In a city known for its hot casino resorts, Melissa Endress helps keep things cool. As part of her latest endeavors, the Cagley & Tanner designer has stepped in as project manager of a 5-acre pool deck for one of the newest casino resorts being built on the Las Vegas strip.
“I’m responsible for coordinating the design with the owner, general contractor, architect, engineer, landscape architect, aquaticture engineer, lighting designer, food service consultant of numerous cabanas, super cabanas, villa suites, restaurants, bars, retail kiosks, restrooms and pool boy stations —basically everything associated with the pool deck experience,” explained Endress.
Prior to accepting a position with Cagley & Tanner, Endress developed an extensive commercial portfolio during her time as a designer at JGA, Incorporated (Southfield, Mich), and was involved in high profile accounts, including the design of Saks, Tommy Hilfiger and Yankee Candle stores. She also gained additional experience in residential design during a four-year paid internship at Richard Bos Partners (Royal Oak, Mich) while she was a student and later as an independent interior designer.
“Occasionally, I still get the chance to work on freelance projects, but most of my time and energy is absorbed by my job and experiencing new places and people here in the southwest,” she said.
Endress knew she made the right decision when she chose to major in interior design.
“My parents thought I should pursue a career with a more stable income than a 'starving artist,’ so my original plan was to study graphic design,” said Endress. “I spent two years at another university before transferring to CCS. After completing my first graphic design class at the college, Typography I, I realized it wasn't for me. I discussed other options with my Drawing II professor, Zdzislaw Sikora, and he suggested I consider interior design. I changed my major the next semester. It was then I knew where I was supposed to be.
“CCS was a fast-paced, challenging school and held students to high expectations. The results are evident in my work and personal life. I observe, analyze and critique everything now.”
- Graduation Year: 2003
- Major: Interior Design
- Employer: Cagley & Tanner (Las Vegas)
- Title: Project Designer
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