As an aspiring interior designer, University of Texas at San Antonio student Michelle Fuentes recently had a unique opportunity to see and hear about the latest design trends from the industry’s leading experts, thanks to a scholarship from Intertech Flooring.
The $10,000 Intertech Flooring Endowed Travel Scholarship in Interior Design annually funds a scholarship for an interior design student in UTSA’s College of Architecture, Construction & Planning to attend the prestigious NeoCon® World’s Trade Fair held each summer in Chicago. NeoCon is North America’s largest conference and exhibition for interior design and facilities management, drawing more than 50,000 registrants. This year’s event was June 15-17 at The Merchandise Mart in Chicago.
When established in 2002, the scholarship marked the first-ever UTSA College of Architecture scholarship offered specifically for interior design students. “We wanted to create a way for aspiring interior designers to gain a deeper understanding of the commercial sector of the design business,” said Intertech Flooring CEO Bill Imhoff. “As these students enter the interior design industry, their exposure to leading-edge commercial design trends will be a tremendous asset to their clients.”
At NeoCon, Fuentes toured new products from nearly 700 exhibitors; interacted with professional interior designers, architects and facility managers; and participated in two continuing education seminars typically offered to practicing interior design professionals only.
“I encountered many people from different design backgrounds that, throughout the conference, have given me a glimpse of the world outside of school,” she said, “My favorite experience was listening to real-life concerns that professionals were experiencing and their innovative solutions. Thank you to Intertech CEO Bill Imhoff and VP of San Antonio Operations Mark Jones for this unforgettable opportunity.”