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D7 Summit Panel Discussion

A historic gathering in Kansas City

Encouraging unity among these organizations and their members, this panel discussion of the national leaders of AIA, AIGA, APA, ASLA, IIDA, IDSA, and SEGD will be a dialogue aimed at building relationships and galvanizing collective action. 

Center for Architecture & Design is bringing these seven leaders together for the very first time, here in Kansas City! All seven of these national design professional organizations have local/regional chapters here in Kansas City. Event attendees will have a rare opportunity to glean insights directly from these influential figures. 

Journalist, design critic, and educator Anne Quito will moderate this discussion that promises to be a dynamic exchange, touching on topics such as climate action, equity in the design industry, global opportunities, the value of designers, and the inherent humanity of design. 

Attendees will leave with optimism for a future where the design community speaks with one resounding voice. 


This event is being held in conjuction with the D7 National Design CEO Retreat. This first-of-its-kind summit, hosted by the Center for Architecture & Design and KC Global Design, is bringing together the CEOs of the top 7 design organizations to focus on collaborative solutions to design industry challenges. This two-day retreat will fuel these conversations and encourage these organizations to unite with one voice to address these issues. Learn more at

04.25.24 | 5:30-7:00pm
  • 5:30pm | Registration
  • 6:00pm | Panel Discussion
  • Light Snacks & Beverages Provided
$22 + fees in advance | $30 at door
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Joel Albizo, FASAE, CAE

Chief Executive Officer of the American Planning Association (APA)

Joel is chief staff executive of the 40,000-member American Planning Association, which focuses on creating healthy, prosperous communities for everyone, focusing on helping them prepare for and navigate an uncertain and changing future.

Joel previously served as CEO of the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards, leading innovations in professional testing, regulatory advocacy, and association governance. He also served as deputy executive director for the Society of Actuaries, leading significant organizational change initiatives and an award-wining branding program for the profession.

As a volunteer leader, Joel served as president of the Federation of Associations of Regulatory Boards, whose members serve over 500 boards that regulate some five million professional licensees. He was also a board member and treasurer of the American Society of Association Executives and was named a Fellow in 2009.

At the local level, Joel served as president of the National Capital Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, where he led its first strategic planning process and helped the team earn national awards for chapter leadership and excellence in professional development programming.

Torey Carter-Conneen

Chief Executive Officer of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)

Since 2020, Torey Carter-Conneen has served as the CEO of ASLA, the 16,000-member professional association that represents landscape architects in the U.S. His primary objective and vision since joining is to elevate the profession of landscape architecture in all communities. Committed to advancing the organization to reach its full potential, he led the development of ASLA’s “2030 Vision,” which affirms the association’s focus on raising awareness of the interaction of people and the environment, thereby better positioning ASLA to take on such challenges as climate change and social equity. Torey feels passionate about amplifying the story of landscape architecture because of its benefits to people, communities, and the environment. He advocates for the profession through strategic coalition partners, large media platforms, and discussing key issues on domestic and international panels. In the short time since he started, the Library of Congress now archives all ASLA Professional Award winners. Torey enjoys collaborating with ASLA members and helping them promote the work they do.

Prior to joining ASLA, Torey served as Chief Operating Officer of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). He also previously served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Center for American Progress (CAP) and as COO and later Acting President and CEO at the LGBTQ Victory Fund and Institute. Torey received degrees in economics and accounting from George Mason University, and an MBA from the University of Maryland Global Campus.

Torey and his husband Mike are fathers to two amazing children, Drew and Aiden.

Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA

Executive Vice President and CEO of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA)

An exceptional communicator, innovator, and visionary leader, Cheryl S. Durst has spurred progress, driven change, and encouraged the expansion of the interior design industry. As the EVP and CEO of IIDA, Cheryl is committed to achieving broad recognition for the value of design and its significant role in society through the power of the built environment to shape and enhance daily life. Demonstrated by her active involvement in connecting industry professionals, including designers, manufacturers, end users, and employers, she has worked to promote an understanding of how design impacts human behavior and affects all aspects of shared spaces.

Cheryl’s ability to engage audiences with insight, humor, and authenticity has positioned her as a sought-after keynote speaker, guest lecturer, panelist, and moderator at domestic and global conferences and seminars. With topics ranging from “The Future of Design” to “The Impact of Culture, Brand, and Place,” her presentations explore the value of design as a social, cultural, and economic force. She is also an experienced facilitator and moderator in discussions around equity, diversity, inclusion, and social justice and holds a certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University.

With 15,000 members across 58 countries, Cheryl oversees the strategic direction of IIDA, curates and capably leads the 10-member International Board of Directors, and directs all outreach and programmatic efforts, including more than a dozen global design competitions that recognize worldwide excellence in interior design.

In recognition of her contributions to IIDA and the design profession, Cheryl was awarded an Honorary IIDA Fellowship by the International Board of Directors in 2009. She has repeatedly been named one of Newcity’s “Design 50,” an annual list of influencers who promote and represent design in Chicago. Cheryl also holds honorary doctorates from the New York School of Interior Design, the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, and the Fay Jones School of Architecture at the University of Arkansas in recognition of her impact on the industry. Cheryl extends her support of design, arts, and culture through volunteerism. She is a member of the International WELL Building Institute Governance Council, a Trustee for Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), the New York School of Interior Design (NYSID), and Marwen, a visual arts education organization. She has been referred to by Interior Design magazine as “an ambassador for innovation and expansion and a visionary strategist.” Citing her leadership in the industry, Cheryl was inducted into the prestigious Interior Design Hall of Fame in 2016 as the recipient of its first-ever Leadership Award. She is the first African American woman inducted into the industry’s Hall of Fame.

A lifelong knowledge enthusiast and voracious reader who has considered librarian, astronaut, and journalist as potential careers, Cheryl never walks away from meeting someone without gleaning a bit of their story — a talent she currently employs on her monthly podcast, The Skill Set, which focuses on the intangible skills that make us good at what we do.

Cybelle Jones

CEO of the Society for Experiential Graphic Design (SEGD)

With over 30 years of visionary leadership in the field of experience design, Cybelle Jones currently serves as the CEO of SEGD, a non-profit member organization uniting designers of experiences with a shared vision of connecting people to place. Under her leadership, SEGD has prioritized education, innovation, and design excellence, achieving remarkable success during her short tenure.

After joining in 2020, Cybelle established the SEGD Racial Justice Commission and led a 24-month DEAI training initiative, significantly increasing BIPOC representation in all programming to 34%. She also spearheaded a 5-year strategic plan and oversaw the launch of a refreshed brand, a new intuitive website, and a digital membership platform to enhance the understanding and visibility of experience design as a profession as SEGD celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2023.

Before her role at SEGD, Cybelle served as Principal at G&A, a global leader of museum and digital design for over 25 years. Her contributions included creative direction of iconic projects such as the International Spy Museum, the National WWII Museum, The US Olympic and Paralympic Museum, The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, and visitor centers for Google, COX, and Johnson & Johnson.

Cybelle has shared her expertise as a guest speaker for institutions like the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), AIGA, The V&A, Museum Next, Building Museums Symposium, Fashion Institute of Technology, Savannah College of Art and Design, UC DAAP and the International Sign Association (ISA). She has also served as an adjunct professor at George Washington University and critique for the Masters of Exhibition Design at FIT. Cybelle is on the Board of the National Cold War Center, The National Alzheimer’s Association DC Walk, and is an inaugural member of Chief. 

Most recently Ms. Jones has been featured in Making the MuseumMatters of Experience and Branders Magazine podcasts.

Cesar Rivera

Incoming National Board President/Chair, American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA)

A San Antonio native, Cesar Rivera developed a passion for design at an early age, excelling at communication design by earning his first competitive awards while in high school. Following his service in the United States Army (HOOAH!), he continued to garner design awards as he earned his associate’s degrees in art and design from San Antonio College in 2005, then his bachelor’s degree in Communication Design in 2007 and his master’s degree in 2015 both from Texas State University. Cesar’s work has been recognized with more than 50 awards from top organizations such as Graphis, AIGA, and AdFed.

Cesar joined the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in July 2020 to lead the Visual Design Branch as Chief Design Officer. The branch provides expertise in visual communication design, data visualization, campaign management, medical and digital illustration, and publications and presentation design. Cesar also currently serves on the AIGA National Board of Directors.

Prior to joining CDC, Cesar worked at a few design companies in San Antonio on projects for Miller Lite, Splenda, Coca-Cola, and WellMed Medical, then he ran his own small design studio for over 7 years. During his career, Cesar has co-founded the AIGA San Antonio chapter, served on the professional advisory committee for San Antonio College, and has more than 5 years’ experience teaching in higher education.

Donté P. Shannon, FASAE, CAE

Executive Director of the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA).

Donté Shannon is an experienced association executive and board strategy advisor with 18 years’ experience in association management, 7 of those years include experience as a 3-time CEO. Donté has worked with professional and trade associations, across many different industries, ranging from state associations to national associations with global impact. 

Donté is a highly recognized influencer in the association community, having led over 20 association management presentations, ranging in topics from strategic planning and business operations design, to executive leadership. Additionally, he has been featured in, and co-authored, numerous articles related to association management. A devoted professional, Donté has served as Chair of the CAE Commission, the governing body of the Certified Association Executive credential. He also contributes his industry expertise as a member of for-profit and nonprofit Boards and Councils. His career highlights include being selected as a 2020 digitalNow Leader of Distinction, a 2020 ASAE Fellow, and a 2011-2013 Diversity Education Leadership Program (DELP) Scholar.

Donté is a strong advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion, serving as a founder and co-host of the popular webcast, Texts to Table. Donté earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Education from the College of Charleston in 2003 and received the Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential in 2015.

Lakisha Woods, CAE

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) EVP and CEO

Lakisha Woods leads The American Institute of Architects (AIA), a dynamic global network of more than 98,000 architects and design professionals throughout 200 chapters, committed to enhancing the built environment.

Woods previously served as President & CEO of the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) where she led efforts to expand the organization’s programs and markets while growing and strengthening its membership base.

Prior to joining NIBS, she was the Sr. VP & Chief Marketing Officer at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), where her team was responsible for all marketing and revenue-generating programs – including marketing the International Builders Show, sponsorship sales, and partnerships with major national companies. Woods is the author of the book Never Get Their Coffee: Empowering Fearless Leadership and currently serves as Immediate Past Chair of the Board for the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). 

She also currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the National Building Museum, and the Board of Visitors for the University of Maryland School of Architecture, previously served as Vice Chair of the U.S. Green Building Council Board of Directors and is a global speaker. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland in College Park and lives with her husband and daughter in Howard County, Maryland.

Panel Moderator:  Anne Quito

Anne Quito is a journalist and design critic based in New York City and Barcelona. She is the first recipient of the Steven Heller Prize for Cultural Commentary. 

A former staff reporter at Quartz, her writing also appears in The AtlanticCNN, Architectural DigestTown and CountryMetropolisDesign ObserverWorks That WorkA24Eye on Design, and other publications. Anne’s thesis about the nation branding of South Sudan, the world's newest country, was featured on NPR. 

She wrote and edited Mag Men: Fifty Years of Making Magazines (Columbia University Press, 2019), a book about the glory days of magazine design as told by Milton Glaser and Walter Bernard. 

In 2022, her investigation into the growing monopoly within the font industry garnered a first prize award from SABEW, The Association for Business Journalists and she garnered a Malofiej26 medal for her analysis of Emmanuel Macron’s symbolic presidential portrait in 2018.

An experienced speaker and lecturer, Anne gave the commencement address at the Parsons School of Design, School of Art, Media, and Technology in 2022. She has presented at the Harvard School of Design, AIGA, the Type Directors Club, Adobe, the World Health Organization/PAHO, the CDC and TED Global and has been a guest commentator on the BBC, CBC Radio, and Monocle. She is a hosts of a podcast devoted to the legends of magazine publishing, Print is Dead. Long Live Print!

Anne has been a moderator at several conferences including SxSW, TEDx, Amazon’s Conflux, Collision, Pictoplasma, Copenhagen’s TechBBQ, IAM Weekend in Barcelona, the Van Alen Institute, the AIA New York-Center for Architecture, and Turncoats, a debate series about architecture that began in London. 

She graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in Visual Culture in 2009 and is an alumna of the School of Visual Arts Design Criticism MFA program. Anne is a member of the International Association of Art Critics (Association Internationale des Critiques d’Art, AICA) and the North American Vexillological Association.

Anne currently teaches at the School of Visual Arts MFA in Products of Design program and the ELISAVA Master in Design for Responsible AI program. 

She is currently working on Milton Glaser’s biography.