Senior Editor, Cool Hunting
Cool Hunting is an award-winning publication that uncovers the latest in design, technology, style, travel, art and culture. Since 2003 our original content has informed the creative community that’s designing the future.
Creative Director, Institute of Culinary Education
Michael Laiskonis was named Creative Director of New York City’s Institute of Culinary Education in 2012. Previously Executive Pastry Chef Le Bernardin for eight years, his pastry philosophy manifests itself in a style of desserts that balance art and science, and contemporary ideas with classic fundamentals. Awarded Outstanding Pastry Chef in 2007 by the James Beard Foundation, his work helped the restaurant maintain three stars from the esteemed Michelin Guide and four stars from the New York Times. In 2014, the International Association of Culinary Professionals tapped him as its ‘Culinary Professional of the Year’.
Under the banner of Laiskonis Consulting, LLC performs a broad range of advisory roles and development projects from major food companies and restaurant groups to small start-ups and independent restaurants alike. He currently serves as pastry advisor for the Philadelphia-based Garces Group and recently created the pastry program at La Sirena in NYC, the latest restaurant from Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich.
Respected within the industry, Laiskonis currently serves as a brand ambassador for leading companies in the global pastry field, including Bravo, Boiron, and PreGel. His writing has also appeared on Gourmet, Salon, The Huffington Post and The Atlantic, as well as several cookbook anthologies. Michael’s current kitchen sessions are documented on his blog, Opusculum, for Lucky Peach.
Executive Director of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIANY)
Benjamin Prosky is Executive Director of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIANY) and the Center for Architecture. He previously served as Assistant Dean for Communications at Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD). In 2009, Prosky cofounded ARCHITIZER, and until May 2011 was the Director of Special Events and External Affairs at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. From 2002 to 2005, he was Head of Public and University Programs at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) in Montreal, Canada, and from 1999 to 2002 he was an Exhibitions Coordinator for the Institut francais d'architecture in Paris, France. He graduated from Vassar College with a degree in Urban Studies and a minor in French language.
Stacey Shoemaker Rauen
Editor in Chief for Hospitality Design (HD) Magazine
Stacy Shoemaker Rauen is a well-respected and talented editor and writer, and is the editor in chief for Hospitality Design (HD) magazine, the leading publication for the industry. Besides overseeing the content and direction of the magazine, Rauen—who has been with the magazine for 14 years—is a noted speaker at industry events, and as an avid tracker of trends, places, projects, and people, she puts together panels at HD's conferences, and has been quoted in various respected media outlets including CNBC and the Washington Post. She is also the founder of HD's CitySCENE, a networking event series held in metropolitan areas throughout the U.S. and internationally, meant to connect design professionals in each market, as well as NextGen Forum, a conference for the next generation of hospitality design leaders. She holds two degrees from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, including a master's in journalism.