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USGBC Members Learn, Network & do Business at METROCON17 Expo & Conference

Wednesday, September 06, 2017 8:00 AM | Deleted user

USGBC Members Learn, Network & do Business at METROCON17 Expo & Conference
by Laura McDonald Stewart

On August 10th & 11th, Dallas Market Hall buzzed with interior designers, architects, specifiers, facility managers, real estate professionals, design students and other essential industry members catering to the built environment when it hosted METROCON17 Expo & Conference.

The event, which is the largest not-for-profit, self-produced, volunteer-driven, design specification-focused regional expo and conference in the USA, attracted individuals from 35 states besides Texas, as well as four Canadian provinces.

This year marks the event’s 15th anniversary, which the Committee of 22 dedicated volunteers celebrated, along with two other milestones:

  • For the first time, five associations joined forces to plan a more expansive event for their members and beyond. The USGBC Texas Chapter was proud to join (in alphabetical order) the ASID Texas Chapter, the ASID Texas Gulf Coast Chapter, the CSI Dallas Chapter, and the NEWH Dallas Chapter to execute this career- and business-building event.
  • Companies secured 53 event sponsorships, more than any other year in the event’s history.
The METROCON17 Trade Show Floor

METROCON Highlighted the Need for Industry Collaboration

With the five partnering associations working together to create such a valuable opportunity for the region, METROCON is symbolic of what is happening with the industry in terms of the increasing need for multi-disciplinary collaboration within the built environment.

To emphasize this growing trend, METROCON brought in five distinguished national leaders of the participating organizations for a topical discussion. ASID CEO Randy Fiser led the innovative CEU Panel Discussion “Raising the Industry Profile: A Conversation with Leaders,” which included the following:

  • Rhiannon Jacobsen (Washington, DC): Vice President of Strategic Relationships – USGBC
  • Charrisse Johnston, ASID, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP BD+C (Los Angeles, CA): Principal – Steinberg Architects | National Chair of ASID (American Society of Interior Designers)
  • Dennis Hall, FAIA, FCSI (Charlotte, NC): CEO – HALL a/e/c PA | Past President of CSI (Construction Specifications Institute)
  • Trisha Poole (Winter Park, FL): President – Design Poole, Inc. | President of NEWH, Inc. (The Hospitality Industry Network)

The panelists discussed how the increasing levels of project complexity and expanding technological tools, as well as concerns of sustainability, resiliency, and wellness, are all driving our industry towards deeper cooperation within all market sectors.

CEU panel discussion “Raising the Industry Profile”: (l to r) Rhiannon Jacobsen, Trisha Poole, Dennis Hall, Charrisse Johnston, Randy Fiser

The Conference Featured Top-Tier Programming

Headlining as this year’s Keynote Speakers were Sandy Chilewich and Joe Sultan, partners in life, work, and innovation, and the dynamic duo behind the global company Chilewich | Sultan LLC based in New York City. For the first time ever, Sandy and Joe took the stage together to share the ups and downs of building and maintaining a successful manufacturing business, as well as the real challenges of working with one’s spouse. Their candid comments were refreshing, inspiring, and extremely entertaining.


Keynote Speakers Sandy Chilewich & Joe Sultan

USGBC Texas put together the well-received CE course “From Pitch to Payoff,” which profiled projects from multiple industry segments, all of which were LEED certified and/or had significant sustainable features. Moderated by USGBC Texas Executive Director Jonathan Kraatz, the session featured the following distinguished panelists:

  • Charlene Heydinger – President of Texas PACE Authority
  • Brent Jackson – Founder & President of Oaxaca Interests, LLC
  • Kirk Johnson, AIA, LEED Fellow – Senior Association with Corgan


CEU panel discussion “From Pitch to Payoff”: (l to r) Brent Jackson, Kirk Johnson, Charlene Heydinger, Jonathan Kraatz

Three diverse Seminars informed audiences of sales and facility professionals, manufacturer and dealer representatives, students, and practitioners:

  • “Introduction to The WELL Building Standard”: Corgan’s Caroline Compton, WELL AP, RID, explained how this performance-based rating system marries best practices in design and construction with positive behavioral aspects that have been proven to increase productivity, health, employee satisfaction, and employee retention.
  • “Design Dish”: Five restaurant designers – William Baker w/ Jones Baker, Miguel Vincens & John Paul Valverde w/ Coeval Studio, and Royce Ring & Alex Urrunaga w/ planBgroup – discussed how they are maximizing the consumer appeal, operational efficiency and success of F&B concepts. They shared upcoming design previews, as well as their viewpoints on the new regional restaurant trends and why some concepts do not have the longevity to stick around.
  • “How to Navigate the FF&E Process – Conceptual Design to Installation, the Players and their Roles”: This panel discussion featured a senior interior designer (Kenda Draper, ASID, RID, LEED AP ID+C w/ SmithGroupJJR), a designer with a university (Stephanie Andrus w/ Texas Women’s University), a dealer project manager (Lynn Meeker w/ Wilson Office Interiors), and a furniture representative (Sonya Odell, FASID, RID w/ The Ginger Grant Group), who collectively explained how to get the best project from the initial design concepts to the final move-in.

METROCON17 also featured 45 CE courses over two days covering a wide array of topics applicable to various design practice areas. All CE courses were cumulatively reviewed and approved by IDCEC, 21 were AIA-approved, 17 GBCI-approved, 14 EDAC-approved, and 41 hours had HSW content to meet TBAE CE requirements for Registered Interior Designers & Registered Architects in Texas.

Attendees Benefited from a Diverse Trade Show

Manufacturers, fabricators and service providers catering to the education, healthcare, hospitality, institutional, multifamily, residential, retail, and workplace design sectors filled 36,000+ SF of exhibit space, showing and/or sponsoring under 277 names, 90+ of which were not on last year’s list.

Types of products and services exhibited, which can be continued to be referenced on our Interactive Floorplan, ranged from coatings, ceilings, decking, plaster, wallcovering, doors and windows to carpet, resilient flooring, tile, natural and engineered stone, fabric, furniture, wood flooring, window treatments, and solar control solutions, as well as art, lighting, signage, acoustical solutions, systems integration, metal fabrication, electrical controls, and consulting engineering solutions.

We enthusiastically thank Landmark Sponsor STAPLES Business Advantage, Media Sponsor Modern Luxury Interiors Texas, and the 51 other METROCON17 Sponsors for their incredible support.

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2017 Pegasus Exhibitor Awards!


ENSO Fabrication, Winners of both the “Best of the Best” and the “Allstar” Pegasus Awards for Exhibitors

Many thanks to USGBC Member Mary Dickinson, Assoc. AIA, RID, LEED AP BD+C, for devoting several hours during the show to be the USGBC representative on the Pegasus Exhibitor Awards judging team, and kudos to the many chapter volunteers who manned the USGBC Texas Mobile Experience Center, which was a big hit on the trade show floor.

Cheers to the following 2017 Booth Bingo Winners, each of whom received a $100 American Express Gift Card in the mail after the show:

  • Pat Brewer of Houston
  • Jamie Martin of Dallas

It Took a Village to Make METROCON17 Happen

As the Show Manager, I cannot thank the 2017 Committee enough for their time, effort and dedication to make this labor of love so successful for the entire region. USGBC Texas contributed two outstanding committee representatives, as well as two additional leaders who worked hard throughout the planning year:

  • Susan Flanagan, LEED AP ID+C – 2017 Asst. Program Coordinator
  • Jonathan Kraatz – USGBC Texas Executive Director
  • Tricia Loe, LEED AP BD+C, LEED AP ID+C, WELL AP – 2017 Asst. CE Coordinator
  • Stacia Pease, LEED AP – USGBC Texas North TX Regional Chair

Please join me in also expressing gratitude to the 20 additional Committee members who worked throughout the last year to plan and promote this landmark collaborative event (listed in alphabetical order by last name):

  • Nick Cimms, PMP – Program Coordinator
  • Melinda Crouch, ASID IP Representative – Volunteer Coordinator
  • Lisa DiOnne, Associate IIDA, LEED AP ID+C – Site & Logistics Chair
  • Kenda Draper, ASID, RID, LEED AP ID+C – Co-Chair Elect
  • John DuBard, IIDA, CHID, LEED AP – Presiding Chair
  • Stacy Elliston, IIDA, LEED AP, RID – Asst. Ambassador Liaison
  • Courtney Engberg-Hulse, ASID IP Representative – Asst. Site & Logistics Chair
  • Dianne Etheredge, ASID, RID – Asst. Sponsor Liaison
  • Theresa Harrison, ASID IP Representative – Asst. Volunteer Coordinator
  • Allen Hart, ASID, RID – Past Presiding Chair
  • Isin King, Allied ASID – Asst. Exhibitor Liaison
  • Annette Mallard, ASID, RID – Co-Chair
  • Bruce McClure, RA – Asst. Program Coordinator
  • Dennis McNabb, FASID – Asst. Ambassador Liaison
  • Jose Montoya, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M – Ambassador Liaison
  • Rachel Polk, CSI – Asst. CE Coordinator
  • Brenda Reber, Industry IIDA – CE Coordinator
  • Rosemarie René, ASID, RID – Sponsor Liaison
  • Dana Smith, Affiliate IIDA – Exhibitor Liaison
  • Sharon Staley, FASID, RID – Asst. Sponsor Liaison

The Committee and I also want to express our heartfelt gratitude to the many volunteers who donated their time on-site during the show to assemble attendee tote bags and speaker gift bags, guide attendees, introduce speakers, and monitor CE courses. This event could absolutely not happen without you!

METROCON17 Benefits Our Industry

We were thrilled to present the METROCON17 Keynote Award honoring Keynote Speakers Sandy Chilewich and Joe Sultan of Chilewich | Sultan LLC. On their behalf, Metrocon, Inc. has donated $1,000 to the Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC), whose mission is the advancement of interior design education, scholarship, and service. IDEC President-Elect Hepi Wachter, ASID, CAPS, LEED AP, and IDEC Southwest Regional Chair Kristi Gaines, PhD, IIDA, Allied ASID, gladly accepted on IDEC’s behalf.

Additionally, any income from this year’s event will go to the Committee members’ respective built environment organizations to fund valuable programming and scholarships or to those organizations’ respective foundations and designated charities.

DO NOT MISS METROCON18!

Put it on your calendar now: METROCON18 Expo & Conference will take place back in Dallas on August 9 & 10, 2018. Visit metrocon.info to find links to view photos from this year’s show and to sign up to receive notifications to stay informed about attending and/or presenting, sponsoring, and exhibiting at next year’s show. See you there!


USGBC Texas Chapter is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 1909 Woodall Rodgers Freeway, Suite 100, Dallas, TX 75201

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