For more than a decade, Hospitality Design magazine has annually honored a handful of designers, architects, brand executives, and owners as our Wave of the Future—those who are young enough to be considered visionary, but tested enough to be accomplished. Here are the 2022 honorees.
Aaron Anderson cofounded The 26 Co in 2020. Anderson is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations, company strategy, business development, managing projects from time to time (which he loves), and ensuring company vision is on target. Since The 26 Co was created, they have managed over 90 million dollars in capital projects MR. Anderson brings a well-versed background in construction but specializing in hospitality. Prior to founding The 26 Co, Anderson worked for public traded companies managing over $2.2 billion in assets.
Renowned in the industry for her warmth and emotionally intelligent approach, Linda Boronkay’s 13-year career has seen her work for an impressive roster of global clients. Before starting Linda Boronkay Design Studio, she was design director of Soho House where she was responsible for Asia, Europe, and the UK regions, overseeing a team of nearly 100 people including architects, interior designers, and a procurement team. She took overall design responsibility for members’ clubs, overseeing hotel rooms, restaurants, bars, lounges, event and coworking spaces, bespoke furniture lines, and home accessories.
Previously, Boronkay worked at leading architecture and design practices including Tom Dixon, Martin Brudnizki, Woods Bagot, and Tara Bernerd, collaborating on sites and destinations for Caprice Holdings, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Greenland Group, Morgans (now SBE), Nobu Global, Qantas, Starwood Capital, and Virgin Hotels.
Atit Jariwala, CEO of Bridgeton Holdings, is a hospitality and real estate enthusiast who operates, owns, and invests in a multitude of business types and asset classes, as well as in technology ventures that intersect with the physical world.
With a national portfolio currently valued near $1 billion, Jariwala has owned and operated over 50 hotels, dozens of office buildings, industrial parks, and residential buildings. Some properties include Walker Hotel Tribeca, Walker Hotel Greenwich Village, Marram Montauk, and the newly reopened Dawn Ranch in Sonoma County, California.
With an unwavering entrepreneurial spirit, Jariwala has founded numerous startups and is an active venture capitalist, investing in many technology start-ups. He is an honored board member of one of New York’s largest nonprofits, the Henry Street Settlement. He received his MBA from Stanford University and his BA from Yale University.
Diana Martinez is a senior design director at Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants. In this role, Martinez is responsible for creating and accelerating Kimpton’s growth strategy and brand differentiation within the United States. She believes that building a bespoke customer experience starts with an understanding that the modern adaptation of the boutique hotel is beautiful, stylish, and livable. In her 11 years at Kimpton, Martinez has been instrumental in opening several award-winning hotels and restaurants. She shares Kimpton’s values of incorporating sustainable practices making it a cornerstone of her design approach.
Martinez is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, focusing on Interior Design. She attended DIS Copenhagen, Denmark.
Today, she lives on the East Coast with her husband, two daughters, and an Australian shepherd.
Elide Rathborne is a graduate of the Sotheby’s Institute of Art and has been working as director of design for Bond Collective since 2015. She spearheads creative and innovative design concepts and has transformed the brand over the years. She works on every detail associated with layouts, furnishings, and finishes, and has completed over 500,000 square feet throughout the 12 locations nationwide. She also works closely with branding, social media, and marketing teams to ensure all Bond Collective printed and web materials represent the creative values of the brand fully.
Kane Sarhan is the cofounder and CCO of The Well—your one-stop shop for wellness. Prior to The Well, he was head of brand for SH Group, Starwood Capital Group’s hotel brand management company, overseeing the development and management of 1 Hotels & Homes and Baccarat Hotels & Residences.
Previously, Sarhan spent his career working in entrepreneurial environments with leaders like Jacqui Squatriglia, Nihal Mehta, and Reshma Saujani, and started his own non-profit, Enstitute. Sarhan has been named to the 2013 Forbes 30 Under 30 list, a 2013 Echoing Green Fellow, and a 2012 Francis Hesselbein Institute NEXT Leader of the Future. He has been featured in The New York Times, PBS, Forbes Magazine, CNN, and more.
Pooja Shah-Mulani is a true great example of being able to successfully merge ability and desire, whilst grasping every opportunity and challenge that presents itself in creating authentic and memorable destinations. Her idea of the key to success is being able to build connections with the client, operator, and ultimately the end user’s needs. With a unique warmth and openness, she can dissect the aspirations and needs of others that becomes her primary source of inspiration.
With Indian heritage, Shah-Mulani’s journey has taken her through Africa, UK, Italy, and the Middle East. These cultural connections have been instrumental in weaving together a unique philosophy that is seen in her designs throughout the region as well as internationally.
Over the past decade at LW, she has developed her design talent and success with her natural leadership qualities that allow her to now lead the way for LW in the future. Shah-Mulani has designed and led outstanding, award-winning projects such as Bull & Bear Restaurant and St. Trop Bar at Waldorf Astoria DIFC, Seventy Seventy at Park Hyatt – Dubai Creek, and Zeste Café* at Holiday Inn Festival City. Recently completed projects include the much-anticipated Dubai Edition, the Hyatt Regency in Cape Town, and the vibrant Indego by Vineet at the Grosvenor House in Dubai.
Raised between Milan, London, and Tokyo, Nick Solomon pursued a degree in architecture and earned his Master’s from the University of Bath in 2003. His inspirations matured through travel, as he also took internships in Hong Kong, Sydney, and Tokyo, before landing his first job in Madrid. Five years later, he moved to New York, a career milestone that allowed him to further expand his passion for human-centric design, working in one of the most diverse cities in the world. He and his family have been based there ever since.
His training as an architect and his global upbringing intimately inform his process. His passion for big picture, holistic thinking in design led him to work across both architecture and interiors. Solomon has built a reputation for delivering innovative, award-winning projects, and strong client relationships. His key leadership achievements range in scale from developing the passenger experience in the design for Newark’s new Terminal A and a rail station in Toronto, to the new Flagship hotel for Six Senses in London, a line of public seating for Tecno S.p.A., and the newly opened OijiMi restaurant in Manhattan.
An avid sketcher, communicator and builder of emotional connections, Solomon is passionate about crafting meaningful experiences and creating memorable storytelling through his designs. He is currently the chief creative officer at hospitality design firm AvroKO.
Crystal Vinisse Thomas is a brand management and marketing leader with over 10 years of international experience driving brand innovation and operational excellence, crafting memorable guest experiences, creating global brand marketing campaigns, and executing branded events and partnerships. She currently heads up the lifestyle and luxury brands at Hyatt Hotels Corporation—including Park Hyatt, Thompson, Alila, Andaz, Hyatt Centric, and Caption by Hyatt—guiding the strategy and vision of an ever-growing portfolio.
A veteran hotelier and alumni of Cornell University’s Hotel School, Thomas held several brand leadership roles with W Hotels Worldwide and most previously served as senior brand marketer for Beats by Dre @ Apple, Inc., overseeing the NBA partnership and all things sports.
The design voice of impact and change—Determined by Design founder Kia Weatherspoon, NCIDQ, ASID, D.F.A (h.c) has spent the last 15 years defying every design stereotype. The most damaging—interior design is a luxury reserved for a few. Her voice, advocacy for Design Equity™, and design practice have shifted the narrative, making interior design a standard for all. Weatherspoon is challenging the lack of these standards in economically challenged communities. Her presence and leadership have created ripples, prompting housing developers, agencies, and industry partners in economically challenged communities to not just take notice of her work—but to do better.
As a design industry advocate and educator in business leadership, equity, and diversity, Weatherspoon has been recognized as ICFF Design of the Year, has an Honorary Doctorate from the New York School of Interior Design, and ASID National Design for Humanity, a HIP Designer for Good by Interior Design Magazine, CREW Washington, DC Raise Your Voice Awardee, a part of the Washington Business Journal’s 40 under 40 Class, and the International Interior Design Association Luna Textile/Anna Hernandez Visionary Award recipient.