2017 CONFERENCE SPEAKERS
The opening keynote for the 2017 Black Interior Designers Conference is Lynai Jones. Lynai will be speaking on what we consider a main goal of the network. We have realized over the years that partnerships are essential to any designers success. The network has created a place where you can partner with other designers all over the country just like you.
Founder and Owner of the home decor company Mitchell Black Home. Mitchell Black is sold in Neiman Marcus and specialty stores across the country. Lynai will be our opening keynote and what she will be sharing with us the importance of forming strategic partnerships.
Cheryl McClean author of the book Designology will be on hand to read excerpts from her Amazon bestseller and give you insight into ways of dealing with difficult clients as well as identifying ways to upsell clients and create more profits. She will have copies of the book on hand to sign. I wish this book was around when I started out as a young designer.
Sheryl T. McLean, Allied ASID, is the founder and principle designer of Décoria Interior Designs. She is also a bestseller author and speaker on how powerful woman-in-charge must and can have the home of their dreams. She is an UCLA-trained architect and interior design expert that has traveled the world over with an eye on a variety of cultures, architecture and design.
Born in New Orleans, raised in California and living in Maryland can only add the special flavor Sheryl brings to her designs. She gets her satisfaction not from her design awards and features in design books and magazines but from her beloved clients boosting 100% satisfaction. She approaches every project with a discerning eye that is unwavering to the smallest detail. Her guiding belief is that each design needs to be beautiful as well as celebrate and nourish your authentic self. Sheryl is committed to creating spaces that make you smile each and every time you enter
Beth Diana Smith
We invited Beth to speak at this year's conference because she is where I feel a lot of you are. A few years ago she left her corporate job at MTV to follow her passion. A few weeks ago, she debuted on HGTV's new show "Restoring Glory". The journey from MTV to HGTV has been riddled with ups and downs and countless life lessons. Expect strong takeaways in the area of planning, organizing your time and wearing multiple hats as your own boss.
Beth possessed a natural ability for creating functionality, efficiency, and organization from a very young age, an ability that she carried into adulthood. She pursued degrees in business and accounting to satiate her love of processes and business strategy. After completing her M.B.A., she spent more than a decade in corporate finance in companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Viacom honing her skills in understanding clients, analytics, budgeting, and a keen attention to detail.
During her years in corporate finance Beth was also a homeowner. It was during this time that she discovered an appreciation of color, pattern, and texture; a love for beautiful things and problem solving; and a passion for interior design. Beth decided to pursue her passion, launch her interior design company and began attending the New York School of Interior Design. She nurtured her creativity and her craft, began building her brand, and her design aesthetic became apparent and loved. A design style that was eclectic, bold, and carefully cultivated that had a vibe all of its own. That design style is the basis of Beth Diana Smith Interior Design and continues to evolve as Beth continues to be inspired.
Beth, her work, and her design advice have been featured in various print and online publications including VOGUE, EBONY, Design*Sponge, The New York Times, and FiOS1 News.
BREAK OUT SESSION LEADERS
Talented and inventive, Nikki Chu stands as a hard working, powerful businesswoman in the world of product design and interiors. Born and raised in Toronto, Canada – Nikki has always had a passion to design since childhood. After realizing her love for the Arts, Nikki attended a specialized design school called International Academy of Design.
Having accomplished so much at a young age, and driven to succeed, it was only natural that Nikki embarked into a much more competitive marketplace – Los Angeles. There, her Interior Design and television journey began straight to the top for stars such as Tyra Banks, Nick Cannon, Lisa Leslie and Gabrielle Union.
James Oliver, Jr. is Co-Founder of the world's cutest twins, Thaddeus and Zoe, and CEO and Founder of WeMontage.com, the world's only website that lets you turn your digital images into a custom collage on removable wallpaper.
James has been featured in Money Magazine, Forbes.com, and on CNBC's reality TV show, West Texas Investors Club.
James has an MBA from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC-Chapel Hill, and a B.S. in Accounting from Morehouse College, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude.
James lives in Atlanta, GA with his wife, Ayana, and twins.
Kimberly Ward is the owner and interior designer of Kimberly and Cameron Interiors. KCI is a boutique design firm serving clients in Nashville, Houston, New Orleans and various cities in throughout the Southeast. For seven years Kimberly wrote and curated the award-winning design blog Pink Eggshell, which she later closed to publish Iconic Home Magazine. Iconic Home is an indie publication that focuses on the African American Home and Lifestyle experience.
Kimberly believes that our homes are the psychological center of our lives.