By Mary Curley, ASID
Reflecting on my first ASID President’s forum, I have one question still on my mind … “WHY?”
And more specifically, “Why are we [ASID] here?” ASID President Lisa Henry posed this question to the attendees at the forum and her response was that we are here to further the profession of interior design. Poignantly simple.
The who, what, where, when and how that surrounds the “WHY” is what we—as boards of directors, staff, volunteers and members—all work together to create. That “WHY” of furthering our profession is the basis for everything, from why we seek membership (professional recognition) to why we participate in RealWorld DesignWeek (cultivation of future professionals). It is the current that runs through each of us and connects us as an organization, as peers and colleagues, mentors and students. I love the understanding that ASID is not about just you or me, but about what WE can do.
That feeling of “WE” persisted throughout the conference. On the first day the presidents and administrators were broken into small groups and participated in a Visioning Session to aid President-elect Barbara Marini. We were asked about all aspects of the Society from what the organization should focus on, to how information is conveyed to our membership and beyond.
Having spent many hours working on my own chapter’s strategic plan and goals for the current year, it was refreshing to share our chapter’s perspective and hear from other chapters. Some of the best discussion was a sharing of best practices for all aspects of running an ASID chapter. Some of those practices are intended for in front of the curtain and are changes you may see soon in your chapter. Many of the best practices were for behind the curtain and will help your chapter be more efficient in the years to come.
The “WE” of ASID was reinforced on the second day with further discussion in small groups. This time the focus was on our chapters and our experiences as presidents, furthering how we can learn from each other to meet our chapter and national goals to further our profession. Throw in a lively discussion on contract negotiation and exposure to the students and emerging professionals programs and it was a full day! My takeaway from day two was the amazing resources and tools that are available to ASID members and chapter leaders.
Even with all of the tips, tricks, knowledge and resources I was exposed to during the President’s Forum, the ultimate take-away was the opportunity to meet and hear the stories of other chapter presidents. It was a wonderful treat to hear about their triumphs and challenges, their families, businesses, careers and chapters. I was once again astounded by the amazing talent and personalities leading our organization. If you do not know your chapter leadership, I strongly encourage you to connect with them. They want to help you find the most value out of your membership with ASID.
Mary Curley, ASID, is president of the ASID Washington State Chapter and a former professor at Seattle Pacific University. She is a principal at 3D for All Visualization Studio and Sedign LLC in Redmond, Wash.