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A Conversation with Kristen Conry and Randy Howder: Workplace Design

February 5 at 11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Taubman College alumni Kristen Conry (Marriott) and Randy Howder (Gensler) conduct a conversation with Dean Jonathan Massey on Workplace Design, sharing experience and brand design work in hospitality, office, and retail contexts. The conversation will center on changing how and where we work, drawing from each of their respective roles.

Randy Howder

Portrait of Randy HowderAs both Co-Managing Principal of the Northwest region and Co-Managing Director of the San Francisco office, Randy focuses on helping transform clients’ organizations through new approaches to design, research, and experience. With a background in strategic consulting and workplace design for a diverse range of industry-leading clients, Randy is always questioning how spaces work while striving to find ways to make them more effective and more resilient. He has been a featured speaker at SXSW, the Design Management Institute, CoreNet Global, the China International Construction Fair, Neocon, and other international design conferences. Randy has written about design and urban issues in the Bay Area and beyond in HuffPo and The San Francisco Chronicle and his work has been featured in Interior Design, Metropolis, Fast Company, Forbes, and the Economist. In 2015, Randy was named one of the San Francisco Business Times’s “40 Under 40,” an honor that recognizes individuals who “embody perseverance, vision, passion and innovation.” Randy currently serves on the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning’s Dean’s Advisory Board and on the Board of the Bay Area Council. He holds a BS in Architecture from the University of Michigan and a Master of Architecture from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

Kristen Conry

Portrait of Kristen ConryKristen Conry is an architect and hospitality design leader, serving as Marriott International’s Senior Vice President Global Design. In this role, she leads a global team of 300+ architects, designers, project managers, and creative professionals overseeing the architecture and design work on Marriott’s growing portfolio of 30+ brands and 8,600+ hotels around the world. She and her team work closely with Marriott’s network of thousands of owners and world-class architecture and design firms as champions of design excellence in support of Marriott’s purpose to connect people through the power of travel.

Kristen joined Marriott in December 2020, and prior to that, she served as Principal and Managing Director of Gensler’s Chicago office. Prior to this, Kristen held several design roles over her twelve-year tenure with Hyatt Hotels Corporation.

Kristen serves on the board of 826 National, a nonprofit organization dedicated to youth writing. She holds an MBA from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management and Master of Architecture and Bachelor of Science degrees from University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. She is a licensed architect and LEED Accredited Professional.


February 5
11:30 am - 1:00 pm
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Art & Architecture Building, CMYK
2000 Bonisteel Blvd
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 United States
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