comings & goings | Aug 28, 2023 |
RAMSA appoints its first CEO, DWR’s new creative lead and more

As summer comes to an end, firms welcome new hires and organizations elect new board members. Read on for BOH’s monthly roundup of arrivals and departures in design, manufacturing, media and more.

To the Trade
The U.S. division of Belgium-based wallcoverings designer and manufacturer Arte appointed Adriana De Martino to the newly created position of area manager for the Northeast territory. De Martino previously held managerial roles at Dedar Milano, Cosentino and most recently Frette, where she served as a general manager. In her new role, De Martino will focus on growing Arte’s residential business in the New York tri-state area and spearhead development of the brand’s forthcoming New York showroom.

Interior design trimmings company Samuel & Sons promoted Alexander Widener to senior marketing manager. Most recently serving as the digital marketing and communications manager at the company, Widener brings years of experience to his role, previously serving as a project coordinator of creative services at Matouk and working in product and branding at Sister Parish Design.

Design industry veteran Courtney Genovese launched brand sales development firm Coleman & Rose, representing luxury makers and artisans in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and the Atlanta markets. Genovese previously directed architecture and design sales at Cambria, The Rug Company, and Luxury Living Group, and aims to provide designers with exceptional customer service in her new role. Coleman & Rose will service brands including Jiun Ho, Paul Ferrante, Desiron and The Rug Company.

Design company Form Portfolios appointed Robert Wolf as marketing director. An industry veteran, Wolf most recently served as the vice president of growth marketing at Skram Furniture. Previously, Wolf served as head of marketing for Vitra North America, where he oversaw residential, office and airport units, and as head of global marketing for Georg Jensen, where he fostered collaborations with designers including Patricia Urquiola, Marc Newson and Zaha Hadid. In his new role, Wolf will be responsible for marketing designers to existing and new brand partnerships.

Media & PR
New York–based PR design firm Susan Becher & Associates announced that co-owner and principal Julia Duke is launching a new communications and PR agency, Julia Duke & Co. Duke and SB&A co-owner Molly Bates initially joined the firm in 2014, and the pair became co-owners and principals of the agency in 2017. Now, Duke will continue to operate out of New York and Texas, and serve her existing clients, as well as expand her services to support artisan-driven brands, makers and design talent globally. Bates will remain at SB&A as sole principal and owner, continuing to deliver PR communications and business strategy to long-standing and new clients.

Design & Architecture
Robert A.M. Stern Architects named Lisa Matkovic as its first-ever chief executive officer and appointed two new partners, Gemma Kim and Kevin Kelly. Matkovic has been at the firm for more than 12 years, supporting the partners in designing and implementing its business strategies. In her new role, she will continue to serve as a conduit between design leadership and the larger firm, with a focus on executing its strategic vision. Kim has been with the firm for over 15 years, spearheading its entrance into South Korea and leading a signature corporate showplace in Seoul for one of the country’s most prominent companies. Kelly joined the company in 2011 and has supported the firm’s growth across domestic and international markets, managing projects including the Kowloon Peak apartment complex in Hong Kong and the Marina Village at Kaplankaya in Bodrum, Turkey.

Architecture and design firm Nelson Worldwide promoted 16 team members and welcomed six new hires. Michael Bullerdick was hired as director of enterprise applications, Joseph Fattore as business development leader of retail, Doug Larson as senior project manager of workplace, Melissa Leong as mixed-use studio leader, Ike Ogbue as mixed-use senior project manager and Elizabeth Zagarello as technical leader of retail. Promotions include John Austin as studio leader of retail, Leslie Campbell as national business leader of asset strategy and workplace, Kristin Cerutti as legal workplace regional practice leader, Nicole Cohn as workplace account director, Jessica Kuecher as national project delivery leader of asset strategy and workplace, Marcia Dolga as workplace account director, Tracy Glover as national standards and process leader of asset strategy and workplace, Summer Gramuglia as asset strategy senior project manager, Scott Winger as workplace regional technical leader, Timothy Moore as workplace technical leader, Joseph Muscarella as vice president of national client development and leader of sales strategy, Caroline Nelson as senior marketing coordinator, Dena Patterson as workplace studio leader, Hayley Pugh as retail project leader, Christopher Sanders as workplace studio leader and Melissa Whitehurst as national technical leader for asset strategy and workplace.

New Jersey–based firm Michael Graves Architecture & Design appointed Julie Yurasek as international director of interior design. With more than 25 years of industry experience, Yurasek has been with the firm for 17 years, holding positions as senior interior designer and director. In her new role, Yurasek will leverage her knowledge of the global hospitality industry to serve as a liaison to project architects.

Hospitality design firm HBA announced two senior-level promotions: Sarah Hullinger as associate in San Francisco and Brian Schaer as associate in Atlanta. With more than 20 years of experience in hospitality, commercial and residential design, Hullinger has been with HBA San Francisco for more than a decade; in her new role, she will continue to serve as a lead designer, overseeing the firm’s luxury hotel, resort and residential projects around the globe. Schaer, meanwhile, has spent the majority of his 24-year design career in the world of luxury design, with an emphasis on food and beverage experiences. As an associate, Schaer will be a driving force behind the firm’s big-picture visions while mentoring young design professionals.

Multidisciplinary design firm //3877 welcomed interior designers Christine Anneken and Hunter McCalla. Prior to joining the //3877 team, Anneken worked as a designer at Dallas-based firm EDG Design and has played an integral role in designing high-end boutique hotels and restaurants throughout her career. In her new position, Anneken will sketch test fits and concept development to coordinate renderings and write specifications. Most recently serving as a senior designer at Aria Group Architects, McCalla specialized in restaurant design and concept building, and has extensive experience in seeing project design through from concept development to construction administration. In her new role, McCalla will work closely with her project teams on concept design progression, vendor communication and space planning, modeling and detailing.

Luxury hospitality design firm WATG appointed Natalie Ruiz as associate principal of luxury multifamily residential and senior living. Most recently, Ruiz worked at architecture and design firm CallisonRTKL for eight years, where she worked her way up from associate to associate principal. In her new role, Ruiz will be based in Los Angeles and blend her residential experience with WATG’s hospitality-led approach.

Illinois-based design services company Moss promoted Joe Wilush to director of sales and account management. With 14 years of experience in sales and account management within the trade-show and live-event industry, Wilush has been with the company for two years, most recently serving as a strategic account manager. In his new role, he will lead the team of account managers responsible for selling and overseeing projects that serve Moss’s exhibit and event client base.

Miami-based luxury hospitality firm Saladino Design Studios restructured its company, appointing Karla Saladino as chief operating officer and David Muriel as partner. Saladino will join her husband and firm principal, Sean Saladino, as the liaison between the brand’s creative and business sectors. Muriel, who remains the firm’s vice president of design and architecture, will continue to oversee the design team with a focus on incorporating cutting-edge trends and style influences into the company’s projects.

New York–based architecture and interior design firm Spectorgroup welcomed Sefako Ketosugbo as senior designer, Olivia Holub as senior architect and Sol Seong as intermediate designer. Ketosugbo has built thoughtful environments for some of the top organizations in technology and entertainment, and will conceptualize and implement creative solutions to design challenges in her new role. With more than 18 years of architecture experience, Holub has worked on large-scale projects both locally and internationally; in her new role, she will oversee the creation of construction documents and work closely with project managers to execute the client’s vision. Seong has worked on various interior design projects in New York and Seoul, including residential condos, hotels and corporate designs for major brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren. Most recently serving as an interior designer at New York–based firm ENV, Seong will create innovative design solutions and provide drafting support for senior designers and project managers.

Design services firm Multistudio appointed Bridget Lowe as chief marketing officer. Lowe brings more than 15 years of strategic and creative marketing in architecture and real estate to her new role, previously serving as a principal and director of marketing for the Americas at architecture and planning firm Populous, where she oversaw marketing, communications, public relations and business development.

New York– and Florida-based interior design firm Suomi Design Works welcomed Stephanie Reyer as creative director, Carly Roberts as senior interior designer and Spencer Butler as interior designer. First working with firm principal Michael Suomi in 2004, Reyer has more than 25 years of experience developing award-winning exhibitions and began her career at the American Museum of Natural History, where she was responsible for the design of three permanent hall renovations, including the iconic Hall of Ocean Life. Roberts was previously an interior designer with New York firm DHD Architecture PC, working on projects across both the residential and hospitality sectors. Butler comes to the company from Alexander Interiors, a residential design firm in Nashville, where she served as a project manager and interior designer.

Home improvement technology company Thumbtack hired Llibert Argerich as chief marketing officer and Mark Poston as chief commercial officer. With nearly 20 years of experience at high-growth marketplace businesses like eBay and Expedia Group, Argerich joins after most recently serving as vice president of marketing at e-learning provider Udemy. At Thumbtack, Argerich will lead the company’s marketing, brand and communications teams. Poston spent eight years of his career at Wayfair, most recently as vice president of sales and home services, where he was responsible for a team of 1,000 employees. In his new role, Poston will lead the company’s sales and revenue operations, and support partnerships and business development teams.

Retail & Manufacturing
Chilewich announced Melissa Villa as senior vice president of contract sales. The move marks Villa’s return to the company, where she served as contract sales director for the New York area from April 2018 through January 2020, before becoming vice president of the contract division for JF Fabrics. In her new role, Villa will lead the Chilewich contract domestic and international sales force, as well as the company’s network of international distributors for contract design solutions.

Furniture company Design Within Reach announced Omar Nobil as vice president of product design and brand creative. Nobil has had a long tenure in the fashion industry, most notably serving as the global vice president of women’s design for Banana Republic and as the founder of Unincorporated Associates, a multidisciplinary design studio. Nobil has been serving in this role with DWR for almost a year and oversees the brand’s creative, visual merchandising, product design and creative collaborations, with a focus on expanding the company’s community of partners and customers.

Austin-based building products brand Kova welcomed Brent Sturgell as head of HVAC business, a new product vertical for the brand. With more than 37 years of industry experience and knowledge on how different countries employ technology to condition their built environment, Sturgell has spearheaded the development and launch of many successful HVAC products. In his new role, Sturgell will lead Kova’s entry into the HVAC market with the company’s forthcoming AI-powered HVAC system.

Furniture wholesaler Sagebrook Home announced Chris De La Guardia as national sales manager. De La Guardia comes to Sagebrook Home with more than 23 years of sales leadership and operation management experience within the home furnishings trade industry, most recently as senior vice president of the home accents division at Ashley Furniture Industries. In his new role, De La Guardia will be overseeing sales strategy and initiatives for the Sagebrook Home sales force.

Industry Organizations
The International Interior Design Association’s New York Chapter announced Alexandria Davis as chapter president for the 2023-24 term. Davis serves as a designer and senior associate for IA Interior Architects and brings experience in commercial interior design to her role with an emphasis on workplace strategies, and previously acted as co–vice president of sponsorships prior to being president-elect. She succeeds Sarah Levine, who served as president for the 2022-23 term, and will mentor Christin Weaver, who was elected as president for the 2024-25 term.

Nonprofit organization and furniture bank Make It Home Bay Area welcomed Susie Doyle as their new chief operating officer. Doyle has more than 20 years of experience in omnichannel expertise and most recently served as the vice president and general manager of e-design platform Decorist and in senior operations positions at One Kings Lane and Williams-Sonoma.

Homepage image: ©Josefmicic/Adobe Stock

Want to stay informed? Sign up for our newsletter, which recaps the week’s stories, and get in-depth industry news and analysis each quarter by subscribing to our print magazine. Join BOH Insider for discounts, workshops and access to special events such as the Future of Home conference.