IDSA seeks an Awards Manager to oversee our Awards & Competitions portfolio which is comprised of several annual programs of varying scale and complexity. In this role, you will work in close collaboration with IDSA’s Program Manager as well with other teams within the organization including: conferences and events, marketing, membership, community outreach, creative, and operations.
Much of your efforts will be specifically focused on the International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA), our globally recognized flagship design competition. You will be responsible for driving the overall operation of the program and ensuring that it achieves its goals each year. IDEA has several phases that must be closely managed and timed to perfection. During the program’s entry period, you will oversee the acceptance of between 1500-2000 entries using our online awards platform. During the judging phases you will serve as the primary contact for 40 design professionals who volunteer as jury members and assist in the proctoring of our rigorous judging process. Portions of the program are held at The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI where you would facilitate in-person group work sessions in the selection of over 125+ IDEA winners across 20 award categories. IDEA culminates with a Ceremony and Gala Celebration that gathers hundreds of designers from around the world. You would be directly involved in the planning and execution of this event, working closely with our internal events department and volunteer support. Throughout the entire year-long program you will be responsible for ongoing customer support and communications to competition entrants from around the world.
IDSA’s other awards programs include: Student Merit Awards, IDSA Awards, Academic Scholarships, and other annual recognitions. You will make contributions across this entire Awards and Competitions program portfolio.
This is a unique and multi-faceted role that requires a highly adaptable individual who is driven and well-rounded in their approach to proactive problem-solving, team management, and strategic decision making. A clear communication style and a proactive attitude are a must for you to be successful in this role. You possess exceptional organizational ability with a flexible mindset that allows you to adapt to quick changes of direction when required.
Core Personal Attributes
Acute attention to detail; you possess excellent analytical, process-oriented problem-solving ability and mindset.
A deep desire to seek-out opportunity areas; you proactively make suggestions or implement improvements, acting quickly to capitalize on the moment.
Relentless work ethic; you are ready to wear many hats and take on tasks that may, from time to time, fall outside of scope but are necessary in order to achieve our goals.
A commitment to collaboration and teamwork across multiple stakeholder groups; you merge resources and information from various sources together to execute and achieve success.
Ability to maintain flexibility in thought and approach; you excel at thinking creatively through challenges in order to deliver original and visionary solutions.
Great interpersonal skills; you are responsive to constructive feedback and able to make adjustments quickly when changes are required.
Motivated self-starter; you maintain a high level of independent judgment to make critical decisions and trust others to do the same.
Excellent time-management skills; you have the ability to work effectively under pressure while managing multiple priorities and deadlines.
Strong verbal and written communication skills; you delight in narrative and aspire to present clearly articulated work to others.
Primary Duties & Responsibilities
Collaborate and work alongside IDSA’s Program Manager on the successful execution of IDEA, Student Merit Awards, IDSA Awards and Academic Scholarship programs.
Collaborate with IDSA’s At-Large Director of Awards (Board of Directors).
In coordination with IDSA’s Program Manager, oversee the year-long, full-cycle IDEA program which includes the call for entries, entrant validation process, jurying process, winner’s announcement process, certificate and trophy distribution process, IDEA ceremony planning and execution held at IDSA’s International Design Conference.
Manage all logistics of the IDEA jurying process; serving as primary liaison to the 40-person volunteer jury as well as the Jury Chair.
Manage the relationship with The Henry Ford Museum, the location where on-site jurying takes place.
Serve as the primary facilitator and proctor during the on-site judging portion of the IDEA program.
Manage and oversee all logistics for IDEA Ceremony and Gala celebration; work with design and communications teams to develop scripts, visual presentations, environmental decoration and guest experience.
Become proficient with IDSA’s awards entry submission and judging platform (OpenWater)
Collaborate with marketing and design teams to develop marketing and promotion schedule and collateral.
Continually seek program improvements in areas for growth and expansion.
Participate in the annual budgeting process to set and align program goals for the year.
Applied Skills & Abilities
Ability to work on and lead others through multiple projects simultaneously.
Exceptional communication skills – verbal, written, inter-personal.
Maintain a positive attitude with the ability to project a sense of confidence in others to achieve their best.
Ability to hold sensitive and confidential information.
Incredibly strong organization skills.
Outstanding customer service skills paired with a proactive desire to solve problems.
Ability to work under tight timelines and deliver upon stated goals and expectations.
Stellar networking and inter-personal relationship building ability - You are ‘a people person’.
Experience with strategic planning and program mapping initiatives – taking ideas through to a nation-wide rollout.
Ability to keep calm during potentially stressful situations or under tight timelines.
Experience with association and content management systems.
Proficiency with Microsoft Office 365, cloud-based application suite (Word, Excel and PowerPoint, Teams, Sharepoint, etc)
Proficiency with group meeting / conferencing tools such as Zoom, Gotomeeting, BlueJeans, or Join.me.
Proficiency with remote collaboration tools such as Slack, Miro, Trello, or Asana.
Education & Experience
Bachelor's degree in design, marketing, project management, communications or related field from accredited university or institution.
5-7+ years of relevant experience working with interdisciplinary teams and/or in an collaborative setting.
Prior association experience or work with awards and competition programs is a plus.
Knowledge of, and appreciation for, design and/or other creative professions.