President's Message

Retail Design Institute Members and Friends,

As we navigate through this recession, we and your chapter leaders are working hard in support of your needs. At the Spring Board meeting held during Globalshop, the word "relevant" continued to be the main filter for where we focus our efforts around bringing value to the membership, being the industry authority and providing professional development.

Website 2.0:

We encourage you to visit the next generation of the website, www.retaildeisgninstitute.org, where you will find new features and services. Sign-up to access your membership pages where you can upload your history, profile, and express your insights, thoughts and observations on your blog. Join us on the "forum" pages as we discuss the industry and topics important to the Institute.

Jobsite 2.0:

The Institute's employment jobsite has now been incorporated into the website. It is free for associate, professional, and student members to post there resume. It is still the least expensive and focuses entirely on the retail design community.

International Store Design Competition:

200 of the industry's top talent attended the Times Center in NYC for an evening celebrating the best of 2008 retail design. The Asian Paints Colour Store won top honors. Visit the gallery section to view the winners and attend the chapter hosted re-showing of the full awards program.

Student Design Competition:

The California/Southwest Chapter recently completed the judging of the competition. $4000 dollars was awarded to the first place winner from Washington State. You can also view the winners in the "gallery" on the website. Despite the downturn, we must reach out to the next generation of talent, so we would like all members and Chapters to continue their efforts to reach out to your local design universities and colleges.

Minneapolis/St. Paul City Center:

The Board approved the formation of a "city center" for the Twin Cities under the support of the Atlanta Chapter. It was a grass roots effort, supported by our Vice President Ken Fuller. We would like to welcome them into our global network.

Chicago Chapter's Rebirth:

The international office made efforts in 2007 and 2008 to help support the reactivation of the Chicago Chapter. Now members on the ground have organized and the Chapter has now been offically reactivated and are looking for more local support. If you are interested in participating and helping spread out the responsibilities please contact the new Interim President, Jennifer Nemec.

Speeches and Seminars:

At the NRF's BIGSHOW in NYC, "Beauty, Brains, and Brawn" asked the question, are there any new retail concepts that have it all? Richard Hamori (Toronto Chapter President), George Homer (Sao Paulo Chapter President), and I presented this dynamic and visually inspiring look at the latest well designed, smart, and socially responsible stores. At Globalshop, the Institute hosted a game show called "Tagline, the Brand Promise" where Ken Walker defeated Rodney Fitch and a member of the audience for bragging rights and prizes for their audience section. In September, in Dallas, at IRDC, we will host a panel discussion, "The Next Generation of Retail Designers." This panel will discuss practical ways for veteran retailers and design firms to work with new designers while also sharing some of the exciting ideas and perspectives this generation brings to the table today.

Retail Design Institute not RDI:

In January 2008, after years of research and a year of brand positioning, the Institute of Store Planners (ISP) changed its name to the Retail Design Institute. The Institute does not own the name RDI and we are encouraging the Chapter leadership to maintain "Retail Design Institute" on all official correspondence. We are now registering the"logo" around the world as "Retail Design Institute." Though the term "RDI" is our application for vetted members and it may also be a matter of conversational convenience, it does not communicate who we are and what we stand for. "Retail Design" is the career we are all engaged in and please consider this perspective; when polled in 2007, almost every design student thought "ISP" stood for "internet service provider." What does "RDI" mean to them? We recommend using the "Institute" for short.

I personally want to thank everyone for their continued support and involvement in the Institute.

Please email me if you have any questions or concerns at amcquilkin@retaildesigninstitute.org .

My Regards,

Andrew McQuilkin, RDI
International President
513.295.8373 cell

P.S. If you find that the economy has affected your employment and you are considering not renewing your membership, please call the international office to request a one year "hold" status. This way we and your chapter can keep stay in touch, and you can still attend chapter events and networking opportunities as a member.

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