2021 Genius Exchange Presents Awards to 10 Interior Designers

Interior designers were lauded for business development, client interaction and leadership.

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Genius Exchange

Gail Doby Coaching & Consulting, the preeminent business transformation coaching company for professional interior designers and firms, presented numerous awards at the company’s two-day Genius Exchange, held virtually July 16-17. Breakthrough, as in a sudden advance in knowledge and understanding, was the Genius Exchange theme aimed to help interior designers and their teams advance their business with proven principles for rapid growth.

The Genius Exchange, held annually, has provided executive leadership, innovation training and business success programs to thousands of design professionals. Many of those achieve remarkable results within months of implementing the ideas and applications learned from Gail Doby coaches and leaders, and from The Boardrooms and The Alliance, by-invitation-only masterminding groups providing ongoing executive mentorship, future forecasting, and beyond-business visioning.

During the 2021 Genius Exchange, those with breakthrough achievements during the last year were recognized in a celebratory awards ceremony. Presented by Doby and her co- founder, Erin Weir, the 2021 winners are:

Revenue Growth Award

This award is given annually to the company that has applied proven processes to achieve financial prosperity and secure their future which is shown by having the largest increase in revenue since beginning their work with Gail Doby Coaching & Consulting.

Karen Wolf, principal at Karen B Wolf Interiors, Short Hills, NJ. Wolf’s success comes from forecasting trends, developing product for celebrities, and designing amazing homes for her clients. Her success is also a result of her desire to work collaboratively, effectively, and transparently with her clients with whom she loves going to the edge and then reeling it way back in for function, style and lifestyle.

Net Profit Growth Award

The Net Profit Growth Award is given annually to the companies that have successfully achieved financial prosperity and secured their future which is shown by having the largest increases in net profit since beginning their work with Gail Doby Coaching & Consulting.

Cindy Aplanalp, principal at Chairma Design Group, Houston, TX. Aplanalp has been professionally designing for nearly a decade. Her close connection with her clients, easy living, yet elegant interiors are as unique as the clients she and her team design for. A believer that the best projects come from the collaborative efforts of her design team, the client, and other engaged professionals. To Aplanalp, her work feels like play.

Julia Kirkendall, principal at Kirkendall Design, Tulsa, OK. Kirkendall has expanded her vision to include both residential and corporate interiors, where she and her team design not only for today but also for the future. Open and fluid communications are key contributors to Kirkendall’s success. She allows clients to be heard and understood and they allow KiIrkendall to draw on what they are saying, or discern what they are not saying, to create remarkable interiors for them.

Design Leader Award

This award is given annually within each Boardroom Group to the business owner who has exemplified becoming a Design Leader. Not only have they substantially increased their financial standing, but they have demonstrated confidence and a powerhouse mindset in their success-focused community of like-minded professionals.

LeeAnn Baker Steding, principal at LeeAnn Baker Interiors, Seattle, WA. Prior to forming LeeAnn Baker Interiors Ltd., Baker Steding honed her skills working for both interior designers and architects in Manhattan. With over 20 years of experience in the field, she maintains a diverse array of projects in the Pacific Northwest, including Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, and Montana.

Glenna Stone, principal at Glenna Stone Interior Design, Philadelphia, PA. Stone has always had a passion for combining color, materials, and textures in an artful manner. Stone embraced her strong technical skills with a degree in engineering and then her creative skills with a master’s degree in interior architecture and design. She finds her work as an interior designer exceptionally rewarding because it allows her to enhance the quality of others’ lives through design.

Bria Hammel, Principal at Bria Hammel Interiors, Minneapolis, MN. Hammel is the Creative Director and CEO of Bria Hammel Interiors as well as the CEO of Brooke & Lou and Co-Creator of Hammel House & Co. She leads a fresh, talented team of women who are dedicated to designing beautiful, inviting homes for clients. For Hammel, every project is about creating a home filled with surprising, thoughtful spaces that lead to unexpected moments. She has an incredible eye for detail and has a passion for designing spaces that tell her clients’ stories.

Elevate Award

These leaders have significantly contributed to the vision of helping 10,000 creative entrepreneurs achieve $1M+ in revenue while finding the peace, confidence and financial freedom that comes from running a successful and rewarding business. They have introduced multiple professionals to our creative community.

Elissa Grayer, principal at Elissa Grayer Interior Design, Rye, NY. Launched in 2001, Elissa Grayer Interior Design quickly became the go- to for families transitioning from New York City to the suburbs. The design firm is known for their mastery in planning, design, and project management of grand estates, luxury apartments, and vacation retreats across New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Florida. Grayer strives to create beautiful and functional spaces that reflect each client’s personality in an elegant and comfortable way.

Matthew Tirschwell, principal at Tirschwell Lighting, Southampton, NY. Tirshwell’s 25 years’ experience has been devoted to clean design and minimizing the impact of lighting equipment. He believes the effect must always surpass the look of the lighting. In his spare time, Tirschwell volunteers as an emergency medical technician and firefighter with the Ocean Bay Park Fire Dept. He is also the founder of EMSACCESS INC, (www.emsaccess.org), a non-profit focused on assisting volunteer ambulance agencies in the five boroughs of New York City.

Industry Icon Award

WRJ Interior Design has demonstrated significant financial and organizational growth which has accelerated their meaningful contribution to the industry, exponentiated their ripple effect within the community and exemplified the mission of their generous hearts.

Rush Jenkins, co-founder at WRJ Interior Design, Jackson Hole, WY. Jenkins has worked in the design industry for over 30 years. He was the Director of Design for Sotheby’s New York auction house where he led the design exhibitions for many notable clients. Following his dual passions for interior design and the American West, Rush moved to Jackson Hole, where along with Baer, established the headquarters of WRJ Design. Rush leads the vision for WRJ’s talented team of designers who have a combined expertise in design conceptualization, technical planning, and creative execution of projects for their clients.

Klaus Baer, co-founder at WRJ Interior Design, Jackson Hole, WY. Baer has channeled his decades-plus experience with managing international production teams into overseeing all operational and technological aspects of WRJ. Baer believes that well-run operations translate into seamless experiences. At WRJ, he has developed the systems on which the company stands, those that support the design team in achieving their goals: homes that are peaceful, calm, and harmonious. Baer also donates his time and talent to various non-profit organizations in Jackson Hole.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to present these awards to these outstanding designers, and we wish all our recipients the very best in the coming years,” Doby said.