Chao Wins Pioneer Award


Longtime Disney executive Wing T. Chao has been named recipient of the 2018 Pioneer Award by the International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC) in partnership with the Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS). The award was established in 1996 and recognizes individuals for their contributions, achievements and improvements to the hospitality industry.

Chao is a renowned master planner, architect and developer, He is currently working on numerous integrated resorts, theme parks, hotel, retail, entertainment, commercial, convention and exhibition projects.

Chao’s career at Disney began in 1972, and he later became vice chairman of development for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, Asia Pacific. He also served as executive vice president for master planning, architecture & design at Walt Disney Imagineering.

During his 37-year career with the company, Chao led development teams consisting of Disney Imagineers and leading architects and designers on such projects as Disney theme parks, resort hotel rooms, restaurants, retail spaces, entertainment venues, office buildings, mixed-use developments and convention spaces at the company’s resorts in California, Florida, Hawaii, Tokyo, Paris and Hong Kong. Chao also spearheaded the design for four Disney cruise ships.

“As ISHC celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2018, we wanted to honor an individual known for innovation in hospitality,” says Stephen Hennis, ISHC Pioneer Award chair. “Wing T. Chao without a doubt has had an incredible career and brought to life inconceivable ideas through his work at Disney that will impact generations to come. Wing is still actively contributing to the hospitality industry and continues to drive innovation. We are honored to present him with the ISHC Pioneer Award at ALIS.”

ALIS 2018 will take place Jan. 22-24 at the JW Marriott and Microsoft Theater L.A. Live in Los Angeles.

Studio Twist Names Winner


Studio Twist has named KNA Design’s Andrew Pancer the winner of its Anniversary Design Competition. Coinciding with the manufacturer’s five-year anniversary, the contest was announced at BDwest 2017 and Pancer’s winning design, “It’s All Greek to Me,” was shown at BDNY. (The Los Angeles-based designer was named to the Boutique 18 last year .)

Competition judges included Scott Bodenner, wovens designer and owner of New York-based textile studio The Bodenner Collection; Chuck Chewning, principal at Savannah, Georgia-based Charles H Chewning Interiors and director of interior design at the Italian textile company Rubelli; and Libby Patrick, founder and ceo at Atlanta-based interior design firm Sims Patrick Studio Inc.

Founded and led by Michelle Wildenhaus, Studio Twist manufactures top-of-bed products, including knit blankets, bed scarves, throws and pillows for hotel, spa, healthcare and assisted-living environments. The company is headquartered in Kennesaw, Georgia.