Perkins&Will Announces New Interior Design Leadership for the Firm’s Dallas Studio
Courtney Johnston and Amber Wernick oversee the Dallas studio’s interiors practice; Sarah Wicker heads up a new local branded environments practice
Three new leaders have been appointed to champion interior design, planning, strategies, and branded environments in the Dallas studio of global architecture and design firm Perkins&Will. Courtney Johnston, who worked for the firm from 2008 to 2022, returns as interiors practice leader; Amber Wernick, who worked for the firm from 2008 to 2015, also returns to take on a new role as director of practice development; and Sarah Wicker joins as director of branded environments.
“This is an organic transition that fuels our forward momentum,” says Tom Reisenbichler, Southwest regional director at Perkins&Will. “Courtney, Amber, and Sarah know how to amplify the strengths of those around them and sustain a culture of innovation and collaboration. This will serve our clients well.”
Additionally, Mary Alex Turner has joined the Dallas studio as business development manager with a focus on workplace interiors.
Meet the new team:
Courtney Johnston, Practice Leader
Courtney Johnston leverages her two decades of experience in the workplace interiors market to enhance the studio’s capabilities and offerings while ensuring clients receive outstanding service.
Johnston has delivered a wide variety of project types and sizes, from cancer centers and medical suites to the Fogo de Chao and Frito Lay Headquarters. In addition to her work as a designer, she promotes an innovative approach to mentoring and teaching that has helped develop interior design programs at national universities.
Amber Wernick, Director of Practice Development
Amber Wernick also plays a key role in client engagement with a focus on workplace strategy.
Wernick has collaborated with some of the world’s most creative companies to transform their employee experiences. Her portfolio includes the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago, the Stanford University campus in Redwood City, and lululemon’s global headquarters in Vancouver.
Sarah Wicker, Branded Environments Practice Leader
Brand strategist Sarah Wicker leads a multidisciplinary team out of Perkins&Will’s Dallas studio that translates clients’ brands into engaging experiences through space, digital media, and graphics.
Over the course of her career, she has consulted for international developers, municipalities, and major brands like Nike and 7-Eleven with ideas hailed as “world-changing” by Fast Company.
Mary Alex Turner, Business Development Manager
With a proven record of identifying growth opportunities and a passion for genuine connection, Mary Alex Turner is an accomplished professional in the realm of business development. She joins Perkins&Will from the commercial real estate space and is a member of CoreNet and on the board of The North Texas Commercial Association of Realtors’ Young Professionals Forum and Dallas Real Estate Ministries.
Building on a Legacy
The new team members join principal and project executive Melissa Cooksey and design principals Gardner Vass and Kevin Mereness. Together, they will continue building on a distinguished portfolio that includes collaborations with such notable clients as Capital One, The Richards Group, and PepsiCo.
“With an already strong team foundation, the addition of new strategic hires, and a fresh approach to the way we do our work, we’re excited to take our practice to the next level,” says Johnston.
Perkins&Will, an interdisciplinary, research-based architecture and design firm, was founded in 1935 on the belief that design has the power to transform lives. Guided by its core values—design excellence, diversity and inclusion, living design, research, resilience, social purpose, sustainability, and well-being—the firm is committed to designing a better, more beautiful world. Architizer named Perkins&Will the world’s “Best Sustainable Firm” in 2023, and Metropolis named it “Firm of the Year” in 2022 for its industry leadership in advancing climate action and social justice. Fast Company named Perkins&Will one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies in Architecture three times, and in 2021, it added the firm to its list of Brands That Matter—making Perkins&Will the first architecture practice in the world to earn the distinction. With an international team of more than 2,000 professionals, the firm has over 20 studios worldwide, providing integrated services in architecture, interior design, branded environments, urban design, and landscape architecture. Industry rankings consistently place the firm among the world’s top design practices. Partners include Danish architects Schmidt Hammer Lassen; retail strategy and design consultancy Portland; sustainable transportation planning consultancy Nelson\Nygaard; and luxury hospitality design firm Pierre-Yves Rochon (PYR). For more information, visit www.perkinswill.com.
About the Dallas Studio of Perkins&Will
The Dallas Studio of Perkins&Will was established in 1988 and is the largest in the firm, harnessing the expertise of more than 225 architects, interior designers and planners. The office’s multi-disciplinary work spans nearly every sector, including healthcare, higher education, corporate, commercial, cultural, civic, K12 education and transportation. Recently completed projects from the Dallas office include the City of Lubbock’s Citizen Tower, Epic Deep Ellum office buildings, The Pittman Hotel, Baylor Scott & White Sports Therapy and Research at The Star, Richardson ISD’s Berkner STEM Exploration Center, and Collin College Technical Center. The Dallas studio’s work has garnered hundreds of awards from prestigious industry publications and organizations in the region and around the world.