An IA Q+A with IIDA’s Mid Atlantic Chapter President
As a member of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the International Interior Design Association for the last 15 years, IA Interior Architects’ Senior Associate Kristen Streeter has served in a variety of roles for IIDA MAC’s Washington and Baltimore/Annapolis regions. Prior to joining the Board of Directors, Streeter chaired communications for the organization while concurrently working on a number of design projects with IA such as Red Hat (see Interior Design‘s project coverage), SAP, SuccessFactors, SRA, and the State Street Corporation. As a Board member, Streeter served as the City Center Director for the Washington Metro area, president-elect, and has just begun her one-year term as acting president.
What kinds of activities are you involved in as chapter president?
As president I need to preside over the IIDA MAC monthly board meetings, as well as plan and spearhead the yearly retreat. I’ve been attending the yearly retreats since I served as City Center Director, and I find it a great resource to answer my timely questions, as well as a great way to learn what the other chapters are doing while sharing problem solving tactics. In addition, I oversee budgets, financials, program development, and philanthropy activities. I’m also the single point of communication with IIDA headquarters and other affiliations with whom we want to connect. We also maintain licensing and corporate documents as a chapter. In many ways, being a past City Center Director teaches you the nuts and bolts of what is required of this role but at a different level.
What has been the biggest challenge for you?
The most challenging parts of the role are the first two dockets on the table that start right away: The planning and development associated with our annual retreat and IIDA MAC’s annual celebration falls onto the president elect/president, because these events occur in the middle of the role transitions.
What has been the greatest reward?
I had always wanted to get involved in IIDA, but I never had the right opportunity. When I got into the city center role, I felt I could give back and promote one of the only professional organizations that supports commercial interior design. At that point in my career, I thought it was time to start developing my own service skills and give back to the industry. Everyone should be aware of what that means for them on an individual level, because it’s how you get the most out of your membership.
How has serving as Acting President of IIDA MAC affected you professionally?
It’s been a great time. As a senior designer with IA I do lots of project management, in addition to design, but this experience has wider breadth. It’s not like the financials of a single project, but an entire chapter—now I’m managing logistics for 700 members!
I’ve also really enjoyed the added exposure in leadership strengthening. The opportunity to refine and improve my professional skill set has been a priceless experience.
What has affected you personally?
I think a lot of IIDA members would agree; IIDA is a great network of peers. Competition in our industry has always been strong, but this one place we get to know people on a non-compete level. As the board changes, new people get involved, so there’s constant growth of the network.
What are you most excited about for your term?
I’m really looking forward to hosting the IIDA MAC Design Awards, which occur at a yearly signature event called the Premier. Judging of projects is completed by an external chapter, so you get a different perspective that changes each year. You get a different view on quality of design, and it’s not just regionallydefined such as East vs. West.
We also get involved in a beneficiary fashion show, Cosmo Couture, that will take place in September. IIDA teams with architecture and design firms , and product vendors to submit a dress, and they’re shown as runway pieces. This year, a team of designer’s from IA’s Washington, DC office will submit a design, and though I’m not allowed to participate in what IA is designing, I’m still having fun helping them with resources like I would every other firm.