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 specializes in residential, commercial and retail projects. Mr. Diaz graduated …

    More about Fernando Diaz, FASID, CID ›
  • Sandy Banks

    Sandy Banks

    Vice President/Finance

    From humble beginnings on a farm in Nebraska, Sandy Banks has catapulted herself into a wildly successful career in hospitali…

    More about Sandy Banks ›
  • 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…

    More about Jennifer Wellman ›
  • 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 ›
  • Helen Reed

    Helen Reed

    Vice President/Communications

    Helen Reed is an award-winning Interior Designer, Consultant and Artist living in Richmond and Old Town Alexandria, Virginia.…

    More about Helen Reed ›
  • Lanée Burns

    Lanée Burns

    Vice President/Equity, Inclusion, & Diversity

  • 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 35 years of experience in the hospitality FF&E industry. He has been involv…

    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

    Chief Executive Officer

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

    More about Shelia Lohmiller ›
  • Jena Seibel

    Jena Seibel

    Chief Operating Officer

  • Susan Huntington

    Susan Huntington

    Chief Financial Officer

  • 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

    Brittany is a recent transplant to Denver, CO after living in San Francisco, CA for the last fourteen years. She's been in th…

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  • Dallas Bentley

    Dallas Bentley

    Education

    Dallas Bentley has worked in either hospitality and higher education since 2003. For six years, he held positions in care…

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  • Vanessa Vaughan

    Vanessa Vaughan

    Membership

  • Debbie McKelvey

    Debbie McKelvey

    BrandED

  • 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 tr…

    More about Alexandra Jones ›
  • Kelly Gaddes

    Kelly Gaddes

    Fundraising

  • Michelle Goertz

    Michelle Goertz

    Equity, Inclusion, & Diversity

    Michelle serves as the Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Director for the Board of Directors of the NEWH, Inc. Las Vegas Chapt…

    More about Michelle Goertz ›
  • Deaderia Morris-Bowman

    Deaderia Morris-Bowman

    Equity, Inclusion, & Diversity

    Deaderia Morris-Bowman is Director of Design & Marketing for Distinction Hospitality, Inc. Distinction Hospitality is headqua…

    More about Deaderia Morris-Bowman ›
  • Tory Knoph

    Tory Knoph

    Social Media

    Tory Knoph is an Senior Interior Designer who brings a unique, new perspective to Stonehill Taylor. Her experience includes h…

    More about Tory Knoph ›

NEWH Ambassadors

  • 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…

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  • 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 ›
  • Jason  Reynolds

    Jason Reynolds

    NEWH Ambassador

  • 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 ›
  • Tara Chung

    Tara Chung

    NEWH BrandED Ambassador

    Tara Chung is the Director of Interior Design for Marriott International, Global Designs Americas. In the past couple of yea…

    More about Tara Chung ›
  • My Nguyen

    My Nguyen

    NEWH BrandED Ambassador

    Seattle-based designer My Nguyen holds degrees in Interior Design and Fine Arts and currently works as Director of Interior D…

    More about My Nguyen ›
  • Barry Sullivan

    Barry Sullivan

    NEWH BrandED Ambassador

Committee Chair

  • Penny Shelton

    Penny Shelton

    ED Online

  • Barbara Bradley

    Barbara Bradley

    Continuing Education

  • Rachel Berman

    Rachel Berman

    Green Voice

  • Leslie Anderson

    Leslie Anderson

    BrandED

  • Stephanie Deshaies

    Stephanie Deshaies

    BrandED

    Stephanie Deshaies is an established professional who has dedicated her career to elevating the profession of Interior Design…

    More about Stephanie Deshaies ›
  • Natalie Sheedy

    Natalie Sheedy

    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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  • Miriam  Tamayo

    Miriam Tamayo

    Design LinQ

Committee Members

  • Twee Andersen

    Twee Andersen

    Equity, Inclusion, & Diversity

  • Valerie Coleman

    Valerie Coleman

    Equity, Inclusion, & Diversity

    Valerie is an interior designer working for Marriott International. Though design is her professional focus, she brings a var…

    More about Valerie Coleman ›
  • Linda Hinojosa

    Linda Hinojosa

    Equity, Inclusion, & Diversity

    Linda Hinojosa graduated from California State University Fullerton with a BS in Human Services. She also completed coursewor…

    More about Linda Hinojosa ›
  • Levar Jackson

    Levar Jackson

    Equity, Inclusion, & Diversity

    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

    Equity, Inclusion, & Diversity

  • Patricia Lopez

    Patricia Lopez

    Equity, Inclusion, & Diversity

  • Raquel Miller

    Raquel Miller

    Equity, Inclusion, & Diversity

    Raquel is the founder & CEO of Bunchful, Inc. a technology company with its flagship product, Ensom City TalentQuest, a new p…

    More about Raquel Miller ›
  • Michelle Purcell

    Michelle Purcell

    Equity, Inclusion, & Diversity

    In 2011, Michelle joined the Disney College Program in Orlando, FL and this emersion into the hospitality industry was an inv…

    More about Michelle Purcell ›
  • Jason  Reynolds

    Jason Reynolds

    Equity, Inclusion, & Diversity

  • Anna Sveinbjornsdottir

    Anna Sveinbjornsdottir

    Equity, Inclusion, & Diversity

  • Brian West

    Brian West

    Equity, Inclusion, & Diversity

  • Jonathon Wilkins

    Jonathon Wilkins

    Equity, Inclusion, & Diversity

    Jon has taken a winding path into the interiors industry. Starting with studying Science of Psychology due to his fascination…

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  • Aura Zapata

    Aura Zapata

    Equity, Inclusion, & Diversity

    Aura is an Industrial Designer who started her Journey in the Hospitality Industry working for the Hotels Chain Sandals & Bea…

    More about Aura Zapata ›

House of Delegates

  • Leslie Anderson

    Leslie Anderson

    House of Delegates

  • Nicole Brindle

    Nicole Brindle

    House of Delegates

    Nicole is a graduate of the Art Institute of Colorado and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a focus on Interior Design. Sh…

    More about Nicole Brindle ›
  • Libby Bull

    Libby Bull

    House of Delegates

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

    More about Libby Bull ›
  • Courtney Callahan

    Courtney Callahan

    House of Delegates

  • Valentina Castellon

    Valentina Castellon

    House of Delegates

  • Enrico Cleva

    Enrico Cleva

    House of Delegates

    Enrico G. Cleva is an Italian architect, interior designer and international business development consultant in the design an…

    More about Enrico Cleva ›
  • Carolina Coelho

    Carolina Coelho

    House of Delegates

    Carolina was born into the field of design & construction; which carved the path into her career. During high school she work…

    More about Carolina Coelho ›
  • Mark Cunningham

    Mark Cunningham

    House of Delegates

  • Kortney Edge

    Kortney Edge

    House of Delegates

  • Denise Ganson

    Denise Ganson

    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…

    More about Alison Gasser ›
  • Natasha Gomez

    Natasha Gomez

    House of Delegates

  • Edgar Gutierrez

    Edgar Gutierrez

    House of Delegates

  • Tara Hebert

    Tara Hebert

    House of Delegates

    Tara Hebert is the Southeast Direct Business Development Leader for RH Contract. With a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Inter…

    More about Tara Hebert ›
  • Korrin Howard

    Korrin Howard

    House of Delegates

  • Jonathan Kaler

    Jonathan Kaler

    House of Delegates

  • Julie Kaufmann Unger

    Julie Kaufmann Unger

    House of Delegates

  • Tory Knoph

    Tory Knoph

    House of Delegates

    Tory Knoph is an Senior Interior Designer who brings a unique, new perspective to Stonehill Taylor. Her experience includes h…

    More about Tory Knoph ›
  • 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…

    More about Kristin Kubala ›
  • Annette Lucille

    Annette Lucille

    House of Delegates

    Annette Lucille began her hospitality career in operations with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in beautiful Seattle, WA. Her…

    More about Annette Lucille ›
  • Kary Maybury

    Kary Maybury

    House of Delegates

  • Demi Melissinou

    Demi Melissinou

    House of Delegates

    Demi received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree from the Interior Design Department of Middlesex University in Lond…

    More about Demi Melissinou ›
  • Leena Nacy

    Leena Nacy

    House of Delegates

  • Janine Peluffo

    Janine Peluffo

    House of Delegates

    How did you become involved in NEWH? Eddie & Jill from Ramsey pulled me in! Glad they did! Tell us about your personal/pro…

    More about Janine Peluffo ›
  • Michelle Purcell

    Michelle Purcell

    House of Delegates

    In 2011, Michelle joined the Disney College Program in Orlando, FL and this emersion into the hospitality industry was an inv…

    More about Michelle Purcell ›
  • Karen Rains

    Karen Rains

    House of Delegates

    Karen Rains is the National Sales Manager for Pulp Studio, Inc. and an expert in all things glass. I’ve been in the hosp…

    More about Karen Rains ›
  • Rebecca Rotar

    Rebecca Rotar

    House of Delegates

    Rebecca Rotar founded R & R Design Resources in 2016 after spending 16 years purchasing in the commercial, hospitality and se…

    More about Rebecca Rotar ›
  • Heather Scott

    Heather Scott

    House of Delegates

    Heather is the Founder of PROOF, an architectural wares and design consultation firm based in Dallas, TX. She has been immers…

    More about Heather Scott ›
  • Penny Shelton

    Penny Shelton

    House of Delegates

  • Athena Slejko

    Athena Slejko

    House of Delegates

  • Gwendoline Theodet

    Gwendoline Theodet

    House of Delegates

  • Jessica Vos

    Jessica Vos

    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 35 years of experience in the hospitality FF&E industry. He has been involv…

    More about Jonathan Young ›

Staff

  • Diane Federwitz

    Diane Federwitz

    Events/Membership Director

    Diane is the Membership/Events Director for NEWH, Inc.

    More about Diane Federwitz ›
  • Julie Hartmann

    Julie Hartmann

    Finance Manager

  • Hillary Eggebrecht

    Hillary Eggebrecht

    Scholarship/Communications

  • Brenda Peterson

    Brenda Peterson

    Tradeshow/Conference Coordinator

  • Kathy Coughlin

    Kathy Coughlin

    Administrative/Membership Coordinator

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 specializes in residential, commercial and retail projects.

Mr. Diaz graduated from Ottawa University in 1973 and, later in 1982 from UCLA Extension. 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, his responsibilities included overseeing the design of 50+ showrooms and offices, creating a corporate image among others.

In 1996 Mr. Diaz opened the successful Furniture Gallery at Pacific Design Center (PDC)
selling designer furniture floor samples from PDC showrooms at huge savings. After a year long hiatus from the furniture showroom, Fernando re-opened Furniture Gallery in February 2004 at the exciting and energetic LA Mart Design Center.

Fernando Diaz and Associates strives for the best possible expression and solution to clients’ lifestyles and needs; projects range from small homes and offices to grand scale residences and office suites. 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 (ASID), 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 American Society of Interior Designers/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 for Excellence” award from NEWH, The Hospitality Network. His worked has graced the pages of Metropolitan Home Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Home & Décor several times as well as other publications. Television appearances include several HGTV programs.

Sandy Banks

Sandy Banks

Vice President/Finance

From humble beginnings on a farm in Nebraska, Sandy Banks has catapulted herself into a wildly successful career in hospitality. Raised with a DIY spirit and strong work ethic, she learned to sew and make her own clothes at the age of six, embarking on a lifelong love affair with fabric and its transformative power. Unable to find clothes she liked in stores, Sandy designed and made her own wardrobe, strongly influenced by favorite designers Pucci, Paco Rabanne, Mary Quant and Rudi Gernreich. She discovered an early outlet for her passion as the art director for her high school theater troupe, making costumes, building sets, and collaborating on designs that brought stories to life. Sandy majored in Art and studied architectural drawing in college but always followed her curiosity to seek out a creative education beyond the classroom. As a fabric store manager in Los Angeles, she expanded her love and knowledge of textiles, working with film studio costumers and museum textile restoration experts in addition to apparel and interior designers. It was this job that gave Sandy the creative, business and people skills that would prepare her for the next chapter in her career.

Sandy joined P/Kaufmann, Inc. in 1983, playing a key role in the formation of the company’s Contract division, both as one of the first sales representatives and as an invaluable consultant on initial product and color lines. There she found a kindred spirit in Curtis Breedlove, an early mentor and current President of P/Kaufmann Contract, with whom she shared a background in art and design that influenced PKC’s aesthetic and sales strategy. Sandy has been awarded PKC’s Salesperson of the Year numerous times during the past 30 years. In 2010, she was promoted to Western Sales Manager, where she has consistently grown her business in key West Coast, Las Vegas and Hawaiian markets. Sandy has maintained and expanded a loyal base of clients and brands by championing her customers’ design vision and bottom line; by asking the right questions and giving honest answers; by conducting business with integrity, passion and style.

Sandy’s reputation as a champion for her clients is well deserved, but her legacy as a champion for women in the hospitality industry may be even more enduring. Starting her career as a working mother in the early 1980’s, she pushed back against prevailing corporate expectations, finding inspiration in a growing network of women who, like herself, sought to forge their own path and redefine success in the world of business. Sandy joined NEWH in 1984 as one of its early members and currently serves on its National Board of Directors. Along with mentoring new P/Kaufmann Contract sales representatives, Sandy has been instrumental in developing NEWH‘s mentoring and scholarship programs; nurturing the best and brightest of hospitality’s next generation as a way to pay forward all of the support and guidance she has received.

Family, creative pursuits and causes close to her heart fill Sandy’s personal life. She counts daughter Amber—an educator and mentor to women in her own right— as her greatest achievement. Sandy still sews her own clothes and collects art and textiles during her extensive travels. The inspiration she derives from other cultures enhances her personal and professional design aesthetic and informs her worldview. Through her support of organizations including Wildlife Waystation, Earth Justice and the ACLU, Sandy expresses her passion for animal welfare, the environment and social justice.

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 accepted a position at Lexmark Carpet Mills and remained there as VP of Architecture and Design Sales until the acquisition by Tarkett. Jennifer Stayed with Tarkett as the Director of Global Accounts until she accepted a position with Remington Lighting as the Director of National Sales.
Jennifer has worked on several large hospitality projects including the Fort Worth Omni, Trinidad Grand Hyatt, and the Arizona Biltmore.

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.

Helen Reed

Helen Reed

Vice President/Communications

Helen Reed is an award-winning Interior Designer, Consultant and Artist living in Richmond and Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. Her experience has ranged from a Project Interior Designer for a Top 100 Architectural and Interior Design Firm to working as a manufacturer’s representative where she took time to learn about the manufacturing process of interior materials and furniture.

Her firm, Helen Reed Design, provides full service Interior Design, branding, procurement and consulting for Restaurants, Hotels, Spas, Healthcare and Retail projects throughout the United States. Her team brings a creative approach to each project, developing into a unique final product for every Client.

Helen is an Artist and Photographer providing commissioned art for clients as well as creating art pieces for several of her own projects. She is in the process of converting several of her designs into wall-coverings and custom carpets.

In addition to Interior Design and Art, in 2020 Helen launched Cr8you.com, a spiritual and life coaching consulting firm that helps people define their soul’s calling encouraging them to live their life with greater purpose and passion not only personally but also in their career, whether it is in their current job, a side hustle or launching a new business. She is also in the process of launching Be-cr8tive.com a platform providing workshops, retreats, and virtual gatherings to inspire people who want to express their creative calling through art, design, photography, speaking, writing or any other creative process.

In 2013, Helen Co-Founded Uplined.com, a technology company that provides cloud storage for both residential and commercial properties. The platform establishes maintenance reminders so that the building’s owner can take better care of their building while keeping connected to that building’s service teams.

Helen served on the Executive Committee of NEWH, Inc. from 2006-2017. She served as President from 2010-2011. Currently she has joined the Executive Committee of NEWH again as VP of Communications.

In 2021, Helen became Chair of Modern Richmond. Modern Richmond’s mission is to promote, educate and celebrate modernism in Richmond, Virginia with the Vision that Richmond becomes recognized as a center of modernism. The organization provides tours, lectures, and virtual events featuring mid-century modern to current modern properties throughout the city. In 2019, Helen led the Modern Richmond Book Committee with the design and publication of their first Book celebrating their 10-year anniversary and featuring over 50 properties that had been toured during that time.

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 35 years of 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, most recently as Managing Director of Axminster Carpets. He has now launched his own company, Jonathan Young Associates, providing consultancy and product sourcing to the hospitality interior furnishings sector. 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 sales and marketing process for companies looking to expand into new markets.

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 International Relations of NEWH Inc and Past 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 the hospitality market and a big believer in connecting education and business through networking.

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

Chief Executive Officer

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.

Brittany Spinner

Brittany Spinner

Scholarship

Brittany is a recent transplant to Denver, CO after living in San Francisco, CA for the last fourteen years. She’s been in the design industry for almost 15 years, and has been working remotely off and on for almost two years here in Denver. She is a self-proclaimed nerd whose recent passions include playing board games, starting a history club in her neighborhood, and becoming a transit and walkability advocate.

Professionally, Brittany’s unique approach to design is filled with passion, diligence, curiosity and the continuous love of learning. This love of learning guides her in teaching younger staff based on her experience in a large variety of projects, clients, and locations. Her personal motto is that every day is a new challenge and a new opportunity to grow. In a team setting, Brittany is a hands-on team player that feels that leadership also means to stand side by side with each other to help with project workload and deadlines.

Dallas Bentley

Dallas Bentley

Education

Dallas Bentley has worked in either hospitality and higher education since 2003.

For six years, he held positions in career development and marketing at Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, the Students’ Society of McGill University, and Kennesaw State University. He is passionate about communications, management, marketing, product development, and education. Since 2013, he has been a mentor to an underprivileged child as Big Brother in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta program.

For this organization, he has participated in events, videos, marketing campaigns, and interviews for local television spots to encourage mentor sign ups and donations.

He is part-owner and Director of Hospitality Sales for Marietta Drapery & Window CoveringsCompany, a 4th generation family business that directly manufactures and installs window and bed coverings for the hospitality, multi-family, and commercial markets.

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 specializing in healthcare and the hospitality division. Her expertise has now grown to include education and corporate in her account portfolio with special detail for ancillary spaces.

Founded in 1979, Heritage saw a full service dealership that includes furniture, warehouse, installation and architectural walls. With more than 50,000 square feet of warehouse and showroom space, they are located in Vancouver, Kelowna, and Kamloops, B.C. Heritage represents more than 200 manufacturers and is the only authorized Steelcase dealer in B.C. Lower Mainland and Interior. 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 Director of Leadership Conferences, having moved from volunteering at all positions at the Vancouver Region Level.

Michelle Goertz

Michelle Goertz

Equity, Inclusion, & Diversity

Michelle serves as the Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Director for the Board of Directors of the NEWH, Inc. Las Vegas Chapter.

Deaderia Morris-Bowman

Deaderia Morris-Bowman

Equity, Inclusion, & Diversity

Deaderia Morris-Bowman is Director of Design & Marketing for Distinction Hospitality, Inc. Distinction Hospitality is headquartered in High Point, North Carolina and focuses on providing custom furniture to the hospitality industry.

After graduating from Spelman College, Deaderia began her career working at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. and later completed a certificate in business at Georgetown University.

Deaderia joined Marriott International in 1987 and spent 20 years as part of the Marriott Team. During her time at Marriott, as Senior Designer and Interior Design Manager, Deaderia worked on design renovations covering a broad range of hotel brands including Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Marriott Marquis, Renaissance and Marriott Hotel & Resorts. Deaderia worked with various customers including Host Hotels. Her projects and renovations were in the United States as well as Europe and South America.

She left Marriott to join Kimball Hospitality as Director of Design, where she spent 13 years engaged in a broad range of projects and helped enhance the brand image and overall marketing for the company.

Deaderia is passionate about the Hospitality Industry and is NCIDQ-certified, a member of ASID, and an active member of NEWH. In addition, she loves puppies, flowers, and recently the joy of cooking. Deaderia resides in Atlanta Georgia with her husband Elmer Bowman.

Tory Knoph

Tory Knoph

Social Media

Tory Knoph is an Senior Interior Designer who brings a unique, new perspective to Stonehill Taylor. Her experience includes hospitality work for both large brands and boutique hotels alike. Over the past few years, Tory has been a part of numerous major design projects, including the Saint Kate an art and performing arts hotel in Milwaukee, WI, The Press Hotel in Portland, ME, The Hilton Brooklyn in downtown Brooklyn, and her first hotel NYLO New York, NY. She has close working relationships with many FF&E vendors, ensuring that each project is developed with the latest and most innovative products currently available. On the weekends Tory loves to hanging out with her dog and exploring anything outdoors.

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.

Tara Chung

Tara Chung

NEWH BrandED Ambassador

Tara Chung is the Director of Interior Design for Marriott International, Global Designs Americas. In the past couple of years, her focus has been on supporting the growth of the Delta Hotels Brand in the US and Canadian markets. Previous to her work on Delta Hotels, she spent 10 years influencing and guiding the implementation of multiple new design initiatives for the Marriott Hotels and JW Marriott Hotels brands. Tara is passionate about the hospitality design industry and believes that good design and beautiful spaces keep us inspired.

My Nguyen

My Nguyen

NEWH BrandED Ambassador

Seattle-based designer My Nguyen holds degrees in Interior Design and Fine Arts and currently works as Director of Interior Design & Operations for Holland America Line (HAL) and Seabourn (SBN). Throughout her career, My has earned accolades for award-winning and nationally recognized projects in marine, high-end residential, and hospitality design. She joined Holland America Group in a newly created leadership role to form an in-house design team that oversees the interior refurbishments and maintenance of the HAL and SBN fleet. My is also the head designer of staterooms on Holland America Line newbuild vessels. My is passionate about influencing the industry to be the leaders in sustainability, forward thinking, and collaboration.

Stephanie Deshaies

Stephanie Deshaies

BrandED

Stephanie Deshaies is an established professional who has dedicated her career to elevating the profession of Interior Design. She is an NCIDQ certified interior designer who practiced commercial interior design for 10 years before transitioning to Sales and Marketing for Architex in 2005.

Stephanie works hard to become an expert in the subject in which she is working. For Architex, Stephanie has studied textile performance and application and educates interior designers on a daily basis on the durability, cleanability, resistance to cleaners and appropriate application of textiles in contract spaces for all vertical markets.

She is a past Board Member of IIDA both in the Northern Pacific Chapter based in Seattle and New England Chapter based in Boston. She was a site visitor for CIDA; The Council for Interior Design Accreditation for over 10 years. She was president of the Interior Design Coalition of Washington and most recently was the President of the Northwest Chapter of NEWH; The Network of Executive Women in Hospitality. Stephanie Deshaies is a courageous advocate for the profession of interior design.

Natalie Sheedy

Natalie Sheedy

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”.

Valerie Coleman

Valerie Coleman

Equity, Inclusion, & Diversity

Valerie is an interior designer working for Marriott International. Though design is her professional focus, she brings a varied background to include a prior career in human resources, and event planning. Mentoring up-and-coming professionals in our industry is a passion for her, as is taking advantage of teaching opportunities, for which she’s taught introduction to interior design, design principles, and commercial interiors courses as an adjunct professor. Outside of work, Valerie is active in her sorority providing service to her local community, active in her church, and continues serving NEWH, for whom she was a scholarship recipient in 2005. Hobbies include anything music and dance (she wanted to be a professional dancer!), travel to places with blue waters and white sands, and being a dog mom to her newly adopted fur baby, Blackjack.

Linda Hinojosa

Linda Hinojosa

Equity, Inclusion, & Diversity

Linda Hinojosa graduated from California State University Fullerton with a BS in Human Services. She also completed coursework in Film, Television and Special Effects through the Multimedia Program at UCLA.

Her experience includes A&D specification work with shelving & furniture for public and university libraries, textiles for hospitality, resilient flooring for corporate, healthcare and higher education and is currently the A&D Specialist for Formica; covering healthcare, commercial, retail and hospitality projects.

Linda helps to grow our regions active members by reaching out to previous and new A&D, end users and vendors.

Linda resides in Orange County, CA with her husband Todd. They both share a passion for travel abroad, and have visited 23 countries.

Levar Jackson

Levar Jackson

Equity, Inclusion, & Diversity

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.

Raquel Miller

Raquel Miller

Equity, Inclusion, & Diversity

Raquel is the founder & CEO of Bunchful, Inc. a technology company with its flagship product, Ensom City TalentQuest, a new platform for friendly talent competitions that celebrate individual talents, whilst creating real community within organizations. TalentQuest offers a unique creative outlet to foster a more inclusive culture, especially in current times when employees are remote and increasingly isolated from each other. The service is augmented by optional gifting services to reward winners, which include Bunchful’s personalized gifts from a network of worldwide vendors of gift products, where every gift is connected to a story, and accompanied by in-house gift concierges who curate highly customized gift experiences, including fun and personal growth experiences for both individuals and large teams.

Bunchful has also launched a philanthropic initiative, called The BE Bunchful Awards, an annual event, which aims to shine the spotlight on giving. Each year, the spotlight will shine on a specific area of philanthropic cause, with its inaugural year honoring the very generous contributions made by so many to help those most affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Raquel has said she hopes to inspire the growth of philanthropy as a global way of living, and that highlighting successes large and small will seek to demonstrate the potential of giving to transform the lives of individuals and communities toward a better world. The BE Bunchful Awards will be held on November 16 & 17, 2021.

Michelle Purcell

Michelle Purcell

Equity, Inclusion, & Diversity

In 2011, Michelle joined the Disney College Program in Orlando, FL and this emersion into the hospitality industry was an invaluable experience into diversity. She is an Interior Designer within the Hospitality Studio at the Tempe office of RSP Architects and joined the team in 2018. Currently Michelle is on the NEWH Arizona Chapter Board as Vice President and also serves on the NEWH Equity, Inclusion, Diversity Committee.

Jonathon Wilkins

Jonathon Wilkins

Equity, Inclusion, & Diversity

Jon has taken a winding path into the interiors industry. Starting with studying Science of Psychology due to his fascination with the way the people interact (and being a sucker for the punishment of Math!), it progressed into the world of Technology. Working as a sales manager on complex wide scale Tech projects for some of the world largest companies, he realised it was a little too impersonal and so joined the Interiors world with leading wallcovering company Phillip Jeffries. As International Contract Sales Manager he oversees hundreds of projects on all continent and his aim is to bring an analytical mind, an extensive project knowledge and sales management into the commercial world for Phillip Jeffries.

Outside of work, Jon loves sport. From scaling cliff faces, running through muddy fields and diving with sharks he enjoys any challenge.

Aura Zapata

Aura Zapata

Equity, Inclusion, & Diversity

Aura is an Industrial Designer who started her Journey in the Hospitality Industry working for the Hotels Chain Sandals & Beaches Resorts. Right before COVID-19 Joined The Royal Caribbean Group. Unfortunately, it lasted very little as it was the most affected industry. Today she is co-founder of a movement called “Live By Design”.

Nicole Brindle

Nicole Brindle

House of Delegates

Nicole is a graduate of the Art Institute of Colorado and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a focus on Interior Design. She began her career designing model homes as a Design Assistant, while working part time in a drapery showroom and performing various freelance works. Nicole has since gained invaluable experience working as a sub-representative for several manufacturers. In 2018, Nicole opened her own sales firm as an Independent manufacturer’s representative.

Nicole is also an accomplished mixed media artist, and loves doing anything creative from baking to creating Mala for meditation. To see some of her artwork visit nicolebrindle.com

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.

Enrico Cleva

Enrico Cleva

House of Delegates

Enrico G. Cleva is an Italian architect, interior designer and international business development consultant in the design and exhibition businesses. A graduate of Politecnico di Milano University, Enrico founded his practice in 2005 with his wife architect Sara Viarengo Cleva, focused mainly on interiors for corporate offices and high end residential projects. Enrico is official representative of Fiera Milano in Canada, working on the business development of global shows like Host Milano, Tuttofood and HOMI. He is a strategic consultant for the Interior Designers of Canada association, a regular speaker on interior design trends and writes for design magazines such as Canadian Interiors.

Carolina Coelho

Carolina Coelho

House of Delegates

Carolina was born into the field of design & construction; which carved the path into her career. During high school she worked as an associate at a local tile & stone showroom. Shortly after high school she advanced to managing their New York City showroom. Her passion for the industry grew and enrolled in college to become an interior designer. In 2015 she decided move to Florida to be closer to her immediate family. To proceed with her career & establish new roots she got heavily involved with local industry organization including IIDA & NEWH. Currently holds the title of NEWH South Florida Chapters’ Past President / Parliamentarian. Carolina is also the Regional Director of Business Development in Florida for TileBar. TileBar is a direct importer of porcelain and ceramic tiles, natural stone & LVT.

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.

Tara Hebert

Tara Hebert

House of Delegates

Tara Hebert is the Southeast Direct Business Development Leader for RH Contract. With a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Interior Design and minors in Business and International Studies, she began her career in 2007 at Gensler in Atlanta. After 6+ years, she made the decision to move into the manufacturer’s representative role. It was in this role that RH Contract approached her to become the Southeast Hospitality/Commercial Leader.

Tory Knoph

Tory Knoph

House of Delegates

Tory Knoph is an Senior Interior Designer who brings a unique, new perspective to Stonehill Taylor. Her experience includes hospitality work for both large brands and boutique hotels alike. Over the past few years, Tory has been a part of numerous major design projects, including the Saint Kate an art and performing arts hotel in Milwaukee, WI, The Press Hotel in Portland, ME, The Hilton Brooklyn in downtown Brooklyn, and her first hotel NYLO New York, NY. She has close working relationships with many FF&E vendors, ensuring that each project is developed with the latest and most innovative products currently available. On the weekends Tory loves to hanging out with her dog and exploring anything outdoors.

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.

Annette Lucille

Annette Lucille

House of Delegates

Annette Lucille began her hospitality career in operations with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in beautiful Seattle, WA. Her commitment towards creativity led her to attend the Art Institute studying interior design while simultaneously studying wine. Development company Wischermann Partners, Inc moved her from Seattle to Minneapolis where she was mentored as a project manager; renovating + building new properties within the portfolio. As of 2016, she has been working for the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality woven carpets – Brinton’s as a commercial sales executive + resides in South Florida. For the past five years she has contributed to the board + looks forward to serving as VP Admin to showcase her fondness for students.

Demi Melissinou

Demi Melissinou

House of Delegates

Demi received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree from the Interior Design Department of Middlesex University in London, where she was also stationed during her first working years. Since the mid-nineties she has been extensively involved in residential, commercial and hospitality projects in Europe and the UAE region and since 2015 in the GTA of Canada. In Canada she founded Demi Melissinou Design, a company that continues to provide services worldwide.

Her philosophy is that innovation and respect towards the power of ambience create amazing environments where people are excited to shop, eat, work, have fun & relax.

Janine Peluffo

Janine Peluffo

House of Delegates

How did you become involved in NEWH? Eddie & Jill from Ramsey pulled me in! Glad they did!

Tell us about your personal/professional background? Graduated from a small college in Lynchburg, VA with a Health Degree and ended up selling shoes and running a little shoe boutique in VA. Later went on to sell leather with my current company, Moore & Giles!

What is the last book you read? A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara–super sad book
(I cried a lot) but glad I read it.

If you could stay at any hotel in the world, what would it be? And why? Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort. I love star gazing on a cold winter night and hope to enjoy the Northern Lights before its too late.

Name one of your favorite Bay Area pastimes? Lazy park days in the sun with friends!

What do you enjoy doing when you are not at work? Camping and enjoying the outdoors with my cute little family.

Favorite caffeinated beverage? Green Tea Matcha Latte

Michelle Purcell

Michelle Purcell

House of Delegates

In 2011, Michelle joined the Disney College Program in Orlando, FL and this emersion into the hospitality industry was an invaluable experience into diversity. She is an Interior Designer within the Hospitality Studio at the Tempe office of RSP Architects and joined the team in 2018. Currently Michelle is on the NEWH Arizona Chapter Board as Vice President and also serves on the NEWH Equity, Inclusion, Diversity Committee.

Karen Rains

Karen Rains

House of Delegates

Karen Rains is the National Sales Manager for Pulp Studio, Inc. and an expert in all things glass.

I’ve been in the hospitality industry for 13 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.

Rebecca Rotar

Rebecca Rotar

House of Delegates

Rebecca Rotar founded R & R Design Resources in 2016 after spending 16 years purchasing in the commercial, hospitality and senior living industries. This was an opportunity to work with manufacturers and provide her experience and knowledge of these products to designers and purchasers in the Colorado market. She is a graduate of Colorado State University with a degree in design.

Rebecca joined the NEWH Rocky Mountain chapter in 2017 and in 2019 became a board member. She served as treasurer for 2 years and is currently the VP of Administration. She looks forward to working with the chapter to grow the membership and work with students to provide guidance and information about working in this industry.

Heather Scott

Heather Scott

House of Delegates

Heather is the Founder of PROOF, an architectural wares and design consultation firm based in Dallas, TX. She has been immersed in the Hospitality Design Industry since graduating from Harrington Institute of Interior Design in 2001. Her passion for the industry has granted her a seat on two non-profit boards, NEWH Dallas (13 years!) and Hospitality Cares (1 year and counting). Most importantly though, she is the very proud wife of Neal Scott, mother of Vivienne Winter Scott, stepmother of two Alabama students (Roll Tide!), and slave to three little fluffy dogs. She hopes her daughter will follow in her footsteps of service through non-profit volunteer work as it’s truly an enriching experience for all.

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 35 years of 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, most recently as Managing Director of Axminster Carpets. He has now launched his own company, Jonathan Young Associates, providing consultancy and product sourcing to the hospitality interior furnishings sector. 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 sales and marketing process for companies looking to expand into new markets.

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 International Relations of NEWH Inc and Past 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 the hospitality market and a big believer in connecting education and business through networking.

Diane Federwitz

Diane Federwitz

Events/Membership Director

Diane is the Membership/Events Director for NEWH, Inc.