IFMA NYC Webinar — Return to the Office: How are companies preparing for the returning workforce?


May 05, 2020 | 11:00 AM EDT - 12:00 PM EDT
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Zoom Webinar |


Missed the webinar? No problem! Check out IFMA NYC's Youtube page to view our past events. 

Free Webinar! Join us for a new series about returning to the workforce. Instructions to join will be distributed the day before the event.

All registrants (regardless if you were able to join or not) will receive a link to view and listen to the session via IFMA NYC's Youtube page after the webinar has been completed.

Join us for the first webinar in our new series discussing how companies are preparing for the returning workforce.  This first session will be a high level discussion on the following topics:

  • How companies are preparing for the returning workforce
  • What challenges companies are trying to solve for
  • What lessons they are learning from other locations


IFMA NYC has assembled a panel of subject matter experts to lead this discussion on strategies being considered from the perspective of the End User, Owner’s Rep, Architect and MEP Engineer.


Mindy Williams 
Vice President of Client Relations at L&K Partners

Mindy Williams-McElearney is a Vice President at L&K Partners Inc., a general contractor and construction management company based in New York City. She has over 25 years of experience working in partnership with the real estate, design and construction industries. In this position, Mindy collaborates with the firm partners to bring strategic vision and direction on all marketing, branding and client-relation initiatives. Her previous work experience at design firms and furniture companies, as well as her involvement with CoreNet and IFMA, lends a unique perspective on industry trends and market trajectories.

Mindy is extremely involved in several industry organizations. She served as the President for the IFMA NYC Chapter from July 2017 to June 2019, serves on the CoreNet NYC Special Interest Group committee and is on the AHRC Golf Committee. Mindy is also actively involved with the Special Olympics of New York and was honored at their 2017 Gala for her commitment and dedication to the organization.

Prior to joining L&K Partners Inc., Mindy worked with IA Interior Architects as their Director of Business Development, served as the Business Development Manager for TSC Design Associates and spent 13 years at Knoll, Inc.


Kirsten Beck
Principal, Project Management – NY at Avison Young

Kirsten Beck is the Principal in charge of Project Management for Avison Young’s New York City office.  With 20 years of project management and managerial experience, Ms. Beck is responsible for overseeing project management activities in the New York metro area, including owner and tenant representation for ground-up, interior renovation, infrastructure upgrade, and capital improvement projects. Ms. Beck has performed or managed nearly five (5) million SF of projects totaling $1 Billion.

Prior to joining Avison Young, Ms. Beck was employed with The Walsh Company for five years and managed many high-profile and complex commercial interiors projects, as well as lab spaces and restaurants.  Prior to joining The Walsh Company, Ms. Beck served as Facilities Project Manager for Champion Mortgage where she was responsible for the interior renovation of Champion’s 200,000 SF Corporate Headquarters in Parsippany, New Jersey as well as the renovation of Champion’s three regional sales centers in New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts. Ms. Beck has a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from Project Management Institute (PMI).

Ray Ehscheid 
Principal, Director of Client Services at IA Interior Architects

Ray Ehscheid is Principal and Director of the Client Services at IA Interior Architects. In this role, Ray spans his over 25 years of senior-level client-side experience and serves to focus IA’s work with its retail clients across their Global Portfolio.

Ray’s career has included dynamic leadership roles with a diverse group of recognizable brands and global retailers like Bank of America, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s, and Reebok. He’s been recognized and awarded for his work across a broad span of environments within wholesale, retail, franchise and tradeshow exhibit design. 

Ray has been featured in a range of national and international publications, has spoken at major industry events and has juried design competitions across the globe. Ray is a member the Editorial Advisory Boards of both Contract and design:retail magazines and is now serving as International President of the Retail Design Institute (RDI). Ray resides in New York City.

Robert Ioanna
Senior Principal at Syska Hennessy Group

Rob is a Senior Principal and Board member of Syska Hennessy Group in their New York Office, with over 20 years of HVAC engineering experience in the commercial buildings market. His expertise in HVAC systems includes building designs for Under Floor Air Distribution, Passive/Active Chilled Beams, Dual Temperature Chilled Water Systems, Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems, Central Station AHU and Energy Recovery.

Some of Rob’s notable projects include Verizon’s Baskin Ridge Headquarters, Verizon 140 West St Post 911 Rehabilitation, Goldman Sachs Salt Lake City, JP Morgan Chase 270 Park Avenue (LEED Platinum), Wells Fargo NY Headquarters, Blackrock NY Headquarters, Capital One NY Headquarters and BBVA Bancomer Tower Mexico City.

Rob has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Binghamton University in New York and sits on the engineering advisory boards of both Binghamton University and Hofstra University. He is a professional engineer in numerous states. Additionally, he is LEED AP certified, sits on the ACEC NY LL97 Energy Code Committee and is affiliated with ASHRAE, NYC Building Congress and ACEC. Rob is a member of Building Design + Construction’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2016 and a recipient of ENR New York’s Top 20 Under 40 in 2014.

Scott Leister 
Managing Director, Global Head of Real Estate and Facilities at Blackstone

Scott Leister is Managing Director, Global Head of Facilities and Real Estate for Global Corporate Services. He oversees facilities, corporate real estate, design and construction, and critical systems.

Before joining Blackstone, Mr. Leister worked at KCG Holdings, Inc. as the Global Head of Real Estate, Facilities and Administration where he managed a comprehensive global services team across multiple functions. Prior to KCG Holdings, Inc., Mr. Leister had consulting experience in the areas of land development and civil engineering, as well as general construction.

Mr. Leister has a BS in Civil/Construction Engineering from Temple University and an MS in Civil Engineering from Drexel University.

John Vazquez
Senior Vice President Global Head of Real Estate & Supply Chain at Verizon

John M. Vazquez is Sr. Vice President & Chief Supply Chain Officer and Head of Global Supply Chain and Global Real Estate. John oversees 30,000 contracts and is responsible for a $50B annual Sourcing managed spend; he is also responsible for over 107M square feet of real estate, 4,700 facilities and 1,700 retail stores in 56 countries. John manages 3,000 real estate and supply chain professionals and oversees an annual budget of $4B.

John has been interviewed by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Bloomberg News and was named CoreNet’s 2016 Corporate Real Estate Executive of the Year.


By registering for this event you agree that you (and your guests, if applicable) have read and agree to IFMA NYC's Professional Standards & Code of Conduct and consent for your image or likeness to be captured in a photograph or video and possibly used on the organization’s website(s), newsletters, board reports, social media platforms, and/or other organizational materials and that you understand that you are not eligible for compensation for the use of any of these photo(s)/video(s) and may not be informed in advance of the specific use of those images


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