Gary Wheeler, FASID, FIIDA, will retire as chief executive officer of the American Society of Interior Designers on Sept. 30.
Wheeler first joined ASID as a student at Louisiana Tech University and went on to be named an ASID Designer of Distinction and ultimately, Fellow, the ASID’s highest honor. He will remain an adviser to ASID through the year, and will assist with the transition to ASID’s incoming CEO, who will be announced soon, according to a news release.
A member of ASID for more than 30 years, Wheeler took on the role of ASID’s interim CEO in 2020 and was named CEO in 2021. During his tenure, he 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 Carolyn Ames Noble, ASID, WELL AP, WELL faculty, USGBC member, and chair of the ASID board. “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.”
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Wheeler brought together experts in the profession to form four core committees tasked to create resources to guide the profession: Impact (Return to Work); Adaptive Living; Diversity Equity and Inclusion; and Climate Health and Equity.
Wheeler also expanded the ASID research offerings with the release of in-depth industry reports including the 2022 Trends Outlook report; Resiliency Reports; ongoing Covid-19 Pulse Surveys, which track the impact of the pandemic and economic factors on the profession; Insights Briefs, and State of Interior Design Report. Wheeler’s focus on these reports demonstrated the society’s investment in evidence-based design and aided in helping professionals adjust to the changing industry landscape.
In Wheeler’s time as CEO, ASID led collaborative initiatives with local chapters and partner organizations to enact legislation in Illinois, North Carolina and Wisconsin, which expanded practice rights for interior designers in those states.
Wheeler also 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,” Wheeler said. “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 ASID’s national conference, Sept. 21-24 in Miami.