Our Advisory Council

Michael Bedner

Partner, Apeiron Miami
Former CEO/Chairman of Hirsch/Bedner Associates

For nearly fifty years, Michael Bedner was the guiding force behind Hirsch/Bedner Associates, the world’s largest and most prestigious hospitality design firm. Recognized internationally for the visionary role he played in hospitality design, Michael’s influence can be seen in hundreds of the finest luxury hotels, residences condo and mixed-use developments throughout the world.

Under Michael’s leadership HBA grew to encompass offices in 13 countries. At the time of his retirement, his 1200 designers focused on conceptual planning, design, art direction, graphics, apparel and tabletop design as well as procurement and art. Hirsch Bedner and Associates completed more than 1200 innovative projects, including resorts, restaurants boutique hotels and cruise ships under his stead. Michael pioneered the use of an atrium in the first modern cruise line, “The Royal Princess.”

Michael has also mentored countless young designers, lectured in institutions throughout the world and has provided a Design Competition and Awards Program at UCLA to honor his partner Howard Hirsch, and a scholarship through HBA at the renowned Savannah School of Art and Design.

In 2010 Michael was diagnosed with a fast-moving cancer. Throughout his long battle, he continued to work on HBA design projects until his retirement in 2013, when he began work on a visionary city and high end innovative communities that integrate healthcare options and support into a living environment.

Now fully recovered, Michael is incorporating his experience in “living well and living fully” into his new undertaking, Aperion, a landmark hospitality and design company that incorporates his hallmark attention to timeless design and outstanding service into an ultra-luxury residential and hospitality product. Michael’s cofounder is Horst Schulze, the renowned former president of the Ritz Carlton Hotel group, who redefined the ultimate standard of service. Apeiron’s first project is the cutting edge transformation of 22 acres of waterfront in Miami where the Jockey Club once stood, bringing to market 240 luxury service residences and a 90 room 5-star spa-hotel, including an 11,000 square foot wellness center, an events deck, a mega-yacht marina, and an entertainment venue.


Jeanne Jackson

FAIA and VCBO Architecture Partner

Jeanne Jackson, FAIA, is a partner with VCBO Architecture. Since 1990, Jeanne has specialized in the design of educational facilities, specifically concentrating on the factors which create a stimulating and exciting environment for education.  She is a pioneer in the incorporation of the new, best research-based educational practices into innovative facilities that are designed for the future of education. She has had extensive experience in the planning and design of numerous innovative elementary and secondary schools. Recent projects include Odyssey Elementary School (the first Net Zero Energy school in Utah), West Point Middle School, winner of the prestigious James D. MacConnell Award, (West Point, Utah), Rigby High School (Rigby, Idaho), and Cenntennial Jr. High School, (Kaysville, UT).  All of these projects have garnered multiple local, state and national awards.  She has been invited to make presentations to numerous groups and school boards throughout the U.S. Additionally, Jeanne has been responsible for the coordination and implementation of library projects, including the Salt Lake City Public Library, winner of an AIA National Honor Award, and 2006 Library of the Year.

Jeanne is a member and past Chair of the AIA Committee on Architecture for Education, and past president of the Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI), Utah Chapter.  She has been a licensed architect since 1993, and was the 2015 President for the Utah Chapter of the AIA.  She was appointed by the Governor of Utah to serve on the Utah State Architectural Licensing Board, and has served on multiple committees for NCARB over the last 9 years.  Jeanne serves as an NCARB Representative for NAAB, the organization that accredits schools of architecture nationally.   In 2013 she was elected to the AIA College of Fellows, the first woman in Utah to achieve this honor.


Max Strang

FAIA and Founding Principal of STRANG Architecture

Max Strang is the founding principal of STRANG Architecture, a Miami-based firm acclaimed for its site-specific and climate-driven designs. Through his work and discourse, Strang has consistently underscored the ongoing relevance and importance of regional modernism to an international audience. In 2016, he was elected to the prestigious College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and in 2013 he received the Silver Medal from the Miami Chapter of the AIA, the highest honor the organization can bestow. He was raised in a Mid-Century Modern home designed by Gene Leedy of the Sarasota School of Architecture. Strang is a graduate of the University of Florida and Columbia University. Prior to establishing his own firm, he worked in the architecture offices of Gene Leedy, SHoP Architects and Zaha Hadid.


Ronnette Riley

Principal, FAIA, LEED AP

Leader of the New York architecture community, Ronnette Riley brings a commitment to design quality and an ability to translate clients’ goals into successful, effective solutions. The work of her namesake firm, founded in 1987, has been featured in numerous publications and won over 60 design awards. The firm has an impressive range of institutional, corporate, hospitality, retail and residential projects. Recently recognized projects include several high end residential projects, 5 NY Fire Department stations and projects for the renovation of Stevens Institute of Technology and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Before founding Ronnette Riley Architect in 1987, Ms. Riley spent eight years in the architectural practice of Philip Johnson and John Burgee. She served as Project Architect for the “Lipstick Building” at 53rd and Third in Manhattan, responsible for design through final construction, and Republic Bank, now the Bank of America Center in Houston. She is an active member and a former chair of the National AIA Committee on Design and is currently a member of the Retail and Entertainment Knowledge Community Advisory Group. Ronnette is VP of Public Policy for NAWBO NYC and has been an adjunct professor at NYU’s SCHACK Institute of Real Estate and the School of Visual Arts.