On the Record

US Congressman Receives IDSA Special Award

He’s a dedicated public servant who helped shine a global spotlight on industrial design on the 50th anniversary of the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA)—and beyond. US Representative Gerald E. Connolly was honored with the 2015 IDSA Special Award for notable results, creative and innovative concepts and long-term benefits to the profession, its educational function and society at large.

Connolly is serving his fourth term on Capitol Hill, representing the 11th Congressional District in which IDSA is headquartered just outside Washington, DC. On IDSA's behalf, he entered March 5, 2015 into the Congressional Record as the first National Industrial Design Day, declaring that industrial design professionals “improve our lives in every way and are worthy of our recognition.” In the United States, product design and related services generate billions of dollars in sales and the number of US awarded design patents has reached an all-time high. “The economic impact of this industry helps fuel our nation’s economy,” said Connolly.

The congressman is a senior member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform—as the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Government Operations and as a member of the Subcommittee on Information Technology. He co-authored the 2014, bipartisan Issa-Connolly Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) which represents the first major overhaul of the federal laws governing IT management since 1996.

A Harvard University alumnus, Connolly has been recognized twice as a Federal Computer Week Fed 100 winner; was named the 2013 FedScoop Tech Champion of the Year; and received the AFFIRM Award for Leadership in the information technology community.

Connolly notes that IDSA has grown from 600 members in 1950—to thousands of members in more than two dozen countries today. He commends IDSA “for being an instrumental force in the growth and expansion” of industrial design and expressed “appreciation for the innovation and creativity of its members.” He says industrial design “has enhanced people’s lives… across the United States and around the world.”

Annually, IDSA hosts the International Design Excellence Awards, open for entry in 2016 through April 1; an International Design Conference (#IDSADetroit16), set this year from August 17 to 20 at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center; five coast-to-coast District Design Conferences (#CDDC16 #WDDC16 #SDDC16 #MWDDC16 #NEDDC16) in April; and a Medical Design Conference—bringing together some of the biggest names and brightest minds in industrial design and related fields. IDSA also publishes INNOVATION magazine online and in print. The latest issue, 50.35.50, features 50 Notable IDSA Members; 35 Years of IDEA Winners; and 50 Memorable Moments in IDSA History. IDSA Ambassadors and INsights support industrial design with research, thought leadership and outreach.