Board of Directors

Ruth Lynford, Founder of NY11+

Ruth Lynford, FASID, IIDA, N.Y.S. Certified, Assoc. AIA, graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from Washington University in 1946, and currently serves on their National Advisory Council. In 1984, she founded Interior Designers for Legislation in New York (IDLNY), an organization that in 1990 created the 33rd profession of Interior Design in New York State. Ruth was inducted into the Interior Design Hall of Fame in 1990, and received the Leadership Award of Excellence from IIDA NY in 2003.


Scott Cook

Scott Cook is the current U.S. based Sales Manager for Lapicida, a British stone company with a showroom in NYC’s DDB Annex. Previously, he held leadership positions within the NYC design industry at Bisazza, Kohler Interiors, and Waterworks.

An advocate for the interior design profession, Scott has served as ASID Membership Director for the NY Metro Chapter, IDLNY Co-Chair for the Events Committee, and IFDA NY Industry partner. He earned a BA in International Studies with Magna Cum Laude honors from American University, which included a 14 week semester in Rome studying Art and Architecture. Scott is also a Professional Member of the AIA NY Chapter, a member of the Municipal Art Society Urbanist Leadership Council, and serves as a docent for NYC architecture boat cruises and walking tours.


John Czarnecki

John Czarnecki, Assoc. AIA, Hon. IIDA, has been the editor in chief of Contract magazine since May 2011. John has a background in publishing, architecture and design. He received his Master of Architecture and Master of Urban Planning degrees, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies, from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He was previously a senior acquisitions editor of architecture and design books for the publisher John Wiley & Sons, and associate editor at Architectural Record.


Ellen Fisher

Ellen Fisher is a New York State Certified Interior Designer, and professional member of ASID, IIDA, and the Interior Design Educators Council, and is a member of the board of trustees of the IDEC Foundation, IDLNY, and of NY11+. She earned a BA in Philosophy and Women’s Studies from Ithaca College, an MA from Teachers College Columbia University, an AAS in Interior Design from FIT, and an MS and PhD in architectural studies from the University of Missouri. A lifelong New Yorker and longtime design educator, Ellen currently serves as VP for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College at the New York School of Interior Design. She also worked as a designer for architectural firms Nobutaka Ashihara Associates and Fox & Fowle, and was for many years the principal in her own interior design firm.


Susan A Forbes

Susan Forbes, CID is a New York State Certified Interior Designer, a Partner of Forbes-Ergas Design Associates, Inc. and has been an Interior Design Educator at the Fashion Institute of Technology/SUNY since 1990. She earned a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Certificate of Graduation w/Honors from Parsons School of Design. Professional Organizations include ASID, IDEC, DLF, IALD, and she is an emeritus member of the Decorators Club.


Elizabeth Foster

Elizabeth Foster is the Founder and CEO of Connect 2 Coach, a company which brings about enhanced learning and professional development of individuals, businesses and organizations through connecting them with her team of highly trained, expert coaches. Before coming to the U.S., Elizabeth was living in Bath, UK and served on the committee of BBWA (Bath Business Women’s Association) organizing workshops and leading trainings for the members. Elizabeth is a life-long entrepreneur and trained as a coach at John F. Kennedy University.


Hans Galutera

Hans Galutera is Founder and CEO of HG DesignWorks LLC. He is co-founder Emeritus of New York-based BG Studio International, Inc. and is the past president of the Board of Directors for IIDA New York Chapter and an Honorary Member of the Society of British Interior Designers (Hon.SBID). He is also an Advisory Board Member for the International Council for Caring Communities (ICCC-UN Habitat), his Alma Mater FIT NYC and a professional member of the Design Institute of Australia (MDIA).


George Hajjar

George Hajjar, Assoc. AIA, Ind. IIDA, D.E.S.A has a Master’s Degree in Architecture from L'ecole Speciale D’Architecture in Paris, France. He moved to the U.S. and joined AIA as an Associate and Volunteer for over 15 years at the AIA Interiors Committee. George started a new venture in the textile business over 20 years ago and is now working with Milliken & Company as Sr. Account Executive in NYC. He has been the Chair of the Fundraising and Events Committee for IDLNY for more than 4 years.


Cassandra Ramirez

Cassandra Ramirez, Assoc. IIDA earned a BFA in Interior Design and a Master of Professional Studies in Healthcare Interior Design, both from the New York School of Interior Design. She is an active member of IIDA and has worked as the Coordinator for NY11+ since 2006. Cassandra recently relocated to her hometown of Houston, TX to join Gensler’s Health & Wellness practice, and continues to serve on the board from Texas.


Sandra Reicis

Sandra Reicis is an Associate Professor of Interior Design at Villa Maria College and currently serves as the Art Department Chairperson. She has served as the IDEC East Region Chairperson since the Spring of 2012 and prior to that was the Regional Abstract Coordinator and co-chair of the Program Coordinator/Chairperson Network.

In 2014 she co-chaired the IDEC Student Competition. Sandra is an Advisory Council member of the Architectural Technology Program at Erie Community College and the Interior Design Program at Alfred State College. She earned a Masters of Architecture Degree from the University at Buffalo. Sandra is a member of IDEC, IIDA and NKBA as well as the Interior Design Association of Western New York. In 2014 she was named IDEC Educator of the Year and in spring 2014 she graduated from the Academic Leadership Institute which is led by the Western New York Higher Education Consortium.


Andrew Seifer

Andrew Seifer has over 40 years of experience working in the architectural interior design profession and in education. In addition to completing design projects totaling millions of square feet for major financial institutions, he is an Associate Professor and previous Chair at the Fashion Institute of Technology in the Interior Design Department. His experiences in the design profession and in education have allowed him to develop a strong comprehension for recognizing talent and methods to motivate and inspire design professionals and students.


William Spink

William Spink has been a practitioner in the field of interior design for over 40 years. He is an active supporter of those engaged in the study of interior design, as they are the future of the profession, and is a believer that design has and still can change the world. William is a Trustee for the ASID Foundation, serves on the Board of Directors and is a Past-President of the Education Legacy Fund, is twice Past-President and past-member of the Board of Directors for IDLNY and has served on the Board of Directors for ASID New York Metro Chapter.


David Sprouls

David Sprouls is President of the New York School of Design. He served as vice president of enrollment management and director of admissions at NYSID before being appointed president in 2012. Before his tenure at NYSID, David worked in admissions at Albright College and Fashion Institute of Technology. He received a BA in Art History and American Studies from Rutgers College and a BFA in Restoration from the Fashion Institute of Technology.