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From the International President

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

Reasons to Believe

Cynthia Hirsch Ortiz, RDI

I’ve just returned from StorePoint Retail in greater Orlando. I wish more of our members could have been there to share the energy! The Institute hosted a panel discussion titled Retail Partnership Marketing: Trends driving the Brick & Mortar Experience, with Tom Ertler, senior vice president, creative director, Miller Zell, and Adimika Owens, RDI, senior director of visual merchandising and design, Floor & Décor, who joined me for the session moderated by Lindsay Henningfeld, our International Vice President. Our presentation was well received by the audience, and it caught the attention of several non-members who joined on the spot! The energy, excitement, and knowledge shared on the stage was contagious and had everyone talking. We are looking forward to having more of our members join the Institute in insightful presentations across the industry.

Chapter Elections Happening Soon!

Atlanta| Southeast, New York, Northern California, Ohio and Pacific Northwest Chapters are holding elections for the 2022-2024 term. Members in those Chapters should watch email inboxes for a chance to nominate fellow members for President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Remember, President and Vice President must be professional members of the Institute. Any member can serve as Secretary or Treasurer.

Here’s the schedule:

  • September 16, Call for Nominations, due October 3.

  • October 4, Request to Accept Nominations, due October 10.

  • October 11, Chapter Officer ballots distributed. Voting begins.

  • October 24 to 28, Results reviewed and confirmed.

  • November 1, New officers announced. Term begins.

If you’re ready to take your professional development to the next level, then look no further than your local Chapter. Running for office, or volunteering to serve on a Chapter committee has benefits including:

  • Developing and refining your leadership and communications skills (through events, content).

  • Elevating you and your company’s standing within the industry.

  • Sharing your knowledge and skills in support of our local and international organization.

  • Creating lasting connections with people across the retail design industry.

Chapter Watch Parties October 12, 2022

The 51st International Design Awards Presentation will take place on the evening of October 12. We’ll also be announcing Member of the Year and Trade Member of the Year in addition to new inductees to the Retail Design Legion of Honor. Watch the website to register for your Chapter’s watch party. If last year was any indication, you’re in for an evening of design inspiration.

Shop! Ideation and IRDC headed to Ohio

Reminder: Ideation and IRDC will run from October 23 to 27 in downtown Columbus. Ideation is up first and will hold its Retail Design Challenge on October 25 hosted by industry veteran Bevan Bloemendaal, RDI, chief brand and creative officer with Nelson Worldwide. If you can’t make it to Ideation but are planning to attend IRDC, come in a day early and join in the fun! IRDC will also hold its annual Iron Merchant Challenge, where teams compete head-to-head in an interactive onsite window design project, and is scheduled for October 26 with emcee Joe Baer, co-founder and CEO, ZenGenius. Get Ideation (October 23 to 25) details here. IRDC (October 26 and 27) details here. The events feature educational seminars, networking receptions, and retail tours.

Thought Leadership Series​ Continues​

​Check out Eric Feigenbaum’s latest think piece titled: The Art of Design. If you have thought leadership you’d like to share with members, please contact Nikki Naar, at

Cynthia Hirsch Ortiz, RDI International President

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