Workspace Innovation Company Vari Forms Advisory Board of Industry Leaders

The new board is comprised of Margot Carter, president of Living Mountain Capital and co-founder of Cien; Ka Cotter, formerly The Staubach Company's top revenue producing broker; Russell Denson, chairman of Gulf Energy Information and director of Peerless Media; and Debra von Storch, longtime Americas Director for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year program.

Since the launch of its sit-stand desk in 2013, Vari has evolved into a pioneer of flexible workplace solutions. New products, a multi-million dollar rebrand (the company was formerly known as VariDesk), a new HQ in the works, and the launch of a space-as-a-service concept called VariSpace has accelerated the Coppell-based company into a pioneer of workspace innovation.

To support that growth—and continue Vari’s advancements in office products and technology—the company today announced it’s forming an Advisory Board of local business leaders to offer strategic counsel.

The new board boasts a breadth of collective experience, specifically in scaling businesses. It serves an urgent need: Since last year, Vari has expanded its sales offices and showrooms into Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Charlotte, Denver, Houston, Nashville, Phoenix, Raleigh-Durham, Tampa, and Washington D.C.

“Having the depth of knowledge that these incredible experts bring will give us new ways of thinking and drive our business forward,” Vari CEO and Co-Founder Jason McCann said in a statement. “With the traditional workspace model changing, we are focused on evolving our product and service offerings to help the world reimagine the future of workspace to elevate people.”

Meet the Advisory Board

The new appointees include Margot Carter, Ka Cotter, Russell Denson, and Debra von Storch (pictured above, from left

Margot Carter

Carter, the president of Living Mountain Capital and co-founder of AI company Cien, is well-known in the region as a leader in building businesses in technology, construction, and real estate. She currently advises a number of companies and PE firms on various strategies, including digital transformation and disruption.

Previously, Carter was RealPage’s executive vice president and chief legal officer, a role in which she led the property management software provider’s IPO.

She is also the lead director, chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee, and member of the Audit Committee of Installed Building Products; member of the Nominating and Governance Committee and Audit Committee of Eagle Materials; and sits on the board of Freeman Company.

Ka Cotter

Cotter has a vast career in commercial real estate brokerage, nonprofit leadership, corporate boards, and executive coaching. For ten consecutive years, she was The Staubach Company’s top revenue-producing broker, in which she closed more large office transactions in one year than any office broker in Dallas.

In her role as Dallas regional manager, she implemented The Staubach Company’s expansion into new U.S. and international markets.

She formerly served on the committee to build the Perot Museum, chaired the boards of UTD Center for Brain Health and YWCA/WiNGS, and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award by the YWCA.

Russell Denson

Denson is the chairman of Gulf Energy Information and a director of Peerless Media, but his experience spans decades as a CEO of both public and private companies in the media and other industries. He has led companies—mature and startups—through sales, mergers, restructurings, and public and private financings.

Currently, Denson is an active advisor and private investor with holdings in real estate, media, marketing, commodities and alternative financing.

Debra von Storch

Rounding out the board is von Storch, who is best known for playing many parts in the Dallas-Fort Worth entrepreneur and startup ecosystem over her nearly four decades at EY. As a retired senior executive, von Storch boasts vast experience guiding founders through their growth journey.

She served as the Americas Director for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year program, garnering deep knowledge of the issues that high-growth companies face.

Joining the board is full-circle for the Vari team: McCann and fellow co-founder Dan Flaherty were named EY U.S. Entrepreneurs Of The Year in the emerging category in 2017.

Von Storch is also chair of the Compensation Committee and member of the Audit Committee at Canoo, as well as chair of the Audit Committee and member of the Compensation Committee at CSW Industrials.

Vari eyes more growth ahead

Up next year for Vari is a new headquarters—the company broke ground on VariSpace Coppell in June. The 180,000 SF building will be the new global HQ for Vari and offer 120,000 RSF of flexible office space for companies and tenants to lease. It is scheduled to be complete in summer 2022. 

Beyond that, the team plans to continue leaning into new opportunities. It now boasts a full line of workspace products: conference tables, movable walls, soft seating, storage, lighting, and more.

“With approximately 200 products in the market and another 200 in the pipeline, I know that we’re just getting started and the best is yet to come,” McCann previously said. “And although we’ve experienced tremendous growing pains, they are much better than shrinking pains. I’m so grateful for the privilege to face these challenges with an amazing group of people by my side. I can only hope for more.”

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