Collaborate & Create with us at Design Days in Chicago

Register Now

Collaborate & Create with us at Design Days in Chicago

Register Now

Visit our Fulton Market Showroom for inspiration, collaboration and more. Only a short walk or free shuttle ride from the Mart.


Mon June 12

8am - 5pm

Showroom Hours

12pm - 1pm

Partnering to Build a Circular Economy. Learn More

2pm - 3pm

Elevating Design Through Creative Collaboration. Learn More

3:30pm - 6:30pm

Rooftop Reception

Tues June 13

8am - 5pm

Showroom Hours

12pm - 1pm

The Impact of Materials on Social Equity and the Health of Communities. Learn More

2pm - 3pm

Creating Space for All: How Design Can Be the Catalyst Towards Helping our Neurodiverse Population Thrive. Learn More

Wed June 14

8am - 3pm

Showroom Hours

11am - 12pm

Student Edition: The Creative’s Journey. Learn More

  • Fulton East, 215 N. Peoria, Floor 10

    • 10,000 square foot showroom

    • 20 minute walk or quick shuttle from the Mart

    • Free shuttles every 20 minutes from the Mart

    • Rooftop patio with 360° view of the city skyline

    • Near MillerKnoll and Teknion Showrooms

  • Get Directions

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Collaborate & Create
June 12–14

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Partnering to Build a Circular Economy


  • Eric Nelson, Executive Vice President Sales and Business Development, Aquafil
  • Michael Orbank, Sustainability Manager, Northeast, STO Building Group
  • Rachel Palopoli, Director of Circular Economy, Tarkett


  • Roxane Spears, Vice President of Sustainability, Tarkett North America

Shifting from a linear economy to a circular economy, where waste is treated as a precious resource, is a complex proposition that requires change and innovation across the value chain. As practitioners in the building industry, we have a responsibility to establish robust collaborations with all partners who share an ambition to preserve resources and mitigate climate change.

Join us as our esteemed panelists discuss the opportunities, intricacies, and logistics involved in deconstruction, take back, and recycling. Discover actionable steps that you can take to have a positive impact in facilitating the shift to a circular economy.

Eric Nelson

EVP Sales and Business Development

Eric has more than 30 years of experience in the carpet, flooring, and fibers industries in a variety of areas including product development, sales, marketing, business development, sustainability, recycling technology and public policy. He currently is Executive Vice President for Aquafil Carpet Recycling based in San Diego. For the past 16 years, he has been focused on growing the carpet recycling industry in the U.S., and for the past 12 years he has been closely involved with California AB2398 and the California Carpet Stewardship Program that it created. Eric was one of the chief authors of the original stewardship plan written in 2011 when the program was launched. Also, he’s been a contributor to the evolution and implementation of the plan over the past decade as a manufacturer, a processor and a collector of post-consumer carpet. Along the way he served on the Board of Directors of CARE (Carpet America Recovery Effort), the Stewardship Planning Committee (Chair) the California Carpet Advisory Committee and the California Carpet Council (Chair). Eric graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Industrial Engineering) in 1991.

Michael Orbank

Sustainability Manager, Northeast
STO Building Group

Michael Orbank is a construction sustainability professional, working currently as the Sustainability Manager for the Northeast at STO Building Group. While typically assisting project teams with green building certifications, Michael’s professional passion revolves around the reduction of construction and demolition waste as well as the promotion of deconstruction and material reuse. Working with all construction stakeholders, Michael believes a zero-waste future for construction is possible through multi-disciplinary collaboration and jobsite innovation. Michael is a founding member of the Carbon Leadership Forum (CLF) Boston, where he currently chairs the reuse working group and leads efforts in New England to advance circularity in the built environment.

Rachel Palopoli

Director of Circular Economy
Tarkett North America

As the Director of Circular Economy, Rachel manages Tarkett’s Restart® program for take back and recycling. She is responsible for setting strategic goals and milestones to meet customer needs, address legislative changes, and achieve corporate targets for recycling. Rachel has over 20 years of recycling experience within the built environment and earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree at Hofstra University. Prior to joining Tarkett, Rachel held leadership roles with Planet Recycling and Aquafil where she led both organizations to strategically grow their recycling programs.

Rachel resides in Scottsdale, Arizona, with her husband and three children.

Elevating Design Through Creative Collaboration

We invite you to experience a hands-on creative exploration demonstrating the practice of collaboration. Tarkett’s vice president of design, Omoleye Simmons, will give an interactive presentation showcasing the ways her team collaborates in design thought and creative process. Audience members will participate in a series of collaborative exercises, and everyone will receive a canvas featuring art created by Tarkett designers, which resulted in the new Collaborative collection.

The Impact of Materials on Social Equity and the Health of Communities


  • Ren DeCherney, Lead, Built Environment, North America and Australasia, Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute
  • Benjamin Holsinger, Global Director of Resilience, Product Development, Gensler
  • Dr. John McKeon, Chief Executive Office, Allergy Standards Ltd.


  • Roxane Spears, Vice President of Sustainability, Tarkett North America

While respiratory illness is on the rise among all Americans, research shows it disproportionately affects vulnerable and disadvantaged populations. Since Americans typically spend 90% of our time indoors, good indoor air quality is a critical part of asthma and allergy management. But not everyone has equal or equitable access to healthy air.  As industry professionals, the material choices we make have a direct impact on indoor air quality and occupant health.  Our panel of experts will discuss the imperative of a holistic approach to product selection for a positive impact not just on the planet, but on social equity as well.


Lead, Built Environment, North America and Australasia
Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute

Ren is a licensed interior designer who helps designers and manufacturers translate their sustainability pledges into reality. Prior to joining the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, she worked in Portland as a designer, taking her firm PVC-free - the first firm in Portland to make such a commitment. She was the Director of Industry Transparency at Source, a digital materials platform, where she integrated sustainability filters into the platform. She then worked at the International Living Future Institute, overseeing the Declare and Living Product Challenge programs working with both designers and manufacturers to implement sustainability strategy into everyday practices.

Benjamin Holsinger, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Global Director of Resilience, Product Development

As Global Design Resilience Leader of Gensler’s Product Development practice, Benjamin provides guidance on sustainable qualities for our design teams and partner manufacturers – with a focus on reducing products’ impact on the environment and humans. He provides clients with strategic advice on how to position their brand to bring resilience to the forefront of their conversations, product development, and front-facing image.

Benjamin also works as a senior sustainability strategist, consulting with both project teams and clients to help them meet their sustainability goals. As a wellbeing strategist, he co-created Gensler’s point of view on wellbeing in the workplace, WorkWell™. Benjamin is focused on helping clients reach their future sustainability, resilience, and wellbeing goals, collaborating alongside Gensler’s Cities Climate Challenge goals for 2030.

Dr. John McKeon

Chief Executive Officer
Allergy Standards Ltd.

John is a medical entrepreneur and currently the CEO of Allergy Standards Ltd (ASL), an international standards and certification body, a company he founded while working as an Emergency Room doctor.  As founder he has led the development of an international intellectual property portfolio of patents and trademark applications and negotiated complex licensing agreements with multinationals such as P&G and 3M.

John is qualified as a doctor from Trinity College Dublin, is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, and also holds his United States Medical Licensing exams.  He maintains a keen interest in clinical medicine and has had several publications in medical journals.  After medicine John graduated first in his class from the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) Business Incubator Program, graduating with distinction from the DIT business school with a post graduate diploma in International Selling, and won the Docklands Innovation Park lead entrepreneur award.

Creating Space for All: How Design Can Be the Catalyst Towards Helping our Neurodiverse Population Thrive


  • Kay Sargent, Director, Global Workplace Practice, HOK
  • Sarah Oppenhuizen, Director of Interiors, HOK San Francisco Studio
  • Dr. Traci Callandrillo, Assistant VP of Campus Life, American University


  • Roxane Spears, Vice President of Sustainability, Tarkett North America

The world has awakened to the unique talents and challenges of our neurodiverse community, and the conversation is finally moving from the margins to becoming a key component of the inclusive design ecosystem. This brings new awareness to the complexities in creating environments that help everyone feel supported and welcome.

This session will focus on expanding our perspective of how designing well for neurodiverse individuals leads to better outcomes for everyone. The goal of any organization is to be inclusive and welcoming, from arenas and transportation hubs to offices and healthcare spaces. You will hear from a panel of experts who’ve worked across sectors to provide universal best practices that can be leveraged in your future projects.

Kay Sargent

Director, Global Workplace Practice

Kay is a director of HOK’s global WorkPlace practice. With a passion for using design to transform how and where people work, she spends her days (and many nights) working with clients on workplace strategy and design. Based in Washington, D.C., Kay leads project teams that solve clients’ business and organizational challenges related to real estate business process, strategic planning, workplace strategy and change management. She collaborates with organizations ranging from tech startups to Fortune 500 companies to optimize their real estate portfolios and create the most innovative work experiences.

Sarah Oppenhuizen

Director of Interiors
HOK San Francisco Studio

As director of interiors for HOK’s San Francisco studio, Sarah guides design teams and clients through all phases of project delivery. Her career includes design and management for complex domestic and international projects, including corporate workplaces, science and technology facilities, medical centers, government facilities and airports.

Sarah’s client-focused approach prioritizes step-by-step communication and feedback to ensure that projects exceed expectations and are delivered within budgets and deadlines.

Dr. Traci Callandrillo

Assistant VP of Campus Life
American University

Dr. Traci Callandrillo joined the American University team in 2007, and prior to her role as Assistant Vice President of Campus Life, she served as the Executive Director of the Counseling Center. Dr. Callandrillo has been engaged in a variety of national initiatives focused on mental health. She was a founding member of the Higher Education Mental Health Alliance (HEMHA) and a past Vice President of Professional Practice for the Society of Counseling Psychology.

Student Edition: The Creative’s Journey

Students, please join Tarkett’s talented product design team in discussing the many personal and professional opportunities along the creative’s journey. Each team member will share a candid conversation about their experiences in art, design, and how their creative paths led them to a rewarding career in flooring design. We hope to inspire you in your own creative exploration. The future is rich with opportunity. What will your creative journey be?

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