Jenn Zella

cofounder + chief visionary officer

cleveland, oh | atlanta, ga | naples, fl
b.a. finance + b.s. interior design, university of georgia

Jenn Zella is the Cofounding Principal and Chief Visionary Officer of CID Design Group, a creative design firm specializing in multifamily + hospitality interior design, branding, and design forecasting.

Jenn was raised in Cleveland Ohio, schooled in Atlanta Georgia, passionately traveled, and is currently raising a design family in one of the few Blue Zones in the US, Naples Florida. A love for creative arts and an education in finance, construction, and interior design have influenced
CID’s unique culture, focus, and design process.
Jenn has fueled CID’s growth over the past decade currently working with 9 of the top 10 and 17 of the top 25 largest developers in the US according to NHMC. Their award-winning portfolio spans 39 states, 65 cities, and Canada. In 2019 they ranked # 86 on Interior Design Magazine’s Giant’s list, up from # 10 on the Rising List in 2018, and # 83 on the Rising Giants List in 2017, landing # 1 in growth for 2018. “Growth is the lifeblood, it creates energy, opportunity, and a call to be better.”

Jenn’s role is to create the company vision, generate ideas, lead culture and creativity, collect people, and to cultivate a fun work environment that also makes a difference. Since 2011, Jenn has passionately championed and published a quarterly design forecast that serves as a useful tool to create engaging, elevated, and enduring spaces and brands in the multifamily and hospitality industry. Jenn’s commitment to a research-based design approach has distinguished her as an industry leader and is routinely engaged to speak about designing for the future.

speaking engagements:

- Dawn McKenna Group Coldwell Banker's | International Luxury Alliance (ILA), Spring '23
- Apartmentalize | San Diego, Summer '22
- Crescent Communities Annual Conference, Fall ’19
- Dawn McKenna Group Coldwell Banker's | International Luxury Alliance (ILA), Summer ’19
- Lennar National Development and Management Webinar, Spring ‘18
- Crescent Communities Investors Conference, Fall ‘17
- Crescent Communities Forecast Presentation, Winter ‘17
- Bell Partners Forecast Presentation, North Carolina, Summer ’16
- Greystar Southeast Regional Conference, Spring ’16
- Greystar Design Forecast WEBEX, Fall ‘16
- Carmel Partners Annual Development Conference, San Francois, Winter ‘16
- Charlotte Apartment Association, Winter ‘16
- Austin Apartments Association, Spring ‘15
- Greystar’s Design Forum, Austin TX Fall ‘14

best design tip:

less is more.

best advice:

i used to hide my work + not want others to copy it or see it until it was complete. my art + drafting instructor, brother vincente balog, taught me a lesson one day that has resonated every day since. he grabbed my partially completed drawing, shared it with the class, and asked another student to use it as a springboard for their project. he pulled me aside after class + said that the only way we improve is by sharing ideas, collaborating, and allowing yourself to be inspired by other's ideas! I think of him + his advice often!

hidden talent:

heptathlete, former professional jazz dancer, and a secret obsession with weather + climate.

trip of a lifetime:

buenos aires, argentina with my dear friend, a resident at the time.