HD NextGen Forum
Presented by Hospitality Design magazine, HD NextGen Forum is an invitation-only conference that blends education, inspiration, business, and networking for the next generation of hospitality design leaders. From inspirational keynotes to the influential leaders of the Owners’ Roundtable, our speakers lineup is sure to motivate and educate.
“Take risks in your life in the pursuit of your dreams.”
Adrian Ballinger is both world-class mountaineer and entrepreneurial leader. First and foremost a professional athlete, he is the only American to have made three successful ski descents of 8,000m peaks, including the first ski descent of Manaslu from its summit, the first person to summit three 8,000m peaks in three weeks (Everest twice and Lhotse once), and the only American guide to earn AMGA and IFMGA certifications. He has achieved more than 10 8,000m summits, including six summits of Everest. He is also the fourth American to have summited both Mount Everest and K2 without the use of supplemental oxygen.
As founder and head guide of the internationally acclaimed Alpenglow Expeditions, Ballinger envisioned a more holistic climbing experience for his clients than the status quo. His vision, with a focus on small groups and client education, continues to change the way big mountains are climbed.
What started in 2004 with three trips on one continent with one lead guide has grown into a thriving company, expanding tenfold in 10 years while setting new industry standards and expectations. He believes running a business is a lot like climbing a mountain, and attributes his company’s success to his extensive mountaineering experiences and lessons learned on strategy, preparation, decision-making, and teamwork.
Antionette D. Carroll
“Like all systems, systems of oppression, inequality, and inequity are by design. Therefore, they can be redesigned.”
Antionette D. Carroll is building an intergenerational movement of Redesigners for Justice to co-create and reimagine a world in which racial equity and health equity are the status quo. Her driving belief is they can be redesigned.
She is Founder, President, and CEO of Creative Reaction Lab, a nonprofit educating and deploying youth to challenge racial and health inequities impacting Black and Latinx populations. Within this role, Antionette has pioneered an award-winning form of creative problem solving called Equity-Centered Community Design (named a Fast Company World Changing Idea Finalist). Through this capacity, Antionette has received several recognitions and awards including being named an ADL and Aspen Institute Civil Society Fellow, Roddenberry Fellow, Echoing Green Global Fellow, TED Fellow, ADCOLOR Innovator, SXSW Community Service Honoree, Camelback Ventures Fellow, 4.0 Schools Tiny Fellow, St. Louis Visionary Award Honoree for Community Impact, and Essence Magazine Woke 100.
Within her almost 10 years of volunteer leadership, Antionette was named the Founding Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force of AIGA: The Professional Association of Design. She’s a former AIGA National Board Director and Chair Emerita of the Task Force. During her tenure, she founded and launched several initiatives, including the Design Census Program with Google, Racial Justice by Design Initiative, Diversity and Inclusion Residency, and national Design for Inclusivity Summit with Microsoft. Additionally, she’s the co-founder of the Design + Diversity Conference and Fellowship, co-founder and co-director of &Design, co-founder and chair of the Oscar Johnson III Youth Hope Foundation, and an active member of Adobe’s Design Circle.
She has spoken at Google, TED, Capital One, Harvard, Stanford University, Microsoft, NASA, TEDx, AIGA National Conference, The Ohio State University, and more.
“I’m letting kids know we have a history of building spaces and places.”
Michael Ford, AIA, NOMA is an architect born and raised in the city of Detroit. Ford received his M.Arch. from the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM), where he completed his graduate thesis titled: “Hip Hop Inspired Architecture and Design.”
Ford has spent the past decade working to blur the lines between professional practice and academia. He is dedicated to stimulating cross disciplinary discourse between practitioners and residents on the sociological and cultural implications of architecture and urban planning on its inhabitants. More specifically, Ford has unveiled the subconscious roles of historical architectural figures such as Le Corbusier in envisioning the built environments which necessitated the birth of hip hop culture.
Ford’s Hip Hop Architecture research has been published in a variety of places including FastCo Design, Blavity, The Fader, CityLab, and Vibe Magazine. Ford has been a guest lecturer at several universities including the University of Illinois, University of Detroit Mercy, UPenn, and Carnegie Mellon University.
Michael Ford was invited to keynote the 2017 American Institute of Architects National Conference on Architecture and he delivered the keynote at 2016 SXSW Eco Conference in Austin, Texas. Through his years of research, publications, and lectures, Michael Ford is recognized in the architectural and hip hop communities as a galvanizer and pioneer of a new era of architectural practitioners.
“We’ve always been a collaborative company so our approach to people has always been that everyone who joins us brings something to the table.”
Brad is President and co-partner of Atelier Ace and the Ace Hotel Group, where he oversees growth and operations, and helps create new hotels and collaborative projects. Back to his roots, surrounded by innovative energy, he joins the Atelier team in developing projects, developing culture and creative processes that seek to transform the industry. A graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, Wilson honed his skills at major brands such as Park Hyatt, Westin, and Hilton, and shifted into the boutique world when he met the people from Nikko Hotels and worked on their openings in Chicago and LA. Wilson was recruited to launch the first W Hotel and helped guide the fledgling Starwood brand’s early days, rising to Vice President of Operations for W Worldwide. From there, he helped build James Hotels from the ground up, serving as CEO.
His current company, Ace Hotel Group, is a branded operating company that re-envisions the traditional hotel model, enhancing the value of properties through an innovative and locally inspired approach to design and development. Through custom-tailored branding, design, and programming, Ace brings new life to challenged properties in emerging locations and seamless integration to new construction. They tap into the authenticity of a property or location, with an emphasis on narrative and visual identity.
At HD NextGen Forum, HD annually presents the Wave of the Future awards—an honor reserved for designers, architects, owners, and brand executives who are young enough to be considered visionary, but tested enough to be considered accomplished. Here are the 2021 honorees.
HD NextGen Forum is an invitation-only event. Registration for the 2022 event is not yet open.