GCUC North America Fundamentals of Flex: Meet the Speakers

By Stormy McBride On February 13, 2023 In GCUC North America

GCUC North America Fundamentals of Flex: Meet the Speakers

Many landlords, investors, developers and budding entrepreneurs are looking to shift into the flexspace market now that the focus is on our sector. Is this good news for our industry? It can be if the new players enter the arena with a quality offering.

This is where we lean into our collaboration over competition roots and offer up our expertise. The coworking world is a community with the interest of our members at heart, we want to make sure that the industry keeps community and collaboration at its core which is why we have set up a course to educate the new comer.

The details:

The Fundamentals of Flexspace course is led by industry professionals who will teach the critical learnings for Flexspace design, management structures, technology, operations, partnerships & community building all in one day in Chicago.

Coworking and flexible workspaces are booming in today’s workplace trends and we are one step ahead with our Fundamentals of Flex sessions.

Session One: Building and Marketing your Brand

TAUGHT BY: Cat Johnson, Founder of CJ CO

How do you differentiate your coworking space and brand from all of the rest? We will teach you. The objective of this session is for you to understand what sets your business apart and how to market and sell that difference. Attendees will learn how to create an engaged and loyal member base and community by harnessing the power of your mission, vision and story.

Cat Johnson is an industry-leading content strategist and coach for coworking space operators. She hosts Coworking Convos and runs The Lab marketing club for workspace operators and teams. Based in Park City, Utah, Cat also hosts the Coworking Out Loud show and regularly shares resources and tips across her channels. A longtime writer and creator, Cat is all-in on coworking, content and community. Learn more at catjohnson.co.

Session Two: Real Estate and Financing


The industry is evolving and so are the financing methods. Before you enter the space you need to get a good grasp on all of your options. Do you bootstrap, partner, buy outright, take investment or other creative options? Once you have that down, your proforma has to work. The objective of this session is for you to walk away knowing your options and feeling confident in creating a financial model that will not only work for you but show you the path to profitability.

Giovanni has been in commercial real estate for over 17 years. He is passionate about working with companies to understand their real needs, creating a strategy and helping them implement. He values being an extension of his “clients” team.

Recently, Giovanni’s career focus has been on the flexible workspace industry. He has consulted and helped flexible workspace operators, companies and landlords with their business strategy, with a specialization in their overall real estate strategy. His work has included helping Executive Workspace, a startup operator and investor, launch and grow to 18 centers in less than 18 months. This growth was achieved through acquisition of existing operations and new spaces. Prior, Giovanni spent five years as the Regional Real Estate Director for Regus, where he first applied his retail knowledge to the flexible workspace segment. His experience with creating and implementing a real estate strategy helped him do over 55 deals for Regus across the country.Giovanni now finds his purpose in partnering directly with operators to achieve their business goals.

Session Three: Space Design and fitout


Hate to say it, but it’s not just about the community. Community thrives in a well designed and activated space. The difference between a well designed and activated space and just another space that looks good is make or break. It’s not all spec suites and it most certainly is not all open workspace.
The objective of this session is for you to understand how flexible/coworking space design is different from just designing a space that looks good. You will have a new understanding of the importance of wellness, why you need to invest in it and how you can monetize it. You will understand some of the new trends and practices coming your way and which ones you can put aside.

Mara founded 25N Coworking, a space to work for those seeking productive workdays supported by an existing network of friends, family, and acquaintances. She wanted to foster a place where coworkers could seamlessly flow from private, focused work to making useful connections. Mara guides the client’s “big idea” to an executable design that focuses heavily on brand building and high-level analysis including programming, product & amenities mix, adjacency diagrams, and fleshing out an often-overlooked question: “Who Do You Serve”? To date, Mara has led ideation sessions for over 40 existing coworking companies startups.

Session Four: Hospitality and Community Building

TAUGHT BY: Dr. Tammira Lucas, Founder of The Cube Cowork

Member engagement and satisfaction is critical to your success as a flexspace owner. You will leave with an understanding of how the community aspect of coworking and flexspace sets it apart from traditional real estate offerings.

The objective of this session is for you to understand the “secret sauce” of coworking. You will understand what it takes to build community. You will learn why you need to invest in things like events, services and training that will activate the space, community and eventually your bottom line. This course hits the big four: hospitality, amenities and services, community and, lastly, people vs. space.

Here at GCUC, not only will we teach you to build it, we will immerse you in ours. How’s that for a real time demo?

ecognized as one of Baltimore’s Top 40 under 40, Dr. Tammira Lucas is a thought leader who has quickly emerged as a trailblazer among millennial professionals and a powerful voice for communities locally, nationally, and internationally. Dr. Lucas is the founder of The Cube, Cowork, the largest black women owned coworking space in the United States that provides babysitting services. Dr. Lucas is a strong advocate for women in business especially moms.

With her dedication to ensure that all moms have access to resources and support to balance their careers, businesses and family, she cofounded The National Association of Mom Entrepreneurs (formally Moms As Entrepreneurs). The National Association of Mom Entrepreneurs, provides advocacy, support, and resources for mom entrepreneurs. Dr. Lucas is an Author, Speaker, Philanthropist, and Professor. Dr. Lucas has dedicated her life to focusing on building stronger and equitable communities through leadership, education, social innovation, and entrepreneurship. Dr. Lucas holds three degrees in business including a Doctor of Business Administration. Her biggest prides are her daughter, Ryann, and husband, Robert.

Session Five: Technology and Operations


Unless you are an IT guru, technology can be overwhelming and difficult to navigate (SO MANY OPTIONS). The business is complex and so are the systems to run it. Let’s talk about where to invest and where to tread lightly.

The objective of this session is for you to leave with a clear understanding of the product roadmap for flexible space. You will have a good understanding on where to invest and how to pick the right technology for your business. We will also cover the pitfalls, gotchas and areas we wish we would have had guidance on when building out our own spaces. This is an in depth one. We will discuss software, hardware, maintenance, security, monitoring, documentation, planning, wifi strength and more. Come prepared to take notes (and adjust your tech budget).

Barbara is the founder of The Satellite Workplaces and Satellite Deskworks, which started their first coworking center back in 2009. Her team has worked to build community-based centers that are accessible and can operate effectively with just one staff person, and Satellite Deskworks makes all of this possible. Barbare is very passionate about making a positive change in the workplace and is concerned about the impacts that come from any change within the coworking workplace.

To get tickets and more information please take a look at the full agenda here. If there is someone you know that could benefit from this course, we would appreciate a referral.