By Sharon Hirschowitz
Beth spoke at the International Luxury Hotel Association’s INSPIRE’18 Summit in Las Vegas on Creating Experience Through Design and highlighted trends that they have incorporated in recent projects. She has over 25 years of experience in global design and has worked on a diverse portfolio of luxury projects that include the Renaissance Xi’an Hotel in China, the Skye Niseko in Japan, Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, the Elysium Hotel in Paphos, Cyprus, and the Marriott Taghazout Bay opening in Morocco late 2019.
What made you want to join Wilson Associates?
Our industry is transforming at a rapid pace, and hospitality design, in particular, is moving toward engagement design. My strength lies in understanding people and finding new avenues to optimize talent to achieve the best results. I’m extremely passionate about innovation, design, and strategy; and I see a group of passionate designers at Wilson Associates who are agile, innovative, and strategic, and our team brings a high level of technical skill and creative ability to each project. I look forward to nurturing their talent and providing an environment that allows every team member to harness the best version of themselves. In turn, we’re enhancing our client relations, solidifying our position as a trusted adviser to them and increasing project retention.
What do you bring to this position?
First and foremost, I’m an architect (trained and registered); I understand the evolving role of the architect and designer. I know firsthand the challenges, highs, and lows that come with the profession. My industry experience provides me with a deeper understanding and invaluable insight I can bring to my role as CEO. Through my years as an architect and designer, I have overseen large design teams both at Gensler and Westfield Corporation. I understand the importance of developing talent in order to drive strong company growth. After transitioning into a more client-facing role, I have found strength in creating a cultural evolution within an organization to build high-performing, mission-focused teams. Looking ahead at Wilson Associates, I see myself enabling and empowering talent, providing strategy for collaboration and growth, and removing obstacles in order to accomplish amazing project work.
What is your global vision for the firm?
Wilson Associates will become the top global firm in engagement design. Our team has the ability to evolve into the international go-to firm for design, strategy, trendsetting innovation, and quality delivery. I believe Wilson Associates will be acknowledged as one of the ‘Best Places to Work’ by 2020. I see Wilson Associates as the best firm for designers to develop and share their passions, and a firm where clients experience innovative and strategic solutions. To accomplish our goals, we’re developing a strong leadership team, nimble processes, and a foundational operations platform.
What’s your leadership style?
For me, it’s all about inspiring and empowering and having mission-focused people. I want to foster experts and specialists and to nurture and enable designers to craft their own path. I truly believe in transformational leadership, rather than transactional leadership.
Both business and leisure guests are looking for engagement in their travels. They are looking for local and authentic experiences—whether it’s inside or outside a hotel. It’s our job as designers to fully embrace the cultural nuances of a surrounding location into the hospitality interior spaces. Travelers are eager for cultural experiences that are interactive and all-encompassing. Designers are incorporating different elements of culture into each and every design detail such as the branding, graphic design, lighting, FF&E, and artwork in a property. Food and beverage spaces should NOT be an afterthought, they should be environments that stir social and emotional experiences.