DAY ONE – Sessions


Keynote Speaker

Embracing the Future: Leveraging Emerging Technologies to Thrive in 2024 and Beyond

Mark Bryan | Future Today Institute

Mark Bryan is a Senior Foresight Manager at the Future Today Institute and leads the Built Environment, Hospitality, Retail, Restaurants & CPG practice. Prior to FTI, Mark worked as a workplace strategist, designer, design researcher, and futurist for clients across the country, most recently through his role as Director of Innovation + Research and Senior Interior Designer at an Ohio-based design and architecture firm.

Mark’s portfolio of clients includes national retail brands, higher education institutions, nonprofits, multi-family developers, healthcare systems, senior living facilities, restaurants, and large corporate clients. Mark has developed research surrounding what leaders need to know about the future of workplace culture and authored several whitepapers on topics such as co-living strategy, distance learning, and senior living facilities.

In his work at FTI, Mark has explored the future of communities, digital interactions, supply chain and logistics, geographic cities, and artificial intelligence’s impact on consumer goods and design.

Brief Summary of Keynote: The built environment industry is facing unprecedented challenges. Mark will explore the transformative impact of emerging technologies on the built environment. Delving into groundbreaking technological innovations, the keynote will highlight the role of AI, digital twins, additive manufacturing, IoT sensors, blockchain, immersive reality, and robotics in revolutionizing the industry.

Mark will explore how the convergence of these technologies can enhance predictive analytics, project management, real-time monitoring, rapid prototyping, safety, data transparency, and immersive collaboration. The session will also envision the next decade, presenting data-driven scenarios for technological integration, societal expectations, sustainability, and smart city development. After the keynote, attendees will be able to take part in an interactive roundtable workshop on Day 2 that will foster actionable discussions and collaborative strategies for implementing these opportunities and mitigating current and future threats.


Cogence Founders: Intro and History of Cogence, Impact, and Future

Facilitator – Pam Neckar | Impact Project Development



Track 1A: Don’t Accept Mental Health Differences at Your Firm, Embrace Them!

Could a new way of looking at mental health issues in the business world be key to stronger talent recruiting and increased profitability? DS Architecture’s Jeffrey Meyers has committed his firm to building a cognitively diverse workforce and has discovered significant benefits to successfully accommodating mental health conditions. From ADHD to Bipolar Disorder to Depression, mental health affects thousands of the most creative, productive, and essential professionals. Research shows that embracing the mental health of your employees has a powerful positive influence on efficiency, productivity, and employee retention rate. Meyers will share his personal story of creating an environment where neurodivergent people thrive and how to use a cognitively diverse workforce as a competitive advantage.

  • How to make mental health accommodation a foundation of a firm’s culture
  • Mental health diversity commitments today’s most sought-after talent wants to see from potential employers
  • Unexpected project execution strengths found in many with mental health differences
  • Creating outlets for discussion of mental health
  • Educating an entire business on destigmatizing mental health conditions

Jeff Meyers | DS Architecture

Jeffrey Meyers has been a family member at DS Architecture for 22 years, becoming a partner in 2010 and full owner in 2019. He has spent many years contributing to Northeast Ohio community. His passion for community development drives him to lead and support multiple philanthropic and service initiatives with seemingly boundless energy and enthusiasm. Jeff is inspired by any chance to unite people, around such issues as education, healthcare, architecture, public policy, historic preservation, diversity, and environmentalism, to name a few. His involvement has been greatly influential in developing leaders, raising awareness, and providing resources to communities.

Additionally, Jeff is a neurodivergent individual who is diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Bipolar is recognized as a disability both by the United States Government and by the state of Ohio. Jeff’s journey to partnership and ultimately sole ownership of a midsize architectural firm has had several obstacles related to his mental health condition. These impediments have created hardships that neurotypical individuals do not have to overcome. DS Architecture believes in educating all clients, consultants, contractors, and potential staff on, not only Jeff’s bipolar diagnosis, but mental health issues in general, within the AEC industry. #proudlybipolar.


Track 1B: Automation and Robotics

Summary of Track 1B coming soon!


Speaker Bio coming soon.


Track 1C: Building a Better Image: Elevating the Perception of Construction Trades

This panel will explore strategies to enhance public perception of careers in construction trades, with industry leaders discussing ways to combat stereotypes, showcase innovations, and emphasize the sector’s vital economic impact. The conversation will cover initiatives to attract diverse talent and promote construction as a field of skilled craftsmanship and professional growth.

Tim Linville | CEA (moderator)

Panelist: TBA




Track 2A: State of Construction Technology Investment

What up and coming technologies do investors have their eye on and how to reap the benefits adoption into your projects.

Tom Williams | Heartland VC

Tom joined Heartland in 2022 on the Community team. In this role, Tom leads engagement with LPs and Midwest industry leaders to ensure the Heartland’s portfolio aligns with their strategic and financial needs.

Prior to joining Heartland, Tom was at Forge Global doing secondary market transactions for equity in venture backed private companies. He has also worked in Commercial Banking and FinTech.

Tom is passionate about the economic and societal health of the Midwest. He is focused on helping local industry innovate and adopt technology. Tom is a native of Cincinnati and attended the University of Chicago, where he played basketball and received a B.A. in Political Science.


Track 2B: Accelerating Construction Workflows with Technology

Integrating Technology Stacks to Ease Information Sharing & Transparency Between Project Partners.

Brian Bruggeman | KLH Engineers

Speaker Bio coming soon.

Corey Smith | KLH Engineers

As the Director of BIM at KLH, Corey Smith leads a team of model managers in the creation and implementation of BIM standards across all market segments. He oversees the setup of Revit models, ensuring consistency and quality in construction document production. Corey collaborates closely with in-house software programmers to develop custom tools and workflows that enhance efficiency and accuracy.

A frequent presenter at the Cincinnati BIM User Group, Corey keeps Revit users informed about the latest advancements in BIM technologies. He has also presented on automating Revit add-in testing at Autodesk University, sharing his expertise with a broader audience.

In addition to his role in BIM, Corey is a Lead Mechanical Designer with extensive experience in designing commercial, retail, and hospitality buildings.

Corey holds a Bachelor of Science in industrial technology with a focus in computer aided drafting from Morehead State University.


Track 2C: Technologies In Construction Showcase

Case study overview of technologies that help support complete workflows with a focus on in the field tools.

Andy Burg | Messer Construction

Speaker bio coming soon.



Track 3A: Workspace Strategy: Is it where we work, or how we work?

Summary of Track 3A coming soon!

Pam Neckar | Impact Project Development

Speaker bio coming soon.


Jennifer Horvath | DesignGroup

“I was yearning to be challenged by my colleagues, and to challenge all those around me,” she recalls. “It was clear on day one this was the journey I could be on. Yet I couldn’t imagine how fulfilling working with this team would be every day. It continues to give back.”

A lot of that giving comes from her teammates, who continue to empower, challenge, and motivate her. DesignGroup’s uniquely collaborative spirit, the push and pull of vision and execution, is what drives her and everyone around her. As president of the firm, Jennifer’s role is to define and develop business, strategy, and growth. Not surprisingly, her favorite accomplishment isn’t a specific project, but the creation and cultivation of DesignGroup’s thriving Pittsburgh office. Growing it from an idea to a studio of 13 professionals is a career highlight.

Outside work, Jennifer loves spending time with family and friends – usually (no surprise) doing the entertaining. And when that’s not enough for her seemingly endless source of energy, she goes outside for a run. Nothing slows her down.


Track 3B: Creating a one-time kick-ass project team

Summary of Track 3B coming soon!

Tbd| Turner

Speaker bio coming soon.


Track 3C: Creating a Strengths-Based Culture

There are various methods of expanding your business, but cultivating a strengths-based culture is the most effective way to leverage your employees’ potential. This approach gives leaders a common language and tools to reinforce their dedication to the organization and creates teams that are flexible enough to thrive in the present and the future.

Edie Ricchiuto | Link 34 Consulting LLC

As a leader in government for 25 years for the City of Cleveland and Cleveland Metroparks, my goal was to develop, retain, and keep employees engaged. Concurrently, we identified future leaders and provided them with the tools to realize and focus on their strengths, leading to improved performance, confidence, and relationships.

I have coached leadership teams, developed team retreats, and coached more than 100+ individuals, providing them with simplified tools for self-improvement, which translates into motivated employees that achieve organizational goals.

Too often, we focus on an individual’s weakness; as a Gallup Certified Coach, I have been able to help others discover and develop their greatest talents. I believe in the power of investing in your talents and strengths to discover your passion and purpose in life.

Link 34 Consulting has transformational programs, courses, and tools to develop and improve individual performance, team collaboration, and leadership potential.