2022 Speaker Line-up!
Keynote: Andrew Cogar
Andrew B. Cogar is a graduate of the University of Miami School of Architecture and served three years of active duty with the U.S. Army, stationed in Bamberg, Germany before joining Historical Concepts in 1999. He assumed the role of President in 2016, signaling a new generation of leadership for the firm which is now entering its 40th year. A licensed architect and place-making specialist, he has guided some of Historical Concepts’ most prominent custom residential, developer, and civic projects. Andrew has a history of leadership with the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art on the national level and is a Trustee Emeritus of the ICAA's Southeast Chapter. He is an active member of the Design Leadership Network and a sought-after speaker on the topic of traditional architecture and design.
Under Andrew’s leadership, Historical Concepts has been successful in exporting the most captivating attributes of Southern architecture – the charm, the warmth, and the way Southern homes embrace family, friends, and hospitality – to projects across the country and internationally. This work is illustrated in the firm’s second book, Visions of Home: Timeless Design, Modern Sensibility, published by Rizzoli in 2021.
Historical Concepts is a traditional architecture and planning firm with offices in Atlanta and New York. The firm practices precedent-based design, remaining true to the vision of its founder, Jim Strickland. Honoring the regional architectural vernacular, Historical Concepts creates environments that express an authentic sense of place while embracing the aesthetics and essentials of modern family living; its custom homes range from the highly traditional to imaginative reinterpretations of historic forms.
Keynote: Susan Ferrier
Award-winning decorator Susan Ferrier is known for creating sensuous, atmospheric interiors. She founded Susan Ferrier Interiors in 2018 after more than 18 years as a partner at the architecture and design firm McAlpine. She is on Elle Decor’s A-List of the top interior designers in the world, and her work has been featured in publications around the country including The New York Times, Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, Veranda, House Beautiful, Traditional Home, Harper’s Bazaar, Coastal Living, Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles and many others.
Susan is a member of the Design Leadership Network and Institute of Classical Architecture & Art. She is also the co-author of Art of the House, published by Rizzoli, and her work has been featured in numerous books. Consistently inspired by travel and other cultures, Susan shops the world for treasures for her clients and projects and jokes that her passport looks like a National Geographic table of contents. When she’s not traveling for work or pleasure, Susan and her husband reside in Atlanta, in a house that Veranda lauded for its “atmosphere of intrigue and wonder.”
Keynote: Jaimy Szymanski
Jaimy Szymanski is a research analyst, author, speaker, and advisor, focused on organizational change brought by digital disruption. Zeroing in on the impact of technology on customer experience (CX) and behavior, Jaimy advises corporate leaders in managing digital transformation efforts to reach evolving consumers and employees. Her recent coverage areas include CX automation, AI and machine learning, digital identity, the “future of work,” DEI initiatives, corporate innovation, AR/VR, and distributed autonomous organizations.
Jaimy is the founder of San Francisco-based technology research firm Kaleido Insights. During her career, she has worked with AARP; Cisco; Facebook; Google; Hallmark; HBO; Intel; John Deere; LinkedIn; Nestle; and Save the Children International. She is the co-author of Content: The Atomic Particle of Marketing, co-host of the Hype Hazard podcast, and is a TEDx speaker on data stewardship and marketplaces. Her research has been covered by USA Today, Mashable, Forbes, Inc., Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, Venturebeat, CMS Wire, and more.
Rob Blood is founder of Lark Hotels and a principal at hotel design studio, Elder & Ash. In 2004 Rob entered the hospitality world with the purchase of his first lodging property in Kennebunkport, Maine. Today he is involved in the ownership and management of 50 distinctive boutique hotels and 7 restaurants across the United States. In 2012 Lark Hotels was formally born. Lark, and its affiliates, is Rob’s passion — creating and operating soulful, design-driven boutique properties that pay homage to their locations and create a deep feeling of connection by providing unique experiences and service for guests — resonates deeply with him.
In her role as creative director for Lark Hotels and Principal of Elder & Ash, Megan Kennedy oversees the design and creative work that supports and defines the company brands as well as the identity of individual hotels and restaurants. By focusing on cultivating the unique personalities of each hotel through specialty amenities, relevant programming, local partnerships and individualized service style, she is responsible for all products or experiences that guests interact with either consciously or subconsciously during their time at our hotels and restaurants.
When we are developing hotels we take a very close look at the overall market and the specific neighborhood where the property is located. We look at the history of the building, the past identities, the current use. We feel that connection to neighborhood, to history and to people; the grit and the beauty, is what fuels a memorable experience. We imagine what is going to happen next in that market and try to figure out what void we will be filling. Eventually our process unveils a unique identity tale for the individual location and we move from there to creating a design direction, brand touchpoints and a service culture that will be complementary to the story. Every aspect of the hotel needs to come back to and relate to this—this is what makes people connect to and feel about an experience rather than just appreciate a comfortable bed or fast wireless internet. It is what separates our hotels from generic big box hotels. We think it’s one of the things that gives us soul.
Rachael Bozsik is an International Keynote Speaker and the in-demand Elite Personal Branding Coach behind some of the nation’s most talented entrepreneurs in the home design industry.
From the Harvard Business School stage to Arch Digest features, Rachael has been recognized as the “go-to” personal branding coach for seasoned + up and coming luxury design professionals.
With an extensive background in monetizing personal brands, clients seek her strategic expertise when they are ready to land consistent luxury clients, exclusive press, and 6-7-figure partnerships. Rachael teaches them how to do this via her signature 4 P’s —> positioning, press, paid speaking and partnerships.
Think - being known as the “luxury new build” designer in your area, feature in Elle Decor paid speaking at KBIS and partnership with Monogram Appliances.
With a truly innate ability to build lucrative brands, over 40 national press outlets have featured her work, as a professional speaker she has empowered 100,000+ individuals on stages including - Harvard Business School, ASID NYC, IIDA, Design Influencers Conference, Spanx HQ, and has had the opportunity to build 6-7 figure product partner with female focused brands like Oprah’s Leadership Academy, Kendra Scott, Goop etc.
Patti Carpenter is Principal of carpenter + company and an award- winning Designer in globally sourced home décor, accessories, fragrance and gifts, with experience in product design and development, merchandising and color + trend forecasting.
As a Micro-Enterprise specialist with U.S. presidential recognition for domestic and international expertise in artisan development, small producer and entrepreneurial training and economic development she has designed and sourced Private Label collections for Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Crate & Barrel, The Phillips Collection, ABC Carpet and Home, Donna Karan Urban Zen and Ralph Lauren. She has worked in 57 countries. Patti is an expert in Color + Trend research and forecasting and consults with Pantone. She is the Global Trend Ambassador for Maison & Objet, Paris.
She is an active board member of SERRV International-one of the founding organizations of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), BADG (Black Artists and Designer Guild), The High School of Fashion Industries and The Bienenstock Furniture Library, as well as the co-founder of the Kaleidoscope Project.
Patti is also the recipient of the Gift For Life Industry Achievement Award for 2021 and the Withit Industry Leadership Award for 2021 for the Kaleidoscope Project.
Patty Cooke has been a real estate marketing and design professional for more than 30 years for numerous commercial and residential properties throughout New England and Canada. Known for well-executed vernacular New England design in both new construction and renovation, Patty is able to identify the target market and client, define the best end product for each project, and execute its completion to perfection. She has received multiple design awards for historic renovation, remodeling and new construction projects. In the commercial sector, Patty’s most recently completed the design and renovation of the buildings and all interiors of the Pickering House Inn, The Barn at Pickering House and PAVILION restaurant, located in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. The Property was most recently named #1 Resort Hotel in New England and # 3 in the United States by Travel + Leisure Magazine. Patty founded Wentworth Style, LLC in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire in 2010. Prior to Wentworth Style, she held senior management positions at the Codman Companies of Boston and the Stabile Companies of Nashua, NH.
Jack Faer is the Founder of Faer Risk Consulting LLC, a consulting firm focused on risk mitigation and security. Jack shows individuals how to manage their personal risks by developing a trusted and pragmatic approach that fits clients’ risk tolerance. It is a unique offering of security, risk management and financial expertise that enables clients to understand how one risk impacts another. He is excited to provide services to people of all levels of sophistication at affordable rates. It is his way of helping people learn how to be more disciplined in understanding and managing risk. He has a commitment to be available to clients when unforeseen events occur and deliver high quality solutions, with a reputation for ethics and integrity. He strives to help people protect what they have and optimize what they want.
In his most recent organizational role as Chief Risk & Security Officer at Iron Mountain, Jack had primary responsibility for all safety, security, risk management, and governance programs.
He has been a speaker at multiple Risky Business conferences on risk management principles from a corporate and law enforcement perspective. Trained as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Jack received his MBA in Finance and held several FINRA and other licenses, including a Certified Protection Professional (CPP) and a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). He has been qualified as an expert witness in forensic accounting in state and federal court.
Amy Flurry operates a communications studio in Athens, Georgia that partners with companies in the home furnishings industry to develop and implement focused communication plans, expand marketing strategies to connect to the interior design trade and apply trend direction to product development.
Amy has two decades of editorial experience, producing features and writing for top print and online publications. In 2011 Amy authored Recipe for Press (Pitch Your Story and Create a Buzz,) then took to the road, sharing her editorial insights with entrepreneurs. Recipe for Press (Designer Edition) is her newest book with the tools interior designers need to take advantage of the press opportunities available to creative professionals. The book took shape after two years as creative director of the first-of-its kind project management app for interior design professionals.
Amy is a nationally recognized speaker and frequent podcast guest on the subject of purpose-driven, DIY public relations. She co-founded the luxury home accessories company, aloka, in 2020, and is also co-founder of Paper-Cut-Project, a company that conceives highly crafted installations for fashion houses including Hermes, Kate Spade, Valentino, Christies and the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Adam Japko is CEO of Esteem Media and founder of the Design Influencers Conference. Esteem Media is home to leading national and local media brands in the luxury home design, gardening, and fine wine communities; focused on connecting professionals and consumers around their passions and businesses. Design Influencers Conference, Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, New England Home, and WineZag leverage events, print media, social media, blogs, and digital marketing… but overall, community connection as the catalyst for their constituents’ commercial success.
The Design Influencers Conference typically attracts more than 400 participants each year. It is the premier conference and experience for design influencers, interior design professionals, and brands who are actively using or interested in learning about social media, content, and digital marketing in the interior design industry.
Daniel Kahan is the youngest principal partner of Smith and Moore Architects, an award-winning architectural practice based in West Palm Beach. The firm is widely recognized for residential design in both traditional and modern styles, incorporating a legacy of classicism into contemporary aesthetics.
Daniel received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1998 and a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Florida in 2004. He was raised in Augusta, Georgia and grew up studying the traditional architecture of the South. He was also exposed to and informed by the modernist residential architecture practiced by his uncle in Mexico City, where he apprenticed while studying architecture collegiately before his time at Smith and Moore Architects.
He prides himself in the synthesis of classical order and form with modernist simplicity. He draws inspiration from a commitment to artistic integrity, a passion for detail, the use of fine materials, and exceptional workmanship. In 2011 he received the Elizabeth L. and John H. Schuler Award from the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach for Seascape, the oceanfront colonial residence project, and again in 2019 for Jungle Road, a modern-style gallery-white house. He is an active member of the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art, among many other civic and architectural organizations.
Kyle Lissack’s love of construction began as a young boy walking job sites in the often-dilapidated 18th and 19th century homes of Society Hill and Rittenhouse square with his step-father and Grandfather. These early memories instilled in him an excitement and passion for construction and an appreciation of fine craftsmanship. Many years later, while working for Pinemar during breaks from school, he came to better understand the significance of the role the builder played in building homes for families. After more than a decade working in the technology industry, Kyle and his family returned to Philadelphia to pursue his love for construction and a more balanced life.
Driven by a passion for building beautiful homes and working with clients, Kyle is involved in each of Pinemar’s projects. He takes great pride in Pinemar’s reputation for excellent workmanship. A native Philadelphian and Colby College graduate, Kyles serves on the board of the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art and is a Trustee of the Shipley School. When not immersed in the details of his client’s on-going projects, he can often be found in the company of his children.
Pinemar is an award-winning residential construction firm, leading projects throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond. Specializing in new homes, renovations, and additions, the firm is known for its discerning eye and commitment to the values of fine craftsmanship and exceptionally well-built homes. Committed to upholding its client’s best interests as the utmost priority, Pinemar crafts exceptionally well-built homes that have a lasting impact on the lives of clients and the communities in which it builds.
Maria Martinez is a Co-Founder of Whetstone Workshop, a design-driven architectural and sculptural fabrication shop located in Providence, Rhode Island. For the past 11 years, she has been an advocate for excellence in metal craft, meeting with experienced designers and interns alike to share her vision for how modern design projects can use time-honored craft methods to push the boundaries of both disciplines. Whetstone hosts classes from Rhode Island School of Design, discussing manufacturing considerations with the next generation of designers. Maria is involved with the DESIGN x RI community - speaking about design process and hosting events for interdisciplinary mingling.
Whetstone’s portfolio includes private and public works, residential and institutional, furniture and sculpture, stairways, doors, and anything else that needs to be absolutely fabulous. Whetstone is dedicated to creativity and excellence in craft.
Maria graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh with a Bachelors of Science in Biochemistry. She spent her early career working at a biotech start-up and an environmental non-profit. Maria is passionate about art and craft, about human expression in it’s many forms. She is also the founder and executive chef of The Illuminated Oven, a bakery celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.
Melanie Millner is an award-winning designer with a deep appreciation for art, architecture, travel and meaningful experiences. She has earned a reputation for refined and beautiful interiors that focus on the comfort of home without compromising timeless style. Melanie continues to attract a loyal clientele who count on her synthesis of rich materials, beautiful color palettes and unique, expressive interiors that create the feeling of home for each individual project.
She was born in New York and spent her formative years on Long Island and in the Northeast. Her family then moved to Texas where she attended The University of Texas at Austin, graduating in 1990 with a degree in Interior Design. She moved to Atlanta, Georgia and worked for an architectural firm until she gained the experience necessary to start her own Atlanta-based interiors firm in 1993.
The Design Atelier is regularly featured in publications such as LUXE Interiors + Design Magazine, House Beautiful, Interior Design Magazine, Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, Maine Home + Design and others. She has participated in numerous Showhouses, served on the board of ASID (American Society of Interior Designers), the board of MODA (Museum of Design Atlanta), and is an active member of the Design Leadership Network. Melanie has received numerous ASID Design Excellence awards, Kitchen and Bath of the Year awards and is a Registered Interior Designer in the state of Georgia.
Melanie enjoys her free time seeking inspiration through travel, art galleries, museums and fashion while her heart lives in the beauty of the natural landscape of Maine.
Mike Oh is the founder of TSP, an IT services, cybersecurity and smart home company which was started in 1992 out of a dorm room at MIT. TSP’s Smart Spaces division implements award-winning smart home and AV technology in projects throughout the US and Europe.
An entrepreneur with 30 years of experience in running his own investor-backed company, he and his firm have worked with not only well-known organizations like the Boston Celtics, Accel Partners, Kayak, and Novartis, but also dozens of smaller investment firms, family offices, celebrities and high net worth individuals in the Boston and New England area. He holds double engineering degrees from MIT in Aeronautical and Electrical Engineering and lives outside of London, UK with his wife, twin daughters and their puppy.
Milton Pedraza is the Chairman of DataLucent, the CEO of the Luxury Institute, and is globally recognized as one of the world’s leading experts and private investors in personal data innovation. He has been called the “Ethical Voice for Personal Data Equality Innovation” by his peer investors/data experts.
DataLucent is the world's first personal data exchange that empowers consumers to license their digital platform data (Facebook, Google, Amazon, etc.) to brands they trust legally, securely and privately in exchange for fair value rewards and benefits.
The Luxury Institute is the world's most trusted research, training, and elite business and personal data technology solutions partner for luxury and premium goods and services brands. With the largest global network of luxury executives and experts, Luxury Institute has the ability to provide its clients with high-performance, leading-edge solutions developed by the best, most successful minds in the industry. In the last 20 years, Luxury Institute has served over 1,100 luxury and premium goods and services brands. The Institute has conducted more quantitative and qualitative research with affluent, wealthy and uber-wealthy consumers than any other entity. This expertise has led to the neuroscience-based emotional intelligence education system, Luxcelerate, that dramatically improves sales performance.
Milton is a frequent guest speaker at Columbia University and has lectured at Harvard Business School
Bill Stern holds an MBA in Finance from Rutgers University and has over 30 years of experience in senior management positions in various industries. He has been CFO of Bruce Bierman Design for 17 years and serves as part time CFO with several Interior Design firms. Bill concentrates on maximizing profitability and setting up structures and systems that allow designers to feel confident in understanding of their firm’s finances and profitability. Bill enjoys volunteering for theatre in NYC and attending live music events everywhere.
Geoffrey Valentino is the director of Hollander Design’s Chicago office. With almost 20 years of experience in landscape architecture, Geoff utilizes his knowledge of design and construction to lead his team in a wide variety of project types, from large-scale estates and civic campuses to intimate rooftop gardens and urban parks. Since joining the firm in 2011, Geoff has played an integral role in the firm’s growth and development. He’s helped expand the firm’s project base by maintaining successful client relationships, pioneering new project types and helping to move the firm into new markets. Under Geoff’s direction, the Chicago Studio has both residential and commercial projects in nearly every geography covered by the firm, from across the continental United States to the Caribbean, Europe and China. With a creative, yet practical approach to design along with a strong attention to detail, Geoff strives to create landscapes that seamlessly integrate with architecture, the natural environment and his clients that inhabit the spaces.
Geoffrey is a registered Landscape Architect in the State of Illinois. He holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from Michigan State University.
“Our work is always a collaboration between the client, architect, interior designers and the craftsmen who bring the vision to life. I believe that in the most successful projects, the site and the architecture are envisioned as a whole, from start to finish, as one composition enhancing how our clients will use and live within a space.” – Geoffrey Valentino
Kathy Bush-Dutton has been prospering in the media industry for more than 35 years. In her last ten years, as publisher of New England Home, she has accomplished a notable amount, including co-founding the Luxury Home Design Summit, launching two New England Home bonus issues (rise: Stylish City Living and next: Forward-thinking Design) in addition to launching digital offerings for New England Home, such as sponsored content and various social media products. In 2016 Kathy was named one of the top women in media by Folio magazine.
Prior to New England Home, Kathy spent 27 years at PennWell Publishing, bringing in tens of millions of dollars in profits for her B2B clients. She is renowned for creating meaningful business connections between her clients, balancing the editorial and business side of her media companies, and making her colleagues feel like friends and family.
Jenna Talbott joined New England Home as Editor in Chief in March 2020. No stranger to Boston’s residential design community, she served as Creative Director of Design New England magazine for more than a decade and co-founded Bijou, a popular online design destination. Her depth of experience with audiences across consumer, trade, and alumni markets adds another layer to New England Home's rich legacy while bringing an extraordinary amount of passion and style to a design community she knows so well.
If you have a relevant or salient topic that would appeal to our senior-level audience or would like to inquire about speaking opportunities for the conference, please contact Luba at firstname.lastname@example.org.