Following a long and laudable career of service to the interior design profession, as well as those directly impacted by its work, Gary Wheeler, FASID, FIIDA, has announced his retirement as CEO of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). His last day with the association will be on September 30, 2022.
The announcement is a well-earned one for Wheeler, who had originally put aside his retirement back in 2020 to take up the mantle in the first place. What was originally meant to be an interim position, however, became temporarily permanent in 2021 following the aftermath and turbulence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In that time, Wheeler tapped his experience as a practitioner to bring a holistic view to the Society’s work and the broader design industry. Under his leadership, Wheeler and ASID worked to improve the organization’s inclusivity and amplified research initiatives to make positive contributions to the profession.
“We are grateful to Gary Wheeler, who put aside his own retirement to take on the position of ASID CEO in 2020,” said ASID Board of Directors Chair Carolyn Ames Noble, ASID, WELL AP, WELL Faculty, USGBC Member.
“ASID was fortunate to have Gary at the helm during the uncertainty that arose from the COVID-19 pandemic. ASID’s inaugural GATHER conference, which will bring together the entire design community this September, demonstrates the culmination of Gary’s vision for the unity of the profession, though his dedication to the design world will have a lasting impact for many years to come.”
Following his retirement from the position of CEO, Wheeler will remain an advisor to ASID through the calendar year. An announcement regarding the ASID’s next CEO is soon to follow.
Celebrating Wheeler’s Legacy in the Design Community
Having first joined ASID as a student out of Louisiana Tech, Wheeler quickly went on to be named an ASID Designer of Distinction before ultimately earning the title of Fellow.
His work as CEO during the pandemic saw experts throughout the profession gathered to form four core committees dedicated to guiding health, sustainability, DEI and resilience throughout the design profession. Research expanded into the state of the industry and outlook reports, as well as others that kept track of the impact of the pandemic and the economy on the profession.
With this focus on industry health as well as societal impact, Wheeler showcased his dedication to the use of evidence-based design and helping professionals navigate the changing industry landscape. In his time as CEO, the ASID led collaborative initiatives with local chapters and partner organizations to enact legislation in North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Illinois, which expanded practice rights for interior designers in those states.
Wheeler led ASID in its partnership with IIDA, IDC, Metropolis and other sustainability leaders in the industry to create the Interior Design Pledge for Positive Impact, which established framework for professionals to impact and positively influence climate, health and equity.
“Serving as ASID’s CEO has brought my career full circle,” said Wheeler. “From my student days and throughout my career, ASID has been central to my work, as I have witnessed how the design profession truly creates positive impact on all lives. It was an honor to serve as CEO, and now as a member, I am excited for ASID’s next chapter of continued success.”
Wheeler’s leadership and ASID accomplishments will be recognized at GATHER: The National Conference by ASID, held in Miami from Sept. 21-24, 2022.