Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) has named Kaitlyn Thornton vice president of business development, Americas. In this role, Thornton is responsible for identifying project opportunities for the firm’s U.S. offices, further raising the brand awareness of HBA Americas among prospective clients, and cultivating relationships to create long-term positive value for stakeholders.
Thornton joins HBA Americas from Yabu Pushelberg where she helped evolve the brand and its portfolio of services. She carried a dual role as studio director, New York while also overseeing the company’s brand strategy team, which she effectively built by integrating marketing, communications and development disciplines into a collaborative unit. During her six-plus-year tenure, Thornton also expanded the company’s reach into Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia; grew its resort portfolio; and led a multi-team effort to launch its lighting design consultancy. Her 10-plus years of creative leadership and development experience additionally includes business development and marketing positions at Studio Dror and AvroKO.
“With her demonstrated expertise, measured perspective and vision, Kaitlyn is a major asset as HBA Americas increases its presence both in the U.S. and internationally,” said HBA Co-CEO Chris Godfrey. “Our remaining vanguard of the global industry is due to the exceptional talent and commitment of our team, which we continue to strengthen and diversify as we become more dynamic in delivering exceptional design services across different regions and markets.”
“HBA Americas is at a stage where Kaitlyn’s leadership and skills can take us to even greater heights,” said President The Americas/HBA San Francisco Partner Meghann Day. “Her agility and ambition are synergistic with who we are as HBA Americas and the direction we’re collectively heading in.”
This appointment follows a notable year for HBA Americas, including the openings of The Residences at The St. Regis Chicago; Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya; Hilton Cancun, an All-Inclusive Resort; and Dorsett Gold Coast on Australia’s Broadbeach Island. On the boards are Waldorf Astoria Cancun, Ocean Club St Barths, Avenue Bellevue and InterContinental Bellevue, and The St. Regis Longboat Key.
Thornton remains based in New York. She earned her Master of Arts in Cinema Studies at New York University, Professional Certificate in Legal Studies from Harvard University and Bachelor of Arts in Cinema-Television and Philosophy from the University of Southern California. Thornton is a Wave of the Future 2021 honoree by Hospitality Design.