2021 IIDA Northern California Leaders Virtual

As the world is looking at how to safely return to gathering in person, we continue to see a rise in virtual events that allow for the accessibility that was achieved when the world went digital. This provides an opportunity to stay connected and be included for a wider, non-regional audience, as well as those with mobility or health issues.

IIDA is pleased to announce Leaders Virtual, a one-day virtual event honoring regional design leaders. The event will take place in eight cities simultaneously, honoring regional design leaders, and featuring one, marquee keynote speaker, New York Times bestselling author, award-winning journalist, producer, and television host and judge Elaine Welteroth, a leading advocate for the next generation of changemakers. Guests will participate in national and regional programming, and regional breakout rooms where they will have the opportunity to connect with regional sponsors and industry professionals.

This will be the largest individual IIDA event ever, with six IIDA Chapter hosts, IIDA Southern CaliforniaIIDA Northern CaliforniaIIDA IllinoisIIDA New YorkIIDA Georgia, and IIDA Texas/Oklahoma, as well as well as the Interior Designers of Canada (IDC), our international benefactor Herman Miller and media partner Interior Design. We will be broadcasting the event live from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York City, Atlanta, Dallas, and Houston.

What is Design Excellence in a time of crisis?

In this unprecedented year (and a half) the idea of an award to an individual feels out of place.

This year instead we would like to celebrate the power of design to build bonds, strengthen communities, solve previously unimaginable problems, and even ease the loneliness and isolation we have all experienced.  Many in our Northern California community went outside their comfort zones, took risks, and ultimately prioritized humanity. They proved again what we all know—that design excellence is a collective effort.

Please join us in celebrating our design leaders of today and IIDA’s commitment to the future of design at this informative and inspiring event!

More information to come!



Friday, September 17 2021


10:00am Central




Leaders Virtual Re-Cap

Verda Alexander
IIDA NC Chapter President

We did it!

A consolidated effort between HQ and our chapter, and actually many chapters across the country. We pulled off an incredible and inspiring Leader’s virtual event. There were over 2100 participants nationwide! I was actually in NYC at the Herman Miller showroom celebrating the winner of the New York chapter, Bill Bouchey of HOK. I tuned in to our chapter hour on my laptop, and then toasted Mr. Bouchey afterwards. It was pretty wild being in New York physically and in Northern California virtually!  

I hope everyone enjoyed  the video and the stories! I think we are all practicing Design Excellence in a time of crisis in all kinds of small and large ways over here in Northern California. I got several positive reactions from people in other chapters that had viewed our presentation. 

The platform will be open for the next six months, and you can view other chapter’s awards. It might be the one time you can tune into another chapter’s event. Unfortunately the keynote speech by Elaine Welteroth is not available to view – but she has a book!  More than Enough.  She was super inspiring and I took lots of notes. 

A huge shout out to the tiny but mighty committee:  Kelley Naylor, Terry Delacuesta, Carolyn Clark Beedle, Lauren Perich, Kayte Compton, Jean Hansen, Yoko Ishihara and Yana Ronin.

Though, I have to say – I am looking forward to the event IN PERSON next year!  

See you ALL at Pioneers in Design on October 28th!