HD Expo + Conference Announces Speakers and Topics

HD Expo + Conference, the largest U.S.-based hospitality event of its kind, announces an illustrious lineup of speakers and thought-provoking topics curated by Hospitality Design (HD) magazine. From April 26-28 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, more than 150 design visionaries, innovators, and thought leaders will share their expertise on topics from market shifts to sustainability, wellbeing to new concepts, plus hybrids, workplace, and more.

Interior designers, architects, hoteliers, restaurateurs, owners, operators, developers, and purchasers are drawn to the annual conference to explore concepts and innovations that showcase the best of hospitality. Programs will be presented on stages in three distinct areas conveniently located on the show floor: HD Park (#2873), DesignWell Pavilion (#4973), and HD Social Hub (#5726). Each area’s unique purpose, design, and programming—from panel sessions to keynote talks—foster an environment of idea-sharing and inspiration and enable attendees to stay ahead of global trends and on top of industry ideas.

HD Park (#2873)

HD Park shines a spotlight on immersive outdoor experiences while also serving as the home to all HD Expo + Conference CEU/LU-accredited sessions. Attendees can connect with clients and colleagues and hear case studies and conversational panels. Panelists include leading ownership groups and hotel and F+B brands as well as veteran and rising star architects, interior designers, and purchasers. Full Conference or Experience passes are required to enter CEU/LU-accredited sessions in HD Park.

DesignWell Pavilion (#4973)

Wellness and sustainability share the focus of the DesignWell Pavilion, designed by INC Architecture & Design. Attendees can learn how brands integrate wellbeing into their projects and products, and explore DEI-driven ideas for community building with the Hospitality Diversity Action Council (HDAC), alongside innovations in hospitality design that put the guest center stage. Everyone is welcome to attend sessions at the DesignWell Pavilion without prior signup.

HD Social Hub (#5726)

HD magazine invites attendees to lounge, recharge, and connect at the HD Social Hub, crafted by 21c Museum Hotels and featuring intimate conversations each day. Expo attendees can hear talks ranging from brands redefining the lifestyle market to Lodging Econometrics on their industry outlook, and explore hot topics including designing with soul and business lessons learned from the pandemic. Everyone is welcome to attend the HD Social Hub sessions without prior signup.

DAILY PROGRAMMING HIGHLIGHTS (Full schedule linked here)


10 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. | DesignWell Pavilion #4973

HDAC Series: Culture as Catalyst

Marquise Stillwell believes in people, and building community, in creating spaces that acknowledge our shared humanity, while giving value to our differences. He posits culture—art, music, activism, design—as a catalyst to bring us all together.

Marquise Stillwell, Founder, Openbox

10 a.m. – 11 a.m. | HD Park #2873

Concepts We Love: Projects Through the Editors’ Lens

What are we watching now? Hospitality Design magazine editors curate the best of notable projects and designs, with their creators sharing inside stories from inception to outcome.

Matt Goodrich, Principal, Goodrich

Elide Grabowski Rathbone, Director of Design, Bond Collective

Erik Nissen Johansen, Creative Director and Founder, Stylt

Adriana Marianella, Chief Development Officer, Fotografiska | NeueHouse

11 a.m. – noon p.m. | DesignWell Pavilion #4973         

Sustainability, Environment, Future

What does sustainability mean today? What are innovative best practices? How do we continue to push the envelope? Experts talk through thoughtful approaches to high-performance, sustainably driven solutions.

Heather Holdridge, Director of Design Technology, Lake | Flato

Gary Golla, Principal, SERA Architects

Sarah Klymson, Vice President, Product and Brand Development, Hyatt Hotels

Adam Rolston, Partner, INC Architecture and Design

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. | HD Park #2873

The HD Forecast: Tracking Shifts and Innovation

As lines among project types continue to blur and blend, explore concepts that showcase hospitality’s broad influence–on education, residential, retail, workplace, and more. Experts share their insights and observations.

Aliya Khan, Vice President of Design, Lifestyle Brands, Marriott International

Andrew Lieberman, Design Director, AvroKO          

Ken Patel, Founder/CEO/Chairman, EV Hotel | EV Smart | EV Human | EVHG

Enrique Vela, Director of Interiors, Olson Kundig

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. | DesignWell Pavilion #4973

Making Design More Democratic

From creating affordable housing to using architecture for good, change-makers discuss their out-of-the-box thinking and ideas for a better world.

Victor Body-Lawson, Founder and Principal, Body Lawson Associates Architects & Planners

Jenesis Laforcarde, Founder, The Jenesis House

Sequoyah Hunter-Cuyjet, Vice President, Determined by Design

12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. | HD Social Hub #5726

Imbibing in Style: A New Era of Wineries and Distilleries, Bars and Hangouts      

The seemingly limitless world of wine and spirits is infinitely more engaging given recent boundary-breaking design interventions for tasting, consumption, enjoyment, and, most of all, monetizing on the experience.

Brent Bolthouse, Founder, The Bungalow Hospitality Group

Juancarlos Fernandez, Partner, Signum Architecture

Josh Held, Vice President, Director of Entertainment, Wimberly Interiors

Christian Schulz, Design Director, Studio Collective

Nina Grondin, Partner, Curioso

1 p.m. – 2 p.m. | HD Park #2873

Lifestyle Leaders

Where is the industry headed? What’s next in terms of lifestyle and luxury? How are they evolving to address the needs of today’s travelers (especially post-pandemic)? Hospitality Design editor in chief Stacy Shoemaker Rauen gathers influential CEOs and presidents of leading hotel companies to answer these questions and so much more.

Blake Danner, Chief Operating Officer, Proper Hospitality

Rafael Micha, Managing Partner and Founder, Grupo Habita

Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos, Co-Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Flag Luxury Group

Jay Stein, Chief Executive Officer, Dream Hotel Group

2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | HD Park #2873

What Clients Want: Ask the Owners and Brands    

The past three years have required grit, resilience, and creativity. Evaluate changes and challenges for design teams as HD dives deeply into client needs, concerns, and what matters most to owners and brands. Get up to date on their expectations when it comes to design.

Gary Dollens, Global Head – Design/Product and Brand Development, Hyatt Hotels

Helen Jorgensen, Vice President of Design and Procurement, Host Hotels & Resorts

Kavitha Iyer, Head of Design, IHG Hotels & Resorts

Heather Ciszczon, Vice President, Development and Design, NuovoRE

4 p.m. – 5 p.m. | HD Park #2873

Brand Identity: Exploring the New Luxury   

The definition of luxury continues to evolve. Creatives and brands examine its myriad iterations—simplicity, beauty, and singular experiences—and what that means in terms of ever-evolving guest needs. Look at next-gen luxury from different points of view.

Michael Kitchen, Partner, Aparium Hotel Group

Winston Kong, Partner, Champalimaud Design

Paul McElroy, Executive Vice President, Construction and Design, Highgate

Tatiana Sheveleva, Co-CEO and Partner, Chapi Chapo Design


9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. | South Pacific Ballroom E

HD/ISHP Town Hall: Owners’ Roundtable

Reemerging as a face-to-face event, HD/ISHP Owners’ Roundtable convenes influential hospitality owners and brands with attendees for open and candid conversations about current projects and development plans for the future. You ask the questions in the roundtable format that has become a celebrated HD Expo + Conference tradition. Owners come from companies such as Las Vegas Sands, Hard Rock International, Hyatt Hotels, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International, Carnival Cruise Line, Hilton Worldwide, Omni Hotels & Resorts, and Dream Hotel Group. Pre-registration is required for this free session.

10 a.m. – 11 a.m. | HD Park #2873     

F+B Trends: What’s Next      

The restaurant industry has been one of the hardest hit, but still, with nearly $800 billion in U.S. revenues alone, F+B relies on design as a powerful driver and attractor especially in trying times. From retro to modern to groundbreaking aesthetics, explore innovation where form meets function, with designers and restaurateurs.

Adam Crocini, Senior Vice President | Global Head, Food & Beverage Brands, Hilton

Jessica Gidari, Director of Design and Concept Development, Union Square Hospitality Group

Ari Kastrati, Chief Hospitality Officer, MGM Resorts International

Alexis Readinger, Founder, Preen

Caroline Landry Farouki, Partner, Farouki Farouki

11 a.m. – noon p.m. | HD Social Hub #5726

Designing With Soul  

Authentic may be the most overused term in the industry, but it’s what many in hospitality strive for. From creating new spaces from scratch, to rehabbing existing buildings, we dive into how to create a coveted, guest-centric, holistic concept that leaves a lasting impression.

Jou-Yie Cho, Partner, Post Company             

Maija Kreishman, Principal, Michael Hsu Office of Architecture

Kevin O’Shea, Chief Creative Officer, Salt Hotels

1 p.m. – 2 p.m. | HD Park #2873

HD Project Breakdown: Hotel Marcel and Nobu Hotel Barcelona

HD explores two distinct projects—groundbreaking in their own ways. Becker + Becker Architects, Dutch East Design, and Hilton share their insight on the Hotel Marcel, a redux of the landmark Pirelli building by Marcel Breuer, and now powered solely by the sun. Rockwell Group discusses how they merged the best elements of the Nobu brand with the essence of Spain to create the new Nobu Hotel Barcelona.

Bruce Becker, President, Becker + Becker Architects

Greg Keffer, Partner and Studio Leader, Rockwell Group

Vito Lotta, Vice President, Architecture and Design, Hilton Worldwide

Nanette Milner, Director and Senior Associate, Rockwell Group

Larah Moravek, Partner, Dutch East Design

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.  | DesignWell Pavilion #4973

Leading-Edge Experiential Design

The pandemic has accelerated many things including the importance of disconnecting from tech and reconnecting with nature. Indeed, from remote lodging to hotels immersed in nature, experiential venues hit a nerve with guests.

Jordan Bem, Founder and CEO, Moliving Inc.

Matt Berman, Principal, Workshop APD

Matt Page, Associate Principal, SB Architects

Kelsey Sheofsky, Founder and CEO, Shelter and Co.

Todd Wynne-Parry, Managing Director, Horwath HTL        

2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | HD Park #2873

Rethinking Lodging for Evolving Demand

As remote work becomes the norm, and leisure travel more popular than ever, design and concept respond to—and get ahead of—guest demand for short-term and long-term lodging, apartment-style living, and hybrid options.

Mari Balestrazzi, Director, Environments Design, Airbnb

William Balinbin, Principal of Development, Sage Investments

Jess Berkin, Head of Brand, Mint House

Shruti Challa, SVP of Revenue, Sonder Inc.

Brian Quinn, Chief Development Officer, Sonesta


10 a.m. – 11 a.m. | HD Park #2873

UNLV: Emerging Talent Envisions the Future of Hospitality

At the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) Hospitality Design Lab, M.Arch. students tackle design challenges in evolutionary ways. From designing bioengineered hotel interiors to planning for drone services within resorts, the new generation of designers shares lessons learned through research and simulations. 

Glenn Nowak, Associate Professor, Architecture, University of Nevada Las Vegas

John Hardy, Chairman and Founder, The Hardy Group

Juan Orduz, Project Manager, Bunnyfish Studio

Dillon Denig, Student, University of Nevada Las Vegas

Gabrielle Fernandez, Student, University of Nevada Las Vegas

Osarodian “Victory” Igbinobaro, Student, University of Nevada Las Vegas

11:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. | HD Park #2873

HD Keynote: Todd-Avery Lenahan

Leading on the company’s next chapter, Todd-Avery Lenahan, President + Chief Creative Officer, Wynn Design & Development, shares his vision for a new era of development in luxury experiences. He helms teams across architecture, interiors, construction, procurement, finance, HR, F+B, wellness, nightlife, concept development, and more, to create the future of Wynn.

Todd-Avery Lenahan, President + Chief Creative Officer, Wynn Design & Development

11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. | HD Park #2873

Viva Las Vegas!

Given the extraordinary design and gaming leadership and talent in Las Vegas, HD goes local to explore what’s new, noteworthy, and next in Las Vegas and beyond.

Mark Boekenheide, Senior Vice President, Global Real Estate Development, Las Vegas Sands

Nicole Dalton, Interior Design Principal, BWA Architecture + Interiors

Kim Daoust, Principal/Interior Designer, Tandem

Craig Palacios, Principal, Bunnyfish Studio

Sean Tanner, Director of Design, Boyd Gaming Corporation


Registration for industry professionals currently starts at $119 for an expo-only pass, with full

conference options available here. View the full agenda and conference lineup. 

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