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Greetings from the International President

Cynthia Hirsch Ortiz, RDI

February 2024 Newsletter

I hope this message finds you all in good health and high spirits. As we step into the second month of 2024, I am thrilled to share with you the latest updates and developments from our vibrant international community.

1. Celebrating Milestones: 

Let's take a moment to reflect on our collective achievements. Over the past month, we have reached new milestones in our mission to grow the Institute. We have recently launched the new Texas City Center with Jeff Dunn, RDI as President, Chadrick Spencer, RDI as Vice President, and Sheri Blattel, RDI as Secretary. I am also excited about another International City Center set to open in the coming months, so stay tuned! Whether it's just becoming a member or joining a board, your dedication and passion for retail has made a significant impact on the Institute.

2. Global Initiatives: 

Our commitment to making a positive difference on a global scale remains unwavering. Initiatives such as merging our Spain and Brazil Chapters onto our website and membership platform have gained momentum and are currently in progress, fostering collaboration and creating meaningful change across every City Center and Chapter. Your involvement in these efforts is crucial, and we encourage everyone to contribute their skills and ideas on how and where we can grow our organization.

James Botha, RDI

3. Member Spotlight: 

In every corner of our organization, individuals are making a difference. This month, we shine a spotlight on James Botha, RDI for his outstanding contributions to the Southwest + Pacific Chapter (formerly known as the Southern California Chapter). His dedication to growing the board and Chapter serves as an inspiration to us all. He has built a fabulous team to work with and together they have brought fun and engaging events to their Chapter members. Let's celebrate their achievements together!

4. Upcoming Events: 

Mark your calendars for the exciting events lined up in the coming weeks. I have the pleasure of taking the stage at the SPECS conference in Dallas in March, speaking about how “Retailers are eyeing flooring solutions that are sustainable and durable, and improve a physical store’s appearance.” The session will explore new, creative, and even alternative materials that streamline installation and maintenance and elevate store design.


We will be launching our highly anticipated “DesignMasters: Exclusive Insights from Retail & Hospitality Pioneers” Master Class series; a groundbreaking series curated for design enthusiasts and industry professionals alike. Immerse yourself in a transformative learning experience as we bring you unparalleled expertise directly from the trailblazers of the retail and hospitality sectors. Each class is a unique opportunity to delve into the minds of industry leaders, gaining invaluable insights, strategic approaches, and innovative perspectives that define the future of design in the retail and hospitality landscape. Join us on a journey to elevate your skills and reimagine the possibilities in this dynamic field.

Whether it's the SPECS conference, Shop! MarketPlace in Cincinnati, or the new DesignMasters series, these occasions provide invaluable opportunities for networking, learning, and strengthening our bonds as a global community.

5. President's Message: 

I want to express my gratitude for the incredible work each of our Chapters have been doing. Your passion and commitment are the driving forces behind our organization's success.

The Institute's Call for Entries for the 53rd International Design Competition has officially opened. We're looking forward to seeing all the amazing stores that opened in 2023. You can find complete details here including special member rates (save $125 on entry fees).

As we face new challenges in retail and embrace new opportunities in the coming months, let's continue to work together, support one another, and make a lasting impact.

Don’t forget to check out the Institute’s website for the Job Board -- it’s chock full of opportunities at every level of experience. If you are an employer, job posts are complimentary. And don't forget Events, the lifeblood of our organization, which in most cases are free to members. Check them out here.

6. Call to Action: 

Your involvement is vital to our shared success. Whether it's volunteering for a board, sharing your expertise, or simply spreading the word about The Retail Design Institute, every contribution counts.

If you have ideas on what you’d like to see from your local Chapters or International moving forward, please reach out to info@retaildesigninstitute.orgTogether, we can achieve even greater heights.

Thank you for being a part of our global community. Your dedication is the backbone of our success. I look forward to the continued growth and collaboration that lie ahead.

Cynthia Hirsch Ortiz, RDI

International President

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