Dear ASFD Members and Potential Members,
When asked to join ASFD’s executive board two years ago, it had been quite some time since I had been an actively participating member of the organization. Like many, I was busy in my career and questioned the relevance of not only ASFD, but many industry associations. What, I thought, was the benefit?
I know the answer to that question now. Working as closely as I have with John Conrad, executive director, and fellow executive board members Jason Phillips, Rick Schroeder and Tim O’Hare, has convinced me that the need for ASFD, and the power and creativity our members bring to our industry’s table, has never been greater.
My interactions with these mindful advisers and the insights shared by many of you—professional designers and students—have opened my eyes to both the capabilities and the possibilities ASFD represents.
Our association has taken giant leaps forward as of late, reinforcing in my heart, and I’m sure yours as well, a renewed commitment to the promotion of design excellence. Through offerings like our Mentorship Initiative, we share knowledge, expertise and professional experience beyond what is offered in any classroom. These exchanges strengthen and propel careers already well under way, and serve as a launching pad for those just beginning their journey. With ongoing Student Scholarships, and a series of energizing collaborations with corporate sponsors, vendors and affiliates, ASFD is investing in our personal futures, and the future of our industry to the benefit of all.
My mission as we move forward together is to elevate furniture designers and broaden the reach of ASFD, both here at home, and around the globe. For this reason, I’m excited about our recent efforts to highlight the importance of design on the world stage with the launch of the Asian Pinnacle Awards. Partnered with the China International Furniture Fair (CIFF), we expect to bring more attention than ever before to the critical role of integrity in design.
As we all know, our industry continues to undergo seismic shifts. Yet with great change also comes great opportunity. I am both honored and humbled to assume the role of president of ASFD at this time in our history, and thrilled to welcome fellow new board members: Aimee Kurzner, Currey & Company; Megan Barrett, Sherrill Furniture; and Mandy Shanahan, Phillips Collection. All three of these young women are leaders in companies long known for outstanding design. Tom Conley, president and chief executive of the High Point Market Authority—which has accomplished so much in recent years in terms of welcoming the design community to Market—joins the board as well. I speak for the entire board when I say we are eager to hear the fresh perspectives and innovative ideas for growth that these new board members will bring to the table, and of course, all of yours.
Opportunity is knocking. Join me now in throwing open the door to the future, and working not only to grow the value of design in new and unprecedented ways, but also in continually increasing the value of this association to our industry and to each and every member.
Catina Roscoe, April 2017