Keynotes & Featured Presentations

As our world continues to change at a rapid pace, there is no shortage of issues to explore, analyze, and understand. MiniCon offers a captivating series of educational programs, presented by forward-thinking thought leaders.


Tuesday, 9/19, 9:00-9:45am

Safe and Welcoming Behavioral Health Spaces CEU

Behavioral health continues to be at the forefront of healthcare concerns, the pandemic only exacerbated a growing behavioral health crisis. With this recognition, comes questions on how to best serve patients. The built environment has a significant role to play in supporting physical and emotional safety. This CEU focuses on the key role furniture can play in behavioral health environments, delivering design principles that enhance physical safety for patients and staff, while also supporting the reduction of stress, fear, and anxiety to create spaces that promote positive therapeutic relationships. Frameworks and examples are given to help design safe and welcoming spaces.

Seth Starner
Seth Starner, Advanced Explorations for Steelcase Health
Tuesday, 9/19, 12:00-12:45pm

HCAHPS: What Does It Mean & It’s Role In Patient Communication & Design CEU

Every day a new acronym is thrown our way. While HCAHPS has been around for the better part of a decade, understanding how furnishing, particularly something as simple as a whiteboard, can affect patient engagement is confusing. This CEU will see to define HCAHPS and explain the key role furniture plays in achieving higher scores.

Woman in ball pit Tuesday, 9/19, 2:00-2:45pm

Designing for the Senses CEU

This course explores how to utilize the power of the senses to design an experience, not just a space. Participants will learn how to appeal to each of the senses to create deeper connections between their designs and the people who enjoy them.

Learning Objectives

  1. Define the senses and how to appeal to each of them
  2. Understand the power of each sense and why each one is unique and important
  3. Learn how to create multi-sensory designs and experiences that communicate a desired feeling
  4. Think outside the box + get inspired from existing sensory designs
Jamie Bush -
Regional Sales Manager at Ultrafabrics
Tuesday, 9/19, 5:00-5:45pm

Digital Component Construction: The Future of Construction

Prefab pioneer + Falkbuilt CEO, Mogens Smed, will give a lively presentation about the future of construction. Falkbuilt manufactures digital components and ships them to site for a fast and clean install, with far fewer materials, zero dust and virtually no waste onsite. Trades follow the same process as conventional construction but work anywhere in the schedule, in a quarter the time, with far more efficient use of labor. Falkbuilt is powered by Echo—a technology that creates an engineering-accurate model in the cloud, streamlining the process from design to manufacturing to installation.

Mogens Smed, CEO of Falkbuilt Ltd.


Class room raising their hand Wednesday, 9/20, 9:00-10:00am

Insights Into Education Grants & Philanthropy: Unlocking Funding Opportunities for Your School

Join us for an informative and empowering K-12 Grants and Philanthropy Panel, where education professionals, experts, and grant recipients will share invaluable insights into trends and navigating federal and state level grant opportunities and philanthropy. Panelists will also review effective grant writing strategies and tips for securing vital funds for your school.

Amanda Smith
Amanda Smith, Director of Penn State’s K-12 Engagement Network
Linda Krynski
Linda Krynski, Kidsburgh
Gaming Lounge Wednesday, 9/20, 10:15-11:00am

Esports and Gaming in Learning CEU

Apply strategies for making gaming spaces that support gamer performance while also supporting the scholastic and social needs of gamers as well. Also, Understand how learning spaces can be uniquely designed to enhance gamer wellbeing thru good ergonomic products and use of space.

Mary Nessler, Regional Education Leader at Steelcase
Office Wednesday, 9/20, 2:00-2:45pm

Acoustical Design for Today’s Buildings CEU

Have you heard a great building lately? How someone experiences a building relies on the experience of all senses including sense of hearing. As soon as someone or something makes a sound, the acoustic design becomes evident. Poor architectural acoustics can negatively affect building occupants’ concentration, comprehension, confidentiality, healing, and/or learning. By contrast, good sound qualities can add drama, vibrancy, and energy, enhancing the occupant experience. Join us to explore the many options available today that help architects design for acoustics without compromising their design vision.

Lauren Pataky
Lauren Pataky, Sales Executive at Armstrong Ceilings
Wednesday, 9/20, 4:00-6:00pm

ASID MiniCon Takeover

ASID is taking over MiniCon on Wednesday, September 20th–Western PA’s largest commercial design expo! Join us from 4-6pm for happy hour to network with fellow designers and meet ASID’s vendor partners.



Thursday, 9/21, 9:00-9:45am

Designing Better Futures for the Wellbeing of People and the Planet

The changing contexts and conditions of the world are placing new value, shifted expectations, and greater urgency on our planet and people. The demands of our stakeholders are evolving, requiring us to reestablish what it means to live our values in 2023 and beyond. This session will provide a grounded understanding of the changing landscape of environmental, social and governance issues, how Steelcase is meeting these evolving needs to design for the wellbeing of people and the planet, and why we believe business has an essential role to play in shaping our collective future.

Aileen Strickland -
ESG Strategy & Engagement Manager at Steelcase
Young People Working Thursday, 9/21, 12:00 - 1:00pm

Designing for Gen Z

With the shifting demographics in the workplace accelerated by the pandemic, Gen Z is now expected to represent 30% of the workforce by 2025. Join us as Steelcase’s Senior Applied Research Consultant Rich Benoit, Burns Scalo’s Senior Brokerage Advisor Ruby Scalo and NEXT Architecture’s Senior Associate Rachel Pless will discuss how each industry is preparing for Gen Z in the workforce and how Gen Z is influencing workplace design and strategies.

Rich Benoit
Rich Benoit,
Steelcase’s Senior Applied Research Consultant
Ruby Scalo
Ruby Scalo,
Burns Scalo’s Senior Brokerage Advisor
Rachel Pless
Rachel Pless,
NEXT Architecture’s Senior Associate
Thursday, 9/21, 2:00-2:45pm

Leveraging Inclusive Design: Enhancing the Experience for All

While most organizations agree they want to create more inclusive workplaces, many do not have a shared understanding of what that means or how to begin. Join Steelcase for a thought-provoking discussion on how inclusive design goes beyond codes and compliance to enhance experiences in the workplace and beyond. By recognizing and embracing intersectionality of diverse communities, we will uncover how companies are creating environments that prioritize inclusion, foster equity, and work better for all.

Kamara Sudberry – Global Leader, Inclusive Design at Steelcase
People In waiting room Thursday, 9/21, 5:00-6:00pm

Transforming Workplaces for Tomorrow Panel & Happy Hour

Join us for a dynamic panel discussion featuring Steelcase, Burns Scalo, PennEnergy Resources, and Franklin Interiors as they share invaluable insights on successful return-to-office strategies and the latest workplace & commercial real estate trends.

Gale Moutrey
Gale Moutrey,
VP of Workplace Innovation at Steelcase
Brian Walker
Brian Walker,
President of Burns Scalo
Cindy Bartram
Cindy Bartram,
Executive Admin Manager at PennEnergy Resources
Kate Herrera
Kate Herrera,
Senior Vice President at Franklin Interiors