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September 24, 2018

New International Officers Announced for 2018-2020 Term

New York Chapter President Ray Ehscheid, RDI, Assoc. IIDA, was elected International president at the Fall 2018 Board of Directors’ meeting held September 16 in Boston. Ehscheid is a firm principal and director of client services for IA | Interior Architects, New York City. Ehscheid comments, “As International President, I would strive to bring that high-level professional focus to the international organization, seeking ways to integrate event channels, sponsorships and opportunities to every Chapter. Although New York is arguably the most robust retail market in the country, peer organizations (IIDA, ASID, SEGD and AIA) are able to thrive in metro areas due to deep engagement locally and centralized content development, linking trust and teamwork across the nation. My intent is to not dwell on the Institute of the past, but build upon that foundation to create new inroads for the future with a bold new direction. I support the idea of the Institute’s 20/20 Strategic Plan currently under development. I fully intend to seek partnerships with peer organizations, suppliers and firms, to solidify our financial footing and to be able to offer new values to our Chapters across the world.”

Sharon Lessard, RDI, was re-elected International vice president. She is a senior associate and the Global Retail Practice Area Leader for Gensler, Atlanta.  In addition, Lessard served as vice president of the Atlanta |Southeast Chapter and founder of the Institute’s Minneapolis | St. Paul Chapter.  Says Lessard, “As a strong supporter of the Institute, I have held leadership positions to help grow membership, programming and visibility across the U.S. It’s now time to influence and impact the Institute on a global platform. I look forward to the opportunity to (again) serve as vice president at the International level.”

St. Louis Chapter Chairman Jill Dearing Beckmann, RDI, was elected International secretary. She is founder and ceo of Dearing & Company, St. Louis. Comments Beckmann, “My passion for the Institute is rooted in my love of our Chapters and the individuals who are retail design. Internationally, it is important we provide support and resources to renew the health and vitality to our existing Chapters, it is important we continue to build brand awareness, understanding and affinity for the Institute, and it is important we nurture new retail-focused businesses, new ideas and initiatives and new educational courses, clubs, City Centers or Chapters – all in the interest of an Institute that serves future generations of retailers and their vendor partners.”

Atlanta | Southeast Chapter President Ryan Cavanaugh, AIA, RDI, was elected International treasurer. He is an associate and a project manager with Gensler, Atlanta. Notes Cavanaugh, “I am honored to serve as International treasurer and promise to spend our member’s dues money on the services, events or programs that deliver value and move our association forward. I will work with the International Executive Board to create a vision for the future through the Institute’s 20/20 Strategic Plan.”

Outgoing International President Claudia Cerchiara, RDI, becomes International Chairman of the Retail Design Institute. She is a retail client leader with BHDP, Cincinnati. The new International board will serve a two-year term beginning November 1, 2018.

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