PDMA Board of Directors
Allan Anderson, NPDP, Chair
Charles Noble, PhD, Vice Chair
He has earned degrees from Boston College (BS, Finance), Babson College (MBA, International Marketing), and Arizona State University (PhD, Marketing). Charles’ research interests focus on design and development processes, as applied to both products and services. He has published in many leading journals including the Journal of Marketing, Strategic Management Journal, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Product Innovation Management, Sloan Management Review, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, and many others. He is lead editor on the recently released, “Open Innovation: New Product Development Essentials from the PDMA” (2014, Wiley Press).
In his corporate life, Charles worked in strategic planning and corporate finance for leading retailers in the consumer electronics, home improvement, and warehouse club sectors. He has consulted for many organizations, primarily in the airline, retailing, restaurant, consumer packaged goods, and commercial real estate industries.
Meredith Baratz, Secretary-Treasurer
Steven Haines, Director
Steven is the founder of Sequent Learning Networks, an internationally positioned training and organizational advisory services firm focusing on Product Management, Strategy, and Marketing. Before he founded Sequent, he served for five years as one of the ‘founding fathers’ of the CRM business at Oracle. Prior to that, he worked in various product leadership, financial, and operational roles at AT&T. While at AT&T, he worked on a corporate task force that benchmarked dozens of other firms’ business practices and also served as a member of AT&T’s global leadership development program review board.
He contributes to the world of business by serving as a mentor to The Founder Institute, the world’s largest entrepreneur training and startup launch program. The Founder Institute helps aspiring founders across the globe to build enduring technology companies.
Steven received his BS in Management Science and Organizational Behavior from Binghamton University, and an MBA in Financial Management from the Lubin School of Business at Pace University. Steven is based in New York City.
Bob Johnston, Director
Clients have included IBM, BMW, Carl Zeiss, Center for Creative Leadership, 3M, United Way Worldwide, Procter & Gamble and Barclays Global Investors, among others.
Bob has lectured on innovation at the Harvard Business School, Brown University, Duke’s Fuqua School of Business and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and quoted on his work by Fortune, INC., Industry Week, Entrepreneur, the Journal of Creative Behavior, and CIO magazine. He is a past President and Board Chair of the Product Development and Management Association and has been inducted into the Creative Education Foundation’s Hall of Fame, where he served on the Board for eight years.
Bob is the author of numerous articles on innovation and the book, The Power of Strategy Innovation: A New Way of Linking Creativity and Strategic Planning to Discover Great Business Opportunities, with Doug Bate. The book is full of stories about their collaboration with companies like 3M, Eli Lilly, Procter & Gamble, IBM, Carl Zeiss, Barclays Global Investors, Nokia, and Moen, among others, and the strategy innovation methodology we provided to drive their innovative growth. The updated version of the book describes the global emergence of a new role in the C-Suite, Chief Innovation Officer, and a trend toward Enterprise-wide Innovation. Bob enjoys speaking on the topic of Strategy Innovation and Enterprise Innovation and in the recent past has given presentations or keynotes for Washington DC’s AdWeek, the African Creativity Conference, the Host Hotel’s General Manager’s Conference, the United Way Worldwide Leadership Conference and Regional Conferences and continues to guest lecture each semester in the Brown University Entrepreneurship Program. He has been invited to rejoin the Product Development and Management Board for 2017 and serves on the Board of the Vineyard Montessori School.
Bob lives with his wife, Ty, on Martha’s Vineyard where they are a short ferry and car ride from their adult children, Danielle, Rob and Emily, daughter-in-law, Andrea, and grandson, Cameron in Massachusetts. The family shares a passion for being together and New England sports!
Kenneth Kahn, Director
Sharon Parsons, Director
Sharon has a passion for product development and management, and recently earned her Innovation Management Certified Professional certification from PDMA. She also served on the conference committee for PDMA and is in the process of obtaining her NPDP certification.
Sharon holds an MBA from the University Of Notre Dame Executive MBA program Chicago, Illinois, and completed a double major to earn a BA in both psychology and philosophy from St. Norbert College, De Pere, Wisconsin. In her free time, Sharon enjoys reading, running and spending time at her home in Kentucky with her husband and three dogs.
Suzanne Thompson, Director
A native of Missouri, Suzanne holds a master’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Yasmine Winkler, Director
She attended Northeastern Illinois University and received her B.A. in English and Environmental Studies. She has a M.S in Health Care Delivery Science from the Tuck School of Business and the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College. She is an alumna of the Chicago-based Leadership Greater Chicago program, served on the NHHF Board and is a member of Women in the Boardroom, National Hispanic Latina Institute (NHLI), The Alumni Society, the National Association of Hispanic Nurses – Council of Business (NAHN CoBA) and PDMA.
PDMA Operations Committee
Jelena Spanjol, Vice President of Academics
Prior to joining UIC, Jelena was a faculty in the Department of Marketing, Mays Business School, at Texas A&M University. She received a Bachelor of Science in Economics and her doctorate in Business Administration (focus on Marketing and Cognitive Psychology) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Jelena’s research examines the complex relationships between motivation and innovation—through the lens of firms and consumers. In relation to firms and their motivations to innovate, Jelena examines how motivation shapes the innovation process and outcomes. Specifically, she seeks to answer questions such as: how much value does innovation create for firms and at what cost; why are some firms better at creating more novel solutions; and how do innovation teams make decisions. With respect to consumers and their motivations to change through innovative behaviors, Jelena investigates questions such as: how do consumers evaluate and use new products; how do consumers attain their goals more effectively; and how does innovation contribute to making people’s lives healthier. She is particularly interested in how innovation can create value in the healthcare domain. Jelena’s research has been published in the Journal of Marketing, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Product Innovation Management, Marketing Letters, Journal of Business Ethics and Health Psychology, and in various book chapters.
Sudhi Gulur, NPDP, Vice President of Certification
Sudhi’s skills and experiences include leading, coaching, and managing teams, partnering with internal and external customers across various domains to understand their needs, leading innovation, product discovery, product strategy and planning, software product management, and new product development.
Prior to joining Boeing, Sudhi worked for Dassault Systèmes and led new product development of product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions for the aerospace, automotive, structure, shipbuilding and architecture and engineering construction (AEC) industries.
Sudhi has a master’s degree in mechanical engineering with a minor in industrial and manufacturing engineering and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. Sudhi is a continuous learner and is actively learning through books, blogs, courses and new assignments.
Steven R. Jambor, Vice President of Chapter Activity
Steve has had a long tenure with PDMA leadership at the chapter level. Over the last eleven years, he has held and performed several roles at the Chicago Chapter, including: President, VP of Marketing, VP of Event/Programing. He is looking forward to leveraging his experience to grow the chapters in strength and in numbers.
Steve holds a Masters in Business Administration from Keller Management Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology from Iowa State.
Steve resides with his family in Winnetka, Illinois. In additional to raising his children, he is a volunteer member of a Rotary DIMIST team, which provides technical advice and funding for digital imaging systems in underdeveloped countries throughout the world. When he’s not hanging out with his kids, you can find him golfing, sailing or motor boating on Lake Michigan.
Ernie Harris, Vice President of Events
Prior to starting Interesting Blazer, Ernie worked with companies like TDAmeritrade where his product team built one of the first real-time streaming data platforms delivered via the Internet and Baltimore Gas and Electric where he built and deployed one of the first automated software distribution and version control systems for the enterprise.
Ernie’s history with PDMA started in 2008 while at Raymond James Financial where he joined a local chapter to enrich his understanding of Product Management. Since then he has held positions at all levels within the organization from chapter President to Conference Planning Committee Member to Treasurer for the PDMA Board of Directors.
A graduate of the University of Maryland, Ernie holds a degree in Computer Science and numerous certifications including PDMA’s NPDP. He currently resides in Arizona with his wife BriAnna.
Aruna Shekar, Ph.D., Vice President of Global Affiliates Asia-Pacific
She has taught at Massey for more than twenty years and coordinated the final year product development projects with industry. Her educational focus is on teaching product development through project-based learning experiences and fostering creative thinking. She has led the re-designed first year humanitarian engineering course in conjunction with Engineers Without Borders (EWB), a non-profit social organization, for four years, and every year her students have won National and International awards. She has been nominated by students as ‘lecturer of the year’ in 2015 and 2016, as part of a recent initiative by students.
Karen Dworaczyk, NPDP, Vice President of Marketing
Over the course of more than 30 years in sales, product marketing and new product development, Karen has led and participated in the product development efforts of numerous Fortune 500 companies, in consumer packaged goods, the chemical industry, consumer durables, ingredient brands and software development.
She received executive training at The Kellogg School of Business, James L. Allen Center for Executive Training and a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Clarkson University. She has received many awards and scholarships including Kodak Scholar, Conrail Scholar, Regents Scholar, Society of Women Engineers Scholar, Chemical Engineering Honor Society, and the prestigious Emersonian Award from Procter & Gamble’s Global Oleo Chemical Group. She is an active member of PDMA, Product Development and Management Association since 2013 and a PDMA registered Education Provider since 2017.
Mark Adkins, NPDP, Vice President of Membership
Smart Hammer Innovation also partners on designing and deploying innovation software programs that provided clients IT systems that support the automation of Stage Gate, Portfolio Management, Resource Planning and the Front End of Innovation business processes improving our client’s Time-to-Market and Product Success Rates.
Mark is also an adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Medical Innovation. Professor Adkins teaches on Innovation Management to educate the next generation of innovators in the design, development, and commercialization of medical technologies.
Before founding Turnkey Marketing, Mr. Adkins was a Director at Cincinnati Machine where he spearheaded the design of their new product development process that was recognized in 1998 as the best in the world by the Product Development and Management Association (PDMA). Mark was also a director at Kennametal where he successfully integrated independent development teams from Europe, Asia and North America and launched three new next generation product lines.
Mark has a degree in Business Administration from Xavier University and is certified by the PDMA as a New Product Development Professional (NPDP). Mark served on the PDMA board of directors from 2006 – 2013 as VP of Marketing and in 2010 founded PDMA Pittsburgh where he serves as their volunteer executive director. He currently mentors entrepreneurial students in the Pitt Blast Furnace.
Abbie Griffin, NPDP, Vice President of Publications