This January, companies across the industry are ringing in the new year by restructuring their teams and bringing on new hires. Read on for Business of Home’s monthly roundup of arrivals and departures in design, manufacturing, media and more.
To the Trade
Kravet welcomed Audrey Margarite as marketing creative director. Margarite has more than 15 years of experience in product development, interior design, marketing, product management and sourcing, previously working as a creative director at Bunny Williams Home and co-founding the direct-to-consumer tabletop and decorative accessories brand Fete Home in 2018. In her new role, Margarite will work with the marketing team and product development to direct photo shoots.
New York–based tile manufacturer Nemo Tile + Stone appointed Rob Wesson as the New England architecture and design sales manager. Most recently, Wesson served as the commercial sales manager in the New England market for Dallas-based tile manufacturer Daltile and spent 21 years with the company.
New York–based Munder-Skiles appointed key leadership positions: Chip Allemann as president, Liz Goodrich as European sales director and David Rogers as general manager. Based in Madrid, Allemann previously worked in hospitality real estate in Asia, Europe and America, and currently manages the European business. Based in London, Goodrich was previously co-owner of hand-made terra cotta pottery brand Italian Terrace Collection. Rogers has been at Munder-Skiles Garden Furniture’s Chicago showroom for eight years and will manage day-to-day operations and oversee production in America, Costa Rica, Vietnam and Morocco.
New York–based textile manufacturer and fabrics company Pollack | Weitzner appointed Susan Whalen as chief executive officer. Whalen has been with the company for 24 years—most recently as president. In that time, she has been instrumental in Pollack’s merger with Weitzner in 2011, managing the expansion and modernization of the company’s warehousing and revamping company websites in 2019. In her new role, Whalen will be responsible for all operations, design, finance, sales and marketing for both Pollack and Weitzner.
North Carolina–based furniture company Skram announced Robert Wolf as vice president of growth marketing, a new role for the brand. Before joining Skram, Wolf was head of marketing for North America at Swiss-based design brand Vitra, where he was responsible for residential, office and airport teams and led the transformation of the brand into a contemporary design house. In his new role, Wolf will work out of the brand’s North America flagship showroom in New York, where he will oversee marketing and a newly created contract division.
Chicago-based fine art auction house and firm Hindman welcomed Gemma Sudlow as managing director of the New York region. Sudlow brings 17 years of business development, auctioneer and specialist expertise, most recently serving as senior vice president and head of private and iconic collections and decorative arts at luxury British auction house Christie’s. In a new role focused on launching Hindman’s first full-service Manhattan saleroom, Sudlow will lead a team in New York that oversees postwar and contemporary art, jewelry and watches, and furniture and decorative arts.
Design & Architecture
Houston-based architecture and design firm Benjamin Johnston Design announced the hire of local architect and designer Michael Viviano as design director. Viviano received his master’s of architecture from the University of Houston in 2013, and previously worked with firms including Logan and Johnson Architecture, and Robertson Design. In his new role, Viviano will oversee all components of BJD.
Atlanta-based design firm Sims Patrick Studio welcomed five new team members. Katie McDaniel joins as studio coordinator and will manage day-to-day office operations. Brittney Greco has been named project director, most recently serving as a senior interior designer at Dallas-based construction company The Beck Group. With 12-plus years of experience in interior architecture and historic preservation, Greco will lead and oversee all phases of interior design projects, from material selection to design and implementation. Abby Mills joins the firm as a junior interior designer, having recently graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor’s in interior design. Rachel Skinner and Lynsey Sweatt have been named project designers. Skinner, who has experience in the wedding industry, most recently served as a sales and event assistant at Cloverleaf Farm. Sweatt relocated to Georgia from New York, where she worked at interior design firm Meyer Davis as a junior designer.
Minneapolis-based architecture and design firm Nelson Worldwide appointed Joseph Muscarella as vice president of client development and David Crotty as regional practice leader of the civic, community, justice and education practice. Muscarella has experience in creative strategy and brand development, retail design and hospitality furniture development, and is the principal owner of New York–based consulting and design strategy firm Joseph Louis Design. In his new role, Muscarella will help grow Nelson’s retail practice, define market opportunities through industry trend monitoring and serve as a partner to the company’s workplace and hospitality practices. Most recently serving as the regional leader of justice at New York–based architecture and planning firm Hok, Crotty has a design portfolio that includes complex and large-scale projects in cities like London; Doha, Qatar; and Florence, Italy. In his new role, he will work with teammates to execute projects that reflect the company’s innovative capabilities.
Hospitality firm Hirsch Bedner Associates announced several senior management appointments and promotions. After serving 16 years at HBA, Meghann Day was named the company’s president of the Americas, a newly created role. Day has risen through the ranks at the company, previously serving as a designer and partner, where she led the design of high-profile hospitality projects and expanded the firm’s reach into Mexico. As president, Day will continue to serve as a partner at HBA San Francisco while overseeing broader efforts across HBA Americas and globally.
Danielle Trost was named principal to lead HBA’s Atlanta office, most recently serving as associate principal and director of design at Atlanta-based architecture and planning firm Cooper Carry. With more than 20 years of interior design expertise, Trost will promote current and upcoming branded hotel and residential projects both domestically and internationally, and will also spearhead hospitality and convention center projects.
Nicole Sun Chung was promoted to vice president of development in Los Angeles, having worked for HBA for more than 15 years to support the firm’s business development objectives. In her new role, Chung will secure and negotiate contracts for the firm’s U.S.-based offices and its sub-brands.
In Miami, HBA named designers Man Him Chan and Maya Molina as associates. Chan has been with HBA Miami since its inception, while Molina brings more than a decade of experience in architecture and interior design to the company. As associates, Chan and Molina will be responsible for project management and leading architectural interior design concepts from ideation to inhabitable spaces.
Media & PR
Digital media company (and BOH owner) Recurrent Ventures announced two leadership positions for its home vertical: Jason Lepore as senior vice president and Nicole Wolfgram as chief revenue officer. Lepore previously managed Recurrent’s auto and military verticals, after serving as the vice president of media at California-based content company Leaf Group and general manager of publishing company Hunker. In his new role, he will oversee operations for the company’s portfolio of design and culinary brands—Bob Vila, Business of Home, Domino, Dwell, Jancis Robinson and Saveur. Wolfgram’s promotion comes after serving as Dwell’s CRO since 2017. In her new role, she will work on revenue initiatives across the group with a focus on developing a unified direct sales team strategy and structure.
Creative director, stylist and editor Benjamin Reynaert as the creative director of custom-order upholstered furniture retailer Interior Define and launched a strategy and brand consulting firm, Benjamin Reynaert Creative, that channels more than a decade of experience at interior design publications like Architectural Digest’s AD Pro, Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Domino and Martha Stewart Living to make creative content for print, digital and social channels.
Lifestyle and interior design media company Apartment Therapy appointed three new leaders. Kylie McConville will be the company’s editor in chief, after most recently serving as the vice president of editorial growth at New York–based media company BDG (aka Bustle Digital Group) and editor in chief of Elite Daily. Jeff Olson will serve as the senior vice president of revenue operations, having previously led revenue operations for content discovery and sharing platform Flipboard and managed yield and ad product solutions at Turner Broadcasting. Liz Grove will be the new vice president of sales, bringing more than 20 years of experience at media companies including OMD, Condé Nast, Hearst and Tastemade, and after most recently leading the home and culinary sales team at Recurrent Ventures.
Account director Chase Pardue left Los Angeles–based public relations firm Hello PR Group to work at New York–based company M18 Public Relations as a director on the real estate team.
Retail & Manufacturing
North Carolina–based direct-to-consumer pottery brand East Fork announced that CEO Connie Matisse will be stepping down from daily operations, passing the role and responsibilities to her husband and co-founder, Alex Matisse, who will take over daily operations and continue to head the brand’s growth. For 13 years, Connie has managed East Fork, growing the company by her own fluency with Instagram and her ability to forge direct relationships with the brand’s customers. In her new role, she will serve as a board member and consult, with a focus on DEI initiatives, brand development and social media marketing.
Lease-to-own furnishings company Katapult named Nancy Walsh as chief financial officer. With experience in entrepreneurial companies, Walsh most recently served as executive vice president and CFO of Virginia-based LL Flooring Holdings, a multichannel retailer of hardwood flooring and accessories. In her new role, Walsh will be responsible for Katapult’s financials and work closely with the company’s leadership team to provide strategic direction that will scale the business.
Kitchen and bath manufacturer Kohler Co. named Samie Barr chief brand officer. With more than 30 years of progressive consumer and retail experience, Barr previously worked at Hyatt Corporation as the vice president of global grands, spent 15 years in leadership roles at Starbucks and most recently served as the senior vice president of marketing for Crate & Barrel brand CB2. In her new role, Barr will report to CEO David Kohler and will be responsible for leading media and digital capabilities, and the global teams.
German kitchen manufacturing company Blanco announced the promotion of Edyta Drutis to vice president of brand and marketing for North America. Drutis has more than 20 years of marketing and communications experience, and has worked in the plumbing industry for 14 years, most recently serving as the director of branding and communications for Blanco North America. In her new role, Drutis will lead integrated marketing, branding and communications efforts with a focus on increasing consumer awareness.
Italian heritage furniture-maker Arper welcomed Pascal Manzari as national sales director for the U.S. and Canada. Most recently serving as the vice president and partner at Seattle-based Memo Furniture, Manzari joins Arper with 25-plus years in the contract furniture industry, including as vice president of sales at textile manufacturer Maharam and vice president and general manager at Herman Miller–owned health-care brand Nemschoff.
German appliance manufacturer Miele USA appointed Leo Pellizzari as vice president of finance and administration. Pellizzari has served as Miele Canada’s vice president of finance and operations since 2001, and will implement budgeting tools and improve profitability in his new USA role.
Michigan-based furniture manufacturer Landscape Forms named Eric Swanson president of the company’s outdoor furniture brand Loll Designs. With more than 22 years in the furniture industry, Swanson joined Landscape Forms in 2003, eventually serving as the vice president of sales and playing an integral role in the transition of the newly acquired Loll Designs. In his new position, Swanson will continue to serve as the chief revenue officer of Landscape Forms while leading the Loll Designs team.
The American Home Furnishings Alliance announced new directors and officers for 2023. Joe Johnston, CEO of North Carolina–based Johnston Casuals Furniture, will serve as the chair of the board of directors, and the executive committee will include Nathan Cressman of North Carolina–based Magnussen Home as first vice chair; Andy Bray of North Carolina–based Vanguard Furniture as second vice chair; president and CEO of Mississippi-based Southern Motion Roger Bland as immediate past chair. Executives named to the new three-year terms on the AHFA board of directors are Edward Audi of Stickley, Mark Franklin of Franklin Corporation, Sean O’Connor of Universal Furniture, Veronica Schnitzius of American Leather, Luke Simpson of Durham Furniture and Henry Vanderminden IV of Telescope Casual Furniture.
The International Contemporary Furniture Fair made two leadership changes within their design group. Kevin Gaffney was promoted to vice president of ICFF’s parent company, Emerald. With 25 years of experience managing the planning and execution of over 60 trade shows, including Boutique Design NY and HD Expo, Gaffney will continue to manage the day-to-day operation of the trade shows. Co-founders of design community platform WantedDesign Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat were appointed brand directors for ICFF and WantedDesign. In their new roles, Hainaut and Pijoulat will continue to manage WantedDesign while curating a selection of exhibitors, programming and specially designed spaces for the ICFF fair in 2023.
The National Kitchen & Bath Association announced its 2023 board of directors. President and CEO of Miele USA Jan Heck was elected NKBA board chair, succeeding Basil E. Larkin, senior vice president of sales at Hestan Commercial Corp. Vice president of residential building and showrooms for Ferguson Enterprises Kristen Elder was elected vice chair, and president and CEO of Caesarstone North America Ken Williams was named board secretary and treasurer. Newly elected 2023 board members include Eduardo Cosentino, the executive vice president of Cosentino Group and CEO of Cosentino America; and Kerrie Kelly, CEO and creative director of Kerrie Kelly Design Lab.
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