Sustainable Furnishings Council looks to next 15 years as Inglis set to transition to new role


NEW YORK — Now 15 years old, the Sustainable Furnishings Council has begun the search for a new executive director, as Susan Inglis plans to transition to a new role as resident expert and educator in chief. It also has embarked on a fundraising campaign.

While she is proud of how much the SFC has accomplished since its beginning, Inglis felt it was time for the organization to go to the next level with a new leader and expanded infrastructure, allowing it to have even more impact, she said. “Our cause is way too important to continue to run it by the seat of my pants.”

Its core GreenLeaders program, for example, a six-hour certificate course on sustainability issues and solutions, is taught solely by Inglis. Her hope is to train others to teach the course, she said. “We need to get more voices.”

For the executive director position, the SFC is looking for candidates with seven or more years of experience, which could be in sustainability, home furnishings and interiors, nonprofit management and philanthropic development and other areas — as well as passion for the SFC’s and its educational fund’s missions. Click here to learn more.

Inglis hoped to have someone in place by the beginning of the new year, she said. She will then work with that person for several months, and — depending on the COVID situation at that time — will introduce that person at a celebration at High Point Market in April. “We want to introduce the person in a loud way,” as well as celebrate the organization’s 15 years, she said.

In addition, SFC has launched a fundraising initiative, where it hopes to raise $300,000 to help take it to the next level, she said. While it accepts donors at all levels, Inglis hoped some companies would give in amounts based on its 15th year anniversary, such as $15,000 or even $115,000. “We’re ambitious.”

Inglis has plenty to be proud since founding the organization. From its initial membership of 40 companies, it now has around 400. And these member companies continue to make sustainable improvements, from supply chain management to energy use reduction. “I appreciate that companies are taking it seriously.”

In addition, she’s proud of the relationships the SFC has with organizations, both within the industry and out. For example, SFC works with the National Wildlife Federation on its Wood Furniture Scorecard, as well as others like WWF and Rainforest Alliance. She also named its “What’s it made of?” initiative, for which it works with partners American Sustainable Business Council, the Center for Environmental Health and the Healthy Materials Lab, Parsons, as helping move the industry forward.

While Inglis is stepping back, she emphasized that she’s not stepping away. “I care about this cause. I will always be working on sustainable furnishings one way or the other until I keel over.”


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