New York





Michelle Cleland

Operations Manager

As Operations Manager, Michelle is ultimately responsible for the efficiency, usefulness, and value of the internal structures, tools, and workflows that support and empower our team’s day-to-day experience. She drives our community’s experience by handling the upkeep and management of our studio, IT, general infrastructure, materials, and events, supporting the team across the board. Michelle works closely with People Operations, Finance, Partnerships, and Leadership teams to support AREA 17’s talent and client community.

With her many years working in and heading up customer experience for companies like StreetEasy, Zillow, and LVMH Moët Hennessy, it won’t come as a surprise that Michelle is the embodiment of helpfulness and facilitation. Whether it’s managing our IT services, finding smart and efficient ways to make onboarding a breeze, or saving a squirrel from an angry dog, Michelle is always ready to dive into every challenge with calm, focus, and follow-through; not to mention bubbling energy and an endless suite of puns.  

Although Michelle is quite a people-person, her love for animals is even greater. She loves dogs and cats alike (and squirrels, for that matter) and will actively persuade team members to bring their pets to the studio. Michelle is also a massive fan of her neighborhood in Brooklyn, and you’ll likely find her hanging out in one of its many restaurants and concert venues on the weekend. Not one to stay cooped up indoors, she is also an avid hiker.