Company Name: Willis
Your Name: Katy Rothert
Local Repâ€™s Position/Years?: Material Application Specialist / 4 years
IIDA member since: 2000
Based in Toronto and established in 1967, Willis is a North American distributor and curator of premium design materials such as CorianÂ® Design, LapitecÂ®, Arpa laminate and Fenix NTM, with which we offer solutions for both interior and exterior applications. We exist to assist the design community by offering relevant design material solutions and education to real-world design problems. 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:
What is your favorite IIDA event and why?:
My answer changes every time Iâ€™m asked this question, but without a doubt this yearâ€™s answer is the annual celebration.Â It was so wonderful to have an opportunity to celebrate in person with the entire design community. While the pandemic has kept us physically apart, in other ways it has brought us together and weâ€™re coming out the other side stronger than ever.Â It made this yearâ€™s celebration extra special.
What is your favorite product/service offered by your company and why?:
My current favorite product we offer is LapitecÂ® Sintered Stone.Â Sustainably made with 100% minerals and no binders or resins, it is not only color-thru, but the veining goes all the way through, as well.Â Highly scratch, UV, thermal shock, and impact resistant, it has a lot in common with natural stone but itâ€™s better â€“ it is non-porous so it never needs sealer and is considered antibacterial.
What aspect of your company are you most proud of and why?:Â
Our company culture is something that has always been important to me. Willis 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.Â The past 18 months have been challenging but knowing I have such a great company and a team that supports me has been invaluable.Â Iâ€™m also pretty proud of the fact that we became FSC Certified this past year!
What value do you see in being an IIDA Oregon Chapter Annual Sponsor?:
Having a platform to connect with people â€“ both designers and other reps is so important to the work that we all do.Â Those connections are priceless.
What impact do you see the IIDA Oregon Chapter having on the A&D community in Oregon?:
IIDA not only creates a platform for connecting with others, it offers education and support to long time members and allows new members to quickly integrate into the community.
What is your personal mantra?:Â
â€œAssume the bestâ€ â€“ whether that applies to a situation or to an individual.Â Life is easier when I assume that others have the best intentions or that a situation is going to work out.Â Sometimes Iâ€™m proved wrong â€“ but not nearly as often as Iâ€™m proved right.
What gets you excited about design?:Â
Good designâ€™s ability to change lives.Â Personal and public spaces have the ability to lift people, creating environments that allow one to focus, be creative, feel safe, or just relax.Â I am especially excited about the growing spotlight on diversity in design â€“ we have so much we can learn from each other.
On a typical Saturday where can we find you?:Â Â
Whether Iâ€™m pulling weeds, having a happy hour, or watching an outdoor movie with the neighbors, my garden is my go to weekend place to be.
What is an interesting Interesting fact about you?:Â Â
I worked my way thru college at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, transcribing undercover tapes. Itâ€™s not as exciting as it sounds!