About Retail Design Institute’s Southern California Chapter:
A non-profit organization founded in 1961, the Retail Design Institute represents a diverse range of students and professionals dedicated to creating world class experiential consumer environments. We promote the advancement of our industry by developing educational, career building and networking opportunities.
The Southern California Chapter currently incorporates the Southwest region (Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico) and Hawaii. Our membership includes Architects, Designers, Art Directors, Developers, Engineers, Store Planners, Strategists, Visual Merchandisers, Educators, Set Designers, Trade Partners, Retailers, Publishers and Students. Join us!
Southern California Chapter Board members
kdhelgeson @ yahoo.com
Retail Design Institute leadership positions held: vice president, Southern California Chapter 2014-2016 term. Kim, a manager of visual merchandising and store design at Mattel, Inc. is an award-winning designer of retail stores, point-of-purchase displays and visual programs for major retailers.
Concurrently for the past 11 years, she has been an instructor at The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. Teaching visual merchandising and store design, she has been nominated five times for Outstanding Faculty Member. Her accomplished 30-year career has encompassed the leadership of both visual merchandising and special events departments for major companies including NBC/Universal Studios, Petco, Kinko’s, I. Magnin, Bullock’s and The Broadway. With her design company KdH Designs, she’s created store environments for local retailers and curated large special events and runway shows for national brands and retailers. She is on the editorial advisory board of design:retail magazine.
Retail Design Institute leadership positions held: president Southern California Chapter 2014-2016 term, ISP Miami Chapter Vice President in the mid-90s.
Chris is the Principal/Owner of Innovative Design Services, Los Angeles Previously Vice President of Architecture + Construction for BCBG MAXAZRIA GROUP LLC. Chris has been in the retail design business for over 28 years including positions with leading retail design firms: WalkerGroup/CNI, CLDA, and RKI as well as a term with Calvin Klein corporate. He has been involved in creating and executing environments for many brands such as Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Harrods of London, Saks Fifth Avenue, Mercantile Stores, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Barneys New York, Ralph Lauren, Waterworks, Vertu and John Varvatos just to name a few. Chris is presently an instructor at FIDM in Los Angeles as well as on the advisory boards of vmsd magazine and the Digital Signage EXPO.
mgifford @ sargarch.com
Director of Business Development, Sargenti Architects
halfemu @ aol.com
Owner/Principal Jump Start Design
AAlvarez @ mdiworldwide.com
Key account Mmanager with 15+ years of professional experience in multiple areas of the permanent display, POP display, and instore marketing industries. Collaboratively create and implement visual merchandising campaigns with clients providing full service design and manufacturing.
VSpataro @ shawmut.com
Otto Design Group, Inc.
1340 E. 6th Street, Suite 514
Los Angeles, CA 90021
Philip Otto, a Stanford-trained cultural anthropologist turned architectural designer, has a depth of expertise in designing memorable brand experiences.
His focus on new technology and unique approaches to real estate development and architectural systems, brings an added dimension to his approach to retail design.
Starting with his experience in successful designs for youth culture clients like Nike, Free People, Undefeated, and New Era to name a few. Philip has gone on to design flagship projects and events for Levi’s SXSW, Coca-Cola International, and Steven Alan along with his schedule as a lecturer at Princeton, Philadelphia University, and The Retail Design Institute, etc.