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Up & Comers: Young Professionals

Last night, we changed the clocks. This week, it’s supposed to reach 50 degrees (an especially welcome piece of news for those of us in the Northeast). And, with all of this “springing ahead” and promise—fingers crossed—of warmer weather, it reminds us of new beginnings, fresh starts and youthful energy.

It think this is why our March/April issue is the perfect one for a section we started a few years back: “Up & Comers: Young Professionals.” Though we previously called it “New Faces in the Industry,” we changed the name this year to the aforementioned header to more accurately reflect the spirit of the section. And, spirit just might be the most appropriate word: These designers are not right out of school (which “new faces” might seem to imply); rather, they have already cut their design teeth in the hotel industry, so to speak, and are currently making a name for themselves as they leave a mark on the world of hospitality design with youthful enthusiasm and perspective. 

And passion…tons of it.

Take Brooke Taylor, director of interiors, Arcsine, for example, whose chance encounter at an industry party led to her forming the connections that would become her present job. Her drive and vision allowed her to create a new interiors division designed to integrate a seamless approach to interior design and architecture for Arcsine. 

Then, there’s Dezirae Janowicz, director of operations/interior designer for Las Vegas-based Tandem, whose desire to be creative was present in childhood and continued to grow throughout the years, leading her to pursue her career as a designer in the city she fondly refers to as a “hospitality mecca.” But, it’s not all big casinos for her—the personal, smaller projects test her skills—and Dezirae is always up for a challenge and, admittedly, thrives on it.

Often, it’s not just an early “calling,” but early influence and inspiration that directs the path. Such was the case for Erin Nichols Fields, who credits her father, an architect who specializes in hospitality design, with her career choice, and warmly recalls her days in elementary school drawing on her father’s elevations and plans during a dad-daughter work day. 

But, just because you’re not bit by the design bug early on, relatively speaking, it doesn’t mean the interest isn’t as strong. Jennifer Mehra, interior designer, Glen & Co. Architecture, stumbled on her career choice in college, thanks to roommates, and has never looked back. What motivates her is the ability, in her profession, to fuse the technical with the beautiful, and to find satisfaction in the process of renderings becoming reality.

We look forward to not only seeing what these four women are working on now, but what they will do in the future. And, I know there are plenty of other stories like theirs out there. So, feel free to email me and let me know who you think is up & coming in hospitality design. After all, you’re in the field and, no doubt, have been inspired by the fresh perspective and energetic vision of a young designer. I’d love to hear about it.