Meet Spark Coworking’s New Community Manager

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Spark St. Louis’ newly appointed Community Manager, Hayley Johnston, has been immersed in the St. Louis Innovation Ecosystem for 5 years and has a passion for growing the St. Louis Economy by supporting entrepreneurs. EQ caught up with Hayley over email to find out more about the newest collaborative workspace in St. Louis.

The Spark Coworking brand is intrapreneurial at its core. Fueled by the investment and support of the Cordish Companies, Spark Coworking are β€œa female led, all female team”, providing nimble and agile management across 3 cities.

The new team in St. Louis mirrors Spark’s mission of being the marriage between entrepreneurship and hospitality and they’ve built a team intentionally around that ideal. 

Shervonne Cherry is the Director of Community and Partnerships and brings over 16 years of experience within entrepreneurial ecosystems. Operations and Outreach Manager Jessica Davidson, comes from the St. Louis hospitality industry and is a Board Member of the Saint Louis Attractions Association. 

Spark St. Louis’ newly appointed Community Manager, Hayley Johnston, has been immersed in the St. Louis Innovation Ecosystem for 5 years and has a passion for growing the St. Louis Economy by supporting entrepreneurs. EQ caught up with Hayley over email to find out more about the newest collaborative workspace in St. Louis.

Why Now?

Hayley Johnston: We are seeing a shift in workplace culture across the nation. Individuals are looking for workspaces that provide them with a sense of purpose and connection. 

Individuals and organizations are changing how they work and this has been even more accelerated by the COVID Pandemic. Organizational culture is typically slow to change however COVID made it necessary for companies large and small to shift the way they do business. 

Now that we are over 15 months into this shift, things are never going to be the same when it comes to how and where we work. The American workforce has proved that they can survive and thrive in non-traditional work settings. 

This is leading to growth in the coworking and flex workspace industry. We have seen this firsthand with our location in Kansas City that opened in the middle of the pandemic last September of 2020 and is now over 90% occupied.

Why Spark?

HJ: Spark St. Louis is the solution to the workplace culture shift we are seeing across the nation. Most of our memberships are month-to-month giving entrepreneurs the ability to have a professional environment for their company without stressing about long-term leases.

For growing companies, we offer a wide range of flexible office options from mailboxes memberships and dedicated coworking to private offices and custom-built office suites. Our team also curates networking events and provides matchmaker services to our community members. 

Why St. Louis?

HJ: St. Louis has an incredibly well built out ecosystem of entrepreneur support organizations. As the Community Manager of Spark St. Louis and a 5-year veteran of the ecosystem, I am coming in with a “community over competition” mindset. 

I have been setting up conversations with other coworking spaces to understand the members they serve so that we can create a robust referral network across our coworking community. Every entrepreneur is not going to be a good fit for every coworking space in the city so understanding what types of entrepreneurs thrive in each space is necessary for all of us to succeed.

Mentioned in this Article

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Jonathan Allen is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of EQ. Formerly the President and Co-founder of Longneck & Thunderfoot (L&T), a brand publishing company incubated at the Columbia University Startup Lab in NYC, Jonathan moved to St. Louis in the summer of 2016 after receiving an Arch Grant.

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