Award-winning architecture and interior design firm Ankrom Moisan announced two big leadership promotions—Leah Wheary Brown to Vice President of Interior Design Strategy, and Alissa Brandt to Vice President of Interiors. With over 40 years of combined experience, Wheary Brown and Brandt will guide and implement design strategies for both the interiors group and overarching firm-wide initiatives. Together, the duo will foster a culture of creativity and mentorship where designers feel empowered to reach design excellence while maintaining cohesion within the firm. Another area of focus will be on building support with leadership to improve processes and services while continuing to evolve the autonomy of the practice of interior design.
“The promotions of both Leah and Alissa exemplify our commitment to serving as the industry's leading force for imaginative and future-forward design,” said Dave Heater, President at Ankrom Moisan. “In their new roles, they will build upon the legacy of the newly retired Executive Vice President of Interiors, Karen Bowery—focusing on our experience-driven design, while cultivating their own vision to create a collective of highly creative and engaged interior designers that champion innovation and embrace diversity.”
Leah Wheary Brown, Vice President of Interior Design Strategy
With over 20 years at Ankrom Moisan, the Vice President of Interior Design Strategy role came as the next natural step in Wheary Brown’s career at the celebrated firm. During her tenure at Ankrom Moisan, Wheary Brown worked across different market sectors and held various roles. Through her design direction, Wheary Brown led the interiors market rate housing studio and developed a new identity called Urban Living with a focus on trend forecasting and thought leadership. As the firm’s first Interiors Principal of Design and its first Managing Design Principal, Wheary Brown’s other notable achievements include developing the design identity for the PRS Mirabella brand and leading Mirabella PDX Portland South Waterfront, second of its brand, to reach the first LEED Platinum status for a continuing care retirement community in the United States.
In her new role, Wheary Brown will mentor designers, foster inspiration, elevate design standards, and create the best workplace environment for all employees. The designer will also work to implement innovative strategies that promote collaboration, research, and insights, as well as future thinking amongst staffers as they are working on new projects. Wheary Brown will also create opportunities for designers to share ideas, explore emerging trends, and push boundaries to support the interior design practice.
“I am honored to be part of this incredible journey, and excited about what lies ahead for Ankrom Moisan Interiors and the future legacy of this group,” said Wheary Brown. “I look forward to creating an environment of inspiration and empowerment through strong design leadership while implementing strategies that support the growth of our entire company.”
Alissa Brandt, Vice President of Interiors
After joining the Ankrom Moisan team in 2000, Brandt has worked her way from an emerging professional to now, the Vice President of Interiors. In this new position, she will be a leading force in encouraging the professional growth of her team members while driving the firm’s vision and strategy. Brandt will be responsible for nurturing an environment focused on creativity, inspiration, and empowerment. She will work to drive the overall growth of the firm—its creative studios and teams—to ensure that Ankrom Moisan has clearly defined pathways for career growth and an equitable process for evaluating the success of all staff members and the firm at large.
“I look forward to taking my passion for connecting with people and mentoring others to support and elevate those in other leadership roles or on a pathway to leadership, much like I was supported,” said Brandt. “One of the things that I love most about this new position is that I get to ensure that the perspective of our design team is represented to the firm and the design community. I am so excited to move our projects and team's design capabilities forward to ensure that we are recognized as an innovative design firm by our clients and within the industry.”
Looking back at her 23 years with the firm, Brandt is particularly proud of the portfolio of award-winning work her teams have completed, such as Aegis Lake Union, which passed the Living Building Challenge.
In addition to leading efforts for the interiors group and overall company, Brandt will work on yet another Living Building Challenge Senior Housing project with Aegis, something she is very passionate about because of the challenges it presents to the firm and its clients to do better while minimizing their carbon footprint. “We continue to look at how to benefit and support the lifestyles of our projects’ residents, specifically the experience of seniors, on a level that has not been approached or addressed previously,” added Brandt.
Most recently, her work on student housing projects has resulted in opportunities that have allowed the firm to push its designs even further to create highly imaginative, experiential residences for students.