Sally Lawler Kennedy

North America Chapter Lead
& Community Management

Sally is a design thinker and creative problem solver working in the User Experience field. She started her career as a Mechanical Engineer designing handheld and laptop computers. Along the way, she fell in love with user experience design. Sally has spent 20 years improving people's lives by creating delightful experiences that humanize design. She is the Sr. Director of Innovation and Customer Experience at SAP AppHaus. The AppHaus team is responsible for delivering amazing and unforgettable customer experiences which contribute to the growth of SAP. As an Innovation Coach, Sally leads SAP customers out of their comfort zones into innovative design-led organizations. It was at SAP where she was trained and immersed in design thinking methodologies. Sally has taught and led design thinking workshops for some of the largest global companies, in a variety of industries. As a mom of two girls, Sally is passionate about introducing young girls to STEM and Women in Tech

Ariana Koblitz

Co-Community Management 



Ariana is currently at New York Life, introducing human centered design practices to answer questions on client and agent experiences. Prior to her time working in the financial service space, she has supported strategic direction setting in start ups, and conducting research in patient care and medical devices in design consulting

Danielle is a design thinker and strategist with a focus on user experience in enterprise technology and business processes. With a background in graphic design, user interface design and co-founding a technology start-up, Danielle is very passionate about applying design to all aspects of business. She has a Master’s in Design Management and is a Senior UX Designer at SAP AppHaus. Creative and curious by nature, empathetic and open-minded by experience, Danielle whole-heartedly believes that applying a human-centered approach to innovation, is the only way to discover the power of information, be inclusive and enable co-creation in order to solve complex, real world problems. Danielle is also a design thinking facilitator and an active Art Docent for the Los Altos Public Schools where she volunteer as an art teacher for grades K – 6th.

Andrew leads Starbucks discover+design team, a specialized design research group that applies human-centered design into Starbucks digital product development strategy. His passion is inspiring people to embrace human-centered design as foundational to uplifting the lives of others. He has spent the past 2 decades leading brand management, innovation, and design teams at organizations including Starbucks, Kraft, Taco Bell, CEB Gartner, and AON Hewitt. Andrew currently serves as a Fellow for The Aspen Institute, where he is able to apply the discipline of HCD to tackle social impact & sustainability challenges.

Virginia is an experienced public policy expert, with deep knowledge of both content and process skills. She uses and teaches Design Thinking to improve public policy and program design, and practices and teaches facilitation. Virginia consults with the Partnership for Public Service, working on improving cross-sector collaboration among federal, state, local governments, and the non-profit and business sectors in disaster planning, recovery, and mitigation. At the Department of Labor, Virginia worked for the Secretary of Labor's office on issues of employee engagement and innovation. She is passionate about process literacy and design. She has worked with leaders in organizations to teach them how to collaborate, build partnerships, have important conversations, send the right messages, and get things done. She has been focused on practicing and teaching process skills, and design thinking for the last 20 years. At DOL, she spearheaded the Customer-Centered Design Initiative, which trained over 2000 workforce development professionals in HCD. She has worked with IDEO focused on using HCD to help the unemployed have better customer experiences and better outcomes. Virginia has an extensive network of people and organizations throughout the country, has served on many boards, advisory groups, and commissions. She is an accomplished public speaker. Her consulting work includes facilitation, strategic planning, meeting and event design, civic engagement, collaborative processes, large scale system change. She has spent her career in non-profits and as a public servant with the mission of making government work better for vulnerable populations, focused on skills, employment, and training. Always searching for ways to involve more people, bring participatory methods into projects and organizations, encourage creativity and joy, Virginia is a change agent who is willing to tell the truth to improve lives.

I have over 30 years of experience in design and design management, an MA in Industrial Design from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design/UK, an Executive MA in Product Design and Development from the Northwestern University/USA, and a PhD in Design from Universidade Europeia focused on 'Design(er) Leadership in Large Corporations'. My career started in Portugal in 1989 as an industrial designer, to date I have formed and sold two product design companies, worked as a product Design Director in Barcelona and led as Chief Design Officer in a large Internet company. In 2011 I expanded my international experience and joined Masco as a Design Director working closely with Liberty Hardware and other Masco companies such as Delta Faucet and Kraftmaid. And then in 2016 I joined Philips Lighting, now Signify, as their Head of Design and User Experience / Americas, a company that has demonstrated that it can design the way we interact with light (think Hue!), and that will define how light impacts our everyday life at home, at work or in public spaces. I have also been very involved in and passionate about design education and entrepreneurship. Among other initiatives, I started a network of talented Portuguese industrial designers, and co-founded a non-profit organization dedicated to young entrepreneurship. I have been a guest speaker at numerous industry events speaking on design and design thinking, taught design to designers and non-designers at a higher education level, and have been a jury member at several design schools and competitions. I am a creative individual that works in partnership with business executives to translate and mediate design value into business ventures.



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