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Rachel Zsembery Named 2019 Shop! Woman of Distinction

Shop! Environments Association presents third annual award during Night of Honors celebration




Last night, Shop! Environments Association once again heralded the professional achievements of women in the association whom are dedicated to helping other women grow and succeed in the retail industry. During its annual Night of Honors celebration, Shop! recognized four finalists and named Rachel Zsembery, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Vice President & Principal at Bergmeyer, as this year’s Woman of Distinction.

This year’s finalists all have been passionate advocates of inclusion. Along with Rachel, they are: Nancy Everhart, Little; Cindi Kato, Callison; and Myra Vaughn, MG2.

“In its third year, the Women of Distinction Awards are an important way for the association to honor the contributions of women in our industry,” said Todd Dittman, Shop! Executive Director. “Through the years, Rachel has been providing a strong voice for women at the company level, at the membership level as a Shop! board member, and for the industry through her widespread involvement. Rachel has truly earned this honor.”

The finalists and honoree were selected from nominations submitted by industry colleagues. The judging panel comprised members of the Women’s League governing committee and industry members: Andrea Martin, Point of $avings; Teri Mascotti of Mascotti Strategies; Carrie Harvey Schnabel, Stylmark; Christiana Howard-Ritchie, Artisan Complete; and Ellen Johnson, NOA.

Rachel’s colleagues see her as a mentor, coach, and empathetic leader who demonstrates the highest level of integrity daily. Her leadership helped her firm successfully transition to its next generation of ownership as well as establish a West Coast design practice. Rachel originated a recent deep dive on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. In a profession that still has myriad challenges from a cultural and gender diversity perspective, she stands out as an emerging voice. She has, almost singularly, reevaluated/revamped Bergmeyer’s HR, interviewing and hiring processes, positioning the firm to be a unique outpost in the industry. She imparts her knowledge, passion and leadership with numerous groups, including Shop!, USGBC Massachusetts, RDI, PAVE, VMSD magazine, Town of Arlington (MA) Redevelopment Board, Boston Society of Architects, American Institute of Architects, AIAdcEAC Leadership Development Program, Boston Architectural College, United Way, and Granite State Quest.

The Women’s League was founded in 2014 with the mission of helping women grow personally and professionally through leadership, education, and networking opportunities. In support of this mission, the Women of Distinction Award recognizes women who have worked in the industry for at least five years and have truly excelled, not only professionally, but also as leaders and role models to other women within the industry.


“Rachel is the epitome of what this award stands for,” said Cynthia Hirsch, chair of the Women’s League. “She has dedicated her time and energy to ensuring a positive future for our industry by being a strong role model for young women. Her accomplishments and achievements thus far are remarkable and I look forward to seeing what comes next. I consider it a great honor to have been able to present her with this award.”

For more information about the Shop! Women’s League, visit
Photos and information for award recipients are available upon request.


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