Randy W. Fiser began as the new executive vice president and chief executive officer of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) in February. He succeeds Michael Alin, who retired in 2011 after more than 20 years with the Society. Fiser has experience in management roles with corporate, not-for-profit, and professional services industries. Learn more about Fiser at contractdesign.com/fiser.
Your experience is in management roles with a variety of organizations. What do you bring to ASID in terms of leadership or management expertise?
Ultimately, my role as the EVP/CEO of ASID is to harness the passion and energy of ASID members, industry partners, and stakeholders to advance the interior design profession and communicate the impact of interior design in improving the human experience. Throughout my career, I’ve had the opportunity to lead boards, executives, and senior business partners in designing strategies, implementing programs, and measuring performance to take organizations to the next level.
The economy remains challenging for the industry, and is especially difficult for those looking for work. What can ASID do for its members in a difficult economy?
ASID supports a number of programs to help our members sustain and grow their business, including a national online job bank and referral service, and job fairs at the local chapter level. We work to connect our more than 30,000 members and industry partners through valuable networking events, mentorships, and internships to expand their network and find work. We have also established a Small Business Council dedicated to helping our members build their businesses.
What vision do you have for the Society?
As a newcomer to the interior design industry, I feel my first duty is to listen to the members of ASID and use what I learn to help define the vision of the organization. However, the reason I pursued this opportunity was the passion I have for design and its ability to impact people’s lives. My life’s work has always focused on enhancing and improving the human experience. ASID needs to address the changing and ever evolving industry and lead the profession into the future. I see ASID, working with its members, industry partners, and stakeholders, defining new ways for interior design and designers to improve people’s lives and translating these concepts into productive business models and tools that our members need to be successful.
Some in the interior design profession question having two separate professional organizations (ASID and IIDA), especially in a time with a difficult economy. How do you respond to that?
There are no plans to merge at this time. However, ASID and IIDA are working together on issues of mutual interest that affect the profession, such as the establishment of the Interior Design Continuing Education Council (IDCEC) to centralize interior design continuing education. While both organizations work together to provide a unified voice for our profession, I believe the unique culture of each organization gives the interior design community the benefit of having more diverse resources and options.
How can ASID enhance member services and member resources in a time when so much information and knowledge is readily available online?
Technology will continue to play a significant role for ASID and our members in the ways we work and communicate. As part of our strategic plan for the next three years, we have committed to developing and investing in collaborative tools and networks that will enable us to expand our knowledge base and information sharing. Some improvements that are happening as soon as this year include a new ASID website with improved functionality as well as a series of new online learning and networking tools all designed to expand and share best practices for applied research and design solutions through a comprehensive member education platform.
Will ASID’s leadership role change at all regarding licensure issues for interior designers nationally and at state levels? How?
ASID maintains a policy that supports legal recognition of our profession that does not limit, restrict, or prevent the practice of interior design. ASID also supports the efforts of individuals to become recognized as certified, registered, or licensed interior designers. However, I believe there is also an opportunity to broaden ASID’s advocacy agenda to encompass a host of policy issues that impact all of our members.