2019 SEGD Chapter Chair Award: Cynthia Damar-Scnobb, Partner, Entro
The SEGD Chapter Chair Award recognizes outstanding volunteer efforts while significantly contributing to the direction, growth, strength and excellence of SEGD Chapters both locally and throughout the organization.
Former SEGD Toronto Chapter Chair Cynthia Damar-Schnobb is a Partner at Entro, where she has spent over 17 years as a valuable contributor and team lead for the development of a number of local and international projects. Damar-Schnobb has played a significant role in establishing the firm’s practice, leading major EGD projects from health care, transit, airports, civic, mixed-use, cultural and educational facilities.
She served as a Chapter Chair for the Toronto Chapter from 2013 until recently, and currently serving as Vice President of the Association of Chartered Industrial Designers of Ontario (ACIDO). Cynthia is also on the Program Advisory Committee for one of the leading design schools in Canada, participating in the review and endorsement of a yet-to-be-announced undergraduate professional design degree program.
We caught up with Damar-Schnobb to talk about what makes a successful chapter and why she got involved.
What led you to a career in design and why EGD?
I’ve always loved tinkering with stuff, and was privileged as a teen to be able to watch firsthand how things are made by visiting my Dad’s manufacturing facility often. This led me to study industrial design at school, where I also fell in love with user interface and graphic design. To me, EGD is simply the combination of all of the above and I am lucky to have stumbled upon the profession.
How did your relationship with SEGD begin?
In 2008, Entro sent me to the SEGD conference in Austin, Texas—each year, Entro sends a group of designers from our office to have a chance to learn more about the industry we are in and to inspire and be inspired by other designers. So, here we are this year, back in Austin! It’s a complete circle for me personally.
How and why did you become a Chapter Chair?
Entro’s Founding Partner, Andrew Kuzyk, who was a Chapter Chair at the time nominated me as his Co-Chair given my interest and passion for the industry. At the time, all of the Chapter Chairs who were flying solo were encouraged to nominate a Co-Chair to ease the load of event planning. Given the convenience of planning events in the same office, I accepted the responsibility and I am happy to see how we have expanded today to four Co-Chairs.
What are a few of your fondest chapter event memories?
The time I had to tell people that we had sold out the tickets to our Speakers Series and suggested that they jump in earlier next time to reserve their spots!
What are your favorite parts of living and working in Toronto?
Toronto is a wonderful city. It is a big city that’s welcoming, culturally rich and very friendly. I love that I work in the heart of downtown Toronto, but when I step out of my office, I see a body of water where ships go by, kids are running around on the boardwalk, tourists enjoying their visit. Torontonians work hard but we also value family time in a way you don’t see in any other big city.
What makes a good SEGD chapter? A good chapter chair?
A good chapter chair should really look at the opportunities to bring the design community together, to increase attendance and to increase awareness about the great work done by the organization. They will also learn from locally established organizations and work on joint events with those groups. A good chapter chair also supports their co-chairs, evenly carries the workload and jumps in as necessary to help.
What are you up to right now?
I am currently working with the Association of Chartered Industrial Designers of Ontario to host an annual grad show competition called “Rocket” where top students, nominated by their universities, pitch their work. This is my second year of involvement in the show and it is an excellent opportunity for not only the students to have this exposure immediately upon graduating but also for employers to look at hiring the best of the best.
Congratulations to the 2019 SEGD Achievement Award winners!