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David Santiago



On behalf of all of the IFDA Board here in New York, welcome! We are thrilled to welcome members from every facet of the furnishing and design industry. The IFDA promotes open sharing, mutual respect, and education, as well as community service and ethical practices.

Upcoming Events


IFDA NY- Maison & Objet: Global Insights and Influences with Patti Carpenter

Wednesday, December 8th, 2021

Time: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm, EST

IFDA NY- Maison & Objet: Global Insights and Influences with Patti Carpenter

See Full Calender

Our board Members

Jennifer Munich - Treasurer


Susan Hirsh, FIFDA - Secretary


Sarah Fletcher - VP Marketing & Communications


Susan Hirsh, FIFDA - VP Educational Foundation


Su Hilty - VP Financial Resources


Rose Gilbert, FIFDA - VP Membership Chair


Jessica L Kaller - VP Programs


Andrea Aglaze - VP Programs


Garette Johnson - VP Programs


Michelle Slovak - VP Special Events


Susan A. Tucker - VP Trade Awareness


Erin Nova Peker - VP Trade Awareness


Maureen Klein - VP Professional Development


Clare Coleman, FIFDA - Director at Large


Charles Pavarini III - VP Awards and Recognition


J. Randall Tarasuk - VP Awards and Recognition


Andrea Warriner - Chapter Advisor


Zahava Schwartz - Membership Retention


Platinum Industry Partner

Gold Industry Partners

New York Gold Sponsors

New York Silver Sponsors

To see or download videos of some of our recent virtual webinar events, please click on the NEWS tab.

Click the EVENTS tab for the calendar listing of  upcoming events or scroll down for event previews.




Wednesday, November 17, 2021   11 AM

A Scented Home

From home goods and home renovations to home cooking and comfort foods, home fragrance and
self-care are driving air care market activity.
Amy Marks-McGee’s  trend presentation will cover it all.

For more information and to sign up, click here.




Monday, October 25, 2021 at 5:30 – 6:30 PM


Really Get to know your fellow members!

Monday Oct 25th, 2021

5:30 PM EST

Our Featured Members:

Click Here for the Link to Join



Monday, September 27, 2021 at 5:30 – 6:30 PM


On zoom

Monday, Sept. 27th at 5:30 PM



IFDA Member Volunteer Sign Up

at What’s New What’s Next at NYDC Sept 29-30

Man the table at the IFDA NY Office and introduce attendees to IFDA and all the great things we do!

Collect business cards to be added to our guest list.

A wonderful way to make the most out of your membership and meet many new colleagues.

Wednesday, Sept 29 and

Thursday Sept 30th

9 AM to 9 PM

Click here for the link to Volunteer


Monday, October 4, 2021 at 5:30 – 6:30 PM

On zoom


Wednesday, October 6, 2021   11 AM EDT


Click here for the link 

to join the event




Wednesday, September 8, 2021   11 AM EST. (THIS IS THE NEW DATE)

Technology Designer Magazine Series #3

Light Control with Window Treatments

We’ll discuss the latest window control innovations and more importantly, how to properly control lighting in order to give homeowners the simplest functionality while maintaining a layered approach to the overall lighting design.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021   11 AM EST

Presenter:  Doug Weinstein, Editor-in-Chief of Technology Design Magazine

 To register, click here.




IFDA NY in the NEWS!



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How Will You Be Living in 2030? IFDA Predictions for 2030

by | Dec 1, 2020 | Blog, Trend


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Survey Forecasts Changes in Future Home Design

Kitchen & Bath Design News    USA • Dec 4 • 1:19

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IFDA NY is excited to announce that our uber-talented Co-President David Santiago was recently featured in VUE magazine!

Click here to read the article – Let’s Make Staycations a Family Affair with David Santiago:

Decorating Life with Casa Santi Interior Design



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IFDA NY talk addresses COVID design concerns

[New York] International Furnishings and Design Association (IFDA) NY and Novità PR hosted a webinar late last month…

Floor Covering Weekly Online – Sep 01, 2020

Audience Reach: 5,633

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The Home Textiles Today story:  https://t.co/khqHlP4FyY
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IFDA NY Seeking the Best and the Brightest . . . Nominate the next Rising Stars of Design 2020 – officeinsight

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Office Insight – Jul 30, 2020; Audience Reach: 1,760

See p 30 for IFDA NY’s Enlightenment Series continues…

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A new industry survey predicts homes that are smaller, smarter and healthier

What will homes look like in 2030? According to a new survey by the International Furnishings and Design Association, they will be smaller, smarter, and healthier…  INDUSTRY INSIDER, Business of Home

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…are varied and compelling.” VP of the Educational Foundation for the NY Chapter of IFDA, Hirsh also directed IFDA‘s…Furniture World Magazine Online – Jul 27, 2020;  Audience Reach: 7,168

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Welcome New Members


Ruth Olbrych, above, stumbled into the Home Furnishings business by way of establishing her online presence 20 years ago now, with Antiques by Zaar…selling Chinese antiques online. Ten years ago she determined the need to broaden her base by including other product in the line and therefore, she introduced ZAAR Design Center.

Other than a High Point, NC showroom, the business has been internet-based in its approach and reach. The Chinese antiques, which once were the anchor for the business, are now taking a back seat, and other product categories have been elevated to the fore.

In lieu of her owning inventory, she has moved to serving as a representative of several companies, entering the world as newly minted independent sales rep. Companies that she represent are C and S Acosta/hand-cut mirrors out of Thailand, Frank Rogers Design/hand-forged tables out of Mexico, Jill Seale Design Studio/fabric designer out of Charlotte, NC…and Our House Designs/leather furniture, out of Hickory, NC.

She is excited to introduce these companies to designers/architects/boutique owners in NY/NJ/CT. “I am thrilled for the opportunities afforded me by way of membership in IFDA to further this,” says Ruth.

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NADA BOULES, above, joined IFDA NY in Spring 2020, as she was wrapping up her senior year in the accredited Interior Design program at Hillier College of Architecture and Design at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark. Crediting her “thirst for knowledge,” she also pursued a minor in Environmental Studies and Sustainability, simultaneously working toward her Master’s Degree in Architecture.

Nada says she has already proved her “passion for interior design,” working for licensed organizations which utilized REVIT/AUTOCAD and other programs to develop layout and diagrams with attention to specification details. Her skills include the ability to develop design presentations, create drawings for industry- specific projects, and take responsibility for the selection and specification of furniture and lighting.

“It is my honor to be an IFDA member and a part of valuable experience and an opportunity for professional insight,” she says. “I thrive on inspiring collaboration within the furnishings production…(and am) committed to enhancing the fashion image and the design industry.”

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Fernando Rodriguez, (above) owner, Stewart Rodriguez LLC, the frequently published design firm in San Juan and New York, and of the destination home retail store In San Juan, Aaron Stewart Home (ASH), winner of the ARTS Awards for Best International Retailer in 2016 and 2017.

Fernando points to his Instagram board to illustrate his design aesthetic: hand painted wallpapers, fashion icons, cerulean Caribbean landscapes, and sophisticated combination of colors and textures.

A former marketing major who spent his early career fundraising at the Boston Ballet and in sales for Colgate Palmolive and GlaxoSmithKline, Fernando says, “A six-figure income could not quell my doubts. I turned 40 and realized, this is not my passion.” So, he “relinquished the company car and stock options,” and sought a career in fashion,” landing at Hickey Freeman, Joseph Abboud, and Tory Burch, before making another career leap to fashion director at lifestyle publisher Modern Luxury.

“Finally, a job that married sales and fashion,” says Fernandez. “I was in my groove”…but then he and his partner, Aaron Stewart, decided to move to his native Puerto Rico. “We both had great jobs, but we were not really enjoying life,” Rodriguez says, “There’s a point when you stop and think, ‘What are we doing this for?” In 2013, they found the answer: they now live in San Juan with their family, Cooper and Clooney.

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CATHERINE GUSZACK, above,  has designed residential homes in the greater New York City area, the Hamptons, and Virginia, where she took her undergraduate degree in business and marketing, and studied interior design at the University of Richmond.

With a focus on new construction or entire-home renovations, Catherine describes her style as “crisp, clean, and coastal…using lots of neutrals with pops of bold color and texture to add character.” She likes to mix contemporary art with timeless pieces “to give space personality but remain classic.” She resides in Rye, NY, with husband, Greg, and two daughters, Avery and Abby.



IFDA members, be sure to log into the Members Only portal and see Resources for past virtual event videos and notes as they become available.

IFDA NY judges pose with the awards to be presented to Best In categories at a recent Javits Center industry trade show.

The Board of Directors usually meets the second Tuesday of every month at 5:30PM in the 16th Floor Conference Room of the NYDC, (New York Design Center), 200 Lexington Avenue, NYC, between 32nd and 33rd Streets. Members are welcome to attend. Currently we are holding all meetings and events online.  To get the zoom link please email Rose Hittmeyer: ifdanyny@verizon.net and rhittmeyer@aol.com.

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