The Leadership Experience : Three Days of Career Building in San Diego

More than 400 attendees traveled to San Diego to join The Leadership Experience: Presented by ASID (EXP) for three days of career building engagement and thoughtful disruption of routine, July 13-15, 2017. Through a unique blend of seminars, experiential learning opportunities, non-traditional entertainment events, and healthy mental breaks and refresh experiences, attendees, from emerging professionals to experienced designers, reignited their passion for interior design, explored their personal and professional goals, and were challenged to lead in all aspects of their careers – themselves, their teams, their firms, and their ASID chapters.

On July 13, Nancy Giordano, founder and CEO of Play Big, Inc. kicked off EXP with an energetic and engaging keynote, The Case for Disruptive Thinking, that explored the ways in which technology is forcing us to reinvent the ways we work, live, connect, and lead. Giordano encouraged current and future leaders to embrace the need for constant innovation. Review the full faculty list.

Following the keynote, the ASID Ones to Watch award winners and scholars were announced and recognized. Following the keynote, the ASID Ones to Watch award winners and scholars were announced and recognized. This new ASID awards program acknowledges those whose backgrounds are under-represented in interior design management roles and who demonstrate exceptional leadership potential in four categories: Design Excellence, Education Leadership, Manufacturing Leadership, and Volunteer Leadership. Seventeen winners, including eight Ones to Watch Scholars who will participate in a two-year leadership management curriculum, were honored.

2017 ASID Ones to Watch Scholars

Gracie Andraos, ASID
Gracie Andraos, ASID

Design Excellence

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Sarah Barnard,  Allied ASID, LEED AP
Sarah Barnard, Allied ASID, LEED AP

Volunteer Leadership

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Nina Briggs
Nina Briggs

Education Leadership

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Gracie Andraos, ASID

HKS | Dallas, TX

Gracie Andraos is a premier workplace designer at HKS, leading teams for such corporate interiors as Expedia, Topgolf, and American Beacon Advisors. A design leader with forward thinking creativity, Andraos’ client-driven work ethic and collaborative attitude have propelled over 14 years of successful projects. She creates effective workplace environments by listening to her client’s needs, thoughtful space planning, and designing with thorough attention to detail. The results are top-performing workplaces that transform organizations and the employees inside them.

Sarah Barnard, Allied ASID, LEED AP

Sarah Barnard Design | Santa Monica, CA

Sarah Barnard is a member of ASID, is certified by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), and is recognized by the International Institute for Bau-Biologie & Ecology as a Building Biology Practitioner (BBP) and by the U.S. Green Building Council as a LEED AP. She has served on the Santa Monica Conservancy's board of directors, and specializes in sustainable interior design and historic preservation. Barnard’s diverse body of work includes upscale private residences, chic restaurants, luxurious spas, community housing, and corporate headquarters. She holds an MFA from Claremont Graduate University as well as undergraduate degrees in art and interior architectural design.

Nina Briggs

Woodbury University | Los Angeles, CA 

Nina Briggs is a founding principal of THE FABRIC with an extensive portfolio that includes compelling architecture and interiors where design response and execution is holistically applied and integrated into spatial quality, furnishings, materials, color, lighting, and sustainability. Briggs received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Southern California, and has been an educator of architecture and interior design since 1997 in colleges throughout Southern California. Briggs seeks to elevate and redefine design to positively affect inhabitants psychologically, while solving spatial problems.

Kelsey Kees, ASID, LEED AP
Kelsey Kees, ASID, LEED AP

Volunteer Leadership

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Bridget Schmitt, ASID
Bridget Schmitt, ASID

Design Excellence

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Angelita Scott, ASID
Angelita Scott, ASID

Education Leadership

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Kelsey Kees, ASID, LEED AP

SFCS Architects | Roanoke, VA

Kelsey Kees is a graduate of Virginia Tech’s Interior Design program and is a LEED AP. Kees designed higher education and corporate sector projects for Teresa Ko – Commercial Interiors in Blacksburg, Virginia, and is now with SFCS Inc. in Roanoke, Virginia, working on senior living design projects. She has served in many positions with the ASID Virginia Chapter including IT Task Force Committee Chair, Social Media Chair, Co-Chair for the Designer Silent Auction, Communications Director, Finance Director, President-Elect, and currently serves as chapter President.

Bridget Schmitt, ASID

IA Interior Architects | Chicago, IL

Bridget Schmitt is an accomplished interior designer who creates fitted solutions for a diverse range of commercial clients. She has been a designer at IA for seven years and is dedicated to continual learning and exploration of design ideas. Schmitt was the lead designer for the innovative 161 North Clark Street 5-Star Service Center and has provided unique and effective solutions for well-established hospitality, education, and corporate clients, including American Medical Association, William Blair, and CBRE Global Investors. She believes that successful design not only supports clients’ business objectives by enhancing the aesthetics and performance of their work environments, but at its core, improves people’s lives. She is devoted to empowering people and businesses with functional, beautiful, and informed design conceptualized in the interest of their well-being.  

Angelita Scott, ASID

Georgia Southern University | Statesboro, GA

Angelita Scott is an assistant professor of Interior Design at Georgia Southern University. Her research takes a salutogenic approach to the interior environment and focuses on the intersection of the built environment and psychological and physiological well-being, and the intersection of culture and the built environment. Through these perspectives she focuses on stress reduction and occupant satisfaction. Scott has worked in the interior design profession as a practitioner, educator, and researcher for nearly 15 years and has worked as a marketing professional for non-profit organizations. Scott earned a Ph.D. in interior design with a focus on evidence-based design from the University of Minnesota and holds a Master of Business Communication certificate from the University of St. Thomas. Scott believes interior designers have the ability to make great contributions to the human condition by supporting behavior, development, and health. Through the lens of well-being and social justice, she hopes to empower her students and position them as future change agents for the interior design profession.

Erin Trofholz, ASID, LEED AP
Erin Trofholz, ASID, LEED AP

Design Excellence

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Brooke Williams, Allied ASID
Brooke Williams, Allied ASID

Volunteer Leadership

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Erin Trofholz, ASID, LEED AP

 Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture | Omaha, NE

Erin Trofholz’ collaborative style allows for an open, engaging approach to the entire interior design process. With a diverse background in programming, space planning, design, and furniture/finish selection, Trofholz brings a well-rounded approach to some of Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture’s (APMA) most complex projects. Her work seamlessly incorporates thoughtful design elements to create beautiful, welcoming, and functional spaces, including some of the University of Nebraska’s most celebrated buildings, housing for the underserved, historic buildings turned modern offices, and public libraries across the state. Since 2009, she has served as an adjunct professor in Interior Design at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. As a partner at APMA, Erin is responsible for overseeing the firm’s Studio Alliance, an internal group dedicated to maximizing office efficiency and function as well as fostering employee engagement and satisfaction.

Brooke Williams, Allied ASID

The Designer Agent | San Diego, CA

Brooke Williams is passionate about her philosophy that everyone deserves design and offers her clientele a balance of creativity, forward thinking, and budget focused design solutions.

After serving as an Information Systems Technician in the Navy, Williams enrolled at the Design Institute of San Diego where she earned a BFA in Interior Design. She has served in various ASID board and committee positions on both the local and national level. Williams’ firm blends real estate and interior design and helps people find and design their new homes. She has recently started a nonprofit charity, Design for a Difference, which serves single parent families struggling with poverty and/or recovering from homelessness.

2017 ASID Ones to Watch Award Winners

Francisco Barron
Francisco Barron

Design Excellence

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Grace Eun, ASID
Grace Eun, ASID

Design Excellence

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Corinn Hanson
Corinn Hanson

Design Excellence

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Francisco Barron

HKS | Dallas, TX  

Grace Eun, ASID

Clive Wilkinson Architects | Los Angeles, CA 

Corinn Hanson

BOX Studios | Chicago

Eric Haydel, Allied ASID
Eric Haydel, Allied ASID

Volunteer Leadership

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Leah Hofferkamp
Leah Hofferkamp

Design Excellence

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Julie Liepold, Allied ASID
Julie Liepold, Allied ASID

Volunteer Leadership

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Eric Haydel, Allied ASID

Eric Haydel Design | Boston, MA

Leah Hofferkamp

HOK | St. Louis, MO 

Julie Liepold, Allied ASID

Liepold Design Group LLC | Millburn, NJ

Betty Torrell, ASID
Betty Torrell, ASID

Education Leadership

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Natalia Trepchina-Worden, ASID
Natalia Trepchina-Worden, ASID

Education Leadership

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Liz Wirgau
Liz Wirgau

Manufacturing Leadership

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Betty Torrell, ASID

Western Carolina University | Sylva, NC

Natalia Trepchina-Worden, ASID

Design Institute of San Diego | San Diego, CA  

Liz Wirgau

Byrne | Kent City, MI  

All submissions were evaluated by an esteemed panel of judges who considered the applicant’s intended impact on the design industry, their demonstrated career success, the originality and creativity of their portfolio, and the recommendations submitted with their application. Scholars were selected according to their overall score and their potential to excel from the leadership training experience. The panel included: Rich Isphording, vice president of Strategic Alliances and Applied Research + Consulting, Steelcase; Tama Duffy Day, FASID, principal, Health & Wellness Practice Area Leader, Gensler; J.D. Sassaman, senior Creative Workshop manager, Autodesk; and Denise Rush, ASID, director of Undergraduate Interior Architecture, Boston Architectural College.

Throughout EXP, the ASID Foundation (ASIDF) promoted their annual Online and Silent Auction, which opened for bids on experience items like concerts, sporting events, and excursions on July 10, and closed at the end of Celebration – The ASID Awards Gala, on July 15. All proceeds from the Online and Silent Auction and the onsite special raffle support the ASIDF, which works to advance the profession and communicate the impact of interior design through research, scholarships, and education.

Day one closed with “First Night,” an energetic, high-powered celebration that included music, dancing, and networking at Music Box, Downtown San Diego’s premier nightclub.

Open throughout the Experience, the Learning Lounge was the perfect place to connect with fellow attendees, catch up with colleagues, and continue conversations with speakers. And the Sponsor Connection space allowed attendees to engage and interact with EXP sponsors in their special installations. EXP was sponsored by Sherwin WilliamsSuryaHansgroheWilsonartBenjamin MooreFarrow & BallWilliams-SonomaCosentinoMonogramCalifornia ClosetsSignature Kitchen SuiteSunbrella, FrankeThe Tile ShopWendover Art GroupEventscape, and AJ MadisonMETROPOLISwas the EXP media sponsor.

Open throughout the Experience, the Learning Lounge was the perfect place to connect with fellow attendees, catch up with colleagues, and continue conversations with speakers. And the Sponsor Connection space allowed attendees to engage and interact with EXP sponsors in their special installations. EXP was sponsored by Sherwin Williams, Surya, Hansgrohe, Wilsonart, Benjamin Moore, Farrow & Ball, Williams-Sonoma, Cosentino, Monogram, California Closets, Signature Kitchen Suite, Sunbrella, Franke, The Tile Shop, Wendover Art Group, Eventscape, and AJ Madison. METROPOLIS was the EXP media sponsor.

Day two of EXP began with an interactive team-building workshop presented by Andrew Dent, Ph.D., executive vice president of Research, Material ConneXion. Team Challenge: How Can Materiality Change the Way You See Healthful Spaces? led participants on an exploration of the ways materials can alter our perception of healthy interiors, introduced the latest material innovations, and invited attendees to work with a team to solve problems using their newfound materials knowledge.

At noon, the annual ASID State of the Society address, Demonstrating Impact, took place before a full room in San Diego and several hundred more via Facebook Live. Randy Fiser, CEO, Hon. FASID, and Charrisse Johnston, ASID, LEED AP BD+C, Associate AIA, Chair, ASID National Board of Directors, explored the Society’s impact on the design industry and the world, and provided a look ahead to its dynamic future.

Throughout the day, a wide range of relevant, hot topic sessions provided attendees with the insight and tools required to lead themselves, their teams, and their firms. A special track, curated especially for ASID Chapter Board members, took place concurrently, replacing the Chapter Leadership Conference and allowing attendees to participate in workshops outside of their track for a more personalized experience. Friday’s courses included The New Visualization: A Changing Approach to Collaboration and Storytelling, presented by Elizabeth Von Lehe, Allied ASID, director, Strategy and Brand Architecture, ICRAVE; Environments that Stimulate Creativity and Encourage Innovation, presented by Gareth Brennan, founder and owner, Eventscape; Does Client Loyalty Exist?, presented by Joey Shimoda, FAIA, chief creative officer and founder, Shimoda Design Group; and a power panel on the topic – Women Who Lead. Review the full curriculum.

Friday’s afternoon refresh gave attendees a break from traditional learning and provided them with several options for rebooting after lunch, including tours of the Salk Institute, the J. Craig Venter Institute, a meditation class, any of the resort amenities, and even a short nap.

The event capped off with stories from the 2017 ASID National Award winners Steven Clem, ASID, FAIA, tvsdesign (Designer of Distinction), Susan Szenasy, Metropolis (Design for Humanity), and, Sam Aquillano, Design Museum Foundation (Design Innovation). Led by moderator Reed Kroloff (Jones|Kroloff), each award winner shared their most important leadership lessons learned. Their presentation was followed by a lively discussion focused on the key qualities of effective leaders as embodied by these giants in the field. This fast-paced session offered plenty of concrete advice, along with a healthy dose of inspiration, to wrap up EXP on a high note!

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