Transformation Design Firm


About Catalyz

Our team has over 40 years of collective experience building teams and programs, leading organizational change at scale, and empowering individuals to design and deliver innovative products, services, and workplaces. We believe that successful change is rooted in strategy and culture, and that by engaging both employees and leaders in adaptive leadership and the human-centered approach of Design Thinking organizations can develop cultures that don’t fear change, but lean into it together.

Our Vision

We envision a world in which the people, companies, and services we interact with are deeply customer-centric, innovative, and prepared for the accelerated rate of change and transformation of the 21st century.

Our Mission

To help organizations transform using a design-based and human-centered approach.

Our Approach

We partner with organizations to develop the cultural infrastructure needed for their business transformations and strategies to succeed.

Leadership Team


Ben Grossman-Kahn

Ben Grossman-Kahn

CEO & Co-Founder

Ben is the CEO and co-founder of Catalyz. He has an M.ED in Learning, Design and Technology from Stanford, is a graduate and former lecturer and coach at the Stanford d.School, and has 11 years of experience leading teams and developing programs that support innovation and cultural transformation. Prior to Catalyz, Ben was the Founding Director of the Nordstrom People Lab, and co-founded the Seattle Design Thinking and Innovation Collective.

Zachary Smith

Zachary Smith

Co-Founder Emeritus

Zachary Smith is Co-Founder of Catalyz and is a technology, design thinking, and innovation leader with more than 19 years of product development and client services experience, serving a wide range of industries and organizations including startups, Wall Street banks, automotive manufacturers, enterprise software platform providers, creative studios, and consulting agencies. Zachary is a Partner with Social Venture Partners and is Co-Founder of the Seattle Design Thinking and Innovation Collective.

Melissa Chevalier

Melissa Chevalier

Creative Director

Melissa has worked as a designer, creative leader and advisor with nearly 20 years experience within Fortune 500 companies, design agencies and nonprofits. She has a passion for bringing out the best in people and has influenced team culture for companies like Apple, Publicis and Citrix. Melissa has helped develop and design custom playbooks, toolkits and on-boarding resources that have transformed teams best practices, innovation engagements and sustainable workflow for numerous organizations.
Tim Schmuckal

Tim Schmuckal


Tim has worked as an attorney, strategist and executive in the technology and creative service industries for over 20 years, with a common thread of helping people and organizations thrive. He brings an operator’s perspective on mergers, with experience at Expedia and Digital Kitchen LLC on merger negotiations and integrations. He serves on the nonprofit Boards of Washington Lawyers for the Arts and the Live Music Project and continues to grow and learn through his work with Ben and Zach.


Curious in learning more? Give us a call, schedule a time to meet in person, or join us at the monthly Design Thinking Seattle event that we sponsor and frequently facilitate.