Aimee Schefano Named IIDA’s 2018 Advocate of the Year

Aimee Schefano named IIDA's 2018 Advocate of the Year

Aimee Schefano, Interior Designer, has recently been honored as 2018 Advocate of the Year. This award is given on an annual basis to an International Interior Design Association (IIDA) member who displays a deep commitment to interior design advocacy and has cultivated change within his or her discipline.

Schefano, Vice President of Advocacy for the IIDA New England Chapter, seeks the support of state legislators and the governor to adopt interior design legislation that removes the glass ceiling restricting her predominantly female discipline and community; in short, qualified interior designers ought to have the right to become registered professionals in their industry. This registration carries many freedoms, a few being: allowing interior designers to obtain building permits independent of a licensed architect, to prepare plans and specifications, and to supervise new construction, alterations, and repairs for project scopes that include interior design.

“I have been waiting my entire career for licensure in the state of Massachusetts,” says SMMA Director of Interior Design, Marie Fitzgerald. “Which is why I was both proud and thrilled when Aimee said she was taking on the position of VP of Advocacy; Aimee’s dedication to our profession through SMMA and her advocacy has been unparalleled. I know she has the determination and drive to see this through.”

In the past two years alone, Aimee has proven her diligence through restructuring the Chapter’s advocacy groups and legislative efforts in Massachusetts.

“Many people are unfamiliar with interior design curricula and don’t know what the requirements are to sit for the interior design certification exams,” explains Schefano. “Individuals carry a misconception about the profession and don’t think that we share the same qualifications as others in our industry when we actually do. It is for this reason that our bill in Massachusetts is modeled after the architectural registration process. The goal is to create an equity between industry members when it comes to occupational licensure.”

While she continues to work on getting the bill passed, Schefano empowers the men and women behind interior design to advance their careers and shift the industry’s status quo.