July 31, 2020

On the Move: Recent Hires and Promotions

AJ Paron

SANDOW has announced the appointment of AJ Paron (pictured at left) as executive vice president + design futurist of SANDOW Design Group. Paron is an extremely effective sales and marketing leader whose experience includes creating and leading a multimillion-dollar award-winning design/build firm, developing national programs for ASID, and developing design research programs for the University of Minnesota. She most recently served as national sales director at Design Public Group, a technology platform that streamlines the furniture procurement process in design. Prior to that, she held the national A&D director position at Allsteel/Gunlocke.

In her role as executive vice president + design futurist, Paron will work collaboratively with B2B partners to provide industry intelligence, develop solutions, foster connections, launch new products, and create brand building opportunities.

Interior Image Group

Brooke Traeger-Tumsaroch (pictured at right) has joined Interior Image Group as studio director and principal in the Indiana office. She will work closely alongside firm CEO and founder Patti Tritschler as well as Leslie Schultz, senior vice president of design, in assisting with the development and expansion of the IIG brand while ensuring each project achieves its full potential and profitability. Her client roster will include global brands such as Marriott International and Hilton Worldwide, in addition to other hotel companies.

Svigals + Partners

The architecture, art, and advisory firm Svigals + Partners has announced new leadership in its interior design studio. Katherine Berger, an associate at the firm, will assume the role of director of interior design.

Additionally, Lynn Brotman is retiring from her career as an interior designer to pursue personal interests and family time. Brotman merged her firm with Svigals + Partners in 2017 after 17 years as the head of Lynn Brotman Interior Design.


Anne Bretaña has been promoted to co-managing director of Gensler’s Newport Beach office, leading collaboratively with Chip Williams and Jim Young. Bretaña is currently a principal serving as a workplace studio leader, people & strategy leader, and a financial service firms practice area leader. She leads a diverse range of projects across many industries including financial services, technology, professional services and corporate campuses.


Erin Ruby has been inaugurated as Chapter President of the New York Chapter of the International Interior Design Association for the 2020-2021 term . She is the founder of her namesake New York City-based multidisciplinary firm, Erin Ruby Design, and co-founder of the nonprofit SolutionsNOW Foundation. During her term, she plans to emphasize the importance of community-related outreach and cultural diversity for design professionals in the state of New York. Ruby’s presidential term goes into effect in July 2020.

Ware Malcomb

Alicia Zaro (pictured at left) has been promoted to director, interior architecture & design in the firm’s Los Angeles office. She joined Ware Malcomb in 2014 and was promoted to Studio Manager in 2018. Her role has grown to include business development, managing the studio and project oversight. Zaro is a graduate of the highly selective NAIOP So Cal Young Professionals Group, an industry-leading professional development and leadership program.

Additionally, Samuel Bellomio, PE has joined Ware Malcomb’s Civil Engineering team as a project manager in the San Diego office, where he will oversee civil projects in the area. He will work closely with Luke Corsbie, Ware Malcomb director of civil engineering, who has responsibility for the overall growth and management of civil engineering services for the Southern California region.

KSI Kitchen & Bath

Michigan-based KSI Kitchen & Bath announced their new CEO, Tony Achatz (pictured at right). He is a 15-year veteran of the cabinets industry who joins KSI from Cabinetworks Group (formerly Masco Cabinetry) where he served as director of sales and led the dealer channel across the US. Additionally the brand is launching a relocation and remodel of its Birmingham, Michigan design space, expected to be complete by the end of the summer. In addition, their subsidiary, Cabinets Express has announced plans to expand.

Sagebrook Home

Home decor brand Sagebrook Home names Serena Martin (pictured at left) as Marketing Director. Martin’s role will encompass sales and marketing, advertising, content, engagement and community events. She brings honed industry knowledge from her recent role in Houzz’s Marketing Event & Trade show department for the U.S. and Canada as well as a proven track record of success running the marketing department for ZUO Modern.

To kick off her new role, Martin plans to dive into the brand’s extensive 10,000 sku product assortment to better understand its entire product portfolio from accent furniture to accessories as well as wall decor and lighting. Followed by meetings with content, product, and sales teams to align sales strategies and forecasts for upcoming product launches and promotional campaigns.


Jonce Walker, LEED AP, certified sustainable building advisor and Fitwel ambassador, has officially joined HLW as director of sustainability and wellness, operating out of the firm’s New York City office. She brings a strong background in place-based urban design to the team with a portfolio that spans more than 14 years of high performance sustainability work across a wide array of project typologies including airports, institutional buildings, multi-family residential, commercial high-rise and interiors, master planned communities, and higher education facilities.

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