Ben Wilson joined the New Building department of MSC Cruises in 2021 after a decade working in the design sector of the cruise industry. Following the delivery of World Europa, Seascape and Euribia, as Head of Architecture his role is to develop and deliver exciting new cabins, suites, and public areas in the continuous evolution of the MSC Cruises contemporary brand.
Audra Tuskes serves as the Vice President of Design, for Marriott International’s luxury tier. This includes the iconic brands of St. Regis, Ritz-Carlton, Edition, JW Marriott Hotels, W Hotels and The Luxury Collection. A design professional focused on hospitality & lifestyle development, Audra leads a team of designers who drive the creative charge behind new & evolving brands. In her role, she ensures that the vision, quality, operational excellence & voice distinctively defines each brand through the development of a strong design strategy.
Audra concurrently serves on the Editorial Advisory Board for Hospitality Design Magazine. With nearly 20 years of experience in the field, Audra’s past positions include VP of Design for Neuehouse, VP & Creative Director for Lightstone, VP of Design for Commune Hotels, Director of Design for Starwood Hotels, and Associate Design Professor at Pratt Institute. Audra holds a Master of Architecture from Columbia University. Audra is located in Marriott’s New York office.
Kristin joined dash design in 2011 and currently heads their F&B studio, dash dine, while continuing to lead select hotel projects. Kristin innately understands how to shape and elevate the user experience, one that evokes an emotional connection to the space, that is equal parts form and function. In her role, she is responsible for developing and leading the creative process on a range of hospitality projects from concept to completion.
Her hotel experience is vast, ranging from boutique renovations to new‐build hotels. Project highlights include the ONE11 hotel (a converted sugar refinery in the French Quarter), lobby of the Millennium Hilton NY 1UN Plaza (a designated NYC landmark interior), Renaissance Meadowlands, Renaissance Times Square, Intercontinental Kansas City, The MC Hotel (a Marriott Autograph collection), and Moxy DC (Gold Key award for Best Hotel Lobby‐focused service). Notable F&B projects include restaurants for Iron Chef Jose Garces (Amada, Distrito, Olon, Okatshe, and The Olde Bar), various Urban Farmer Steakhouses, Magic Rat and The Emporium Kitchen & Wine Market inside The Elizabeth Hotel, and The Emporium Kitchen & Wine Market inside the Perry Lane Hotel.
Chris simply describes his job as “helping businesses, to help their customers live their lives better” by supporting teams to deeply understand the brand they work for and how to look at consumers’ problems differently to their competitors in order to create irresistible experiences.
He has decades of experience working for global premium brands that customers admire and expect exceptional service from and is renowned for creating award winning experiences that customers are willing to pay more for.
Chris started his career at British Airways where he discovered his passion for experience design, culminating in him leading the design of the company’s all business class air services connecting London City Airport to New York that affectionately became known by customers as “the son of Concorde”.
He took a little time out of the aviation industry to explore the world of telecommunications before he made the move down under to join
Virgin Australia as Manager, Brand Strategy and Innovation to support the airline’s transition from low cost Virgin Blue to full service Virgin Australia.
Whilst in Brisbane he developed the airlines’ innovation programme and led the redesign and launch of its award winning ultra-long haul business class and premium economy cabin experiences.
In 2017 he moved to the USA to head up the Virgin Voyages Sailor (Customer) Experience Team accountable for leading the Sailor (Customer) Experience strategy design and execution across all areas of the business turning a start-up vision into operational reality.
(Virgin Voyages just took home all 5 awards in the large ship category for the Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Awards in 2023 making it the first brand in history to do so. From Best Overall Cruise Line to Best Service, Best Food, Best Value and Best Cabins.)
Gary Annett has been with MJM Marine, a world leading global marine outfitter, since 1998. Gary has hands-on experience of the refit industry, having started his career as an apprentice with another company before moving up the ranks and joining MJM Group. During that period, he held a number of Directorship roles including Commercial Director and Projects Director. He was appointed Chief Executive Officer in 2016. His strong customer focus, precision planning, and attention to detail are at the heart of Gary’s approach to business which has led to MJM Marine securing substantial contracts with the world’s leading cruise companies.
As President of Design Poole, Trisha leads a studio based in Winter Park, Florida and has recently opened a studio in Toronto, Canada. Her experience in architecture, interior design and graphic design enhance the team’s design vision for every detail of the project telling a story through thoughtful, interpretive design. With passion for excellence and extraordinary experiences she inspires the team’s award winning upscale hospitality portfolio of large resorts, hotels, vacation ownership and multi family projects. With more than 2 decades of experience Trisha brings focus to the business objectives while balancing the creation of unexpected design.
Trisha is active within the industry as a speaker and judge with regional and international trade fairs and conferences. She currently holds the position of Executive Advisor on the NEWH Inc. Executive Committee where her energy goes into the creation of programs and initiatives that support the industry and students pursuing careers in hospitality.
With over a decade’s experience within the marine and design, Jennie oversees all aspects of art projects within SMC Design; including concept development, artist management and project procurement.
Coming from a History of Art background, Jennies sees the importance of developing a unique narrative to each artwork collection she curates. She aims to bring an element of the unexpected with each project – often working to use surprising and novel materials and looking at ways to juxtapose different artists work so that they are viewed in new and novel ways.
Jennie has a special interest in craft, in particular exploring ways in which traditional craft can be used in modern and revived methods within artwork collections.
Thriving on close client collaboration, Jennie sees artwork as an integral tool in establishing each unique brand within the wider cruise market.
A creative force at SMC, Alun is involved with all graphic design strategies – including digital signage, wayfinding and identity design. He has an intricate understanding of the signage requirements and processes of both refurbishment and newbuild projects.
Known for his concise, crisp and impactful designs, Alun has a strong background in brand development and has overseen the design and implementation of both new and emerging identities.
Alun’s area of expertise is digital signage and he understands the potential of this to enhance passenger experience and reinforce onboard brand identity – developing often complex systems into intuitive and user-friendly processes.
Prioritising the innovative use of new materials within signage, Alun constantly researches and broadens his knowledge on cutting edge products on offer and utilises these in novel and intelligent ways.
Under his dynamic project management and client centred approach, SMC maintains a reputation for delivering complex projects on time and within budget.
Willie has been with Holland America Group for a little over one year now, and though a newcomer to the marine industry, she comes from hospitality design, where she designed for boutique and branded hotels. Prior to entering the world of marine interior design, she worked for over a decade in the fashion and costume design industries. Falling in love with design at an early age, she had a lot of influence from her competitive figure skating career, which led to studying fashion design at Parsons in New York City. She is extremely passionate about textiles, inspired by art and architectural influences and looks to push the boundaries with use of sustainable materials in cruise ship design.
Anne Mari Gullikstad
Anne Mari Gullikstad is the Chief Executive Office of YSA Design, where she is also Partner and a Senior Interior Architect. YSA Design is based in Oslo, Norway and has specialised in designing cruise ships, small ships and river cruise vessels since 1985. She draws on over 26 years of experience with to head the company’s management team, also fulfilling the role of project leader in key YSA Design assignments.
With an Honours Degree and Diploma in Fine Arts from the California College of the Arts & Crafts, Anne Mari brings a fresh and original approach to her architectural work, in which she has been certified to practice since 1993. As an interior architect and designer, her landmark projects have included some of the best-known cruise ships in the world, including Oriana (P&O Cruises), Disney Magic, Wonder, Dream & Fantasy, Silver Cloud and Wind, and the Seven Cruises ships Mariner and Voyager Radisson. She has also worked on a series of ships for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.
As project leader (and interior designer), Anne Mari also oversees and manages some of YSA Design’s most prestigious work, including assignments for Disney Cruise Line and SeaDream. She is currently leading YSA Design’s extensive conversion project for the Costa Cruise ships Costa Venezia and Toscana.
As Hotel Design Director at Carnival UK, Alison is responsible for Cunard and P&O Cruises interior brand vision, development, and implementation of hotel design, standards, and specifications for refits and newbuilds. Alison influences all public area and cabin spaces and product selection including furnishings, lighting, signage, and art.
As vice president of newbuilding and refurbishment, Trevor Young is currently coordinating the 13 new building projects that are currently part of MSC Cruises’ fleet expansion plan. He also coordinates all refurbishment projects in the Company’s existing fleet. Trevor’s career started with him earning a diploma of business and hospitality management, along with a certificate in hotel and catering Management which lead him to the cruise industry in 1996.
Sascha Lang is Vice President, Architectural & Design – New Build and Innovation, Royal Caribbean Group, and is assigned to the Royal Caribbean International brand. Sascha joined Royal Caribbean Group in September 2019.
He has over 25 years’ experience in hotel design management and has worked with leading hospitality groups in Europe, the Middle East, India, Africa and Asia-Pacific. Well-regarded by professional associates within the hospitality industry for his ability to creatively integrate the development of hotels and interior design concepts, Sascha has extensive experience in hotel and mixed-use development, acquisitions and due diligence, project development and management, concept development, interior design and technical services.
A Swiss national, Lang has a degree in architecture and studied building construction and structural engineering. He holds a degree in business administration as well as a diploma in hotel management from the Belvoirpark Hotel Management School in Zurich.
My is the Director of Interior Design for HA Group and leads the design department overseeing three prominent cruise brands: Holland America Line, Princess Cruise Line and Seabourn. My’s design experience is diversified across Refurbishment and Newbuild.
As a globally recognized thought leader, My’s repertoire of achievements span both land and sea. She is known for her internationally acclaimed award-winning designs as well as being a public speaker on topics close to her heart such as Sustainability and Leadership.
On the topic of inspiration, My says, “inspiration to me is not a noun. It’s more of a mindset. I’m as inspired seeing the colors of leaves while walking in my neighborhood as I am looking at fashion in different cities that I visit around the world. The key is to always keep your eyes open and not have tunnel vision. That mindset assures you will always feel inspired”.
Helena Sawelin has been with TDoS for more than 25 years. During this time, Helena has has worked with some of the largest and most prestigious clients in the marine business, working also with high-end hotels, yachts, and high street boutiques.
As Partner of TDoS, she is currently Business Director and also Head of the Design Studios.
Greg Walton, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP is founding partner of Studio DADO, a Miami-based design studio specializing in cruise ship and hospitality interiors, which has established itself as an integral part of the cruise design industry. Greg has designed projects such as Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis class ships and the “Seven Seas Explorer” for Regent Seven Seas Cruises.
With a Masters in Architecture from Georgia Tech, and an MS in International Business from Johns Hopkins, Greg has mentored cruise ship design students at Florida International University since 2007 and sits on the 2019 Cruise Ship Interiors Expo advisory board. Greg watches trends: he sees technology as a key driver of industry change and reminds emerging designers to consider the continual advancements in how we interface with and control our built environment. In his free time, Greg is a tireless world traveler who is rarely seen without his Italian greyhound, Enzo.
George Scammell, ASID, IIDA
George Scammell is Director, Interior Design – Princess Cruises.
A global hospitality design leader, George has extensive experience in the hospitality, cruise, and leisure entertainment industry. Leadership positions include VP of Global Design for Wyndham Worldwide, Principal for CORE architects, VP of Design for ForrestPerkins, and Design Management for Walt Disney World Resorts. George earned his bachelor’s degree in Interior Design from Florida State University, is a licensed Interior Designer, and a Professional Member of both the American Society of Interior Designers, and the International Interior Design Association.
Andy’s long-standing career in design – spanning over 3 decades – has seen him involved in numerous and wide-ranging global projects. As Managing Director at SMC Design, Andy has led the company through an impressive portfolio of diverse and award-winning projects.
Passionate about good design, he is adept at combining years of experience with innovative and new thinking to produce unique and challenging creative solutions for clients.
Andy was honoured to be a previous recipient of the CSI Leadership Award. He continues to be recognised for his ability to inspire teams and deliver engaging, on-brand design projects; ones in which interiors, artwork and signage all communicate in complete harmony.
After 32 years Andy continues to be excited by the buzz of delivering large scale projects and he looks forward to his continued role in the cruise industry’s bright, evolving future.