Friday, September 22, 2023

American Society of Interior Designers announces Virtual Conference

The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) has announced its first-ever Virtual Conference, seeking to unite design professionals nationwide. Created to support and inspire the design community despite the travel and health restrictions of COVID-19, the Virtual Conference will provide programming, resources, networking, and a virtual exhibit hall to connect designers and design partners, promote wellness and wellbeing, and demonstrate the impact of design. The Virtual Conference will be hosted on the ASID Academy and will also be accessible via mobile app from September 15-17, 2020 with a preview of the Exhibit Hall starting September 8, 2020. Additionally, the event is free and open to all of the design public, not just ASID members.  

The ASID Virtual Conference will offer a diverse range of digital programs, including signature events like the ASID State of the Society. The event invites design professionals, students, educators, and manufacturers to join together and experience the Society’s “design impacts lives” mission, free of cost. Harnessing timely topics through its CEUs, keynotes, and other programming, the Virtual Conference is set to empower designers through personal and professional development opportunities, support industry manufacturers through virtual networking, and connect and support the design community nationwide – without the limiting factors of cost or travel. 

“Being able to share the mission of ‘design impacts lives’ with designers from around the country truly demonstrates the far-reaching power of design,” states ASID Interim CEO Gary Wheeler, FASID. “We are thrilled to bring the entire community together through a packed line-up of enlightening events and interactive engagements, all thoughtfully curated to spark inspiration and push our industry forward.” 

As part of the ASID Virtual Conference, exclusive training and events for ASID chapter leadership will also be offered simultaneously through a supplemental board agenda. The Virtual Chapter Leadership Conference will provide invaluable education and professional development for the next slate of ASID chapter leaders to succeed in their new roles. 

Ranging from morning mindfulness sessions to informative CEUs and exhibitor pop-ups, the Virtual Conference will touch on topics including design’s role in a post-COVID world, occupant wellbeing, industry resilience, diversity and equity in design, and more. In line with its innovative virtual format, ASID will reimagine the traditional opening program and kick off the event with a crowd-sourced keynote titled: “What’s Next? Design’s Impact on People, Places and Planet.” Highlighting the best names in design, an array of luminary speakers – including ASID Designers of Distinction, Student Portfolio Winners, Fellows and more – will explore the meaning of “design impacts lives.”

Speakers for the Virtual Conference include: 

Nancy L. O’Brien | Co-founder, Experience Happiness LLC

Nancy L. O’Brien is passionate about researching, developing and sharing innovative tools to enhance and measure well-being & performance at the individual and collective level. Prior to co-creating The Happiness Practice, Nancy spent years on the leading edge of massive innovation and change, serving on the  IBM change team to transform the global business from manufacturing to services. She has also shared her deep experience design and management expertise with many clients by helping them develop and implement bespoke strategies.

Gary E. Wheeler, FASID | Interim CEO, ASID 

Gary E. Wheeler, FASID, is a renowned professional with more than 30 years design experience and a passion for creative excellence. He has led practices at Perkins&Will, Gensler, and most recently, HDR. Distinguished for his strategic approach to workplace design, Gary began his career as co-founder of the Wheeler Group in 1978. Gary has worked with companies in a variety of industries, including Apple, JPMorgan Chase, Time Warner, Bates Advertising, Leo Burnett Worldwide and Marsh. His many ASID accomplishments and milestones include being named the Designer of Distinction (1999), granted fellowship and serving as National President (1994). During Wheeler’s time as ASID President, he was a transformative leader that ushered in a new era for the organization by expanding the ASID Foundation and investing in research and evidence-based design. Wheeler has also been inducted into the Interior Design Hall of Fame and received the Senior Fellow Award from The Design Future Council (DFC) in 2002. He is one of the few designers with Fellow distinction with ASID and IIDA.

Kerrie Kelly, FASID, NKBA, CAPS | Chair-Elect, ASID Board of Directors and Creative Director, Kerrie Kelly Design Lab

With over 25-years of experience, Kerrie Kelly is creative director for Kerrie Kelly Design Lab. Kerri is an award-winning California interior designer, author, and contributor; and a product designer and multimedia consultant helping national brands reach the interior design market. Kerrie is a fellow, chair-elect to the National Board of Directors, and chair of the Foundation Board of Trustees for the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID); Houzz Pro Advisory Board Member; and the 2020 Trends Expert of the National Kitchen and Bath. 

Jennifer Kolstad, ASID, Assoc. AIA | Chair, ASID Board of Directors and Global Design Director, Ford Motor Company

Jennifer Kolstad is the global design director of Ford Motor Company’s built environments. Her role seeks to unify Ford’s brand language across typologies through architecture and design, investigating opportunities for cultural and behavioral change, elevating design impact internal and external to the global Ford ecosystem. With a core belief in collaboration, her mission is to ideate future-state readiness for the physical infrastructure of a next-gen mobility company. Dedicated to the longevity of the interior design profession holistically, Jennifer is the 2020 chair of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) National Board of Directors. Since joining the national board in 2016, her focus has been the broader application of the interior design professional’s human-centered expertise in every design equation. 

Sponsors include:

Gold: Cosentino, Mohawk Group, Herman Miller, Steelcase, Sherwin-Williams, Benjamin Moore, Control4, Dell. Silver: Wilsonart, Hooker Furniture, Thermador, Gerber Plumbing Fixtures, Nanimarquina, Hennepin Made, Cambria, cb2. Bronze: The Shade Store, Global Lighting, Arteriors, Mindclick, 2020 Spaces, Carl Hansen & Son, Nook Pod, Haworth, International Living Future Institute, Next Wave Plastics. Media sponsors: i+D and Modern Luxury. 

For more information on the ASID Virtual Conference or to register, please visit or

Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleiman
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

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