Board of Directors

Matt Edlen

Board Chair • Director of Acquisitions and Development at Gerding Edlen

Matt Edlen oversees acquisitions and development in the Midwest and East Coast for Gerding Edlen’s various investment funds. Matt is responsible for sourcing, negotiating and executing on investment opportunities across key urban markets within those regions.

 

Prior to his role in acquisitions, Matt was focused on the development and management of the firm’s internal multifamily marketing and sales platform. His efforts have helped the firm invest over $500 million worth of real estate across the country in cities such as Seattle, Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Boston, and Chicago.

Scott Englander

President at Longwood Energy Group LLC

Scott Englander heads the Longwood Energy Group, a consulting firm advising major firms and governments around the world in clean and renewable energy, electricity market economics and operations, and regulatory policy. Scott has also been leading transportation and urban planning initiatives through local government appointments, as an elected official, and through non-profit leadership.

Lauren Jezienicki

Board Vice Chair • Bozzuto Development Company Senior Vice President

Lauren Jezienicki serves as Senior Vice President of Development in the Boston regional office and is responsible for identifying development opportunities and overseeing the day-to-day development coordination of the company’s New England projects.

Prior to joining Bozzuto, Lauren worked at The JBG Companies, where she served as a Vice President of Development responsible for the underwriting, design, entitlement, construction and delivery of nearly 1M square feet of urban multifamily projects.

Lauren graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor of Business Administration and from Columbia University with a Master of Business Administration with honors.  She sits on the board of the Design Museum and is an active member of the Urban Land Institute among other real estate industry organizations.

Emily Klein

Principal, Flexwork Global

Emily Klein has extensive experience in corporate strategy and organization development and helps companies achieve success by designing strategic workforce initiatives that strengthen mobility across the enterprise, achieve cost avoidance and build high performance teams.

Emily has created strategic, performance and change management plans and designed learning and development programs that have been highly regarded among executives and managers across the public and private sectors. With a passion for business transformation, Emily has authored articles on the mobile workplace, workforce trends, enterprise collaboration tools, workspace redesign, evolving corporate cultures and managing complex change. She is also a co-author of Workshift: Future-Proof Your Organization for the 21st Century (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).

Elizabeth Lowrey

Principal and Director of Interior Architecture at Elkus Manfredi Architects

Elizabeth Lowrey is a Principal and the Director of Interior Architecture with Elkus Manfredi Architects. She has been responsible for the interior design practice of the firm since its founding in 1988. A pioneer in the design of environments for corporate, hospitality, residential, and academic clients, Elizabeth is an innovator who blends design ideas drawn from different project types.

Her work for trend-setting international hospitality and retail clients such as Walt Disney Imagineering, Westin, and Four Seasons informs her residential and academic work, and workplace projects for leading national businesses including Fidelity Investments, Boston Consulting Group, and Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Elizabeth is on the editorial advisory board for Contract magazine and is a speaker at design forums as well as a guest lecturer at academic institutions.  

Leila Mitchell

Creative Director & Founder, LLM Design

Leila Mitchell is an architect, graphic designer, brand and marketing strategist with 25 years of experience. Together with the firm she founded, LLM Design, Leila focuses her efforts on changing the experience of place through thoughtful and creative solutions.

 

With a BS in Architecture from The University of Virginia and an M.F.A. from the Dynamic Media Institute at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Leila’s education and experience led her to find strong positioning as leader of her craft. Starting as a designer for an architectural firm in Baltimore to being a Creative Director and Associate Principal at Neoscape in Boston, she has worked with award-winning studios.

As the Founder and Creative Director of LLM Design, Leila has had the opportunity to work with a diverse roster of clients on a variety of exciting projects including commercial interior architecture, brand identity, wayfinding and signage programs, print and web design, branded interiors, and film. Her process begins with engaging the collective voice and ends with capturing the audience with a compelling story. Leila’s collaborative, approachable, and responsive attitude has resulted in long-term client relationships. Inspired and driven by design and creativity, Leila consistently challenges her team to successfully articulate the value LLM delivers to its clients.

In addition to her work with LLM Design, Leila is a professor at Wentworth Institute of Technology, College of Architecture and Design. She lives in Milton with her husband Jeff and their 3 children, Maxwell, Maya and Lucy, but continues to be grounded in her southern roots.

Scott Stropkay

Partner, Essential Design

As a founding partner of the innovation and design consulting firm Essential Design, Scott manages a wide range of client and business design activities. Prior to founding Essential, Scott established and led a multi-disciplined design team at IDEO. Scott was a Director of Design at Gillette, and he began his career at Fitch where he built a product design team in their Boston office.

Scott writes about design-driven futures, is the recipient of many international design awards and holds a wide range of utility and design patents. Scott earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Cleveland Institute of Art.

“Design is a big idea; it’s more than the products or communications in our world, which we design directly. Design is about taking charge, planning, envisioning, and affecting outcomes to make things better. Designing at Essential is exciting because we’ve attracted super creative, dedicated, and inspired people who get what it means to innovate; balancing intuition with research, creativity with practicality, newness and familiarity, and playfulness with drive. Our clients appreciate our ability to tackle complex problems and they know we’ll add value where it matters.”

Matt Templeton

Senior Director of Innovation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

Matt Templeton is an artist, designer and educator. His work has been exhibited internationally, received critical acclaim and is in various collections and publications. He has worked as a designer with businesses of all shapes and sizes. He has 15+ years of experience as a leader in business and higher education administration.

He is currently working as the Senior Director of Innovation at Blue Cross Blue Shield Massachusetts. He has 20+ years experience as a professor in art and design at many different schools including the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and RISD. The thread through all of Matt’s work is human-centered design; creative confidence; and helping people work with more skillfulness, effectiveness and delight. In his free time Matt enjoys surfing the cold waters off of New England and making music with his daughter. He plays well with others and always cleans up after himself.

Ashley Welch

Board Secretary • Co-Founder, Somersault Innovation

Ashley Welch is the cofounder of Somersault Innovation. Somersault Innovation is a Design Thinking firm which has pioneered a unique approach to sales development. They are teaching sales professionals the tools of design thinking to drive customer centricity and revenue growth.

Clients include Salesforce, Facebook, GE, Merck, and others. Somersault Innovation just published Naked Sales, How Design Thinking Reveals Customer Motives and Drives Revenue. Prior to Somersault Innovation, Ashley spent twenty years as a leading sales professional for a leadership development company. She also founded TEDxYouth@Wayland and lives outside of Boston with her family.

George White

Board Treasurer • Chief Innovation Officer, Cantina

George White is Chief Innovation Officer at Cantina, responsible for guiding internal innovation efforts as well as working with clients on building game-changing products. He has spent most of the last 25 years working to make technology and design that matters. As a developer and a designer, he has lead teams through complex and sometimes challenging projects.
His primary role these days is to support the efforts of others, sharing his experience and knowledge. Prior to Cantina, George worked for McGraw-Hill and Thomson Learning (now Cengage), and in product starts before switching to consulting at Bit Group. George has been a speaker, panelist, and moderator at many venues and events, including SXSW and Brighcove Play. He has lead design and prototyping workshops at SXSW and New.co Boston.
George is actively involved in the maker movement through networking, peer-led workshops, community outreach, and shared learning to help others. Exploring the intersections of technology and human expression, he works on projects that utilize 3D printing, CAD models, and microelectronics to explore electronic toys, home automation, and quantified self.