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How Learning to Sew Made Me a Better a Leader
Maria Pereda
Director of Design, Clio
🎙 About the Speaker
Maria is the Director of Product Design at Roadmunk, a SaaS product that enables companies to visualize their strategy and align as organizations. She is building Roadmunk’s first design practice and laying the foundation for a user research program to guide future efforts. Maria has a strong track record of setting up design practices from the ground up, where she focuses on building foundations for research, strategic design thinking focused on user goals and business outcomes and creating strong partnerships with product and engineering.Prior to Roadmunk, Maria served as Senior Director of Product Design at Schoology, a leading Edtech company in the K-12 US market. Maria established Schoology’s first design practice and elevated design culture within the organization by making numerous improvements in process throughout the product development life cycle. Past experiences include Group Director of UX at Critical Mass, leading work for the Citi Global accounts in Toronto and New York. She’s also held design leadership positions at GE, where she helped establish a design Center of Excellence, and Fry, an e-commerce startup later acquired by Oracle.In 2018, she took an oath to never buy clothes again, and has been making her own since, with variable success.
📃 Talk Bio
In 2018, Maria challenged herself to stop purchasing clothes. If she wanted some new pants or shirt, she had to make it herself. The kicker? She didn't know how to sew. In this talk, Maria will share her successes, failures, and unexpected learnings making her own clothes -like how it's helped her become a more empathetic leader. The added bonus? How you can also start making your own clothes!

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