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Board Members

We are the only organization that has so many powerful, influential stakeholders sitting on our Board who can really impact change.

 - Chad Stark, CEO of STARK

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DFA President 

Stephane Silverman,

President, Castel Maison

Stephane Silverman is the founder, owner, and President of Castel.  He studied economics and renewable resources in graduate school. After broadening his skill set, he became sales director at Manuel Canovas and also managed export for the large textile firm, P/Kaufmann. Having a very entrepreneurial spirit, in the year 2000 he struck out and started his own fabric company.  The result is a timeless elegant textile collection.  Stephane's passions go beyond the fabrics themselves. He has also developed an in house web based software system to manage client orders, logistics and business flow associated to the many details of the industry. Stephane has many interests that have led him to the top of mountains, including Aconcagua in Argentina, to the finish line of many marathons and also competitive sailing. He lives in Westport Connecticut with his wife Laura (Castel Design Director) and his three children Zoe, Olivia and James. 

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DFA Vice President 

Meredith Xavier
Founder, The Ligné Group

Meredith Xavier obtained her B.A. in Art History from Pepperdine University and her M.Litt. in the Fine and Decorative Arts from the University of Glasgow. She studied architecture at Oxford
University in England and traveled extensively through Europe while completing her dissertation. Meredith worked as a researcher and writer for the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston before entering the decorative arts world as an auction coordinator for Christie's
Auction House in Beverly Hills. Her passion for the decorative arts and interior design industry led her to start Ligné Agency in Los Angeles in 2009. Today Meredith's focus is on growing the
brands of her global client base through business development consulting, brand partnerships, media relations and sales. In addition to running Ligné Agency and her international product distribution company, Ligné International, Meredith is a business contributor for Forbes and Design Editor for CityBook Magazine.


DFA Contributing Board Member

Jobst Blachy, 

CEO, Quintus 

Jobi Blachy is the owner of Quintus and a former DFA President.  Jobi was born into the furniture industry and has passionately pursued excellence in the industry for over 25 years. Blachy graduated from the University of Cincinnati and earned an M.B.A. from the Kellogg Graduate School of management from Northwestern University. Jobi’s drive and obsession for operations and customer service led him to hold executive positions with many notable luxury furniture manufacturers, including: Henredon Furniture Industries, Edward Ferrell + Lewis Mittman and Rose Tarlow Melrose House.  He acquired Quintus in 2014, and has completely reinvented the operations and design aesthetic of the company since then; elevating Quintus into a leading to-the-trade resource.


DFA Contributing Board Member

Eric Chang​​,

Co-Founder, Hellman-Chang

Eric Chang, began his furniture journey as a childhood hobby with his best friend, Daniel Hellman, in their parents’ garage over the summers of high school and college. Having gone their separate ways, and studying Finance and Marketing at NYU’s Stern School of Business, Chang helped start an online marketing agency that became ranked one of the Top 100 Fastest Growing Private Businesses in America by Entrepreneur Magazine, before reunited with Hellman in Brooklyn. Shortly after, they received major design awards, and their first three clients included the Four Seasons Hotel, Sex and the City and Gossip Girl, before being picked up by trade showrooms nationwide. During Chang's DFA Presidency, his expertise have identified a number of seismic holes in the Trade model that can be turned into tremendous awareness, aspiration, and sales growth opportunities for the industry, as well as create numerous efficiencies for interior designers.


DFA Director of Media Members

Beth McDonough

Co-Founder, HERON Brand Design

Beth is a seasoned marketing and sales professional with extensive experience working with top brands in the luxury home, fashion and travel industries. Most recently, Beth served as the publisher of Traditional Home and thirteen titles within the Luxury Home Portfolio at Meredith Corporation, where she and her team developed and executed a series of custom content, partnerships and programs for brand partners. Her passion is to help brands achieve their business objectives through creative solutions to drive brand awareness and revenue growth. McDonough was recently honored as one of Folio Magazine’s Top Women In Media in June 2019. She received a bachelor’s degree from Barnard College and lives in Beacon, N.Y. with her husband and two children.


DFA Design Center Liaison

Katie Miner, 

General Manager, ADAC

Katie Miner began her career in 1999 as a tradeshow sales manager at AmericasMart after graduating from the College of Charleston. Tackling ever-increasing challenges, she grew to become the Executive Director of Leasing for the Gardens, and later, the Executive Director of Leasing for HOME at AmericasMart. In her current role as General Manager at ADAC, Katie is responsible for overseeing the overall operation of the Center, including: leasing, marketing, property management and operations for over 60 showrooms. Katie has worked with countless notable design icons, such as Darryl Carter, Vern Yip, Charlotte Moss, Nathan Turner, and more. Katie was instrumental in the Center opening to the public in 2012, creating a luxury experience for both the public and entire Southeast design community. She also serves as a board member for Design Centers International. 

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DFA Design Center Liaison

Pam Dawson

Senior Manager, Dallas Design District

As the lead for the Dallas Design District’s portfolio of assets, Pam manages over 100 design showrooms, restaurants and offices located in the District.  Pam’s role connects and networks with all aspects of managing, leasing leveraging, and developing the District’s assets as she brings years of hands-on experience to the table. Her tenants enjoy open communication and quick solutions to problems, vendors enjoy trust and reliability and the team as a whole shares vision and a clear understanding of their roles. During times of rapid market growth and constant change, Pam develops strategic solutions to challenges with a forward-thinking vision.


DFA Contributing Board Member

Jeffrey Bershad, 

CEO, Phillip Jeffries

As CEO of Phillip Jeffries, Jeffrey invests his time equally as a strategist, a problem solver and a developer of leaders. He manages the business operations of the luxury wallcovering company, overseeing Design, Finance, Talent, Operations, and Supply Chain. Over the past 40 years, the family business has grown to be one of the largest and most respected companies in the global design industry.  Jeffrey loves sharing his learnings and experiences with other entrepreneurs, and has been a guest lecturer at Rutgers Business School, Hearst Media, on the BOH podcast and at numerous design centers worldwide. A dad to three young boys, he also coaches youth basketball. He graduated from Duke University and is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), Design Leadership Network, and The Makers Alliance. 

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DFA Contributing Board Member

Mike Gracie,

President, Gracie Studio 

Mike Gracie studied pre-law at Northeastern University, but chose to go into the family industry instead of proceeding on to law school.  While gaining experience as a furniture salesperson at a San Francisco showroom, Mike began pursuing an acting career there.  He returned to New York to join the family business and to continue his acting career, appearing in short films and off-Broadway plays.  Mike found his greatest satisfactions and rewards in the family business where he has spent a 24 year career.


DFA Contributing Board Member

Katie Brockman

VP, Strategic Partnerships, SANDOW and Founder/CEO Katie Brockman & Co.

Katie Brockman joined Sandow Media as Group Publisher and Chief Revenue Officer of Luxe Interiors + Design in September 2017. Luxe is the single most vital voice in the design space today- garnishing significant growth by landing key partnerships, growing digital presence, and expanding the brand’s footprint by launching the Southeast and Naples + Sarasota editions. Previously, Brockman worked at VERANDA for over 14 years as Associate Publisher, where she oversaw seven consecutive years of paging and revenue gains and closed the second largest September/October issue in its 30-year history. She led the launch of the brand’s most effective experiential programs, including The Art of Design Awards and Historic Preservation Summit, and conceived innovative, high-impact native content units, sweepstakes, and more.

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DFA Contributing Board Member

Sara Kravet

Vice President, Kravet Furnishings

Sara Kravet is the Vice President of Furniture at Kravet Inc., having joined the family business in 2011. Sara is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, where she studied Art History. After graduating, she worked for 1stdibs in New York, honing her love for antique furniture. Sara then moved her life to Boston, where she currently lives with her fiancé, and fell in love with the city’s sense of historicism and fall leaves. Sara has spent the last five years learning the ins and outs of the Kravet Inc. family business through a sales lens in the Boston Kravet showroom and becoming an integral part of the New England design community. Sara joined the Kravet Inc. Furniture team four years ago with a focus on merchandising, education and marketing with a growing passion for product development. Sara is also a member of the Historic New England and Royal Oak Foundation.

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DFA Contributing Board Member

Anna Brockway

President, Chairish

Anna Brockway is the co-founder and president of Chairish Inc., the largest online platform for high-end home furnishings in the United States and the parent company to Chairish, DECASO and Dering Hall. Along with her co-founders, she launched Chairish in 2013 as the indispensable online source for chic and unique items for the home. Anna's vision has led to Chairish Inc.'s growth to offer  500,000 exceptional vintage, antique, contemporary and made-to-order products, millions of sophisticated design aficionados, and a community of 25,000 verified design professionals.  Prior to founding Chairish Inc., Anna was the VP of Worldwide Marketing at Levi Strauss & Co. She holds a BA in Art History from Columbia University.  Known for her marketing expertise, taste-making style and “let’s try it” attitude, Anna lives in San Francisco with her husband and Chairish co-founder Gregg and their three children.

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DFA Contributing Board Member

Yuri Xavier

CEO, The Ligné Group

A native Brazilian originally from Rio, Yuri Xavier lived in Paris and Buenos Aires before finally moving to the United States in 2004. Starting his career in the luxury industry at Fendi Casa in Los Angeles, he worked his way up to executive leadership positions at Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Mulberry. During his career in luxury retail, Yuri lead over 45 team members bringing exponential growth to each brand by generating a total of 50 million dollars in sales. In 2012, Yuri joined The Ligné Group as CEO. Since joining Ligné, Yuri has expanded the company’s branches by opening doors to international markets and developing crucial partnerships with brands and fairs such as Maison&Objet and Design Shanghai. Yuri’s expertise brings an in-depth understanding of the luxury market and a clear vision on business strategy, marketing and distribution. He is focused on creating brand awareness, lasting corporate partnerships, licensing and distribution opportunities for Ligné clients worldwide.   


DFA Contributing Board Member

Courtney Hardage

Marketing Director, Jerry Pair

Courtney Hardage is the Director of Marketing for Jerry Pair & Associates. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida, where she received a Masters degree in Advertising and Public Relations. During her time with Jerry Pair, she has managed the import of over 45,000 products, subsequently creating the largest online catalog for home furnishings to the trade. Hardage is well versed in the technical data landscape, with a concentration in standardizing a high volume of SKU’s for e-commerce integration.  Her experience with data management, combined with her background in the luxury home-trade industry, provides industry-specific data solutions to the DFA and trade design community.


DFA Honorary Board Member 

Chad Stark, 


Industry thought leader Chad Stark has a unique perspective on the design industry. With experience in the startup and digital marketing worlds before joining his family in the luxury home furnishings industry, Chad manages the day-to-day operations at his companies as Sr VP of STARK and President of Scalamandre. His background enables him to direct these companies in the digital age while focusing on providing the highest level of customer service to professional interior designers. Chad is also co-author of STARK’s Decorating with Carpets coffee table book and through the end of 2017 was the President of the Decorative Furnishings Association, a trade industry non-profit, where his initiative #DoItFor has improved consumer understanding of the professional design world through increased accessibility and education.

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