"Great design is the result of finding perfect balance between program, the owner's vision, and the guest's wants and needs. We know that you only get one opportunity to make an outstanding first impression, which is why our team is 100% dedicated to designing completely unique and exciting environments, where people want to stay and/or play. Our firm's success is directly reflected in the success of our clients, and with nearly 50 years of experience, designing for over 400 hotel and 200 casino projects, you can bet we've got the perfect solution for your design needs."
Chief Boyd has extensive experience in a variety of Native American projects beginning in 1963 with the Cherokee Cultural Center in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Chief has worked with 116 Tribes and First Nations across the country and is one of the most well-known Native American Architects. He is the official architect to the Cherokee National Historical Society and has held that position since 1964. Chief has been actively involved with his tribe (Cherokee) for over 54 years serving on the Cherokee National Historical Society Board and was president for seven years. Chief’s broad experience in casino, cultural/recreation facilities, and hotels throughout the United States and Canada, lead to his recent recognition as “Native American Professional Businessman of the Year in 2000” in the state of Oklahoma, the Contemporary Achievement Award from the Cherokee National Historic Society in 2012, and recipient of the Pauline Murillo Award in 2019.
Rich Emery, AIA, is President and one of three dynamic Principals of TBE Architects. Rich joined the firm in 1982, after earning a degree in architecture from the University of Kansas, and leads Design and Production on all projects. Rich's methodical skill and talent has inspired our team to design award winning projects throughout the years. Over the past 35 years, Rich has been instrumental in designing hotels, luxury resorts and casinos throughout North American and overseas. Throughout his career, Rich has been at the cutting edge of design, positioning himself as an early adopter of CADD technology, Building Information Modeling (BIM), and Virtual Reality, providing a realistic view of the potential for fast-tracking and phasing of projects. Rich has invested a significant amount of time researching design strategies for “Integrated Casino Resort” properties, and which amenities are most likely to attract “Millennials.” The collective value of projects designed by Rich reach well into the Billions.
Nick graduated from the University of Kansas with two Architectural degrees, and has spent his career specializing in hospitality design. His portfolio of projects includes a wide variety of private clubs, restaurants, hotels, and casinos. His background includes extensive Design Build experience with hotels and resorts which enables him to respond to constructability issues, while still maintaining the design intent. Nick's experience and intuitive understanding of the critical needs for speed and team consensus has proven to be highly valuable within the firm and especially to our clients. Since joining the firm in 1999, Nick has been instrumental in completing more than 40 casino/ hotel projects and earning the position of Principal. Nick is passionate about all things beautiful, love of people, strong work ethic, and creating a “teamwork/can do” attitude among his colleagues and peers.
David Nejelski received his Bachelor of Architecture from Kansas State University. He came to the firm as a Jr. Designer and has risen to be the Creative Director + Principal. In the past 24 years with the firm, David has designed hotels and casinos in all gaming markets throughout the United States and Canada. Much of his work has focused on unique theme and entertainment concepts from inception through development. David also has extensive experience in fast-track and project phasing and has designed projects worth collectively over $1 billion.
With more than 23 years of leadership experience in architecture and a background that also includes construction, Christopher leads large, complex projects, many of which include phased construction. His skill in organizing the many facets of a project, administering budgets, monitoring schedules, managing consultants, and communicating with client groups has resulted in architectural solutions that ultimately bring high value to our clients. Christopher's leadership has had direct influence on projects including: Wildhorse Resort & Casino (expansion) in Pendleton, Oregon, We-Ko-Pa Casino (new development) in Fort McDowell, Arizona, and Churchill Downs Hotel & HRM (expansion) in Louisville, Kentucky.
As an Interior Designer, Julie manages and participates in all phases of design throughout each project. She is responsible for assuring that all projects, to which she is assigned, fulfill the design and performance objectives and adhere to the project schedule and budget. Julie’s strong ability to communicate ideas, concepts, and solutions to potential problems, to clients as well as the team, have made her an integral part of the TBE staff. Ultimately, Julie’s main endeavor is to create interior environments that not only echo, but enhance, the culture of our clients and their guests through a heightened sense of comfort and sophistication. She firmly believes that each project should be tailored to reflect the unique character and values of our clients.
Michael is a licensed architect, with a Bachelor of Architectural Technology from Washington University and has over 35 years of architectural experience. Michael joined TBE Architects in 2019 and his skill and knowledge of advanced model creation and team management has already been applied to positively impact several major design projects. As a senior project architect, Michael’s responsibilities center on the development of production drawings and require him to facilitate frequent communication with a variety of construction consultants as well as the internal design team at TBE Architects.
Lawrence (Larry) Wolters received his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Kansas and has been in the architectural industry for over 33 years. As a licensed architect with LEED certification, Larry has worked as both project architect and manager for a variety of projects, with values scaling between $2 million and $200 million. His primary roles at TBE include project management, overseeing production staffing, and facilitating collaboration between our firm, our client’s project management team, and a variety of contractors. Throughout this process, he works tirelessly to ensure that every phase of project development stays on track.
Johnathan is a licensed architect with over 35 years of architectural experience. He is a graduate from Kansas State University with a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies and his skill and knowledge of advanced model creation and team management have proven to be an invaluable asset for our team. As the Director of Production, Johnathan’s responsibilities center on ensuring that our production team is fully staffed and able to meet the unique demands of our clients. During the course of a week, Johnathan participates in several project production meetings, and plays a vital role in keeping communication paths between our clients, consultants, construction, architects, and our interior design team flowing productively.