Boutique Design Events and Trade Fairs

Senior Design Manager, globaldesignamericas,
Marriott International, Bethesda, Maryland

Greatest point of pride? Surviving the 2009 recession. My former company laid off 100 people over the course of six months and I was one of them. I did everything from being a nanny, substitute teacher, handyman, freelance draftsman, and finally running my own ice cream business, which led me to investigate getting an MBA and making myself a better and more well-informed professional.

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be doing? Still running my ice cream business. Yum.

What trend needs to go? Overly precious design. The world is getting more casual and people are becoming more open to each other. While “only experience with your eyes” can be nice visually, it can be limiting.

What challenges your design process? The disappearing distinction between F&B, public amenity, and hotel will bring a lot of developers from non-hospitality industries. Much education will be needed for them and a different approach for us. 

Any advice? A former boss taught me to make sure I understand everything about what I design. If I didn’t know how it got built, I had no authority to draw it. He ultimately taught me how to teach others.

Element Scottsdale at SkySong, Arizona

Photos: Marriott