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Retail Design Institute Board:

James Farnell, RDI
International President

James is a designer with more than 20 years' experience working in multi-disciplinary design studios renowned for their creation of world-class retail environments. He has worked across multiple retail categories to successfully craft and deliver concepts in over fourteen countries.

His expertise lies in building the brand experience through delivering innovative retail solutions which consider every touch point of the customer journey – from shaping the architecture and interior design to crafting the visual merchandising stories within; by integrating the digital experience to layering in environmental graphics.

James has applied his multi-disciplinary approach to retailing across a diverse range of categories including (but not limited to) fashion apparel stores, automotive showrooms, supermarkets, hypermarkets, shopping and mixed-use centers, restaurants cafes and bars, sales offices, exhibition stands, FMCG, cosmetics and perfumery displays and telecom /hard-line services stores.

Originating from England, James worked several years in Australia before moving to Singapore, where he was responsible for a number of key international accounts throughout the Asia Pacific region, including projects for Dell, Procter & Gamble, Apple, DFS & HP. Now based in California at one of North America's leading architectural firms, he is responsible for Little’s creative output on the West Coast of North America and APAC and is continuing to build its reputation for design excellence.

Sharon Lessard, RDI
Vice President


Jessie Sanders, RDI
International Secretary

Jessie graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Design (now Architectural Studies). In 2010, she received her NCIDQ Certification. Her retail experience as a project manager includes Anchor Blue, Levi’s, Teavana, BCBG-MaxRave, Chico’s, White House Black Market, The GAP, J. Jill, Limited Brands, Noodles & Company, Einstein Bros. Bagels and Aramark projects from the design phase through construction phase, while handling multiple projects.

She has helped numerous other clients including Yum! Brands, Wet Seal, Arden B, Burger King, Hardees, Manpower & Pretzel Time. Jessie helped design Anchor Blue’s storefront, Teavana’s current store concept and the prototype for Spritz. With her knowledge of Photoshop, Jessie has completed numerous renderings and sample boards for various clients. Currently, she is active in the St. Louis Chapter and holds the board position as International Secretary.

Mimi Yacobucci


Andrew McQuilkin, FRDI
International Chairman

A career that spans almost 30 years, starting at Walker Group/CNI 1983-86, freelancing with Patrick McQuilkin 1986, Fitzpatrick Design Group 1987-98 and Gensler 1998-2001. In 2001 Andrew came to Cincinnati from New York to take a lead creative position at FRCH in the department store/large format studio planning and design teams. He is now retail market leader for BHDP Architecture, providing an international perspective, vision and a hands-on capability.

Using his experience and knowledge, Andrew incorporates a thorough understanding of strategic concepting, planning, merchandising, design, client management, project management and construction documentation. As the current International Chairman and together with the International Board, they have successfully engaged a focused effort on the three key areas: bringing value to our membership, being the industry authority, and providing professional development. The foundation they have reestablished is strong and will become the springboard for moving the Institute forward.

Andrew believes that everyone who is elected has the responsibility to advance the mission of the Retail Design Institute and its members. The International Board including Chapter Directors, need to continue to grow and foster a spirit of collaboration, dedication and accountability.

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