Article Number: 22242
IFDA's Educational Foundation Announces New Board
NEW BERN, N.C., Jan. 22, 2021 — The Educational Foundation of the International Furnishings and Design Association announces its 2021 Board of Trustees, selected to oversee and administer more than $30,000 in annual design-related scholarships and grants.

Karen Dzendolet of the New England Chapter Named Chair IFDA-EF Chair for 2021
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, MA. She started her design business, KDZ Designs in 2009, in Western Massachusetts, focusing primarily on residential design consulting.

Karen has been a member of the IFDA New England chapter since 2009, serving as a board member, starting in 2010, and as IFDA NE Chapter President from 2014 through 2016. She joined the IFDA EF board in 2018, as Director of Scholarships and Grants through 2019, and became Vice-Chair in 2020. Karen is excited to be working with a great board in 2021!! She resides in Pelham, MA.

Gail Belz, FIFDA, Member of the Virtual Chapter, Named Past Chair/Advisor
Gail is a long-time IFDA member. She managed LENOIR ASSOCIATES in the San Francisco Furniture Mart as well as the San Francisco Design Center and has represented several manufacturers to the trade. She has served in many Northern California Chapter board positions – Hospitality, Special Events, Programs, Treasurer, Vice President and President. She was IFDA National President in 2009. Presently, Gail is a member of the Virtual Chapter. She resides in San Francisco.

Kathleen Penney of the Philadelphia Chapter Named Director of Resources
Kathleen Penney has been a member of IFDA for the past 20 years, joining as a student from Moore College of Art and Design. Kathleen completed her design education, and subsequently opened her business, Kathleen L. Penney Interiors, Inc. in 2000. She specializes in not only interior design/decorating work, but also in renovation project management. She has served on the Philadelphia Chapter Board for over 15 years in various roles, including President for a two-year term. Kathleen was the first President in Philadelphia to implement the "Take A Seat Charity Auction", and then served on the committee for the following two auction events. Kathleen has also served on the National Board of Directors for a one-year term, working on Marketing initiatives. She resides in West Chester, PA.

Joyce Poynton, FIFDA, of the Carolinas Chapter Continues as Director of Scholarships & Grants
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.

Sarah Fletcher of the New York Chapter Continues as Director of Communications
A longtime IFDA NY Chapter member and member of the IFDA NY Chapter Board, Sarah is principal in Sarah P. Fletcher Communications. She specializes in the consumer products and design industry with expertise in the non-profit sector as well. She resides in New York City.

Also returning to the Foundation board in 2021 will be Shirley Ebert as Financial Manager; Earline Feldman as Website Manager and Ida McCausland, IFDA International 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 follow us on and

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