IIDA Announces Recipients of the 2023 Member of the Year and Student of the Year Awards

IIDA is pleased to announce the winners of its annual Of the Year Awards, which recognize members demonstrating outstanding commitment, passion, professionalism, and dedication to IIDA and the design community. This year’s Member of the Year is CannonDesign Associate and Interior Designer, Dani Sheley, IIDA. The 2023 Student of the Year, sponsored by OFS, is Bellevue College Interior Design Student, Espe Zivkovic, Student IIDA.

“IIDA is honored to champion and support designers at all stages of their careers, as well as to recognize both students and professionals for their unique contributions to the industry,” said IIDA Executive Vice President and CEO, Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA. “This year’s Of the Year award honorees represent stand-out talent and dedication found throughout our membership.”

The IIDA Member of the Year Award recognizes and honors an IIDA member who has demonstrated volunteer service and dedication to assisting IIDA as it advances the commercial interior design profession and advocates for interior design excellence. The award includes a $7,500 cash prize and a complimentary one-year IIDA membership.

Dani Sheley

Dani Sheley, IIDA, is an associate and interior designer with CannonDesign in St. Louis. She received her B.S. in Interior Design from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and MBA from Louisiana State University Shreveport. With over 10 years of experience, her attention to detail provides a foundation for meaningful client relationships and creative solutions. Dani is a registered interior designer providing innovative and functional spaces that meet clients’ business goals and project objectives. Dani works closely with project teams to create functional, welcoming, and collaborative interior spaces. Since 2019, she has served on the IIDA Gateway Chapter Board of Directors, currently serving as the Immediate Past President through June 2023. As part of the Gateway Chapter Board of Directors, Dani values her time mentoring students and the next generation of interior designers. Her passion goes beyond creating meaningful spaces to encouraging others to reach their full potential. When not creating spaces and attending A&D events, Dani enjoys attending musicals, hiking, playing board games, and spending time with family, friends, and her Goldendoodle Magnolia.

The IIDA Student of the Year Award recognizes an IIDA Student Member who has significantly impacted their school’s interior design program through outstanding leadership, insight, and involvement. The award includes a $5,000 cash prize, sponsored by OFS, and a complimentary one-year IIDA membership.

Espe Zivkovic

Espe Zivkovic, Student IIDA, is a senior Interior Design student at Bellevue College and an active student member of the IIDA Northern Pacific Chapter. Originally from Colombia, Espe completed a degree in Industrial Design and spent several years working as a furniture designer, among other creative roles. Upon deciding to change career paths and moving to Seattle, Espe began her interior design studies with the idea of combining industrial and interior design knowledge for a holistic approach. During her freshman year at Bellevue, Espe began participating in a local drawing club, which led her to IIDA. Through participation with IIDA, Espe joined the local student community and found her voice and confidence. By the end of her sophomore year, Espe became the president of the student council at IIDA’s Puget Sound Campus Center, where she works alongside fellow students to give back to the community by organizing events that help students with networking, finding mentors, internships, and more. Espe has participated in multiple IIDA Charette competitions, including the national competition at NeoCon in 2022, where her team placed third. Espe is currently completing an internship at CRTKL and will graduate in June 2023.

Both Of The Year recipients will be honored at IIDA’s 2023 Annual Meeting on June 11 at Venue SIX10 in Chicago. For further details about these member awards, please contact IIDA membership team at memberservices@IIDA.org


IIDA is the commercial interior design association with global reach. We support design professionals, industry affiliates, educators, students, firms, and their clients through our network of 15,000+ members across 58 countries. We advocate for advancements in education, design excellence, legislation, leadership, accreditation, and community outreach to increase the value and understanding of interior design as a profession that enhances business value and positively impacts the health and well- being of people’s lives every day. IIDA.org.