Name: Jeannine Rogers
Employer: Shaw Contract Group
I guess you can say I was here from (before) the beginning. IIDA started in 1994 as a merger between the Institute of Business Designers (IBD), the International Society of Interior Designers (ISID) and the Council of Federal Interior Designers (CFID). I was a student member of IBD while in school at the University of Oklahoma. In 1991, I came to Greenville on Spring Break from OU looking for a summer internship while my sorority sisters all went to South Padre Beach. My brother had offered me FREE room and board if I found a summer job, so I arranged an interview with every firm in town that week! In my interview with Anita Holland at CRSS Architects, she invited me to an IBD event the next evening. I remember walking into a room of strangers, and feeling a little intimidated. I was quickly introduced around and got to tell "my story" all evening long. Writing this, I realize that I not only networked, but I met true friends that night who are still in my life 24 years later! I still remember Harold Chapman from Bonitz saying to me at the end of the evening, "if no one takes you this summer, you give me a call. I'll give you a job!" Well, Anita hired me and the rest is history...
The moral of that story is to take risks and get involved. I'm forever grateful that Anita reached out to me as a Professional Member and invited me to the meeting. I was a stranger in a strange town, and didn't know a soul except my brother and my sister-in-law. Thank goodness I got over any insecurities I had and I was confident enough to drive myself to the meeting (remember, no Siri to help me out back then!), to walk into a room of strangers and hold my own. I was hooked on our design community from that moment on. My internship turned into a full-time job and I'm extremely happy to say that I've been employed locally ever since!
I've also always been involved in what is now called IIDA. From Programs to Membership to passing my NCIDQ to City Center Director to Chapter President... I worked my way up through the Chapter. At the Chapter President level, I attended IIDA Chapter Leadership Conference's in Chicago and Mobile, AL - making even more connections with peers and leaders in the industry from all over the world. What great opportunities IIDA has presented to me!
After Chapter President, I went straight over to lead the SC Interior Design Coalition for a few years, working with Lobbyists and Legislators for all of the designers in South Carolina. IIDA's input and assistance with Legislation from a National Level is invaluable.
I recently left the design field and joined Shaw Contract Group as the Upstate SC Commercial Account Manager - I feel like I have gone "full-circle" and am excited to now have the opportunity to give back on the City Center level of IIDA again. Shaw is a big supporter of IIDA and of my professional membership as well, realizing the importance of relationships and networking in our industry. And it all started with a simple invitation...