In addition to busy and stressful day jobs, only a handful of designers take on extra-curricular activities like strategic planning, budget establishment, aligning local decision making with national objectives, event planning, and bill paying—for fun. But as a 10-year member of the Georgia chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), IA’s Trey Champion did so with zeal when he joined the Board of Directors in 2011. After leading professional development, Champion was President-elect in 2010/2011, and has served as President of the organization since September 2013.
Champion reflects on the experience with ASID Georgia as his one-year term nears its close.
What was the greatest challenge you experienced as the chapter president?
Balancing my job at IA with my presidential duties—even in this age of multitasking. I have learned a lot about time management and developing ways to work creatively. Nonetheless, it is a commitment and sometimes you just have to work overtime to get it done. In conjunction with this, the staff in IA’s Atlanta office—in particular Greg Garcia, Anna Inman, and Chad Jeror—have supported me fully and have worked consistently to help me balance the needs of my role as ASID Georgia president and the needs of my design role at IA.
What was the greatest reward of the experience?
I couldn’t name just one reward. But the leadership training the national organization has provided would take me years to develop on my own. It was truly exceptional. Being trained to develop and present an organizational strategic plan and budget, as well as first-hand experience in the nuances of staff management, were all invaluable business experiences.
Last but not least, the incredibly broad design exposure was terrific. Because ASID embraces the diversity of all design, I have been exposed to design disciplines beyond the commercial practice. Insight into the creative process of different types of designers is invaluable, especially when working on my own projects. It allows me to leave myself behind for a bit and think even more critically about design, apart from my personal feelings.
How has the experience affected you professionally?
I have gained so much from this professionally that it is difficult to summarize. Every experience has brought me to a higher level of professional competency. Most of all, it has given me perspective that I didn’t have before. As a higher stakeholder it elevates awareness of all factors at play in any situation, and that awareness is transferable to my job at IA. I am better able to synthesize information and quickly grasp the full ramifications of actions—even those perceived as small—as a whole.
This is a long conversation! I am a better person than I was a year ago. I am a more positive person. My attitude is better. Dolly Parton often says that “being happy is hard work. You have to work hard to be happy…just as hard as some people work to be miserable.” I choose to see the beautiful things around me and I choose to celebrate them. I choose to celebrate the victories of friends, coworkers, and even strangers because behind that success is hard work; and that inspires me.