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The President's Message The Threat of Interior Design Licensing to us All magine this, new state laws getting this is not simply "pay a fee and get a enacted that would prevent foodser- license." The first-time passage rate of vice dealers from participating in any the qualifying exam is less than 40 perof the following activities: designing, cent. To make matters worse, this is a drawing,diagramming,consulting,study- two-day exam that can cost up to $5,000 ing, specifying, space planning, furnish- to take, not to mention the time put in ing, researching and analyzing any preparing for it. I don't know of too clients' requirements, including the many company owners with the time assessment of codes or almost any other readily available to take this on. FEDA has been a big type of activity other than supporter of Patti Morthe selling transaction of This is a fight that row, the president of nonstructural elements of we need to be a part Interior Design Protecfoodservice establishments. tion Consulting (IDPC), These are the types of activ- of. If we lose, and her efforts to fight ities that dealers would be dealers, reps, and this movement on banned from performing if manufacturers in our behalf of many industhe American Society of tries including ours. Interior Design (ASID) has industry will be its way. faced with decreased The IDPC monitors every state and, this I am not sure how much profitability as our year alone,has been tryyou know about this issue ing to knock down acts but the ASID has been cam- sales become more in 16 states. Patti has paigning in numerous states transactional and traveled to meet with to get laws on the books less value-added. and testify in front of that would limit the ability state officials and conof companies to do the work mentioned above without the gressmen and her diligence has led to assistance of a licensed interior design- the derailment of almost 150 bills since er. These laws would cut across a spec- 2006. So far this year, no new practice or trum of industries including ours—and title acts have been passed. When Patti it wouldn't just affect the dealer com- and the IDPC fight the battle, we have munity. If they pass in those states affect- been on the winning side. This is a fight that we need to be a ed, dealers, reps and manufacturers would be limited in regards to the engi- part of. If we lose, dealers, reps, and neering, specification, layout and design manufacturers in our industry will be work that all of us do. We, as dealers, faced with decreased profitability as our could not suggest furniture or tabletop sales become more transactional and items, do kitchen layouts, or even hand less value- added. Our industry would be out spec sheets without them being pre- drastically changed forever. My guess is approved by a licensed interior design- that the impact to end users would be increased total costs and decreased qualer. You may think that a simple answer ity and speed of service—due to the would be to have an interior designer on involvement of another party. No one continued on page 44 staff but the laws state that the work would need to be done by a licensed firm and if you want a licensed designer on staff, the person would have to be a principle in the company. By the way, I Brad Wasserstrom, President The Wasserstrom Co. BradW@wasserstrom.com 4 FEDA New s & View s

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