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CRAVE 12/15/20: The Future of "Food at Work"

Tuesday, December 15, 2020 to Tuesday, December 15, 2020
Virtual Event Boston, MA, United States
Full Price: $0.00 (Login to see your member discount)


This will be a virtual meeting.

Please register through this page and you will then receive an email with a link to access the webinar within 24 hours.

This Webinar meeting will be a for Sponsors and Members of CoreNet Global New England only.


Event Name:              The Future of “Food at Work”

Event Date:                December 15, 2020

Event Start Time:      12:00 pm

Event End Time:       1:00   pm

Event Location:         Zoom Webinar



What role will food play in bringing people back together and how will the future workplace need to respond?

Food has been a source of camaraderie and connection for many years and prior to the pandemic, food at work was accelerating at a lively pace.  Many organizations have adopted a robust food service program with coffee bars, curated artisan food halls, and dynamic delivery models. This evolution of hospitality inspired experiences in the workplace has had a positive impact on organizations such as:

-        an increase in employee satisfaction and performance

-        attracting and retaining talent

-        creating a sense of community and connection to culture

-        amplifying creative thinking, collaboration, and innovation

-        fostering wellness initiatives

As our industry reimagines the future workplace, we see a refocus on these benefits amplified by socialization being one of the top reasons why employees want to come back to the office.

Join us as we look at food service through a new lens.  We will dive into topics like sustainability and wellness initiatives, design implications, real estate strategy, and innovative ideation around safety and facility protocols.


   Sara Ross, Associate Principal and Director of Corporate Services Studio at Dyer Brown

As director of Dyer Brown’s Corporate Services studio and an Associate Principal of the firm, Sara brings to bear years of experience working for interior architecture firms in Syracuse, Los Angeles, and Boston. Her responsibilities include managing accounts and projects locally and nationally — including for Fortune 100 companies — and working with their real estate and facilities teams to incorporate their organizational goals into the implementation of standards and design. With a dual degree from Syracuse University in Psychology and Interior Design, Sara has nurtured a talent and passion for building and maintaining client relationships. She is especially adept at engaging with clients in visioning and planning, identifying specific goals and untapped resources along the way, and translating the information generated into innovative and cost-effective design solutions and long-term real estate strategies.



   Gretchen Fisher, Managing Director Corporate Real Estate at Manulife

At Manulife, Gretchen is responsible for the comprehensive property and facility management services for the Corporate Real Estate portfolio in the US and Europe. Within this role, she focuses on providing a safe, comfortable, efficient, and productive work environment for Manulife/John Hancock employees and building tenants.

Previously, Gretchen acted as Vice President, Location Strategy and Research for Scape Living Student Accommodation (“Scape”) in the U.S. Within this role, Gretchen identified key markets for Scape’s expansion into the U.S., working closely with their finance and construction teams to measure the economic feasibility of various opportunities.  Prior to this, Gretchen was the Head of Global Resource and Location Strategy at MetLife where she developed the domestic and global location strategies for an 11 million square foot portfolio encompassing 58,000 employees in 48 countries.  Gretchen’s 20+ years of commercial real estate experience also includes positions managing investments at MassMutual and Aetna, as well as corporate consulting at CBRE.

Gretchen holds her MBA in Finance from the Eli Broad School of Business at Michigan State University and received her BA in Social Science, also from Michigan State University.


 Matthew Mayerhofer, CxA, CEM, LEED AP Infrastructure & Sustainability Engineer at Tripadvisor

-        BS Mechanical Engineering, Union College

-        10 Years of Commercial HVAC design and Building Systems Cx

-        Joined TripAdvisor's OfficeX (Office Experience) team as the Mechanical Systems Engineer 2016

-        Responsible for design, O&M and Performance of MEP systems

-        Coordinating / creating the company vision for the “E” in ESG


   Steve O’Brien, Vice President at Fooda

With more than 20 years of executive management experience in the service industry, Steve O’Brien possesses a wealth of knowledge in strategic assessment and planning, leading and motivating people, operations management, and customer and client relations. 

While working for one of the largest global food service providers in culinary, operations and sales, he was honored with multiple awards including Chef of the Year, Culinarian of the Year, Manager of the Year, and the President’s Circle award. 

Steve O’Brien is also a professionally trained executive chef and the owner of BRGRBELLY, a Chicago burger bar he founded in Chicago. Additionally, he is a VP at Fooda, a Chicago-based technology company that helps local restaurants sell lunch to professionals at work.


   Karen Bala, Director of Design at Dyer Brown

Karen Bala is an architect and thought leader who received her Master of Architecture degree from the University of Florida. Recently elevated to Director of Design at the Boston-based firm Dyer Brown, she has developed a diverse portfolio of award-winning buildings, spaces, and products. With concepts derived from biology and natural systems, she has designed numerous built environments for Dyer Brown, partnering with corporate, nonprofit and higher education organizations – among them Northeastern University, global engineering firm Arup, Manulife/John Hancock and various Fortune 500 corporations. Mixing high- and low-tech design elements and a passion for deeply understanding each end-user, Karen successfully creates academic and work environments for clients that are comfortable, dynamic, and productive.


Max Capacity:  500

Pre-Registration Deadline: December 14, 2020


*IMPORTANT NOTE* Please check your spam/junk mail for webinar confirmation details if you don't receive it in your inbox within 24 hours of registering. If you do not receive an email confirmation, please contact Debbie Crooks ( Webinar links will come from If your organization’s email server is not receiving these, please contact your organization’s IT department to make sure is white listed by your company’s email server. For further details visit this link.


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