Ave is a design and conceptual branding expert who is described as having great taste, tireless energy and a passion for seeing brilliant work through completion. She has a strong track record for developing successful design-driven boutique hotels in both branded and unbranded settings and moving nimbly between the nuances of each. Her depth of experience includes new-build, historic and adaptive reuse, conversion and renovation projects, moving expertly between the creative vision and practical business of project execution and incorporating all aspects of brand focus through creative direction and styling.
Ave started her hospitality career with W Hotels, a design-led, contemporary lifestyle brand and an industry innovator. She joined W in 1998 as director of interiors and director of brand development during the critical launch and expansion of the brand as a member of the original design team. She was instrumental in bringing the brand to life by managing all aspects of interior design including development of creative vision throughout the entire guest experience including music, uniforms, OS&E development, retail stores and even munchie boxes. While with W Hotels Ave developed a special talent for art direction and styling, overseeing property photo shoots that produced imagery for marketing materials, websites and a signature in-room book. Ave was with W for 6 . years and the first 22 property openings.
After leaving W Hotels Ave used the skills and relationships developed there to establish Fishnet Holdings, a hospitality design consultancy business for hotel and condominium projects, serving high profile clients requiring high-level vision and expert execution of projects. She lead and executed projects from start to finish by sourcing the talent, tools and other resources to drive the project to successful completion, directing various design consultants to ensure the appropriate mix of talent and personalities for the hotel brand, market and owner to achieve a cohesive design direction. She managed the full spectrum of the design process including the creative development, sourcing, pricing, production, delivery, installation and styling for hotels, condo model units and residential sales centers while controlling all financial aspects of projects including fee proposals, project budgets and contracts.
In 2009 Ave joined Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants as vice president of design and was charged with infusing the established boutique hotel brand with a fresh perspective and introducing a broad range of new design talent to help evolve the aesthetic of its hotels and restaurants to one that is more current, stylish and sophisticated. In 2013 Ave was promoted to creative director and senior vice president of design in 2013. Upon Kimpton’s acquisition by IHG in January 2015 Ave was promoted to global senior vicepresident of design, overseeing the brand’s international expansion.
Ave works closely with the Development team in the evaluation of projects for their potential to become a Kimpton, establishing the scope of work and identifying the appropriate project budgets to execute each plan. She establishes the high-level creative vision for projects by identifying trends, niches and opportunities in the marketplace and assembling the appropriate design teams to help bring that vision to life. She is a decisive and efficient manager of numerous projects simultaneously, opening up to 6 hotels annually and managing all phases of the design and execution of up to 25 simultaneous projects, managing consultant teams that include interior designers for hotels, restaurants and lounges, purchasing agents and installation companies. Ave oversees the full expression of the visual presentation of projects by developing the uniform design and styling of new hotels and has acted as art director and stylist for the brand’s photo shoots, generating imagery to elevate the visual presence of Kimpton on its website, digital marketing campaigns and in collateral. She collaborates closely with the Marketing and Brand teams to cultivate a cohesive presentation across projects through the establishment of hotel names and the development of logos and graphics.
During her tenure with Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants she has become highly regarded in the hospitality industry and has been recognized by The New York Times and Hospitality Design as a “Wave of the Future” honoree.
Ave earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, WI.