Tag Archives: membership

Inland Empire Membership Mixer & CEU Recap


Thank you to all of those who attended our first event of the year! We appreciate the efforts of the our sponsors and HON for presenting such an informative CEU.

We had a great turn out with around 30 people showing up to learn about trends in healthcare and specifically the shift to outpatient.

Total Corporate Solutions in Riverside invited us to host the event in their brand new showroom. Before the CEU, we had a networking hour where designers, students, and manufacturer’s reps got to mingle and walk around the showroom.

At the end of the night we raffled off a Professional and Student Membership.

Samantha Eklund

Become a Member!

Join the IIDA Southern California Chapter! IIDA offers its members networking opportunities, discounted event tickets, continuing education programs, inspiration and more!

Member Benefits

• Networking opportunities through the SoCal Chapter and Forum programs

• Discounted tickets to events

• Eligibility for a twice annual drawing for NCIDQ tuition reimbursement–this is a complete reimbursement for Associate Members who successfully complete the NCIDQ exam

• Use of the IIDA professional designation

• Professional development through IDCEC-approved CEU programs

• Access to the online IIDA Membership director – build your network, find new clients

• International code and licensing initiatives

Click here to find out more!

IIDA Foundation's 2012 Designing for the Future Campaign

You may be receiving emails from IIDA Headquarters, asking for support of the IIDA Foundation Design for the Future Campaign.  I’d like to let you know how important this campaign is to the future of our industry.

IIDA Student Competition 2012

The IIDA Foundation is the philanthropic arm of IIDAwhose mission is to advance the profession through education, research and knowledge. The Foundation funds our student scholarship program, tuition reimbursement program, and publishes “What Clients Want” – a collection of conversations between clients and designers, discussing how projects came to be and the impact they have on our lives.

Financial support of the Foundation comes from IIDA members – through all of our fundraising events but mostly through individual contributions.  The Foundation has set a goal for this year’s campaign of a minimum gift of $10 per member – all of which will go toward publication of “What Clients Want – Volume 2″.  The campaign is open through November 30, and they have made it easy for us to contribute. You can make your contribution online through the Foundation tab at www.IIDA.org, or you can include it with your membership renewal.

I hope you will join me in supporting the Foundation, so they can continue to provide tangible benefits to all IIDA Members and strengthen the entire interior design profession.

David Fridlund, IIDA, AIA, LEED AP
President-Elect, IIDA SoCal Chapter
Wirt Design Group

Meet Our LA City Center Co-Director, Nicole Valdes Starkey

Nicole Valdes Starkey has worked with Southern California architecture and design firms for the past 4 years.  She originally came from Arcadia and now works for Knoll covering the Southern California market for the Knoll Essentials line and working out of their Santa Monica showroom.

Nicole has played an active role in the Southern California International Interior Design Association (IIDA) serving on numerous committees in both LA and OC.  In her new role as Los Angeles City Center Co-director, she hopes to increase IIDA awareness and drive membership as well as increase participation.

Get To Know Nicole (Niki)!

IIDA Favorite:  I am ‘working’ and having so much fun with some of my favorite people in the industry.  We all come from different competing companies but when we put our IIDA hats on we are ALL on the same team working to bring the industry together towards a common goal!

Loves:  Super tall shoes, a good glass of Cab, my IIDA family, the Cali Sun…

News:  I just got married in July and spent 17 amazing days in Indonesia!

Most Unusual Job: Before breaking into the wonderful world of contract furnishings, I was part of a three man Nanny posse that was in charge of three spoiled little kids… part of my daily duties included ‘exercising’ Rocky and Bullwinkle… the family’s pair of mini Horses.

Meet Valerie Drago, Passionate About Design & IIDA

Valerie Drago has been instrumental in starting the Cal State Long Beach IIDA Student City Center. Below she tells us how she followed her passion for design.

Growing up in a home with an amazing mother and father who is a professional photographer, I learned, from an early age, to be a bit more observant, and admire the world around us, through a lens. I believe it was through that lens I developed an appreciation for the arts in all its forms, with a singular interest in interior design and architecture.

Valerie followed her passion for Design

Although, being fortunate enough to have acquired an artistic skill at a young age, I chose to explore other possibilities and ventured into the wedding industry. And, at the age of 20, I opened my own business creating custom wedding invitations, but never leaving too far behind my passion for interiors.

After several years, and having experienced the joy (and difficulties) of owning my own business, I decided to follow after my passion and go back to school. I am now a senior in the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design program at California State University, Long Beach.

I recently joined IIDA, to become more acquainted with the industry, as I transition from the classroom to the ‘real world’ once again. I am truly looking forward to the next chapter in my life. Being part of this organization, I believe, will provide support and professional growth in years to come. 

President's Talk at Leaders Breakfast

IIDA celebrates not just Leaders Breakfast (watch video from last month’s Leaders Breakfast event!) but Calibre, Speakers Series with CEU events, Leader Roundtables, NeoConnect trade shows, fabulous fashion shows demonstrating the great creative work of our members and their firms in LA, OC and SD, and Student Competitions to nurture the next generation of designers, and including reimbursement program for NCIDQ and LEED exams. We advocate to our state governments in California and nation-wide in 47 states to elevate the recognition of the profession.

Scott Johnson, IIDA SoCal President with Tom Wujec, Event Speaker

The IIDA appellation of professional, associate, affiliate, educator and student members is the mark of professionalism in the field. Professional members, of which there are some 200 in SoCal Chapter have shown through their education, experience and rigorous NCIDQ exam passage their qualification for the highest level of professionalism in interior design.

If you are a student finishing an accredited interior design degree program, you should continue, pass your exam and obtain the required experience to be an IIDA Professional.

Same is true for multi-year veterans: do your exam, get “IIDA” on your business card. If you are a firm principal, incentivize your design staff to achieve professional status by subsidizing some if not all exam fees and dues. You will benefit and enhance the professionalism of your company by doing so. And if you are a company principal, do what you need to do to become a professional member. It’s expected of you.

If you are a customer, whether client or construction manager for client, demand IIDA professional members be on the project team. Why would you do anything less?

Randy Stauffer, 2012 Leaders Breakfast Honoree

And accept no substitute. There are other design appellations, especially in California, but none that has the same requirements for education, exam, and experience as IIDA whose members create a myriad of spaces, including airports, hotels, hospitals, schools, and corporate offices just to name a few. We are not synonymous with decorators. Our expertise is different than that of architects.

We pursue creativity and innovation at the intersection of business, technology and art. We are whimsical and grounded, creative and practical, systematic and random, metaphorical and literal. We are design, we reach for the visceral heart of our projects, and IIDA, the voice of interior design, is the collective body and soul of our profession.

Scott Johnson, IIDA, IALD
President, IIDA SoCal Chapter
Wolcott Architecture Interiors 

IIDA 1st Annual Member Appreciation Mixer A Success!


A big thank you to everyone who joined us for a beautiful and fun evening on the Abbot Kinney strip in Venice! It was an amazing turnout of 125 industry professionals who enjoyed Food Fair by Diego’s amazing delectable treats, CAVE Gallery‘s artwork on display and the cocktails of the evening. The food was a huge hit with delicious bites like shrimp cocktail, ceviche,

BBQ sliders and the sweet treat dessert tray! Excitement spread through the crowd just at the thought of winning one of the six amazing raffle prizes that were donated this year!

Cameron Grimsley, Mohawk Group & Holly Rau, Kimball

We are thrilled to say that IIDA is very happy this event was such a success and looking forward to hosting another amazing mixer for the design community next year! Thank you to all that attended and supported our Membership Mixer!

Sarah Glass
Systems Source

"Stand Out in the Crowd" Member Mixer

CAVE Gallery
A Sample of the Delicious Delectables from Food Fair by Diego (shown Brie & Blueberry Chutney)

The August Member Mixer is just around the corner and sure to surprise all who attend! This year we are kicking off the 1st Annual Member Appreciation Mixer with 6 phenomenal raffle prizes! And I’ll tell you a secret.  We are giving 1 raffle ticket away to each guest that attends!  If you want an even BIGGER change of winning one of these prizes, additional raffle tickets will be $1 each or 6 for $5.  All proceeds from raffle ticket sales will go to License2Design.

Not only will we be serving up decadent delights from Food Fair by Diego, but we’ll be pouring a secret specialty cocktail until 9pm. Venture out to the West Side in Venice to see the spectacular art featured at CAVE Gallery and mix with friends while running into new ones. We have planned a summer solstice style event sure to please.  What are you doing still reading?  RSVP today!

Sarah Glass
Systems Source

Get Ready to Rock the SoCal Vote!

The Polls Are Almost Open!

As many of you know, IIDA Southern California Chapter is extremely active throughout the entire year and an important milestone happens every July, when new Executive Board members are sworn in, and officially take on their roles and responsibilities (each Board position is a two-year term).  However, leading up to that point is a lot of hard work as well as vetting by a nominating committee. After the nominating committee is in place, the Chapter invites members to apply for open Board positions.  Colleagues either submit potential candidates (you must be an IIDA member to serve on the Board) or any IIDA member can submit himself or herself as a candidate. Once the candidates have been vetted and confirmed, a ballot with the proposed slate is submitted to our Chapter Professional IIDA members. And, every vote counts!

So, it’s that time of the year again and soon every Professional member will be receiving a notification that the polls are open!  It’s easy….an online voting ballot lives on our website so that our Professional members can easily access the proposed slate and the bios of each proposed Board member. There’s an easy-to-fill-out online form as well. One click to get there, one click to cast your vote!

One of the great benefits of your membership in IIDA Southern California Chapter is the opportunity to participate in the leadership of the Chapter. Whether it’s on the Chapter Board of Directors or as the Chair of one of the City Center Committees, great leadership opportunities abound.  Keep a look out for the upcoming request to Rock the SoCal Vote!

Catherine Minervini, Assoc. IIDA
Green Owl Studio

Welcome New Member Gabriela Fenton!

Member Since 2012

We recently met up with Gabriela Fenton, new to IIDA and new to our industry.  Always passionate about design but working in the legal industry, Gabriela is in the process of switching careers.  She has always been inspired by colors, new spaces, fabrics and architecture, and seeing the great success of designers in today’s world motivates her to get involved and be a part of our thriving community.  With a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Houston, she is currently attending Santa Moncica College for her Certification in Interior and Architecture Design.

So what better way to connect, learn and stay informed about design in Southern California than to be a member of IIDA.  Gabriela is looking forward to being a part of an organization that keeps her informed of current design trends and events as well as connecting and networking in our community. She’s looking forward to finding out more about design competitions, job postings and other happenings in the design industry.

It takes guts to switch careers but in the words of Gabriela, “I’ve learned that it’s never too late to follow your dreams.”

Welcome, Gabriela to your new career and to our SoCal design community! We’re looking forward to getting to know you!