As a services-focused economy, DC is home to a flourishing service design industry- mainly of US government organizations, but some national and international ones as well. Our region also hosts two of the most innovative companies in the private sector, Marriott International and Capital One Bank- both of which are represented by our co-founders. We hope to build a strong community that fosters cross-industry collaboration and private and public sector cross-pollination.

Chris Baer
Chris Baer - Senior Director, Global Experience Design L+D @ Marriott

Leadership of User Experience, Information Architecture and Consumer Insights to develop digital and physical consumer experiences for brands in the travel, retail and financial sectors. Designer and product owner for the Design Thinking practice at a global travel company, inclusive of tools, behaviors, process and mindset to up-skill global communities and the storytelling to reach diverse audiences.

Aza Damood
Aza Damood - Service Design Practice Lead, Digital Interactive @ Booz Allen Hamilton

14 years of total professional consulting. 9 years at IBM Interactive as a designer wearing many hats including User Experience, Information Architecture and creating holistic omni-channel customer experiences for private and public sector clients across Canada and the US. Last 4 years focused on Service Design and Design Thinking methodologies - leading multidisciplinary teams through the end-to-end process to innovate their product and service offerings at Idea Couture and Booz Allen Hamilton.

Lisa Mendelow
Lisa Mendelow - Founder@ Mendelow Design

20+ years experience, rooted in visual communication design (digital and print), with subsequent expansion into branding and customer experience strategy. Since 2009, have been consulting primarily in the software, healthcare and nonprofit spaces, with speciality in scaling B-to-B-to-C initiatives as a member or leader of multidisciplinary teams. Longtime active professional community leader and advocate; past roles include programming chairmanship for local AIGA and Executive Leadership for Design Thinking:DC.

Ayla Newhouse
Ayla Newhouse - Service Design Manager, Cafe Experiences @ Capital One

Trained as a Communication Designer and Interdisciplinary Design Strategist, conceptualized and launched a multi-channel social gratitude movement (, worked with Adaptive Path (including Jamin Hegeman from SDN) and currently manage four teams working on the design and delivery of a new service experience for Capital One bank. Regularly teach at UXI events and have spoken at the Design Research Conference and UX Week.

Jeneanne Rae
Jeneanne Rae - Founder and CEO @ Motiv Strategies

Have worked in product/service design, innovation, and customer experience consulting roles for 20 plus years. Recent accomplishments include winning a Design Value Award from the Design Management Institute for creation of its Design Value Index which shows how design-led firms outperform the S&P over 200% in 3 consecutive periods. Have been a partner then sole owner of innovation consulting firms Peer Insight and Motiv Strategies serving corporate, non-profit, and government clients. Accomplished speaker, writer, and advisor with long track record of thought leadership, publications, and client successes.