CIDA’s Woman of Vision

Today CIDA is honored to join the DJC (Daily Journal of Commerce – Portland) and the Architecture, Engineering, Development and Construction community in recognizing our Director of Interiors, Mya Paluch, as a DJC Woman of Vision for 2016.  Mya has been an integral part of CIDA’s history, growth and success since she first joined CIDA in 2004.

Mya will be honored in a luncheon today along with 35 other prominent women shaping the industry.  Below is the nomination form questionnaire which highlights why we feel blessed to call Mya part of our family.

Please join us in congratulating Mya.  Leave a comment below and include your awesome or funny Mya story as well.


What leadership and mentoring efforts has the nominee shown? 

Mya’s leadership and mentoring efforts are two pronged. On the one hand Mya has adopted a decisive leadership role within CIDA, illustrated by the success of her staff and department. On the other hand Mya deftly guides clients to responsible design solutions that epitomize their core values. Ultimately, her success both in and out of the office stems from her ability to listen, execute and exceed expectations.

Mya has transformed her role as Director of Interiors to be in front of the client and in the field for the majority of her work day.  This allows Mya to constantly keep current pulse of her clients’ needs and make sure those needs are manifested in the field as envisioned.  By emphasizing client relationships, Mya is able to build an atmosphere of trust. She puts people at ease and has an uncanny ability to ask the right questions to illicit honest answers.

“You can put Mya in front of any client and she is able to flex her style and approach to connect with anyone.” David Welsh, CIDA Founder

Regardless of a client’s or contractor’s background or design savvy, Mya respects their opinions and ability to make sound decisions. Through relationship building, Mya articulately guides project teams to optimal solutions without imposing pre-conceived solutions – ultimately leading to projects that truly reflect clients’ priorities.

The roots of Mya’s abundance of successful projects can be traced to her passion for teaching. Her mentorship skills in the office are the key to allowing her more face time with her clients and contractors. By helping her interiors staff develop their skills efficiently while taking time and care to help them hone their individual strengths and aspirations, Mya has developed an exemplary interior design team. She takes the time to develop a supportive atmosphere and works individually with her staff, understanding her employees’ skill sets and adapting her supervision and training style to best meet her employees’ needs.  She isn’t afraid to advocate for the strengths of her staff ensuring that teams are balanced with proper skill sets, workloads and management styles.

As a manager, Mya fosters personal growth by building confidence and empowering staff to make decisions and fully engage in projects – including project management and business practices. The full range of staff development she provides includes proposal writing, scheduling, project financing, permitting, site visits, and client meetings. She encourages employees to grow by promoting problem solving, welcoming new ideas, and prioritizing learning opportunities such as lunch and learns, seminars, and meeting with product representatives.

When Mya began as Director of Interiors she was able to recognize the need for change and implement new procedures to regularly re-assess and prioritize work load. By actively engaging staff in regular departmental work allocation meetings, she is able to nurture staff investment in successful projects and simultaneously advocate for personal time, continuing education, and professional networking. Her staff has noted that she seems to know just how much people can handle and actively works to ensure a healthy work-life balance.

Positive reinforcement of CIDA’s core values – including collaboration, respect, trust, and humor – is fundamental to Mya’s management style. She is unwavering in her belief in these values and instills them in her staff. In the words of CIDA’s president: “Mya’s belief in CIDA and what CIDA stands for is unsurpassed. She bleeds CIDA green!”

What are the significant accomplishments of the nominee within her company?  

Mya began with CIDA in 2004 and since March of 2012, when she became the Director of Interiors, she has tripled the size of the department (edit – 4x as of October), established it as a financially self-sustaining entity, and taken on a volume of work that meets or exceeds any project team in the firm. Her restructuring of the Interior Design Department has allowed CIDA to expand its project type portfolio while simultaneously maintaining fiscal responsibility for clients and for CIDA, and a focus on exemplary client service. The number of clients who routinely call CIDA for interior design services has never been higher!

CIDA began as commercial industrial design with an emphasis on industrial design. Through her sophisticated design sense, Mya has been able to transfer the pragmatism of industrial design to other industries. She is sought after in the Portland Metro area, Central Oregon, and beyond for her proficiency in fields including medical, dental, and other T.I. work. This recognition is based on her ability to understand the nuances and variety of ways in which the medical field is adapting to shifting work flows and new balances between transparency and privacy. She has proven nimble in her ability to respond to the evolving industry without compromising the creative design solutions that she routinely develops within financial and durability constraints. Because of Mya’s expertise in medical and dental office design, she has been able to expand CIDA’s portfolio to include specialties such as surgery centers, urgent cares, oral surgery suites, orthodontic offices, and veterinary clinics.

Project after project Mya is able to expand on a client’s design vision while improving workflow efficiencies and specifying finishes that will meet the client’s performance needs and budgetary restrictions.  Mya is known for her ability to gauge people and adapt, and often finds herself righting challenging situations with levity and tact where most would shy away.

”She’s grounded and down to earth, incredibly easy to work with.” Erik Timmons, Yorke & Curtis

Mya is uncompromising part of the team – whether the team is within her own department, a larger CIDA team including structural and architectural departments, or more broadly a project team including client, contractor, and end user. She is always willing and eager to assist for the benefit of the team in any capacity – whether drafting structural details, assisting in exterior schematics, painting a wall, or installing hardware to solve a construction issue in the field. Mya is not intimidated by rolling up her sleeves and taking on problems; as a team player she provides an exemplary model for friends and peers to emulate.

What is the nominee’s involvement in the community? 

Mya is an avid philanthropist who regularly volunteers at non-profit events. Her work for The Salvation Army and Cityteam Portland illustrate her commitment to improving the living environments within the walls of non-profit programs benefitting families or women and children in need. In addition to formal volunteering events, Mya is able to spot opportunities for good and willing to jump in to help when needed; she is aware of her personal potential to positively impact lives. For example, during CIDA’s work for Cityteam, Mya independently identified an area of need, procured material donations, and personally provided labor to fix the problem and improve living conditions.

Towards animals, especially horses, dogs and cats, she has a sign in her house that sums up her position. It reads, “Favorite Breed: Rescued.”  Her dedication to the humane treatment of animals is exemplified in her extensive volunteer efforts for organizations such as the Humane Society, Sound Equine Options, Skyline Ranch Equestrian, and the Doggy Dash.

Additional community involvement includes regular volunteer work and participation in community events such as the St. John’s Parade, the Blues Festival, and tree plantings with Friends of Trees. She is astoundingly selfless and infectiously joyous, and a friend to everyone she meets.


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