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, multiresidential and high-end single family projects as well.
The ASID elected Ms. Forrest a Fellow of the society in 2000, the highest honor the society bestows on its members, and in 2004 ASID designated her as 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 to honor her design leadership. Ms. Forrest’s award-winning designs have been featured in Architectural Digest, Conde Nast Traveler, Worth, Boutique Design, Modern Luxury DC Magazine, Architectural Record, Interior Design, The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News, USA Today, Hospitality Design, Hotel Design, Hotel Business Design, HOTELS, HotelExecutive.com, Real Estate Bisnow and Lodging Hospitality, among other publications.
ForrestPerkins merged with Perkins Eastman as of January 2016, providing the highest quality interior design, architectural and branding services to the owners and operators of luxury and landmark hotels and prestigious multi-residential projects through North America and internationally.
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.
Lawrence Adams, AIA, Principal of ForrestPerkins, is a global authority on hotel and resort design. Mr. Adams co-authored Hotel Design, Planning and Development with Richard Penner and Stephani Robson. It followed the original 422-page edition of Hotel Design, Planning and Development, often referred to as the “bible” of hotel design, which Mr. Adams co-authored with Walter Rutes and Richard Penner and which was published in 2001. Both tomes were written for architects, designers, developers and hotel executives as comprehensive and professional guides for hotel and resort design and development. Mr. Adams served as adjunct faculty at New York University for nine years teaching Master’s Degree courses on Hotel Design and Development.
Mr. Adams has 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. Mr. Adams also directed the architectural design for the addition and rebranding of the Westin Ft. Lauderdale Beach Resort Hotel. 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’ significant non-hospitality projects include the Czech Mission to the United Nations in New York, Poydras Home Senior Living Community in New Orleans, and the National Headquarters of the Marine Corps Forces Reserve also in New Orleans. Over the last several years, Mr. Adams became interested in the intersection of luxury hospitality and luxury senior living. He has been involved in the design of a number of senior living properties and sees the two specialties as interrelated, given the affluent and large population of baby boomers. So, 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 this growing 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 recently joined ForrestPerkins as Associate Principal to lead the ForrestPerkins San Francisco Studio after eight years as the hospitality practice area leader for Gensler’s San Francisco office. She brings more than 20 years of experience with boutique and large-scale hotels, spas, restaurants, and resorts. Prior to joining Gensler in 2008, Barbara directed her own firm, Best-Santos Studio, for 10 years. She has worked extensively on hospitality projects in the US and abroad, including locations such as China, Russia, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Guam.
This award-winning designer’s extensive experience encompasses business development, leading teams through all stages of a project, and designing projects that elegantly suit the demands of both the client and their guests. She has also worked on interiors for hospitality brands including The Four Seasons, Hyatt, Marriott International, Westin Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton, Woodside Hotels & Resorts, and Larkspur Hotels & Restaurants. Barbara has also used her talents to develop and design a number of high profile restaurant concepts including Bing Crosby’s, Joe DiMaggio’s, and Carlos Santana’s Maria Maria Cantina. Earlier in her career, her work included the Hotel Bel-Air, the Claremont Club & Spa, and many large scale projects around the world as a designer for Bent Severin & Associates.
Barbara’s ability to bring unique designs to life while collaborating closely with clients to achieve aesthetic, financial, and operational success combined with her pragmatic approach to design, delivery, and execution give her a unique position in the hospitality industry.
As an Associate Principal, Sharon brings more than 15 years of experience in Interior Design and Architecture to the firm. She has an extensive background in luxury hospitality and multi-family interiors projects. She has worked on upscale hotels with many of the leading brands 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 overseas, she brings a global perspective to the design process. Sharon shares the passion and commitment to high-quality design on which ForrestPerkins prides itself.
Ms. Bilbeisi earned a Bachelor of Architecture, graduating cum laude, from Roger Williams University after transferring from the Aerospace Engineering program at the University of Southern California.
Ms. Bilbeisi 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 brings 18 years of project management experience to ForrestPerkins, where she is based in the Dallas office. Ms. Conner has worked with major brands, including Starwood Hotels and Resorts and Hilton Hotels. Before joining ForrestPerkins, she was an Associate with Montgomery Roth Architecture & Interior Design in Houston. Prior to that, she was Director of Design at Long Architects in Beaumont, Texas, where projects ranged in size from 4,000 to 500,000 square feet and in cost from $20K to $100M. Ms. Conner, who is skilled in all phases of design, has managed FF&E project budgets and purchasing in excess of $30M. Ms. Conner currently serves as a studio leader.
After Hurricane Katrina, Ms. Conner 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.
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 has returned to ForrestPerkins to lead the New York City Design Studio. 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 Food & Beverage venues.
Most recently, 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 previously worked at ForrestPerkins.
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 Drury brings an exceptional eye for organizing space, color and form to ForrestPerkins’ graphic designs as well as helping to conceptualize interior design projects. With her understanding of the architectural and interior design process and elements, Ms. Drury expertly communicates the vision and unique identity of each project, rendering them with precise clarity and with the warmth of emotion that is imbued in the experience of a space. With her passion for design and remarkable artistry, Ms. Drury serves as a key member of ForrestPerkins’ graphic branding and interior design teams.
Ms. Drury has participated in every Blue Sky, or design charrette, the firm has had in its Washington, D.C. office since she joined ForrestPerkins in 2008. During those brainstorming sessions, she has helped conceptualize design stories, visualize project concepts and source images that best convey the concepts for clients. She researches neighborhoods/target markets/design trends and custom designs concepts to reflect her findings and the desired design aesthetic. Ms. Drury helps create the interior mood through graphic presentations of lifestyle and interior images and proposes up-and-coming design trends for the initial stages and later supports design teams with advice on finishes and color palettes. In addition to ongoing contributions across the firm, Ms. Drury also worked extensively on an exclusive luxury branding engagement to help reshape the identity of Waldorf Astoria, and works closely with Bree Dahl on key strategic projects that ForrestPerkins takes on.
Ms. Drury, 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.