Executive Committee

  • Christine Tucker

    Christine Tucker

    President

    With over 30 years’ experience in the Design Industry beginning her career path at Fanshawe College in Interior Design to e…

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  • Fernando Diaz, FASID, CID

    Fernando Diaz, FASID, CID

    Secretary

    Cuban-born interior designer Fernando Diaz founded Fernando Diaz and Associates in 1982 specializing in residential, commerci…

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  • Sandy Banks

    Sandy Banks

    Vice President/Finance

  • Jennifer Wellman

    Jennifer Wellman

    Vice President/Scholarship

    Jennifer Wellman started in the hospitality industry in 2000. With a Bachelor of Fine Art in Sculpture from Georgia State Uni…

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  • Christine Wasmer

    Christine Wasmer

    Vice President/Education

    Christine is principal of Wasmer Contract Group a manufacturer's representative with over 25 years of experience in the …

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  • Monica Meade

    Monica Meade

    Vice President/Development

    Monica Meade is a certified interior designer who brings over 15 years of experience in hospitality design to Architectural C…

    More about Monica Meade ›
  • Tara Witt

    Tara Witt

    Vice President/IR-Canada

    Tara Witt is the Development Director of Tarrison and founder of Vandervitt Inc., both based in the Toronto area. Tarrison is…

    More about Tara Witt ›
  • Jonathan Young

    Jonathan Young

    Vice President/IR-United Kingdom

    Jonathan is a professional sales leader with over 30 years experience in the hospitality FF&E industry. He has been involved …

    More about Jonathan Young ›
  • Cynthia Guthrie

    Cynthia Guthrie

    Past President/Parliamentarian

    Guthrie & Associates is a creative & collaborative playground for designers, architects, developers, procurement specialists,…

    More about Cynthia Guthrie ›
  • Trisha Poole

    Trisha Poole

    Executive Advisor

    Trisha Poole has over twenty-two years of experience in design and management in the hospitality field. Her personal passion…

    More about Trisha Poole ›
  • Shelia Lohmiller

    Shelia Lohmiller

    Executive Director

    Educated at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Bellin School of Nursing, and Harrington College of Design in Chicago, Loh…

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  • Trudy Craven

    Trudy Craven

    Strategic Advisor

    TWC Consulting LLC provides customized and interactive learning and development experiences in leadership areas of focus such…

    More about Trudy Craven ›

Board of Directors

  • Brittany Spinner

    Brittany Spinner

    Scholarship

  • Dallas Bentley

    Dallas Bentley

    Education

    Dallas Bentley is Director of Hospitality Sales for Marietta Drapery Company, a family business that manufactures and install…

    More about Dallas Bentley ›
  • Mary Ann Thornam

    Mary Ann Thornam

    Continuing Education

    Mary Ann Thornam was the Academic Department Chair at The Art Institute of Colorado. For years, she has built on a skill set …

    More about Mary Ann Thornam ›
  • Vanessa Vaughan

    Vanessa Vaughan

    Membership

    Director of Membership, NEWH Inc.

    More about Vanessa Vaughan ›
  • Debbie McKelvey

McKelvey

    Debbie McKelvey McKelvey

    BrandED

  • Kelly Gaddes

    Kelly Gaddes

    Fundraising

  • Alexandra Jones

    Alexandra Jones

    NEWH Conference

    Alex Jones' career started 20 years ago in retail furniture sales for one of Canada's largest department stores before transi…

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  • Helen Reed

    Helen Reed

    Internet Communications

    Helen L. Reed is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and has over 20 years experience working in the field of…

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  • Matt DeShantz

    Matt DeShantz

    NEWH Ambassador

    Matt DeShantz is the Vice President and National Sales Manager for Fabricut Contract and S. Harris where he oversees daily op…

    More about Matt DeShantz ›
  • Gretchen Gilbertson

    Gretchen Gilbertson

    NEWH Ambassador

    Inspiration drove Gretchen Gilbertson to start a tech company in 2003. With a shared vision and unwavering focus, she and her…

    More about Gretchen Gilbertson ›
  • Jordan McInturf

    Jordan McInturf

    NEWH Ambassador

    Jordan McInturf is the vice president of sales for Shelby Williams, a premier manufacturer of furniture for the hospitality i…

    More about Jordan McInturf ›
  • Michelle Finn

    Michelle Finn

    NEWH Media Ambassador

    Michelle Finn is senior vice president, Hospitality Division, ST Media Group International, and president and co-founder of t…

    More about Michelle Finn ›
  • Stacy Shoemaker Rauen

    Stacy Shoemaker Rauen

    NEWH Media Ambassador

    Stacy Shoemaker Rauen is a well-respected and talented editor and writer, and is the editor in chief for Hospitality Design (…

    More about Stacy Shoemaker Rauen ›
  • Barry Sullivan

    Barry Sullivan

    NEWH BrandED Ambassador

  • Teri Urovsky

    Teri Urovsky

    NEWH BrandED Ambassador

Committee Chair

  • Stacey Olson

    Stacey Olson

    Chair/Green Voice

  • Penny Shelton

    Penny Shelton

    Chair/ED Online

  • Leslie Anderson

    Leslie Anderson

    Chair/BrandED

  • Stephanie Deshaies

    Stephanie Deshaies

    Chair/BrandED

    1. What is the last book you read? The Compound Effect, Darren Hardy 2. If you could check into any hotel in the world, wh…

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  • Michelle Purcell

    Michelle Purcell

    Chair/Diversity

  • Natalie Sheedy

    Natalie Sheedy

    Chair/Design LinQ

    As an interior designer, Natalie Sheedy has seen the power of design to profoundly impact our daily lives firsthand. A beauti…

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  • Lanee Burns

    Lanee Burns

    Chair/Diversity

Committee Members

  • Kim Bingham

    Kim Bingham

    Diversity Committee

  • Valerie Coleman-Woodall

    Valerie Coleman-Woodall

    Diversity Committee

  • Levar Jackson

    Levar Jackson

    Diversity Committee

    Levar Jackson is Founder and CEO of Visual Renaissance, a full-service art strategy firm that sources and curates unique wall…

    More about Levar Jackson ›
  • Kenya Jones-Lowell

    Kenya Jones-Lowell

    Diversity Committee

  • Helen Reed

    Helen Reed

    Diversity Committee

    Helen L. Reed is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and has over 20 years experience working in the field of…

    More about Helen Reed ›
  • Jason  Reynolds

    Jason Reynolds

    Diversity Committee

  • Jonathon Wilkins

    Jonathon Wilkins

    Diversity Committee

  • Tara Witt

    Tara Witt

    Diversity Committee

    Tara Witt is the Development Director of Tarrison and founder of Vandervitt Inc., both based in the Toronto area. Tarrison is…

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House of Delegates

  • Leslie Anderson

    Leslie Anderson

    House of Delegates

  • Libby Bull

    Libby Bull

    House of Delegates

    Libby studied Interior Architecture & Design at Middlesex University in London and began her career designing retail outlets …

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  • Laura Carter

    Laura Carter

    House of Delegates

    Laura Carter is a Sales Representative for Gmansales representing Ashley Lighting, Charter Furniture, Electric Mirror, JF Fab…

    More about Laura Carter ›
  • Valentina Castellon

    Valentina Castellon

    House of Delegates

  • Sarah Churchill

    Sarah Churchill

    House of Delegates

  • Anastasia (Stacey) Davis

    Anastasia (Stacey) Davis

    House of Delegates

    Anastasia "Stacey" Davis is the Showroom Sales Account Manager for legrand representing the adorne & Radiant Collections. Her…

    More about Anastasia (Stacey) Davis ›
  • Jenelle Francois

    Jenelle Francois

    House of Delegates

  • Alison Gasser

    Alison Gasser

    House of Delegates

    Alison Gasser is currently serving as Past President of the Los Angeles Chapter. After completing her AmeriCorps service work…

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  • Natasha Gomez

    Natasha Gomez

    House of Delegates

  • Kelli Groh

    Kelli Groh

    House of Delegates

  • Tara Hebert

    Tara Hebert

    House of Delegates

  • Anne Hiter

    Anne Hiter

    House of Delegates

  • Korrin Howard

    Korrin Howard

    House of Delegates

  • Rittner Hufford

    Rittner Hufford

    House of Delegates

    My career travels have taken me from California to New York; but I've stayed connected to my "home base", Arizona. To underst…

    More about Rittner Hufford ›
  • Melissa Knock

    Melissa Knock

    House of Delegates

  • Kristin Kubala

    Kristin Kubala

    House of Delegates

    Kristin Kubala has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Interior Design from Texas State University. She worked as a licensed des…

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  • Dawn Larsen-Garner

    Dawn Larsen-Garner

    House of Delegates

  • Chelsea Lawrence

    Chelsea Lawrence

    House of Delegates

  • Johanna Malen

    Johanna Malen

    House of Delegates

    Tell us about your personal/professional background? My first career was in retail merchandising, product development and sou…

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  • Roger Mathis

    Roger Mathis

    House of Delegates

  • Shana McCullough-Downing

    Shana McCullough-Downing

    House of Delegates

  • Demi Melissinou

    Demi Melissinou

    House of Delegates

  • Elissa Murry

    Elissa Murry

    House of Delegates

  • Timi Mustapha

    Timi Mustapha

    House of Delegates

    Timi Mustapha is a Sr. Interior Designer on Marriott International’s Core Full Service team, focusing on the growing Delta …

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  • Leena Nacy

    Leena Nacy

    House of Delegates

  • Karen Rains

    Karen Rains

    House of Delegates

    1. Tell us about your personal/professional background. I’ve been in the hospitality industry as an independent manufactur…

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  • Gabe Rodriguez

    Gabe Rodriguez

    House of Delegates

    Gabe Rodriguez, NCIDQ Interior Designer, is multi-disciplined with experience in workplace, hospitality, health & wellness, a…

    More about Gabe Rodriguez ›
  • Chris Schafer

    Chris Schafer

    House of Delegates

    Upon graduating from Middle Tennessee State University in 1995, Chris immediately became involved in the transportation and l…

    More about Chris Schafer ›
  • Penny Shelton

    Penny Shelton

    House of Delegates

  • Sean Tanner

    Sean Tanner

    House of Delegates

  • Amanda Tomlinson

    Amanda Tomlinson

    House of Delegates

    Amanda Tomlinson is an interior designer who graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BS in Interior Design and a business minor with…

    More about Amanda Tomlinson ›
  • Shannon Vance

    Shannon Vance

    House of Delegates

  • Tara Witt

    Tara Witt

    House of Delegates

    Tara Witt is the Development Director of Tarrison and founder of Vandervitt Inc., both based in the Toronto area. Tarrison is…

    More about Tara Witt ›
  • Jonathan Young

    Jonathan Young

    House of Delegates

    Jonathan is a professional sales leader with over 30 years experience in the hospitality FF&E industry. He has been involved …

    More about Jonathan Young ›
Christine Tucker

Christine Tucker

President

With over 30 years’ experience in the Design Industry beginning her career path at Fanshawe College in Interior Design to evolving to the supply side of the industry. The years of experience have evolved by working closely with Procurement, Property Owners, Designers and Architects to meet the client and project specifications in product, price and service. Tucker enjoys the relationships that have been established throughout these years by providing excellent service in a market that is constantly changing how we approach business.

Chris is committed to the continual growth of NEWH in Canada and all other international markets. NEWH, The Hospitality Network, provides excellent opportunities with insight on our industry trends and information through networking with the Industry Leaders in the USA, UK and Canada. Chris has been a part of the NEWH International Board of Directors since 2005. Currently she is the President of NEWH Canada Inc., and Vice President of International Relations on the NEWH Inc., International Board of Directors.

Fernando Diaz, FASID, CID

Fernando Diaz, FASID, CID

Secretary

Cuban-born interior designer Fernando Diaz founded Fernando Diaz and Associates in 1982 specializing in residential, commercial and retail projects.

“All cultures have developed their own language of what is refined and distinguished… but it also comes from the hearts of the people who I create for. It’s their personal sense of form which I have learned to draw my design conclusions.”

Mr. Diaz graduated from Ottawa University in 1973 with a BA degree in Entertainment Business Management, and later in 1982 from UCLA Extension with an Interior Design Certificate. In 1993 Mr. Diaz became a Certified Interior Designer in the State of California.

Fernando Diaz was facilities manager and corporate designer for one of the nation’s largest furniture leasing companies for 19 years. Mr. Diaz’s responsibilities included overseeing the design of 50+ showrooms and offices.

Fernando Diaz and Associates strives for the best possible expression and solution to clients’ lifestyles and needs. Completed projects are located throughout the United States, Mexico and Spain.

Mr. Diaz has received numerous awards from his peers and served on the board of directors of the American Society of Interior Designers/Los Angeles (ASID/LA), the Homeless Youth Foundation and is a past member of the board of trustees for the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA/LA). In 1998 – 1999 Mr. Diaz was the President of the ASID/Los Angeles Chapter. In 2006 Mr. Diaz received the Medalist Award; the highest award given in ASID on the Chapter level, in 2007 he also received the “Recognition of Excellence” award from NEWH in the chapter level and in 2012 received the “Pinnacle Award” award from NEWH in the international level and currently serves on the International Board of NEWH as VP/Finance

In July of 2016 and February 2019 respectively, Mr. Diaz was honored to be inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and NEWH. Fellowship is the highest honor the two organizations can bestow on its members. Elevation to fellowship not only acknowledges the achievements of the designer as an individual but also recognizes before the public and the profession a model interior designer who has made a significant contribution to the interior design profession and the society.

His worked has graced the pages of Metropolitan Home Magazine, California Homes, Art & Living, The Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Home & Décor several times as well as other publications. Television appearances include several HGTV programs.

Jennifer Wellman

Jennifer Wellman

Vice President/Scholarship

Jennifer Wellman started in the hospitality industry in 2000. With a Bachelor of Fine Art in Sculpture from Georgia State University she naturally wanted to pursue a career in art and accepted a job with Deljou Art Group. Since her first job in art, Jennifer has gone on to work with Soho Myriad starting as an art consultant and leaving as the Director of Sales. She then became the Managing Director at EDL Art Consultants, and remained there until she accepted a position with Lexmark Hospitality as the Director of Architecture and Design Solutions, and is now VP of Architecture and Design Sales.
Jennifer has worked on several large hospitality projects including the Fort Worth Omni, Trinidad Grand Hyatt, and the Arizona Biltmore.

Christine Wasmer

Christine Wasmer

Vice President/Education

Christine is principal of Wasmer Contract Group a manufacturer’s representative with over 25 years of experience in the contract and hospitality industry. She holds a BFA in Interior Architectural Design from California State University Long Beach.
Venturing from design into contract sales in the early 1980’s, she found sales and marketing to be a great pairing with her design skills. Since beginning her own business in 1996, Christine has applied her experience, dedication to detail and commitment to her client’s needs to forge lasting business relationships. Wasmer Contract Group represents fine manufacturers of interior and exterior furniture.
Christine’s support of NEWH can be described in one word: Scholarship. Through her work on the Los Angeles Chapter board and on the board of NEWH Inc., she formulated protocol and procedures for the management of the scholarship program. Future plans include expanding the NEWH opportunity through student chapters and inviting the participation of premier educators by establishing an NEWH Educator’s Roundtable.
www.wasmercontractgroup.com

Monica Meade

Monica Meade

Vice President/Development

Monica Meade is a certified interior designer who brings over 15 years of experience in hospitality design to Architectural Ceramics. Monica worked at Marriott International on the International Design team and as a Sr. Project Mgr. with Leo A. Daly. Architectural Ceramics is committed to working with our client’s to maintain the integrity of their design vision. Monica now is the National Accounts Manager – Hospitality for Architectural Ceramics where she has worked to build the commercial design team over the last 3 years. Monica now works exclusively with designers, contractors and owners on Hospitality projects across the country.

Tara Witt

Tara Witt

Vice President/IR-Canada

Tara Witt is the Development Director of Tarrison and founder of Vandervitt Inc., both based in the Toronto area. Tarrison is a full-line manufacturer of stainless steel products that cater to many different market segments. Vandervitt provides furniture and front-of-the-house speciality products to the hospitality industry. Tara joined the Toronto Chapter of NEWH shortly after graduating from Western University with a cross-disciplinary degree in business and psychology. She is currently the President of the Toronto chapter, and Secretary for the NEWH Canada Board.

Jonathan Young

Jonathan Young

Vice President/IR-United Kingdom

Jonathan is a professional sales leader with over 30 years experience in the hospitality FF&E industry. He has been involved in sales, sales and marketing management, and senior director level positions at manufacturers providing product for the hotel and leisure sectors. His experience has been primarily with floorcovering and carpet, but he also has recent involvement with furniture.

As Chairman of the BCFA from 2011 until 2014, leading the Board of the trade association that supports the British Contract Furnishings Association, and currently as Vice President of the UK chapter of the NEWH, he has a good understanding of business within the hospitality and commercial markets.

His experiences have taken him across continents, working and living in the US and UK, and developing and executing growth strategies for businesses across international markets.

He is a creative thinker and believes in the importance of communication particularly when working with people from diverse cultures, and across all levels of a business. Jonathan is passionate about building the right environment to maximize teamwork and empower individuals to deliver against prescribed objectives and goals.

Jonathan’s leadership and management skills will help establish a clearly defined strategy for business and understand how it needs to be implemented for success. His contacts across the US and Europe can help navigate the transition process.

“A vision is a clearly articulated, results-orientated picture of a future you intend to create. It is a dream with direction”

Cynthia Guthrie

Cynthia Guthrie

Past President/Parliamentarian

Guthrie & Associates is a creative & collaborative playground for designers, architects, developers, procurement specialists, corporate brands, and construction professionals. We proudly represent the finest manufacturers in our industry.

We keep things simple. The best way to work together is to create enthusiasm, provide impeccable service and keep the flow rolling throughout the whole process. Driven by the thought that collaborative & collective work gets the best results we believe in partnership with our clients. Every great project needs strong ideas and clients need inspiring people who can advise them about innovative products and applications for their creative world.

The foundation for our work is a very simple idea……providing our relevant products and combining our client’s vision to achieve great projects and experiences. “If you like what you do you excel at what you create.” anonymous

Trisha Poole

Trisha Poole

Executive Advisor

Trisha Poole has over twenty-two years of experience in design and management in the hospitality field. Her personal passion for design and her dedicated loyalty to the client mission has consistently delivered creative results to her clientele over the years. As the leader and president of Design Poole, Trisha has trained all of her design professionals to approach every project with an entrepreneurial spirit as it relates to project success.
Trisha gained most of her experience with large design companies in Orlando, Florida, and Chicago, Illinois, and has had the great fortune to work with leaders such as Disney, Wyndham Vacation Ownership, Sun International, Marriott, Hilton, and Starwood. Her previous experience was working with and/or managing architects on most of the projects, which gave her a greater understanding of projects that require extensive technical detail and architectural coordination.
Trisha’s role on every project is to assure client satisfaction. Her strength is interpreting the client’s vision and delivering it with a goal of exceeding expectations. With strong business ethics and a drive for design excellence, Trisha makes Design Poole a viable and integral component of any project team. Trisha earned her Bachelor of Design from The University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Shelia Lohmiller

Shelia Lohmiller

Executive Director

Educated at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Bellin School of Nursing, and Harrington College of Design in Chicago, Lohmiller has 30+ years experience in the hospitality field. She became the first sales-woman for Falcon Products and was named West Coast Regional Manager in 1983, making her the first woman to be named manager for the company. Shelia founded an independent furniture representation business, the Lohmiller Group in 1984 in Los Angeles. Lohmiller cofounded the Network of Executive Women in Hospitality in 1984 with Dorrit St. John and Susan Spalding in Los Angeles. Having served as Founding President from 1984-1986, and Secretary of the NEWH, Inc. Board of Directors, Shelia was honored as the first recipient of NEWH’s Recognition of Excellence in 1992 for exemplary service to the organization. Shelia has served as the NEWH, Inc. Executive Director since 1993.

Trudy Craven

Trudy Craven

Strategic Advisor

TWC Consulting LLC provides customized and interactive learning and development experiences in leadership areas of focus such as Strategic Planning, Goal Setting, Evaluating Performance, Career Discussions, Development of Associates, Performance Management, Presentation Skills, Communication Skills, Leadership and Management Skills, etc. TWC Consulting is owned and operated by Trudy Craven, recently retired from a 40-year career with Milliken and Company, a large privately-owned manufacturing company headquartered in Spartanburg SC, where she served in a variety of roles, with the last 10+ years as their Senior Learning and Development Manager.

The Strategic Planning Workshop follows a strategic thinking framework, beginning with an assessment of “Where We Are” and “Where We are Going”, looking at internal and external factors, including a SWOT and an understanding of customers, competitors, products and services, and the operating environment. Prioritizing key areas follows, and if time permits, it moves into drafting goals to address the final point of “How are We Going to Get There”. The strength of the workshop lies in the interaction of the participants working together in breakout groups with key lessons from the facilitator interspersed throughout.

Dallas Bentley

Dallas Bentley

Education

Dallas Bentley is Director of Hospitality Sales for Marietta Drapery Company, a family business that manufactures and installs window coverings. He is a graduate of the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia, and his previous position was Director of Marketing at Kennesaw State University, the 3rd largest university in Georgia. He is passionate about mentoring and education, and is a proud Big Brother in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta program.

Mary Ann Thornam

Mary Ann Thornam

Continuing Education

Mary Ann Thornam was the Academic Department Chair at The Art Institute of Colorado. For years, she has built on a skill set which currently highlights her attributes as an expert at working with students, and a dedicated and committed faculty member who shows her true concern for them. She currently teaches three classes, including an externship, Textiles and Matters, and Estimates; she also oversees graduate students, consults with others, and schedules courses. She became involved in her profession after beginning her career as a commercial interior designer in the hospitality industry. When she started teaching part-time, she loved the interaction and energy of the students, and decided to go into teaching full time. Ms. Thornam has done public speaking. She considers herself a true professional because she has a good grasp for what she does and is great with her students. Ms. Thornam describes her work style as detailed, gets things done, easy to communicate and work with. Her greatest career achievement is promoting education.

Vanessa Vaughan

Vanessa Vaughan

Membership

Director of Membership, NEWH Inc.

Alexandra Jones

Alexandra Jones

NEWH Conference

Alex Jones’ career started 20 years ago in retail furniture sales for one of Canada’s largest department stores before transitioning into the commercial furniture market.
Upon completion in 2002 of BCIT’s Marketing Management Diploma in Professional Sales, Alex started working at Heritage Office Furnishings in the healthcare and hospitality division; Heritage Hospitality Supply and Design (HHSD).
Founded in 1979, Heritage saw a full service dealership that includes furniture, warehouse, installation, flooring and walls. With more than 50,000 square feet of warehouse and showroom space, they are located in Vancouver, Langley, Kelowna, and Kamloops, B.C. Each location features the full range of new and used office furniture and related services. Heritage represents more than 50 manufacturers and is the only authorized Steelcase dealer in B.C. Lower Mainland.
Working with various budgets to provide appropriate furniture to the design intent of the client and interior designer is Alex’s expertise.
In 2011, Alex joined NEWH as a commercial member before becoming an addition to the board. Currently she is the Programming Director, having moved from Membership Director and Scholarship. Aside from her role at NEWH she is volunteers for IDIBC and Canucks4Kids

Helen Reed

Helen Reed

Internet Communications

Helen L. Reed is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and has over 20 years experience working in the field of Hospitality Design. Her experience has ranged from a Project Interior Designer for an award winning Architectural and Interior Design to working as a manufacturer’s representative where she took time to learn about the manufacturing process of interior materials and furniture. In 1990 she started H.L Reed Design, Inc., a full service design firm that specializes in Restaurants, Country Clubs, Hotels and Retail Spaces throughout the United States. In addition to H.L.Reed Design, she started h2h,inc. in 2001. h2h is a full service procurement company that provides purchasing services for the Hospitality and Retail Industries.
Helen is one of the founding members of the Virginia Chapter of NEWH; in addition she has served as Director of Fundraising for NEWH, Inc until she became Vice President of Membership. She also serves on the Advisory Board for Virginia Commonwealth University School of Interior Design.

Matt DeShantz

Matt DeShantz

NEWH Ambassador

Matt DeShantz is the Vice President and National Sales Manager for Fabricut Contract and S. Harris where he oversees daily operations and sales strategies, and meets with designers and specificers across the country. With over 30 years of experience in outside sales and sales management, Matt has spent the last two decades in textiles as a trained sales professional for both the residential and hospitality industries. Matt is proud to serve on the NEWH Board of Directors and Boutique Design’s Advisory Board. He is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science in Speech Communications with an emphasis on Sales and Negotiation. Matt resides in Birmingham, Alabama, with his husband of 23 years Koby Thompson, and his hobbies include motor sports and vintage automobiles.

Gretchen Gilbertson

Gretchen Gilbertson

NEWH Ambassador

Inspiration drove Gretchen Gilbertson to start a tech company in 2003. With a shared vision and unwavering focus, she and her husband built Séura – a company recognized by the world’s largest hotel brands and leading custom integration specialists as the premier provider of design-centric technology products.

For the last 15 years, Gretchen has held the title and responsibilities of CEO. While her talents and passions have fueled the company’s growth, she’s never stopped working to inspire and unite other women leaders. Today she serves as an advisor, mentor, and ambassador on the International Board of Directors for NEWH. Recently recognized by Dealerscope as one of the most Powerful Women in Consumer Technology, Gretchen has received the honor of countless technology, industry, and woman-owned entrepreneurship accolades.

Prior to starting her company, Gretchen was employed by Kimberly-Clark Corporation in various market research and product development roles. She graduated with a BA from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and participated on the UW Spirit Squad as a cheerleader for the Badger football and basketball teams. During her time at the UW she met and married her college sweetheart – Bucky Badger.

Jordan McInturf

Jordan McInturf

NEWH Ambassador

Jordan McInturf is the vice president of sales for Shelby Williams, a premier manufacturer of furniture for the hospitality industry.

With over 20 years of experience in the hospitality and contract furnishings industry, Mr. McInturf started his career in sales with Milliken Hospitality Carpet. While at Milliken he was the recipient of the top sales producer and numerous other awards. He furthered his career in the contract furniture industry at Knoll as a senior account manager in Boston, MA. In 1998 he joined Durkan Hospitality Carpet as an independent sales representative. He was promoted to National Account Management and ultimately became regional vice president of the Mohawk carpet brands

For the past four years Jordan has been the vice president of sales for Shelby Williams with responsibility for sales & marketing, national account programs, and product development.

Michelle Finn

Michelle Finn

NEWH Media Ambassador

Michelle Finn is senior vice president, Hospitality Division, ST Media Group International, and president and co-founder of the Hospitality Media Group LLC formed for purposes of developing and managing trade fairs and events primarily focused on the hospitality industry, worldwide. In these roles, she oversees the management and development of its hospitality and related brands, which encompasses Boutique Design, Boutique Design Trade Fairs: BD|NY and BD|west held on an annual in New York City and San Diego respectively, Boutique Design forum series, Hospitality Match, International Design & Development Conference held in Korea and the management of the International Hotel Motel and Restaurant Show (IHMR), held on an annual basis in New York City.

Previously, Finn spent over twenty years in the Nielsen organization, where she held the position of VP Hospitality Brands responsible for the management and development of HD Expo, Hospitality Design and is the founder HD Boutique (now known as HD Americas) and HD Summit, an executive think- tank conference.

Finn has received numerous awards for innovation in trade fair development, publishing, leadership and service. She is a member of the Hospitality Industry Network ( NEWH), American Hotel Lodging Association ( AHLA), Cornell University Innovation Network, Boutique Lifestyle and Lodging Association (BLLA), Urban Land Institute ( ULI) and the International Society of Hospitality Purchasers ( ISHP). Finn holds two degrees from St. Mary’s College, South Bend, Indiana and serves on the national board of NEWH

Stacy Shoemaker Rauen

Stacy Shoemaker Rauen

NEWH Media Ambassador

Stacy Shoemaker Rauen is a well-respected and talented editor and writer, and is the editor in chief for Hospitality Design (HD) magazine, the leading publication for the industry. Besides running the day to day of the magazine and overseeing its content, Rauen is a noted speaker at industry events, and as an avid tracker of trends, places, projects, and people, she puts together panels at HD’s conferences, and has been quoted in various respected media outlets including CNBC and the Washington Post. She is also the founder of HD’s CitySCENE, a networking event series held in metropolitan areas throughout the U.S. and internationally, meant to connect design professionals in each market, as well as NextGen Forum, a conference for the next generation of hospitality design leaders. She holds two degrees from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, including a master’s in journalism, and is the president of the New York chapter of NEWH, Inc. – The Hospitality Industry Network.

Stephanie Deshaies

Stephanie Deshaies

Chair/BrandED

1. What is the last book you read? The Compound Effect, Darren Hardy

2. If you could check into any hotel in the world, what would it be? And why? The Ice Hotel in Northern Sweden. Do you really have to ask why? It’s Cool!

3. Tell us about your personal/professional background. Throughout her career, Stephanie has been dedicated to elevating the profession of interior design. She is a past board member of IIDA; she has been a site visitor for the Council of Interior Design Accreditation (formerly FIDER) for over 10 years. Stephanie has served on multiple coalitions in pursuit of legal recognition of the interior design profession. She is an advisor for the Interior Design Coalition of Washington IDCW. Stephanie is committed to the effort of securing interior design legislation in al 50 states. It is Stephanie’s tireless commitment to interior design professionalism that fuels her desire to be interior designs most passionate advocate.

4. What do you enjoy doing when you are not at work? Play with my kids / practice Yoga

Natalie Sheedy

Natalie Sheedy

Chair/Design LinQ

As an interior designer, Natalie Sheedy has seen the power of design to profoundly impact our daily lives firsthand. A beautiful space can enhance the ways we think and act. This insight drives Natalie’s passion for great design and it’s her goal for every project she takes on.

Whether designing large-scale hotel interiors or residential projects, the essence of Natalie’s design process remains the same. She engages clients and contractors in hands-on collaboration, seeking insights, expertise and perspective at every phase from kickoff to conclusion. This ensures that decisions are strategic and deliberate and that every aspect of the finished design aligns with realistic business goals. It’s a process that’s proven to delight her clients time and again, creating one-of-a-kind spaces with sophisticated palettes, refined style and design functionality that can stand the test of time.

Before owning her own studio, Natalie spent 10 very rewarding years managing and designing multi-million-dollar hospitality projects as Studio Director at world-renown interior design firm The Gettys Group. Prior to her professional experience, she earned her B.A. with a minor in business at Harrington Institute of Interior Design in Chicago, where she had participated in a prestigious exchange program with the Academie van Kunst in Rotterdam, Holland. The sum of these experiences has given Natalie best-in-class training on how to make sure her clients experience the best possible return on their investment in design.

When she’s not in the thick of a project you can find Natalie sharing her passion for design as a member of NEWH, The Hospitality Industry Network, for which she sits on both the International Board and the Chicago Chapter board. She’s also proud a proud winner of a Gold Key award and was recognized as one the hospitality industry’s up- and-coming interior design leaders in Boutique Design’s “Boutique 18 for 2018”.

Levar Jackson

Levar Jackson

Diversity Committee

Levar Jackson is Founder and CEO of Visual Renaissance, a full-service art strategy firm that sources and curates unique wall art, paintings, sculpture and other installations for sophisticated hospitality, residential and commercial properties. He specializes in helping world-class hotel brands drive customer loyalty and engagement with art that inspires. Levar co-developed Meural, a digital canvas that enables hospitality properties to offer guests a dynamic, personalized aesthetic experience. When he’s not organizing distinctive networking and educational programs for NEWH New York Chapter members, Levar can be found honing his craft as a photographer, chef and graphic designer–or taking in a movie near his home in Downtown Brooklyn.

Helen Reed

Helen Reed

Diversity Committee

Helen L. Reed is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and has over 20 years experience working in the field of Hospitality Design. Her experience has ranged from a Project Interior Designer for an award winning Architectural and Interior Design to working as a manufacturer’s representative where she took time to learn about the manufacturing process of interior materials and furniture. In 1990 she started H.L Reed Design, Inc., a full service design firm that specializes in Restaurants, Country Clubs, Hotels and Retail Spaces throughout the United States. In addition to H.L.Reed Design, she started h2h,inc. in 2001. h2h is a full service procurement company that provides purchasing services for the Hospitality and Retail Industries.
Helen is one of the founding members of the Virginia Chapter of NEWH; in addition she has served as Director of Fundraising for NEWH, Inc until she became Vice President of Membership. She also serves on the Advisory Board for Virginia Commonwealth University School of Interior Design.

Tara Witt

Tara Witt

Diversity Committee

Tara Witt is the Development Director of Tarrison and founder of Vandervitt Inc., both based in the Toronto area. Tarrison is a full-line manufacturer of stainless steel products that cater to many different market segments. Vandervitt provides furniture and front-of-the-house speciality products to the hospitality industry. Tara joined the Toronto Chapter of NEWH shortly after graduating from Western University with a cross-disciplinary degree in business and psychology. She is currently the President of the Toronto chapter, and Secretary for the NEWH Canada Board.

Libby Bull

Libby Bull

House of Delegates

Libby studied Interior Architecture & Design at Middlesex University in London and began her career designing retail outlets and spas for up-market cosmetics company Molton Brown. Since then she has gained considerable experience across a broad range of commercial interiors; from cosmetic and car showrooms to libraries, education centres and restaurants.

For the last 9 years, Libby has specialized in Hospitality, designing a series of luxury hotels and resorts for both individual owners and some of the world’s leading Operators. Now a Senior Designer Project Manager at G.A Design, based in the London Office, but working internationally across all 4 offices she is responsible for overseeing 1-2 projects at a time and each project from the initial design proposal through to final on-site completion. In her spare time she enjoys going to cinema, exploring markets and takes every opportunity to travel.

Laura Carter

Laura Carter

House of Delegates

Laura Carter is a Sales Representative for Gmansales representing Ashley Lighting, Charter Furniture, Electric Mirror, JF Fabrics, and Shaw Contract Hospitality. Laura has a Bachelor of Science with a focus in Marketing and Entrepreneurial Management from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. Laura started her career by moving to New York and using the Interior Design Magazine Giants List to find her first role in marketing. Since transitioning into sales, she enjoys collaborating with designers to help make their concepts come to life. On the weekends you can find Laura exploring Brooklyn, training for a race, or playing beach volleyball. Laura currently serves as the NEWH New York Chapter VP of Administration.

Anastasia (Stacey) Davis

Anastasia (Stacey) Davis

House of Delegates

Anastasia “Stacey” Davis is the Showroom Sales Account Manager for legrand representing the adorne & Radiant Collections. Her responsibilities include growing market share with interior designers, architects, builders & developers throughout the residential & hospitality channels. Stacey has 15+ years of Specification Sales experience with various roles serving the A&D community.

Stacey has been actively involved local chapter associations such as; ASID, NKBA & NEWH. She has chaired many positions from Secretary, Membership, VP of Programming, VP of Development. Stacey is currently serving her role as President of the South Florida NEWH. Her innate ability in these diverse positions has allowed her to give back to the educational community, maintain & nature working her relationships and the opportunity to meet some really great people she considers friends.

Stacey resides in Hollywood, Florida with her family. Her greatest accomplishment she considers is her three children; Austin, Alexandria and Ashley. When not working, Stacey spends her free time enjoying her family & friend’s, outdoor sports activities, teaching her cycle fitness classes & thoroughly loves cooking.

Alison Gasser

Alison Gasser

House of Delegates

Alison Gasser is currently serving as Past President of the Los Angeles Chapter. After completing her AmeriCorps service working with at-risk youth to complete their High School diploma, she continued in many of her family members footsteps by joining the hospitality industry. She specifically followed in her mother and aunt’s footsteps by joining the NEWH Los Angeles chapter and became involved with the board immediately. Her solutions base approach has allowed her the opportunity to work with global companies on a personal level. She was a multiline representative with York Hospitality for five years and is now the Western Regional Sales Manager for Vibia Light.

Rittner Hufford

Rittner Hufford

House of Delegates

My career travels have taken me from California to New York; but I’ve stayed connected to my “home base”, Arizona. To understand my personality is to understand that I come from a tight knit family with two brothers and that I’ve remained down to earth and dedicated to success. Athletics throughout my life led to the development of a competitive spirit that fuels me to compete and succeed. I enjoy baseball, cooking, exercise & nutrition.

In management roles for over a decade I pride myself in being a strong and loyal team leader that leads by example and sets clear expectations.

– A well-built team, given a clearly communicated strategy, along with the essential support and encouragement will be not only successful, but they will be eager to succeed and achieve above and beyond.
– As goals serve to establish objectives; incentives should inspire achievement beyond those objectives. Neither should be easy nor impossible.

Kristin Kubala

Kristin Kubala

House of Delegates

Kristin Kubala has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Interior Design from Texas State University. She worked as a licensed designer in Austin, TX before moving to Houston and making the transition into commercial flooring sales. Kristin is an expert on creating, building, and managing relationships within the design community. With ten years of Interior Design and seven years of Resilient Flooring Sales under her belt, she brings a unique blend of creativity and flooring knowledge to customers.

Johanna Malen

Johanna Malen

House of Delegates

Tell us about your personal/professional background? My first career was in retail merchandising, product development and sourcing. I did this for many years, but took a break when I had my daughter in 2004. I entered hospitality sales in 2008, when a designer friend referred me to a manufacturer looking for a rep. It was a very difficult time to enter a new industry, but fortunately, I met some great mentors, colleagues and friends (many in NEWH)! I love collaborating with designers and providing product solutions that fit their project aesthetic and budgets.

What is the last book you read? A thriller called, The Good Girl…not to be confused with Gone Girl, which I also loved!

What do you enjoy doing when you are not at work? My daughter, Rose, now 13 years, and I have been crafting together since she could pick up a crayon. We have dabbled in lots of mediums, but several years ago, we began to create “stuff” with all my obsolete samples and swatches….from pouches to purses to credit card holders, and lots of jewelry. Our glue gun is our best friend!

Timi Mustapha

Timi Mustapha

House of Delegates

Timi Mustapha is a Sr. Interior Designer on Marriott International’s Core Full Service team, focusing on the growing Delta Brand. After graduating from American University with a degree in international studies, Timi received her design degree from Montgomery College. She is currently pursuing her master’s in Design Management and Communication at Georgetown University. She is passionate about NEWH and began her career as the Student Rep on the Board in 2015, receiving a scholarship from the Chapter in 2016.”

Karen Rains

Karen Rains

House of Delegates

1. Tell us about your personal/professional background. I’ve been in the hospitality industry as an independent manufacturer’s representative for almost 9 years and it’s flown by! I have a marketing background and ended up in the industry through my husband – an architect by schooling and career rep himself. I’ve lived in Seattle my whole life and really can’t imagine being anywhere but the beautiful Pacific Northwest. San Diego is the only other US city I’ve considered living, however Bucerias Mexico makes a wonderful winter home someday. When I’m not working I’m chasing my kids around, spending time outside as much as I can, and planning my next home renovation project. It’s a horrible addiction.

Gabe Rodriguez

Gabe Rodriguez

House of Delegates

Gabe Rodriguez, NCIDQ Interior Designer, is multi-disciplined with experience in workplace, hospitality, health & wellness, and senior living. He bridges the design and technical roles of projects to deliver high quality, high design spaces for his clients. He has a Masters in Interior Architecture from Florida International University. Passionate about giving back and making a difference in our design community he is currently serving as the VP of Administration.

Chris Schafer

Chris Schafer

House of Delegates

Upon graduating from Middle Tennessee State University in 1995, Chris immediately became involved in the transportation and logistics industry beginning his career with US Express, a premier trucking and logistics management company in Orlando Florida. As the Domestic Operations Manager he was responsible for over $3 million in sales revenues.

After three years in the domestic transportation market, Chris was offered a position with PMG Worldwide as the Domestic Shipping and Operations Manager. He was soon also running the international logistics for the company and promptly named General Manager and Vice President of Global Operations. His responsibilities included expanding the client base with companies that included Campus Crusades, Walt Disney world, and Harris Corporation.
Over the next five years Chris honed his sales and operational skills in both the domestic and international markets with Adcom Worldwide, as Vice President of Operations and with Xpress Global Systems as a Regional Sales Manager.

As Co-founder of Installation Service Group (ISG), Chris has developed innovative ways to control the assets and streamline the supply chain for clients in hospitality, construction, design, procurement, and healthcare industries. The foundation of his belief is to better his client’s projects and the industry one lives within.

Amanda Tomlinson

Amanda Tomlinson

House of Delegates

Amanda Tomlinson is an interior designer who graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BS in Interior Design and a business minor with honors from Florida State University. She currently works at Meyer Davis Studio located in New York City, where she designs for select hospitality, retail and residential commissions that require one-of-a-kind solutions. Her scope of work ranges from conceptual/schematic design, design development, design documentation and product specification. As a project manager at Meyer Davis, her goal is to facilitate the creation of alluring spaces that comfortably pair with the expectations of each client. She is a past recipient of the NEWH Sunshine Chapter Scholarship as well as the 2013 NEWH Icon of Industry recipient. Since moving to New York City in 2012, she has been actively involved with NEWH, and currently serves as the VP of Administration for the NEWH New York Chapter.

Tara Witt

Tara Witt

House of Delegates

Tara Witt is the Development Director of Tarrison and founder of Vandervitt Inc., both based in the Toronto area. Tarrison is a full-line manufacturer of stainless steel products that cater to many different market segments. Vandervitt provides furniture and front-of-the-house speciality products to the hospitality industry. Tara joined the Toronto Chapter of NEWH shortly after graduating from Western University with a cross-disciplinary degree in business and psychology. She is currently the President of the Toronto chapter, and Secretary for the NEWH Canada Board.

Jonathan Young

Jonathan Young

House of Delegates

Jonathan is a professional sales leader with over 30 years experience in the hospitality FF&E industry. He has been involved in sales, sales and marketing management, and senior director level positions at manufacturers providing product for the hotel and leisure sectors. His experience has been primarily with floorcovering and carpet, but he also has recent involvement with furniture.

As Chairman of the BCFA from 2011 until 2014, leading the Board of the trade association that supports the British Contract Furnishings Association, and currently as Vice President of the UK chapter of the NEWH, he has a good understanding of business within the hospitality and commercial markets.

His experiences have taken him across continents, working and living in the US and UK, and developing and executing growth strategies for businesses across international markets.

He is a creative thinker and believes in the importance of communication particularly when working with people from diverse cultures, and across all levels of a business. Jonathan is passionate about building the right environment to maximize teamwork and empower individuals to deliver against prescribed objectives and goals.

Jonathan’s leadership and management skills will help establish a clearly defined strategy for business and understand how it needs to be implemented for success. His contacts across the US and Europe can help navigate the transition process.

“A vision is a clearly articulated, results-orientated picture of a future you intend to create. It is a dream with direction”