By Candice Wagener
The Respite Center. The Rainbow Project. Centro Hispano. East Madison Community Center. Thanks to the savvy, determination and design skills of Angela Skalitzky, vice president of retail sales and design at Floor360 and project manager of the Design for a Difference program, these nonprofit organizations have had massive, free makeovers in recent years.
Skalitzky says 20,000 people have been directly impacted by the makeovers. She hopes to increase that number, which reflects the cumulative number of those served by the nonprofits, to as many as 30,000 people by 2019.
The Madison Design for a Difference chapter currently has 44 designers involved and has always been the largest group by far in the national program. Skalitzky hopes to continue growing DFAD’s reach within Madison, vetting even more designers and possibly taking on more smaller projects, in addition to the large annual makeover. She also hopes to shepherd the program into Milwaukee.
Even after four years of makeovers, Skalitzky still gets emotional right before the reveal of the new space. “Those kids are going to walk in and just be so happy with this space, when it is improved in a way that they couldn’t even have imagined.” That it’s a gift to them is a bonus. “You can tell that they know that we did it for them… there’s so much bad in this world that to do something good and use our super powers of design for good is pretty incredible.”