Member Spotlight: Chris O'Toole
Chris O’Toole is an Interior Designer/ Space Planner at Kerr Office Group. He has been in the industry for 2 years and graduated from Sullivan. Getting laid-off from his first job helped him really look at what he wanted to do the industry and which direction he should take. He loves every opportunity he gets to work on a project and to advocate for design, by show people that design is more that selecting paint and throw pillow. He stays motivated by the people he meets along the way. Even if he could go back and changes things he wouldn’t, he says:
“I believe everything happens for a reason and we must have faith that our creator know what he is doing.”
He wants to make a difference in someone’s life whether that is through design or other.
If Chris won the lottery he would donate part of it to St. Jude’s, give some to people he knows that could use it. He would put some back for the future, possibly to decorate his future family home in costal and modern farm house designs, which are his favorite styles, but he would continue working because he likes to be around people, he doesn’t believe in not working because you have the money not to, and work helps to build relationships. For now he balances taking care of his 87 year old grandmother and design by keeping in mind that family always comes first, he also keeps a detailed calendar.
The theme songs that would best represents Chris’ life and career is a tie between Full House and 7 Heaven, which is fitting because if he wrote an autobiography he would title it Beyond Blessed. Chris is always up for a good adventure and would love to travel to Italy to see his friend who is from there.
When asked who would be on his fantasy guest list for a dinner party he had quite the extensive list: his great grandparents, and Mom Bills (his great-great grandmother). He would also have Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Bush 41, President Trump and First Lady, Candace Cameron Bure, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Tim Tebow, Tom Brady, Walt Disney, Chris Mack, Sean Hannity, Steve Jobs.
To Chris IIDA means family, the members that are part of IIDA understand what we do and how important our role plays in the workforce. It means a community where we can turn off the politics in the world and enjoy or time with those we meet along the way. IIDA is a way to build on your success in design, a way to grow. Chris would offer this advice to young designers just entering the industry:
“I always say to any one this quote ‘What you are, is God's Gift to you. What you make of yourself is your gift to God.’ You shouldn't change for anyone and not even this industry. Be yourself and have fun in life. Always remember to network and attend IIDA events because you could meet lifelong friends or even meet your next employer.”