about GCUC

For short, people call the Global Coworking Unconference Conference “GCUC” and pronounce it “juicy,” because that’s exactly what its subject matter is: a big, juicy wave of awesomeness that’s changing the face of work as we know it. We’re coasting on a wave of accelerated serendipity, making the future of work happen in a whole new way. Soon, you can say you “knew us when”… unless, that is, you’re one of us. And let us tell you something: it’s good to be one of us. Check out our press in case you’re behind on the news.

There are a lot of people who make GCUC a success, but here are the head honchos:

Liz Elam
GCUC Executive Producer

Liz Elam has built a career – and a thriving business – on the tenet that working one’s way up from the bottom instills tenacity, resilience and overall excellence.

That belief, blended with an innovative spirit and a competitive but collaborative drive, has landed her at the forefront of the coworking movement.

After telecommuting to Dell for 15 years, handling multi-million dollar accounts and emerging as one of the tech giant’s top sales executives, Liz forayed into entrepreneurialism and opened the doors to Link Coworking in Austin, Texas. The space has doubled in size since 2010, and Liz has become a prominent voice in the coworking movement, hosting more than 250 international attendees at the Global Coworking Unconference Conference (GCUC) in 2012 and garnering press in the Sunday New York Times, CNN, CNBC, Investors Daily and Inc. In her free time, she serves as President of the League of Extraordinary Coworking Spaces.

Amy Braden
PR & Press Team

Amy Braden is the owner of Plug & Play, a coworking space with an onsite hourly childcare and preschool, located in North Austin.

With close to fifteen years of experience working for large corporations, she knows the toll that the corporate lifestyle can take on families.When her son was born over 3 years ago, she didn’t want to leave him at a full-time childcare after only six weeks. She wasn’t ready for that, but in order to negotiate working from home a couple of days a week, she had to find flexible childcare to match. She was unsuccessful; no one took babies under 12 months part-time. So she cobbled together a schedule and it was tough. She thought, “I can’t be the only working parent with a young baby who needs part time help!” It didn’t seem too much to want, but since it wasn’t available, she created it herself. This journey has been a labor of love for her– knowing that they can help other parents just like her, trying to meet the demands of working while finding the time and space to raise a family.

Amber Link
GCUC Intern Extrordinare

Amber Link currently works at Link Coworking along with Liz Elam. Amber started at Link Coworking as an intern for the members of the space before she received the opportunity to help produce GCUC.

She has previously held jobs in marketing and research for local software companies, and is enjoying the opportunity to learn more about entrepreneurship, coworking, and the future of work. Amber is currently in her final semester at the University of Texas at Austin where she will graduate with a degree in government. Upon graduation she will be taking time off to work before attending law school. In her spare time, Amber enjoys cooking, reading, and music.

Iris Kavanaugh
Unconference Track Producer

Iris holds the distinction of being “Employee #1” at NextSpace. She joined the team in early 2009 and quickly became the person who made sure that the trains ran on time.

Iris brought order to the early entrepreneurial chaos of NextSpace. Using calendaring systems, standardized email infrastructure, online collaborative software, a wee bit of whip-cracking, and a lot of tact, Iris ensured that NextSpace was a well-oiled machine.

As NextSpace grew, Iris saw a need for a better way to organize, track, and manage our members. Not satisfied with the available off-the-shelf solutions, Iris led and managed an eighteen-month process to develop NextSpace’s proprietary membership management software, affectionately known as M.O.O.S.E. This effort is a crucial piece of NextSpace’s ability to scale quickly.

Iris also brought to the table her knack for facilitating and fostering relationships between NextSpace members and for connecting them with the resources they need to be successful. Indeed, Iris’s ability to foster a thriving community, while balancing the needs of a for-profit business, is an indispensible skill and a core competency she trained the entire team on.
Now, Iris is the day-to-day leader of Team NextSpace. She sets and maintains NextSpace company and community culture. She trains and manages the team, ensuring that the NextSpace experience is consistent across all of our locations. And she continues to create The NextSpace Effect among our members and the greater coworking community.

As the emerging coworking industry continues to evolve, Iris devotes a portion of her time to building community within the informal network of coworking owners and operators. Through fostering relationships, offering guidance on a wide range of business and community issues and working to unite the coworking community with more traditional forms of corporate work culture Iris is continuing to source new partnership opportunities for NextSpace.

Sarah K. Wolf
Event Planner

Sarah K. Wolf works with clients to develop unique events and social media strategies aimed at creating social buzz, encouraging engagement, and making a lasting impression.

Throughout her career, Sarah has worked with companies of all sizes from the food and beverage, health and beauty, tech, and real estate industries creating events with social media tie-ins. In her free time, Sarah works with local animal rescue groups to help them produce fundraisers and create hype around adoption events.

Rayann Larsen
Social Media Team

Rayann Larsen is founder of The Work Spot, a popular coworking and collaborative work space in the heart of downtown Duluth.

After 20 years of working in the corporate world, as VP of Operations, Larsen decided it was time to venture out on her own. Known for being passionate towards entrepreneurs seeking an honest opinion or an opportunity to grow, Larsen thrives on finding points of connection and then building trust and community to bring out diverse points of view.

Rayann has traveled to over 35 countries, but it is her love for local connections that fuels her life. Mother to 7-year-old Lauren, Rayann speaks from the heart, one mom to another, sharing her honest take on the rewards and challenges that come with parenthood and entrepreneurship.

She is a firm believer in community involvement, Founding the Atlanta Coworking Alliance, serving on the board of the Duluth Merchants Association, a member of the Gwinnett Chamber’s Entrepreneur Council, and active participant in SCORE.

Kristin Donaldson
Social Media Team

Kristin currently works at The Work Spot alongside founder Rayann Larsen. Born and raised in Atlanta, she also attended Georgia State University and graduated with a degree in marketing.

Enthusiasm for social media lead her to complete two internships with social media firms in Atlanta. She also co-founded the Georgia State Digital Marketing Club and is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success. Upon graduation, she headed off to Europe for a change of scenery and an international marketing experience. Kristin is passionate about collaboration and supporting entrepreneurs. Cooking, traveling, photography and writing are a few of her hobbies.