The International Furnishings & Design Association (IFDA) has established a Virtual Chapter to engage former members who have moved away from their regional chapters, retired members who still want to be part of IFDA, and design industry colleagues too remote to participate in an active IFDA chapter.
The Virtual Chapter has already attracted more than three dozen members, reports IFDA president Ida McCausland. "And we continue to receive more inquiries every week — and from some pretty far-flung places: We have our first Virtual Chapter member in Australia!"
The only design industry organization that is open to members in all aspects of the design business, IFDA was founded in New York in 1947, and has since grown to include 10 active chapters across the U.S. and in Japan. Virtual Members will enjoy all benefits of active IFDA membership, including regular conference call meetings and special design-focused webinars.
The Virtual Chapter officially launched in June and met again by phone on July 11. But as Executive Director Linda Kulla, FIFDA, points out, IFDA has long exerted global attraction. "Since 2001 we have had members from some 21 countries around the world: Bahrain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Greece, Singapore, Japan, Guatemala, United Arab Emirates, Cayman Islands, Argentina, Bulgaria, Tanzania, England, Mexico, Hong Kong, Canada, India, Australia, China, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia.
"We also had members in 31 of the United States: Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
"If we add in the states we know we cover now — California, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, and Arizona — that totals 41 states, plus Washington, DC. Pretty remarkable," Kulla says.
"A number of folks have not only reached out to join, but also sent in suggestions on how we can virtually network, hold events/webinars, chat and work together," McCausland reports. She predicts that Virtual Chapter members may also want to visit, network, and collaborate with other Chapter members in their travels.