Editorial Board   

Mr. Ashen

David Ashen

Principal & Founder, dash design

David Ashen is a principal and the founder of dash design, an award-winning New York-based interior design and branding firm specializing in hospitality and retail projects.

Known for his ability to tailor each project to answer clients' specific business needs, Mr. Ashen and his design team update spaces and reinvent brands. Clients include market leaders and Fortune 500 companies from all over the world including Shanghai, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Philadelphia, Cleveland, New York City and Aruba.Among the recent high-profile hotel projects to dash design's credit are: the multi-million renovation of the Lexington New York City hotel; the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino; and restaurants at the Mandarin Oriental in Shanghai.

Rather than a signature style, Mr. Ashen and dash have a signature philosophy: that design equals strategy. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Factors Engineering at Tufts University, then a Masters of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. After his entree into luxury retail at Peter Marino, he spent five years - from Director of Retail to Principal - at desgrippes gobe, one of the world's largest independent branding firms. Accounts included Reebok, Unilever, Target, and Peugeot; he created the first consistent global retail image for Godiva, and helped the company expand in Japan and China.

In 2000, Mr. Ashen's first hospitality project - XL Lounge - attracted serious media attention. A year later, Mr. Ashen left desgrippes to launch dash design. dash's work is all about context and reinvention. "To me, there's nothing richer than collaborating with client and partners to produce a project that is innovative and thoughtful," Mr. Ashen says, adding, "It's not about adding to my portfolio. My success is solely about whether our work helps my client succeed."

Please visit http://www.dashdesign.net for more information.

Mr. Ashen can be contacted at +1 718-383-2225 ext. 201 or dashen@dashdesign.net

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.