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The Future of Workplace Design

  • Hopewell Works 130 E. Chestnut St. Columbus, Ohio 43215 (map)


Gone are the days of a sea of gray cubicles and a sad water cooler.

Today’s top companies are battling to attract and retain top talent by offering stylish workspaces that bring their brand’s culture to life, promoting innovative thinking and collaboration. From seamless integration of technology to health and wellness initiatives, corporate offices and co-working spaces alike are increasingly seen as cultural hubs made to support our evolving lifestyles.

The Columbus chapter of the American Advertising Federation has gathered industry professionals to lead a panel discussion covering key macro trends that are impacting today’s work life and how what that means for the future of workplace design.  

The Participants:


Alexis Michalovich, Founder and Interior Designer at G. Everett Interior Design & Project

Alexis Michalovich is owner and founder of G. Everett Interior Design & Project Services, a full service interior design and environmental design studio located in Columbus. Alexis studied interior design at The Ohio State University and has since left her mark in retail, residential and commercial design. Her diverse experiences have trained her both in residential interior design and in the fast-paced world of retail—where she spent years designing stores for some of the top retailers. Prior to G. Everett, she worked for a Fortune 100 company, designing and shaping unique office spaces across the country.


Carolyn Taylor, Lead Environmental Designer at treetree  

Carolyn began her career in museum design and has focused heavily on environmental branding for over 14 years. As lead designer for all environmental projects, she is an expert in bringing a brand to life in three dimensions. From concept to elevation to material specifications to completion, Carolyn is passionate about creating great spaces that tell brand stories. Some of her environmental work lives in the halls of the ESPN main campus, the Nestle Marysville Research and Development facility and throughout Nationwide offices.

Steve Calhoun, Creative Director at WD Partners

With over 25 years of experience in interior and industrial design, Steve brings a unique perspective to his work. He is responsible for developing design strategies, creative concepts, and full implementation for a variety of retail brands. This includes the oversight of all environmental design and graphic direction, as well as architectural production associated with each and every project. This requires knowledge of materials, and their qualities. Steve excels at developing productive and effective relationships with his clients, including CVS, Aramark, Krispy Kreme, Sonic Automotive, Gatorade, Express, Starbucks, Abercrombie & Fitch, and more.  

Michelle Fenstermaker, Strategy Director at FITC

Michelle leads a team of researchers and strategists who develop, implement, and analyze primary research that can be used to inform branding, positioning, retail, and customer experience innovations. With over 20 years of experience in retail insights and strategic planning, Michelle was named to Path to Purchase Institute’s list of Faculty Members in 2013 and included in the Who’s Who of Shopper Marketing in 2012, 2013, and 2014. Previously, Michelle spent 13 years at FITCH, before acting as principal at her own firm Research by Design and then Executive Director of Strategy and Insights at WD Partners. Her broad industry experience includes consumer packaged goods, retail and foodservice brands such as P&G, Sherwin-Williams, Enterprise, Under Armour, Starbucks, and 7-Eleven.

Matt Freedman, SVP, Branding at Continental Office

For more than 20 years, Matt Freedman has been building brands and leading teams in both agency and client settings. Matt joined Continental Office in 2016 to lead the company's Branding division. Prior to Continental Office, Matt led the client service team at Ologie and previously worked in account management roles at Ryan Partnership and Flair Communications. His background includes a strong history of brand development, consumer promotions, retail merchandising, events, sponsorships and strategic planning for clients in financial services, higher education, consumer packaged goods, pharmaceutical and food and beverage industries. When he's not in the office, Matt devotes time to his wife, three daughters, and the "Fry Out Cancer" non-profit that he established to raise money for The James. Matt earned his Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Master of Sports Administration–both from Ohio University.


Continental Office has been creating, building, and maintaining great spaces for 80 years. Today, the company offers furniture, floors, interior construction and branding that inspires clients to change the way they work and think, all while igniting their culture. In combining interior design expertise with graphic design capabilities, Continental Office's unique branding solutions tell clients' stories through physical surroundings and create memorable experiences for associates and guests.