Executive Committee

  • Mark Cunningham

    Mark Cunningham

    President

    Mark, is a native New Yorker and the principal of Cunningham Design + Associates, their mission is to enhance and facilitate …

    More about Mark Cunningham ›
  • Levar Jackson

    Levar Jackson

    VP/Administration

    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 ›
  • Erica Puccio

    Erica Puccio

    VP/Development

    Erica Puccio is currently the Chief Brand Officer of Tilebar. She joins us with 20 years of experience in the industry as an…

    More about Erica Puccio ›
  • Lissette Wispe

    Lissette Wispe

    Secretary

    Lissette Estephania Wispe , senior project manager at Stellarworks, born in Dominican Republic, and raised in Miami. Moved to…

    More about Lissette Wispe ›
  • Laura Carter

    Laura Carter

    Past President

    Laura Carter (she/her) is a Sales Representative for Gmansales representing Ashley Lighting, Charter Furniture, Electric Mirr…

    More about Laura Carter ›
  • Tory Knoph

    Tory Knoph

    Executive Advisor

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

    More about Tory Knoph ›

Board of Directors

  • Lori Firpo

    Lori Firpo

    Scholarship

  • Joshua Kennett

    Joshua Kennett

    Student Relations

    Josh is a manufacturing representative for carpet and rugs, working for Royal Thai, a world leader in the categories of Axmin…

    More about Joshua Kennett ›
  • John Roberts

    John Roberts

    Membership

    John Roberts has been in the industry since 2003 and has worked for notable manufacturers like Interface, Lutron, Milliken, a…

    More about John Roberts ›
  • Claire Claussen

    Claire Claussen

    Fundraising

    Claire Claussen owns Claussen Concepts, a hospitality agency representing Montague casegoods, Marquis seating, Mix by Trinity…

    More about Claire Claussen ›
  • 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 ›
  • Lauren Somers Pelusio

    Lauren Somers Pelusio

    Marketing

    Under the creative direction of Lauren Somers Pelusio, Richloom Contract has developed an unmatched understanding of how indi…

    More about Lauren Somers Pelusio ›
  • Laura Carter

    Laura Carter

    NEWH, Inc. Delegate

    Laura Carter (she/her) is a Sales Representative for Gmansales representing Ashley Lighting, Charter Furniture, Electric Mirr…

    More about Laura Carter ›
  • Levar Jackson

    Levar Jackson

    NEWH, Inc. Delegate

    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 ›

Committee Chair

  • Phoebe Beachner

    Phoebe Beachner

    Green Voice

  • Kristy Bohne

    Kristy Bohne

    Hospitality

    Kristy is the proud owner of KB Hospitality… representing Couristan Hospitality Carpet, JACLO Plumbing, Majestic Lighting, …

    More about Kristy Bohne ›
  • Cara Palumbo

    Cara Palumbo

    Fundraising

    Cara has spent the last 10 years in the New York architectural sales market. She specializes in tile and is currently with Cr…

    More about Cara Palumbo ›
  • Svetlana Bekker

    Svetlana Bekker

    Community Service

  • Kathleen Bennett-Marold

    Kathleen Bennett-Marold

    Database

  •  
Mark Cunningham

Mark Cunningham

President

Mark, is a native New Yorker and the principal of Cunningham Design + Associates, their mission is to enhance and facilitate the needs of the hospitality and procurement community. Our expertise and focus is hotels, country clubs, commercial buildings, assisted living, museums, restaurants, spas and other select public places.

Mark has been in the design services industry for the last 10+ years, following a decades long career in the financial services community. With a 30+ year passion for buying and researching high end residential furniture, Mark decided to follow his passion and deliver his own unique service. Mark is married to an NYC marketing executive, lives outside of Manhattan and enjoys spending time with their son Owen. Mark is also an avid traveler, collector and sports enthusiast who enjoys training for marathons and triathlons.

Levar Jackson

Levar Jackson

VP/Administration

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.

Erica Puccio

Erica Puccio

VP/Development

Erica Puccio is currently the Chief Brand Officer of Tilebar. She joins us with 20 years of experience in the industry as an Interior Designer and AD Business Developer. Before embarking in the world of product development that ranges in her expertise of natural stone to tile, she earned her BFA at the Fashion Institute of Technology for Interior Design. This experience allowed her the privilege to design for residential and commercial based companies from Victoria Hagan Interiors to Harrah’s Entertainment. She is extremely passionate about the design community and the endless connection it brings with an overall conviction to inspire, promote, service, and celebrate great design.

Lissette Wispe

Lissette Wispe

Secretary

Lissette Estephania Wispe , senior project manager at Stellarworks, born in Dominican Republic, and raised in Miami. Moved to NYC to establish a meaningful career in hospitality and joined NEWH in 2016. Now, I serve as the secretary for the board, on my second term, and look forward to continuous growth in our chapter and industry.

Laura Carter

Laura Carter

Past President

Laura Carter (she/her) is a Sales Representative for Gmansales representing Ashley Lighting, Charter Furniture, Electric Mirror, Fermob, Richloom Contract, Shaw Contract, and The Living Company. 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 in New York with her first role in marketing at a commercial interior design firm. 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, planning trips, and training for half marathons. Her favorite part of NEWH is reading the student scholarship applications and spending our fundraising proceeds on the future of hospitality!

Tory Knoph

Tory Knoph

Executive Advisor

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.

Joshua Kennett

Joshua Kennett

Student Relations

Josh is a manufacturing representative for carpet and rugs, working for Royal Thai, a world leader in the categories of Axminster, Hand Tufted, and Carpet Tile. He lives in NYC, and covers clients in the states of NY, NJ, PA, OH, and DE, while working on projects globally.

Josh started his career at Hilton Worldwide’s headquarters, working in Strategic Sourcing of FF&E (namely carpet, textiles, and art). He then did a stint at Marriott International, prior to working for vertically integrated manufacturers, first in decorative lighting and now in his specialty of carpet. Josh studied fashion and textiles, and is a fan of music, art, and anything design-related.

John Roberts

John Roberts

Membership

John Roberts has been in the industry since 2003 and has worked for notable manufacturers like Interface, Lutron, Milliken, and Daltile.

John remains an active member of the A&D community in NYC. In addition to his current role as Director of Membership for the New York chapter of NEWH, he previously served as their Director/Chair of Fundraising. He has also served on multiple IIDA committees as well as in a leadership role for LMNOP, a New York-based organization that provided business-focused workshops, organized mixers, and hosted a yearly benefit event in support of the A&D community where members connected, supported, and advised each other in a proactive and productive environment. LMNOP is now a part of IIDA NY.

Claire Claussen

Claire Claussen

Fundraising

Claire Claussen owns Claussen Concepts, a hospitality agency representing Montague casegoods, Marquis seating, Mix by Trinity lighting, MTS seating, and Room 360 by FOH. Claire has a BA degrees in Economics and Accounting from Fairfield University. Although her career began in the corporate accounting world, she soon after transitioned to the world of hospitality sales and never looked back. The cutting edge design projects she gets to work on with clients is the culmination of her love of business and design. On the weekends you can find Claire running on the west side and trying ALL of the incredible restaurants NYC has to offer. Her favorite part of NEWH is knowing that her efforts and time are going to such a great cause, student scholarships.

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.

Lauren Somers Pelusio

Lauren Somers Pelusio

Marketing

Under the creative direction of Lauren Somers Pelusio, Richloom Contract has developed an unmatched understanding of how individual designers and brands conceptualize interiors, bringing their visions to fruition through fabrics and finished products. Before transitioning over to hospitality, she spent 15 years designing residential fabrics.

With degrees in Marketing and Interior Design, she enjoys all aspects of Design and approaches it from a broad perspective. Lauren has a husband and two children that live in Hoboken and are actively involved in their community and with their church. In her free time she can be found skiing, at the beach, or using her infrared sauna blanket and trying out various biohacking methods.

Laura Carter

Laura Carter

NEWH, Inc. Delegate

Laura Carter (she/her) is a Sales Representative for Gmansales representing Ashley Lighting, Charter Furniture, Electric Mirror, Fermob, Richloom Contract, Shaw Contract, and The Living Company. 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 in New York with her first role in marketing at a commercial interior design firm. 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, planning trips, and training for half marathons. Her favorite part of NEWH is reading the student scholarship applications and spending our fundraising proceeds on the future of hospitality!

Levar Jackson

Levar Jackson

NEWH, Inc. Delegate

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.

Kristy Bohne

Kristy Bohne

Hospitality

Kristy is the proud owner of KB Hospitality… representing Couristan Hospitality Carpet, JACLO Plumbing, Majestic Lighting, Bernhardt Hospitality and Richloom Contract.

With a background in Interior Design, Kristy partners with reputable and creative manufactures and prides herself on making the specification process smooth from conception to completion. Her favorite part of NEWH is the networking connections made while supporting future designers.

When she’s not working, you can find Kristy either exercising or somewhere on the water… SUP’ing, kayaking, boating or lounging… unless it’s winter where you’ll find her either eating or hiding under a blanket!

Cara Palumbo

Cara Palumbo

Fundraising

Cara has spent the last 10 years in the New York architectural sales market. She specializes in tile and is currently with Creative Materials Corporation as a multi-line commercial ceramic supplier, working with over 150 different factories globally. As an advertising graduate from the University of Illinois and a self-proclaimed ‘tile nerd’, she brings her passion for adding a little sparkle in all things to her architecture and design partners. Her supplied projects can be seen across the country and across industries: From the new Virgin Hotel Las Vegas, to the Princeton dormitory residential halls, to the Facebook offices at Hudson Yards, Google New York headquarters and even Sarah Jessica Parker’s townhouse.. Cara strives to provide a range of tile solutions to her talented designer’s specific project needs. She loves seeing her client’s visions revealed through finishes, and aims to make sure their desired design intent is what ultimately brings the space to life. Her role today is New York Territory Sales Manager, and she sits on the NEWH New York board as the Co-Chair Directory of Fundraising.

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