In the International Feng Shui Guild, our history is as important as our present and future.
We were founded in respect and honor of all perspectives and traditions of Feng Shui – traditions that are paramount in all that we do and are supported by the IFSG Mission, IFSG Bylaws, and the IFSG Code of Ethics. It is through the foresight, dedication and passion of our valued community leaders that we continue to shape the future of our organization and enrich all our memberships.
In the mid 1990s, John Lanterman envisioned bringing the Feng Shui community together, and therefore formed the Feng Shui Guild in Boulder, Colorado. John published the first newsletter and literally ran the group from his kitchen table with dedication for several years.
In May of 1999, a group of practitioners were invited to publicly discuss the topic “Feng Shui Certification – To Be Or Not To Be” at the Feng Shui Conference in Monterey, CA. John invited several of those attendees who became the Guild’s founders to lunch; and they realized while meeting that they shared similar views, visions, desires, and intentions for the Feng Shui community. Those shared ideals and values soon led to the creation of the International Feng Shui Guild. Initial visionary founders include John along with Mary Dennis, Christina Hile, Gary Hendrickson, Bob Longacre, Katherine Metz, James Jay, and Rich Welt.
The common goals of uniting the Feng Shui community, education, and creating world harmony bound the group together. And freely understanding these were volunteer positions with no treasury, each founder shook hands and formulated a plan, each taking a piece of the responsibilities. Considering the demands of the positions and entering the second year, four continued to volunteer their time including Mary Dennis, Gary Hendrickson, Bob Longacre and Rich Welt. This group became IFSG Council Members and remained as such until the close of 2002.
During this time, the Council accomplished:
By the fall of 2002, the organization was re-structured to support and validate the new non-profit status. The four Council Members were replaced with five Board of Director positions, still volunteer. Nominations and voting took place in February 2003, and the new Board was installed. Included were Mary Dennis, Marge Richards, Anne Mansfield, Sara Schoerlucke and Bridget Driggers. During the first three months of this board term, this group accomplished a website redesign, hired an office administrator, and redesigned/published the Quarterly.
By early spring of 2006, the Board of Directors had changed several times, and those remaining included Rosalie Prinzivalli, Anne Mansfield, and Laurie Bornstein. Fueled by the desire to take the Guild further than had been before and realizing they couldn’t do it all on their own, they asked the membership for additional volunteers to step up. This formed the first IFSG Planning Board with the task of creating standards and organizational structure in the form of Bylaws, as well as detailed policies and procedures in the areas of Education, Marketing, Membership, Finance, and Web. One long and involved year later, the Planning Board had created a massive comprehensive proposal package in all the areas for membership review and approval. This undertaking was incredible as it laid the foundation for the future of the Guild, striving for professional status, as well as for the first time, gave the members a voice. The package was overwhelmingly supported by our membership and passed in June 2007.
During the 2006-2007 year, we celebrated the Guild’s tenth anniversary with a year of commitments and dedication to our members. We recognized all chapters, regions, and countries throughout the year and culminated the celebration at the Conscious Design Conference, New Jersey USA, which the IFSG co-sponsored in September of 2007. This conference also provided the backdrop for the election of our next Board of Directors. The conference was a major event for us and for the world of design, environmental living, and Feng Shui. We were thrilled to be a part of this event and even more thrilled to kick off another fantastic year of implementation, new beginnings, and amazing initiatives.
Coinciding with the conference, the IFSG held its first official election by members for the IFSG Board of Directors which has since become an annual process. Laurie Bornstein, having been appointed CEO by the Board during the summer, presided over this election and certified the election results at the culmination of that event.
During the fall of 2012, the IFSG undertook the first ever CEO search/interview process to replace Laurie who announced her desire to step down. This was important and historic as it demonstrated that all our policies, procedures, and steps to protect the organization for the long term future would support the longevity and growth of the Guild. Bridget Saraka took over the CEO role in February 2013 and successfully led the organization until the end of her term in September 2017.
We acknowledge our founders, all our current and past members, member schools, committee members, Chapter Managers, Regional Directors and Board members who took the original vision of a united Feng Shui community and made it into a reality that has continued to grow and evolve for over 10 years. As we move forward, the organization continues to grow and evolve from the original dream and vision into a professional organization that embraces the inherent value in each of us and the strength we have in our profession.