Atlanta Workplace 2013 by Rolanda Mitchell, Coca-Cola

Atlanta Workplace 2013 proved to be another hit amongst the attendees.  A great team worked tirelessly to put this event together.  From the keynote speakers to the session speakers and exhibitors, all who attended found something to gain from the experience.  The $99 fee was one low price for a day of courses and networking which also included breakfast, lunch and parking.  The program was well worth your time and effort to come out and spend a day networking and learning from industry professionals.

Keynote Speakers:

Kevin Johnson, Senior Advisor for Economic Development at Invest Atlanta was the morning keynote speaker.  He shared some of the ways he develops and implements strategies to drive economic growth and development for Atlanta.  His work creates capital investment as well as new jobs for the city.  Invest Atlanta is involved in every aspect of our economic growth from business development and affordable housing to redevelopment and transformative city initiatives such as the Atlanta Beltline. 

Ryan Gravel, Senior Urban Designer at Perkins+Will in Atlanta was the afternoon keynote speaker.  Ryan’s 1999 master’s thesis was the original vision for the ambitious Atlanta BeltLine.  The BeltLine is a 22 mile transit greenway that transforms a loop of old railroads with light-rail transit, parks and trails to generate economic growth and protect quality-of-life in 45 neighborhoods throughout the central city.    Ryan argues that as we begin to solve the problems we have created as it relates to suffocating traffic, etc., we are given a unique opportunity to re-shape our communities into a metropolis where we all would want to live.

Courses I attended:

In “Session 1”, I attended “Sustainability is in our Nature:  The Real Life Story of UPS.  This course was led by Patrick Browne – Corporate Sustainability Program Manager – UPS.  Patrick discussed how UPS remains a worldwide corporate leader in sustainability practices.  He pointed out UPS’s approach to sustainability and its focus on specific issues and initiatives.  He also shared how UPS uses sustainability to drive business results. 

In “Session 2”, I attended “Generational Preferences”.  This course was led by Kylie Roth – Director of Workplace Strategy at Knoll.  Kylie explained how today office design is dominated by the world view of the Baby Boomer generation.  She noted that by 2020 Generation Y will comprise over 50% of the workforce.  To attract and retain Gen Y workers, companies will have to provide work-spaces and facility programs that align with their needs and preferences.  Kylie identified in this course ways generational preference impacts the workplace environment. 

In “Session 3”, I attended Design Session 3 – “Phone Booth & Mailboxes”.  This course was led by Derek Rusch – Teknion.  Derek shared how technology and mobile work practices may be making the workplace obsolete.  He stated that more employees work from home today than 5 years ago.  In the presentation Derek explored the advantages of mobile work trends and analyzed the world’s most innovative mobile workplaces. 

All three courses were interesting and insightful.  In each there was something I could take away and use in my daily work. 


There were 30 exhibitors who attended Atlanta Workplace.  Booths were provided for each vendor where attendees could visit and network.  Exhibitors provided information on their companies as well as momentums for attendees to take with them.