ASID Ones to Watch Award Winners and Scholars Announced

Society Recognizes 17 Future Design Industry Leaders

The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) is pleased to announce the first awardees in the ASID Ones to Watch program, an initiative that seeks to ensure that diversity is reflected at all levels of the design industry. The honorees have the potential to lead the interior design industry into the future, and to develop strong management careers along the way.

Supported by Steelcase, The ASID Ones to Watch program recognizes rising leaders in the interior design profession who demonstrate exceptional leadership potential and a willingness to push the boundaries of the industry. Awardees and scholars were chosen in four unique categories: Design Excellence, Education Leadership, Manufacturing Leadership, and Volunteer Leadership. Emphasis was placed on choosing applicants whose backgrounds are under-represented in management roles in the design industry, including women, members of racial and ethnic minority groups, LGBTQ, and persons with disabilities. Designers from every professional career stage were encouraged to apply.

“ASID recognizes and supports the need for greater diversity in the design industry,” said Randy Fiser, ASID CEO. “Through the Ones to Watch program, we recognize and celebrate designers with an amazing potential to lead, and support them as they grow into successful management careers.”

“Steelcase is honored to participate in the Ones to Watch program with ASID,” said Rich Isphording, LEED AP, MCR.w, vice president of Strategic Alliances and Applied Research + Consulting, Steelcase. “The program aligns with our corporate philosophy as represented by Steelcase’s perfect score in the Corporate Equality Index for the third year, and the organization being named a ‘Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality’ by the Human Rights Campaign.”

From the pool of applicants, seventeen winners were chosen including eight Ones to Watch Scholars. The scholars will participate in a two-year leadership development curriculum that will train them to lead with authenticity through experiential learning, coaching, and mentoring.

All submissions were evaluated by an esteemed panel of judges who considered the applicant’s intended impact on the design industry, their demonstrated career success, the originality and creativity of their portfolio, and the recommendations submitted with their application. Scholars were selected according to their overall score and their potential to excel from the leadership training experience.

The panel of Ones to Watch judges included Rich Isphording, vice president of Strategic Alliances and Applied Research + Consulting, Steelcase; Tama Duffy Day, FASID, principal, Health & Wellness Practice Area Leader, Gensler; J.D. Sassaman, senior Creative Workshop manager, Autodesk; and Denise Rush, ASID, director of Undergraduate Interior Architecture, Boston Architectural College.

The ASID Ones to Watch award winners and scholars were recognized on July 13 at The Leadership Experience: Presented by ASID in San Diego.

Learn more about the ASID Ones to Watch program at

ASID Ones to Watch Scholars

Gracie Andraos

Gracie Andraos, ASID
HKS | Dallas
Design Excellence

Gracie Andraos is a premier workplace designer at HKS, leading teams for such corporate interiors as Expedia, Topgolf, and American Beacon Advisors. A design leader with forward thinking creativity, Andraos’ client-driven work ethic and collaborative attitude have propelled over 14 years of successful projects. She creates effective workplace environments by listening to her client’s needs, thoughtful space planning, and designing with thorough attention to detail. The results are top-performing workplaces that transform organizations and the employees inside them.

Sarah Barnard

Sarah Barnard, Allied ASID, LEED AP
Sarah Barnard Design | Santa Monica, California
Volunteer Leadership

Sarah Barnard is a member of ASID, is certified by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), and is recognized by the International Institute for Bau-Biologie & Ecology as a Building Biology Practitioner (BBP) and by the U.S. Green Building Council as a LEED AP. She has served on the Santa Monica Conservancy’s board of directors, and specializes in sustainable interior design and historic preservation. Barnard’s diverse body of work includes upscale private residences, chic restaurants, luxurious spas, community housing, and corporate headquarters. She holds an MFA from Claremont Graduate University as well as undergraduate degrees in art and interior architectural design.


Nina Briggs

Nina Briggs, Allied ASID
Woodbury University | Los Angeles
Education Leadership

Nina Briggs is a founding principal of THE FABRIC with an extensive portfolio that includes compelling architecture and interiors where design response and execution is holistically applied and integrated into spatial quality, furnishings, materials, color, lighting, and sustainability. Briggs received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Southern California, and has been an educator of architecture and interior design since 1997 in colleges throughout Southern California. Briggs seeks to elevate and redefine design to positively affect inhabitants psychologically, while solving spatial problems.

Kelsey Kees

Kelsey Kees, ASID, LEED AP
SFCS Architects | Roanoke, Virginia
Volunteer Leadership

Kelsey Kees is a graduate of Virginia Tech’s Interior Design program and is a LEED AP. Kees designed higher education and corporate sector projects for Teresa Ko – Commercial Interiors in Blacksburg, Virginia, and is now with SFCS Inc. in Roanoke, Virginia, working on senior living design projects. She has served in many positions with the ASID Virginia Chapter including IT Task Force Committee Chair, Social Media Chair, Co-Chair for the Designer Silent Auction, Communications Director, Finance Director, President-Elect, and currently serves as chapter President

Bridget Schmitt

Bridget Schmitt, ASID
IA Interior Architects | Chicago
Design Excellence

Bridget Schmitt is an accomplished interior designer who creates fitted solutions for a diverse range of commercial clients. She has been a designer at IA for seven years and is dedicated to continual learning and exploration of design ideas. Schmitt was the lead designer for the innovative 161 North Clark Street 5-Star Service Center and has provided unique and effective solutions for well-established hospitality, education, and corporate clients, including American Medical Association, William Blair, and CBRE Global Investors. She believes that successful design not only supports clients’ business objectives by enhancing the aesthetics and performance of their work environments, but at its core, improves people’s lives. She is devoted to empowering people and businesses with functional, beautiful, and informed design conceptualized in the interest of their well-being.

Angelita Scott

Angelita Scott, ASID
Georgia Southern University | Statesboro, Georgia
Education Leadership

Angelita Scott is an assistant professor of Interior Design at Georgia Southern University. Her research takes a salutogenic approach to the interior environment and focuses on the intersection of the built environment and psychological and physiological well-being, and the intersection of culture and the built environment. Through these perspectives, she focuses on stress reduction and occupant satisfaction. Scott has worked in the interior design profession as a practitioner, educator, and researcher for nearly 15 years and has worked as a marketing professional for non-profit organizations. Scott earned a Ph.D. in interior design with a focus on evidence-based design from the University of Minnesota and holds a Master of Business Communication certificate from the University of St. Thomas. Scott believes interior designers have the ability to make great contributions to the human condition by supporting behavior, development, and health. Through the lens of well-being and social justice, she hopes to empower her students and position them as future change agents for the interior design profession.

Erin Trofholz

Erin Trofholz, ASID
Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture | Omaha, Nebraska
Design Excellence

Erin Trofholz’ collaborative style allows for an open, engaging approach to the entire interior design process. With a diverse background in programming, space planning, design, and furniture/finish selection, Trofholz brings a well-rounded approach to some of Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture’s (APMA) most complex projects. Her work seamlessly incorporates thoughtful design elements to create beautiful, welcoming, and functional spaces, including some of the University of Nebraska’s most celebrated buildings, housing for the underserved, historic buildings turned modern offices, and public libraries across the state. Since 2009, she has served as an adjunct professor in Interior Design at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. As a partner at APMA, Erin is responsible for overseeing the firm’s Studio Alliance, an internal group dedicated to maximizing office efficiency and function as well as fostering employee engagement and satisfaction.

Brooke Williams

Brooke Williams, Allied ASID
The Designer Agent | San Diego
Volunteer Leadership

Brooke Williams is passionate about her philosophy that everyone deserves design and offers her clientele a balance of creativity, forward thinking, and budget focused design solutions. After serving as an Information Systems Technician in the Navy, Williams enrolled at the Design Institute of San Diego where she earned a BFA in Interior Design. She has served in various ASID board and committee positions on both the local and national level. Williams’ firm blends real estate and interior design and helps people find and design their new homes. She has recently started a nonprofit charity, Design for a Difference, which serves single parent families struggling with poverty and/or recovering from homelessness. 

ASID Ones to Watch Award Winners

Francisco Barron
HKS | Dallas
Design Excellence

Grace Eun, ASID
Clive Wilkinson Architects | Los Angeles
Design Excellence

Corinn Hanson
BOX Studios | Chicago
Design Excellence

Eric Haydel, Allied ASID
Eric Haydel Design | Boston
Volunteer Leadership

Leah Hofferkamp
HOK | St. Louis
Design Excellence

Julie Liepold, Allied ASID
Liepold Design Group LLC | Millburn, New Jersey
Volunteer Leadership

Betty Torrell, ASID
Western Carolina University | Sylva, North Carolina
Education Leadership

Natalia Trepchina-Worden, ASID
Design Institute of San Diego | San Diego
Education Leadership

Liz Wirgau
Byrne | Kent City, Michigan
Manufacturing Leadership

About ASID

The American Society of Interior Designers believes that design transforms lives. ASID serves the full range of the interior design profession and practice through the Society’s programs, networks, and advocacy. We thrive on the strength of cross-functional and interdisciplinary relationships among designers of all specialties, including workplace, healthcare, retail and hospitality, education, institutional, and residential. We lead interior designers in shared conversations around topics that matter: from evidence-based and humancentric design to social responsibility, wellbeing, and sustainability. We showcase the impact of design on the human experience and the value interior designers provide.

ASID was founded over 40 years ago when two organizations became one, but its legacy dates back to the early 1930s. As we celebrate nearly 85 years of industry leadership, we are leading the future of interior design, continuing to integrate the advantages of local connections with national reach, of small firms with big, and of the places we live with the places we work, play, and heal.

About Steelcase

For over 105 years, Steelcase Inc. has helped create great experiences for the world’s leading organizations, across industries. We demonstrate this through our family of brands — including Steelcase®, Coalesse®, Designtex®, PolyVision® and Turnstone®. Together, they offer a comprehensive portfolio of architecture, furniture and technology products and services designed to unlock human promise and support social, economic and environmental sustainability. We are globally accessible through a network of channels, including over 800 dealer locations. Steelcase is a global, industry-leading and publicly traded company with fiscal 2017 revenue of $3.0 billion.