Lew Epstein


Lew Epstein
Business Advisor, Creative Leader, and Climate Activist           

After nearly 27 years leading Steelcase brands, Lew’s time now is dedicated to helping create a healthier, more sustainable world through climate action. To that end, Lew is a special advisor to the Foundation For Climate Restoration (F4CR); a contributor to the Queens Climate Project: Compost Taskforce in New York; a strategic advisor to Zauben, an eco-minded company committed to healthier living; and the founder of a new content platform that will make it easier for designers to drive climate action further, currently in development.

40 years ago, Lew’s environmental advocacy began when the forestry stewardship movement emerged. From contributing to, and speaking about, reforestation, and wood certification to a current focus on climate change and restoration, the continuous thread has been bringing commerce and conservation together in ways that benefit and sustain both. Lew’s work moving forward continues this advocacy for the healthy balance between these often opposing factors.

Previously, Lew led Coalesse, a Steelcase (SCS) brand, for several years and assumed responsibility for Steelcase Ancillary Partners, including its West Elm Work Collection. In these roles, he directed experienced leadership teams, including diverse product and brand development teams, and a portfolio of global partners. He collaborated closely with the Coalesse Design Group, bringing thought leadership to the brand’s philosophy, strategy, and portfolio with a perspective that merged design thinking with sustainability and entrepreneurial business practices.

Throughout the years Lew commercialized new concepts for Steelcase by bringing them from research through ideation and product development to market launch, leading to 23 patents. Today, Lew speaks and writes about developing concepts, growing partnerships, and pursuing climate action—topics that bridge his experience and perspective. New engagements include advising a capstone project for Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business and guest speaking at Northwestern University’s Segal Design Institute.

Lew studied fine arts and design at the California Institute of the Arts (CALARTS) and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in furniture design from the University of the Arts (UARTS) in Philadelphia, PA. Today Lew lives in New York, home to a world of cultural diversity, to all the arts, and to climate activists striving to sustain our world.