A letter from Jason Belaire, IDSA, Chair of IDSA's Board of Directors:
Dear IDSA Community,
I’m writing to share with you that Chris Livaudais, IDSA’s current Executive Director, is set to resign from the position on Dec. 30, 2022. Chris’ leadership and engagement over the past five years with IDSA staff, membership, and partners has helped reinvigorate the IDSA community we all enjoy today. When he joined IDSA as Executive Director in 2018, the Executive Committee and Board of Directors at that time presented him with some big goals to accomplish in the face of several long-standing challenges.
Having re-joined the Board during the year in which he was hired, I have had the fortune of collaborating with Chris over the past several years. Translating the input from the Board of Directors, and regular membership feedback, into action is no small task and Chris has done well to achieve a balance in executing against the Board’s past and current visionary goals.
A few notable highlights of Chris’ impact include the focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion as organizational priority which resulted in the formal establishment of our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council and Women in Design community network. Both of these efforts are catalysts for establishing greater levels of demographic representation within the industrial design profession. During his tenure, we have also seen year over year record entry counts in our most valued program, IDEA. This and careful expense management, has led to 4 consecutive years of positive year-end financial results for the organization. Concurrently, Chris has also dedicated significant effort towards improving the UI/UX of several back-end systems and digital touchpoints to increase their functionality and usability. These efforts have and will continue to help position IDSA for a future of new growth and opportunity.
A message from Chris:
"As I near completion of five years in the role of Executive Director, I find myself with a desire to return to my passion of design outside of the community-based programming of IDSA. I am immensely proud of the work I’ve done here, and my accomplishments were only made possible with the trusted guidance of the Board of Directors and the tireless effort of IDSA staff. The decision to leave is difficult, but I truly feel that I will be leaving an organization that is stronger, more agile, and reinvigorated in its mission to advance the profession of industrial design. We carry a positive momentum that, I believe, positions the organization for great success in the years ahead. Thank you, IDSA membership, for giving me the support and opportunity to serve in this capacity."
The Executive Committee is currently working to select an Interim Executive Director who will begin work in 2023 while a formal search and interview process is conducted to identify our next Executive Director. A condensed role description is included below for insight into the type of individual we are seeking and the core responsibilities of the role.
We wish Chris the best in his future endeavors and thank him for his commitment to bettering our Society. Please reach out if you have questions about the upcoming transition.
Jason P. Belaire, IDSA
2022-2023 Board Chair, Industrial Designers Society of America
POSITION SUMMARY - IDSA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
The Executive Director serves as the chief executive officer (CEO) of both IDSA, a non-profit 501c(6) membership organization, and of Design Foundation, IDSA’s non-profit 501c(3) charitable arm. This individual is responsible for providing strategic leadership across all aspects of IDSA and Design Foundation programming, service offerings, and operational processes to ensure that both organizations serve the needs and interests of our community, pursuant to their core purpose, mission statement and bylaws. The successful candidate has the opportunity to lead and transform a professional organization focused on membership experience, learning, innovation, and the vitality of design for our future. The Executive Director will ensure that IDSA is a leader in advocating for industrial design, that it maintains relevancy in a rapidly evolving world, and that it attracts, engages, and retains members and sponsors with high quality services, content, experiences and programs.
The Executive Director will engage with the Board of Directors to develop, evaluate, and implement strategies for membership, financial growth, and overall organizational health. He/She/They will have the ability to discover new approaches to leverage current IDSA programming to support, energize, and ensure relevancy of this US-based organization with an international footprint for our wide community that includes multiple city-based Chapters and issue-focused Sections. Under the leadership of a courageous Executive Director, we can advance the value of industrial design as a professional practice and solidify our legacy through the positive impact industrial design can have for millions of people around the world. The Executive Director reports to the Chair of IDSA's Board of Directors and is present for all Board meetings, but is not a voting Board member.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE
- Experience in both strategic planning and tactical implementation.
- Successful track record with fundraising and strategic partnerships.
- The capacity to advocate for design professionals and knowledge of the history, the current state, and the future of design.
- A strong business acumen with a proven record of business innovation and successful revenue generation.
- Original thinking and the ability to conceptualize visionary solutions.
- Collaborative and creative problem-solving acumen.
- Experience in managing, motivating, and bringing out the best in a 10 – 15 person multidisciplinary team working in a distributed/remote setting.
- Responsible for budgets in excess of $2MM.
- Ability to manage professional and program engagement both in-person and virtually.
- Strong technology acumen.
- Adaptability and flexibility. Can-do attitude, ability to wear many hats as needed to achieve goals.
- Develop and curate the Strategic Vision, and generate the business plan that drives the supporting marketing, financial planning and resourcing activities.
- Provide leadership in planning, tracking and implementing key initiatives that support the Strategic Vision.
- Guide the Board of Directors and Committees to work within proper governance and administration guidelines.
- Manage the IDSA headquarters staff; foster a positive and collaborative team culture; empower team members to achieve their best.
- Ensure Society compliance with all applicable laws and legal requirements.
- Build and maintain strong partnerships with other business and design-related organizations that can support IDSA’s mission.
- Increase membership growth, retention, and engagement.
- Increase relevance of IDSA within the local and global design community.
- Ensure success of all core annual programming, including Deep Dives, International Design Conference, Education Symposium, International Design Excellence Awards, Student Merit Awards, IDSA Awards, National Industrial Design Day, Membership, Chapters, Sections.
- Ensure success of all core publications and content distribution, including INNOVATION magazine, email campaigns and outreach, social media, and website content.
- Timely & meaningful communication with membership, design community, business community, sponsors, etc.
- Ensure coherence with BOD through timely communications, collaboration, and information sharing.
- Maintain and improve organizational health.
- Build public awareness and advocacy for industrial design and IDSA in the design, academic, and business community.
- Oversee annual fundraising campaign for Design Foundation.