Sunday, April 8-Wednesday, April 11

in Albuquerque, NM at the

Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa


Amanda Schneider

MONDAY KEYNOTE: Contract Furniture's Tectonic Plates


Amanda Schneider, LEED AP, MBA is a researcher, writer, consultant and founder of Contract Consulting Group. Amanda is a strategic thinker with a strong background in industrial design, market research, product management, sales, and strategic launch practices with a breadth of furniture companies within the interiors industry. Amanda’s creative process stems from her education in Industrial Design from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, while her natural business sense is augmented by her MBA from the University of Iowa. She is passionate about studying the latest workplace trends to make meaningful connections for the contract furniture industry and regularly blogs about them for the Huffington Post and other various industry publications. When she’s not busy working in her suburban Chicago office or visiting clients, you can find her trail running at freakishly early hours of the morning, dreaming about that book she’ll write someday, or ambushing her secret stash of dark chocolate and red wine.

Sophie Wade

Workforce Innovation Specialist

Sophie Wade is Founder and Workforce Innovator at Flexcel Network. Sophie is an authority on Future-of-Work issues that encompass attracting, engaging and retaining talent; empathetic leadership; employer branding; managing distributed workers; intergenerational communication and new career paradigms. She helps companies transform and future-proof their work environments, creating compelling, progressive and talent-focused, digitally-integrated workplaces. 

Sophie is the author of Embracing Progress. Next Steps for the Future of Work which was released in May 2017, and writes articles and interviews regularly on Future of Work topics for various online publications. She has lived and worked in Asia, Europe and the U.S. with a strategy and finance focus. Sophie serves on the National Association of Women Business Owners’ Presidents’ Assembly Steering Committee. She has a BA from Oxford University and an MBA from top international business school, INSEAD.

Keri Stewart, CPBC

Professional Development Track

In 2004, Keri was hired for a sales position with a consulting company. Instead of starting in sales, they had a gap elsewhere in the organization and plugged her into it. She dove into certifications to master this new position of facilitating workshops for adult learning and coaching for improved performance. Over the next four years, Keri traveled across the country, training in large corporations, an underground silver mine, manufacturing facilities, financial institutions and even a national laboratory. In these training environments she helped solve many challenges within organizations. Through these trainings she gained the education, tools and productive results that she brings to sales professionals nationwide.

Janet Collins

Manufacturers take a deep dive into the inner world of targeted dealer personas

Janet Collins is a market strategist with a proven track record of success in key leadership roles in all size businesses, most recently as President of GMi Companies.  At GMi, Janet led the company’s strategic transformation into the contract furniture market – now a significant growth engine for the company.  She’s an expert at navigating multiple market channels, while finding focus, meaningful differentiation, building relationships and innovating for growth.  Now, as an independent consultant, Janet is passionate about helping leaders transform organizations, through developing strategic focus, high performance cultures, and organizational alignment to deliver top and bottom line results.  Prior to GMi, Janet held Marketing Vice President positions at WorkflowOne (now Standard Register) and LexisNexis.


Josh Kerst

Ergonomic Evangelist

Josh Kerst, CPE, CIE, is Principal Ergonomist with Safco Products.  Josh is an experienced, passionate and thoughtful leader in the field of ergonomics with an emphasis on activity-permissive designs that positively transform the way people work.  Josh has design experience spanning across a variety of environments including educational settings, manufacturing, laboratory, office, entertainment and warehouse operations.

Notable Ergonomic Design Collaborations & Product Validation

  • Swiffer WetJet
  • Herman Miller Aeron Chair & Steelcase Leap Chair
  • Recycle One – Multi-purpose recycling collection vehicle and carts
  • McDonalds kitchen/restaurant/food storage layout
  • Set and wardrobe design for Broadway musicals ‘Wicked” and “Shrek”
  • Mogo, Pivot, Mobis and Locus stand-assist seating and standing desks

Josh holds a BSE (U of Michigan) in Industrial Engineering and is a Certified Professional Ergonomist (CPE), Certified Industrial Ergonomist (CIE) and is a Member of the ANSI/BIFMA X5.1 Office Seating, ANSI/BIFMA X5.4 – Lounge & Public Seating, and ANSI/BIFMA X6.1 – Educational Seating committees. Josh is a noted speaker who has participated in the fast paced Ignite Talks, ErgoX, Applied Ergonomics Conference and UCLA Ergo Symposiums. 



Workplace Furnishings, Inc.:
 3574 East Kemper Road | Cincinnati, OH 45241 | (513) 563-0048 | email