New York, NY (March 8, 2023) — Emerald, the parent company of Hospitality Design (HD) and Boutique Design (BD), and a leading developer of dynamic live events and integrated, leading market platforms, announces the promotion of Keisha Byrd to Brand Leader of BDNY and BD’s portfolio of non-tradeshow events, including the BD Forum series, BD Match, and Gold Key Awards, and Rachel Long to Brand Leader of HD Expo + Conference and HD’s networking and awards events, including HD Summit, HD NextGen Forum, HD Awards, HD Platinum Circle. The brands will collaborate to produce Hospitality Group CitySCENE franchise events.
For the past nine years, Byrd has led BD-branded conferences and events as part of BDNY’s inaugural team. Her leadership as BD’s Conference and Events Manager, and most recently, as Director of Strategic Events for HD and BD, gives her a unique perspective on both brands. She has played an essential role in overseeing and planning the Hospitality Design and Boutique Design portfolios of media and networking events, connecting the hospitality industry through shared experiences.
Long has been an integral part of HD’s history, spending 25 years with the brand as an editor and on the HD Expo + Conference launch team before joining Interior Design and Material Bank in VP Experience roles for a decade. She rejoined Emerald as VP Content of the Design Group in 2019 and has been the driving force behind the content of HD Expo + Conference and the brand’s thinktank-focused events, sourcing speakers and key attendees.
In their new roles, Byrd and Long will oversee the day-to-day operations for their respective brands, reporting to Kevin Gaffney, who is promoted to Group Vice President, Design Group, Emerald. Continuing in executive roles, Stacy Shoemaker Rauen leads content as Senior Vice President, Design Group, and Editor in Chief, Hospitality Design; Jennifer Yarber helms marketing as Senior Marketing Director, Emerald Design Group, Keeli Schmidt leads sales as Director of Sales across the Hospitality Group, and Paul Bienkowski continues as Publisher, spanning Hospitality Group media and events.
“Keisha and Rachel have been vital in the evolution of the BD and HD brands,” said Kevin Gaffney, Group Vice President, Design Group, Emerald. “These new roles will allow us to continue to produce exceptional events, elevate the HD and BD brands, and bring the hospitality design community together under the Hospitality Group umbrella.”
“With their incredible knowledge of the industry, having Keisha and Rachel as the stewards of BD and HD, respectively, will help us grow and evolve both brands while maintaining their unique experiences and offerings,” said Gannon Brousseau, Executive Vice President of Emerald’s Design Group.
“The trade fairs and strategic events are where the people from the pages of our digital and print publications come to network and expand their careers and knowledge. Working together, Keisha and Rachel will ensure both brands continue to be the number one connector for the hospitality design industry,” added Stacy Shoemaker Rauen, editor in chief of Hospitality Design, and Senior Vice President, Design Group, Emerald.
“I’m honored to step into this role to help usher Boutique Design into the next chapter,” said Byrd. “These events are invaluable to the industry, and I am committed to producing engaging, relevant events and content that benefit all of our partners.”
“Given the phenomenal global rise of hospitality and the experience economy, I am excited for the opportunity to serve the owners, brands, manufacturers, and creative teams who make great hospitality design the norm, rather than the exception,” said Long. “It is a privilege to help evolve a legacy brand and share state-of-the-art design innovation across the industry.”
Registration is now open for HD Expo + Conference, which takes place May 2-4, 2023, at Mandalay Bay Las Vegas. BDNY will take place November 12-13, 2023, at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York, and registration for this event will open in June.
For a full calendar of HD and BD events, click here.
About The Hospitality Group
As part of the Hospitality Group, Hospitality Design and Boutique Design provide content and a wide range of events for the world’s most talented and sought-after network of interior designers, architects, hoteliers, restaurateurs, owners, operators, developers, and purchasers. It’s where hospitality professionals can explore the most captivating products and resources to consider for global projects and stay on top of industry news and trends through thought-provoking reporting and event programming. Hospitality Design and Boutique Design are owned by Emerald. For more information, visit www.hospitalitydesign.com, www.bdny.com, and www.emeraldx.com.
Emerald is a leader in building dynamic, market-driven business-to-business platforms that integrate live events with a broad array of industry insights, digital tools, and data-focused solutions to create uniquely rich experiences. As true partners, Emerald strives to build its customers’ businesses by creating opportunities that inspire, amaze, and deliver breakthrough results. With over 140 events each year, Emerald’s teams are creators and connectors who are thoroughly immersed in the industries it serves and committed to supporting the communities in which it operates. For more information, visit www.emeraldx.com.
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