To advance its goal of creating better learning environments for students and educators, Natural Pod™ is adding two senior U.S. leaders who will help the Canada-based company expand its impact in the education sector.
Joining the team are Michelle Carpenter, Chief Strategy Officer, and Casey Demers, Solutions Partner. These two savvy education design leaders will help Natural Pod™ bring its exceptional customer service and innovative support to educators who are working to create better learning environments that are practical, healthy, and sustainable.
Natural Pod holds holistic learning environment change and positive impact on people and planet as its core values. As CEO and Founder Bridgitte Alomes was exploring team expansion, she sought partners who shared these values. "We are a furniture company," Alomes says, "but we function as a change management organization in some ways. We support educators who are thinking broadly about how space supports the learning experience. Furniture is part of delivering on that possibility, but it involves health, sustainability, indoor/outdoor connections, and more. When partnering with educators, our team works to encourage students to have ownership of their learning outcomes and experience -- the environment in which they learn is a part of that process."
Alomes sought Carpenter out after the two met at an education industry event in 2018, where they connected over a deep conversation around what education could be if student and educator voices and experiences were actively part of the planning equation. Carpenter will be the "bring it to life" component of Alomes's vision of ensuring that every learner and educator has a practical, healthy, sustainable environment to learn, enabling them to reach their full potential. Carpenter joins Natural Pod after working with Herman Miller and Shaw Contract, two companies who also focus on the people learning and working within the environments they create.
"There is nothing quite like seeing the faces of students and educators when they see their new learning environments that a team visioned and brought to life with them in mind," Carpenter says. "Those smiles and wide eyes are what makes this work fulfilling and meaningful."
Demers is also passionate about creating spaces that set children, like her daughter, up for success as they learn to understand the world and their surroundings. As a Solutions Partner, Demers will join the Natural Pod team in partnering with school leaders, educators, architects, and designers to create learning environments that support optimal teaching and learning experiences. Demers joins Natural Pod after a long-time presence in the furniture industry with a furniture distributor and Herman Miller, both where she created dynamic learning environments.
"Facilitating a planning process that considers the overall space design is key," Demers says. "When all the elements of a space come together with intention, furniture included, a space can drive engagement, foster creativity, and set the stage for a transformative experience for students and educators. When a sustainable footprint is also present, the impact is even greater."