Parallel Design Group Parallel Design Group

Thought Leadership

#DifferenceMaker Series: Tech in the Workplace


As Interior Design professionals, our goal is to create a thriving working environment for employers – to continue to keep their employees happy and healthy via the built environment.

As our second interview in our #DifferenceMaker Series, we speak with a highly respected and an all-in leader, passionate about Women in Tech, Ally Brettnatcher. Ally is stimulated by technology -and has been since a young age. Following in her families footsteps, in addition to juggling her career and her very important family life, she is also an avid runner and Peloton-rider (basically a triple-threat).

Earlier this year, we wrote about #Branding in the Workplace; as a part of the 'Difference Maker Series'. Today we talk to Ally about a topic she loves and that we believe in -- as we design our clients' forward thinking and impressionable spaces that aim to make a difference.


We first of all wanted to know where Ally's tech story started. She shares with us:

"My tech story started with my mom. She started a business not long after I was born. It was in Denver Colorado at the time. She worked for a bank and was one of the few females. She saw a need, taught herself to code, and started Baker Hill. It went so well that my dad quit his job at IBM and joined the company."

Ally shares that she always had computers in her house and has always been around technology. Of course her parents never pushed her into anything; she has certainly paved her own way and entering into Tech has been her choice completely.


Ally recalls how she got where she is today - and trust me, she isn't done!

She interned with Baker Hill working at the front desk and also in Marketing as a high school student. After high school, she found her way to Miami of Ohio where she majored in Decision Sciences within the business school; its basically Business Statistics.

After graduation, the Orr Fellowship was a key in her success. The program was super helpful to Ally, creating meaningful connections and ways of business and thinking outside the box that will be engrained with her forever.

From Indianapolis companies like the Indy Chamber to Exact Target / Salesforce, Geofeedia, Sigstr and now Lumavate, she has always sold technology to marketers and always been grateful for the opportunity to do so.

Through all of her roles, what she learned was where she did want to be. She wanted to work for a thoughtful company - that prides themselves on flexibility and transparency. What she learned she was drawn to? Working with people who have energy and passion for what they do.


Now at Lumavate, Ally has dug in deep with the team of 20 located at the Indiana Design Center. Over the last 4 years, Lumavate has helped customers with digital transformation. The whole mantra is making it easier for marketers and business users to build apps. Now, Lumavate has an app solution that doesn't require marketers to code (I like the sound of that).


Technology is important in keeping and attracting new employees. Unfortunately there is too much technology and at this time people do not know what to use and where to go.

For workspaces, we need technology that enables communication collaboration. We don't need more information. We need to know where to go for the specific information that is going to answer our questions and solve our problems.

Also highly important is utilizing internal communications platforms that are easy to use and employees can engage easily in.

Ally mentioned that her team relies heavily on a communication platform called Slack. We have a shoutout channel which is great for employee morale. Because want to feel, we need to utilize communication tools that unite us and allow us to feel connections.

Another thing she has done in the past is to initiate a 'Sales Wins' Channel. Every time a deal was closed, we would make sure everyone in the company knew who was involved - not just sales.

In previous companies that Ally has worked for, people within the company were also praised publicly via digital signage to recognize employees accomplishments and helpful dates.


One of Parallel's biggest observations as we speak with clients and do our own workplace studies, is the observation of really big gaps in generations within the workplace. Some people are sworn to taking notes on paper note pads and some will only take notes on computers. To that point, its important to ensure all generations are confident utilizing the communication platforms that they are expected to utilize to do their jobs.


Outside of tech, we wanted to know what Ally is passionate about (besides Peloton).

Ally is now a partner of 'Linking Indy Women', an empowering networking group that allows a platform for Indianapolis women to share their stories. Ally has another very important full time job - being a wife to Zach and a momma to Sydney. They spend a lot of intentional time with family and friends, keeping them close. Unfortunately, at this point in life their poor dog, Doug, gets barely any attention (her words, not mine). :)