2012 Georgia PDMA Summit - Going Global

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    9th Annual PDMA Georgia Summit 2012 Biographies

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    Featured Speaker Biographies

    photo of Karen SmithKaren Smith, Brand Design Director, Kimberly-Clark Corporation

    Global Trends, Local Designs

    For Karen Smith, what started as a job in typography evolved into a career in package design, branding, innovation and strategy. As Global Brand Design Director at Kimberly-Clark, Karen works with the Kimberly-Clark Professional and Kimberly-Clark Healthcare teams, tapping into insights based on user and chooser needs, combining the strategic and functional through design, to create meaningful solutions that drive desire and improve the business.

    Before joining Kimberly-Clark as a Design Director, Karen was EVP Strategy and Innovation at Dragon Rouge and VP Strategy at CBX and New York.  With a BA and MBA from Georgia State, Karen is an Atlanta native with a passion for both southern fried chicken and running along Peachtree Street. 



    Dan Peters, Director, Innovation Effectiveness - The Coca-Cola Company

    Establishing Innovation Pipeline Management in a Global System

    Dan Peters is currently Director, Innovation Effectiveness for The Coca-Cola Company.  He is accountable for the global innovation “Stage Gate” process and is leading a global cross functional innovation community to leverage the power of ‘One Process/One System’ across The Coca-Cola Company’s 200+ markets to drive effective product and packaging innovation.  Dan has extensive global innovation program management experience including eKOfreshment which has dramatically reduced the carbon footprint of The Coca-Cola Company’s Beverage Coolers and Vending machines, and Coca-Cola Freestyle ™ which has redefined the Fountain consumer experience.

    Dan is an active member of PDMA and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Master of Science in Operations Management both from Georgia State University.  


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    Marcelo photoMarcelo Marer, Chief Creative Director, Intel Media

    Contrasts in Experiential Design

    Prior to joining Intel, Marcelo Marer was General Manager of User Experience & Design at the BBC where he oversaw creative teams delivering audience-facing digital products and services to help establish the BBC as a world leader in user experience and design.  During almost ten-years at a global digital agency, Razorfish, Marcelo held multiple positions including VP Research and VP User Experience, serving clients across a wide range of industries, from Citi Ventures to  Hulu, from Ford Motor Company to the New York Public Library.  A native of Brazil, he attended the University of Sao Paulo and the City University of New York.


    photo of Matt Rushing

    Matt Rushing, Director, Product Management Global Electronics & Global Engines, AGCO Corporation

    Customer Driven Innovation - A Global Perspective

    Matt Rushing is leading part of a global team responsible for the future development and evolutions of Engines and Electronics products at AGCO and the long term strategic product plans globally for AGCO vehicle electronic architecture, engine installations and for Machine Guidance, Machine Telematics and other Advanced Technologies.

    Matt has been with AGCO for 12 years. He has held positions in Sales Support, Sales and Product Management for both the North American and European regions. He has lived and worked in the UK and Switzerland as well as the US and have experience working in South America, Africa, Asia Pacific and multiple countries in Western, Central and Eastern Europe. I am currently based at the AGCO Global HQ in Duluth Georgia USA.


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    Round Table Discussion Speakers

    Gerardo Garcia photoGerardo Garcia, Group Director, Global Design,
    The Coca-Cola Company

    Gerardo Garcia is responsible for advancing the evolution of the company’s design capability around the world by providing collaborative leadership, building and deploying talent, and standardizing methodologies, tools and frameworks necessary to leverage Design—both thinking and doing—to create competitive advantage for the world’s most valuable brands.

    Prior to The Coca-Cola Company, he served as director of the user experience group for Sapient, where he was instrumental in bridging the gaps between brand strategy, design and execution, creating powerful and lasting business results across analog and digital channels.

    During his career, he has worked for 24 Hour Fitness, JetBlue, Harrah’s Entertainment, Marriott International, UPS, among other Fortune 500 companies, developing strategic insights, identifying highest-value opportunities and resolving critical and complex business issues.

    Gerardo Garcia is responsible for advancing the evolution of the company’s design capability around the world by providing collaborative leadership, building and deploying talent, and standardizing methodologies, tools and frameworks necessary to leverage Design—both thinking and doing—to create competitive advantage for the world’s most valuable brands.

    During his career, he has worked with numerous Fortune 500 companies, bridging the gaps between brand strategy, design and execution, creating powerful and lasting business results across analog and digital channels.


    Jim Couch, Vice President, Client Services, Lextant

    With over twenty five plus (25+) years of broad industry experiences, Jim Couch has led and managed multi-disciplinary product development and design strategy programs for some of the world’s most respected brands, including companies such as Alcon, Black & Decker, Coca-Cola, Diebold, Eastman Kodak, Ford Motor Company, LG Electronics, Procter & Gamble, SC Johnson & Sons, STERIS, Xerox, and Whirlpool, among others.

    As a practitioner of human-centered design, Jim has helped develop tools and processes to identify latent user needs, revitalize mature products, and develop new and novel products and services. With numerous patents and design awards to his name, Jim is skilled in all aspects of product development, with a particularly strong emphasis on up front “fuzzy” front end opportunity discovery. He has served as a board member of the Industrial Design Society of America, and as a juror on the Business Week/ IDSA International Design Excellence Awards program. Jim is a frequent lecturer to design, business, and academic audiences.

    Jim joined Lextant in 2008 and oversees client services and marketing.
    Prior to
    Lextant, Jim helped create the industrial design studio at Altair ProductDesign and before that was head of product development for a pre- revenue medical device start-up. Jim began his career with the international design consultancy Fitch. During his twenty-one (21) year tenure with the company he held numerous positions ultimately serving as General Manager for the Columbus, OH office 

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    Brad White photoBrad White, Partner, Prophet

    Brad White is a Partner at Prophet, a strategic brand and marketing consultancy. In 2004, Brad help to start (r)evolution, a marketing strategy and innovation consultancy, and served as a Managing Principal until (r)evolution was acquired by Prophet in 2012. Prior to joining (r)evolution, he spent several years in the Atlanta office of The Boston Consulting Group. He has worked closely with many leading organizations across several industries to create successful growth strategies. His clients include Colgate-Palmolive, SC Johnson, General Mills, Dunkin’ Brands, Equifax, Pfizer, UPS, The Coca-Cola Company and several others.

    Brad was honored as the 2007 Atlanta Marketer of the Year by the Atlanta chapter of the American Marketing Association. He is also a writer and frequent speaker on the topic of innovation and marketing. He has been a speaker at several IIR and PDMA conferences and events and is a co-chair of the 2012 PDMA annual international Product Innovation and Management conference. Brad also serves on the Board of Directors for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.

    Brad earned a B.S. with honors in Chemical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University and an M.B.A with honors from the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. He has difficulty prioritizing his hobbies outside work: he is an active soccer player, angler, mountaineer, wing shooter and scuba diver. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and three daughters. 


    photo of Bo Roe

    Bo Roe, Manager, Global Innovation at Newell Rubbermaid 

    Bo Roe brings optimism to the art and science of design and innovation. By melding experience in consumer insights, manufacturing, innovation strategy, and industrial design, he provides a holistic view of business innovation and new product development. In the last few years Bo has led projects in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, France, Switzerland, China, Turkey, and the US.  Work in these markets has been focused on developing innovation strategies, exploring emerging market entry, and assessing and building design and innovation competencies.

    He has worked on innovations across a spectrum of B2B and B2C brands like Freudenberg NOK, IRWIN, Ryobi, Waterman, Calphalon, Graco, Levolor, and Paper Mate. His current responsibilities as Manager, Global Innovation at Newell Rubbermaid include expanding capabilities in design, creativity, and new product development across the global portfolio of consumer and professional brands.

    Bo holds a degree in Industrial Design from Georgia Tech and a graduate certificate in Creativity from the State University of New York. He has professional consumer insights training from both RIVA and the Burke Institute.

    In his spare time Bo makes sock animals, brews beer, builds stuff, and dance with his wife and dog to made up songs in the kitchen of their mid-century home in Atlanta.


    Doug MacDonald photo

    Doug MacDonald

    Doug MacDonald has over 27 years of engineering, research, consulting, and managerial experience bringing innovative and financially competitive products to small, mid, and large scale markets. 

    His first 20 years at Steelcase were focused on development of modular commercial office furniture and related full height architectural systems as part of a $3 billion sales organization. He and his Grand Rapids based engineering teams developed and implemented numerous novel product solutions based on user insights, resulting in a combined 20 utility and process patents issued. 

    In 2006 Doug and his family relocated to Atlanta to join Steelcase’s subsidiary, PolyVision.  As Engineering R&D Program Manager, his first order of business was to lead his Engineering Team in implementing new global CAD/PDM and change management systems.  These systems now enable a diverse and remote workforce to concurrently develop a new generation of  interactive education products integrated with proprietary software, hardware, IR, RF, laser, ultrasonic and audio technologies. 


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    Jeff Sweeney photoJeff Sweeney 

    As Executive VP and Chief Marketing Officer, Jeff Sweeney leads business development efforts for East West Manufactur- ing. Jeff’s focus is on the customer--from identifying companies in need of offshore manufacturing services, evaluating projects and products for their effective fit, to oversight of the customer- service and logistics functions at East West.

    Prior to co-founding East West, Jeff was VP of Research and Engineering for 11 years with DiversiTech Corporation, a leading U.S. manufacturer and distributor of HVAC components and supplies. While at Diversitech, Jeff invented and developed several product lines key to the company’s growth. Jeff’s work at DiversiTech resulted in seven US patents, with more still pending. Before Diversitech, Jeff spent five years with Kimberly-Clark and developed and implemented process improvements which generated annual savings in the tens of millions of dollars.

    Mr. Sweeney graduated with high honors from the Georgia Institute of Technology with an Engineering Science and Mechanics degree. 

    photo of Rick PurcellRick Purcell

    Rick Purcell has been with the Kimberly-Clark Corporation, a Fortune 200 consumer products company whose KLEENEX, SCOTT, HUGGIES, PULL-UPS, KOTEX, and DEPEND brands hold the number one or two market position in over 80 countries, since 1991 and has focused on new market and new product development since 1998. In his current role as Research Technical Leader, he assesses market viability for potential new product initiatives in the Kimberly-Clark Professional B2B division. His responsibilities range from preliminary strategy development to product launch and most everything in between. He also mentors young product development professionals in a variety of areas from project execution tips to career development. Rick has a broad background with expertise in marketing, program management, product development, operations, and engineering.

    Prior to his career at the Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Rick was R&D engineering manager at the Scovill Manufacturing Company. He holds a BS from Southern Polytechnic State University and a MBA from Brenau University. Rick also served on the Board of Directors for the Georgia Chapter of the Product Development and Management Association (PDMA) and the Atlanta Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA).

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