We're building business communities at WORK


20Chairs increases the value of commercial developments and the companies they serve by developing unparalleled tenant experiences that strengthen commercial real estate properties and the companies within them.  

Our portfolio of research, tools and professional service solutions empower clients to start and sustain ecosystems that work together and thrive.


Commercial Developers and Building OWNER/OPERATORS

We create value through partnerships and social equity strategies that attract, involve and retain tenants.

TENANT Companies

We develop shared wellness, professional development, and other benefit programs to engage employees, helping companies retain and develop talent and develop their brand story. 

Portraits by Justin Winslow


We save entrepreneurs time and money by finding office space among communities of likeminded people to work, do business with and hire.

Isn't that what we all want to hear?

We return to places that make us feel like we belong. Do your tenants/teams/customers feel that way? 

The new world of work is networked. People are looking for places to gather that are, too. 

Connections matter – to businesses, customers, partners and coworkers. Working at home saves companies money and may help retain talent in the short term. But it doesn’t strengthen connection.

Call them your ‘team’, ‘tribe’, ‘people’, or ‘community’; it’s a gift to find where you fit.

Communities are powerful. They shape our opportunities, our choices and our world. Yet community can be overlooked as a business solution. 20Chairs is changing that. Build outs and special events are expensive; retention doesn’t have to be. Communities exist everywhere, just waiting to be discovered!

The 20Chairs process reveals hidden communities where people work with a systematic, multi-faceted approach. We work with clients to attract, retain and sustain communities, and find new members who will feel like they belong. When our clients offer a distinct and valuable community, people engage and stay, which creates both prosperity and sustainability.

Creating a vibrant and welcoming environment for people to spend time in is what keeps them coming back and frames how they relate to it.
— PWC/Urban Land Institute: Emerging Trends in Real Estate, 2017

20Chairs makes it possible for sustainable communities to form. According to cultural anthropology, when a group reaches 20 people, they either organize and form a tribe, or the group becomes unsustainable. Communities begin when 20 people come together. 

20Chairs is also an allegory that illustrates how we help clients organize and grow communities. Philosopher Bertrand Russell noticed that when you put an object in the center of a room with 20 people seated around it, each person sees it differently depending on their vantage point. Each of these views are equally valid, important… and incomplete by themselves.

The same is true of the clients we serve. By inviting groups to gather and provide structures to support them, new possibilities emerge to innovate, collaborate and create a more sustainable, inclusive future. 

Ultimately, 20Chairs inspires loyalty to the companies and organizations that bring them together by making participation meaningful. That's why we exist, what drives us and what we create when we work together.


Joy Stephan

As the Founder of 20Chairs, Joy partners with clients to reveal hidden communities within buildings, associations and workplaces, resulting in greater value and sustainability. She recently developed a sustainability/tenant retention strategy for one of the five largest buildings in New York City, contributing to their 2016 Building Owners & Managers Association (BOMA/NY) Pinnacle Award and 2017 BOMA/NY Earth Award.

Joy's earliest experiences managing large theatrical productions trained her to focus on solutions during crises. When others freeze, Joy springs into action to find solutions no matter what the circumstances. Her expertise has benefitted organizations in multiple sectors — including Fidelity Investments, the New York City Department of Education and the American Cancer Society, where she ended a 20-year operating deficit in a high-need area by launching one of the most successful community events in the organization’s history. 

Joy's engagements are energizing, transformative and fun, and designed to produce measurable results. As a natural bridge builder and problem solver, she hears viewpoints with empathy and acumen to guide organizations to innovate new ways for their communities to grow and thrive.

A Master of Science in Organizational Change Management from The New School for Management and Urban Policy informs her approach; she is a Syracuse University graduate and a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson in New York.

Photo by Daniella Mone

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