Boston Chapter


    About the Boston Chapter

    Welcome to the Boston Chapter of the PDMA.  Our focus is on managing organizational and innovation processes for consistently producing a successful pipeline of new products and services.  Our chapter is community-based and we welcome all professionals in the Greater Boston area to take part in our activities.

    Chapter Contacts

    Jean-Francois Hould

    Frank Citrone

    Upcoming Events

     Beyond the Champion: Institutionalizing a Capability for Breakthrough Innovation

    Established companies are clamoring for breakthrough innovation, but are often hindered by highly reliable, repeatable processes of their management systems. Companies must learn to commercialize breakthrough innovations - the force of new business creation - as a regular organizational activity, rather than by exception.

    Join the Greater Boston PDMA on Wednesday, June 21st when Professor Gina Colarelli O'Connor will share results of a multi-phase research program on how companies seeking to compete on the basis of strategic innovation institutionalize a capability to do so.

    Register now for this event and network with other product development, product management and innovation professionals in the Boston area.

    Event Details

    Speaker: Professor Gina Colarelli O'Connor, Lally School of Management and Technology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)  

    Event Date: 
    Wednesday, June 21, 2017


    5:30 – 6:30 PM: Networking (food and soft beverages provided)
    6:30 – 7:15 PM: Professor O’Connor
    7:15 – 8:00 PM: Q&A
    8:00 – 9:00 PM: Post-Event Networking  


    Northeastern University
    115 Forsynth Street
    Boston, MA 02115
    Shillman Hall 415

    Campus Map:


    PDMA Members: $15
    Non-members: $20
    Students: $10


    About Professor Gina Colarelli O'Connor, Lally School of Management and Technology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) 


    Dr. O’Connor is Professor of Marketing and Innovation Management and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Lally School of Management, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. She is Director for the Radical Innovation Research Project, and has served as the Director of the Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship and Director of the MBA and Executive MBA programs as well. She is also a founding partner of the rInnovation Group. Prior to joining RPI, Dr. O’Connor earned her PhD in marketing and corporate strategy at New York University, and before that worked at McDonnell Douglas and Monsanto Chemical company.

    Gina is a well-recognized thought leader in the field of innovation, having been widely quoted in The Economist and Fast Company, among other publications. Her fields of interest include new product development, radical innovation, technology commercialization, and strategic marketing management in high-technology arenas. The majority of her research efforts focus on how firms link advanced technology development to market opportunities. Her articles have been published in Organization ScienceCalifornia Management Review, Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, Academy of Management Executive, and the Journal of Marketing, among others. Four of her papers have won Best Paper of the Year award in the Journal of Product Innovation Management.

    She is coauthor of the book Radical Innovation: How Mature Firms Can Outsmart Upstarts (Harvard Business School Press, 2000) and lead author of Grabbing Lightning: Building a Capability for Breakthrough Innovation (Jossey-Bass, 2008), which won the Strategy Business magazine Innovation Award as one of four most influential books for 2008.  Her forthcoming book, Beyond the Champion: Roles and Responsibilities for an Innovation Function, is the third to come from the Radical Innovation Research Program at RPI.

    Gina’s executive education experience includes programs with companies such as General Motors, IBM, and Albany International, and many European companies. She consults with others to help them develop, embed, and sustain management systems for breakthrough innovation. 

    Past Events

    Tuesday, November 1, 2016

     What's Working in New Product Development 

    The PDMA Boston Chapter gathered for an evening of networking and roundtable discussions on best practices in new product development. The event featured opening remarks by Gavin Finn, Professor of the Practice at Tufts Gordon Institute and President & CEO of Kaon Interactive, Inc., followed by discussions on four key issues in product development today. The interactive event helped to uncover new ideas and strategies that you can use to improve the effectiveness of product development efforts within your own organization.

    About Gavin A. Finn, PhD, President & CEO, Kaon Interactive, Inc., Professor of the Practice, Tufts Gordon Institute

    gavin.jpgGavin Finn is President & CEO of Kaon Interactive. He is responsible for the company’s strategic, financial, product, and customer relationship strategies. In this capacity, he has led the successful transformation of the company’s business model and marketing strategies. Gavin has led Kaon’s continuous innovation process, resulting in the introduction of several award-winning solutions, which have delivered significant improvements in customers’ business performance through increases in sales effectiveness and marketing efficiency.

    Prior to joining Kaon, Gavin served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Bluestreak, Inc., an Internet advertising and marketing infrastructure software company, and led the company through three acquisitions and organic growth resulting in a profitable, high-growth business. Prior to Bluestreak, Gavin was President and Chief Executive Officer of Prescient Technologies, Inc., a software company that provided engineering data quality solutions for engineering and manufacturing companies in the aerospace, automotive, and, heavy industrial markets. Gavin holds a Ph.D. in Computer-Aided-Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Structural Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Oklahoma State University.

    Gavin currently holds an appointment as Professor of the Practice at Tufts University’s Gordon Institute where he teaches courses in New Product Development, Entrepreneurial Marketing and Engineering Management.  

    Tuesday, October 4, 2016

     Getting Product Portfolio Management Right

    The PDMA Boston Chapter gathered for a presentation by author, speaker, and leading expert on complexity Andrei Perumal. Perumal described the new challenges facing product development in the Age of Complexity, and implications for competing in this age.

    Ever rising levels of complexity have changed the game for product development and management. As product lifecycles continue to decrease, and in many cases development times increase, organizations are finding themselves under extraordinary pressure. Making matters more difficult, many common approaches to product development and portfolio management, by not being fit for the realities of today’s world, exacerbate this situation. The result: growth in product portfolios has not only added tremendous unintended costs to organizations, but has made them less able to serve their customers, less responsive to the market, and overall, less profitable and competitive. Product development today must anchor on focus, simplicity, and speed, avoiding the unintended costs of complexity, missed market opportunities, and growth without profitability. Andrei will present new insights and approaches to help you see the hidden costs of complexity and focus, streamline, and align your product development efforts. 

     Thursday, June 9th, 2016

    Pizza and Beer: A Dynamic Duo!

    Hosted by Bay State Milling at their fantastic outdoor facility, attendees enjoyed fresh oven-baked pizza paired with craft beer. Attendees learned first-hand how two local companies are breathing new life into maturing industries while creating value through use of an age-old technology - fermentation!

    Colleen Zammer, Director of Product Marketing at Bay State Milling gave a brief history of her company - a family owned business over 100 years old. Nick Ahrens, Product Applications Culinologist at Bay State Milling addressed the need for consistency in the product development process. Matt DeLuca, Head Brewer at Castle Island Brewery emphasized the importance of taking data points during the brewing process when developing a new brand.

    All 3 speakers displayed a passion that translated into success for their respective companies and products.


    Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

     Design & Thinking: Documentary Film Screening and Round Table Discussion 

    Boston PDMA held a showing of the "Design and Thinking" documentary by Mu-Ming Tsai, followed by roundtable discussions. The event took place at Northeastern University and we were pleased to welcome executives from leading companies in the Greater Boston market along with many students. It was very exciting to connect such a diverse group of innovators! Discussions were lively, insightful, and incuded related topics such as:

  • Strengths and limitations of "Design and Thinking" approach
  • Impact of innovation process to organizational structure and culture
  • How we can promote organizational adoption of "Design and Thinking" principles
  • Applicability of "Design and Thinking" to different industries 

    Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

    Innovation in Packing: How Leading Edge Companies are Changing the Way We Consume

    Moderarated by Nora Gildea, VP of Marketing, MIDIOR Consulting, this event highlighted that what surrounds a product is often just as important to success as the product itself. The Greater Boston PDMA hosted a panel with speakers from companies that are changing the way products are delivered and consumed. The discussion touched on a range of topics:

    • The market drivers behind these new packaging formats
    • The innovative technologies that support novel functionality
    • The development challenges with integrating products and packaging
    • The decision-making process behind how these new packaging designs are delivered to consumers

    Panel for the evening included:

    • Joe Adiletta, Director, Client Engagement & Programs, Liquiglide
    • Jurjen Jacobs, Vice President Marketing & Innovation, Velcro Companies
    • Bob Altabet, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, RBC Technologies
    • Joshua Resnikoff, Co-CEO and Founder, Cuppow

    Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

    Innovation in Scientific Instrumentation

     Moderated by Daryl Belock, VP of Innovation and R&D Collaboration at Thermo Fisher Scientific, this panel discussion explored perspectives on Product Development in a the very specialized market of Scientific Instrumentation. Experts from local Scientific Instrumentation companies will discussed how they drive innovation and customer engagement to bring the most value to their products. Other topics explored by the panel included how to identify and engage a pilot or lighthouse customer, setting and achieving audacious goals by incorporating customer feedback and uncovering non-product related value propositions.

     Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

    The Business, Science and Art of the User Experience

    This presentation explored why user experience is one of the hottest topics in product & service design and how product developers are meeting the rapidly changing requirements for UX design in delivering new products and services. Based on his nearly three decades of experience in the tech sector, Professor Bill Gribbons, founder of the User Experience Center at Bentley University, spoke about the behaviors and science underlying a successful user experience and how such understanding provides the foundation for an informed product design practice. The presentation highlighted case examples of successful, and not so successful, user experience design initiatives..

    Wednesday April 8, 2015 

    Zipcar: Disruptive Innovation Today and In The Future

    Brian Harrington, Executive Vice President & CMO at Zipcar was the speaker for PDMA Greater Boston’s April event. Today, Zipcar has grown to over 900,000 members, 800 employees, is expanding globally and less than two years after it’s IPO in 2011, was acquired by the Avis Budget Group. In a highly interactive session at Northeastern University, Harrington explained that, at its core, Zipcar thinks of itself as a technology company that happens to own 10,000 cars. Today, as in 2000 when Zipcar was first founded, its mission is to enable simple and responsible urban living. Harrington’s presentation highlighted recent changes in the competitive landscape for Zipcar and plans for continued innovation to meet the challenge.

    Thursday, February 26th, 2015

    Creativity: It’s Not Just About the Front End of Innovation

    The Boston Chapter of PDMA kicked off 2015 with a presentation about deliberate creativity by innovation and creative problem solving consultant, Courtney Zwart at the Microsoft NERD Center in Cambridge. Creativity, the production of novel ideas that serve a purpose, is the starting point for innovation and an essential input for growth in our companies and in our economy at large. But creativity also has application well beyond the front end of innovation and can be deliberately invoked to assist with challenges and opportunities presented at all stages of new product development. The presentation highlighted the factors that enhance creativity, how creativity can support business goals and what good management practices are required to translate creativity into innovation for commercial outcomes.

    Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

    Innovation Case Study: The Creation of the Next Generation in Retail Checkout by AOA Xinetics and Kroger

    Case Study: AOA Xinetics/Kroger Co. Development of the Advantage Checkout System

    The Greater Boston’s Chapter December event at the Microsoft NERD Center had Cameron Dryden from AOA Xinetics, a division of Northern Grumman, speaking about the challenges of developing the Advantage Checkout system in collaboration with Kroger and his philosophy for innovation.

    Over the years Cameron has led many new product development teams that have come up with innovative products, many of them incorporating the 15 plus patents he holds. Cameron believes there are three paths to innovation - Contradiction, Connection, and Creative Desperation - which come from Gary Klein’s 2013 book, “"Seeing What Other’s Don’t".

    During the presentation he outlined his own proven principles for actually implementing the process of innovation. Cameron’s four guiding principles are:

    1.  Believe your goal is possible
    2.  Iterate quickly
    3.  Test every parameter possible
    4.  Don’t hide problems

    Overall, Cameron’s message for success was twofold: believe in yourself and break down challenges into achievable goals.

    Tuesday, November 6th, 2014, Boston, MA  

    Innovation and New Products in the Food & Beverage Industry

    • Panel discussion exploring the hottest trends in the food and beverage industry.
    • Local executives sharing their experiences with introducing new products in the rapidly changing food and beverage space.Product Management and Development teams
    • Wide variety of companies - from startups to larger, more established firms

    Sponsored by the MIT Sloan Alumni Association of Boston

    Tuesday, August 5th, 2014, Tewksbury MA  

    Thermo Fisher Scientific Site Tour and Product Demo

    • Private tour of Thermo Fisher Scientific operations in Tewksbury Massachusetts 
    • Interactive product demonstrations led by Thermo Fisher Scientific Product Management and Development teams
    • After event networking at Longhorn Steakhous

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014, Capitol Theatre, Arlington MA

    "Design and Thinking" Film and Panel Discussion in Partnership with DMI

    • Private screening of critically acclaimed documentary "Design and Thinking" followed by an expert panel moderated by James Morley Read, Professor of Industrial Design at MassArt on how inspired use of design can drive new product innovatio

    Saturday, May 17, 2014, Sydney’s Grill, Cambridge MA
    Cambridge Networking Brunch

    • Open-to-all networking event to connect local PDMA members and other product development professionals in the greater Boston community

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014, Microsoft New England R&D Center, Cambridge MA
    Increase Productivity with Knowledge Driven / Lean Product Development

    • An evening with product development transformation expert and former President & CEO of Benthos, Inc., Ron Marsiglio to explore Knowledge Driven Product Development (KDPD) process

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Waltham MA
    Leveraging Intellectual Property for Competitive Advantage

    • An evening with intellectual property expert Ben Taylor, Director at ipCapital Group, to explore the value and strategies associated with intellectual property management

    Monday, December 2, 2013, Microsoft New England R&D Center, Cambridge MA
    Overcoming Challenges and Sharing Best Practices in Product Development and Management

    • Networking and roundtable discussions hosted by local PDMA members exploring five hot topics in product development and innovation.

    Thursday, June 13, 2013, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Waltham MA
    Measuring Product Innovation

    • Cross-industry panel of product leaders moderated by Susan Loconto Penta of MIDIOR Consulting exploring how companies measure and drive innovation in new product development

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