Design visionary and industry impresario David Rockwell of the Rockwell group has served for more than a decade as the chairman of the board for DIFFA, the design industry foundation fighting aids. This non-profit organization supports aids awareness and education, and funds several research and support programs throughout the country. Rockwell is stepping down as chairman this year and on November 9, DIFFA will present “a tribute to David Rockwell’s twelve years as DIFFA’s chairman of the board.”
Rockwell has been involved with DIFFA since 1994, has served as a board member since 1996, and as chairman since 2000. “I not only lost a brother, but also many friends to the aids epidemic, and until finding DIFFA, I felt entirely helpless in the face of these losses,” he says of his initial involvement with the charity. “Once I found DIFFA, it became an incredible place for me to channel my energy and passion into a brilliant place that makes such a difference for a cause that has affected all of us so deeply. the design community has been deeply touched by aids for a long time now, and DIFFA gives us all the opportunity to come together over the power of making, and use those talents to aid in this exceptional cause.”
Under Rockwell’s leadership, DIFFA has expanded it’s outreach and philanthropic universe, making it one of the top 50 HIV/aids funders in the country for more than five years. He helped develop unique charitable relationships between industry publications, their advertisers and creative talent which resulted in major no-cost contributions to DIFFA, and gave these organizations an opportunity to channel their support in a collaborative way. Rockwell also created a means to connect donors and manufacturers to diverse and well-known designers, facilitating partnerships and relationships that would not have otherwise been possible.
“I really believe that it is our duty to give back, especially to places and causes that affect us,” he says of his commitment to philanthropy. “I have been lucky to be able to use my architectural and design skills for many pro bono causes.”
Although a successor to the chairman position he will leave vacant has not been announced, a spokesperson for DIFFA said there are many exciting prospects. Rockwell will continue to be involved. “That goes without question,” he said. “DIFFA has been an enormous part of my life, and I have no intention of that ever changing.” as DIFFA looks to the future it will pay tribute to the legacy he leaves behind by continuing to pursue many of the partnerships made possible by Rockwell’s involvement. For more on Rockwell, visit www.rockwellgroup.com. For more on DIFFA, visit www.diffa.org.
“Thank you very much!”
(French) [mer-see boh-koo]