Chris Doerschlag AIA, NCARB

Chief Executive Officer

As Chris was establishing his career with some of the country’s most respected architectural firms, he also was observing weaknesses in the building industry’s “standard operating procedures.” Driven to improve results, he began to envision ways to re-engineer the development process.

Taking the leadership role at WD in 1996, Chris focused the company on architecture and engineering services for national multi-unit retail. He believed that specializing would allow WD to fully understand client needs and problems, and thus enable WD to provide the most effective solutions.


Lee Peterson

Executive Vice President, Brand, Strategy & Design

Lee has more than 35 years of collective experience as a retailer, a strategist and as a leader in brand and design. He brings an innovative approach to strategic assessment and brand development by understanding cultural trends, consumer demographics, and buying behavior across multiple industries. Lee offers a well-rounded and informed approach to designing customer experience, and believes that stores must perform for retailers, as well as consumers.

Lee’s list of globally recognized clients include: Samsung, CVS, New Balance, Luxottica and Target. At WD Partners, he leads a group of creatives working on branded experiences for Best Buy, Gatorade, Mars Wrigley, Whole Foods, Stop & Shop, 7-Eleven, Yum! Brands, Walmart, The Home Depot, Media Market in Spain, and E-Mart in Korea. He has been quoted and featured in The Washington Post, Fast Company, RetailWire, Bloomberg, Forbes and The New York Times, as well as key trade magazines such as Brandweek, Ad Age, Chain Leader, Nation’s Restaurant News, vmsd and Chain Store Age.

Follow Lee on Twitter: @LeePeterson_WD

Lee in the Media:

Book Lee to present WD’s latest white paper: “Omni-Channel is BS


Andrew Maletz AIA, NCARB, LEED AP

Executive Vice President

As the Executive Vice President, Andrew is responsible for establishing and supporting the overall strategic initiatives of WD’s integrated practice. Andrew leads the firm’s integrated services overseeing direct reports across all disciplines.

With over 20 years of experience in client development, architecture, design, program management and technology innovation, Andrew brings a wealth of knowledge to WD Partners. Prior to joining WD, Andrew spent 12 years at SHP Leading Design, a national architecture design firm. During his tenure, Andrew focused on delivering complex educational and community-based facilities for clients. His focus on leveraging technology to deliver innovation in design and construction earned him national recognition from Autodesk in 2010.

Andrew works with nationally recognized clients including CVS, Tim Hortons, Aramark, and Bob Evans.


Elaine Kleinschmidt

Executive Vice President, Strategy & Experience Design

Elaine is a curious and results-driven Creative Executive with 20 years of experience working in consumer marketing and retailing with a wide range of agencies, clients, and a variety of influential brands. Elaine offers expert oversight on creating integrated customer experiences and strategies for clients.

Having strategized, implemented, and measured integrated brand experiences, Elaine is particularly skilled at recognizing trends, directing a vision, and mobilizing partnerships to drive results and lead transformation. Working with brands like Macy’s, Under Armour, Target, and Victoria’s Secret, has further contributed to her experiential depth in the industry.

As Executive Vice President of Strategy Experience & Design and head of the Strategy & Insights team, Elaine is directly responsible for WD’s approach to the customer journey, identifying key insights, moments and opportunities for brands to make an impact in their customer’s lives.


Dan Stanek

Executive Vice President

Innovator, strategist and senior leader with over 30 years of experience in consumer marketing and customer experience innovation for Fortune 500 companies. During his career, Dan has led and conducted consulting programs with hundreds of leading brands in a diverse range of industries and categories, including: EBay, T-Mobile, Chick-fil-A, The Home Depot, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Wal-Mart, AutoZone, S.C. Johnson, Johnson and Johnson, Pepsi, Pfizer and VF.

Dan has been frequently quoted in national and international media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Business Week, ABC News, CNBC-TV, BBC Radio, and National Public Radio, among others. He also has extensive experience speaking at various industry and trade association audiences and was named to Shopper Marketing magazine’s Who’s Who in Shopper Marketing.

As Executive Vice President at WD, Dan works with clients to develop innovative new concepts and optimize customer experiences in the Health & Wellness sector. In this role, he manages the firm’s insights and approach to this emerging sector. He builds on WD’s experience and expertise, providing clients with a unique customer-driven holistic journey perspective and future-facing concepts to address the converging forces impacting the market.


John Bajorek

Executive Vice President, Strategic Growth and Innovation

John directs a multidisciplinary team of strategy and design professionals who create retail solutions for domestic and international client brands. His thorough understanding of shopper experience begins with insights and strategy, and continues through branding and a holistic approach to 360 marketing, retail environments, and the spectrum of digital touch points including online, mobile, in-store and social media.

He has over two decades of experience directing business and marketing strategies for consumer goods, retail, technology, and financial services companies such as Samsung, Gatorade, Frito Lay, Electrolux, Best Buy, The North Face, Target, The Home Depot, Kroger, HP, and Wendy’s. His background includes both client and agency experience. Before joining WD Partners, John was President of Pontis Group. In addition, he has held positions at Moxie (formerly Engauge), Resource Interactive, and JP Morgan Chase (formerly Bank One).


Jim Brittan CPA

Chief Financial Officer

With more than 25 years of collective experience in global finance, accounting and operations, Jim serves as the Chief Financial Officer for WD Partners. As the leader of the Finance, Information Technology and Human Resources functions, Jim focuses on the continuing development of WD’s global finance and administrative function and overall value creation.

Jim has a multitude of responsibilities including financial controls and reporting, forecasting and budgeting, business planning, management of banking relationships and the acquisition and development of corporate talent.

Prior to joining WD in 2004, Jim held leadership positions at 10 Worldwide, Resource Marketing and Amerilink Corporation. Additionally, Jim is a licensed CPA with years of public accounting experience. During his career he has led public stock offerings, managed SEC reporting and investor relations and negotiated numerous acquisitions.


Jen Merkich

Jen Merkich

Director, Talent Care & Development

As the Director of Talent Care & Development, Jen provides support to associates to help them develop their career path, set individual goals and provide continuous education initiatives. She also works on policy development and strategic implementation to support corporate objectives and business growth.

Jen evaluates and provides advice on the impact of long-range planning of new programs and strategies, and how they impact the attraction, motivation, development and retention of new and current associates. She is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of policies, programs and services, recruitment and retention, associate relations, onboarding, license management as well as learning & development. She does everything she can to create a comfortable environment to share concerns, celebrate achievements, offer guidance and make a difference in people’s lives.


A Leadership Team Dedicated to Innovation and Execution

Industry experience, know-how and creative energy -- a team that thrives on change and understands the relentless churn of retail and rapid shifts in consumer sentiment.

Leadership

  • Chris Doerschlag, Chief Executive Officer

    Chris Doerschlag AIA, NCARB

    Chief Executive Officer

    Chris Doerschlag
  • Lee Peterson, Executive Vice President, Brand, Strategy & Design

    Lee Peterson

    Executive Vice President, Brand, Strategy & Design

    Lee Peterson
  • Andrew Maletz, Executive Vice President

    Andrew Maletz AIA, NCARB, LEED AP

    Executive Vice President

    Andrew Maletz
  • Elaine Kleinschmidt, Executive Vice President, Strategy & Experience Design

    Elaine Kleinschmidt

    Executive Vice President, Strategy & Experience Design

    Elaine Kleinschmidt
  • Dan Stanek, Executive Vice President

    Dan Stanek

    Executive Vice President

    Dan Stanek
  • John Bajorek, Executive Vice President, Strategic Growth and Innovation

    John Bajorek

    Executive Vice President, Strategic Growth and Innovation

    John Bajorek
  • Jim Brittan, Chief Financial Officer

    Jim Brittan CPA

    Chief Financial Officer

    Jim Brittan
  • Jen Merkich, Director, Talent Care & Development

    Jen Merkich

    Director, Talent Care & Development

    Jen Merkich

Chris Doerschlag AIA, NCARB

Chief Executive Officer

As Chris was establishing his career with some of the country’s most respected architectural firms, he also was observing weaknesses in the building industry’s “standard operating procedures.” Driven to improve results, he began to envision ways to re-engineer the development process.

Taking the leadership role at WD in 1996, Chris focused the company on architecture and engineering services for national multi-unit retail. He believed that specializing would allow WD to fully understand client needs and problems, and thus enable WD to provide the most effective solutions.