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ASID Announces College of Fellows Inductees

The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) has announced 11 inductees chosen to enter the ASID College of Fellows in 2019. The Society’s highest honor, fellowship is awarded to less than 1 percent of all ASID members and includes individuals who have made distinguished contributions to their profession, have engaged with the ASID community, and have made a notable impact on the design industry at large.

The 2019 College of Fellows inductees are: Brynell D’Mello (executive director: Interior Design Continuing Education Council, Inc.); Curt Sherman (Interior Design educator, Author: CSID); Janine Benyus (biologist, co-founder: Biomimicry 3.8); Jessica Feggestad, M.S.Ed., ASID, IDEC (instructor and program director: Madison Area Technical College); John Cialone, ASID (partner and vice president: Tom Stringer Design Partners); Jon Blunt, ASID (Interior Designer: Luken Interiors); Phyllis Harbinger, ASID, NCIDQ, NYSCID (owner: Design Concepts/Interiors, LLC); Susan Ray-Degges, Ph.D., CID-MN (professor and Interior Program coordinator: North Dakota State University); Robert W. Smith, ASID (owner: Robert W. Smith Interiors); Sarah Colandro, ASID, LEED AP ID+C (director of Interior Design: Fawley Bryant Architecture); Suzanne Carney, ASID, LEED AP, CAPS

Owner: Suzanne Carney Interior Design

“ASID Fellowship honors and recognizes those who have made a lasting, consistent impact on the design community,” says Randy Fiser, Hon. FASID, ASID CEO. “As our top honor, ASID Fellows embody the highest caliber of design excellence - constantly pushing boundaries, inspiring others, and demonstrating effective leadership. We are thrilled to announce our 2019 Fellows and look forward to seeing how they continue to impact lives within the design industry.”

Fellowship and Honorary Fellowship may be granted to professionals who have shown distinction in fulfilling the criteria established by the ASID College of Fellows. Nominees must be current ASID professional members and have been for the past 10 years; must embody the highest level of ethical conduct and professionalism; and must exhibit consistent and demonstrative leadership. Honorary Fellowship may be granted to individuals who are not interior designers by profession but have shown distinction in fulfilling the criteria established by the ASID College of Fellows.

The 2019 Fellowship recipients are:

Brynell D’Mello

Executive Director: Interior Design Continuing Education Council Inc.

Brynell is a self-motivated, experienced leader and serves as executive director at the Interior Design Continuing Education Council Inc. (IDCEC) based in Toronto. She is responsible for executing policy and operations, implementing the strategic plan, and supporting the board in corporate governance for IDCEC. Since 2011, Brynell has played a pivotal role in bringing together North America’s interior designers, manufacturers, and design associations. IDCEC currently provides registry services to over 35,000 interior designers and has approximately 950 education provider members within the interior design industry. Brynell holds a Bachelor of Education degree specializing in adult education, a Bachelor of Commerce degree, and is a Canadian Human Resources Professional (CHRL).

Curt Sherman, ASID, FIDEC

Interior Design Educator, Author: CSID

Curt Sherman studied at UCLA and was awarded a scholarship from NSID, one of the founding organizations of ASID, and began his career at Design Center Interiors in San Diego, working on residential and commercial projects. He has taught at Washington State University, San Diego State University, and Winthrop University where he led each school through the accreditation process. Curt served as president of the Interior Design Educators Council and was elected a Fellow of that organization in 1983. He was a founding member of the ASID STEP program and served on the ASID Educational Research Committee. Curt is the co-author of “Architecture and Interior Design: An Integrated History,” recipient of the ASID Polsky Prize for best interior design publication.

Janine Benyus

Biologist, Co-Founder: Biomimicry 3.8

Janine Benyus is a biologist, innovation consultant, and author of six books, including “Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature.” In Biomimicry, she names an emerging discipline that emulates nature's designs and processes (e.g. solar cells that mimic leaves) to create a healthier, more sustainable planet. In 1998, Janine co-founded Biomimicry 3.8, which provides biomimicry innovation consulting, training for professionals, and inspiring speakers for conferences. The mission of Biomimicry 3.8 is to inspire, educate, and connect the growing community of biomimicry practitioners around the world. An educator at heart, Janine believes that the more people learn from nature's mentors, the more they'll want to protect them. This is why she writes, speaks, and revels in describing the wild teachers in our midst.

Jessica Feggestad, M.S.Ed., ASID, IDEC

Instructor and Program Director: Madison Area Technical College

Jessica Feggestad is an instructor and program director for the Interior Design program at Madison Area Technical College in Madison, Wisconsin. Since pivoting her career path from corporate in-house design practice to full-time community college educator, Jessica has demonstrated her dedication to elevating the profession through her work with students. She has founded and served as faculty advisor to two ASID Student Chapters, leading the Madison College Chapter to receive the ASID Student Chapter of the Year Award. In 2018, Madison College recognized Jessica as the Outstanding Advisor of the Year. A recipient of the ASID Medalist award, she has served ASID as student chapter president, ASID Wisconsin Chapter committee member, and a six year member of the ASID Wisconsin Chapter Board of Directors.

John Cialone, ASID

Partner and Vice President: Tom Stringer Design Partners

John Cialone, partner and vice president, Tom Stinger Design Partners, leads a team of more than twenty professionals and manages operations for the organization. He credits his business sense to the training he received through leadership roles in ASID, particularly in strategic planning, public speaking, and business development. John is a member of the Guild Board for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago and the Leaders of Design Council. He has served as a public speaker for many organizations, has mentored students across the country, and has participated in the 1+ Program, donating the firm’s services and aligning his belief that Design Impacts Lives with the firm’s work. An ASID Medalist recipient, John has served on the ASID Board of Directors, as National Student Council President, as a committee and board member of the Florida South and Illinois Chapters, and is currently the 2018-2019 ASID Illinois Chapter president and chair of the ASID Foundation Fundraising Committee. He will join the ASID National Board of Directors in fall 2019.

Jon Blunt, ASID

Interior Designer: Luken Interiors

Jon Blunt has been a part of the interior design profession for over 25 years, working for several years with Architects Associated Inc. in Dayton, Ohio with a focus on institutional projects such as Montgomery County Human Services, RTA Transit Hubs, and the Dayton Dragon's Baseball Stadium. He has been with Luken Interiors since 2001. Jon has been an active member of ASID since 1995, starting a student chapter at Sinclair Community College. He has held multiple positions on the ASID Ohio South/Kentucky Chapter Board, including president, and became NCIDQ certified in 2004. He has served ASID nationally on both the Chapter Support Team and Student Advisory Council. Over the years, Jon has received awards for a number of projects from both the ASID Ohio South/Kentucky Chapter and Cincinnati Magazine. In 2017, he received the ASID Medalist Award.  

Phyllis Harbinger, ASID, NCIDQ, NYSCID

Owner: Design Concepts/Interiors, LLC

Phyllis Harbinger, ASID, NCIDQ, NYSCID, is a professional interior designer, author, speaker, and educator. She has successfully run her award-winning firm, Design Concepts/Interiors, LLC, which services both commercial and residential clients worldwide, since 1993. Phyllis is NCIDQ certified, NYS certified, and a professional member of ASID, serving as president of the ASID NY Metro Chapter, in leadership roles on the national level as the chair of the ASID Chapter Support Team, and on two task force committees. She is a mentor and a tenured adjunct assistant professor of Interior Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), her alma mater, where she has been teaching Design Studio and Professional Practice for the past twenty years.

Susan Ray-Degges, Ph.D., CID-MN

Professor and Interior Program Coordinator: North Dakota State University

Susan Ray-Degges is a professor and Interior Program coordinator at North Dakota State University (NDSU). Holding a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri, Susan is a Certified Interior Designer in Minnesota, with 30+ years’ experience in interior design. Her research includes refereed presentations, published journal articles, CIDA technical reports, and CIDA Self-Study Reports. She has been a member of ASID since 1987, serving on the ASID Minnesota Chapter Board and as student chapter advisor at NDSU. Susan has reviewed abstracts for regional and national conferences, juried local competitions, and reviewed book manuscripts, and currently serves as national president of the Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC). Her goal for students is a stimulating learning environment and strives to continually improve the curriculum to ensure her students are prepared for their roles as practitioners.

Robert W. Smith, ASID

Owner: Robert W. Smith Interiors

Robert Smith started his firm, Robert W. Smith Interiors, in 1961 after receiving his education from the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. Based in Illinois, Bob’s clients have included Dairyman’s Country Club, First National Bank of Brookfield, Crain Communications, Honeywell, Bally, Connecticut General Life Insurance, and Baker & McKensie, in addition to residential work throughout the United States. His projects have been widely recognized and published in Interior Design Magazine, House and Garden, House Beautiful, the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, and The Denver Post among others. Robert was active in the community over many decades serving in roles with the Chicago March of Dimes, Children's Memorial Medical Center, the Kohler Design Center Board, the Chicago Architectural Foundation, and Easter Seals of Chicago. His passion for design and dedication to the industry have been shown through his commitment to ASID, serving as ASID Illinois Chapter vice president, as a member of the Board of Directors of the ASID Illinois Chapter, as ASID Illinois Chapter president, and as a member of the ASID National Board of Directors. An ASID Medalist award recipient, Bob has been recognized with many honors and awards, including the ASID Illinois Chapter Distinguished Service Award, several Presidential Citations, and an ASID Lifetime award.

Sarah Colandro, ASID, LEED AP ID+C

Director of Interior Design: Fawley Bryant Architecture

A graduate of Marywood University where she joined ASID as a student member, Sarah Colandro has spent thirty years leading interior design practices at large international architectural firms and smaller regional firms, developing long lasting relationships with hospitality, sports, health care, corporate, and government clients. She is currently the director of Interior Design at Fawley Bryant Architecture in Sarasota, Florida. During her career, she has been active in a number of ASID chapters, served on the ASID National Board of Directors, on the Legislative Advisory Council, on a research panel, on a special task force, and on the international Board of the Interior Design Continuing Education Council. Sarah has been an integral part of multi-year efforts to protect the Florida Interior Design license. A life-long learner, Sarah regularly mentors interior design students and supports interior design programs at local colleges. She serves on the boards of the Manatee County Coalition on Homelessness and the Manatee Education Foundation, and has volunteered for numerous non-profits.

Suzanne Carney, ASID, LEED AP, CAPS

Owner: Suzanne Carney Interior Design

Suzanne Carney is a LEED AP, a Certified Aging in Place Specialist, and an NCIDQ certified interior designer with over 35 years of experience in the field. She received a B.S. in Interior Design from Miami University and is an active member of the Ohio South/Kentucky Chapter, having served in various capacities from committees to board positions, including two terms as president. She is currently serving her second term as membership director. As an associate at Champlin Architects, she was designated to be the firm’s lead interior designer for LEED projects/sustainability initiatives, issues important to her both professionally and personally, and continues to keep current with new developments. Suzanne has taught a variety of courses as an adjunct professor at Miami University, University of Cincinnati DAAP, and the Art Institute of Ohio. In addition, serving on the ASID Chapter Support Team has enabled her to use her experience in chapter matters to guide others through their presidential duties. Most recently, Suzanne is concentrating on aging in place, and currently works with the Live Well Collaborative, a think tank type organization working in conjunction with corporations and University of Cincinnati faculty and students to create products for end users with a variety of needs.

The 2019 ASID College of Fellows inductees will be honored at Celebration – The ASID Awards Gala on July 20, 2019 in Atlanta.

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