Meet the Team
ThinkLab is Researching the World of Design
ThinkLab is the research division of Interior Design Magazine. We are a diverse group united by our expertise in, and love for the world of design. Immersed in this industry, we have daily insight into the challenges of both the architects and designers, and the consumers who hire them. We leverage these insights along with varied market research techniques to uncover relevant trends and opportunities that connect back to brand and business goals in a thought-provoking, creative, and actionable way.
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Amanda Schneider, LEED AP, MBA is a researcher, writer and founder of ThinkLab. Amanda is a strategic thinker with a strong background including industrial design, market research, product management, sales, and strategic launch practices with a breadth of 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 industry and regularly blogs about them in 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.
Olga Odeide, LEED AP, is an interior designer and strategist who thrives at building successful long-term partnerships with clients. Olga started her career in electrical and computer engineering with her degree from Clemson University. Her success in this field involved her in a large-scale commercial campus makeover that sparked her love of interior design. With an interior design degree from the Art Institute of Charleston, Olga brings the perfect balance of tactical thinking and creative strategy to her new-business development role. Olga is outgoing, energetic, and committed to best-in-class client engagement and solutions—a natural fit for ThinkLab! She gets fired up when presented with a marketing problem or is asked by clients to find new ways to engage and connect with their target audiences. An on-the-go city dweller, Olga is a seasoned traveler, repeat TEDx attendee, and fitness instructor who enjoys the vibrant Washington, D.C., community in which she resides.
Erica Waayenberg, LEED AP, is an interior designer, marketer, and a strategy-minded problem solver. Erica embraces design thinking with a career that has encompassed interior design, sales, strategic program development, marketing management, and consulting within the design world. Erica’s enthusiasm for design and how we connect to our surroundings was fostered in her education in interior design from Michigan State University. She is passionate about the creative process, authentic marketing, the built environment, and connecting people with inspired and thoughtful design. To her role at ThinkLab, Erica brings a well-rounded industry perspective paired with eagerness to inform and inspire industry members of all types through research-based insights. Outside of her office, Erica loves to travel, be outdoors, dive into messy creative play with her boys, and savor great conversation with friends and family over coffee or a French 75.
Project Manager & Creative Direction
Project Manager & Creative Direction
Allison Roon is an interior designer, marketing strategist, and storyteller. With deep roots in the contract furniture industry, Allison offers unique insight to what makes spaces and stories meaningful, and how they can be used to engage an audience and impact change. Allison has her BA in Interior Design from Kendall College of Art and Design, and went on to get her Masters in Adult and Higher Education from Grand Valley State University. With a background as Director of Design, Marketing & Product Management, Allison has an incredible ability to create meaningful conversations around the future of work and workplace, and draw out information and conclusions from client discussions that lead to high level product and market strategy decisions. Her energy is contagious, and communication style engaging. Aside from work, Allison loves sneaking out for a run with the dog along West Michigan’s lakeshore, meandering through a greenhouse, and scouring Zillow in case the next fixer upper catches her eye.
Project Manager, CEU Development & Training
Giselle Walsh, Project Manager
CEU Development & Training
Giselle Walsh is a corporate trainer, sustainability guru, and avid researcher. With 20 years of experience in the commercial wallcovering industry, what makes her an exceptional asset as a consultant is her innate ability to communicate technical details to an audience conversationally and a contagious enthusiasm that engages her audience to learn. One great example of this was partnering with BIFMA to take on the monumental task of creating a CEU, “Demystifying Furniture’s Role in Sustainability” in an effort to explain the interrelations of all the different rating systems in a simple, understandable way and train the presenters to master the content as well. Giselle’s background in sales leadership makes her an intellectual asset for CEU training and presentations just like this one. She has her BS in Business Administration from Culver-Stockton College and loves to cook, read, and volunteers her time running ZeroLandfill Chicago, a volunteer organization committed to saving design samples from landfill.
Janet Collins is a growth facilitator, coach, and organizational strategist. Janet has a proven track record of success in key leadership roles, including as a former president of GMi (Ghent), pioneering companies into new vertical markets while providing focus and innovation for growth. Janet has her BS in Business and Marketing from Miami University. With more than a decade of experience as an independent strategy and marketing consultant, Janet’s global thinking, outgoing personality, and passion for organizational transformation and clarity make her an exceptional sounding board for difficult leadership strategy discussions. Methodical in nature, Janet excels in leveraging research to guide clients to make key business decisions with ease. Outside of corporate transformation, Janet doesn’t start her day until she has had her early morning run, and is passionate about serving on the Board for the Countryside YMCA, located near her home outside of Cincinnati Ohio.
Katie Shaykin is a writer, social media strategist, and communications consultant. Katie specializes in blog, byline, white paper and press release creation, in addition to her extensive experience in digital marketing including website content creation, social media, and SEO analytics. Katie earned her BS in integrated marketing communications from Illinois State University. Her experience in a multitude of industries including two Fortune 500 companies, gives her a results driven mindset for her clients marketing initiatives. Katie’s passion is listening to her clients story and translating that narrative into a powerful message that connects them to their target audience. Outside of her passion for the written word, Katie loves to cook and can often be found trying new recipes with her three small sous chefs in her suburban Illinois home.