2024 Agenda


A Luxury Home Design Summit badge is required for access to the conference sessions, breakfasts, lunch, receptions, and book signings.

                    *************This policy will be strictly enforced at each function so please wear your badge each day.*************


Monday, May 20, 2024

11:00PM - 6:30PM

Registration for the Conference in the Monomoy building on the campus of the Chatham Bars Inn 

Pick up your badge and swag bag.

Registration Sponsor:

Swag Bag Sponsor:


Champagne Welcome and Conference Kick-Off in Monomoy

Champagne Welcome Sponsor:



Kathy Bush
Publisher, New England Home
Co-Founder, Luxury Home Design Summit


Opening Keynote: Stan Dixon

Like all business owners, Stan Dixon’s path has seen him navigating through situations, both good and bad. What he credits with his success in getting through them, are the relationships he took the time to cultivate, externally, with interior designers, landscape architects, contractors, and clients, and perhaps even more importantly to Stan, internally, with his team.

Internally, Stan places great value on nurturing his office culture, and developing a team that feels respected, has a sense of ownership, and understands their role on the effect the visual things they’re creating and putting out in the world. Stan put together a culture that is warm, supportive, and sensitive, and, at the same time, efficient, productive, and though acknowledging of the bottom line, it is not all about it.  And so, when Stan has encountered hurdles as an architect and business owner, the strength of his office has helped get him over them. Yet, for all his work at developing his team and his belief in them, Stan was still met with disappointments and betrayals. Taking a hard look at them led him to build better business, and psychological practices.

Externally, Stan works at establishing and maintaining healthy collaborations with people from diverse design paths: Interior Designers (including his wife), Landscape Architects, Builders, Craftspeople, Artists and Artisans. Maintaining these relationships often means overcoming challenges, which Stan does because he believes, “clients suffer due to unhealthy collaborations.” Ensuring that doesn’t happen, Stan focuses on open and clear communications; over the years he has honed them through his professional practices.

More specifically, Stan works with clients who have extremely high expectations. The homes that he creates are generally retreats, properties, compounds, and family estates that require an enormous amount of planning with sites on complicated waterfronts and in areas where preservation and permits are important. Navigating these projects take great patience and communication.

Personally, publishing his book, HOME: The Residential Architecture of D. Stanley Dixon, Rizzoli, 2023, was a milestone, and allowed him to realize many things about his work.  He now has a clear vision, and understanding, of his firm’s work, and how he has arrived at this place in his career.

Stan Dixon
Architect, Author, and Founder
D. Stanley Dixon Architect, Inc.

Keynote Sponsor:





National Association of Home Builders: An Analytical Trend Look and Forecast 

2024 represented multiple macro-economic challenges that slowed growth for Home Builders in 2023 and into 2024.  Will there be a single-family home building recovery soon? How are demographic challenges resulting from an aging population and decline in birth rates going to contribute to future trends? Are there reasons for optimism like productivity growth and hybrid working?  Danushka will provide NHBA research and analysis that can help answer these important questions.

Danushka Nanayakkara-Skillington
AVP of Forecasting and Analysis
National Association of Home Builders

4:45PM - 5:00PM

Monday Marquee Presentation by Grothouse

Monday Marquee Presentation Sponsor:





Welcome Reception-  Chatham Bars Inn

Reception Sponsor:







Book Signing with Stan Dixon during our Welcome Reception

Join us for a special book signing with Stan Dixon and his new book, HOME: The Residential Architecture of D. Stanley Dixon

Tuesday, May 21, 2024


Registration in Monomoy
Pick up your badge and swag bag.

Registration Sponsor:

Swag Bag Sponsor:


Breakfast at the Chatham Bars Inn Resort

Breakfast Sponsor:


Welcome and Introduction


Adam Japko
CEO, Esteem Media
Co-Founder, Luxury Home Design Summit
Founder, Design Influencers Leadership Conference


9:30AM - 10:15AM

Keynote: Exceptional Leadership Amid Change- Building Organizational Resilience from the Inside/Out

In an ever-changing world, design professionals are facing unprecedented challenges that demand adaptability and resilience. The impact of these changes on employees cannot be ignored, as they face new pressures, exhaustion/burnout, and the need to navigate uncharted territories. From AI to well-being and inclusion. Employee satisfaction to achieving company goals. From working at Calvin Klein to life in the corporate world at a fortune 500 Berkshire Hathaway Company, Scott will share his insights and experience.

To retain top talent and grow your luxury home design business, leaders must understand the effects of change on their workplace/staff and provide training with the necessary support. This is accomplished by acknowledging and addressing shifting priorities, fostering resilience, and promoting interaction that allows for us to enhance recruitment and retention efforts. From reimagined workforces, understanding human resource management, digital strategies and leadership resources that work!

This keynote delivers essential ideas and strategies to navigate change successfully, encouraging open communication, and cultivate a resilient and inclusive workplace culture.

By embracing the challenges of change, leaders can position their workplace for growth, increase employee retention and engagement, and create a productive and thriving workforce. Prepare to level up your leadership skills, inspire your teams, and lead your organization with resilience and agility.

Key Takeaways:

  • Develop skills to lead teams through change. Discover strategies that foster collaboration, navigate positive change, and inspire your staff to embrace opportunities for growth.
  • Learn 7 powerful actions, derived from my five-year survey, that will strengthen communication and promote inclusion within your organization. Explore techniques to cultivate a workplace culture that values open dialogue, collaboration, and diversity.
  • Gain insights into identifying and addressing the challenges your staff faces, both personally and professionally. Understand how to create a supportive environment that acknowledges individual needs, fosters well-being, and provides the tools and resources for personal and professional growth.
  • Develop a strong, agile vision that aligns with the changing landscape. Explore strategies to stay productive, engage as a leader, and foster meaningful relationships at all levels of the organization.
  • Discover three key tools that allow individuals to stress less, engage better at work, and boost productivity, even in the face of adversity. Learn practical techniques to promote employee well-being, reduce burnout, and create a positive work environment that supports individuals during challenging times.


Scott Lesnick
Global Leadership Keynote Speaker,
CSP, Certified Speaking Professional
and Author





Keynote Sponsor:


Establish Brand Values to Make Your Business Thrive

Join Kathy Kuo as she discusses why establishing core brand values is at the heart of scaling a thriving design business—be it in ecommerce, interior design services, or any blend thereof. A design industry veteran—with experience in product design, interior design, B2C ecommerce, and entrepreneurship—Kathy will discuss key elements of how to establish meaningful brand values and use them to grow an engaged team, build an impactful business within the unique ecosystem of interior design, and tangibly drive buzzworthy brand awareness and measurable revenue growth.

Kathy will also speak to the importance of brand storytelling from the top down so that brand values inform every decision in the hiring process, and become a shared consciousness throughout your company. She’ll conclude the talk with the lesson that, essentially, a brand’s values should serve as a guidepost for behavior on all levels, and should be a company’s greatest asset when it comes to building trust and genuine connections with customers and clients.

Actionable Takeaways 

  • Spell out your brand values in your company handbook and make sure that your team members understand them and fold them into their work; put your brand values into practice in every personnel decision (hiring, firing, performance reviews, etc).
  • Look for external support when it comes to the “behind the scenes” aspects of interior design—sourcing, shipping, consolidation, CAD, pricing and invoicing, etc.
  • Remember that everything your business does is an extension of your brand and brand values—every detail matters and every project is an opportunity to tell your brand story to a new audience, build trust with customers and clients, and foster long term connections.


Kathy Kuo
Founder and CEO
Kathy Kuo Home




Networking and Refreshment Break in Monomoy

Break Sponsor:

11:30AM - 12:15PM

Creating the Perfect Team

We all strive to have the perfect team in delivering the best product to our customers. Being realistic with expectations and focus on the best outcomes up front is in everyone’s best interest – and enables the best result.  Ken will discuss the parameters of the ideal working business relationship with the client, design professionals and contractor – from the red flags which may emerge from the onset to breaking down the barriers of trust. The goal is to share and interact with our peers on how building a collaborative team approach with an eye on the client’s goal is the key to ensuring a successful job together.


Kenneth Vona
Master Builder, Entrepreneur, and Principal
Kenneth Vona and Son Construction


The Art of Being Found: Strategic SEO for Luxury Brands 

Want to attract more potential clients and customers? Specifically, those who have an immediate intent to buy? Showing up in Google search is nothing short of essential. But owners of upscale brands have an added challenge—balancing beauty and luxury with the nuts and bolts of optimization.

Whether you're looking to empower your team with an actionable plan or work strategically with an agency, you'll learn straightforward methods to rise in search rankings while maintaining the luster and magic of your brand.

  • How to keep a website elevated, spare, and beautiful—while actually pleasing Google
  • Common mistakes that ruin an upscale website's ranking—and how to elegantly avoid them
  • Where to focus for the fastest results and highest return on your investment


Nicole Heymer
Owner and Creative Director
Glory & Brand


Luxury Home Design Summit Scholarships for Up and Coming Design Professionals

Scholarship Sponsor:



1:10PM- 1:15PM

Special Giveaway Announcement

Giveaway Sponsor:


Lunch at the Chatham Bars Inn 

Lunch Sponsor:


1:15PM- 5:30PM

Digital Media Genius Bar

Do you have nagging questions or wonderments about your business' digital presence? Any questions about the back end of META, Google, or your website? Wanting more insights or guidance for SEO, web design, social SEO, new social platform updates, etc?  New England Home and the Design Influencers Leadership Conference are sponsoring this first LHDS Genius Bar by making their own digital media partner, Jon Gavejian, available for 20-minute private appointments.  Bring your phones and laptops and ask away. Jon will help you answer the small and big questions, or just give you a quick analysis for putting your company's digital marketing activities on a more efficacious path.

Attendees may sign-up at the Registration desk in Monomoy building for 20-minute consultations –on a first-come, first-served basis.

Jon Gavejian
CEO, Newrocc Digital






Digital Media Genius Bar Sponsored by:


Roundtable Sessions
Relevant topics within disciplines or cross-disciplines will be spearheaded by roundtable chairs during the second part of lunch in a conversational, informal format -- space is limited to first-come, first-served.

Roundtable Topic #1: How to Communicate Across Multiple Generations of Staff and Clients
Chair: Scott Lesnick, Global Leadership Keynote Speaker, CSP, Certified Speaking Professional and Author

Roundtable Topic #2: PR Beyond Print: Luxury Design Event Strategies
Chair: Elizabeth Ethridge McGann, Founder and Principal of Ethridge McGann Group

Roundtable Topic #3:  The Power of Collaboration
Chairs: Kerri Byrne, AIA, LEED AP Principal, Catalano Architects, and
Elena Stancheva, LEED AP Principal, Catalano Architects

Roundtable Topic #4:  Luxury Homes Meets Reduced Carbon Footprint
Chair: Nicholas H. Fair, Principal, Consulting Engineering Services


Case Studies from New England: Using Technology in Cutting-Edge Design

Michael Oh will discuss the ways that New England design, architecture, and construction firms are using cutting-edge technology to help their businesses go to the next level. Technologies like VR, real-time rendering, and AI are opening up new business opportunities, expanding available resources, and unlocking new creative workflows, and we’ll show the leading New England firms using these tools.

In this session, Michael–an MIT-educated aerospace engineer and serial entrepreneur of 32 years–will demonstrate how technology is becoming an essential differentiator for these businesses, helping them rise above the competition, especially for luxury clients. He will cover the following case studies from local firms in the design industry:
● Real-time rendering and interactive property tours to engage buyers in luxury real estate.
● Using VR to help clients get a real understanding of a design before permits are issued.
● Time-lapse photography and 360° cameras to help keep clients engaged in the process.
● Using ChatGPT to help you recruit the best people, no matter what industry you’re in.
● Using generative AI tools for design iterations for faster, more creative concepts.

The audience will walk away entertained and energized, knowing that these technology tools are not just for tech startups, but instead are for businesses of any stage and any industry. Michael will wrap up the talk with simple steps to take for any business to start leveraging technology in the very same way.


Michael Oh
TSP Smart Spaces


Narrative Homes

Mark Hutker will focus on a design methodology where specific narratives, those related to the client, the community, the property, and marketplace emerge as starting points and guidelines for the design process. Each is a character in an additive story. Narratives describe experiences which define life patterns to be accommodated in home design. How material ethics, craft and details evolve out of the community narrative. Stories lead to spatial responses that influence happiness which intensifies meaning. Together and apart – nuanced design flexibility for intergenerational living Paths and destinations – wayfinding supports placemaking. Stewardship – why it is important.

Keyt akeaways and actionable items include:

  1. The power of managing multiple narratives in custom home design
  2. Deep vetting of project parameters to empower focused design responses.
  3. Ontic Initiative – five points on advancing the art of dwelling.



Mark A. Hutker , FAIA
Partner and Founder
Hutker Architects



Tuesday Marquee Presentation by JB Sash & Door

Tuesday Marquee Presentation Sponsored by:


Networking Reception at the Chatham Bars Inn

Networking Sponsor:

Book signing with Mark A. Hutker, FAIA, during our networking reception.

Join us for a special evening with Mark Hutker and his new book, New England Coastal Homes That Tell a Story. The homes of the New England coastline represent a unique look at traditional American
architecture—tasteful and timeless. Tucked away within this rarefied region is the residential architecture of Mark A. Hutker and the partners of Hutker Architects. For more than three decades, their designs have consistently pushed the boundaries of the New England vernacular with a modern sensibility.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024


Registration for the Conference at Monomoy
Pick up your badge and Swag Bag

Registration Sponsor:

Swag Bag Sponsor:


Breakfast at the Beach House Grill in the Chatham Bars Inn

Breakfast Sponsor:


Digital Media Genius Bar

Do you have nagging questions or wonderments about your business' digital presence? Any questions about the back end of META, Google, or your website? Wanting more insights or guidance for SEO, web design, social SEO, new social platform updates, etc?  New England Home and the Design Influencers Leadership Conference are sponsoring this first LHDS Genius Bar by making their own digital media partner, Jon Gavejian, available for 20-minute private appointments.  Bring your phones and laptops and ask away. Jon will help you answer the small and big questions, or just give you a quick analysis for putting your company's digital marketing activities on a more efficacious path.

Attendees may sign-up at the Registration desk in Monomoy building for 20-minute consultations –on a first-come, first-served basis.

Jon Gavejian
CEO, Newrocc Digital





Digital Media Genius Bar Sponsored by:


Keynote: Brian Sawyer, FASLA, and John Berson, AIA

Throughout his career, Brian Sawyer has pursued architectural design, landscape architecture, and interior design as complementary endeavors. Originally from Indiana, Brian attended Wabash College, where he studied music and biology, and earned his Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Virginia. He is a Fellow of the ASLA, and a board member of the Perfect Earth Project and The Cultural Landscape Foundation.

John Berson has been practicing architecture in New York for thirty-five years.  Prior to co-founding Sawyer | Berson with Brian Sawyer in 1999, John earned his Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University and a Master in Architecture from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.  John is a member of the Leaders of Design and the American Institute of Architects; he holds an NCARB certificate as well. He is a registered architect in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Indiana, Virginia, Georgia, and Florida.

Sawyer | Berson is an interdisciplinary firm practicing architecture, landscape architecture and interior design based in New York City.

Keynote Sponsored by:


Brian Sawyer, FASLA, and
John Berson, AIA
Sawyer | Berson



Elegantly Efficient: AI Tools to Streamline Design and Buy Time

Discover how AI continues to revolutionize the luxury home design space, not only enhancing processes but also freeing up valuable time. This session will explore how artificial intelligence can transform your projects from architectural planning to the final touches of interior design. Learn about AI’s role in creating photorealistic renderings, accurate quoting, reimagined layouts, and automated documentation. This session is perfect for builders, architects, interior designers, and landscape designers eager to integrate cutting-edge technology to streamline their workflows and reclaim time for life beyond work. Join us to gain actionable insights that will elevate your designs and buy back valuable time.

Dustin Hayes

Hermosa Digital


Networking and Refreshment Break in Monomoy

Break Sponsor:


Curated Luxury In The World of Vacation Rentals

The world of short-term rental design/build, interior design, landscape design and property management is one of the fastest growing categories and something every design professional ought to know more about.  For example:

  • How the design and structure of STR design easily builds into aging in place, retirement living design and more
  • How a mix of design trade, local artistry, AI generated goods and retail makes for a luxurious curated space that owners and guests both want.
  • How to use your own design skills in the STR world to participate and expand into this uniquely high growth niche

Over the last nine years, Jessica Duce took her boutique design company on a 5X growth-curve trajectory that now also includes a National Rental Property Summit, national design brand partnerships, and a defined STR membership community. She will share her experiences that drove her focus that ultimately mined a new burgeoning market that she has become a leader in today.


Jessica Duce
Owner and Principal Designer
JDuce Design LLC


Sell to the Affluent: Insider Secrets for Success in the Luxury Market

What does it take to capture the attention of the affluent buyer, win their trust, exceed their expectations, and keep them coming back time and again, especially in changing times and volatile markets?

There's no shortage of sales tools and strategies out there. But understanding our customers' emotions, lifestyle, and behaviors will always be most important. Sales efficacy without empathy is a turn-off for the luxury market.

Having been the go-to, family-portrait photographer for the rich and famous for 40 years, Jeffrey Shaw reveals the insider secrets you want to know and gives the final word on who the affluent are, what they want, what makes them tick, and how to sell to them.

With surprisingly intimate knowledge of the wealthy, Jeffrey will remove the guesswork from your business strategy and replace what you presume about the affluent with the reality of how their minds work and how they make buying decisions.

Fulfill the ultimate potential—and avoid the harrowing pitfalls—of your luxury business by learning to see the world your clients see from the guy who literally built his career capturing it.

In this eye-opening talk, attendees will learn:

  • The emotional triggers that get the luxury market to buy
  • Proven (but not obvious) strategies to create brand obsession and keep luxury clients forever
  • The unique mindset challenges of the affluent buyer and how to overcome objections
  • How to leverage changing times and adapt to luxury-buyer psychology


Jeffrey Shaw
Renowned Portrait Photographer and Speaker
Founder, The Self-Employed Business Institute


Closing Remarks and Conference Adjourns