Creating a Culture of Community to Serve Future Workforce Needs

Thursday, May 13

2:00 - 3:00 PM ET

MBO’s Future of Work roundtable series is a monthly panel-style discussion amongst key business leaders and experts to review top trends in the changing workforce landscape. We'll discuss how forward-thinking enterprise organizations can both respond in real-time and plan for future success.

The May session highlights the growing trend of organizations to create independent talent programs and also create a culture of community with their independent workforce—to become not just an employer of choice, but a Client of Choice as well.

Key takeaways:

  • Why creating a culture of community can transform your brand from average to exceptional
  • How community strategies are built, implemented, and grown with effective organizational buy-in and management
  • Why "community" doesn't just mean serving your full-time employees or external client base
  • What pillars are necessary to implement a platform that is sustainable and cost effective, both now and in the future
  • What the future of community looks like
  • How to go beyond the transaction of work and create a culture of community and affinity with your independent talent


Jake McKee

Title: Founder
Company: Community5


Emily Leach

Title: Founder
Company: The Freelance Conference

Maria Ogneva

Maria Ogneva

Title: Director of Online Customer Experience and Community
Company: FinancialForce

Miles Everson

Miles Everson

Title: CEO
Company: MBO Partners

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I’m Jake McKee, aka: The Community Guy. I run Community5, a consultancy focused on helping organizations assess, design, and optimize their online communities and fan engagement programs. Basically, we help ensure that online spaces where customers connect are positive and effective, both for the community members and for the company.

Community5 is my second company. My first, Ant’s Eye View, was sold to PwC (PriceWaterhouse Coopers) in 2012. After I left PwC, I ran the Apple Global Support Communities, one of the largest online communities in existence.

In a past (work) life, I spent nearly 6 years as the Global Community Development Manager for the LEGO Company. My primary function was as a liaison between the company and the adult LEGO hobbyists. I worked on projects and activities that helped to integrate the adult fans in the daily operations of the company.



Emily Leach has been called a pioneer in the world of uniquely-talented people who feel empowered to go beyond conventional jobs and create businesses from unique vantage points and perspectives.

She has a guiding belief that those working for themselves deserve the same respect, access to benefits and opportunities for growth as those working for corporations. It’s what drives her tireless fight to ensure this growing population of Independent Professionals are lifted up and celebrated for their courage and willingness to live their lives according to a new set of rules … their own.

In 2014 she started a Facebook group to help connect freelancers to work, later that year The Freelance Conference was born. In 2015, her and a small group of like-minded adventurers launched the Texas Freelance Association as a 501(c)3 nonprofit with a mission to support and connect freelance business owners.

In 2017 she launched the first-ever Freelancers Choice Awards to highlight and celebrate freelancers that are inspiring others and leading local communities. In 2019 the momentum continues with the launch of the first network of week-long local events across America organized by freelancers for freelancers, Freelance Business Week that is now a nationally recognized holiday as National Freelance Business Week.

When she’s not behind a computer screen you can find her in the garden, rowing, sailing the Caribbean islands, two-stepping across Texas or riding the mountain bike trails throughout Austin.



Maria Ogneva is the Director of Online Customer Experience and Community at FinancialForce. Before that, she was the Global Head of Community at LinkedIn. Maria has also headed community initiatives at Sumo Logic, Sidecar Technologies, and Salesforce.

She is an experienced community, content and social strategist, a passionate and prolific writer and speaker, who believes in making work and play better with technology. She makes companies successful by helping their employees and customers work together. Maria builds, manages and grows communities; creates external and internal programs that generate buzz and build advocacy. She also helps businesses deeply embed and operationalize customer-centricity.



Miles Everson joined MBO Partners in 2019 as Chief Executive Officer.

Most recently, Everson served as Global Advisory and Consulting CEO for Pricewaterhouse Coopers, LLP (PwC), leading the company’s Asia Pacific Americas Advisory and Consulting businesses.

Before joining MBO, Everson had a rich career with PwC, almost three decades in total. He began in the firm’s Assurance practice, moving to leadership roles within Advisory/Consulting in both Canada and the U.S., including several Financial Services leadership roles, and eventually became the U.S. Advisory/Consulting Vice Chairman. In 2015, he stepped into the new role of Asia Pacific Americas Advisory and Consulting Leader to help globalize the Advisory/Consulting practice.

Everson has worked with many of the world’s largest and most prominent organizations, specializing in executive management. He helps companies balance growth, reduce risk, maximize return, and excel in strategic business priorities.

He is a sought-after public speaker and contributor and has been a case study for success from Harvard Business School.

Everson is a Certified Public Accountant, a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants. He graduated from St. Cloud State University with a B.S. in Accounting.