IIDA Headquarters, Chicago, IL
Ken Wilson, FIIDA, FAIA, Envision Design, Washington D.C.
An exceptional communicator, innovator, and visionary leader, Cheryl S. Durst has spurred progress, driven change, and encouraged the expansion of the Interior Design industry. As the Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of IIDA, Cheryl oversees the strategic direction of the association and is committed to broad recognition for the value of design and its significant role in society. She manages a team of 25, leads the International Board of Directors, and directs all outreach and programmatic efforts, including more than a dozen annual global design awards programs. Under Cheryl’s leadership, IIDA advocates on behalf of the interior design profession and supports legislation that expands opportunities for commercial interior designers. She is also the creator of the innovative IIDA series, What Clients Want, which examines the designer/client relationship and publisher of Perspective, the association’s thought-leadership journal.
Cheryl’s ability to engage audiences with insight and humor has positioned her as a sought-after keynote speaker, panelist, and moderator at domestic and global conferences and seminars. With topics ranging from “The Future of Design” to “The Impact of Culture, Brand, and Place,” her presentations explore the value of design as a social, cultural, and economic force. An enthusiastic and energetic volunteer, Cheryl has participated on numerous boards and committees, including the Kent State University College of Architecture and Environmental Design, Harrington College of Design, US Green Buildings Council, the Kohl Children’s Museum Women’s Board, and the Literacy Foundation of Chicago.
Prior to Cheryl’s tenure at IIDA, she was the Director of Programs and Education with Merchandise Mart Properties in Washington, D.C. Cheryl’s industry experience also includes employment with Knoll, American Seating, and Westinghouse Furniture Systems. She holds dual bachelor degrees in print journalism and economics from Boston University, is a LEED-accredited Professional (LEED AP) and a member of the World Future Society, and firmly believes in the connection between place, history, and human behaviour, as well as the effect attitude, culture, and design have on shared-space environments.
In recognition of her contributions to IIDA and the profession of design, Cheryl was awarded Honorary Fellowship by her International Board of Directors in 2009. In 2015, she was named one of Newcity's Design 50, an annual list of influencers who promote and present design in Chicago. Interior Design magazine, which named Cheryl to its Hall of Fame in 2016, has referred to her as “an ambassador for innovation and expansion, and a visionary strategist.”