Delux Magazine, a St. Louis-based magazine for African American professionals, has selected KAI Interior Designer Asha Perez to its inaugural list of "Women Who Inspire." The award recognizes local influential women who have demonstrated excellence in their respective fields as it relates to community involvement and engagement.


Fifty honorees named to the list will be recognized at a July 29 event at The Wild Carrot in St. Louis' Shaw neighborhood. KAI President Michael Kennedy, Jr. has been selected as one of the award presenters.


"Asha is passionate about her work and that passion is infectious to those who work with her and to her clients," said Kennedy, Jr. "Everyone knows that she cares and wants to exceed expectations. This attitude and drive always leads to personal success, the kind of success that inspires others. I am happy to see her being recognized for her efforts at work, and in the community." 


A transplant from Miami, FL, Perez earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design from Maryville University in St. Louis, MO and was hired by KAI in 2014. She serves on the Board of Directors for the ACE Mentor Program of St. Louis, a program that helps the city's high school students learn more about potential careers in architecture, engineering and construction, and she is Vice President of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) St. Louis chapter. In addition, Perez provides one-on-one mentorship through KAI to area high school students interested in interior design. She also organizes/participates in panel discussions through Art in Design, KAI's art initiative which strives to connect local artists with clients and decision-makers by giving them a platform to have their art placed prominently within design projects.


Fueled by a passion for the industry that she calls an art-form, Perez's comprehensive designs speak to those who occupy the spaces she creates through her unique ability to deliver results based on client-driven solutions. Perez has served as lead designer on the following projects: Deaconess Center for Child Well-Being in St. Louis; office renovations for Alberici Corporation subsidiaries Hillsdale Fabricators and Kienlen Constructors in St. Louis; Northwest High School in Omaha; and People's Health Center in St. Louis.


"I am elated to be part of the inaugural class to receive this award honoring St. Louis' most inspiring women," said Perez. "Being a role model and sharing my experiences with young people who are considering a career in the industry is as much a part of my job as designing. It's an aspect of my career that I take seriously and really enjoy at the same time."