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Speakers at Naples/SWFL PowerHouse SMART Luxury Conference 2024

Meet the 2024 Speakers

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Jasmin Reese

Principal
Jasmin Reese Interiors

Jasmin Reese Interiors is a Chicago-based Residential Luxury firm that also services southwest Florida. From the start, Jasmin meets for a collaborative “Style session” – this determines how high octane the client is willing to go, and then the magic starts. Jasmin is an artist and can work in many different styles. Her instinct is blending antiques with modern elements, dark finishes mixed with light, feminine tones contrasting with masculine, and high low pieces. Her signature style includes bold wallpapered ceilings that allow artworks to be at eye level and artfully designed “color bomb” rooms that are whimsical and sophisticated at the same time. Ironically, her rooms appear very maximalist at first blush- however, they have limited, edited furnishings and simple styling for a classic and timeless tone. Her painterly interiors have gained her repeat business from clients who love their comfortable spaces, and she can complete homes over years if it isn’t done all at once.

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Raad Ghantous

Principal / Senior Designer, Raad Ghantous & Associates, and VP of Design, Identity Hospitality

Raad’s career spans 20+ years, which includes extensive experience working for design industry giants and architectural icons. Raad has had opportunities to work on projects in diverse global locations from California to Cabo San Lucas, Bermuda, Spain, Japan, China, Taipei, the nation island of Mauritius, and The United Arab Emirates. Along with a degree in design, Raad has a background in business, holding a degree in Economics from The American College of Switzerland and an MBA in Marketing from the Peter F. Drucker graduate school of business at Claremont Graduate University. From his international work and personal global experience, Raad seamlessly integrates creativity and design, with project management and business strategy.

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Pamela S. McNally

Senior Vice President
National Kitchen & Bath Association

Pamela is Senior Vice President, Marketing + Digital for the National Kitchen & Bath Association. Prior to joining the NKBA in June 2020, she was Vice President of Digital for SANDOW, and Executive Vice President of Client Strategy/Solutions for Interior Design, a SANDOW brand.

Pamela oversaw digital initiatives for SANDOW’s portfolio and worked with the company’s top clients to create custom interactive programs with a focus on mobile and social engagement. She also spoke extensively on digital and future trends, and was a featured speaker at NeoCon, High Point Market, Design Chicago, InterACT, DCOTA, IDS, and was invited to speak at annual meetings and conferences put on by top companies such as Haworth Inc., Gensler and HOK.

Before joining SANDOW, Pamela was Vice President of Digital and Editorial for Niche Media, a publisher of regional magazines in top U.S. cities. Before that, she was Editorial Director of Custom Media at Hachette Filipacchi where she oversaw the development of publications for brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac, Aveda, Avon and AOL.

Previously, she had held editorial positions at Fairchild Publications where she started her career.

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Dawn McKenna

CEO & Founding Principal
The Dawn McKenna Group

Dawn McKenna is one of America’s most successful, creative, and sought-after luxury real estate agents. Not only the #1 Coldwell Banker Realty agent in Illinois, for the past decade Dawn has been the #1 agent in the exclusive Chicago suburb of Hinsdale and a member of the Coldwell Banker President’s Elite top 1% of agents. To provide global reach for her clients, Dawn became a founding member of two exclusive, invite-only, international networks; the International Luxury Alliance, which connects Coldwell Banker, Corcoran and Hampton International’s most successful, global agents, and Luxury Presence, which is made up of only the top agent of any agency in the most important luxury markets in the world. Since her 2003 debut as a Coldwell Banker Rookie of the Year, Dawn has been recognized as a top producer by the Wall Street Journal, RealTrends rankings, Forbes and Crain’s Chicago Business.

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Duane Draughon

Owner
VizX Design Studios

Duane Draughon is a well-known and highly respected outdoor living designer with over 20 years of experience in the industry. As the owner and lead designer of VizX Design Studios, he has gained national recognition for his cutting-edge outdoor living designs that incorporate a modern design style. Duane's designs are unique and breathtaking. Duane began his career as an apprentice with a local landscape design firm in Columbus, OH, where he started designing outdoor living spaces in 1998. After working for Talk Landscape Design for a few years, he decided to start his own outdoor living construction company called PaverStone Design Group. Duane's unique and cutting-edge design style quickly gained attention, and his company went on to win multiple awards and be featured in local and national publications. During his time at PaverStone Design Group, Duane realized that clients were interested in his design style and wanted to see what they were ultimately buying before the project even started. This led to the birth of VizX Design Studios, where he could present his designs in 3D and capture clients across the United States. Duane took a significant risk by closing his construction company and moving to Chicago, IL, to pursue his dream of running an Outdoor Living Design Firm. This decision paid off, as VizX Design Studios has grown into a highly successful business that has received national recognition. Duane's background in engineering and architectural drafting, as well as his years of owning his own construction firm and attending seminars, and completing elective coursework, have provided him with a wealth of design experience. His work has been featured in numerous publications and media outlets, including CNN, Inc. Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, and other local newspapers and magazines. Duane is passionate about outdoor living and enjoys sharing his expertise with others. He is dedicated to empowering contractors and designers in the outdoor living space. With his extensive knowledge and experience in the industry, Duane continues to push the boundaries of outdoor living design and inspire others to do the same.

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Mark Benner

President
Mark Eric Benner - Architects, Ltd.

Mark Benner, AIA is the visionary force behind the inception of Mark Eric Benner — Architects, Ltd., a
dynamic architectural design firm committed to delivering unparalleled creative excellence to a diverse
clientele. Rooted in the belief that exceptional architecture emerges from a harmonious fusion of
innovative design concepts and masterful communication, our practice has meticulously crafted cuttingedge methodologies that seamlessly integrate state-of-the-art technology to maximize project potential and value.

Mark's professional journey was profoundly enriched as a principal and architect at Orren Pickell Designers and Builders, a prestigious luxury residential design/build enterprise in Chicago's northern suburbs. Since joining the firm in 1995, Mark spearheaded the implementation and
advancement of the company's pioneering CAD initiative, overseeing the realization of nearly four
hundred homes with a collective construction value exceeding $275 million. 

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David Lupberger

President
Remodel Force

David Lupberger draws on more than two decades of experience in the residential remodeling field to work with remodelers in developing proven business systems. Through his work in the remodeling industry, he hopes to redefine the way the remodeling industry operates so that the trust between quality Remodelers, their customers, suppliers, and trade contractors can be leveraged and improved.

Lupberger has been involved with custom home building and remodeling for over 20 years. After moving to the Washington DC area in 1988, he practiced high-end residential remodeling and focused on delivering the highest quality service to his clients. Over 90 percent of his work came from repeat and referral business, demonstrating the trust he developed with clients.

That experience in managing customer expectations led him to write a book called, Managing the Emotional Homeowner, which has become one of the bibles of the remodeling industry and helped hundreds of remodelers improve the level of service they provide clients.

Lupberger believes fervently that the best customer service only comes when a remodeler can deliver consistent results, which happens only with proven systems. He spent nearly 4 years writing the Remodelers Turnkey Program. This series of manuals is a basic how-to text on running a remodeling company. He recently authored the Home Asset Management Plan, a business system showing contractors how to implement a “client for life” program with their homeowner clients.

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Michael Menn

Principal, Architect
Michael Menn Ltd. (MMLTD)

In 1983, Michael formed his own private practice in architecture mainly devoted to small custom residential and commercial projects. Over the years the firm has evolved into a diverse architectural, planning, interior design and construction firm.

Design Construction Concepts, Ltd. was officially established in 1991 as a fullservice design/build entity. In 2010 Mr. Menn, seeking a new challenge, formed a new design/build entity, Michael Menn Ltd. focused on bringing architecture and construction excellence to the forefront for each client.

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L.A DeRiggi

Principal + Owner
Hudson Park Interior Design

L.A. DeRiggi believes being encouraged to explore the world from a young age helped provide a foundation for connecting individual creativity and a universal understanding of the human element. As principal of Hudson Park Interior Design, that perspective on the influence of interior design has been the catalyst for his unconventional pursuit of design concepts that connect classic techniques with modern elements to support lifestyle and well-being enhancement with problem-solving ingenuity.

“A lifelong passion for the arts and sciences has encouraged me to push the boundaries of interior design beyond the known applications, while challenging myself and others to exceed the standard expectations of the industry. I am driven to make a difference in people’s lives through intrinsic design to provide a sense of whole-being wellness,” DeRiggi says. “The impact of kindness is the key attribute that influences each completed project and the relationships I cultivate on my career path and personal trajectory.”

For DeRiggi, collaboration requires cultivation and successful interior design projects represent the harmony of teamwork. Following the same philosophy and passion in his company, DeRiggi is committed to investing in his team’s individual growth and supporting the philanthropic endeavors of the community.

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Alexa Warner

Managing Partner
Fuse Specialty Appliances

Alexa Warner serves as one of the three Managing Partners at Fuse Specialty Appliances, a renowned appliance retailer renowned for its unwavering commitment to quality, innovation, and exceptional customer service. With nearly two decades of experience etched into her career in the appliance industry, Alexa has played an instrumental role in shaping both the triumphs and reputation of Fuse Specialty Appliances. Fueled by an unwavering passion for aiding clients in bringing their dream homes to life, Alexa has devoted her professional journey to delivering top-tier appliance solutions to homeowners, builders, and designers.

Alexa, alongside her partners Tim Brohawn and Mike Robertson, co-founded Fuse Specialty Appliances with a shared vision of providing a boutique, high-end appliance showroom experience alongside a dedicated in-field service. The company prides itself on selecting brands that not only meet design and performance requirements but also uphold their products with exceptional post-sale service. Under Alexa Warner's astute leadership, Fuse Specialty Appliances has emerged as a trusted companion in countless households, offering an extensive array of top-tier brands and cutting-edge products.

Beyond her pivotal role at Fuse Specialty Appliances, Alexa is also a devoted mother of two wonderful children, cherishing the Floridian lifestyle. As one of the Managing Partners at Fuse Specialty Appliances, Alexa remains steadfast in her commitment to steering the company toward new horizons. Her unwavering focus remains on delivering unparalleled appliances and service to customers, assisting them in crafting homes they truly adore.

Meet the 2024 Experts and Moderators 

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Megan Reilly

Co-Founder

WestEdge Design Fair

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Candy Scott

CEO & Principal Designer
MOOD | Design + Build

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Melinda Jakovich-Lagrange

Real Estate Broker

Compass

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