AHEAD Americas 2023

2023 Judging

The judging panel for AHEAD Americas - comprising architects, interior designers, hoteliers and industry commentators - follows a carefully developed judging process to ensure a rigorous and balanced approach, with the criteria for success based not only on creative excellence guest experience but commercial viability.


Gary Dollens (Chair)

Global Head, Design/Product & Brand Development - Hyatt Hotels Corporation

Gary Dollens was appointed Global Head of Design/Product and Brand Development for Hyatt’s Global Operations Centre in October 2014. He is responsible for the direction and execution of Hyatt’s global design, overseeing Design Service offices in Chicago, Zurich, Dubai and Hong Kong.

Most recently, Dollens served as Senior Vice President of Product and Brand Development focusing on Global Product Strategy. He has also held the role of Global Head - Franchise and Select Brands which included responsibility for Hyatt Place and Hyatt House, as well as Franchise and Owners Relations. Prior to that, he served as Senior Vice President of North America Operations, with oversight of Corporate Operations (Rooms, Food & Beverage, Engineering, and Spa), as well as Architecture & Design.

Gary began his career with Hyatt in Oak Brook, IL. In 1988, after holding a variety of management positionsat Hyatt properties including Dearborn, Columbus, Lake Tahoe, Memphis, San Francisco, and Waikiki. He was appointed hotel manager of Hyatt Regency Atlanta. In 1989, he was named General Manager of Hyatt Regency St.Louis, and later served in the same role at Grand Hyatt New York and Hyatt Regency Washington Capitol Hill. Following histenure as Vice President and Managing Director for Grand Hyatt.

New York, Gary joined Hyatt’s corporate office in Chicago as Vice President North America Operations in 2004. He attended Western Illinois University where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Arts Studies.

Adriana Marianella

Principal - Mara Partners

Adriana is the Principal of Mara Partners, a full-service boutique hospitality advisory firm based in New York City. Adriana was formerly the Chief Development Officer for CultureWorks, the parent company for NeueHouse and Fotografiska, where she oversaw the brands’ global expansion and design development in new markets throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Prior to joining CultureWorks, Adriana was the Vice President of Brand Development & Experiential for Standard International (Standard Hotels, Bunkhouse Group & Peri Hotels) having commenced her 11-year tenure with The Standard and André Balazs Properties (Chateau Marmont, Chiltern Firehouse, Sunset Beach and The Mercer) as Chief of Staff to André Balazs.

Adriana is a Board Director for Altos Planos, the parent company behind the award-winning B-Corp sustainable tequila, Mijenta, and Tres Tribus mezcal. Philanthropically, she is a longstanding UNICEF NextGen board member, specifically dedicated to addressing clean water initiatives through leadership of the UNICEF Tap Project, and was a founding board member of Chefs for Impact. Academically, Adriana holds a B.A. from Brown University.

Philanthropically, Adriana is a longstanding UNICEF NextGen board member, specifically dedicated to addressing clean water initiatives through leadership of the UNICEF Tap Project, and is a founding board member of Chefs for Impact. Academically, Adriana holds a B.A. in Political Science from Brown University, and she is a visiting guest lecturer at SciencesPo in Paris and at Parsons in New York.

Alessia Genova

Managing Partner - Tihany Design

As co-lead of esteemed NYC atelier Tihany Design, Alessia embraces the mission of an ever-evolving industry, to elevate the luxury hospitality and leisure lifestyle with sensational custom interiors.

She has helmed projects for a variety of prestige hotels, resorts, restaurants, cruise, private clubs and estates, from the modern to the iconic. Her international body of work ranges from Mandarin Oriental Bosphorus, Istanbul, and Four Seasons Dubai DIFC, to Seabourn Cruise Lines and Hungary’s Sauska Winery in Tokaj; and she has collaborated with renowned chefs Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller and Richard Ekkebus.

A graduate of Italy’s Politecnico di Milano, Alessia began her career at Tihany Design’s Rome office in 2007, earning successive promotions for her talent, expertise, leadership and mentorship, culminating with her appointment to Studio Director 10 years later.  In 2020, Founder & Principal Adam D. Tihany appointed Alessia as the first Managing Partner, ushering in a new chapter in the firm’s 43-year history.

Conde Nast Traveller named Alessia one of '12 People to Watch in 2022,' in recognition of her passion and international impact as a visionary force in custom design.

Audra Tuskes

Vice President, Design - Marriott International

Audra Tuskes serves as the Vice President of Design, for Marriott International’s luxury tier. This includes the iconic brands of St. Regis, Ritz-Carlton, Edition, JW Marriott Hotels, W Hotels and The Luxury Collection. A design professional focused on hospitality & lifestyle development, Audra leads a team of designers who drive the creative charge behind new & evolving brands. In her role, she ensures that the vision, quality, operational excellence & voice distinctively defines each brand through the development of a strong design strategy.

Audra concurrently serves on the Editorial Advisory Board for Hospitality Design Magazine. With nearly 20 years of experience in the field, Audra's past positions include VP of Design for Neuehouse, VP & Creative Director for Lightstone, VP of Design for Commune Hotels, Director of Design for Starwood Hotels, and Associate Design Professor at Pratt Institute. Audra holds a Master of Architecture from Columbia University.

Audra is located in Marriott’s New York office.

Ave Bradley

Creative Director & Global SVP of Design - Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants

As Creative Director and Global Senior Vice President of Design for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Ave is responsible for the overall creative vision for the brand and is overseeing the design direction for the brand as it undertakes its international expansion.

Ave works closely with the development team in the evaluation of potential deals and establishes the high-level creative vision for projects by identifying trends, niches and opportunities in the marketplace. She engages the creative teams to help bring that vision to life and oversees day-to-day management of the design process. Collaborating closely with the marketing and brand teams, Ave helps cultivate a cohesive presentation across projects through the establishment of hotel names and the development of logos and graphics.

Ave started her hospitality career with W Hotels as Director of Interiors & Brand Development during the launch and expansion of the brand, opening the first 22 properties for W.

Christina Zimmer

Senior Vice President, Design | Highgate Hotels

Christina is an architect, designer and industry-leading expert in the hospitality field. As Highgate Hotels Senior Vice President of Design since 2016, Christina is responsible for a variety of projects all over the United States and Europe.

Highgate is a multi-disciplinary owner, operator and developer of hotels and Christina acts as project lead. The role touches all aspects of bringing a hotel to life; from concept planning, design team selection and scope definition down to the details of styling. Christina brings leadership and strategic oversight; constantly striving for design excellence, while maintaining project budget and schedule. Highgate’s strong presence in the independent market means all projects are uniquely developed. She was Highgate’s design lead for The Newbury Boston, a widely publicised and admired result of a difficult century-old building. As a key team member of Lucid, Highgate’s Design & Construction team, Christina is further lending her hospitality expertise to projects outside of Highgate’s portfolio.

Prior to joining Highgate, Christina worked in a similar position at Ian Schrager Company; working directly with one of the Hotel industry’s leading innovators developing a select number of unique properties; including Public Hotel New York, Edition West Hollywood, and 160 Leroy Street, a luxury condominium development. All are projects of unrivalled design excellence with world-class architects.

Christina honed her skills in the world of hospitality during her 15 years at Stonehill Taylor, where she rose to equity-level Principal. She successfully led dozens of hospitality projects from concept to completion including the award-winning Refinery Hotel, where Christina was Principal in charge of architecture and design. Her portfolio comprises new brand development, new construction, hotel conversions, and renovations for some of the most distinguished names in hospitality. Christina is a regular speaker at industry events and has frequently been featured in various publications.

Dieter Schoellnberger

SVP, Design & Construction - CTF Development

Dieter joined CTF development to lead the Design & Construction Department in 2017.

He is responsible to oversee all design aspects within CTF’s portfolio in Europe, North & South America and Caribbean. Projects entail the renovation of Rosewood London, The Carlyle Hotel, Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco, Rosewood Little Dix Bay and The Beverly Wilshire. Additionally, he is working on new developments like the Rosewood Sao Paulo, Baha Mar Resort, Rosewood Amsterdam, Calistoga Hills and Ascaya, a private luxury community overlooking Las Vegas.

Before joining CTF, Dieter served as Vice President of Property Development for Andre Balazs Properties and Standard International. During that time, he oversaw the existing properties from Chateau Marmont, The Mercer and The Standard Hotels, but mostly focused on the development of the Chiltern FireHouse and the new Standard Hotel in London.

Dieter is an architect with over 25 years of experience in architecture, construction and interior design leading hospitality and mixed-use projects. He attended University of Technology in Vienna and Columbia University New York where he received Master’s of Science in Architectural Design.

Gray Davis

Principal - Meyer Davis

Gray Davis is co-founder of Meyer Davis, an award-winning interior design studio that has been globally-recognized for its work in hospitality, commercial, and luxury residential design.

With offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, London and Dubai, Meyer Davis’ public projects boast a welcoming, residential quality, and the studio’s residential projects offer a generous warmth and comfort that only seasoned hospitality designers could fashion. It is this harmonious marriage of seemingly disparate elements – public and private, old and new, uptown and downtown – that is quintessentially Meyer Davis.

The studio has completed projects worldwide for unrivaled luxury brands such as 1Hotel, Crown Hotels, Four Seasons and Auberge Resorts, in addition to restaurants and retail projects for the likes of Jean Georges, and Oscar de la Renta, and private residences for luminaries like Jenna Lyons and Jorge Perez. In 2018, Meyer David was honoured with induction into the Hospitality Design Platinum Circle, and has been recognized by AHEAD Awards for its work on Mauna Lani in Hawaii.

In 2020, Gray and co-founder Will Meyer debuted their eponymous product company, William Gray.

Hemanshu 'HP' Parwani

CEO - Olson Kundig

Hemanshu – or “HP” as he is called by friends and colleagues – is responsible for directing operations at Olson Kundig, including the firm’s business and organisational development. In this role, HP supplements the firm’s design-first strategy with effective operational resources.

HP has worked in international operations, capital markets, and strategic development for over 30 years. He started his career in hospitality operations with Pannell Kerr Foster Worldwide, a specialised financial advisory and consulting services firm, where he led the practice in strategic planning for hospitality markets. Since then, HP has gone on to hold CEO, COO, and CFO roles for various international firms in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction industry, delivering projects on almost all continents. Throughout this time, he has stayed engaged within the hospitality sector, expanding his expertise to asset development and asset management, project feasibility assessments, and site and operator selections—working with brands including Aman, One&Only, Six Senses, Montage, Auberge, Fairmont, Rosewood, Armani, and Four Seasons.

Under HP’s leadership, Olson Kundig has experienced significant growth in hospitality work, with over two dozen active projects in development across the globe. Looking towards the future, his focus is continuing to prioritise sustainability and building performance as part of the guest experience.

A true global citizen, HP has lived in Asia, the Middle East and North America. He is an avid mountaineer and has climbed some of the world’s tallest mountains, including Everest. HP often climbs to raise money for causes close to his heart, including the American Cancer Society and Autism Speaks. Mountaineering reflects HP’s larger approach to business and operations: he believes in fostering a team mentality where trust emerges as colleagues work together towards a common purpose. For him, progress is measured not so much by reaching the summit, but rather by the daily steps taken and the relationships and personal bonds created along the way.

Kristina O'Neal

Founding Partner - AvroKO

Over the last two decades, AvroKO has earned a reputation as one of the most impactful and influential design firms in the hospitality field. Founded in 2001 by four partners - Kristina O'Neal, William Harris, Greg Bradshaw, and Adam Farmerie - the group is now operating with offices in New York City, San Francisco, London and Bangkok with over 200 employees. Their significant portfolio of critically-hailed interior design work expresses a humming conversation between the ideals of the past and off-beat sensibilities that point to the future, between cultural memory and social interaction, and between the physical, emotional, and psychological realms.

AvroKO is known for its award-winning, concept-driven projects that resonate with guests by providing a unique combination of narrative-driven and environmental psychology. Their work maximizes innovative hospitality experiences through their trademarked process coined Hospitable Thinking®, which addresses core human needs through design.

Through the Partners combined spirit of adventure and entrepreneurship, they have also founded additional companies under the AvroKO World umbrella, including: AvroKO Hospitality Group, which conceptualizes, owns, operates and licenses restaurants and bars both domestically and abroad; Brand Bureau, a creative agency rooted in hospitality that focuses on strategy, branding and visual design; and Hospitable Bridge, an accelerator studio supporting POC female-identifying founders who are changing the hospitality world for the better.

Lauren Rottet

Founder & President - Rottet Studio

Lauren Rottet is a highly accomplished architect, interior designer, product designer and art curator with an extraordinary record of awards, publications, lectures, juries and honors. Lauren is the Founding Principal and President of Rottet Studio, an international architecture and interior design firm, and is the first woman in history to be elevated to Fellow status by both the American Institute of Architects and International Interior Design Association. Ms. Rottet also holds the titles of Interior Design Hall of Fame, Interiors Designer of the Year, Boutique Design’s Designer of the Year, and Hospitality Design Platinum Circle inductee. Ms. Rottet’s furniture and product designs have earned her four gold medals for Best of NeoCon and a Chicago Athenaeum Award. Her new furniture company, Rottet Collection, was introduced in 2017 and was met with rave reviews garnering significant awards including an Interior Design Best of Year.

Rottet Studio is consistently ranked among the corporate and hospitality Top 100 Design Giants and recognized as one of the Top 3 Most Admired Design Firms in the World by a jury of our peer professionals. The firm has an extensive portfolio of corporate, hospitality, residential and maritime projects for the world’s leading companies and brands, including: Goldman Sachs, Disney, Viacom, New York Stock Exchange, United Talent Agency, Paul Hastings, Kirkland & Ellis, Target, NW Mutual, Comcast, Hines, Howard Hughes Company, Langham, Brookfield, Loews, DHG, Valencia, BGI, Extell, JMB, Four Seasons, Starwood, Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, Belmond, Wheelock Viking and more.

Lisa Pasternack

Senior Director, Design & Innovation - Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts

Lisa provides design oversight for Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts across all new builds and capital projects and is responsible for guiding and supporting the Global Design & Innovation teams based in Toronto, Dubai and Singapore.

In conjunction with Four Seasons internal teams and project consultants, Lisa works with the team to establish the appropriate design language for each project, focused on conveying the Four Seasons commitment to quality and luxury. With a keen eye for design and details, Lisa is also constantly on the lookout for new and emerging design talents who can help bring these projects to life.

Over Lisa’s 24 years with Four Seasons, she has led the design and construction of several properties, gaining valuable insight into the world of new builds and renovations, and has been instrumental in keeping the Design Standards current for over a decade. Lisa managed the design and construction of the Four Seasons R&D Studio based in Toronto, is involved in several new initiatives both within the Design + Innovation department and company-wide and has advanced improvements to our Fitness Facilities. Her knowledge of luxury hospitality and her attention to detail are valuable assets in her drive towards product excellence.

Leo Eskenazi

Vice President, Architecture & Design - Hilton Worldwide

Leo Eskenazi is an architect with 30 years of experience in architecture, construction and Interior design leading hospitality, gaming and mixed-use projects in the US and internationally.

In his role of Vice President of Architecture and Design at Hilton Worldwide, Leo manages the design process of all new development, conversion and renovation projects in Latin American and Caribbean including Luxury, Full service, focused service, lifestyle hotels and resorts. Leo is also responsible for the development of Brand prototypes and global Design initiatives.

Markus Schreyer

Chairman – META Foundation

Markus is a global hospitality executive and experience-architect at the forefront of business development, innovation, experience design and technology. His career encompasses roles across 40 countries and 20 luxury brands in global hotel chains like Hilton Worldwide, Starwood Hotels & Resorts; as well as leadership positions in lifestyle brands, including Senior Vice President Global Innovation at Design Hotels, a Marriott brand, and Chief Development Officer at Proper Hospitality.

His passion for fostering growth, accelerating startups, and developing new revenue streams in retail, experiences, and membership models for lifestyle brands through strategic innovation and human-touch points across multiple digital platforms has earned him recognition across industries.

As the co-founder and chairman of the META Foundation, a visionary hospitality innovation lab established in 2020, he accelerates global projects in cultural, social, and sustainable development. The foundation collaborates with governments, universities, and technologists across industries introducing impactful business models in living, travel, and community building enabled through AI, web3 and spatial computing.

Markus holds an MBA and a PhD in Innovation Strategy from the University of Dresden, Germany. He teaches competitive strategy at New York University (NYU) and lives in the city with his family.

Meghann Day

President - HBA Americas / Partner - HBA San Francisco

Meghann carries a dual role as HBA’s President of The Americas and Partner at HBA San Francisco. During her 17-plus-year career at HBA, Meghann has been instrumental to the foundational success of HBA San Francisco with her mastery of skill, expertise in design and business management, and convivial nature. Under her leadership, the boutique studio has expanded its reach into Mexico and continues to earn national and international acclaim for its portfolio of work. As President The Americas, Meghann leads nationwide efforts to drive synergistic collaboration and ongoing innovation in design, further strengthen HBA Americas’ brand position globally, and mentor future generations of designers.

Her extensive global design portfolio encompasses five-star hotels & resorts, spas, wineries, luxury residences, and new-build developments. A student of the world, Meghann’s distinct sense of style and design is informed by her intrepid travels and curiosity of culture, which results in poetic spatial experiences that blend form with function. Meghann holds a degree in Interior Design from Kansas State University. She has been named to Boutique Design’s B18 and serves on the Hospitality Design Editorial Advisory Board.

Tatiana Sheveleva

Co-Founder & Partner - Chapi Chapo Design

Born and raised in Kazakhstan, Tatiana is Co-Founder and Partner of Chapi Chapo Design, one of the world’s leading hospitality interior design firms. After leaving her homeland to pursue education in the United States, Tatiana followed her ambitions to Canada where she immigrated in 2003.

Throughout her career as an international designer, Tatiana has led large-scale projects for the world’s most renowned five-star luxury hotel companies including Four Seasons, St. Regis, Ritz-Carlton, Aman, Park Hyatt, Mandarin Oriental, Baccarat and more.

A creator of experiences, Tatiana believes that every new project is an invitation to embark on an immersive journey through storytelling. Her work tells evocative stories, honouring the culture of each location and the people who call it home, crediting her heritage as inspiration. Tatiana's work challenges convention, creating timeless spaces that leave a lasting impression.

Most recently, Tatiana designed The Ritz-Carlton, Mexico City (October 2021) and two upcoming St. Regis Resorts in Mexico's Riviera Maya and Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic (2023 and 2024).


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