Q: What is your area of expertise?
A: I started in the design world with an internship for a hospitality design firm in Washington, D.C., and I loved every minute of it. It was my dream position, but then it was time to head home to present my thesis. I applied for a job at MidCity Office Furniture and thought I would use it as a stepping stone in my career. Almost 10 years later, I am still here, and now managing my own accounts, as well as three designers. I am right where I am supposed to be!
Q: How long have you been an IIDA NY member?
A: I am a founding member of the Buffalo City Center, so it has been five great years. I was originally approached by a group of local designers, who were interested in forming the Buffalo City Center. We got hard at work to get it off the ground. We didn’t have a large presence from an interior design organization in Western New York, and we wanted to fix that. I was actually responsible for the logistics of the first ever Buffcon. We never dreamed it would get as big as it is today!
Q: During the pandemic, with a pause on travel and social events, how have you maintained a connection to the IIDA NY community-at-large?
A: I have been attending the Collective Design Episodes that IIDA has been hosting, and they have been awesome. The panel discussions are extremely educational, especially since we are all dealing with these same issues.
Q: You are currently the IIDA NY Finance Chair. Can you talk a little bit about your role?
A: I am responsible for making sure the Buffalo City Center (BCC)’s finances are in check. I work with the event chairs to fill out budget worksheets for each event as well, making sure BCC members are receiving their checks for items they may have paid for. In terms of my goals, we are working towards creating member-only events in Buffalo, as we have never had something like that before. We want to make sure we recognize our members for their dedication to the BCC.
Q: You head one of the signature events – the Awards Gala. Can you talk us through what this event entails?
A: Our Awards Gala takes about a year of planning, with many members sitting on the committee. This event allows our local designers to submit their recently-completed projects, and to be recognized for their creative work. This is the one night of the year where we get to share projects with everyone in the Western New York design industry, with an amazing dinner and awards portion. We use the evening to celebrate our local designers and the field of interior design!
Q: Is there a specific IIDA NY event or program that has inspired you the most, or that you found the most beneficial to members?
A: Buffcon is by far the best event for our local designers, as they can see over 60 vendors within a four-hour period. The event is always well attended, and we are adding vendors every year.
Q: What projects are you currently working on?
A: I am working on projects across a variety of sectors: corporate, healthcare, and hospitality. We are just finishing up a project for a local headquarters that actually moved into the building I work in, that concentrates on alcohol and drug rehab. The space is really fun, but the layout and plan was carefully thought-out because of the business they are part of.
Q: What’s your favorite ‘design space’ in your local Buffalo area?
A: I have two favorites—the Buffalo Central Terminal, and the Richardson Complex. We actually host Buffcon at the Central Terminal and the Gala at the Richard Complex, so we are so lucky here in Buffalo!
Q: Biggest trend in interior design now?
A: Biophilia! We are seeing so many people wanting to incorporate more plants into their space. We love adding planters to create division within a space.
Q: What is a fun fact about you?
A: I have a knack for finding the lowest flights, as I love to travel! My friends and family come to me often to help them find the lowest prices, so they can travel more. Airlines apps are my go-to, as you can find great deals on the go!