Summit 2017 Presenters
AMY SCHWARTZ, PhD
For over 30 years, Dr. Amy Schwartz has used her training as a cognitive psychologist to humanize technology and has applied her expertise in Human-Centered Design across a wide range of challenges and a multitude of domains. For the last 20 years, Amy worked at IDEO, the world-renowned design and innovation firm, where she founded the design research group in the Chicago studio, served as the global design lead for the IDEO health practice, and led the design research for some of IDEO’s most innovative and successful designs including the award-winning Lifeport Kidney Transporter (which won the IDSA Design of the Decade award and is in the permanent collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art), Medtronic StealthStation surgical navigation system, Bayer Contour glucose meters, and Sherwin Williams’ ColorSnap in-store color selection system. She has worked with a wide variety of clients from startups, to industry giants like Baxter, Eli Lilly, and Ford as well as clients in the governmental and public sectors such as the Department of Health and Human Services and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Amy excels in helping clients and design teams find unmet needs with "design energy" to frame problems in new ways that inspire innovative design solutions in complex multi-stakeholder ecosystems. Learn more about Amy and her work.
WENDY VARNELL, LCSW, is Chief Strategy Officer at LifeWorks. She is responsible for planning and implementing agency strategic initiatives and makes recommendations for programmatic and operational improvement. In collaboration with the Board of Governors, Ms. Varnell develops agency research projects and ensures execution. She manages a variety of high-impact special projects. In addition, she hires, trains and supervises the Chief Program Officer, Director of Research & Evaluation, the Chief Compliance Officer and the Director of Public Grants. She represents LifeWorks at national conferences, professional associations, relevant boards/committees, and other local initiatives. Ms. Varnell was the 2010 Austin Area Research Organization McBee Fellow, served on the Waterloo Counseling Board from 2009-2012, was a member of Leadership Austin, and received the 2003 Field Instructor of the Year award from the University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work. She is currently on the board of The College for Behavioral Health Leadership, a national organization focused on the development of leadership in the mental health and substance use prevention and treatment fields. Ms. Varnell has a Master’s of Science in social work from The University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor’s of arts in general studies, with equal emphasis in psychology, sociology and child development and family relations from The University of Arizona at Tucson. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has worked at LifeWorks since 1992.
DR. ELIZABETH SCHOENFELD earned her PhD in Human Development and Family Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin and has over 10 years of experience in research design, evaluation, and statistical modeling. She serves as the Director of Research & Evaluation at LifeWorks, where she manages a variety of high-impact special projects, conducts research on LifeWorks' target population, oversees the development of agency metrics for its 17 programs, and utilizes data to help guide the strategic vision of the organization. Dr. Schoenfeld has presented her work at both national and international conferences, and she has published multiple articles in peer-reviewed journals. Her work has been featured in U.S. News & World Report, Psychology Today, and the Hogg Foundation’s Mental Health Daily, among other notable outlets.
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