Advocacy of the IIDA Rocky Mountain Chapter is unparalleled. The goal for
Advocate of the Year, Karen Hailey, IIDA, NCIDQ, EDAC, was to “make advocacy
sexy.” And she did. Hailey collaborated with her state’s coalition to improve branding,
hosted an opposition panel forum, planned a “coffee at the capitol” event engaging
more than 35 legislators, and created a student advocacy committee, in addition
to other initiatives designed to inspire and motivate her chapter.
IIDA awarded Utah State Senate Assistant Minority Whip Luz Escamilla (D-Salt
Lake City) with the Legislator of the Year award. As the sponsor of S.B. 117, the
Commercial Interior Design Certification bill, Sen. Escamilla worked to ensure that her
fellow lawmakers knew commercial interior design certification would expand business
opportunities. Her tireless efforts were successful: S.B. 117 passed unanimously in
the state Senate and House of Representatives before being signed into law.
On the final day of the symposium, IIDA unveiled a study that examines the economic
impact of the interior design profession in the United States. Research conducted
by Chmura Economics & Analytics on behalf of IIDA found:
w The total annual economic impact of the interior design sector is estimated
to be more than $96 billion, which can support 522,400 jobs annually.
w The sector generates significant economic impact in state economies, and
contributes sizable tax revenue to the state governments.
w The average wage in the interior design sector is 16 percent higher than the
average wage for all sectors.
The bottom line: Interior design is serious business, and these results provide
the hard facts advocates need when talking to legislators about what interior design
is and how it affects their state’s economy. As IIDA executive vice president and
CEO Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA, LEED AP, said, “We need new ways of fighting
old battles,” and the economic impact study is just one example of the advocacy
resources IIDA offers its members to do just that.
“I am excited for our profession and what lies ahead with finally having the recognition
that we deserve,” said Marlene Liriano, IIDA, LEED AP ID+C, president of the IIDA
International Board of Directors. With the passage of the Commercial Interior Design
Certification bill in Utah and 100-plus interior designers educated and inspired to
make big changes, it looks promising that our industry will get there.
The third annual IIDA Advocacy Symposium will be held in Chicago in
September 2017. Visit iida.org for information and details about registration.
The 2016 Advocacy
more than 100
around the country.