Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. O'Kelly

Belinda O'Kelly

Principal, O'Kelly Kasprak

Belinda O'Kelly earned her Bachelor's degree in architecture at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, a school with a rich history in the architectural field. During that time she studied abroad in Versailles, France at the Ecole Nationale Superieure d'Architecture, where she savored the tension between the city's old world look and modern culture. Ms. O'Kelly appreciates diverse, urban spaces, which is something she loves about living in Chicago.

Early on, Ms. O'Kelly was captivated by the world of hospitality design. Starting her career with with Aumiller Youngquist, she learned the art of restaurant design from the masters: Bill Aumiller and Keith Youngquist. After building that foundation, she moved on to Simeone Deary Design Group, learning the nuances of hotel design directly from Lisa Simeone and Gina Deary. Here she gained her appreciation for lighting and texture.

Today, as a Principal of O'Kelly Kasprak, Ms. O'Kelly oversees the firm's growth and development while leading its creative direction. With a flair for expression and ingenuity, she guarantees every project to stand out in its own right and leave memorable impressions.

Ms. O'Kelly is drawn to hospitality projects for their sense of tactile fulfillment. She appreciates seeing spaces being used and shared, knowing she's helped create environments that not only achieve their goals, but provide comfort and enjoyment for everyone passing through them. And as a foodie, she is always exploring new bars and restaurants, eager to keep her finger on the pulse and uncover her next inspiration.

One of Ms. O'Kelly's favorite parts of the design process is helping her clients visualize their own ideas. Whether the project begins from a clear and specific vision, or needs to be shaped, she enjoys working closely with her clients to fine-tune every aspect of the design to fit their tastes and needs.

Please visit http://www.okellykasprak.com for more information.

Linkedin Profile: www.linkedin.com/in/belindaokelly

Ms. O'Kelly can be contacted at +1 630-674-8933 or belinda@okellykasprak.com

Coming up in May 2020...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Creative Innovation

Being eco-friendly is no longer a fad. It is an urgent planetary need and hotels are actively doing their part to reduce their carbon footprint by implementing sustainable, green practices. In addition to the goodwill derived from doing the right thing, hotels are also realizing the benefits to their business. A large percentage of Millennials expect hotels to be eco-friendly and will only patronize those properties that are proudly conforming. Consequently, more hotels are realizing that sustainability is a key element in a successful branding strategy. In addition, going green can lead to a more profitable bottom line, as savings on electricity, water and cleaning materials can add up. Also, there are other advantages that come with being an eco-friendly business, such as government subsidies and tax and loan incentives. As a result, many hotels are finding innovative ways to integrate eco-friendly practices into their business. Geo-thermal energy systems, along with energy-from-waste systems, are being used to heat and cool the property. Passive solar panels, green roofs, natural lighting and natural ventilation strategies also assist in energy conservation. Low-flow water systems and plumbing fixtures make a contribution, as does eco-friendly hardwood flooring, and energy efficient televisions and appliances throughout the property. In addition, some hotels have implemented in-room recycling programs, and only provide all-natural, personal care items. One hotel has actually constructed a bee-keeping operation on their grounds. Not only is this good for the bees but the hotel also produces products from the operation which they sell. This kind of creative innovation also holds enormous appeal to guests. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.