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Competitive Edge: Disruption by Design Conference powered by PDMA


Understanding what people want, how they want it, and why they want it, and when they want it are the classic pillars of customer-centric design. This track delivers essential intelligence on the tools for gathering insights and how the best companies, big and small, not only identify opportunities but successfully execute on those ideas to drive growth.

High-performing teams and a positive organizational culture are crucial to effective and efficient growth. That means leaders are needed at every level of the organization. Whether co-located or remote, knowing what tools to employ in any team situation can make the difference between success and failure. Leaders in team building, corporate culture, and more deliver impactful and practical expertise.

Whether you're building or managing new, cutting-edge products or launching and managing more established ones, the digital transformation is upon us all. Technology is a key factor in bringing teams together, and driving efficiency in everything we do, and can make or break a product offering. Super-charge your learning with insights from today's product thought-leaders.

There are many diverse concepts, methodologies and perspectives in product innovation, development and management. Understanding where and when to prescribe them is rooted in a foundational understanding of the disciplines in these three areas. PDMA's exclusive Body of Knowledge contains those important mechanisms that you can apply to your everyday workplace challenges and is an essential part of your product toolbox to drive success.

Dynamic Breakout Session Speakers

Srinivas Achanta

Srinivas Achanta, Managing Director, SciTech Patent Art Services Private Limited

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Software and AI Design and Development: Tomorrow Land Is Today with Software-Enabled Products and Services. Session: AI & Deep Web Driven Enterprise Competitive Technology Intelligence: Case Studies

Education: Bachelor of Technology, I.I.T. Chennai (India) • Ph.D., Purdue University • M.B.A., University of Michigan
Experience: Current: Managing Director of SciTech Patent Art and Nex Farm Products India • Last corporate position: Senior Director of Marketing, UOP (a Honeywell Company) India & Southeast Asia • Over 25 years of business and technology commercialization experience • Started career in Engineering at The Procter & Gamble Company in Cincinnati (USA). Transitioned to a consultant role at the management consulting firm Booz & Company in Cleveland. Specialized in the development of go-to-market...strategies for leading companies in consumer products and industrials spaces for over five years. Joined Honeywell Corporation in New Jersey as part of the CEO's Strategy & Business Development team. Worked in strategic business development and business restructuring for over 2 years before relocating to India to lead UOP's marketing activities in India. Since leaving UOP, has been actively involved in the founding and management of SciTech Patent Art, Nex Farm Products India and Lacuna Engineering. >> Back to Schedule

Ruth Barry

Ruth Barry, Director of Electrical Engineering, bb7

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Consumer Products Design and Development: A Better Mouse Trap for Main St. (Sorry, Mickey!) The Missing Link for Success in Strategic Alliances and Partnering

A dynamic management professional with experience in establishing vision and direction to achieve business objectives. Leadership experience at the executive, middle management and team management levels with proactive communication skills at all levels within an organization. Experience in managing global business development through alliances and partnerships, engineering departments and product development teams. Proven ability to innovate, optimize processes and promote cooperation between departments and organizations to achieve common goals. Committed to keeping a company-wide view of strategic goals and aligning departmental goals with that overall strategy. Passionate about quality, and exceeding customers' expectations and developing staff. Specialties: Strategic Planning and Execution, Product Development, Program Management, Project Management, Contract Development and Negotiation, Lean Process Development, Team Building. >> Back to Schedule

Pat Boehnen

Pat Boehnen, Senior Director of Marketing, Liberty Hardware, a Masco Company

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Business-to-Business Design and Development: Is the Perfect B2B Solution a Fantasy Land? Hedgehog Innovation Teams: Focused, Nimble, Dangerous

Patrick Boehnen is a proven contributor to the vitality and success of top-tier organizations based upon strong business acumen, adaptive strategic thinking, sound analytics and a deep competitive drive. He has a notable record of success that includes identifying and taking new business opportunities to market, developing breakthrough new products, defining and implementing robust commercialization plans, outlining detailed strategic plans and establishing long-term customer relationships that have resulted in increased sales, gross margin improvements, and overall market share growth. Pat has a keen understanding of channel, customer and consumer requirements as the backdrop for identifying new product opportunities and category development. His outstanding presentation and communication skills have afforded him the ability to effectively communicate to a broad range of customers and executive management levels. >> Back to Schedule

Kevin Budelmann

Kevin Budelmann, President, Peopledesign

Connect on LinkedIn | Twitter: @kevinbudelmann

Business-to-Business Design and Development: Is the Perfect B2B Solution a Fantasy Land? Customers Can (and Should) Transform Your Tomorrow

Kevin Budelmann is a speaker, writer, educator and president of Peopledesign. He is interested in design theory and practice in the context of business, technology and society. After his B.A. from Carnegie Mellon, he earned a Master of Design Methods from IIT Institute of Design. Kevin has served in leadership roles for the AIGA, Professional Association for Design, the Association of Professional Design Firms and is currently Global Vice President of IxDA, the Interaction Design Association. Kevin is also an adjunct professor at Northwestern University and a co-author of Brand Identity Essentials, with a second edition released in April 2019. >> Back to Schedule

Alex Byelashov

Alex Byelashov, Ph.D., MPH, Vice President Innovations and Brewing Solutions, John I Haas / Barth Haas Group

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Business-to-Business Design and Development: Is the Perfect B2B Solution a Fantasy Land? Creating New Flavors Through Open Innovation

Dr. Alex Byelashov has served as Vice President of Innovations at John I. Haas since May 2016. He currently oversees the Company Breeding, Brewing and R&D programs. Prior to joining the John I. Haas team, Alex led Product Development at Omega Protein, a publicly traded nutrition company. He has a diverse background in food science, technology and business. Alex holds Master's degrees from Iowa State University and Yale University, and a Ph.D. from Colorado State University. >> Back to Schedule

Douglas Clark, MBA, CSP

Douglas Clark, MBA, CSP, Product Manager, Douglas Dynamics, Inc.

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Software and AI Design and Development: Tomorrow Land Is Today with Software-Enabled Products and Services. Machine Learning: When Primary Research Becomes Secondary

Douglas Clark, MBA, CSP is the Product Manager for Western Snowplows, a brand of Douglas Dynamics, LLC Work Truck Attachments division. Douglas has launched multiple successful new products during his tenure at Douglas Dynamics, and many more in a prior position in the engineered plastic film industry over the course of more than two decades, by conducting multiple channel VOC engagements. Using data driven methods to determine customer segments and varying needs within and between segments, Douglas has been able to launch and support new products ranging from strictly mechanical devices for use on work trucks through sophisticated telematics-based smart attachments designed to allow users to operate equipment at peak efficiency during high intensity operations.   >> Back to Schedule

Kristyn Corrigan

Kristyn Corrigan, Principal, Applied Marketing Science, Inc.

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Software and AI Design and Development: Tomorrow Land Is Today with Software-Enabled Products and Services. Machine Learning: When Primary Research Becomes Secondary

Kristyn Corrigan works at Applied Marketing Science (AMS), where she leads the Insights for Innovation Practice and is a member of the executive team. In her over 12 years of experience, Kristyn has served wide variety of industrial equipment, building products, vehicle, durables and component research clients. She has led teams in efforts to explore market potential and strategy for various product components such as compressed natural gas tanks, fleet coatings, precision motion valves, fans and heaters. She also has extensive experience leading research efforts for heavy and compact equipment, durables and medical devices. She has helped clients to understand both stated and latent customer needs through in-depth interviewing and ethnographic observation in order to drive innovation, product development and strategy. Kristyn is experienced in leading a wide variety of complex qualitative and quantitative research engagements to understand customer experience and customer needs, utilizing methodologies such as Voice of the Customer, in-depth interviewing, ethnography, QFD, conjoint analysis and concept testing. She is a skilled one-on-one interviewer and focus group moderator. She has extensive experience leading both domestic and international research engagements, having led engagements in South America, Europe and Asia. Kristyn’s thought leadership has been featured in Fast Company and Marketing News. She has guest lectured at several institutions, including the MIT Sloan School of Management. She has trained and coached numerous AMS clients to create their own in-house research capabilities. Originally from southern New Hampshire, Kristyn enjoys spending time in the mountains and on the seacoast with friends and family. She’s an avid hiker, having summited many of New Hampshire’s 48 four thousand footers. Always a traveler, Kristyn has visited over 15 countries and completed graduate study abroad programs in China and France. Kristyn holds a B.S. in marketing and sociology from Providence College, Magna Cum Laude. She received an M.B.A. in marketing analytics with high distinction from Bentley University, where she was honored with The Professor E. William Dandes Award for Graduate Academic Excellence as the highest academically ranked student in the graduate program.>> Back to Schedule

Tom Culver

Tom Culver, Senior Innovation Advisor, RTI International - Innovation Advisors Group

Connect on LinkedIn | Twitter: @RTI_Innovation

Software and AI Design and Development: Tomorrow Land Is Today with Software-Enabled Products and Services. Envisioning the Intelligent Era: Scenarios for the Digital Future 2028

Mr. Culver is a senior member and technology futurist in the Innovation Advisors group at RTI International, a leading global nonprofit research institute. He develops, organizes and teaches nationwide workshops on megatrends and foresighting, breakthrough innovation, technology scouting and market intelligence, in addition to serving as an invited speaker on innovation management topics. He has extensive innovation management experience combined with industry experience in advanced technology and product development. For over 18 years, he has delivered innovation advising and insights research solutions for dozens of Fortune 500 companies and large government clients (e.g. NASA, NIST). >> Back to Schedule

Mark Dziersk

Mark Dziersk, Partner, McKinsey Design

Connect on LinkedIn | Twitter: @dziersk

Consumer Products Design and Development: A Better Mouse Trap for Main St. (Sorry, Mickey!) Design Thinking in a VUCA World

Mark Dziersk is McKinsey Design Partner and a recognized expert in Industrial Design, Consumer Packaged Goods and Brand Management. He directs and manages design in McKinsey Design's Chicago studio and is also responsible for numerous design patents (100+). Mark has won many awards in design over a 25-plus-year career including Red Dot, IDEA Gold and ID Magazine Best of Category. He is a past president of IDSA (the Industrial Designers Society of America) and is an adjunct professor at both the Kellogg School and the McCormick School of Engineering for 6 weeks every year, teaching classes in Design Thinking. Mark's unique specialty is bringing the "Innovation Garage" method to various companies, of which he has performed 9 in the last year and a half. These Innovation Garages are transformative, providing impactful outcomes for companies, as well as building core innovation expertise that centers on addressing concerns of Gen Z and Millennials. These concerns include technical preferences of digital natives, heightened sensitivity to sustainable need, deeper caring relative to ingredients and consumption, and in the case of Gen Z, a clearer focus on quality products. Mark lives in Winnetka, Illinois, with his wife and three daughters, just around the corner from the Home Alone house. >> Back to Schedule

Vele Galovski

Vele Galovski, Vice President Research and Advisory, Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA)

Connect on LinkedIn | Twitter: @vgalovski

Services Design and Development: Multi-factor Experiential Services from Future World Is Now! Why Digital Transformation Is All About Services

Vele Galovski leads the Field Services, Industrial Equipment and IoT research practice areas at the Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA). He has provided thought leadership and driven breakthrough performance as a member of the Management Operating Committee at Bank of America, Xerox, Kodak and at several cloud startups. >> Back to Schedule | >> Watch Video on IoT

Ty Hagler

Ty Hagler, Principal, Trig

Connect on LinkedIn | Twitter: @tyhagler

Business-to-Business Design and Development: Is the Perfect B2B Solution a Fantasy Land? Hedgehog Innovation Teams: Focused, Nimble, Dangerous

As a career industrial designer and innovation practitioner, Ty Hagler has managed hundreds of new product development programs through the process of opportunity identification guided to commercialization. Once an intrapreneur within Home Depot, leveraging an Olympic Job Opportunities Program sponsorship to make the business case to senior executives to create new product development capabilities within the retailer and then on to lead the portfolio of internal new product programs. While at Home Depot, Ty was exposed to many leading product development firms like IDEO and HLB, which inspired the early business model for Trig. Development plans for Trig were further refined during his graduate studies at the North Carolina State evening MBA program, which has been described by one client as a highly effective disruptive business model that competes at the same level as top-tier consulting firms. >> Back to Schedule

Steve Hansen

Steve Hansen, Partner and President, Phase 5 US

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Business-to-Business Design and Development: Is the Perfect B2B Solution a Fantasy Land? How Zillow applied customer-centric principles in development of a B2B data product

Steve Hansen, MBA, is a partner at Phase 5 and the President of Phase 5 US. With two decades of experience in client-side marketing strategy, market research and product management, Steve brings a client’s mindset and drive for actionable results to each project. He has extensive experience in capturing the view “from the outside” with a special focus on product and service innovation. Steve is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. >> Back to Schedule

Cheryl Jacobs

Cheryl Jacobs, Global Product Manager, Wells Fargo

Software and AI Design and Development: Tomorrow Land Is Today with Software-Enabled Products and Services. Delivering the Fairy Tale: Near Real-time Cross-border Wires

Cheryl B. Jacobs is product manager for global urgent payments and Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) for Corporates specialist for Wells Fargo. She has been with Wells Fargo since 2005, working with global payments, SWIFT for Corporates and online services for customers using treasury management services. Before joining Wells Fargo, Cheryl worked for Huntington National Bank and Bank One, supporting online services for treasury management clients. She is on the board of Innovate Carolina, part of the Product Development & Management Association and is a committee member of AFP's CTP Body of Knowledge. She earned a B.S. in human ecology from The Ohio State University. She is currently working on her Master of Psychology in Human Factors. She became a CTP in 1997, earned her Certified SWIFT for Corporates designation in 2014 and received her New Product Development Professional certification in 2018. Cheryl lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband and daughter. >> Back to Schedule

Cheryl Jacobs

Steve Johnson, Vice President of Products, Pragmatic Institute

Business-to-Business Design and Development: Is the Perfect B2B Solution a Fantasy Land? Maybe We Should Be Problem Managers or, What isn’t product management?

Steve Johnson is an author, speaker and advisor on product strategy and product management. His approach is based on the belief that minimal process and simple templates result in nimble product marketing and management. Steve was a founding instructor at Pragmatic Marketing, a role he held for more than 15 years. As vice president of products, Steve supports the complete learning path for product teams, ensuring they are fully armed for success. >> Back to Schedule

Gerry Katz

Gerry Katz, Vice Chairman, Applied Marketing Science, Inc.

Software and AI Design and Development: Tomorrow Land Is Today with Software-Enabled Products and Services. Machine Learning: When Primary Research Becomes Secondary

Gerry Katz is a recognized authority in the areas of new product development, design of new services, process innovation and market research. With more than 40 years of consulting experience, he has led more than 300 major client engagements employing the Voice of the Customer (VOC), Quality Function Deployment (QFD) and a large number of other strategic marketing science applications. His client engagements have covered a wide variety of industries, with particular emphasis on healthcare, medical technology and commercial/industrial products. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Product Development & Management Association (PDMA), the world’s leading professional society devoted to the study and practice of developing and commercializing new products and services. He is also certified as a New Product Development Professional (NPDP) and is a senior contributing editor to Visions Magazine. Prior to joining AMS, Gerry’s experience included 12 years as a management consultant in marketing and market research with Management Decision Systems, Inc., five years in the computer software industry as senior vice president of Information Resources, Inc., and two years as vice president and general manager of Image Presentations, Inc., a specialized marketing communications firm. He is the author of several award-winning papers, and he received the William O’Dell Prize from the American Marketing Association in 1988. His articles have appeared in the Journal of Product Innovation Management, European Management Journal, Journal of Marketing Research, Interfaces, PDMA Visions and Quirk’s Marketing Research Review. Gerry is a highly sought-after speaker at both public and private conferences on Voice of the Customer, innovation, new product development and the design of new services. He is a highly regarded teacher, trainer and coach, and he has lectured frequently at the business schools of MIT (Sloan), the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton), Dartmouth (Tuck), Carnegie-Mellon, Cornell, Northeastern and Harvard University. Gerry has appeared twice on the NBC Today Show and in The Wall Street Journal. His outside interests are in music and education, and he has served on a number of Committees and Boards of Directors at a range of institutions, including the University of Rochester, the Eastman School of Music, the Longy School of Music and the Boston Higashi School. Gerry’s life-long interest in classical music and musical theater has made him a Boston Symphony Orchestra and Tanglewood subscriber for more than 35 years. As a serious amateur pianist, he once performed at Carnegie Hall in New York (to an empty auditorium, a fact that he omitted when relating the incident to his mother). He is also a long-time fan of all of Boston’s major sports teams. Gerry received his B.S. in management science from the University of Rochester in 1970 and his S.M. in management from the MIT Sloan School of Management in 1972.>> Back to Schedule

Lauren Lackey

Lauren Lackey, Principal, Rewired Group

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Consumer Products Design and Development: A Better Mouse Trap for Main St. (Sorry, Mickey!) Achieving Quality and Speed...With Three Easy Hacks

Lauren Lackey has built her entire executive career on the notion of systems thinking for innovation. A systems approach includes developing the proper interaction between the causality of the problem to solve, proactive development and the delivery of long-term quality against the expectation. Lauren Lackey approaches every project with an understanding of the current struggle, delivering a product or program with speed, cost and quality in mind, and then creating a long-term migration strategy of growth and strategic journey, always working to address the consumer job to be done. Currently, Lauren is a Principal at the Rewired Group working across many industries to identify the unmet demands for consumers and customers, coaching on products and white space in an effort meet those demands and developing a strategy with continuity. Utilizing these methods makes innovation more effective as it looks at the causality of why consumers use or pick the products they do. This tool, developed by Clay Christensen at Harvard and Rewired CEO Bob Moesta, builds on Lauren's beliefs around the systems thinking that she has utilized across her 30-year career. Lauren is passionate about her career, as change is constant and disruption is always needed in innovation. She believes that current market research tools do not get to the true behavior, the true causality, of why people hire and fire different things, every day. This way of thinking offers great benefit to Lauren's clients who are looking for a change in culture and way of working. Lauren Lackey began her career on a path that included a Bachelor's degree in Food Science from Michigan State University and accepted her first position as the National Product Development Manager at Archway Cookies in Battle Creek, Michigan, in 1989. During her time at Archway, she realized that knowing the science of food was not enough to be truly innovative. Receiving her Master's in Marketing Management, she set out to integrate the triad of consumer, science and strategy. This began her journey along systems thinking and understanding interactions among multiple factors in any project. Lauren's career moved forward into a role as Product Development Manager at the Keebler Company in 1993. Lauren was trained in Robust Design methods, including Taguchi Methodology, utilized in the Japanese auto industry for superior innovation development. With this method, Lauren learned how to develop products based on consumer need, integrating robustness and preparing for uncontrolled variables in the process, ensuring high quality product at the best cost. These methods would help her at Keebler where she developed product lines such as Sandies, Elfin Delights Fat Free and Vanilla Wafers. As she moved on to Kraft Food in 1996, Lauren continued to utilize and expand the tools to develop products such as Philadelphia Flavored Cream Cheese, Cottage Doubles, DiGiorno Pizza and Philadelphia Snack Bars, which earned Lauren the Kraft Innovator of the Year Award and Best New Product in 1999. As a Section Manager at Kraft, Lauren taught her methods to her organizations, but was also responsible for the total performance of the business, which set her up for her next roles. In 2002, Lauren took a leap in responsibility, moving to the Wrigley Company as the Director of Research and Development for the Confections business. This role enabled Lauren to put her tools to work in a strategic capacity, identifying a three-year pipeline that was realized, helping Wrigley to grow revenue by 10+% year on year. In her ten years at Wrigley, she had several roles including Director of North America, leading brands such as 5 gum, Orbit, Skittles, Starburst and Altoids. Lauren also had an opportunity to lead the Technology Innovation Group and in her last role, was the Vice President of Global Quality for Wrigley, within the Mars Global system. In Lauren's career at Wrigley, she achieved a culture of efficiency through leadership of thought process change, tool building and utilization, and improved communication. She achieved a 45% cost savings on scale-up budgets, speed to market improvement, and significant reduction of consumer complaints. These results were a direct result of the tools and systems thinking that Lauren believes in and teaches. In 2011, Lauren moved to lead the Home Cleaning Division for SC Johnson in Racine, Wisconsin. Home Cleaning was SCJ's largest business at $2.8MM annual revenue, but the category had been declining for more than 5 years. Lauren worked with her cross functional partners, implementing Jobs to be Done, Robust Design and thought leadership, improving the performance of the business. In 2012, Home Cleaning grew for the first time in 6 years, despite continued category decline. Lauren also started the first Technical Services organization at SCJ in 2015. In this role, there was an entrepreneurial chance to develop a brand and business from scratch. A vision, mission and strategy for the group, referred to as OpX, was developed and internalized with the 233 global employees in the organization. This group, in 18 months, was able to implement and execute a New Product Development Process. The output of this work included healthier, leaner portfolios, cut by 25%, 80% increase in accurate specifications resulting in a significant reduction in consumer complaints and incidences and 40% improvement in speed to the global market due to commercialization excellence. Finally, Lauren moved to the New Business Development group at SCJ, building extrinsic strategies including licensing and mergers/acquisitions. Lauren built several verticals which today drive SCJ's strategy for future growth investment. Lauren lives with her husband Jonathan and three children in Glencoe, Illinois. Lauren continues to find challenges, across industries, to inspire and grow businesses through disruptive innovation. She looks to work with partners who are ready for new thinking and have a passion for innovation and a sense of competitive spirit. >> Back to Schedule

Lauren Lackey

Alexandra Lung, Consultant Senior Product Manager, Pivotal Labs

Connect on LinkedIn | Twitter: @AlexandraLung

Services Design and Development: Multi-factor Experiential Services from Future World Is Now! Final Battle: Empathy vs Biases — How to Design with Empathy and Leave Your Biases Behind

Alexandra Lung is passionate about building products that achieve true impact. She is a digital transformation enabler and through coaching, teaching, workshops and meeting facilitation, she provides individuals and teams with new tools to meaningfully improve their work and their organization as a whole. Lung loves solving complex problems, answering the why with qualitative/quantitative data and helping clients who are looking to build successful products quickly. >> Back to Schedule

Patrick McGowan

Patrick McGowan, Founder & Managing Principal, The Service Design Group

Services Design and Development: Multi-factor Experiential Services from Future World Is Now! How to Win with Services!

Patrick McGowan is a service design, management and innovation specialist. Patrick is the founder and managing principal of The Service Design Group, the premier service design consultancy in the United States, which provides service innovation and portfolio management as a service to industry-leading business-to-business enterprises. Current clients include Bayer, Novozymes and Dawn Foods. Patrick has a blended background in user experience and strategic management and he holds a B.A. Design from North Carolina State's College of Design and an MBA from the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School. He has developed innovative experiences across multiple industries and is recognized with over 20 patents. Patrick is regularly featured as a speaker in the US and Europe on customer experience and service design. In addition to his professional work, Patrick regularly teaches and lectures on service innovation and management at leading design and MBA programs. He also serves as an entrepreneurship coach to executive M.B.A.s at UNC Kenan-Flagler, is an advisor to local startups, sits on the North Carolina State College of Design Leaders Council, and is a member of the Gregg Museum board. >> Back to Schedule

Devin Moore

Devin Moore, Creative Director and Founder, Big Bang

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Software and AI Design and Development: Tomorrow Land Is Today with Software-Enabled Products and Services. More than IoT...Building a Connected Experience

Devin founded Big Bang in 1994 to explore his own business philosophies and focus on his passion — design. Unusual for design firm principals, as creative director Devin spends the majority of his time actually designing products, providing clients with breadth, experience and true depth. Devin received a Bachelor's of Industrial Design from Auburn University. He has instructed at Georgia Institute of Technology, and lectured at institutions and organizations such as the Industrial Designers Society of America, the Product Development and Management Association, Savannah College of Art and Design and Auburn University. A juror for many internationally recognized design award programs, Devin has also been personally credited with numerous design awards. >> Back to Schedule

Brian O'Neill

Brian O'Neill, Founder and Principal, Designing for Analytics

Connect on LinkedIn | Twitter: @rhythmspice

Software and AI Design and Development: Tomorrow Land Is Today with Software-Enabled Products and Services. The PM’s Guide to Designing Indispensable Enterprise Data Products

Brian T. O'Neill is the founder and principal of Designing for Analytics, a consulting firm that helps enterprise companies turn data into valuable information products and services. For over 20 years, he has worked with companies including Dell EMC, TripAdvisor, Fidelity, JP Morgan Chase, E-Trade and numerous SAAS startups. He has spoken at conferences including O'Reilly Strata, Enterprise Data World, the International Institute for Analytics Symposium, and Predictive Analytics World. Brian also recently launched a podcast, Experiencing Data, where he reveals the strategies and activities that product, data science and analytics leaders are using to deliver valuable experiences around data. In addition to consulting, Brian is also a professional percussionist and has performed at Carnegie Hall and The Kennedy Center. >> Back to Schedule

Mary Michael Pontzer

Mary Michael Pontzer, VP, Product, ACT, Inc.

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Consumer Products Design and Development: A Better Mouse Trap for Main St. (Sorry, Mickey!) The Gen Z Jam Jar: Is Less Really More When it Comes to Choices?

Mary Michael Pontzer is the Vice President of Product at ACT, Inc. At ACT, she is responsible for all components of ACT's K-Career product portfolio, comprised of measurement, learning and navigation products. Mary Michael began her career in academia and credits her training as a qualitative researcher for her natural entry into the world of product management a decade ago. Mary Michael has a passion for leading exceptional product teams, delivering emotionally-relevant consumer technology products and finding the humor in the wild and wonderful world of product. She lives with her husband and four children in Iowa City. >> Back to Schedule

Douglas Powell

Douglas Powell, Director Innovation Practice, StoneLaurel Consulting

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Services Design and Development: Multi-factor Experiential Services from Future World Is Now! Pathways: Driving Innovation Acceptance

Professional innovator, experience designer, experimenter, patent holder and entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience in corporate product and service innovation. >> Back to Schedule

Isaac Rogers

Gabriel Renteria, Sr. Insights Manager, Zillow Group

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Business-to-Business Design and Development: Is the Perfect B2B Solution a Fantasy Land? How Zillow applied customer-centric principles in development of a B2B data product

Gabriel is a Senior Insights Manager at Zillow Group, focused on brand strategy and product research. >> Back to Schedule

Felicia Rogers

Felicia Rogers, Executive Vice President, Decision Analyst

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Consumer Products Design and Development: A Better Mouse Trap for Main St. (Sorry, Mickey!) WATCH OUT—Gen Z Is Coming! Will Your New Products Deliver?

Felicia Rogers is a dynamic insights consultant who leverages more than two decades of business and consumer research experience in her role as Executive Vice President at Decision Analyst. During her career, she has partnered with companies across a vast array of categories such as consumer packaged goods, foodservice, retail, financial services, travel & hospitality, home improvement, and durable goods. For Felicia, product development work is a passion and a particularly rewarding aspect of being an insights professional. She works with companies to identify white space opportunity areas, generate ideas to fill those spaces, gauge relative potential of early concepts, and evaluate later-stage ideas to forecast marketplace success. Whether utilizing a regimented stage gate process or a more agile sprint approach to new product development, grounding the efforts in end-user data is an imperative. Felicia’s contribution of keen, insights-driven consulting guides her clients on how most effectively to drive their pipelines and move through the development process with confidence. >> Back to Schedule

Isaac Rogers

Isaac Rogers, CEO, 20|20

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Consumer Products Design and Development: A Better Mouse Trap for Main St. (Sorry, Mickey!) Decoding Disruption

Isaac Rogers is CEO at 20|20, a global provider of online qualitative technology, respondent recruitment and project support services. 20|20 is the digital research partner for some of the world's largest agencies and global brands, helping them engage their audiences through 20|20's proprietary online platforms. Previously, Isaac served as 20|20's Chief Innovation Officer and was responsible for product strategy and development. In just the past few years, Isaac has been instrumental in the launch of the world's first global translation solution for online research and filed three patents with USPTO. Isaac is a regular presenter at conferences and events, and his articles appear frequently in leading research publications. Prior to joining 20|20, Isaac's career included roles in business intelligence consulting, e-commerce and government technology contracting. Isaac holds an M.B.A. from Vanderbilt University and resides in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife and two children. >> Back to Schedule

Donald Ross

Donald Ross, President, Innovare-inc.com

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Business-to-Business Design and Development: Is the Perfect B2B Solution a Fantasy Land? Defining Customer Needs in Complex Value Chains

Donald Ross, M.B.A., Ph.D., is president and founder of Innovare. He’s led the successful development of hundreds of new products in consumer and business-to-business environments. His career in innovation spans 40 years. He started developing new food products for Hercules/PFW. He then led Ocean Spray’s product development as Director of Innovation, helping them achieve a 10-fold increase in top-line growth. In 1999, he founded Innovare while working on his Ph.D. at Tufts University. His research focused on how to help people process market information more easily to support healthier choices. That work is now a cornerstone of Innovare’s knowledge-driven approach to innovation. At Innovare, Don guides client teams through the front-end discovery process, building a shared knowledge of customer needs, market drivers and enabling technology to guide product innovation. Don is a hands-on innovator, researcher, process facilitator and trainer with deep front-end of innovation expertise. >> Back to Schedule

Leah Speser

Phyllis Leah Speser, J.D., Ph.D., R.T.T.P., N.P.D.P, E.M.T., Senior Advisor to the President, King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi

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Services Design and Development: Multi-factor Experiential Services from Future World Is Now! Using NPD in Government: Developing Programs for Thailand 4.0

Phyllis Leah Speser, J.D., Ph.D., N.P.D.P., R.T.T.P. (Registered Technology Transfer Professional), played a key role in the development of the US high-tech ecosystem and is currently helping the Thais design and develop theirs. Among other accomplishments was helping draft and leading lobbying for laws establishing SBIR/STTR programs and federal lab technology transfer and serving as the point on the federal budget for the science and technology community for 10 years. She also played a key role in developing programs for several states before founding Foresight Science & Technology and transitioning to hands-on consulting in commercialization and NPD for small companies, universities and other research organizations and corporations. She has managed Foresight support contracts for USDA, NSF, NIH, DOE, EPA, NIST, DoT, NOAA, and DoD and was interim Director of Technology Transfer for the University of Rhode Island. The firm she founded and led for over 30 years has helped customers attain revenues in excess of $3.3 billion associated with development of new products. Since retiring from management, she has been working as a senior consultant to a Thai university and the Thai government. Dr. Speser is acknowledged as one of the founders of the modern practice of technology transfer, authoring the core textbook, The Art and Science of Technology Transfer (John Wiley and Sons, 2006) and served as a Vice President and Board Member of Association of University Technology Managers as well as a Chair, Strategic Alliance Committee, Licensing Executives Society USA-Canada and serving two terms on the Board of the Technology Transfer Society. She is a PDMA member and was a member of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia until 2017. She was a professor or adjunct professor at SUNY Buffalo, the Univeristat Mannheim (Germany), Moscow State University (Russia), and the American University (Washington, DC). Dr. Speser has keynoted annual meetings for professional societies in the US, Chile, South Africa, Thailand, the EU and Sweden. She has numerous other articles and is co-author of Open Innovation Essentials for Small and Medium Enterprises (Business Expert Press, 2016). She lives in Port Townsend, Washington, where she is a volunteer firefighter and public information officer with East Jefferson Fire Rescue. >> Back to Schedule

Cristina Stefan

Christina Stefan, Sr. Design Researcher, Design Science Consulting, Inc.

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Services Design and Development: Multi-factor Experiential Services from Future World Is Now! The Mixed Methods Minefield: Innovation in Health Care Research Services

As a Senior Design Researcher at Design Science, Christina is an accomplished communicator. She regularly bridges research and design teams to bring clarity to complex processes. She joined Design Science after receiving her BS in Industrial Design from University of the Arts. As part of her day-to-day work, Christina advocates for the design perspective in ethnographic research and human factors usability studies. She also contributes to the development of compelling research deliverables, information for use, and data analysis. Outside of work, Christina is passionate about environmental conservation and education, where she uses her expertise as a design researcher to engage with the community in impactful ways. >> Back to Schedule

Scott Vedder

Scott Vedder, Senior Facilitator


General Session: DISNEY INSTITUTE, Disney's Approach to Leadership Excellence

In his role as a senior facilitator, Scott is responsible for drawing on his leadership experience, business knowledge, and Disney Institute insights to understand client objectives and better align learning solutions. He facilitates the delivery of business programs individually and as a team. Prior to joining Disney Institute, he worked as an executive advisor, communications resource, and project manager for a vice president of experience integration and other senior leadership, where he influenced key strategies and developed communication tools to set the team up for success. Scott was also a guest speaker for Disney Institute, where he delivered personal stories and leadership insights to clients in both private engagements and professional development courses. Additionally at Disney, Scott served on the inaugural board of Disney’s SALUTE Diversity Resource Group as a communications officer, where he developed strategic engagement plans, talking points and key messaging that focused on the employee experience of military veterans. Scott has had additional roles at Disney in talent planning, strategy management, recruiting, and front-line operational leadership roles. Scott is a published best-selling author and has been actively involved in the community through the Metropolitan Business Association, Orlando’s LGBT Chamber of Commerce, and other groups. >> Back to Schedule

Nadine Williams

Nadine Williams, Managing Director, Brand and Innovation Consultant, & Beyond Innovation and Marketing

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Consumer Products Design and Development: A Better Mouse Trap for Main St. (Sorry, Mickey!) WATCH OUT—Gen Z Is Coming! Will Your New Products Deliver?

Nadine Williams is the Managing Director, Brand and Innovation Consultant at &Beyond Innovation and Marketing, a consulting firm that helps maturing consumer product companies define and develop consumer and brand focused innovation and brand strategies. As a brand marketer and innovation practitioner for some of the most recognizable CPG brands in the US, including Gorilla Glue, Bicycle Playing Cards, Formica Countertops, and That’s Tasty Fresh Organic Culinary Herbs, Nadine is known for creating scrappy innovation and brand programs that grow businesses through disruptive market strategies. As a speaker at the National Product Expo West, Social Media Week NYC and Enactus World Cup, Nadine shares her experience, case studies, and wit in an effort to inspire companies to further align their future products and campaigns with consumer insights. Join Nadine at her PDMA session titled, WATCH OUT—Gen Z Is Coming! Will Your New Products Deliver?—Its sure to be fun and lively discussion! >> Back to Schedule