The speakers have been announced for the first ever PA Coworking Conference on April 26, 27, and 28 of 2018 held at The Candy Factory in Lancaster, PA. The conference is a collaboration between Anne Kirby (owner of The Candy Factory) and Sean Fedorko (Radius CoWork), and the conference will focus on building community. You do not have to be a member of a coworking space to attend the conference!

Josh Lucas of Work Hard Pittsburgh

As an entrepreneurial visionary, small business strategist, and an impassioned and innovative tech community leader, Josh creates the counter-narrative to the established way of thinking about entrepreneurship. Through a series of DIY and grassroots initiatives accessible to everyone, entrepreneurs and small business operators alike are collaborating and finding practical ways to move their work forward.

Work Hard Pittsburgh has changed the neighborhood its found in, shifting starup culture in the City of Pittsburgh towards greater equity and access.

Josh will be speaking on learning how measured impact can change the priorities of funders, and advocating for systemic changes in how the state supports organizations on the front line of economic redevelopment.

Sam Abrams of Indy Hall – Coworking Community in Philadelphia.

Sam has been tummeling at Indy Hall – Coworking Community in Philadelphia for three years. She runs the IndyHall Braintrust, a mastermind for other community builders, and together with the team she helps put on the People at Work Summit, an entirely virtual coworking conference. She has also spoken at other conferences and writes for JFDImag, Indy Hall’s coworking magazine on Medium.

Sam will be presenting in our “Were You Raised in a Barn?” topic, focusing on community dynamics and member engagement.

Sean Fedorko of Radius CoWork

Sean is the cofounder of Radius CoWork, and advocates for strong communities and economies sustained by supportive and trusting relationships between ambitious and skilled peers.

To Sean, it’s about the people, not the desks. “No one is struggling to find access to wifi,” he says. “Many people are struggling to find deep fulfilling professional and personal relationships with peers, mentors, mentees, and the broader community in which they live.”

Sidenote: Sean’s life goal is to immigrate to Mars.


Alex Hillman, founder of Indy Hall

Alex is best known for starting Philadelphia’s Indy Hall – Coworking Community in Philadelphia in 2006, years before coworking became a darling of the mainstream press and workers around the globe. Since, Indy Hall and Alex’s work have been featured in national and international publications. He’s a well-respected coach and instructor for other aspiring community builders and coworking catalysts. Many credit Alex with their starts, citing his non-nonsense credo “JFDI” (just effing do it) as a source of inspiration to stop with the excuses and, well, JFDI.


Mike Embrescia, Founder and CEO of WorkDesq

WorkDesq is an online service that introduces companies to full-time freelancers. Mike is on a mission to build the best place to obtain high-quality freelance work, and also serves as the Executive Director of BOMA Pittsburgh, the Building Owners & Manager’s Association.

In 2011, Mike co-created a unique web startup for commercial real estate operators; called Class-G. He directed the creation of web-based tools to measure sustainability efforts, developed a sophisticated communications platform, and scaled the business nationally. Prior to Class-G, he served as a Director for Pittsburgh’s Green Building Alliance (GBA), one of the nation’s original U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) offices. Mike graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and received his MBA from Duquesne University, with an emphasis on sustainability. He proudly serves as a Board of Director from StartUpTown, Pittsburgh’s first co-working space, and is especially proud to be a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters.


Angel Kwiatkowski, founder of Cohere

Cohere is the first and largest community-managed shared office space in Fort Collins, Colorado. Since its opening in 2010, Cohere has helped more than 500 local freelancers and remote employees integrate in their community to achieve professional and personal success. The co-author of the first-ever ebooks about coworking, Angel was the token female panelist at the first-ever Global Coworking Unconference and Conference (GCUC), and is among the few female coworking consultants in America.

In addition to these firsts, she also founded Fort Collins’ first niche collaborative rehearsal space for musicians in 2015. Voted “Most Likely to Change the World” in high school, she confesses to being more enamored with the Junior Fire Chief post she was awarded in third grade. A failed stay-at-home mom, Angel frequently bakes cookies and brownies for Cohere’s members in between taking conference calls and drum lessons. She just launched fo(co)works, a collaborative alliance of local coworking spaces (the first in Fort Collins, naturally). She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree in organizational performance and change, and a certificate of participation.”

For our conference, Angel will be speaking about member management and community engagement panels.


Anne Kirby​, founder of The Candy Factory

The Candy Factory inhabits 14,000 square feet of space in the historic Lancaster Storage Company after a recent renovation project. Anne also opened Rock Candy, a second location coworking space at POD 2 on the Rock Lititz Campus in January of 2017. The Candy Factory and Rock Candy serve as coworking communities which provide professional yet relaxed work environments for people looking for creative, affordable ways to work in Lancaster County, with a focus on connecting members through internal networking and promotion, as well as fun social activities.

Additionally, Anne recently opened a social enterprise concepted cafe called Perkup & Co.​ which employs disadvantaged city youth in collaboration with The Mix at Arbor Place. As well as running these three companies, Anne also facilitates an all women’s group called Kick-ass Female Entrepreneurs​ and speaks locally to organizations like SCORE, Cultivate Lancaster, and others on the topic of coworking and cultivating community.


Register for the first ever PA Coworking Conference (April 26, 27, 28) today: