Annual Sponsor Spotlight: Willis

Company Name: Willis
Name: Katy Rothert
Local Rep’s Position/Years: Willis Commercial Architectural Rep for 2 years. Industry representative for 19 years.
IIDA member since: 2000

Based in Toronto and established in 1967, Willis is a North American distributor of world class building materials such as Corian® Design, Arpa laminate and Fenix NTM/NTA.  We are focused on meeting the needs of today’s evolving market with superior customer service, innovative sales and marketing, distribution, sourcing and manufacturing.  We cover Western Washington and Oregon, Alaska, California, Hawaii, and all of Canada.  Willis is committed to providing materials that support your creative vision in an innovative and responsible manner.  Check out Willis and our partners at:,  @willis_distribution,  @coriandesign,  @fenixforinteriors


What is your favorite IIDA event and why?: 2 years ago I would have said the Design Excellence Awards – I love the opportunity to hear about the thought process behind the design and to celebrate with the community, but now I have to say the Next breakfast speaker series is my favorite.  I always come away inspired and challenged to see my world a little differently.

What is your favorite product/service offered by your company and why?: While all of our products offer great material solutions, my current favorite is Fenix® which employs nanotechnology for an ultra-matte surface with heightened durability.  Their new Alloy line offers a brushed metal that does not fingerprint!

What aspect of your company are you most proud of and why?: In a word – Culture.  Known as the Willis Way, it embraces progressive values that count both personally and professionally – that we work as a team where individuality and diversity are valued, and that commitment to family and community service is a given.

What value do you see in being an IIDA Oregon Chapter Annual Sponsor?: The opportunity to connect with so many people in our industry is really important to me – designers and other product reps alike.  There is always something new to learn!

What impact do you see the IIDA Oregon Chapter having on the A&D community in Oregon?: What IIDA Oregon does for the newest generation of designers is so great – throughout the years I’ve noticed a trend that the incoming graduates who involve themselves in IIDA end up being the ones who connect the quickest with the community and grow the fastest in their careers. That community support system is huge!

What gets you excited about design?: More and more I am fascinated about the science behind good design and how it affects our physical and mental well-being, whether we are aware of it or not.  It’s what makes good design universal.  Now that I think about it, the IIDA Design Manifesto pretty much sums it up!

On a typical Saturday where can we find you?: In my garden!  It’s an ongoing labor of love, sweat, and dirty fingernails.  It’s also the location of one of the best happy hours around!