Samantha Sannella

Canada National Leader, Total Workplace • Canada

Samantha Sannella (image)
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Samantha Sannella

Canada National Leader, Total Workplace • Canada

As Managing Director of Strategic Consulting Services for Cushman & Wakefield, Samantha Sannella specializes in design management, workplace strategy, occupancy planning, project management and future-focused building/land solutions. Her combined background in architecture, urban design, interior design, construction, development and consulting has proved invaluable in providing clients with integrated strategies through all phases of the real estate cycle.

Through the pandemic, the expertise and thought leadership offered by Samantha and her team have been much in demand. Samantha has been called upon by organizations, industry groups and municipalities to advise on the future workplace and its evolving role in connecting people, place and technology. The media has also sought out her insights and predictions on the connections between workplace design, architecture, urban centre trends, the economy, and quality of life.

Presently, Samantha and her team are engaged in helping clients across sectors and asset classes transform their workplace strategies to empower workers regardless of where they work. This involves harnessing the latest technology to elevate employee engagement and determine the best uses of physical space, along with best locations. Further, as a part of Cushman & Wakefield’s global platform, Strategic Consulting Canada is backed by a wide range of professional services and best practices emerging from all corners of the world.

Services provided by Strategic Consulting Canada include Future Workplace Strategies, Design Advisory, Digital Transformation, Employee Engagement and Change Management, Facility Programming, Building Repositioning Strategy, Portfolio Optimization and Land Use Strategies.

Samantha was formerly Studio Director and Workplace Strategy Expert at Stantec Toronto; President & CEO of the Design Exchange, Canada’s Design Museum and Centre for the Promotion of Design; and professor of Interior Design at Ryerson University. She also served as practice leader for HOK Consulting Canada.

In 2006, Samantha was named one of the top 10 most inspiring women in Canada and, in 2011, she was named Woman of the Month by Women's Post Magazine. In 2007, Samantha was honoured by Ryerson University, where she taught part time for 15 years, for her work within the design community. As well, Samantha founded Urban Retreat Homes, which focused on the development of single-family homes and the design-build of custom luxury homes in Ontario. Samantha has also managed condominium development projects in Toronto and Barrie, Ontario

Recent Speaking Engagements

  • 2021 The Leaders Network, Workplace of the Future

  • 2021 CoreNet Seminar, Exceptional Women in Corporate Real Estate

  • 2021 qg100, Panellist, Future of Workplace

  • 2020 CoreNet Seminar, Panellist, Future of Workplace

  • 2020 Buildings Show, The Holistic Workplace, Speaker and Game Show Host

  • 2020 Municipalities of Hamilton, Waterloo/Kitchener, Clarington, Markham, Mississauga; Workplace of the Future

  • 2020 BILD Toronto Awards, Host/Emcee

    Publications and Media 

    Samantha has authored numerous thought-leadership articles on the future workplace, served as a keynote speaker on over 20 webinars since 2020, was interviewed on workplace impacts by Steve Paikin for TVO Ontario, and has appeared on CBC’s The National.


Clients Served

  • Foresters Financial, Toronto


  • Aon, Toronto


  • USAA, San Antonio


  • Blue Cross, Houston


  • TD Bank – Various Projects


  • CIBC - Various Projects


  • Spark Power Group, Oakville


  • Grantek, Burlington


  • United Way, Toronto & Edmonton


  • Niagara Health, Toronto


  • Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto
  • Toyota HQ + Tech Centre, Toronto


  • Niagara Health, Toronto


  • NCAA Headquarters, Indianapolis, Indiana


  • Sun Microsystems, San Jose, California


  • US National Archives, Bethesda, Maryland + Washington, DC, Facility Expansion


  • Design Exchange, Strategic Plan, Toronto


  • Ontario Energy Board, Toronto


  • McKenzie Vaughan Hospital, Toronto


  • Toronto Rehab Institute

  • 1993-1991, University of Houston, Master of Architecture

  • 1991-1990, Louisiana State University, Graduate School of Architecture

  • 1990-1986, Louisiana Tech University, Bachelor Interior Design, Minor Sociology Magna Cum Laude, Graduating Honor: Designer of the Year

  • 1986-1984, Southern Arkansas University, School of Speech and Performing Arts

Samantha has participated in several boards and community organizations including the Nathan Phillips Square Revitalization, Ontario Place Revitalization, Humber College Industrial Design Program Advisory Board, Sheridan Collage Interior Design Advisory Board, George Brown College Curriculum Advisory and Kinder Canada.

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