retail design image
retail design image

2020 - 2022 Term

Meet the Retail Design Institute Executive Officers!

Cynthia Hirsch Ortiz, RDI

International President

Cynthia Hirsch Ortiz, RDI, most recently served as the New York Chapter President of the New York Chapter. As President for the 2018-2022 term, she was thrilled by the amazing experience shared with the Executive team and with the growth and success achieved in keeping the Chapter focused and growing. She founded her business Collaborative Design Strategies in 2018 utilizing her many years working on both the vendor side and the architectural design consulting side to make valuable connections assisting the retail industry. Her extensive knowledge in visual and store design has led to key relationships with Brooks Brothers, Target, Cartier, Fossil and many others. Hirsch is an active member of Shop! Association and was recently named to serve on the Shop! board of directors. She also chairs of both its Creative Council and Women’s League. Hirsch also served as the host of the Retail Decoded: Defining the “Next” Normal podcast focusing on the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the retail industry. In 2017, Hirsch served as co-chair of the the Planning and Visual Education Partnership (PAVE) Gala. Speaking engagements include speaking at the 2020 Global Retail Show on Retail Revolution along with Institute Chairman Ray Ehscheid. She has been a member of the Institute since 2015.

Lindsay Henningfeld, RDI

International Vice President

Lindsay Henningfeld is an independent retail designer formerly with Truist, Atlanta. With a career spanning big box, discount, specialty, apparel, banking, and grocery in roles such as visual merchandising, store design, space management, and store leadership, she is a proven influencer of the customer experience. Henningfeld is known for introducing people to new thinking and problem-solving through visual merchandising. As a visual merchandiser, she has developed strategies for Fortune 50 clients on projects with budgets ranging from practically nothing to multi-million dollars. From strategy development to execution, Henningfeld is driven by creating consistency that simplifies projects, allowing others to maximize their personal talents. She has an ability to establish dynamic relationships proven to drive business results. Above all, she enjoys engaging with creative visionaries who produce unique and distinct designs to sell their products and brands.

Before being elected to International Vice President, Henningfeld led the Atlanta | Southeast Chapter as president for the 2018-2020 term. Before that, she served as treasurer and vice president. Henningfeld also served on two International committees, and named to design:retail’s 40 Under 40. While leading her Chapter, she grew membership throughout the region while highlighting local retail magic through effective volunteer management. Henningfeld has been a Professional member of the Institute since 2016.

Dina Meindl, Allied RDI

International Treasurer

Dina Meindl, Allied RDI, is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology and the founder of DRM Unlimited LLC. Her design career began with Levi Strauss & Co., where she was responsible for retail marketing and store planning initiatives working from its New York Regional Office. After Levi Strauss & Co., Meindl began working for a number of the retail industry’s most innovative display and design product resources, partnering with retailers and designers for their visual and store fixture needs, before founding her own firm five years ago. Today she is focused on assisting retailers and designers with queuing and barricade solutions along with merchandise fixture needs. Prior to being elected International Treasurer, Meindl was the NY Chapter’s Treasurer. In that role, she helped streamline our treasury processes and increase our funds by more than $10,000 from years’ past by working with board members to ensure all Chapter efforts were strongly aligned. Meindl also served as the International Communications Chair for the 2018- 2020 term. She has been a member of the Institute since 2013.

Kathryn Hof Abercromby, RDI

International Secretary

Kathryn Hof Abercromby, RDI, is merchandising manger for Long & McQuade, Canada’s leading independent music retailer.

I started out in retail thinking that I would just be doing this job while I was working towards another goal. I began working in music retail while going to school to work in the field of international law and political science. However, while finishing up my degree, I was given the opportunity to branch out from the direct retail side and start merchandising for the company and I found that this really was my passion. I started out working with our company project team on design and maintenance and worked my way into creating the position I am in now for myself. I have added many displays and techniques as well as reference information into our company culture. I continue every day to try and find better ways or fine tune the ways merchandising can help the consumer as well as the company.

ray ehscheid retail design institute

Ray Ehscheid, RDI

International Chairman

Ray Ehscheid is principal, director of client services, retail and financial sectors for the New York office of IA- Interior Architects. He has more than 25 years of senior-level, client-side experience across both the retail and financial service sectors. Prior to joining IA, Ehscheid was senior vice president, design services for Bank of America, beginning in 2005 to lead store design and merchandising for Bank of America’s Financial Center and ATM network. In 2014 he was tapped to spearhead Workplace Design Strategy, including the bank’s refocus on High Performance Workspace (AKA Space Modernization). Ehscheid’s career includes leadership roles in both design and merchandising with global luxury and fashion retailers such as Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s and Reebok. His span of influence is noted in work across wholesale, retail, franchise and tradeshow exhibit design.

Ehscheid is a recognized thought leader on the subjects of retail and financial services design, and has been featured in a range of national and international publications. He has delivered keynote addresses on retail and financial topics at tradeshows like GlobalShop and IFMA, retail industry events such as the National Retail Federation (NRF) Big Show, bank and finance events like BAI, RBR and EFMA and panel discussions on relevant topics at additional shows like NeoCon and EuroShop. Ehscheid continues to jury peer design competitions. In addition to the Institute’s annual design competition, Ehscheid had lent his time and talents to IIDA and the World Interiors News (WIN) Awards. He has also been a guest lecturer at FIT, the Parsons School and the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum.

He is a member the editorial advisory boards of both Contract and design:retail magazine which voted him one of its “Top 10 Retail Design Influencers.” Ehscheid has previously served as advisor to SHOP!, and is member emeritus to the board of the Planning and Visual Education Partnership (PAVE).