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ARIDO bestows annual awards and scholarship


The Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO) handed out its Honours, Fellows and Harvest House Craftsman awards, as well as its scholarship program at the Association’s Annual General Meeting.

The highest level of recognition bestowed by the Association, three Fellowship Awards and one Honorary membership were handed out to four key industry players during the event. A Fellow is a present or previous registered ARIDO member whom the Board of Management has deemed as having contributed significantly to the success of the Association. This year a Fellowship was awarded to Trevor Kruse, Celeste Irvine-Jones and David Benitz, with an Honorary membership going to his wife Jean Benitz. Honorary memberships are presented to non-ARIDO members who the Board of Management, in consultation with the Board of Governors, believes have contributed to the greater recognition or betterment of the interior design profession or the applied arts.

Since commencing his career in interior design, Trevor Kruse has chaired or served on numerous committees for the Association. He was the President of ARIDO in 1998 and in the following year Kruse served as the Association’s official spokesperson on the issue of the Titles Act. In recent years, Kruse has assisted as a liaison to other national associations including NCIDQ and IIDA. Since 1996, Kruse has been ARIDO’s liaison to IIDEX/NeoCon Canada, and has been instrumental in the growth of this event as Canada’s largest trade show for the built environment. A recipient of numerous awards and recognition in the industry over the years, Kruse most recently became the first Canadian recipient of the IIDA Leaders Award.

Celeste Irvine-Jones. also a recipient of a Fellowship Award this year, has been a dedicated ARIDO volunteer. Having served as the Eastern Ontario Chapter President in 2003 and 2004, an Innovation Awards judge at IIDEX/NeoCon Canada and an instructor at Algonquin College, Irvine-Jones is a sought after mentor to recent graduates, promoting both the profession and ARIDO. In addition to offering NCIDQ study sessions to Ottawa Intern members, she has spent countless hours fundraising for worthwhile charities and causes including the Royal Ottawa Hospital, Bruce House and Relay for Life.

David Benitz and Jean Benitz received a Fellowship Award and Honorary Membership accordingly. This husband and wife team created a unique database over the course of their career detailing over 300 A-level buildings. This database was designed in conjunction with developing a program to help interior designers analyze the buildings from a tenant’s perspective. The pair donated this tremendous resource to Ryerson University in 2004 and now the Benitz Facility Diagnostic Program is used in the Interior Design department’s senior year studies.

In a first-ever tie, the 2008 Norma Ruth Ridley Scholarship went to two recipients Shannon Moschenross, an interior design student at the International Academy of Design & Technology and Jessica Graveline an interior design student at Algonquin College. Each of the two recipients was awarded a $2,000 scholarship. An honourable mention also went to Thevaki Ganesharajah an interior design student at Sheridan College.

The Norma Ruth Ridley Scholarship, established in 2005, honours graduating interior design students who display impeccable professionalism and ethics, and who understand the importance of good business practices and professional standards. In separate written and oral evaluations, applicants are judged in five areas: academic achievement, professionalism, community involvement, character and communication. Only one representative from each ARIDO-recognized school may apply for the scholarship. Each participant is chosen by their Program Coordinator to represent their school. This year’s competition focused on designing an educational facility and brought forth applicants from seven of the ten schools.

Each applicant was asked to research and develop a space planning program for a community school for young children with special needs, paying close attention to issues of ethics, accessibility and sustainability. Shannon Moschenross and Jessica Graveline shared this year’s distinguished honour, with Moschenross excelling in the written portion of the competition and Graveline delivering insightful responses in her oral interview.

Also at the event, ARIDO presented cheques to recipients of the inaugural Harvest House Craftsman Award. The Award recognizes five interior designers who recently completed their NCIDQ exam and achieved the highest combined examination score in 2007. Each of the five recipients was given a $1,000 cash award in recognition of this outstanding professional accomplishment.

The five recipients of the 2008 Harvest House Craftsman Award were: Helena Da Costa, Karen Hohenadel, Lisa Johnson-Poirier, Terry Ann Ledger, and Wayne Swadron.




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