Tag Archives: Turning Point

Turning Point Series Speaker – Jan Johnson, FIIDA


Jan has spent her career strengthening the correlations between business strategies and the planning, design and management of work environments.

Prior to joining Allsteel Jan practiced as a designer for several years, then as a strategic planner and workplace consultant for Perkins + Will and HOK/consulting (now advance strategies.) While with HOK she worked on site at sun microsystems for several years and co-led the team that developed Nortel networks’ groundbreaking workscape improv program.

Jan is highly respected as a workplace strategist and frequently writes and speaks about workplace topics. She was co-chair of IIDA’s knowledge center during its development and currently serves on the council for interior design accreditation board and on the knowledge advisory panel for Corenet Global’s -workplace community. She has taught courses in Corenet Global’s master of corporate real estate (mcr) program since 2009 and recently helped develop the core competencies that define workplace strategy and the related content for Corenet Global’s three new MCRW courses.

Jan contributes to setting Allsteel’s annual research agenda and to interpreting Allsteel’s and others’ findings into a rolling three-year product development strategy. She is also frequently involved in the development of new products.

She has a B.S. in interior design from Purdue university and an MBA from Indiana university.


Download a copy of Worker Effectiveness and the Role of Place, a white paper written by Jan Johnson. Click here for a brief video.

Please join us for the Fall Turning Point Series, “The Powerful Impact of Design Thinking & Social Innovation.”

Join us for an evening with a diverse panel of mission-driven experts in workplace strategy, social work, environmental psychology, and interior architecture & design.

Main Speaker
Jan Johnson, FIIDA, VP Workplace Advisory Resources, Allsteel
Read her full bio here.

Click on a Turning Point Series location for tickets:

Inland Empire
October 1st, 5 – 7:45pm
G|M Business Interiors
1099 W. La Cadena Dr., Riverside, CA 92501

San Diego
October 2nd, 5 – 7:45pm
Alexandria Real Estate Equities
10996 Torreyana Rd., San Diego, CA 92121

Los Angeles
October 3rd, 5 – 7:45pm
Allsteel Showroom
555 S Flower St., Ste 3420, Los Angeles, CA 90071

Orange County
October 4th, 5 – 7:45pm
4675 MacArthur Ct., Ste 100, Newport Beach, CA 92660

Turning Point Moment- David Fridlund


What do drums, office assistants & Hong Kong have in common?

They tell a great story of Turning Point Moments in David Fridlund’s path of development. David has over 40 years of experience in the design and architecture profession with multiple client types throughout the US and internationally. Please join us in welcoming David as President of our chapter in July!

Growing up in rural Wisconsin, Dave found himself aspiring to be a professional drummer in high school. Conventional wisdom told him to find another career instead of setting himself up for a long road of a starving artist. Since Architecture has been called “frozen music”, he decided to go to architecture school and pursue a more “sensible” degree in architecture at Arizona State University. Little did he know upon graduation, he was faced with one of the biggest recessions.

As a fresh graduate in 1976, after selling his 1964 Ford Mustang convertible to pay the rent, in desperation he took a job as an office assistant- filing, mailing packages, and running prints at a tiny firm that few people know about… Gensler. In hindsight, he says it’s the best starting position in the company, because “you really get to know everyone in the firm and when the right time comes, you know who you want to work with.” After 6 months, David transitioned to the boards at Gensler. While he left his office assistant responsibilities behind, he took away a foundational lesson in business that continues to open doors in his career today- Building a good relationship is a two-way street. Know what you can do to help others, even before they sense a need.

Once David moved onto the design side, he was like a fish in water and quickly given career advancement and project opportunities such as Korn Ferry Int’l in San Francisco, BankAmerica Int’l, Lowe’s Lincoln Square, New York and Sony Pictures Entertainment, Culver City to name a few. His work took him across the US in multiple offices. He dedicated himself to building a diverse project portfolio, and a thriving office culture of openness and mentoring to the younger staff in different office locations. He was working so much that he finally decided to take a vacation from work in Hong Kong- which would alter the rest of his life shortly after.

Can you guess it?! Hint, it’s a good thing that most of us looks for in life. :-)

He fell in love.

Despite of what conventional wisdom tells us about falling in love overseas, this experience awakens a deep recognition that there is so much more in life than work. He chose to leave everything he’s built in the US to follow his heart, relocating to Hong Kong to start a new office there and work with clients throughout Southeast Asia, which ultimately led him back to the US.

When I asked his about what he would say to his younger self, he smiled and says, “Embrace diversity and embrace change on your path. Don’t hesitate to jump off the cliff when your heart tells you to jump. And, yes, keep playing the drums!”

Christina Huang
Vice President of Professional Development IIDA SoCal Chapter
Allsteel Architect + Design Manager Los Angeles

Turning Point Moment – Dan Stover


“I hit rock bottom when I was in college. I lost my will to live” Dan shared candidly when I ask him about a significant turning point moment that influence his professional development. In hindsight, he is able to see now the biggest blind spot that eventually caused him to hit rock bottom was the lack of self- awareness in his own feelings and thoughts, which eventually lead to a perpetual buildup of depression.

In the workplace, something similar could be taking place, as Dan explains “when we are not aware of what we are thinking and feeling on the inside, or, when we are unaware to how we are reacting to people, deadlines, customers or projects in the workplace. The internal reactions are actually energy that typically has nowhere to go but stuffed down. The reason we don’t allow those emotions to surface is because many of us were never thought how to be authentically expressive with our emotions in a way that will not get us fired. So most people decided it’s better to stuff feelings and thoughts down, because the risk of being authentic is too high. It’s actually a learnable leadership skill to use both negative and positive emotions productively in conversation at work. The alternative to authentically expressing our emotions is we end up walking around as pressure cookers or we become physically sick.”

Dan’s early 20’s experience is not unique- 16 million adults in the US and 350 million worldwide suffer from depression. His 2nd turning point moment is a simple but powerful decision he made after he lost his will to live: he decided to ask for help.

Dan entered in a group therapy program available at the local hospital, where he received the help he needed, and a tremendous awakening of the power of vulnerability- that creates remarkable connection and deep relationships. When he finished his treatment, he felt a deep desire to pay it forward by volunteering on the suicide hot line to help others who may share similar struggles.


Today Dan earns his living as an executive consultant who coaches leaders and CEOs on emotional intelligence and organizational strategy.

IIDA SoCal is thrilled to have Dan as facilitator at Turning Point Series Summer Workshop in June in all four city centers on Assertive Communication. Here is a 5 min talk Dan gave called Brain of a Leader.

Christina Huang
IIDA SoCal VP of Professional Development
Allsteel Architecture + Design Manager

Turning Point Series


IIDA SoCal Professional Development proudly presents the new Turning Point Series–taking professional growth and development to a whole new level! 

Are you ready for TRANSFORMATION on your path of professional development?

Are you ready to SET yourself UP for SUCCESS for the new year? 

Are you ready to INSPIRE the change you wish to see in our industry? 

If your answer is yes to any of 3 questions above,  YOUR VOICE is needed at the upcoming Turning Point Series, join a dynamic group of main speakers and local panelists in an interactive workshop format and take the next step towards your turning point! 

Click here to reserve your seat and get your ticket.