1. Advisory Board

    Cindy Allen | Editor in Chief | Interior Design
    Lauded as “one of the most influential advocates for the interior design industry,” Allen marked her 10-year anniversary as editor in chief of Interior Design magazine in 2011. Allen is an industry champion, promoting both the giants of design and the rising stars. A self-proclaimed design junkie, she brings an unbridled passion for design to the pages of the magazine each issue, offering a unique view into design and personal connections to leaders in the industry. It doesn’t stop at the printed page; she actively participates in a variety of panels, juries, roundtables, speaking engagements, and industry events worldwide. In 2010, Allen received an honorary doctorate in fine arts from the New York School of Interior Design, and in 2012, she received an honorary doctorate from Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She is a board member for Design Trust for Public Space and Alpha Workshops, and the chairman of DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS).

    Michael Suomi | Principal and VP Design | Stonehill & Taylor
    Michael Suomi is a principal and director of design at Stonehill & Taylor. He has an extensive background in developing unique, complex and high-profile projects for well-known hospitality clients and boutique properties. Suomi approaches each project by creating a unique design narrative which evolves throughout the process to serve as the foundation of the final design solution. He is cognizant of the brand’s overall position in the market and works to generate an innovative design product for the intended target. His award-winning projects contribute to strong and long lasting client relationships with the firm’s distinguished list of hospitality clients.

    Suomi is a leading proponent of social and environmental sustainability at the firm, which is responsible for a number of LEED-certified properties in New York. In 2012, he led the formation of Futuregreen Hospitality Forum: a platform bringing together leaders with the mission of leading the hospitality industry to positively impact the environment and the society.

    Clodagh | Founder | Clodagh Design
    is a multi-discipline designer based in NYC for the past 25 years. Her award-winning portfolio spans over 24 countries and a wide range of eco-conscious projects and products, including hotels, luxury spas, healthcare facilities, residential, branding, fashion, and furnishings. She oversees two acclaimed companies; Clodagh Design, her interior design practice, and Clodagh Design Signature, her product design studio. Known for visionary blending of ancient techniques such as feng shui and leading-edge modalities such as biophilia and chromatherapy, Clodagh Design creates life-enhancing environments with a commitment to sustainability and authenticity in materials.

    Stina Funch | Founder | Atwater Inc. Studio
    With more than a decade of experience in the hospitality design field, Stina serves as the Creative Director of the Hotels and interiors designed by Atwater Inc.  Her experience covers a broad range of projects spanning the globe, taking projects from initial development through final execution. Unique insight and sensitivity to the US, Middle East and Far East business cultures allows Stina and her team to offer superior expertise in hospitality, both globally and domestically.
    Rob Gatzke | Studio Director and Principal | Gensler
    Based in Gensler’s Morristown, New Jersey office, Rob oversees the Hospitality Practice for the Northeast Region. Rob has led the design of a myriad of Gensler’s hotel projects, including the Kimpton Hotel Palomar in Philadelphia, PA; Kimpton Hotel Monaco in Philadelphia, PA; Milford Hotel in New York, NY; the Metropolitan Hotel in New York, NY; the Paramount Hotel in New York, NY; and the Hyatt Arlington in Arlington VA.

    Active in sustainable design and planning organizations, Rob was the Regional Contact for LEED-CI for the US Green Building Council(USGBC), and on the Gensler Corporate Sustainable Design Task Force.
    Stephanie Liu | Associate, LEED Director | Stonehill & Taylor
    A LEED AP, Stephanie is committed to progressive, sustainable architecture. Her broad experience includes design for academic facilities, landmark projects, hospitality, and high-end residential construction and renovation. She
    has been leading professional sustainable design meetings for eight years. Her projects are energy efficient, environmentally friendly, prestigious, and promote human comfort. Owner’s desires and requirements remain uncompromised while sustainability is achieved.
    Margaret McMahon | VP and Managing Director | Wimberly Interiors
    Margaret McMahon manages and leads the Wimberly’s interior design practice. Her 27 years in the design industry have produced an impressive portfolio of projects and an equally impressive list of loyal clients. Prior to joining Wimberly Interiors, Margaret was the managing director of Wilson Associates’ New York office and former president of the Greater New York Chapter of Network of Executive Women in Hospitality. Margaret is a frequent speaker at industry-related conferences and events.

    Steven Oakley | Principal | Stonehill & Taylor
    Steve Oakley is an architect and principal leading the health/science & education studio at Stonehill & Taylor Architects, with 25 years of experience in programming, planning, and design. His contributions have realized long-term sustainable site solutions, earned LEED certification, and delivered award-winning facilities for education, research, and administration programs.

    Steve’s work with New York University Langone Medical Center, Food and Drug Administration, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Rutgers University, General Electric / CNBC, Amgen, Merck/Schering-Plough, Bloomberg, and collaborations with Public Private Partnership development have enabled sustainable building solutions and achieved leading edge energy conservation measures to create “living campus and building strategies”.
    Stephen Perkins | Founder and Executive Chairman | Aggate
    Stephen Perkins has provided award-winning architecture, design and management consulting to the international luxury hotel, entertainment and multi-residential industry for more than 30 years.
    In 2007, he was inducted into the International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC), which is considered the world’s greatest source for hospitality expertise with 200 of the industry’s most respected professionals from across six continents.

    Stephen has successfully led ForrestPerkins to create an exciting international design and architecture portfolio that spans the design spectrum as he has directed the architecture practice of ForrestPerkins and its Washington, DC office. He leads marketing and project management for the firm and is responsible for designing and implementing the management systems that enable the project reporting that result in success.

    Ilene Shaw | Founder and Principal | Shaw & Co Productions
    A design marketing consultant who conceived of the International Contemporary Furniture Fair, Ilene worked closely with GLM Shows in the development of the ICFF and Accent on Design, and now leads GLM’s initiative Sustainability: Design for a Better World through exhibitions and a seminar series. She has furthered her work in ‘green’ development with a new product line of ecological cleaning products for Pure Environment. Ilene brings her industry expertise to clients such as Clodagh Design International, directing licensing, new business, and communications.

    Ilene served on the Board of Trustees for DIFFA; as Executive Director for the Worldesign Foundation, an IDSA initiative advocating ‘design thinking’ pedagogy for grades K-12; and as co-founder and president of Operation Design, a not-for-profit that creates mentorships and creative programs between architects, interior designers, and artists and New York City public school students.  

    David Tracz | Partner | STUDIO3877
    David Tracz, AIA, LEED AP, is a partner at STUDIO3877, an architecture and design firm based in Washington, DC specializing in multi-family, high-end residential, hospitality, and restaurants. Prior to joining STUDIO3877, David was a principal at OPX and one of the leaders in its hospitality studio. While at OPX, he managed several urban hotel projects for leading hotel brands; Hilton, Marriott, and IHG.

    David served as project manager on the Courtyard Marriott in Chevy Chase, Maryland – the only LEED® Gold hotel in Montgomery County (MD), and one of the first for Marriott. In addition to achievements in the hospitality sector, David’s commercial architectural and sustainable design experience contributed to the delivery of a LEED® Silver Federal office building in Washington, DC. The combination of his base building, renovation and green building expertise consistently delivers high performing spaces and buildings.