Article Number: 19056
IFDA's Educational Foundation Announces New Board
NEW BERN, N.C., Feb. 19, 2020 — New Bern, N.C. — The Educational Foundation of the International Furnishings and Design Association announces its 2020 Board of Trustees, selected to oversee and administer more than $25,000 in annual design-related scholarships and grants.

Gail Belz, FIFDA, Named IFDA-EF Chair for 2020
Gail has been in IFDA since the late 1980s’s and was on the Board within a few months. She started as VP Hospitality and through the years served on Membership, Events, Treasurer, President Elect and President.

“In 2008 I served as President Elect for the National Board then President for 2009, following Dave Gilbert. I’ve made many good friends in IFDA and felt it was fitting for me to attend all Board Meetings to support my Chapter and keep my social contacts through our events,” said Belz. “I’m happy to say that as acting President of IFDA Northern California Chapter, we felt it appropriate to donate the remains of our treasury to the Educational Foundation, as we closed our chapter last year. I’ve always been a believer in the Educational Foundation arm of IFDA, and am continuing to work for it as Board Chair for 2020.”

Karen Dzendolet of the New England Chapter Named Chair Elect
Karen believes in intuitive, client-focused design, collaborating with and valuing her clients' lifestyles and goals. After a career in corporate IT, managing products and projects for operating system software, Karen decided on a career change, and received her Master of Arts in Interior Design in 2006 from the New England School of Art and Design at Suffolk University in Boston. Karen started her firm KDZ Designs in 2009. She became an IFDA member with the New England Chapter in 2009. She served first on the New England Board starting in 2010, and was Chapter President from 2014 to 2016. For the past two years, Karen served as the Director of Scholarships and Grants on the IFDA EF board. She resides in Pelham, MA.

Joyce Poynton, FIFDA, of Carolinas Chapter Named Director of Scholarships & Grants
Joyce, a member of the Carolinas Chapter, is the new Director of Scholarships and Grants for the IFDA Educational Foundation. In the past, she served on the EF Board for three years, including the position of Chair. Joyce has been a member of the Carolinas Chapter IFDA for 26 years and has served in various board positions, including President. After completing her degree in Business Management, Joyce received her design training in residential interior design. She managed her design firm for 16 years before retiring in 2007. Although specializing in residential interior design, she also completed some historic restoration/reproduction work on Mordecai House, a Civil War plantation home in Raleigh, NC, as well as several commercial projects. Joyce and her husband live in Cary, NC and enjoy travel, especially river boat cruising.

Returning to the Foundation board in 2020 will be Merry Mabbett Dean, FIFDA, as Past Chair/Advisor; Sarah Fletcher as Director of Communications; Donna Ralston-Latham, FIFDA, as Director of Resources; Shirley Ebert as Financial Manager; Earline Feldman as Website Manager and Ida McCausland, IFDA President Chapter President.

IFDA Educational Foundation is a non-profit, tax exempt, 501©(3) organization. It’s nine scholarships support both full and part-time undergraduate and graduate students in the areas of interior, green/sustainable, product and textile design. In addition, 13 grants support professional development opportunities for IFDA members and other design industry professionals as well as needed resources for design schools. Visit and

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