Our team is a diverse collective of experts from various disciplines within the design field, each bringing unique insights and experiences. We tailor our teams to fit each client’s needs, ensuring we have the perfect mix of expertise to meet their unique challenges.

As talent advocates, our collaborative approach extends to our clients. We rely on our strategic relationships to extend your reach through purposeful connections, broadening your reach through creative alliances and opportunities.

Marjanne Pearson
Founder | Director of Strategic Initiatives

Recognized as an industry pioneer, Marjanne has the ability to ask the questions that should be on the strategic agenda of every design firm, focusing on strategies for leadership and organizational success and resiliency. She has built a distinguished practice with a dynamic collective of advisors with diverse backgrounds and perspectives — while work with legendary clients, including emergent practices and regional powerhouses. In addition, she continues to write, teach, and testify in professional programs that include the AIA, Harvard GSD Executive Ed, Kansas State APDesign, Monograph, and SMPS.

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Marjanne Pearson

Linda Wallack
Talentstar Principal | Founder of TOKO Creative

Linda is known for her big-picture thinking and creative savvy — characteristics that allow her to bring a creative, integrated perspective to advance design practices and the initiatives that support growth and well-being. Linda comes from a history of creating at the intersection of four critical elements — environments, processes, communications, and leadership — essential for organizations to flourish and achieve success and sustainability.


Katherine Bajor
Talentstar Principal | Talent Connection

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

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Jacob Reidel, AIA
Talentstar Principal Advisor | Co-Founder and Editor of CLOG
Assistant Professor in Practice, Harvard GSD

Jacob is a licensed architect dedicated to redefining modern architectural practice. He explores how designers can shape space, experience, and community by embracing roles and responsibilities beyond traditional architectural boundaries. This is also evident in his professional career. He pursued architecture and worked with REX and Ennead before expanding his career with WeWork and then Saltmine, a design technology startup. He is also dedicated to teaching and service. Today, he is an Assistant Professor in Practice at the Harvard GSD and  serves as Co-Chair of the AIANY Future of Practice Committee.

+ Harvard GSD


Michelle Wempe
Talentstar Principal Advisor | Founder of zumaooh®
Professor of Practice, Kansas State University APDesign

An award-winning interior designer and Professor of Practice at Kansas State University, 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.

+ zumaooh®


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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Mike Plotnik

Gail Gabriel
Co-Founder | Emeritus Principal of Talentstar

Gail has made a truly remarkable contribution to the design profession, and to her family and community as well. An early champion of the business of design within the A/E industry, she has been a long-time friend and colleague. Gail 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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Gail Gabriel

Nancy Egan
Founder of New Voodou | Emeritus Advisor to Talentstar

For more than 30 years, as a pioneering marketing and brand strategist, working with collaborators or independently, Nancy has explored issues of professional practice with an emphasis on identity, image, and brand. Over the last few years, 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.

+ New Voodou

Nancy Egan