The International Furnishings and Designer Association (IFDA) has established a web site, accessible at www.ifda.com. The 51 year-old organization of professionals and executives in all facets of furnishings and design is reaching out to better communicate with the industry, IFDA members, potential members, students and the public at large.
"Through this web site we are able to link up with the diverse world of furnishings and design. We're also able to keep our members informed, target those interested in joining, reach talented newcomers to the field and lead consumers to educational materials and programs on the many benefits engendered by our products," commented Sharon Clancy Lien, FIFDA, immediate past international president who spearheaded the project. "We see this as an exciting new marketing and communications vehicle as we enter the next century."
"For example, 'Related Links'on the IFDA web site provides a wealth of information and an array of resources by putting the user in touch with relevant sites in the industry."
IFDA is now positioned to be a facilitator for consumers seeking information on any number of topics related to home furnishings. "We invite manufacturers to provide us with information about their consumer web sites which we can link to the IFDA web site." Those interested can contact Jennifer Lewis at IFDA's executive headquarters at 1-800-727-5202.
The site is colorful and animated with pages on such specific areas as a Calendar of Events (worldwide), Member Services, Local Chapter information, Bulletin Board, IFDA Educational Foundation, E-Mail and IFDA Home Page. A member password will allow IFDA members to access a chat room with guest speakers as well as special information such as job opportunities and newest industry trends. "Members as far away as China and England can regularly communicate with members in the United States and Canada to network and share ideas," Krengel said. And, IFDA Chapters in metropolitan areas around the country can list current programs such as guest speakers, career days, design houses and consumer seminars.
IFDA originated in 1948 as National Home Fashions League, the purpose to promote women embarking on various career paths in the home furnishings industry. Over the years, many women were assisted with scholarships, grants and career enhancement programs until in 1984 when the organization invited men to join their ranks. "We had strong working relationships with men in our industry, so we felt the time had come to broaden the scope and purpose of IFDA both through a new name and with men as an important part of our growth and development as a leading professional association in the dynamic arena of furnishings and design," Lienau said.
John Camp, FIFDA, current president of IFDA, commented "Today, we have a new vision-gaining a worldwide perspective while supporting our industry through various educational endeavors and public awareness projects. We believe that 'state of the art' network communication is the key to bringing this vision into focus in the years ahead."
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