KAI Interior Designer Asha Perez to Moderate Panel Discussion at Design Connections Industry Event


Award winning KAI Interior Designer Asha Perez has been selected to moderate a panel discussion Feb. 13 at the Design Connections event in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. The 6th annual industry event brings leading suppliers together with the nation’s top architectural and design professionals for 2.5 days of networking and information sharing.

Perez will introduce and moderate general session presentation: “The Experienced Designer & Emerging Professional” scheduled for 8-9 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 13. Participants in the panel discussion will include:

  • Michelle Clark, Senior Associate at Rees Associates
  • McKenzie Gamez, Interior Designer at Rees Associates
  • Patrick Burke, Principal at Michael Graves Architecture & Design
  • Austin Crowley, Architectural Designer at Michael Graves Architecture & Design

The panel discussion will focus on bringing together generations as a necessity for successful project design. Two design teams, including an experienced designer and an emerging professional, will discuss the importance and usage of mentor/mentee relationships within the field of design and architecture and within the context of each respective firm. Communicating effectively with an emerging professional while working to meet deadlines can be challenging even for the experienced mentor; the panel will share some of their most effective communication techniques.

Additional discussion topics will include the importance of technology for emerging professionals, balancing the need to learn and participate in the design process with more experienced design leadership, and ways to accomplish “knowledge share” across a design firm.

Additional panel discussion learning objectives:

  • Understand the need and benefit for mentor/mentee relationships.
  • Explore ways of educating both experienced and emerging professionals to benefit positive project outcomes.
  • Explore balancing technology knowledge with creative design process.
  • Share the most important reasons for successful knowledge sharing and breaking down silos.

Perez actively mentors to college students in her community and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the ACE Mentor Program of St. Louis, an organization that helps young people in St. Louis City high schools learn about careers in architecture, engineering and construction.

“I am excited to be part of this particular panel discussion because I truly value and support mentorship,” said Perez. “Throughout my career as an interior designer, I have learned the most valuable information outside the classroom, where I have gained real-world knowledge and experience through the various mentors who I have been fortunate enough to work with. I also see the value in being able to pass my experiences on to others through mentoring. This panel discussion is invaluable for anyone in the design industry, from the novice to the seasoned professional, who wants to learn the ins and outs of mentoring.”

For more information about Design Connections, visit https://www.interiorsandsources.com/design-connections.

KAI Enterprises is a national design and build firm providing delivery-oriented building solutions with a diverse portfolio of experience, in-house multi-discipline professionals, and expertise in both design and construction delivery. KAI Enterprises is comprised of four distinct business units—KAI Design, KAI Engineering, KAI Build and KAI 360 Construction Services. To learn more about KAI, visit www.kai-db.com.

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