ASID recognizes the need to grow diversity and inclusion in the interior design profession. Through ASID Ones to Watch, the Society supports rising leaders to ensure that diversity is reflected at all levels of the industry.
The Ones to Watch program identifies and recognizes rising leaders in the interior design industry who demonstrate exceptional leadership potential and a willingness to push the boundaries of the profession. Emphasis is placed on participants whose backgrounds are currently under-represented in management roles in the interior design industry, including women, members of racial and ethnic minority groups, LGBTQ, and persons with disabilities.
Each year the Ones to Watch honors up to 20 applicants as Award Winners representing the industry, including design practitioners, educators, volunteers and manufacturers. From the 20 award winners, the Society selects up to eight ASID Ones to Watch Scholars to participate in an exciting leadership development training program. The two-year program teaches Scholars to lead with authenticity through experiential learning, coaching, and mentoring. In the first year, Scholars learn to leverage and embrace their unique perspectives and backgrounds to excel in their careers. During the second year, Scholars are elevated and positioned as a thought leader in the industry.
Alejandra Delgado, Associate ASID
Alejandra Delgado is a designer + technical lead in the health studio at Gensler’s DC office.
Alejandra has 18 years of experience across multiple firms, multiple states, and multiple practice areas; and has been specializing in healthcare environments design for the last 6 years for clients such as Children’s National Hospital, Mary's Center, Shady Grove Fertility, amongst others.
She is a skilled project leader with knowledge in planning, design and technical leadership. That is passionate about creating and realizing beautiful and functional environments that facilitate healing and well-being.
Alejandra has a diverse skill set, with extensive experience in both the corporate, hospitality and healthcare sectors. Her unique cultural understanding and experiences influence her design aesthetic, and her leadership style.
Aliza Goldsmith, Allied ASID, LEED GAAliza Goldsmith is an Interior Design Professional at HOK in Los Angeles. With a background in community organizing and government affairs, Aliza brings a unique perspective, skillset, and track record of leadership to the profession. While caring for a sick parent, she witnessed the impact of the built environment firsthand, which inspired her to switch careers and pursue design. Aliza now works on healthcare projects, always mindful of the end user’s experience. As an inaugural E. Todd Wheeler Healthcare Fellow at Perkins and Will, Aliza conducted research on the burnout crisis facing healthcare workers, which gave her insight into the value of incorporating academic research into the design process. Aliza believes that thoughtful design can promote dignity, reduce burnout, and support patients and caregivers during a vulnerable time. She considers herself a design advocate and feels privileged to make a meaningful impact on people through her work.
Patricia Hernandez, Associate ASID, IIDA
Patricia Hernandez, a Mexican-born DREAMER, moved to California with her parents when she was just seven years old. She experienced the challenges and dangers of being an undocumented immigrant at an early age. With the unwavering support of her parents, she pursued her dream of becoming an architect despite being an undocumented student. She graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from the NewSchool of Architecture and Design in San Diego, and later became a Dreamer under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Today, she is a Senior Designer at Gensler San Jose, one of the world’s largest interiors and architecture firms. She is passionate about using her design skills to promote equity and social justice for all.
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Hojung Kim, NCARB
Hojung Kim is an Assistant Professor in the School of Interior Architecture at the University of Tennessee. His research involves exploring the intersection of vernacular and local construction techniques with contemporary design technologies to address the architectural issues faced by marginalized communities. He uses an interdisciplinary approach to investigate cultural, socio-economic, and environmental issues, ranging from urban planning to interior design. Previously, Hojung gained experience in various design and project management roles at internationally acclaimed firms in Los Angeles, New York City, and Seoul. Hojung holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and a Master of Architecture from Yale University.
Solomon Cordwell Buenz
Janeallison Ng, ASID, NCIDQ
Janeallison Ng is a Chicago-based interior designer, artist, and humanitarian. Jane joined SCB in 2016 and has engaged in the first Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Opportunity committee, first Data Analytics and Visualization group, internal design competition juror, and co-chaired the Campus Environments Research and Development group. She is an active member in the A&D industry as a NeoCon Judge, CAC Newhouse Architecture + Design Competition Judge, and participates in industry competitions and events.
Jane’s practice is dedicated to creating spaces that support student success and promote wellness. She has worked on campuses nationwide designing the interiors of academic buildings, office spaces, dining halls, and residence halls.
After her Peace Corps service, she has an inherent drive to continue to volunteer. Jane is passionate about taking what she knows and using it for good with charitable organizations including Designs for Dignity, The Humanity Share, Habitat for Humanity and (re)group.
Annie Portner, ASIDAnnie Portner lives and breathes Philadelphia. She is a licensed interior designer, focusing on workplace design, as well as an evolving client relations/business development leader at Gensler Philadelphia. She dives into every aspect of the Philadelphia community, from being a community gardener, to an avid recreational sports teammate, to a repeat cake baker/donater to foster homes (yes that’s a thing!). On the weekend you can find Annie running whatever race Philly is hosting on the Parkway that weekend, and then later that evening at a new trending restaurant. Annie brings her “let’s do this” energy to her job every day, and is deeply involved in Gensler’s own culture and committees such as Social Media and Community Impact, but also the industry as a whole. As a member of IIDA, CCBA, and CoreNet (Vice Chair of Young Leaders), Annie has a well-rounded pulse on all aspects of the industry.
IA, Interior Architects
Kaitlyn Wahl is a Project Manager with IA, Interior Architects. She has a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design from Colorado State University. Kaitlyn interned at OfficeScapes in Denver, Colorado where she developed a passion for furniture design and research. She moved to Indianapolis and worked for CSO Architects as an Interior Designer and had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects and begin her workplace strategy career. Then she moved to Philadelphia and worked for L2P as a Project Designer where her role evolved into a Project Manager. Kaitlyn accepted an offer as a Project Manager for IA, Interior Architects. She continues to work in a strategy role where she has found successful synergy between the two. Kaitlyn values the management skills and business acumen she continues to develop thanks to her teams and mentors along the way.
Abby Zaccaglini, ASID, NCIDQ
Abby Zaccaglini is an interior designer and associate at the HGA Los Angeles Office with experience designing for clients in a wide array of market sectors. She has worked on projects in workplace, tenant improvement, higher education, government, aviation, and civic work. This wide variety of work and interdisciplinary approach to interior architecture has allowed her to bring a unique perspective to each project. Her passion is mentorship and creating space for people to learn and grow, as seen through her community outreach with the ACE Mentor Program, AWA+D, and her involvement in HGA’s local and national mentorship roles. This passion translates into her work and advocacy on the importance of interior design and human interactions with our built environment.
Jennifer Cappella, IIDA, LEED AP
Jennifer is a project interior designer and associate at Ballinger in Philadelphia, PA. With a variety of experiences in her formative years from a 12-person architecture firm to product sales, and finally a 200+ multidisciplinary architecture firm, Jennifer has found a place where she can immerse herself in not only project work, but the wider office and design community.
In her 15 years of professional experience, she has employed her thoughtful approach to design and interior space planning across a variety of project types including healthcare, science / research, and commercial workplace. She is passionate about well-being and uses her empathic spirit to create human-centered spaces that support the physical and mental health of all occupants.
Jennifer is an advocate for interior design legislation and enjoys mentoring students and young designers. Outside of work, she enjoys a good novel and exploring outdoors with her 4-year-old son.
Design has been a part of me before I was even born. My mother started going into labor with me when touring an open house event. We joke that I wanted to get out and see it for myself! I grew up in Saint Louis, Missouri, and attended Marquette High School. From there, I went to the University of Kansas and received my Master of Architecture degree in 2010. In 2013, I married my high school sweetheart, and we live in an historic neighborhood in St. Louis with our 4-year-old daughter, Iva, and our goldendoodle dog, Winston. During the past 13 years at HOK I have had the opportunity to be on several different committees: HOK IMPACT, Design Exchange program, and the internship committee. In my free time I enjoy being with extended family, helping friends out with design in their homes, and traveling any chance I can get.
Hudson Park Interior Design
L.A. DeRiggi, ASID, LEED Green Associate
As a Florida licensed interior designer, L.A. is known for his contemporary design style and working in collaboration with Italian manufacturers. He studied at Chatham University Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he received his Master of Interior Architecture. He also holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) with a dual focus in Management and Marketing.
His studies in London, Paris and Italy have influenced his passion for architecture and interior design as well as sustainable design. With a strong foundation, L.A. welcomes the opportunities and challenges that are inherent in transforming the spaces in which clients live and work.
Joanne Duka-Ragadio, Associate IIDA
Joanne earned her BFA in Interior Architecture and Design at Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California. With over 14 years of experience, she has led the design of transformative interiors for some of California’s largest and most influential clients across multiple sectors, including workplace, hospitality, and education.
As the California Interior Design Lead at PBK, Joanne supports all California offices, where she is a people-first leader, leveraging her thought leadership, industry connections, and best practices to elevate the firm’s design portfolio. She is also responsible for recruiting and mentoring the next generation of talent, with the aim of building a strong network of Interior Designers across PBK’s California offices.
As an advocate for creating impact in the industry, Joanne serves as the IIDA Fresno City Center Director and volunteers as a mentor for design students.
Laura Guerrero Flores
Laura Guerrero Flores is a Dominican-Venezuelan interior designer born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Twelve years ago, she moved to Tampa, FL where she received her BFA in Interior Design. On her 8-years of experience, she has been able to transform client’s idea into functional design solution in a variety of sectors such as hospitality, education, corporate and healthcare. Her diverse cultural background is a big influence, and inspiration on her career. It has become part of the philosophy behind her designs as she aims to bring storytelling and emotions to the space, so that users embark on their unique memorable journey. Laura appreciates the opportunity of collaborating with her team to create a space that will foster growth for the community. Creative-thinking, inquisitive, synergetic and conscientious are a few of Laura’s characteristics that describes her work ethic and design ideology.
Cathleen Gruver, Allied ASID
Cathleen Gruver is an award-winning Interior Designer, recognized for her exceptional work in the field. Cathleen was honored as a recipient of NKBA's "30 Under 30" award in 2016. Having earned her Master of Arts in Interior Design from Marymount University, her graduate thesis, "Space for Living," won the Best in Show prize for her innovative research and evidence-based design on enhancing family interactions at home. Her expertise in assisting high-end clients with custom building and remodeling is demonstrated through her roles at Gruver Cooley, her family's contracting company with a legacy spanning 115 years. Cathleen is also an active member of ASID, NKBA, National Society of Leadership and Success, Delta Epsilon Sigma Honor Society, and Delta Gamma Fraternity. With experience as an adjunct professor at Marymount University and in retail design, Cathleen brings a wealth of knowledge and skill to each project she undertakes.
B+H Advance Strategy
Kelly Knowles, LEED AP ID+C, NEWH
With 11 years of experience and leadership in hospitality and multifamily, Kelly has the ability to curate a unique space through modeling and with exceptional organizational and technical skills. She cultivates a cohesive design narrative by being a forward-thinking, detail-oriented designer. Kelly has practiced design nationwide from east to west. She brings her passion for managing projects from concept through documentation with attention to detail and coordination.
Kelly is currently assisting in leading the business development of the Destinations Studio of the B+H Seattle offices while simultaneously working on a 282-key hotel. She values community and giving back to our future leaders of hospitality. She has volunteered for her local chapter of NEWH nearly 10 years, a premier hospitality networking connection, leading in various positions such as Director of Marketing to President, currently serving as Past President as well as a Green Voice Design Competition scholarship judge three times.
CBRE Design Collective
Kelly Nelson, IIDA, WELL AP
Kelly is a well-rounded designer at CBRE’s Design practice, based in Atlanta. She has over 9 years of experience in workplace, healthcare, higher education, sports, and aviation, with a BFA in Interior Design from Iowa State University, NCIDQ certification and the WELL AP credential. As a professional member of IIDA she has served the organization through local chapters in a number of roles and committees including Elevate, Interior Design Excellence Awards, VP of Members, and VP of City Centers among others.
After spending the first five years of her career in Iowa City, she decided to make a cross country move to continue her growth professionally. Kelly has worked on a variety of projects ranging from a 12-floor hospital to small office renovations. Her natural problem-solving skills and passion for improving the lives of others shine through her work and volunteering experience.
Morgan State University
Kimberly Morrison Race, ASID, IIDA, NCIDQ, CID, CMKBD
Kimberly Morrison Race has dedicated her professional interior design career to design excellence. A licensed professional for four decades, she has created award winning projects for a diverse clientele. Her dedication to the profession of Interior Design extends to her students. As a professional in the competitive Washington, DC metro region and central Pennsylvania, Kimberly excels in creating functional interiors that impact occupants in a positive and healing way in addition to being aesthetically pleasing. A master educator, Kimberly utilizes her professional portfolio of successfully executed interior projects to demonstrate to students design excellence that impacts the greater good for individuals and communities. Kimberly earned her graduate interior design degree at Marywood University and is a certified interior designer in Maryland. An advocate for certification and licensure, she is actively involved in the Mid-Atlantic region’s professional interior design organizations, including IIDA, NKBA, MDCID and ASID Washington Metro Chapter.
Lamar Johnson Collaborative
Rachel Rosenberg, ASID, NCIDQ, CID, WELL AP, LEED Green Associate
Rachel is a global, award-winning designer with multi-discipline design experience. She views every client and project with a unique lens, focusing on problem-solving and the creation of bespoke solutions. Rachel takes a holistic approach to design, viewing it as a collaborative, iterative process. She values timeless, human conscious design infusing purpose with beauty. She believes a successful design not only functions effectively but elicits an intentional and impactful user experience.
East-coast born and raised; Rachel now resides in Los Angeles.
Rachel received her Art History undergraduate degree from Boston University and took her studies abroad to London, where she studied 19th and 20th Century Decorative Arts and Design at Sotheby’s Institute of Art. She spent a summer in Scandinavia, studying Furniture Design at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. Rachel earned her Master of Science in Interior Design from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY.
Nureed Saeed, Associate ASID
Award winning designer, Nureed Saeed is the owner and creative director of Nu Interiors, a bi-coastal, full service interior design and remodeling project management resource specializing in kitchen and bathroom renovations. Nu Interiors is centered around the belief that a well-thought, well-designed space should be available to everyone.
Nureed’s work has been featured in Better Homes & Gardens, Millburn-Short Hills magazine, Design NJ, and Lux Pad’s Top 15 Interior Designers in New Jersey, as well as other design publications.
Recently named a 2022 Innovator by Kitchen & Bath Design News for her work in inclusion and equity, Nureed holds a Certificate in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion from Cornell University’s ILR School and is a leader and passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion in the design industry. Nureed currently serves at the President of the National Kitchen and Bath Association, Northern California Chapter.
Wall is a senior designer with over nine years of experience in workplace interiors, master planning, design strategy, implementation, and delivery. She is a conceptual designer who has an encyclopedic knowledge of furniture and materials and a strong ethos of collaboration. Wall earned a master’s degree in interior architecture at the Academy of Art University. She believes in the joy of design and its ability to permeate from the process to the physical environment. Through strong relationship building with clients and teammates, Wall works to create the best,most cohesive delivery teams possible.
February 28, 2024 – Nominations and Applications Open
April 1, 2024– Nominations Close
April 10, 2024 – Applications Close
Mid-April – May 2024 – Jury Review
Early May 2024 – Finalists Informed
May 13 – 22, 2024 – Mandatory Interviews for Finalists
Late May 2024 – Award Winners and Scholars Informed