Meet the WORKTECH 17 New York Speakers

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Natalie Grasso Cockrell
Natalie Grasso Cockrell
Natalie is a Workplace Consultant at Herman Miller and the former Editor of Work Design Magazine. She’s currently based in Pittsburgh.

WORKTECH 17 New York will draw industry movers and shakers to the Big Apple to debate and discuss the future of work.

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We’re proud to support WORKTECH 17 New York. The conference will take place on Thursday, May 4 at Convene, with the event’s popular “Masterclasses” to follow on Friday, May 5 at Boston Consulting Group’s Hudson Yards HQ and R/GA’s new office. Over the course of both days, speakers and guests will explore workplace themes including the future of work and the workplace as well as real estate, technology, and innovation.

Read more and register for the event here, scroll to get to know the all-star lineup of speakers, and be sure to check back after the event for our recap!

Meet the speakers

Ryan Anderson
Director of Commercialization & Business Development, Connected (IoT) Solutions, Herman Miller

Ryan is the director of commercialization and business development for Herman Miller’s connected (internet-of-things) solutions. His work focuses on applying emerging technologies to enhance the value and performance of Herman Miller’s existing and future product portfolio. This is Ryan’s twenty-second year in the office furniture industry, where his career has focused on helping organizations to evolve their work environments to adapt to changes in technology and work. Previously at Herman Miller, Ryan served as Director of Product + Portfolio Strategy and as Director of Future Technology.

Rogier de Boer
Principal, Boston Consulting Group

Rogier is a principal in the Boston Consulting Group’s New York office. He supports consumer goods and retail clients in large-scale transformations efforts. Rogier was part of the BCG team in the earlier stages of design of the New York office. He worked on the design with Gensler, Gardiner & Theobald, Unwork, and BCG’s internal Real Estate group, where his focus was on understanding the needs of BCG’s employees, the definition of the vision of the new space, overall space requirements, and the role of technology.

Jenni Dawes
Founder & Meditation Teacher, KINDRED

Jenni has been teaching a tailored combination of mindfulness, Qigong, and meditation across the world for the past six years. She’s spoken on corporate well-being for Ralph Lauren, Palantir, and Viacom, and led over 200 sessions to date for companies including Spotify, Airbnb, Dentons, WeWork, Venmo, and Kickstarter.

Daniel Diez
EVP Global Chief Marketing Officer, R/GA

Daniel creates integrated programs strategically designed to raise R/GA’s profile globally and regionally. In this newly created position, he works closely with managing directors and senior leadership across all R/GA offices, leading marketing and communications strategies for the agency. Daniel joined R/GA in August 2013 from Interbrand, where he was responsible for creating and implementing regional and global marketing and communications strategies. An advocate for content-driven promotional channels, he also served as editor-in-chief for all of Interbrand’s global editorial properties, and launched the agency’s first quarterly journal.

Ryan Fuller
General Manager, Workplace Analytics, Microsoft

Ryan was the CEO and co-founder of VoloMetrix, a leading people analytics company acquired by Microsoft in 2015. Within Microsoft, Ryan leads Workplace Analytics, a business unit focused on leveraging the power of collaboration data to inform strategic business decisions at the individual and organizational level. Ryan is a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review and speaker at industry events. He was previously a management consultant at Bain & Company, and holds an MBA from Kellogg School of Management.

Chris Fussell
Partner, McChrystal Group

Chris is a partner at McChrystal Group, where he heads up the McChrystal Group Leadership Institute. He is also an author of the 2015 New York Times bestseller, Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World. Chris was commissioned as a Naval Officer in 1997, and spent the next 15 years on U.S. Navy SEAL Teams, leading SEAL elements in combat zones around the globe. Chris was selected to serve as Aide-de-Camp to then-Lieutenant General Stanley McChrystal during General McChrystal’s final year commanding the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), where they served for a year together in Iraq. He witnessed first-hand the Special Operations community’s transformation into a successful, agile network. In 2012, Chris left the Naval Special Warfare Development Group in order to join McChrystal Group.

Graeme Harrison
Executive VP of Marketing, Biamp Systems

Graeme has worked for Biamp Systems for 25 years. He first started as the company’s regional manager in Europe, serving Europe as well as the Middle East, Africa, and India. He later transitioned to international sales manager, followed by vice president of international sales, and is now the executive vice president of marketing. Actively involved with TED (technology, entertainment, and design), Graeme is also passionate about food, wine, and traveling, as well as environmentalism and corporate social responsibility.

Christopher Kelly
Co-Founder and President, Convene

As the co-founder and president of the real estate industry’s first workplace-hospitality platform, Convene, Chris is the only person to have ever been twice recognized on Inc. Magazine’s “30 Under 30” list of most promising young entrepreneurs. He has become an industry spokesperson on collaboration, workplace services, and design thinking, leading him to be named one of the “Top 50 Event Industry Innovators” by Bizbash Magazine and one of the “22 Millennials to Watch” by Meetings and Conventions. Chris has been honored as a Top Entrepreneur by Crain’s New York Business as well as a finalist in Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year®.

Phil Kirschner
Senior Vice President, JLL

Phil is a senior vice president in the JLL Consulting Group, based in New York. Phil leads the workplace strategy practice for the northeast United States. His technology background and 13 years of experience leading and advising multidisciplinary, strategic change initiatives at a major, global financial institution brings an innovative new perspective to JLL and its clients. Phil was previously the Americas Head of Workplace Strategy at Credit Suisse, where he developed and promoted global space standards, including the award-winning “Smart Working” program, which focuses on how best to use policies, space, and advances in mobile technologies to address evolving workplace preferences and reduce occupancy expenses.

Andrew Lam-Po-Tang
Executive Director, Business Transformation EMEA, R/GA

Andrew brings together deep experience in strategy, technology, and design to help clients respond to disruption by helping them rethink and remake their business. He has led transformation initiatives for global organizations across a range of sectors including media, packaging, and tourism. His recent engagements include business model transformation in live entertainment and CPG, and employer brand transformation for a global engineering business. After founding a design studio in Australia, he acquired an MBA at INSEAD and then spent more than a decade at The Boston Consulting Group in Australia and the UK, followed by global leadership roles in technology, finance, and media.

Michelle Lindgren
Vice President, Credit Suisse

Michelle has spent the past 13 years working in corporate real estate with a focus on developing, implementing, and managing flexible and activity based work initiatives. Currently Michelle works at Credit Suisse in its Workplace Strategy and Innovation division. She is responsible for expanding and cultivating their Smart Working program in the Americas. Prior to Credit Suisse, she has worked in management consulting at Accenture in the Accenture Real Estate Strategies (ARES) division and spent time at Citibank as a senior program manager for their global Citi Work Strategies and Flexible Workspace programs. She has also held positions working in space planning, office services, and construction management.

Ross Love
Senior Partner and Managing Director, Managing Partner for New York, Boston Consulting Group
Aleksey Lukyanov-Cherny
Partner, SITU Studio

Aleksey leads the creative process and design phases for all SITU Studio projects. His recent projects include designing a 35,000 square foot modular, reconfigurable workspace for the New York offices of Google Creative Lab, as well as designing an elevated park and amenity space for a premier, new workplace development in New York City. His previous work includes the Brooklyn Museum Visitor Experience project, as well as Design Lab and Maker Space for the New York Hall of Science. For the past two years, Aleksey has served as a juror for the Flatiron Public Plaza design competition sponsored by the Van Alen Institute. He has served as a guest critic at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and the New York Institute of Technology, focusing on his commitment to material research and building technologies. Aleksey also sits on the career pathways and culture committees for the AIA of New York. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from The Cooper Union.

Tom Maldrie
Workplace Transformation Lead, Verizon
Jill Marchick
Associate Vice President, Consumer Insights, Aramark

Jill pursues the art and science of decoding consumer behavior. For the past two decades, she has used her skills to achieve strategic growth and profitability goals for multinational companies in diverse global markets. Currently, she leads Consumer Insights at Aramark where she identifies consumers’ preferences, thought processes, and behaviors for clients and internal teams in order to increase engagement and sales. Before joining Aramark, Jill spent more than 10 years with global responsibilities at The Hershey Company and Starbucks, directing a variety of research efforts in Asia, North America, Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East. Prior to that experience, Jill worked for Nestlé and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group in their insights groups.

Melissa Marsh
Leading Workplace Strategy & Occupant Experience at Savills Studley; Founder & Executive Director of PLASTARC

Melissa leads the occupant experience discipline at Savills Studley, which leverages the tools of social science and business strategy to help organizations make more informed, data-driven, and people-centric real estate decisions. Savills Studley is the nation’s leading commercial real estate services firm specializing in tenant representation. Melissa is also the founder and executive director of PLASTARC, a workplace innovation and organizational strategy firm helping clients leverage their spaces for optimal experience and performance through the power of social research and design analytics. Melissa brings her passion for the user experience of design to her work, dedicating her career to shifting the metrics associated with workplace from “square feet and inches” to “occupant satisfaction and performance”.

Peter Miscovich
Managing Director, Strategy + Innovation, Jones Lang LaSalle

Peter develops corporate strategies and workplace transformation solutions for global client organizations. He serves on the Accenture Technology Vision Board, the CERES Presidents Advisory Board and the Board of the Regional Plan Association (RPA), leading global organizations focused upon innovation and systems transformation. As an executive management consultant serving Fortune 100 companies for more than 25 years, Peter is recognized as a global innovation thought leader by Accenture, The Brookings Institute, CERES, Columbia University, CORENET Global, The Conference Board, The Partnership for New York City, The Urban Age Institute, The Urban Land Institute, and The Woodrow Wilson Center.

Ben Munn
Managing Director, Solution Development & Consulting, The Instant Group

Ben is widely recognized as one of the leaders in flexible workspace. Ben leads the Solution Development group at Instant, focused on building strategies and propositions for customers to drive flexibility and agility into their businesses. He has spent his career advising companies on how their workspace can support the achievement of their business goals. In his role, Ben is also responsible for developing the market proposition, market engagement, and advising how the Instant Group’s extensive market data is leveraged for the benefits of clients.

Rosa Riera
VP, Employer Branding and Social Innovation, Siemens

In her role at Siemens, Rosa oversees the transformation of the Siemens employer brand. She is passionate about innovative solutions for collaboration in the workplace and believes that creating the right conditions for talent to thrive will become an ever more pressing concern for ambitious businesses. She sees herself as an HR immigrant, having started her career in communications and marketing and moving into the HR field only recently. Over the past 16 years, Rosa has worked in Siemens’ industry and healthcare segments at various locations in Germany and the United States.

Diana Rhoten
Managing Director, IDEO

Diana is an associate partner based in IDEO’s New York office. She works with organizations to reimagine who they are, what they do, and how they do it. Drawn to big challenges and opportunities, she actively helps IDEO and its clients effect change at scale through the design of new offers, ventures, and partnerships. Diana has worked in and across business, government, and philanthropy, exploring the potential for organizations to innovate with both social and economic impact. Today, Diana is thinking hard about questions like: What are the shifting roles of business, government, and philanthropy in society? How can brands create new offers and experiences that inspire broader societal change? How might we human-scale actions into design purpose-driven movements that drive large-scale change? How do we as designers lead this kind of change through tangible prototypes of what the future could be?

Philip Ross
Futurologist & CEO, Cordless Group & UNWORK

Philip is an author, consultant, and commentator specializing in the future of work. He predicts the way that new trends and forces such as emerging technology will shape how we work, live, learn and enjoy leisure. He has written a number of books on the future of cities, work and workplace including The Creative Office, The 21st Century Office, and Space to Work (all co-authored with Jeremy Myerson). He has also contributed to a number of other books including The Corporate Fool and The Responsible Workplace.

Gerard Taylor
Creative Director, Orangebox

Gerard designs premium residential projects, mostly in London for private clients, ranging from substantial properties in Notting Hill to Bankside penthouse apartments, to Mews houses in Belgravia. In addition to his retail and residential work, Gerard has also specialized in contemporary workspace design and over a twenty-five-year period has undertook major office furniture projects for Knoll, Steelcase, Bernhardt, Sony and the Skandinavisk group. Recently he has collaborated closely with the Irish Designer Orla Kiely to develop her brand, developing retail projects on a global scale with stores in London, New York, Hong Kong, and throughout the Far East.

Clive Wilkinson
Design Director, Clive Wilkinson Architects

Clive is an architect and strategist working at the intersection of urban design, architecture, and interior design. His large-scale projects for Disney, Google, Macquarie Bank, FIDM, Microsoft, and Nokia have established new paradigms for building creative and educational communities. While innovative in its architecture, his design process is primarily focused on the social agenda of buildings. Clive was inducted into the Interior Design “Hall of Fame” in 2005, nominated as a “Master of Design” by Fast Company in 2006, and won the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Interior Design in 2012. With over 120 design awards to its credit, Clive Wilkinson Architects is an acknowledged global leader in workplace design.

Kristi Woolsey
Practice Lead for Creative Environments, MAYA

Kristi is the practice lead for creative environments at MAYA, a design and technology innovation consultancy. She is well known as a behavioral strategist specializing in the impact that the physical, digital, and cultural environment has on human behavior. Kristi began as a researcher focused on the influence physical environments have on behavior. She left academia to found Woolsey Studio, providing Architecture, Interiors, FF&E, and construction services. She then combined her interest in business, organizational psychology, and physical place to move into management consulting and most recently has been inventing around digital/physical space integration.

Amit Vaidya
Head – Markets & Strategic Customer Programs, EdgeVerve Systems Limited


Natalie Grasso Cockrell
Natalie Grasso Cockrell
Natalie is a Workplace Consultant at Herman Miller and the former Editor of Work Design Magazine. She’s currently based in Pittsburgh.
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