David Kinnaird, President, essensys N. America, has joined the Board of the Global Workspace Association (GWA). This time last year it was announced David would lead essensys' United States operation. With a successful 2016 and now, his appointment to the GWA board, David has been well received among our friends and peers in the US Shared Workspace industry.
We sat down with David to find out about his new role with the GWA. Here's what he had to say...
When did your relationship with the GWA begin?
I knew Martin Senn and Bill Grodnick from Davinci through a joint venture we had, running a virtual office service in the UK. Martin suggested that I come along to the GWA Conference in Boca Raton in 2014, and of course I jumped at that. Avanta had also looked at acquiring a US operator so it made sense to gain more knowledge of the US market. I established many friendships and professional relationships with U.S. industry influencers active in the association and stayed in touch with many of them despite my location in London and Martin and Bill remain firm family friends! This past year I attended my first GWA event as an acting officer of essensys and platinum sponsor. I was pleased to be included on the agenda as a panel leader.
How did your first GWA Board meeting go?
The GWA’s first meeting of 2017 was held just prior to the “Winterfest”, DaVinci’s annual industry event in Salt Lake City earlier this month. The board has a wealth of experience and the day-long meeting was a great chance to review what the GWA does and how it can best support its members and the industry as a whole. There was a real buzz around the table and I’m sure that the association will go from strength to strength.
How were you received by the GWA Board?
The board members have all been very welcoming of course! Jamie Russo, the Executive Director, has been nothing but encouraging about what I can bring to the table, from my general industry experience and operational awareness, to my specialist IT and systems knowledge.
What makes your appointment to the GWA unique?
I’ve been on the operator side for almost the whole of my career in the flexible workspace industry, so I can approach the role from that perspective. I’m all too familiar with the many pain points and challenges operators experience while managing the multiple complexities and business responsibilities that go along with running a flexible workspace.
Considering my activity within the global workspace market – from running multiple locations in the UK to fitting-out spaces in India – I feel that I bring a global perspective to a rapidly growing US shared workspace industry. Now, working with essensys and guiding our expansion into the U.S. I have spoken to so many operators that I feel I have a solid understanding of the U.S. marketplace and what operators on this side of the Atlantic are struggling with.
How will your previous involvement with the UK’s BCA impact your input in the GWA?
I chaired the BCA conference and know Jennifer Brooke well. I hope to foster greater collaboration with the UK-based Business Centre Association and encourage attendance at the US conference by UK operators and vice-versa. Where operators need help and guidance in their overseas expansion plans the GWA and BCA conferences should be at the top of any conference list.
What would you like to contribute to the GWA?
I want to support the board in any way I can, but my immediate objective is to support our main aim to build an even more compelling proposition to convert more workspace operators into GWA members and to get existing or new members to attend the conference. Shared experiences and shared knowledge will make the industry perform better as a whole. From offering standardized customer service training and establishing charter arrangements among operators to agreed property standards, my goal is to focus on rolling out more operator-focused benefits to GWA members with the support of my peers on the board.
Congrats to David on his appointment to the GWA Board. As always, essensys is a proud member of the Global Workspace Association and this year we look forward to participating as Platinum Sponsors at the conference in Miami at the Hotel South Beach from September 11th to the 13th.