31stSt

PROFILE

We believe that the integration of knowledge has transformative power.

From the very beginning, we wanted to work with smart people. Over the years, we have developed a brain-trust of collaborators who contribute their expertise and methods of approach toward integrated solutions to achieve our clients’ goals and challenges.

As true talent advocates, we also seek ways to connect our clients with each other, extending their reach through creative alliances and opportunities. Since we are all active within the design field, we are able to build professional relationships with a broad range of key collaborators in architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, planning, and more….

Marjanne Pearson
Founder + Chief of Talentstar, Inc.

Recognized as an industry pioneer, Marjanne has the ability to ask the questions that should be on the strategic agenda of every design firm. Building on her experience in design firm management and independent practice, she focuses on strategies for organizational success and resiliency.

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Marjanne Pearson

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Katherine Bajor
Talentstar Principal

Katherine is the consummate problem-solver. With diverse experience across creative disciplines, from advertising to design firm management, she can imagine problems from other perspectives, applying a deep understanding of talent, collaboration, and accountability.

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Brien McDaniel
Talentstar Principal | Communications Strategy

Brien deftly elevates the visibility of A/E/C firms and colleagues, artists, and educators through communication strategies that are integrated into his client’s overall design vision, ethos, and business goals. His expertise stems from 30 years of experience in communications, social media, and special event management for architecture and design practices, as well as higher education and cultural institutions. He is a member of Open House New York and is on the Board of Directors for the New York Chapter of SMPS (Society for Marketing Professional Services).

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Linda Wallack

Linda Wallack
Talentstar Principal + Founder of TOKO Creative

Linda is known for her big-picture thinking and creative savvy — characteristics that allow her to add value in collaborating with clients and co-creators. Linda is a designer of interior space, as well as an expert in communications and marketing, effectively aligning and advancing business initiatives.

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Michelle Wempe, AIA Associate Member, IDEC, IIDA –
Talentstar Principal + Founder of zumaooh®

An award-winning interior designer who teaches professional practice, Michelle is recognized as a leader in the design community, with real-world knowledge and expertise. She brings a unique viewpoint on issues related to the character and quality of a successful design practice, as well a significant focus on development of next-generation talent.

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Mike Plotnik

Mike Plotnick
Founder of Elevate Your Story [aka PlotLines]

As a strategic communicator, Mike helps businesses develop and strengthen relationships with the people, organizations, and causes that shape their success. With hands-on experience in public relations, content marketing, and social engagement, he uses traditional and digital communications to identify, build, and share his clients’ stories with their most-valued communities.

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Darren J. Rizza
Founder of 1550a + VP Product [Trezi] with SmartVizX

Darren is a strategic, visionary and digitally informed leader, leaning on 15+ years of business technology leadership in professional services. His career experience and education place him at the intersection of design thinking, business strategy and operations, digital and information technology, ready to accelerate business leaders and DevOps teams to capture their full potential.

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Darren Rizza

Gail Gabriel

Gail Gabriel
Emeritus Principal of Talentstar

Gail has made a truly remarkable contribution to the design profession, and to her family and community as well. She retired from the Talentstar practice in 2019, but she is still connected to us in spirit, if not in daily presence.

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Nancy Egan
Founder of New Voodou
Emeritus Advisor to Talentstar

For more than 30 years, Nancy has provided marketing strategy, image and content development, and media relations services to the design community. Over the last year, she has been transitioning away from consulting. She says, “I am increasingly focused on telling stories.” And they are wonderful stories, told through the words and images that she creates.

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Nancy Egan