Last night, New York-based professional development group LMNOP held its latest gathering for displaced A&D folk at Knoll's Manhattan showroom. There was a lot of energy and it was great to see so many people connecting. However, behind all the smiles remained the fact that many, if not the vast majority of the attendance, were talented-yet-unemployed creatives (or, as noted above, "displaced").
Nonetheless, the crowd seemed upbeat, milling among the Knoll classics on display and munching on a bevy of hors d'oeuvres. And, on the upside, I did meet a couple of folks who had recently taken on new positions and jobs – perhaps (and hopefully) a sign of bright things to come to the industry as a whole?
For those unfamiliar with LMNOP, the group was founded in February 2009 by Jennifer Graham, a director at MMoser in New York, and Stephanie Chiuminatto, an interior designer. The goal: to provide personal, professional development to members of the A&D community through training, mentoring and networking activities. It started with a small group that casually got together during one of the AIA's "Not Business As Usual" luncheons and has exploded from there. Membership, however, is limited, to allow members to connect to each other on a more in-depth level. Interested in learning more? Their calendar lists upcoming events, while their site has more info about the group as a whole.