hope you enjoyed the program this year! We are appreciative of the 8 event sponsors (which has also set a Leaders Breakfast record)

  • California Lighting Sales
  • EuroWest Decorative Surfaces
  • Geiger
  • Maharam
  • Patcraft
  • SitOnIt
  • Taslimi
  • United Interiors

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And a huge thank you to our committee this year, in which this event would not be possible.

  • Dave Fridlund, Wirt Design Group
  • Debra Haas, Interior Office Solutions
  • Stephanie Heiple, Ware Malcomb
  • Alicia Perez, Withee Malcolm
  • Susan Suhar, HDR
  • Sylvia Yoo, Herman Miller

Leaders Breakfast Returns to DTLA Wilshire Grand InterContinental

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Photo Credit

IIDA Southern California Chapter Leaders Breakfast committee is ecstatic to bring this year’s program back to the magnificent Wilshire Grand InterContinental in Downtown Los Angeles. The design team behind this masterpiece, AC Martin, further describes the architectural concept: “The client didn’t want the top of the building to be exclusive, but rather desired a ‘neighborhood in the sky’ of sorts – this was to be the differentiator. It consists of the highest open air rooftop bar in the United States, several bars and restaurants including a sushi restaurant, all-day dining and marketplace, steakhouse and a series of public lounges, all of which are publicly accessible.” Meeting and ballroom spaces occupy floors five through seven, including the grand ballroom – the third largest ballroom in Los Angeles. Encompassing over two million square feet across seventy three floors, the Wilshire Grand is sure to stun at our Leaders Breakfast program next month.

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Photo Credit

The average Angeleno may not be aware, but by code, high-rise classified buildings within city boundaries are required to have a helicopter pad. AC Martin describes this unique challenge: “We worked with the building and fire departments to change the code by implementing more modern and efficient methods of both fire rescue and fire suppression. We added a very large holding tank of water stored onsite in the parking garage and a dedicated fire department elevator with three foot thick concrete walls surrounding the elevator shaft. We also added a third exit stair from the upper floors of the tower – more than what is required by code. We were able to achieve a more complex, three dimensional rooftop design and overall help other high-rise projects in the future achieve a unique building shape.” This building has aesthetically changed the iconic skyline of Downtown Los Angeles, and IIDA Southern California is very enthusiastic to return to its grandeur on Thursday, September 13th.

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Photo Credit

Wilshire Grand Center Quick Details:

  • Client: Hanjin International Corporation/Korean Airlines
  • Architect: AC Martin
  • Structural Engineer: Brandow & Johnston, Inc./Thorton Tomasetti
  • General Contractor: Turner Construction Company
  • Hotel Ownership: InterContinental Hotels Group
  • Construction Commenced: 2012
  • Construction Completed: 2017
  • Total Tower Height: 1,100 ft.
  • Floor Count: 73
    Floor Area: 2.1 Million SF

This year’s Leaders Breakfast program is sure to deliver inspiration with the lineup of powerful speakers: keynote speaker Ruth Carter (Black Panther Costume Designer), honoree Jayna Zweiman (Co-creator of the Pussyhat Project and The Welcome Blanket movement) and last but not least, moderator extraordinaire, Cheryl Durst (CEO of IIDA Headquarters). IIDA SoCal extends the invitation to attend our Leaders Breakfast 2018 event to our entire community. Also returning to this year’s event, is a mimosa bar upon check in, cheers!

Thursday, September 13th, 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.

Valet Parking:
Enter from 7th St (between Francisco St. and Figueroa) and drive forward. Enter the hotel via the ‘EVENTS’ entrance. Take the elevator/escalator to the 5th floor – Wilshire Grand Ballroom. When leaving, take the elevator/escalator down to the P1 level – this is the pick-up location for Valet Parking. Valet Parking fee is $22. Please note there is no self-parking in the building.

Metro/Subway:
Convenient walkable distance from the 7th St./Metro Center station


IIDA CEO Cheryl Durst to Moderate Leaders Breakfast

IIDA Southern California Chapter Leaders Breakfast committee is ecstatic to announce IIDA CEO and Executive Vice President, Cheryl Durst, will serve as the moderator during this year’s keynote program. She is an exceptional communicator, visionary leader and industry cheerleader, for over two decades encouraging expansion of the Interior Design industry. Since 1997, Cheryl joined IIDA as the Senior Director of Education and Professional Development, thereafter through her efforts repositioning the organization through direct leadership. Recently, Interior Design magazine inducted her into their Hall of Fame in 2016.

Photo Credit

Cheryl Durst will lead a moderation session with the keynote speaker, Oscar- nominated costume designer, Ruth Carter. Together, the powerhouse women will lead an inspirational breakfast which will be regarded for years to come. Ruth has been most recently recognized for her work on Marvel’s latest blockbuster, Black Panther. Having more than 40 films under her belt, she has earned Academy Award nominations in Best Costume Design for Malcom X (1992) and Amistad (1997).

Additionally, the breakfast program will honor Jayna Zweiman, co-creator and mastermind behind The Pussyhat Project, a global women’s movement which has reached over 600 rallies across multiple continents. In a recent interview with Teen Vogue, Jayna describes that the Pussyhat Project has two parts: “1. Creating a sea of pink hats at the Women’s March to make a bold and powerful statement of solidarity, and 2. Giving people who will not be able to march — whether for medical, financial, scheduling reasons — visibility, and a way to support the marchers and women’s rights.” Lastly, Jayna will be speaking about her newest passion project, the Welcome Blanket, a crowd-sourced action which invites participants to knit, crochet and sew blankets for new immigrants seeking resettlement.

Our Leaders Breakfast committee hopes to instill thought provocation from the morning’s powerful speakers: Cheryl Durst (CEO of IIDA), Ruth Carter (Black Panther Costume Designer) and Jayna Zweiman (Co-creator of the Pussyhat Project). IIDA SoCal extends the invitation to attend our Leaders Breakfast 2018 event to our entire community. Last but not least, this year we will be featuring a mimosa bar upon event check in, cheers!

Thursday, September 13th, 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.


Leaders Breakfast Honoree: Pussyhat Project Co-founder Jayna Zweiman

IIDA Southern California Chapter Leaders Breakfast committee is excited to present this year’s honoree, Pussyhat Project co-founder, Jayna Zweiman. This global women’s movement appeared nearly overnight, with millions of women, men and children gathering across 600 rallies internationally to sport their hand-made knitted caps.

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Photo Credit: Pussyhatproject.com

Created locally in our Los Angeles community, the iconic pink hats represent solidarity for women’s rights and were created by Jayna Zweiman, an artist and design architect, along with and Krista Suh, a screenwriter . In a recent interview with Teen Vogue, Jayna describes that the Pussyhat Project has two parts: “1. Creating a sea of pink hats at the Women’s March to make a bold and powerful statement of solidarity, and 2. Giving people who will not be able to march — whether for medical, financial, scheduling reasons — visibility, and a way to support the marchers and women’s rights.” Our Leaders Breakfast committee hopes to instill inspiration from Jayna’s personal social justice journey.

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Photo Credit: Pussyhatproject.com

Jayna’s most recent project, known as the Welcome Blanket, goal is to connect people already living in the United States with new immigrants through the art of storytelling and handcrafted blankets. Along with a handmade blanket, new immigrants are greeted with a proposition manifesto from the group: “Welcome to the United States and your new life here! We are so glad you have arrived”. The project aims to provide positive, hands on approach to communicate how immigration policies can affect all of our lives.

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IIDA Southern California is proud to present Social Justice as the theme of this year’s Leaders Breakfast. This year’s honoree, Jayna Zweiman, will be sharing her experiences and basis for how a background in architecture led to her passion programs, Pussyhat Project and The Welcome Blanket. Keynote speaking this year’s event will be Black Panther costume designer, Ruth Carter, who will share her journey transcending through the fashion design industry.  IIDA SoCal extends the invitation to attend our Leaders Breakfast 2018 event to our entire community.

Thursday, September 13th, 2018, 7-10am
InterContinetal Los Angeles Downtown
900 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90017

Click here to purchase tickets and become an event sponsor today. For more information about the event, visit the event page here.


Black Panther Costume Designer as Leaders Breakfast Keynote Speaker

IIDA Southern California Chapter Leaders Breakfast committee is honored to present this year’s keynote speaker, Oscar- nominated costume designer, Ruth Carter. She has been most recently recognized for her work on Marvel’s latest blockbuster, Black Panther. Ruth has an impressive more than 40 films under her belt, earning Academy Award nominations in Best Costume Design for her work on Malcom X (1992) and Amistad (1997). Numerous times she has collaborated with Spike Lee.

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During a recent interview with FastCompany, Ruth discusses her ideation around the costumes, stating that she wanted the costumes to not portray typical superheroes; “We didn’t want them to be these sexy girls walking around with a guy in a bulletproof catsuit. We wanted them to be serious fighters”. Furthermore, Ruth goes on to describe where her iconic costume design originating, largely from the east African tribe known as the Maasai. The color red was important symbolism: ”This brilliant red is a consistent color in Africa. So I upped the ante on the tone… I wanted it to be almost like an intimidating red, just intense and saturated”.

Photo Credit: Marvel Studios / Walt Disney Pictures
Photo Credit: Marvel Studios / Walt Disney Pictures

IIDA Southern California is proud to present Social Justice as the theme of this year’s Leaders Breakfast. Ruth Carter will share her experience behind the masterpieces and share her personal journey transcending through the fashion design industry. Additionally, program will feature honoree Jayna Zweiman, co-creator and mastermind behind The Pussyhat Project, a global women’s movement which has reached over 600 rallies across multiple continents. Jayna will be speaking about her newest passion project, the Welcome Blanket, a crowd-sourced action which invites participants to knit, crochet and sew blankets for new immigrants seeking resettlement. IIDA SoCal extends the invitation to attend our Leaders Breakfast 2018 event to our entire community.

Thursday, September 13th, 2018, 7-10am
InterContinetal Los Angeles Downtown
900 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90017

Click here to purchase tickets and become an event sponsor today. For more information about the event, visit the event page here.


IIDA LA Leaders Breakfast Cues to Culture

Interior Design magazine featured an article about our upcoming Leaders Breakfast event. Click here for the full post on their website.

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The annual IIDA LA Leaders Breakfast is upping its game with ties to culture. Make that the cinema and general zeitgeist given this year’s keynote speaker and honoree. The former is twice Oscar-nominated costume designer Ruth E. Carter (pictured).

Her most recent work in the blockbuster Black Panther plays a vital role establishing the film’s characters and its cinematic universe. Rerun SelmaThe Butler, and Malcolm X for more looks at her intricate craft.

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This year saw a unique phenomenon with the Pussyhat Project. Those pink knit caps, on women and men alike, crowded the streets of New York; Washington, DC; Los Angeles; and cities spanning the continents in more than 600 political rallies in a single day. Credit their creator, Jayna Zweiman. Who knew? The knitter was a trained architect. When an injury left her unable to work or exercise, she needed to find a hobby during rehab time. Enter her screenwriter friend Krista Suh and the Little Knittery a local LA yarn store where they learned to knit and crochet. Knitting circle talk turned to politics and women’s issues. The upcoming January Women’s March in the nation’s capital mandated warm headgear. Voila, a symbol and movement were born.

Learn more from these stellar women firsthand on September 13 at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown, aka the Wilshire Grand. Purchase your tickets here.

Edie Cohen
Interior Design


Highlights of Last Week’s Leaders Breakfast 2017

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Another successful Leaders Breakfast at the new venue, Wilshire Grand. Mimosas were flowing while Julie Bernstein talked about the creative process using tactile methods.

Take a look at the photos of the event here.

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Honoring an amazing non profit organization, Affordable Living for the Aging (ALA), Antonio Manning delivered a heart felt speech.

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Thank you to everyone that joined us this year.

Great committee. Julie’s interactive speech help keep the audience engaged. Mimosas were a very nice touch to an early morning. VIP Tour of the new Wilshire Grand was amazing.

And thank you to the event sponsors that supported us this year:

INTERNATIONAL BENEFACTORS

Herman Miller
Interior Design Magazine

2017 CHAPTER SPONSORS

PATRON
Bentley
Mohawk Group

DONOR
Herman Miller
Interface

FRIEND
Allsteel
Arcadia
Crossville
EEI
Emser Tile
Garrett Leather
Haworth
Knoll
MetWest
Milliken
OFS Brands
Pinnacle
Pivot Construction Services
PlanNet
Steelcase
Tangram

DESIGN PARTNER
AECOM
Gensler
HOK
Wolcott

EVENT SPONSORS

California Lighting Systems
IOS Ideation Lab
SitOnIt Seating
Taslimi Construction
Unisource
USG


Leadership of Excellence Award: Presenting the Herman Miller Red Walnut Stool

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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.

We are excited to present this year’s 2017 Leadership of Excellence Award to Affordable Living for the Aging! Please join us next Friday, September 15th to honor this great organization in Los Angeles!

Leaders Breakfast
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.


Meet the Designers Behind the Wilshire Grand Center – AC Martin!

*This interview was conducted with some members of the design team – Christopher King, Sandra Levesque and Michelle Sterling.

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Overhead view of the Wilshire Grand Center and the Los Angeles skyline. Photography provide by AC Martin.

“The Wilshire Grand Center, encompassing the new InterContinental Hotel, aims to become a vital part of downtown Los Angeles’ ongoing renaissance. Its businesses, restaurants, bars and residents are fresh, vibrant, creative, innovative and constantly evolving. Formulating an “authentic” experience for local urban dwellers and visitors alike requires thoughtful understanding and representation of place, culture notwithstanding LA’s inescapable yet widely revered clichés such as weather and traffic.” – AC Martin

Wilshire Grand Center Quick Details:
Client: Hanjin International Corporation/Korean Airlines
Address: 900 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90017
Architect: AC Martin
Structural Engineer: Brandow & Johnston, Inc./Thorton Tomasetti
Contractor: Turner Construction Company
Hotel: InterContinental Hotels Group
Type: Mixed-Use Commercial
Construction Started: 2012
Completed: 2017
Height: 1,100 ft.
Floor Count: 73
Floor Area: 2.1 Million SF
Elevators: 38
Sky Lobby Express Elevator Speed: 1,600 FPM (feet per minute)

What was the program for the Wilshire Grand Center? What was AC Martin’s scope of work for the project?
AC Martin was the design architect, architect of record, interior architect and hospitality designer of the 2.1 million square feet contained within the project.  The program for the Wilshire Grand includes the InterContinental Hotel, convention and meeting spaces, restaurants, retail, and offices.
Under the signature curving skylight is a gallery space that features a coffee shop, lounge and arrival lobby connecting to the porte-cochere. The lower hotel lobby features a custom three-story art installation by Do Ho Suh, made up of 86,000 3” tall resin figures.  From there you experience a 35 second ride into the sky in one of the double decker, high-speed elevators delivering you to the 70th floor sky lobby and check-in.

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Up-close view of the plaza lobby art installation by Do Ho Suh. Photography by Sylvia Yoo.

The client didn’t want the top of the building to be exclusive, but rather desired a ‘neighborhood in the sky’ of sorts – this was to be the differentiator. It consists of the highest open air rooftop bar in the United States, several bars and restaurants including a sushi restaurant, all-day dining and marketplace, steakhouse and a series of public lounges, all of which are publicly accessible.

Meeting and ballroom spaces occupy floors five, six and seven, including the grand ballroom – the third largest ballroom in Los Angeles.  While both ballrooms have access to outdoor light, the junior ballroom on the 7th floor has a retractable glass door to open seamlessly to the adjacent outdoor space and pool deck which is the terminus of historic 7th street.

The health club, which will be available for outside memberships, will be opening this fall and Seoul Jung, the signature Korean restaurant, is currently under construction (both designed by AC Martin) and will be open in January 2018.

What was your design inspiration?
The interior design concept focused on how the guest experience could authentically relate to Los Angeles.  We didn’t want the guest experience to only rely on the view but rather we wanted the interior design to interact and respond to the key landmarks or signature elements as viewed from each area of the project.   Back in the 70s, architect Reyner Banham wrote a book entitled Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies and classified the four different ecologies he observed in Los Angeles – beach culture, or what he called “surfurbia”, “autopia”, foothills, and the flats which he referred to as “the Plains of ID”.  Since this project was located downtown, we ended up adding downtown as the fifth ecology.

From the 70th floor, with 360 degree views of Los Angeles, you end up viewing all the different ecologies – one way you’re looking towards the foothills, or the 110/10 intersection, or you see the bustling downtown below.  For example, immediately above the check-in area hangs a three-story tall light sculpture made up of internally illuminated, multi-color resin segments. The intersection of the 10 and 110 freeways, directly in view, are the inspiration for this “autopian” design. Freeways, while often uninspiring by car, become a light show of red, white and orange lights at night from 70 stories above. The ‘strung’ form is derived directly from mapping this key intersection including the on and off ramps, underpasses, overpasses and connectors.  As if made from string, these draped strands are given form by gravity. The resin is molded to resemble head lights, tails lights and side lights.

Custom-designed light installation at hotel lobby.  Photography provided by AC Martin.
Custom-designed light installation at hotel lobby. Photography provided by AC Martin.

How do you think the Wilshire Grand impacts the overall Los Angeles skyline?
It adds a unique profile to the skyline because of its three dimensional rooftop. AC Martin together with the City of Los Angeles forever altered the ordinance requiring the helipad for emergency purposes and ultimately opened up the possibility for more uniquely shaped tall buildings to be built in LA in the future.

By code, high-rise buildings in LA were required to have a helipad.  We worked with the building and fire departments to change the code by implementing more modern and efficient methods of both fire rescue and fire suppression.  We added a very large holding tank of water stored onsite in the parking garage and a dedicated fire department elevator with three foot thick concrete walls surrounding the elevator shaft.  We also added a third exit stair from the upper floors of the tower – more than what is required by code.  We were able to achieve a more complex, three dimensional rooftop design and overall help other high-rise projects in the future achieve a unique building shape.

Leaders Breakfast
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