ISFD names successor as John Conrad retires


HIGH POINT — Having served the International Society of Furniture Designers for more than 13 years, John Conrad is retiring from the non-profit at the end of 2022, and the board of directors has named David Blair to serve as the new executive director, effective January 2023.

“It has been an unforgettable honor and privilege to have been a member of and served ISFD as its executive director these past years,” said Conrad. During his tenure leading the organization, Conrad initiated new programs for ISFD including the Innovation + Design juried competition and exhibition along with the People’s Choice Photography Competition in 2020.

Conrad launched the award-winning Design Between the Lines podcast (2016) talking with real game-changers, industry innovators, and the lifetime legends of the home furnishings Industry.

In 2018 Conrad was instrumental in re-branding the American Society of Furniture Designers to the current International Society of Furniture Designers. He then established the International Society of Furniture Designers Foundation, and he digitized and donated the physical ISFD archives to the Bienenstock Furniture Library.

At the recent Pinnacle Awards, the ISFD board of directors renamed the Student Pinnacle Award, which Conrad introduced in 2014, to the John Conrad Student Pinnacle Award as an acknowledgment of his work. Conrad also added the Green Leaf Award (2016), Maker/Designer Award (2018) and the Home Textiles Print and Woven Awards (2021/2022) categories to the Pinnacles.

New leader

Blair, with more than 30 years of marketing and advertising experience working with furniture companies, furniture industry associations and designers, will take the helm as executive director. His first order of business will be to oversee the next Innovation + Design event for the spring of 2023.

“I am excited to continue building on the strong foundation that John has put in place over the past decade,” Blair said. “Through my work, particularly with the High Point Market Authority, I gained a deeper appreciation and respect for this industry and its positive impact on people’s lives.”

Conrad added, “David’s experience in the marketing and advertising fields along with his in-depth knowledge of the furniture industry fits with the board’s goals to bring greater awareness to ISFD both in and outside of our industry.”

See also: ISFD names 20 Pinnacle Awards winners


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