About Retail Design Institute’s Pacific Northwest Chapter:
Welcome to the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Retail Design Institute.
We are a diverse group of designers, architects, graphic designers, suppliers, retailers, educators and students with the goal of advancing innovation and collaboration in the creation of selling environments. Just as we are surrounded by the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest our chapter which encompasses Washington, Oregon and Idaho is surrounded by some well known retailers in the country if not the world. Retailers like Starbucks, Nordstrom, Costco, Eddie Bauer, Amazon, Microsoft, Nintendo, Tommy Bahama, REI, Columbia Sportswear and Nike are just a few of our friends and neighbors.
The advancement of innovation and collaboration happens through our chapter meetings, presentations, networking events and retail walking tours and it is the energy and enthusiasm from our members that makes the Pacific Northwest Chapter stronger every day. We look forward to seeing you at one of our upcoming events.
Pacific Northwest Events
Pacific Northwest Chapter Board members
Tobi Wray is the Owner | Principal at Design Well Spent Co., a full-service interior design firm in Seattle, WA specializing in Retail, Hospitality, and Multi-Family Residential design. Tobi is a NCIDQ-certified professional, member of the IIDA, the PNW Chapter Vice President of the Retail Design Institute, and the recipient of several design awards including design:retail magazine’s 40 under 40 in 2018. Most recently, Tobi was the Senior Manager of Design for Specialty Retail at Amazon.com. She led a team of interior designers, architects, and industrial designers in coming up with new retail design concepts for the online giant – Amazon Books, Amazon 4-star, and Presented by Amazon, to name a few. Prior to Amazon, Tobi led the America’s Concept Design team at Starbucks Coffee Company, developing new concepts for Starbucks and their emerging brands, including TAZO Tea and Teavana. Tobi earned her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts Degree in Interior Design from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA where she is currently a part-time Interior Architecture instructor.
For the past 15 years, Jared has been helping iconic brands create visually engaging customer environments. He is a hands-on leader who works closely with creative teams, partners and executive stakeholders to deliver boundary-pushing retail experiences. Jared brings a passion for design that works to every project, whether it’s a meticulously merchandised shop-in-shop installation or ground-up store build. His tenure at Nordstrom focused his efforts in helping brands realize their luxury retail visions. As Senior Project Manager at REI, Jared oversees the design and execution of REI Washington, D.C., the newest addition to the co-op’s flagship fleet. When Jared’s not collaborating on the next big idea to enhance the REI member experience, chances are he’s scaling a mountain in the Cascade or Olympic ranges.
tara.y.liong @ gmail.com
As a creative/marketing professional with a design background, I bring a strategic point of view around the design process that focuses on consumer engagement and the emotional connection with a brand. As head of Strategy and Trends committee of the Chapter, my focus is to provide intelligence on pertinent industry topics that are top of mind for our members that not only address creative challenges, but also technical challenges.
My specialty is providing a nuanced and thoughtful approach that incorporates a creative and scientific perspective to design that is on-trend, brand-right, and within budget. I have experience in various leadership roles on other boards with Shop! Association and AIGA. These roles have enabled me to provide a platform for others to celebrate excellent design and innovation in order to elevate and share brands through an evolving creative process.
mlsmith46 @ comcast.net
Maria Smith’s career path originated in the Midwest but has taken her to both the east and west coasts of the United States. A career of extensive experience, diverse capabilities and proven leadership has unfolded over 17 years of practice within the design industry. She has worked for Fortune 500 companies (Starbucks Coffee Company and Limited Brands), nationally recognized design firms (LS3P, FRCH and Fitch) and small consulting firms.
Maria has managed multiple complex projects and teams of various sizes, been a successful liason between multiple disciplines and consistently delivered results positively affecting the bottom line. Her specialties are:
* design & design development
* management of cross functional teams
* standards development
* training and coaching
* vendor and client management
* project management
Her greatest assets are in identifying strategic opportunities and obtaining high quality results. Maria’s passion lies in building talent, commitment and partnership.