“Out of our Denver office, we do work for national, global and local clients,” Williams noted.
With that kind of perspective, Williams has the pulse of the real estate needs of corporate clients.
On Nov. 2, Williams will moderate a panel, Corporate End-user Outlook, as part of the halfday Future of Office Space conference.
I gave you a sneak preview of that conference from the perspective of another moderator, Tami Door, CEO and president of the Downtown Denver Partnership, in my CREJ column, Rebchook Real Estate Corner. The conference runs from 7 until 11:45 a.m. and will be held at the Hyatt Regency Aurora-Denver Conference Center.
The conference warrants another look in part because of the panel Williams is moderating.
Her panel members include two giant powerhouses, Microsoft and TIAA (formerly TIAA-CREF) Financial Services.
From Microsoft, Michael Shelton, a senior real estate portfolio manager, will be on the panel, while TIAA will be represented by Craig Dunn, a senior director for corporate real estate. TIAA is one of the world’s largest real estate managers.
“TIAA is a client of IA and I reached out to CoreNet to get additional panel members,” including Shelton, Williams explained.
The panel also will include Alec Wynne, the principal and managing director of Avison Young, DePizzol, executive vice president of CBRE, and Megan Walsh, principal of Catalyst Planning Group.
While Williams has not yet met with her panel members, corporate users face some big issues, especially in a city like Denver, where the unemployment rate is low.
“There is a war for staff,” Williams said.
“People are moving to Colorado every day, but it it is still increasingly difficult to recruit and retain the best and brightest people.”
Often, the paycheck companies can offer employees is capped.
Step in the work environment.
“I think the space does matter,” Williams said.
While every company is different, that might mean providing a residential-style workplace, open seating, phone booths for private conversations, desks where workers can sit or stand, upscale coffee and juice bars and water hydration stations.
“Beer and wine taps have been very popular,” she noted.
Despite advances in technology that make working from home or a coffee shop easier than ever, that doesn’t appear to be the wave of the future.
“We actually have seen quite a few of our clients turn the tables on that,” Williams said.
“They had a lot of people working remotely and they are purposely creating cool, new space to encourage people to come into the office. I think people by nature like to have a sense of community,” which can only be found by working together, Williams said.
“Are offices of the future going to be different? Of course. We now have co-working space, for example. And even in suburban offices, you are increasingly seeing touchdown areas,” where people can informally gather to brainstorm.
“The office is not going away, it is evolving,” Williams said.
I told her I had only one last question.
“How did you get the name Kindell?”
“It was my parents,” she laughed. “They came up with it.”
The Future of Office Space conference will be immediately followed by another CREJ-sponsored conference, the 2017 Commercial Interior Architecture & Design Conference & Expo.
That conference will run from noon until 4:45 p.m.
Mark Cheeks, a senior project manager at Elsy Studios, will provide the opening remarks.
The Trends in Multifamily and Condominium Design panel members will include:
- Bobby Long – principal and design director, Kephart;
- Angela M. Harris – principal, creative director, Trio Environments Inc.; and
- Nathan Sciarra, associate principal, KTGY.
The Trends in Hotel Design panelists will include:
- Jim Johnson – founding partner, Johnson Nathan Strohe;
- Ramona Burns – associate, Gensler; and
- Tarah Schroeder, – principal and director of sustainability, Ricca Design Studios.
That panel will be moderated by Rebecca Stone, managing principal, OZ Architecture.
Panel member for the Trends in Health Care Design will include:
- Margie Snow, CHID, AAHID, ASID, principal, Gallun Snow Associates;
- Lauren Amber Prestenbach, director of interiors, Powers Brown Architecture; and
- Mary Morissette, principal, Hord Coplan Macht.
That panel will be moderated by Rebecca Brennan, principal, Design Studio Blue.
Panel member for the Trends in Retail Design will include:
- Jeff Sheppard, principal, Roth Sheppard Architects;
- Kimberly Timmons-Beutner, principal, Kimberly Timmons Interiors;
- Peter Karpinski – co-founder and chief operating officer, Sage Restaurant Group; and
- Abigail Plonkey – associate principal, director of brand experience design, OZ Architecture.
That panel will be moderated by Jake Linzenmeir – principal, Bespoke Concepts.
The Thought Leadership panel members include:
- David Daniel – principal, Davis Partnership Architects;
- And Lynn Coit – president, Elsy Studios.
Other panelists and a moderated are to be added at a future date.