Deborah Lloyd Forrest, who founded ForrestPerkins in 1998, has achieved distinction as an industry leader in hospitality design throughout her career, which spans more than 30 years. From work early in her career on such acclaimed hotels as The Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia for Canadian Pacific Hotels and Resorts, now Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, Ms. Forrest began focusing on landmark and luxury hotels. More recently, Hilton selected Ms. Forrest to create the design story and branding guide for its Waldorf Astoria brand. With her design agility, she is equally as comfortable designing contemporary properties as classic and has led the firm in many successful modern hotel, multi-residential and high-end single family projects as well.
Ms. Forrest is a Fellow of the American Society of Interior Designers, in 2000, and in 2004 ASID designated her as its Designer of Distinction for the outstanding contribution her work has made to the profession of Interior Design. Also in 2004, Hospitality Design magazine elected Ms. Forrest to its prestigious Platinum Circle. Ms. Forrest’s award-winning designs have been featured in a number of highly respected publications.
Shawn Basler has been a leader in the design of internationally recognized architectural and planning projects from hotels and resorts, office building, and residential development to industrial and commercial planning and development projects. He leads the project through initial concept, planning and programming through technical design, offering comprehensive professional design services. Shawn has led project designs and planning on numerous projects throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
Prior to joining Perkins Eastman, Shawn was a founding member of Basler Mosa Design Group. Before that, he was an Associate at Brennan Beer Gorman Architects in New York City.
Mr. Basler is a registered architect licensed in the States of New York, New Jersey, and Missouri. He is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).
He also holds membership with the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the American Planning Association (APA).
Mr. Basler is a Dean’s Advisory Council member of Kansas State University College of Architecture, Planning and Design.
Mr. Adams managed and directed the design of large-scale development projects at major architectural and planning firms for the past 40 years. His most significant hospitality design projects include the New York Four Seasons Hotel, on which Mr. Adams collaborated with I.M. Pei; the Chambers Hotel in New York, which he partnered with the Rockwell Group to design; and the RIHGA Royal Hotel, Manhattan’s first all-suite hotel, which is now called The London NYC. Most recently, he directed the design of the adaptive reuse of an iconic mid-century high-rise for the 326-room Westin Dallas Downtown Hotel, which opened in 2015.
Mr. Adams co-authored two tomes of Hotel Design, Planning and Development, often referred to as the “bible” of hotel design, and which was published in 2001.
In addition to Mr. Adam’s direction of some of Forrest Perkins’ important hotel and resort projects, he leads the firm’s new focus on the luxury senior living segment. Mr. Adams is based in ForrestPerkins’ Dallas office, is NCARB Certified, and is a registered architect in several states including Texas, New York, Massachusetts, Florida, Mississippi, and Louisiana, as well as the District of Columbia.
Barbara Best-Santos Barbara leads ForrestPerkins’ San Francisco Studio. Her expertise spans over twenty years designing boutique and large-scale hotels, spas, restaurants, and resorts. immediately prior to joining ForrestPerkins’ San Francisco studio in 2016, barbara was the Hospitality Practice Area Leader for Gensler’s Northwest Region office. Early in her career, Barbara worked with renowned designer Bent Severin, where she worked extensively on hospitality projects in the US and abroad, including locations such as China, Russia, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Guam. brands included in Barbara’s extensive project list include Four Seasons, Hyatt, Marriott, starwood, Kimpton, Cambria and Ceasars.
Respected as a leader in the hospitality design field, Barbara has a unique ability to bring bespoke designs to life while collaborating closely with clients to achieve aesthetic, financial, and operational success. An award-winning designer, her extensive experience encompasses business development, team leadership through all stages of a project, and elegant design solutions that suit the demands of both the client and their guests.
Sharon Bilbeisi leads the Washington, DC studio of ForrestPerkins. An accomplished architect and designer for over fifteen years, she has an extensive background in luxury hospitality and multi-family interiors projects. She has designed luxury and upscale hotels for many of the leading brands and independent hotels and residences throughout the US, Middle East, India, and Asia.
Sharon’s ability to collaborate with internal and external teams and use innovative thinking to solve problems in a highly professional manner, paired with her proficient technical skills, contribute to her reputation as a natural, trusted leader. Having lived and worked both in the US and the Middle East, she brings a global perspective to the design process.
Sharon earned a Bachelor of Architecture, graduating Cum Laude, from Roger Williams University. She holds architectural licenses in five states, including New York, California, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Washington D.C. and is recognized by the UAE government as an Architect. She also holds an NCARB certificate, and is a professional member of The American Institute of Architects.
Colletta Conner leads project management and design in ForrestPerkins’ Dallas office. With over twenty years of experience, Colletta has worked with major brands, including Starwood Hotels and Resorts Hilton Hotels Marriott and independent properties. Her projects include landmark historic hotels such as the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco, The Hermitage Hotel in Nashville, The Sinclair Autograph Collection in Fort Worth, Texas and The Plaza Hotel in El Paso. She also leads the design of major luxury multi-residential projects. Colletta’s ability to balance highly detailed design with astute project and financial management combine to make her a strong and respected mentor and leader in the firm and a valued collaborator with our clients.
Prior to joining ForrestPerkins, after Hurricane Katrina, Colletta worked extensively on projects in New Orleans, including the restoration and reconstruction of La Belle Maison, several major projects for the Louisiana Army National Guard and as lead designer and project manager for the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel renovation comprised of 1,110 guest rooms, 50,000 sq. ft of ballrooms, fitness center, lobby and prefunction spaces. Ms. Conner managed purchasing which exceeded $16M in FFE. Colletta is an NCIDQ-certified interior designer, licensed in the State of Texas.
Fred joined ForrestPerkins in 2017 as a Associate Principal with over 35 years of interior design experience. He has an extensive background in Architecture and Design integration, as well as collaboration with Shell/Core Architecture teams. This wide-ranging expertise brought him to successfully leading the design process on projects with Hyatt Hotels, Starwood Hotels, Marriott, Moxy, and Virgin USA.
Early experience at DiLeonardo, Providence/Hong Kong, with hospitality brands in the Asia-Pacific market, including the Intercontinental Group, Starwood/Sheraton Hotels, Grand Hyatt, Fairmont/Raffles, Kempinski, and Hilton International, as well as Starwood – W Brand USA, has provided Fred with a broad understanding of international markets.
Following studies at The New York College of Art and Design, and the Open Atelier of Design and Architecture in New York City, with a focus on Interiors, Architecture and Environmental Design, he received his BFA in Environmental Design and Interior Architecture from Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
Claudia Woods leads the New York City Design Studio of ForrestPerkins. Throughout her career, Claudia has been responsible for the creative direction and project management of many prestigious commercial projects. Her portfolio includes hotels, restaurants, spas, residential, office, and retail projects. Claudia’s forte is the design of elegant and functional food and beverage venues, both within luxury hotels and as free standing outlets.
Prior to rejoining ForrestPerkins, Claudia led the renovation of the iconic New York City landmark, Blue Water Grill. She co-led the Studio at Starbucks Design East in New York City earlier. While at Starbucks, Claudia led the design of 400+ store locations, including Reserve, Starbucks’ new high-profile stores. Claudia was honored with Starbuck’s President’s Award and Bravo Award. She also designed CBD Provisions Brasserie Restaurant at The Joule Hotel in Dallas. Claudia was the lead designer for the F&B venues and Spa at the St. Regis Amman Hotel in Amman, Jordan, when she was with ForrestPerkins in the Dallas office.
Earlier in her career, Claudia was an Associate at Rockwell Group in New York, where she was responsible for hospitality projects including Maialino Trattoria at the Gramercy Park Hotel, Alain Ducasse’s Adour at The St. Regis Washington DC, and Nobu in Budapest, Hungary Previously, Claudia was Project Manager for Yoo USA, Philippe Starck’s residential design and development firm, and Project Designer for Clodagh Design on the W Fort Lauderdale. A registered architect in the state of New York, Claudia was born in Rome, Italy, and studied in Germany, where she earned a Masters Degree in Architecture from the University of Kaiserslautern.
Toby Bishop, a long-time ForrestPerkins design leader who has contributed to the success of some of the firm’s most high-profile projects, has returned to the firm in 2015. Mr. Bishop spearheaded the design of The St. Regis Houston, which was named 2015 Luxury Unique Hotel of the Year – USA in the Luxury Travel Guide Global Awards. The St. Regis Houston was also honored with a 2013-2014 International Hotel Award in the category of Hotel Interior in the USA. Mr. Bishop also played a leadership role in the following award-winning projects: the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago; the Westin Book Cadillac in Detroit; and Le Meridian Dallas, The Stoneleigh. Mr. Bishop was profiled in Hotel Business Design for his design of the InterContinental Dallas. In 2011, he spent more than a month at the New York Marriott Marquis on TimesSquare overseeing the installation of his designs of the Broadway Ballroom/Pre-functions, Lobby Lounge, Restaurant and Atrium Bar.
Mr. Bishop previously worked at Bergdorf Goodman as Project Manager, Store Design for both of its Fifth Avenue locations and worked as Associate Interior Designer, Job Captain at Gensler in NYC.
In 2008, Mr. Bishop was recognized as one of Boutique Design magazine’s “Boutique 18 New Design Talents.”
Mr. Bishop graduated with honors earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Environmental Sciences with a major in Interior Design from Oklahoma State University.
Annie is constantly engaging with media of all types to enhance her knowledge of social and lifestyle trends. She maintains a deep collection of current resources of fashion, the latest hotels restaurant and residential trends and travel venues to inform and enhance ForrestPerkins’ design process. During the brainstorming sessions that initiate the design process for projects across the firm, she has helped conceptualize design stories, visualize project concepts and source images that best convey the concepts for clients in the early stages of design. She researches neighborhoods, target markets, design trends and then she designs bespoke concepts to reflect her findings and the desired design aesthetic. Annie helps create the interior mood through graphic presentations of lifestyle and interior images and proposes up-and-coming design trends for the initial stages of projects and continues as a resource to the project teams throughout the development of the design.
In addition to ongoing contributions across the firm, Annie also worked extensively on an exclusive luxury branding engagement to help reshape the identity of Waldorf Astoria brand and collaborates closely with Deborah Forrest, Shawn Basler and other senior leaders on key strategic projects and visioning.
Annie, an NCIDQ-certified Interior Designer, graduated from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2004, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interior Design.
Diane Kliebenstein is the creative director of ForrestPerkins’ exclusive drapery design and specification studio. As such, she is involved in the design, specification and construction administration of all window treatments in every ForrestPerkins project.
Working with ForrestPerkins since its inception, she has provided window treatment design and specification with the kind of careful attention to detail usually reserved for haute couture fashion. Her knowledge of the workroom processes and personal experience in fabrication and installation of complicated and visually complex window treatments allows the firm to write the most accurate and comprehensive window coverings specifications in the hospitality industry. Ms. Kliebenstein’s detailed specification writing process results in the selection of highly skilled fabricators with the expertise to construct the treatments. This ensures that all ForrestPerkins window treatments meet the highest level of appearance and performance.
Tanh Nguyen’s extensive experience and technical knowledge in the field of hospitality architecture, specifically large complex hotels, resorts, restaurants, and country clubs serve him well at ForrestPerkins, where he is a Senior Associate. Tanh served as Project Architect for The Joule Hotel in downtown Dallas, where ForrestPerkins was the Architect of Record, when it was renovated and expanded. He oversaw the development of the architectural design and the production of the construction documents and specifications for the luxury hotel. Tanh, a licensed architect in the state of Texas for 25 years, is a natural at his role, which also involves coordination among the client, the architecture/interior designers and other consultants, including structural engineers, MEP engineers, civil engineers, and landscape architects. Mr. Nguyen also meets with city officials to resolve zoning and building code issues and maintains quality control of construction drawings. As Project Architect, he assists the Project Manager and other architects in developing final documents to complete projects on budget and on schedule.
Tanh received a Dallas Chapter AIA Merit Award as part of the design team for the Mockingbird Rapid Transit Station, while he worked at Aguirre Associates Inc. The Texas Tech University alumnus, who holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree, believes his Asian heritage allows him to combine the best of eastern culture with a western influence.
Emily Woods, a ForrestPerkins’ Project Manager, has managed several multi-residential and hotel projects through all phases of the design and construction process, from concept design and feasibility studies through construction administration, furniture installation and finishing touches. She is currently overseeing several new-build multi-residential projects that are under construction, including new, luxury, LEED-certified student housing with 1,500 beds at the University of Maryland. Ms. Woods is also managing the Architect of Record and Interior Design scope of the renovation of The Fairmont Washington, DC junior ballroom.
Ms. Woods’ strengths include collaborating with architects and other consultants; construction administration services, especially trouble shooting with contractors in the field; and Revit documentation. She is passionate about striking a harmonious balance between furnishings and artwork and major architectural features. Before joining ForrestPerkins, she used her top notch skills as an intern in ForrestPerkins’ Dallas office while she was in graduate school. During that time, Ms. Woods was an integral part of the team that renovated The Joule Hotel in downtown Dallas.
Ms. Woods also gained valuable experience while working at SHP Leading Design in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she worked on various LEED-certified projects, and at Richard Henry Behr Architect, P.C. in Scarsdale, New York, where she focused on high-end residential designs. Her master’s thesis explored the value and design opportunities associated with adapting an abandoned historic school building into luxury residential living.
She holds a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning, and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University’s Carl H. Lindner College of Business. Ms. Woods also earned a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Cincinnati, where she was a University Honors Scholar and belonged to the Alpha Lambda Delta Honorary Society. She studied abroad in London, England at the American Intercontinental University as well.
Jennifer Beggiato is passionate about capturing the synergy between interior design and architecture. She’s particularly knowledgeable about sustainable design and has delivered significant, elegant, modern and traditional designs repeatedly. Her extensive experience spans from international luxury hotels and multi-family properties to exclusive private residences.
Ms. Beggiato uses her detailed design and organizational skills for multi-residential properties, too. As one of the lead designers on various projects, she has led from schematic design to design development through documentation and contract administration. Ms. Beggiato holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Interior Design from Marymount University and a Bachelor of Arts in Geology and History from Indiana University. She began working at ForrestPerkins in 2005 and a year later she designed the interiors of custom single family residences in Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia.
Kathy Chisholm rejoined ForrestPerkins early in 2014 as a Junior Designer after interning for the firm in 2013. She also gained experience working at Perkins Eastman. Ms. Chisholm, who holds a Master of Arts in Interior Design from the Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, D.C. plus a Master of Science in Accountancy from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, combines her right brain creative skills with her left brain business acumen when she works on hospitality and multi-residential projects.
Ms. Chisholm also spent a summer abroad at the Studio Arts Center International in Florence, Italy, where she completed a workshop involving interior design, exhibition design, and graphic design. Her repertoire includes AutoCAD, Revit, SketchUp, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, and Microsoft Office. Her strengths are in computer drafting, organization, and communications.
A certified public accountant, Ms. Chisholm has also worked at the Internal Revenue Service in Washington, D.C. and at Ernst & Young LLP in Chicago, Illinois.
A registered architect in the state of New York, Kimberly is a highly creative, well-rounded Designer and Project Architect with leadership experience on various high-end projects, including luxury multi-family residential, retail, hotel and restaurant design.
In 2017, Kimberly joined ForrestPerkins’ New York studio, as Senior Project Manager, responsible for guiding projects through all phases of program and code analysis, design, production and construction. Creating original schematic design concepts, space planning, developing detailed documents for design features and specialty furniture are her strengths.
Kimberly works closely and collaboratively with clients, consultants, and product manufacturers, and her expertise includes sourcing hard-to-find materials and incorporating them into unique design solutions to create environments that are an expression of the client’s brand, within a given budget.
Her successful career spans over ten years in designing high-end projects in a number of the most renowned firms in the industry, such as Jeffrey Bears and Rockwell Group. Her talent and attention to detail have brought her assignments such as Project Manager for the luxury WestHouse Hotel steps from the famous Carnegie Hall, and One Manhattan Square, the newly designed 71 story tower with 60,000 sf of amenity spaces.
Kimberly earned a Bachelor in Design and Master of Architecture from Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina.
Frank Harker, an accomplished Interior Designer with a history of practice in luxury hospitality, high-end residential, and restaurant design, is one of the newest acquirements to the ForrestPerkins portfolio of talent. Mr. Harker’s portfolio is both eclectic and global, encompassing renovations and new builds, and scattering the globe from the United States to Asia and the Middle East. His skilled practice in a wide array of genres makes him an extremely versatile and creative mind, able to look at design from multiple perspectives. This extensive design experience covers all design phases, from pre-design research through construction administration, with his leadership in project coordination and design management easily recognized and appreciated by both colleagues and clients.
After receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design with honors from the esteemed Savannah College of Art and Design in 2007, Mr. Harker grew his career with tenures at the Los Angeles offices of Kay Lang + Associates International and Wimberly Interiors. While in L.A., he also served as designer on highly rated programs for HGTV and The Discovery Channel, where he was responsible for the design and coordination of room re-designs in both on- and off-screen capacities.
With this versatile background demonstrating his creative abilities and passion for the design profession, ForrestPerkins is pleased to have welcomed Frank to the firm in 2017, where his focus on perfection and attention to every aspect of the projects he has already taken on has proven him to be an important asset.
Paul Hodges, who has more than 21 years of experience in hospitality and multi-residential architecture, serves as Senior Project Manager for ForrestPerkins. Mr. Hodges joined the firm in 2001 and has designed, managed and administered an extensive portfolio of luxury hotel, condominium and apartment projects since then. His leadership and understanding of luxury design, hospitality operations, construction techniques and project management play a vital role at ForrestPerkins.
Mr. Hodges oversaw the complete renovation and rehabilitation of the acclaimed Jefferson Hotel in Washington, D.C.. The 1927 structure underwent a total interior renovation with ForrestPerkins serving as the Architect of Record, Interior Designer, Lighting Designer and art consultant. Mr. Hodges effectively managed a team of 25 to 30 consultants from conceptional design through construction. The renovated hotel opened on August 31, 2009 and is part of the esteemed Relais & Chateaux collection. In addition, Mr. Hodges has worked on many multi-family projects, including the award-winning Midtown Reston Town Center in Reston, Virginia.
Mr. Hodges is currently Project Manager for two major hospitality projects. ForrestPerkins is creating a contemporary, luxury version of the Westin brand through its role as the interior architect and designer for a new build, legacy property in Bethesda, Maryland, and is simultaneously spearheading a new build addition to the historic Morrison-Clark boutique hotel, in Washington, D.C.. Mr. Hodges is also the lead designer for the Art Deco interior architecture of the historic Fairmont Hotel in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Mr. Hodges earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture from The University of Texas. He spent seven years at The Vincent Association in Dallas, where he gained important experience in restaurant design and later joined Duncan & Miller Design in Dallas followed by Brennan Beer Gorman/Monk in Washington, D.C.
Nicole Smith, an Interior Designer based in ForrestPerkins’ San Francisco office, is both creative and analytical. Ms. Smith was Project Manager for the renovation of the Nines in Portland, Oregon, which CNN named among “20 of America’s most beautiful hotels”. She collaborates closely with clients and product manufacturers.
Ms. Smith’s background in high-end residential design and her experience with purchasing, logistics, and installations are a welcome asset to our team. Her keen eye for great design, paired with her energetic personality make her a joy to work with. Ms. Smith, a graduate of the Academy of Art University, San Francisco, California, is proficient in Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, AutoCAD 2015, and Specs Software, among other programs.