Dezeen’s New Co-CEOs, Kohler Elects Board Chairman & More


As fall draws to a close, some long-time industry veterans are being promoted, while others are stepping away from their role to start new chapters. Read on for Home businessmonthly recap of arrivals and departures in design, manufacturing, media and more.

Towards trade
Kravet announced the departure of Kim Fasting Berg and Beth Greene, the company’s former CMO and executive vice president of marketing and brand strategy, respectively. Prior to joining Kravet, Fasting Berg was head of marketing at Condé Nast; she returns to luxury fashion, joining WME Fashion as executive vice president of marketing. After 30 years at Kravet, Greene plans to focus on branding, strategy and marketing within the home and interior design industry.

New York-based trimmings and textiles brand Samuel & Sons has promoted Milton De Paul to executive creative director and Marisa Gutmacher to vice president of design. De Paul joined the company as Creative Director in 2015 and has helped grow the brand over the past seven years. Gutmacher has been with the company for eight years, most recently as Executive Director of Design, creating several trimming collections for the Samuel & Sons Design Studio.

Montana-based digital textile print studio and manufacturer, Western Sensibility, has welcomed Leana Becker as Creative Director. Most recently Director of Interior Design for Kelly Wearstler, Becker brings decades of experience in hospitality, residential and commercial design, and luxury design. In his new role, Becker will focus on growing the company’s interior design client list and on bespoke white label projects.

Design & Architecture
California-based multi-disciplinary architecture and design firm MBH Architects has welcomed Cynthia Hirsch Ortiz as Business Development Manager in New York. Ortiz has experience in retail print design and visual merchandising, most recently serving as president of Collaborative Design Strategies. In her new role, she will focus on developing and managing regional business opportunities in luxury residential, retail, restaurant and hospitality projects.

Boston and New York-based architecture and planning firm SGA has announced Maren Reepmeyer as vice president. Reepmeyer brings over 20 years of experience in adaptive reuse and revitalization, having worked with Boston-based CBT Architects for 10 years, including as Director of Adaptive Design.

New York-based architecture and design firm Gabellini Sheppard Associates has welcomed three new partners: long-time collaborators Bobby Young, Colin Martin and Silvia Maffei. Young brings more than 25 years of experience in high-end residential and commercial projects, and has managed major facade and floor renovations in Manhattan since joining the company in 2007. Martin brings leadership to the studio’s residential, commercial and hotel projects, and has worked on notable projects including Saks Fifth Avenue, Edition Hotel in Istanbul and Hotel Row NYC. Maffei has developed projects for J Brand, La Perla, Brioni and Elena Mirò flagship stores in Italy and Moscow since joining the company in 2010.

American and Canadian interior design firm Lemay+Escobar Architecture has welcomed Christine Scholtz as studio head in New York. With expertise in contract, residential, commercial and hospitality design, Scholtz has worked at architectural and planning firms including Gensler and Rockwell Group, holding project and design director positions.

Maryland-based residential planning and interior design firm Purple Cherry Architects announced the hiring of two senior partners: Brian Milbury as senior partner and Peter Guidetti as lead architect and partner. Milbury has nearly 30 years of experience in custom residential architecture, joining the team after owning a Chicago-based architectural firm for two decades, during which time he oversaw the design and construction of houses. Guidetti brings over 25 years of architecture and design experience and looks forward to working on the company’s current residential projects.

Media & PR
Online architecture and design publication Dezeen has named Benedict Hobson and Wai Shin Li co-CEOs after more than 11 years working together at Dezeen. Hobson was Chief Content Officer and ran Dezeen’s in-house creative studio for six years, overseeing the company’s editorial, video and social media production. Li was responsible for sales and marketing before being named chief revenue officer in 2018, where he led Dezeen’s revenue generation teams, including the launch and growth of Dezeen prices.

lifestyle review Frederic announced Tori Mellot as style director. Mellot brings over 20 years of experience in interior design journalism, content creation and social media strategy, having previously held editorial roles at Beautiful house, Elle Decor and Domino, most recently as style director at Schumacher. In his new role, Mellot will produce interior design and home product stories for print and digital, as well as lead and oversee all of Frederic’s social media accounts.

New York-based communications and digital marketing agency UpSpring has welcomed Kristen Brennand as Chief Communications Officer. Brennand joins the company with a background in the public relations industry, most recently as an associate director at Los Angeles-based Jennifer Bett Communications. In his new role, Brennand’s client roster will focus on residential and B2B design and architecture firms, as well as B2C product brands.

Retail and manufacturing
Kitchen and bathroom maker Kohler Co. has elected David Kohler as chairman of the board and executive committee, following the death of executive chairman Herbert V. Kohler Jr. As current chairman and CEO, Kohler is responsible for Kohler Co.’s three business groups—kitchen and bath, electrical, and hospitality—and is the fourth generation of the family to lead the company since its inception in 1873, serving since over 31 years old. Under his leadership, the company surpassed $8 billion in annual revenue in 2021, became the number one kitchen and bath brand in the United States and China, and broke into the smart home space. .

German kitchen manufacturer Blanco has appointed Diana Windsor as senior vice president of sales for North America. Windsor brings over 13 years of sales and management experience in the plumbing industry, holding leadership positions at wholesale building materials brand Watts Water Technologies and Kohler. In his new role, Windsor will lead all strategic and operational market activities for Blanco, with a focus on sustainable market growth.

Industry organizations
The International Society of Furniture Designers has announced the retirement of Executive Director John Conrad, who will be replaced by industry veteran David Blair. Conrad has been with ISFD for over 13 years as a Board Member, Vice President, President and finally as Executive Director. He launched new programs such as the Innovation + Design competition and exhibition and was instrumental in rebranding the organization as an internationally minded company. The Board unanimously selected Blair to serve as the next Executive Director, having over 30 years of experience in marketing and advertising with furniture companies, furniture industry associations and designers. More recently, as president of the New York-based DBR Group, Blair’s first task will be overseeing next spring’s Innovation + Design Expo.

Front page image: Shutterstock


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