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Five Members Recognized for Outstanding Service in 2018

Updated: Sep 30, 2023

Annually the Institute recognizes members, as nominated by fellow members, for their service. This year five members are being honored.


Congratulations to Maureen Farrell, RDI, LEED AP, New York Chapter, who was named 2018 Professional Member of the Year. She is a senior design associate with FLOR, Inc. Nominated by Cynthia Hirsch, RDI, of the NY Chapter, Farrell was singled out for her longtime support of the Chapter. “She attends all the (chapter) events,” explains Hirsch. Her strong past participation on the NY Chapter board was also cited as an indicator of Farrell’s commitment to the Institute, which she joined in October 1995.


Trade Member of the Year for 2018 goes to Gina Noda, also of the NY Chapter. She is the principal of Connect Source Consulting Group, LLC. Nominated by Hirsch, she notes, “Gina brought eight new potential members to NY's membership drive and helped to increase our enrollment. She is always working to connect the right people in order to help everyone be successful.”


Marianne Wilson, editor-in-chief of CSA magazine, was made an Honorary member. She is a longtime supporter of the Institute and is especially instrumental in sharing news of the annual design competition call for entry both online and in print. She has also published winning entries in CSA magazine, whose reach takes the Institute into the C-suite of major retailers and brands.


This marks the first year the Institute has offered a Certificate of Appreciation. This new award for life, associate, allied, educators, or student members, was announced last year. Atlanta | Southeast Chapter Associate member Katie Taylor of Gensler, and NY Chapter Allied member John Santore, a veteran visual merchandising pro, are this year's recipients.


Explains Atlanta | Southeast President Ryan Cavanaugh, RDI, who nominated Taylor, “Katie graduated in 2018 and has made a quick impact since joining the Institute. A prior PAVE finalist, she was quick to become engaged with the board of directors for (our) Chapter and create a role for herself by doing all of our graphics, illustrations, and invitations. Katie attends every event with gusto, and finds ways to make each event we host more of a success."


NY President Ray Ehscheid, RDI, comments about NY Chapter nominee Santore, “John has been an amazing advocate for the Institute (overall) and for our events, and in fact continues to vocalize his support for the New York Chapter specifically. John is a reliable speaker for us as well and recently stepped into a panel discussion at the last minute to support our event."


Speaking for the current awards committee, International Chairman James Farnell, RDI, says, “We’re fortunate to have such dedicated members and it’s their willingness to fully leverage their membership and participation at the chapter level that helps us continue to make an impact and influence the retail design community at large.” In addition to Farnell, the awards committee is made up of Peter-Tolin Baker, FRDI, Brian Dyches, FRDI, and Ken Fuller, FRDI.

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