The Mill Hires Rebecca Luong as Director of Design
The MIll has hired former Gensler hospitality design leader Rebecca Luong to bring Chris Moore’s vision of creating a world-class destination to life. Throughout her two decades of experience in the industry, she has directed the design of amenity-rich, luxury, multi-family, residential community projects across the United States, Middle East and Asia. It's with that knowledge that she will reshape the historic architectural backdrop of The Mill into contemporary, design-forward spaces to create a truly one-of-a-kind campus experience.
Q&A with Rebecca
What is a highlight or fond memory you have from growing up here in Vicksburg?
Vicksburg provided such a rich backdrop for a four seasons experience in a very close-knit community. I spent much of my childhood in the Village, enjoying it as my playground—from summer mornings playing tennis and afternoon bike rides into downtown for a soda, to a stop at the library for a stack of summer books. My childhood weekends and (what seemed like gloriously endless) summers were spent on Indian Lake, immersed in swimming, skiing and building sandcastles. Our proximity to Kalamazoo, Detroit, Chicago and beyond meant trips to the cities for museums and shopping, and there was always the draw of the Big Lake and life at the beach. It was quite possible to “have it all” in this great destination.
As a Vicksburg native, what was your favorite shop downtown when you were a kid?
My memories were shaped around The Malt Shop on Main Street, paired with a trip to Hills Pharmacy. The Malt Shop was the destination for big rewards, like when I learned to water ski and survived after drinking half the lake but could still celebrate with a chocolate malt on a hot summer evening. I’m thrilled to return to Vicksburg both personally and professionally and share the Village of today—and the future—with my family. We hope everyone will reach out and say hello to our little tribe, as we’re easy to spot with triplets!
How exciting is it to be working on The Mill considering you grew up here?
This is a bit of a “when lightning strikes” opportunity and I value it tremendously. The Mill has long captured the imagination of our community—visualizing what it was or what it could be if transformed. As someone who pursued a career in architecture where we work on cool projects all the time, it’s a daydream to be working here alongside The Mill team. This ability to be a part of the vision and transformation is truly a once-in-a-lifetime chapter for me, and for my family.
What is your educational and professional background?
I have earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Ball State University as well as two Masters’ Degrees in International Development and Tourism Planning from the University of Washington. I have held several positions based in the US, Middle East, and Asia creating holistic hospitality experiences, most recently with Gensler—a global architecture, design and planning firm. My professional practice has included a range of design disciplines, including master planning, architecture, landscape architecture, interior design and brand development. The opportunity to influence so many pieces of this multi-faceted project is such a unique moment to flex all this past perspective.
Do you have any associations outside of your education?
I am a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP) and a member of the Network of Executive Women in Hospitality (NEWH), where I most recently served on the Northwest Board in Seattle, WA.
How long have you been in the design industry?
I have been involved in the planning, architecture and interior design of experience-focused hospitality destinations for over 20 years.
What position will you hold with The Mill at Vicksburg?
I will be The Mill’s Director of Design—a liaison between the ownership and consultant teams tasked with translating the vision of The Mill to and through multiple disciplines.
What are you most excited for as you begin your role with The Mill?
I have long valued what Chris and the Paper City Development team’s vision is for The Mill and the Village. I’m excited to use this role to blend my experience, local roots and passion for the future of Vicksburg to create a world-class destination.
What are your hopes for designing each facet of The Mill?
I will be working on everything from the boutique hotel to the social and event spaces, museums, taprooms and future brands. Each of these spaces have a rich historic architectural backdrop. I hope to reshape these into contemporary, design-forward spaces while maintaining their history to create a truly one-of-a-kind campus for guests to experience.
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Rebecca Luong has over two decades of knowledge in planning, architecture and interior design for experience-focused hospitality destinations. She has directed the design of amenity-rich, luxury, multi-family, residential community projects across the United States, Middle East and Asia. Her projects range from the 61-room LEED Platinum certified Bardessono Hotel in Napa, CA—rated one of the top 10 luxury boutique hotels in the world—to a multi-hectare development of seven man-made islands off the coast of Dubai.
As part of the Paper City Development team working to bring The Mill at Vicksburg back to life, Rebecca will lead this complex adaptive reuse and renaissance effort as Director of Design. In her role, she will be the liaison between the ownership and consultant teams, tasked with translating the vision of The Mill to and through multiple disciplines.