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ASID Press Release

ASID and DIFFA Announce Design Impacts Life Fund

Industry-Leading Organizations Partner as ASID Creates $375,000 Grant Fund

The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) is excited to announce a donation of $375,000 to DIFFA: Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS, creating the new Design Impacts Life Fund. The Fund will offer grants to nonprofits that provide services, education, and treatment to those affected by HIV/AIDS, with the potential to expand its reach to support others in need. This donation represents one of the largest single gifts ever to DIFFA.

The gift comes from the ASID Benevolent Fund, which was started in 1974 by ASID members to provide funds to those in need in the design community during the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. ASID paused fundraising for the Benevolent Fund when DIFFA was launched as a larger design industry focused organization. This donation closes the chapter on the ASID Benevolent Fund and opens opportunity for DIFFA to increase its organizational impact and reach. The ASID Design Impacts Life Fund will be leveraged to create the greatest possible impact on those living with HIV/AIDS and the DIFFA organization. Thanks to the national reach of both ASID and DIFFA, potential grantees may apply from all over the country.

“ASID is passionate about positively impacting lives beyond the practice of design,” states Randy Fiser, Hon. FASID, ASID CEO. “This profession is made up of diverse individuals whose shared goal is to make the world better for its inhabitants. Our new Design Impacts Life Fund speaks to our mission: to touch lives thanks to the power of design. We’re thrilled to give back to such a worthy cause and can’t wait to see how together with DIFFA and the entire design community, we can make a difference in people’s lives.”

In addition to its grant support, the Design Impacts Life Fund will leverage the combined power of ASID and DIFFA to spur the industry to action. Through their various programs and partners, the two organizations will continue to broaden the scope of the fund to inspire support from the design world and maximize its effect on all communities in need.

“With the generous donation from ASID—a huge thanks!—and DIFFA’s strong network of design professionals behind it, the Design Impacts Life Fund has so much potential to help HIV/AIDS-affected communities,” says Cindy Allen, Interior Design magazine’s Editor-in-Chief and DIFFA’s Chair of the Board of Trustees. “DIFFA remains as committed as ever to helping those in need and galvanizing our community to push the boundaries of what is possible.”

Adds Dawn Roberson, DIFFA Executive Director, “We are thrilled to start the Design Impacts Life Fund with this most generous donation from ASID! These funds, combined with the continued generosity of the design community, will contribute significantly to DIFFA’s granting for years to come. We could not possibly be more grateful to partner with ASID in such a meaningful way.”

In the U.S., 80 percent of the interior design community is female, and Hispanic and Latin women are among the most affected by HIV/AIDS. The CDC estimates that roughly 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV – and nearly one in eight of those are not aware that they are infected. Increasing levels of intravenous drug use, linked to an epidemic of opioid misuse, are threatening the gains made on reducing HIV among people who use drugs. HIV-related stigma remains a huge barrier to preventing HIV and is linked to the low number of people who receive HIV testing, as well as poor adherence to treatment, particularly among young people.

Both ASID and DIFFA have a rich history of helping others. ASID provides monetary support through the ASID Foundation, which advances the profession and communicates the ability of interior design to enhance the human experience through research, scholarships, and education. In addition to its fundraising and volunteer events, DIFFA has granted more than $44 million to support nonprofit organizations across the country supporting HIV/AIDS.

The Design Impacts Life Fund was officially announced at the annual NYCxDesign Awards on Monday, May 20, 2019 at New York’s Pier 17. Both the Society and DIFFA will continue promotion of the fund through their various annual programs.

About ASID

The American Society of Interior Designers believes that design transforms lives. ASID serves the full range of the interior design profession and practice through the Society’s programs, networks, and advocacy. We thrive on the strength of cross-functional and interdisciplinary relationships among designers of all specialties, including workplace, healthcare, retail and hospitality, education, institutional, and residential. We lead interior designers in shared conversations around topics that matter: from evidence-based and human-centric design to social responsibility, well-being, and sustainability. We showcase the impact of design on the human experience and the value interior designers provide.

ASID was founded over 40 years ago when two organizations became one, but its legacy dates back to the early 1930s. As we celebrate nearly 85 years of industry leadership, we are leading the future of interior design, continuing to integrate the advantages of local connections with national reach, of small firms with big, and of the places we live with the places we work, play, and heal. Learn more at asid.org.

About DIFFA

DIFFA: Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS raises awareness and grants funds to organizations that fight HIV/AIDS by providing treatment and direct care services for people living with or impacted by the disease, offering preventative education programs targeted to populations at risk of infection, or supporting public policy initiatives. DIFFA is one of the largest funders of HIV/AIDS service and education programs in the United States, mobilizing the immense resources and creativity of the design community. Since its founding in 1984, DIFFA has emerged from a grassroots organization into a national foundation based in New York City with chapters and community partners across the country that, working together, have provided more than $43 million to hundreds of HIV/AIDS organizations nationwide. www.diffa.org.

MEDIA CONTACT

Joseph G. Cephas
jcephas@asid.org

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Vote For The 2020 ASID National Board Of Directors

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Kerrie Kelly, FASID, NKBA, CAPS
Chair-Elect

Kerrie Kelly founded Kerrie Kelly Design Lab, a Northern California residential interior design firm focusing on new construction and working with home builders, in 1995. Kerrie is an award-winning interior designer, author, contributor, product designer, and multi-media consultant, helping national brands reach the interior design market.

Kerrie is a fellow, board member, and foundation trustee of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID); a Houzz Pro Advisory board member; and a member of the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA). She is also an avid representative, speaker, and on-air talent for Outdoor Living and Livable Design initiatives, and a Certified Aging in Place specialist (CAPS). Kerrie has authored two books and is the interior design national spokesperson for Zillow Inc., writing monthly articles for their website and speaking to media outlets about interior design, including The New York Times, Forbes, Globe and Mail, and The Wall Street Journal. She also writes a monthly design column for Style Media Group and is on the editorial board of Furniture, Lighting & Décor magazine.
Kelly’s ASID involvement includes serving as past president of the California Central/Nevada Chapter, as an ASID speaker at High Point Market and Dwell on the topic of thriving in place, as chair of the ASID Aging in Place Council, and as recipient of the Nancy Vincent McClelland Merit Award.

1. Do you approve Kerrie Kelly, FASID, NKBA, CAPS for the 2020 ASID Board of Directors? *

John Cialone, ASID
Director at-Large

John Cialone, a nationally recognized interior designer, leads a team of more than twenty professionals while managing operations at Chicago-based Tom Stringer Design Partners. As a partner and vice president of his firm, John’s enthusiasm for promoting the interior design industry is contagious. With over twenty-five years of experience, his work has been recognized with many awards and has been widely published. John credits his business sense and success to the training he received as a young professional through leadership roles in ASID, particularly in strategic planning, public speaking, and business development.

John is a member of the Guild Board for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago and is a member of the Leaders of Design Council. He has served as a public speaker to many organizations and has mentored students across the country. John has participated in the 1+ Program, donating his firm’s services and aligning his belief that Design Impacts Life with the firm’s work.

John’s ASID involvement started as a student with positions on the ASID National Student Council. He was a member of the ASID Board of Directors concurrently with his position as National Student Council president. He has held committee and board positions in both the ASID Florida South and ASID Illinois Chapters, and has been active in government affairs starting in Florida as a design student and continuing today as a Registered Interior Designer in Illinois. John was recognized as an ASID Medalist in 2017 and is currently the 2018-2019 ASID Illinois Chapter president. John is the chairperson of the ASID Foundation Fundraising Committee overseeing the Society’s efforts to grow the Foundation’s endowment through individual and corporate gifts and legacy planning.

2. Do you approve John Cialone, ASID for the 2020 ASID Board of Directors? *

Ellen Fisher, Ph.D., FASID
Director at-Large

Ellen Fisher is vice president of Academic Affairs and Dean at the New York School of Interior Design.  She is a Certified Interior Designer in New York, and earned a Ph. D. in Architectural Studies/Human Environmental Sciences from the University of Missouri, where her line of inquiry addressed how teachers use the physical classroom as a tool for teaching literacy.  She was inducted as a Fellow of the American Society of Interior Designers in July 2018.

Ellen is the author of the recent book, “HOME: Foundations of Enduring Spaces,” published in 2018 by Clarkson Potter/Random House.  New York School of Interior Design is ranked as one of the top interior design programs in the U.S. by DesignIntelligence, which also named Ellen Fisher as one of 2018 and 2019’s Most Admired Design Educators. A member of the Interior Design Educators Council since 1985, and recently named President-Elect, she has presented numerous times at conference and has served IDEC in many volunteer roles.

3. Do you approve Ellen Fisher, Ph.D., FASID for the 2020 ASID Board of Directors? *

Ken Wilson, ASID, FAIA, LEED Fellow
Director at-Large

Ken Wilson is a design principal and the design director for Interiors in the Washington, D.C. office of Perkins+Will. He is also one of two co-global design directors for interiors and serves on Perkins+Will’s Design Board and Sustainability Council.

Ken has been practicing for over 35 years and his portfolio includes architecture, interiors, graphics, and product design. He is the only architect in the world to hold fellowships in the AIA, IIDA, and the Green Building Certification Institute (LEED Fellow). His projects have been published in seven different countries and have received over 120 national and local design awards.

In 2005 Ken was named “Designer of the Year” by Contract magazine, and in 2018 he received the ASID Designer of Distinction Award which annually honors one professional who has established a body of superior work demonstrating creativity, excellence, and innovation. He serves on the Environmental Task Force for the city of Park City, Utah and is a member of the ASID Design Impacts Lives Steering Committee.

4. Do you approve Ken Wilson, ASID, FAIA, LEED Fellow for the 2020 ASID Board of Directors? *

Elizabeth Von Lehe, Allied ASID
Director at-Large, Allied

Elizabeth Von Lehe is the design & brand strategy principal at HDR. A seasoned design leader with professional experience across multiple industries, she leads the architecture firm’s efforts to advance a holistic approach to design, embracing not only the built form, but branding, curation, and the development of user experience from every angle.

Von Lehe previously worked at ICRAVE Design, where she served as director of strategy, brand, and architectural design for more than seven years. Before that, she worked for both Target and Lands’ End. Her experience includes developing product collections for both fashion and furniture industries as well as guiding master plans and interior design concepts.

Based in New York, Von Lehe is well known throughout the design professions as a leader in the field of experience design. She is a regular keynote and workshop speaker at the national and chapter levels for the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), advocating for experience design to encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration and integration beyond what most designers usually practice.

Von Lehe is chair of the Executive Advisory Committee for ASID and is a regular graduate mentor and panelist for her alma mater, Columbia University. Her work has been featured in several industry publications and she has been interviewed by national outlets such as Bloomberg and NPR.

5. Do you approve Elizabeth Von Lehe, Allied ASID for the 2020 ASID Board of Directors? *

Patty Dominguez
Industry Partner Representative

Patricia (Patty) Dominguez, vice president of Architect and Design Sales for Cosentino North America, oversees commercial business development and the kitchen and bath studios business for the global surfacing leader. In her 12 years with Cosentino, the relationships she has cultivated with the country’s leading architects, designers, and kitchen and bath dealers have played an integral part in its exponential growth in the United States, which makes up more than 60 percent of its global sales.

In every role throughout her tenure with Cosentino – Kitchen & Bath sales manager, director of Public Relations, marketing manager, and director of Field Marketing – Dominguez has spearheaded the development and strategy of its invaluable relationships with leading industry organizations, including the American Society of Interior Designers, the National Kitchen & Bath Association, and the American Institute of Architects, among others.

Dominguez’s leadership at Cosentino and commitment to the industry have earned her numerous accolades, including the 2015 ASID Industry Partner Merit Award and the 2010 ASID Presidential Award. Her passion for people and relationships is reflected in her commitment to service and philanthropy. She previously sat on the Board of Trustees for the ASID Foundation, and has given her time to many Houston nonprofits, serving as the president of the Latin Women’s Initiative for three years, and working with Prepared 4 Life, Lemonade Day, the Junior League of Houston, and the Neighborhood Centers.

6. Do you approve Patty Domiguez for the 2020 ASID Board of Directors? *
*Only interior designer and educator members in good standing are eligible to cast a vote for approval of the candidates; member verification will occur upon receipt of ballot from asid@asid.org. 

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