Best in Design
The HD Awards, presented by Hospitality Design magazine, celebrates the best of the best in projects and products, and honors the creative teams behind them. The 2023 jury-selected winners will be announced in June during a ceremony in New York, and all winners and finalists will be showcased in the magazine’s May/June issue.
The 2023 Judges
Marcus Samuelsson Group
Angela Bankhead is a creative and award-winning multimedia producer and marketing leader with over 10 years of experience specializing in creative concept development, curating content and media production with a passion for expanding cultural and brand awareness. Her unique understanding of community engagement through strategic planning traverses the media forms of film, design, art, and photography.
Through her desire for digital media in the culinary industry, this drive led her to join in 2014, the Marcus Samuelsson Group working in various facets of content management, design, photography, art, social media strategy, community partnership and cultural events.
Angela has become a force to be recognized as she continues to create partnerships and collaborate on projects that speak to the community, culture and creativity of the human spirit.
Angela holds an MFA in Design & Technology from Parsons the New School for Design and a dual Bachelor of Arts Degrees in Media Production and Psychology with minors in African-American Studies and English from the University of Houston. She currently resides in the New York area and is always seeking her next food adventure. In her spare time, she is living life and creating chef-like quality meals at her Bankhead Kitchen Studio in Harlem.
Tara Bernerd + Partners
Tara Bernerd is the award-winning visionary behind some of the world’s leading hotels, with clients including Four Seasons, Belmond and Rosewood. Based in London’s Belgravia, the internationally renowned designer is known for approachable luxury, a global sensibility, and interiors with a deep sense of place.
Kristen Conry serves as Marriott International’s senior vice president of global design for the U.S. and Canada. In this role, she leads a team of 100+ architects, designers, and project managers, who oversee all projects across the region for Marriott’s 30 brands.
Prior to joining Marriott, Kristen worked at Gensler, where she served as principal and managing director of the Chicago office. While there, she co-led an office of more than 220 design professionals working across industry sectors, including hospitality, with accountability for design excellence, talent development, client relationships, strategy and performance.
Prior to this, Kristen held several roles over her 12-year tenure with Hyatt. Kristen serves on the boards of Changing Worlds and 826 National, nonprofit organizations dedicated to youth arts and writing, as well as the Dean’s Advisory Board at the Architecture School at Illinois Institute of Technology. She holds an MBA from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management and Master of Architecture and Bachelor of Science degrees from University of Michigan. She is a licensed architect and LEED Accredited Professional.
Kristen lives with her husband and two children in Chevy Chase, Maryland. She is an enthusiastic runner and an equally enthusiastic baker.
Adriana Marianella is the chief development officer for CultureWorks, the parent company for NeueHouse and Fotografiska. Adriana was previously VP of brand development & experiential for Standard International, having commenced her 11-year tenure with the company as chief of staff to legendary hotelier André Balazs.
She is a longstanding UNICEF NextGen board member and is a founding board member for Chefs for Impact. Academically, Adriana holds a B.A. in Political Science from Brown University and she is a visiting guest lecturer at SciencesPo in Paris and Parsons in New York.
Born into a world of design, Alessandro Munge quickly transcended his teenage sketches to become one of North America’s most sought-after designers. Through his inquisitive nature and fundamental drive to provoke profound emotion, Alessandro has broken free from the preconceived notions of interior design for over 20 years.
With an innovative point of view earning him Interior Design’s Leader in Hospitality, ICFF’s Designer of the Year Award, and the prestigious Toronto Metropolitan University Alumni Achievement Award, Alessandro approaches every project holistically with a deep understanding of practicalities, artistic expression, and human connectivity. Strengthening his ties to a host of top-tier hospitality brands and clients, Alessandro continues to establish himself as a multidisciplinary visionary through design architecture, landscaping, and product design. His boundless passion for art, culture, and travel, inspires his international team of over sixty to sculpt spaces into distinctive, signature experiences that reflect the essence and vibrancy of their inhabitants.
Stephanie Smith is responsible for ensuring the interior design of hospitality and residential projects in the NCA region complies with Accor standards, with particular focus on luxury brands such as Fairmont and Raffles. Before rejoining Accor in 2015 in her current role, Stephanie was director interior design at Dundee I 360 Vox for more than three years, and director interior design at FRHI for two years.
With a career spanning more than three decades, Stephanie’s leadership in hospitality interior design has elevated the quality of design and physical product for new builds, renovations, and conversion projects across Accor’s portfolio of 4- and 5-diamond luxury-branded properties, as well as boutique and independent full and limited-service hotels. Stephanie’s accomplishments on multi-million dollar renovations have won numerous industry awards, in addition to successfully re-positioning guestrooms and suites, F&B venues, public spaces, events, meetings and wellness experiences.
Stephanie is an NCIDQ accredited interior designer and a graduate of the International Academy of Design in Toronto.
Crystal Vinisse Thomas,
Crystal Vinisse Thomas is a brand management and marketing leader with over 10 years of international experience driving brand innovation and operational excellence, crafting memorable guest experiences, creating global brand marketing campaigns, and executing branded events and partnerships.
She currently heads up the lifestyle and luxury brands at Hyatt Hotels Corp—including Park Hyatt, Thompson, Alila, Andaz, Hyatt Centric, and Caption by Hyatt—guiding the strategy and vision of an ever-growing portfolio. A veteran hotelier and alumni of Cornell University’s Hotel School, Crystal held several brand leadership roles with W Hotels Worldwide and most previously served as senior brand marketer for Beats by Dre @ Apple, Inc., overseeing the NBA partnership and all things sports.
Based in Los Angeles, when not honing her tasting skills as a wine and whiskey consumeoisseur™, she’s a passion-led seeker of all things awesome, craver and creator of unforgettable travel moments, and, more personally, a lifestyle and culture enthusiast obsessed with TV, singing, and Oprah.
Four Seasons Hotels + Resorts
With nearly three decades of experience, Brian Vickery joined Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in 2013 as a project executive and brand ambassador overseeing a growing and diverse portfolio of internationally positioned hotel, resort, and branded residential developments, both new-build and conversions throughout the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and North America. In addition to portfolio expansion, he also supports the company’s CAPEX activities.
Collaborating within a management company capacity he inspires the strategic, creative, and technical processes inspiring project teams to reach new heights of excellence from concept to post-opening, focusing equally on vision, execution, and value of, brand enhancing and innovative one-of-a-kind, sustainable, and bespoke luxury experiences that are a true unique expression of place.
Prior to joining Four Seasons, Brian was with the Baha Mar Development Company, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Canadian Pacific Hotels & Resorts, and others. He is an active member of the AIA and speaks at many industry events and conferences.
Christina Zimmer, AIA, is an industry-leading architect, designer and hospitality expert. As Highgate’s senior vice president of design, she is responsible for bringing independent hotels to life—from concept to completion.
Since joining Highgate in 2016, Christina has overseen the design of the company’s most complex projects, including the Newbury Boston, Scottsdale Plaza Hotel, Pacific Edge Hotel and Monterey Tides Hotel.
Prior to joining Highgate, Christina was senior vice president of design & construction at Ian Schrager Company, working on world-class projects such as Public New York and EDITION West Hollywood. Before Ian Schrager, she was a principal at Stonehill Taylor Architects.
Christina is originally from Louisiana but has called Brooklyn home for 23 years. Before settling down in New York, she took time to explore and pursue an independent European Art and Architecture continuing education. With family still in Denmark, she maintains a rusty ability to speak Danish.
Brad Zuger, AIA, is a studio leader and senior associate at Rockwell Group, bringing more than 10 years of award-winning hospitality, retail, and entertainment expertise to the firm. Brad’s recent projects include 550 Madison Avenue, 15 Hudson Yards, Moxy South Beach, Moxy East Village, Fleur Bar, and Feroce at Moxy Chelsea. Prior to joining Rockwell Group in 2016, Brad was an associate principal at Kohn Pedersen Fox, where he led the design of numerous hotel, residential, and retail projects across Asia. Brad received his Master of Architecture from the University of Southern California.
Julien Albertini is an architectural designer, cofounder of Asthetique Group Inc., and the creative director of Bilt Rewards. In 2016, Julien and his partner Alina launched international architectural design firm Asthetíque, one of the country’s top architectural design firms. With Julien’s experience in architecture, construction, and finance, he has also provided consulting services to a number of hypergrowth prop-tech and fintech companies focusing on creative brand development.
Julien, the son and grandson of architects, began his career as an intern at TPG Architecture in New York City at age 16. By 18, Julien had founded his first design firm, Albertini Design, where he specialized in designing retail fixtures and shop fittings for Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, and other leading fashion brands. Upon joining forces with a larger construction team in 2013, Julien founded Albertini + Nelson, a design-build firm dedicated to high-end residential and commercial construction. Albertini then met Alina Pimkina, a talented Russian designer, with whom he would soon launch the Asthetique brand.
Jason Bramhall is a hospitality and FF&E procurement expert bringing over 20 years of supply chain experience to Hilton Supply Management. Bramhall is responsible for HSM’s FF&E and OS&E Project Procurement services supporting 19 unique and industry leading brands across the Hilton landscape. His experience working across a broad landscape of hotel brands and with the industry’s diverse global supplier community brings tremendous value both to Hilton and the ownership community.
Bramhall holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Auburn University with a concentration in Operations & Supply Chain Management.
With over 20 years of experience, Sara Duffy leads the interiors division as a principal at Stonehill Taylor. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and received her Associate of Applied Science in Interior Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Before joining Stonehill Taylor in 2008, Sara worked at MTV and later, as a designer at Rockwell Group. In her various roles at Stonehill Taylor, she has contributed significantly to the design of numerous award-winning projects—from the renovation of iconic landmarks like the TWA Hotel to the creation of new destinations like the JW Marriott Nashville Downtown. Sara has worked with renowned hospitality developers such as the Sydell Group, Eleven Madison Park’s chef Daniel Humm and Will Guidara, Marriott International, Turnberry Associates, GFI Capital, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, MCR Development, Host Hotels and Resorts, and Hilton Hotels & Resorts.
Nancie Min has 20-plus years of experience as an architect and designer. She was educated at the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of the Cooper Union, where she received her Bachelor of Architecture degree with honors. She is a registered architect in the State of New York and a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).
Nancie joined Clodagh Design in 1994. She later moved on to work with Peter Marino Architects, David Howell Design, and began her own firm with a roster of high-end residential, boutique, and private healthcare projects. With a wealth of diverse experience, Nancie returned to Clodagh Design, now serving as design director.
Her Korean heritage and extensive travels have brought a multi-cultural aesthetic and sensibility to her design work, which includes architecture, interiors, and product design. Nancie lives in both Manhattan and upstate New York with her husband and two sons.