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PDMA Board of Directors
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PDMA Board of Directors: Biographies

Executive Committee

PDMA Chair Allan Anderson

Allan Anderson, NPDP, Chair
Allan graduated from Massey University, New Zealand with a BTech(Food) degree and PhD. His career to date has included a mix of university teaching, consulting and general management. In the early 1980’s Allan lectured in product development at Massey University and was actively involved in establishing a major in product development under the B Tech. From lecturing, he moved to 9 years of consulting, specialising in product development project management and product development management practices. In the mid 1990’s Allan moved to the New Zealand Dairy Research Institute where, in 1997, he was appointed as Chief Executive, responsible for the $40million R&D investment and around 350 staff. He was Professor of Product Development and Director of Marketing for the School of Engineering and Advanced Technology at Massey University from 2006 to 2017. Allan was part of the establishment team for PDMA-NZ in 2007; was president of PDMA-NZ until December 2011; has NPDP certification; is an accredited NPDP training provider; was elected as Vice President Asia-Pacific in 2012; became a Director in 2015; and, a member of the Outstanding Corporate Innovator Award selection committee from 2013-2017. Over recent years he has been leading the successful introduction of the NPDP program into China. Allan was appointed PDMA Chair in 2017 and will continue in this role until the end of 2019.


Vice Chair Ernie Harris

Ernie Harris, Vice Chair 

Ernie Harris is the Founder of Interesting Blazer, a consulting agency focusing on product management and strategy, go-to-market analytics and interim leadership staffing. A veteran of both the enterprise and the startup community, Ernie has spent his career helping drive growth for the organizations he has had the privilege of working with.

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, VP of Events and Board Member.

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 Florida with his wife BriAnna.


Secretary-Treasurer Meredith Baratz

Meredith Baratz, Secretary-Treasurer
Ms. Baratz brings 30+ years’ experience to driving market-based solutions at UnitedHealth Group. She spearheads UnitedHealthcare’s development of unconventional partnerships to help people live healthier lives - with an emphasis on innovation, consumer value and shared commercial success.

Previously, Ms. Baratz led UnitedHealthcare’s Strategic Insights Group, a team dedicated to providing actionable information to support strategy, innovation and growth. She provided operational leadership for the company’s Innovation Council, driving cultural change, cross-enterprise development, and reputational enhancement. As a leader of our consumer-driven health business, she worked regularly with policy, legislative and media communities to create shared understanding of consumerism in health and UnitedHealthcare’s role in transforming health care.

She has served as a frequent source of strategic expertise in public forums, client discussions and business coalitions. Working as an industry partner with the National Business Group on Health, America’s Health Insurance Plans, and URAC, Ms. Baratz contributed to driving transformation in health benefits through effective consumerism. She represented health care in the Berkeley Innovation Forum, hosted by the University of California, Berkeley. After leading the company to a successful bid for the Outstanding Corporate Innovator award from the Product Development and Management Association, Ms. Baratz is now a member of PDMA’s Board, and serves as Secretary/Treasurer. She has been quoted in trade publications and national press (The Washington Post).

Ms. Baratz’s career encompassed account management, sales/marketing leadership, and innovation with MetLife, MetraHealth and UnitedHealth Group. She graduated magna cum laude from Mount Holyoke College, and holds an Executive MBA from New York University.


Directors

VP of Membership Mark Adkins

Mark Adkins, NPDP, Director

Mark Adkins is the CEO of LeanMed, a medical device company dedicated to bringing essential treatment to remote, underserved regions through innovative technologies. Lean Med's first product, the O2 CUBE, delivers vital supplemental oxygen to patients of rural health clinics in developing nations. With respiratory infections killing millions of patients each year, the O2 CUBE is a landmark step in improving care and saving lives.

Mark is also the founder & president of Smart Hammer Innovation, a management consulting business that helps companies apply best practices to Innovation Management. During his career, Mark and his teams have led development projects that have launched numerous new products with lifetime sales of over $1B.

Mark is an adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Medical Innovation https://www.engineering.pitt.edu/CMI/. 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 currently serves on the PDMA board of directors and in 2010 founded PDMA Pittsburgh.


VP of Certification Sudhi Gulur

Sudhi Gulur, NPDP, Director, Ex-Officio
Sudhi Gulur is the Solutions Manager in the Digital Aviation organization at The Boeing Company, leading a variety of digital solutions through the new product development lifecycle and enabling innovation and operational efficiency for aviation customers across commercial, military, business and general aviation segments.

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.


VP of  of Events Ernie Harris

Ernie Harris, Director
Ernie Harris is the Founder of Interesting Blazer, a consulting agency focusing on product management and strategy, go-to-market analytics and interim leadership staffing. A veteran of both the enterprise and the startup community, Ernie has spent his career helping drive growth for the organizations he has had the privilege of working with.

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, VP of Events and Board Member.

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 Florida with his wife BriAnna.


PDMA Director Robert Johnston

Bob Johnston, Director
Bob helps his clients pursue innovative growth opportunities and elevate their existing practice for company-wide innovation. For more than 30 years, he has been helping organizations unleash their creativity and innovation to achieve dramatic growth and new vitality. 

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!


PDMA Director Kenneth Kahn

Kenneth Kahn, Director
Kenneth B. Kahn, Ph.D. is a Professor of Marketing and Senior Associate Dean in the School of Business at Virginia Commonwealth University. Holding degrees in industrial engineering and marketing, his teaching and research interests address product innovation, product management, and demand forecasting of current and new products. He has published over forty-five articles in such journals as the Journal of Product Innovation Management, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Forecasting, Journal of Business Forecasting, Business Horizons, and R&D Management; authored the books Product Planning Essentials(Sage Publications, 2000; M.E. Sharpe, 2012) and New Product Forecasting: An Applied Approach (M.E. Sharpe, 2006); and served as editor of the PDMA Handbook on New Product Development, 2nd and 3rd editions (Wiley & Sons, 2004, 2013). His industrial experience includes serving as an industrial engineer and project engineer for the Weyerhaeuser Company and a manufacturing engineer for Respironics, Inc. He has consulted and conducted training sessions with numerous companies, including recently Blueprint Automation, Capital One, Hankins & Anderson, Havi Global Solutions, Tredegar Film Products, and Virginia Lottery. Between 2009 and 2015, Dr. Kahn served as Director of VCU’s da Vinci Center – a unique collegiate model advancing innovation and entrepreneurship through cross-disciplinary collaboration among VCU’s Schools of the Arts, Business, Engineering and College of Humanities and Sciences.


PDMA Director Suzanne Thompson

Suzanne Thompson, Director
Suzanne M. Thompson joined Sealed Air in 2015 as Vice President Diversey Care R&D. In this role, she leads all R&D for Diversey Care including their innovation pipeline and project management.  Prior to Sealed Air, she worked in Research & Development at the Clorox Company for 29 years. Clorox roles included Vice President R&D, Growth labs where Suzanne led a cross-functional team to help identify, assess and create pipelines for potential adjacencies as well as led global technology, design, and open innovation.    Suzanne also had roles leading Cleaning and Speciality Division R&D teams for Clorox. She has had experience in process development, product development and packaging development for divisions such as Kingsford Charcoal, Laundry, Home Care, Auto, Foods, Litter and Professional products. In addition to leading the Outstanding Corporate Innovator Award Selection Committee, Suzanne is on PDMA’s Board of Directors.

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.  


PDMA Director Yasmine Winkler

Yasmine Winkler, Director
Yasmine Winkler works at United Healthcare as the Community & State CEO for the Central Region and Chief Consumer Officer.  Formerly she was the Chief Marketing, Product and Innovation Officer for United Healthcare, Employer and Individual.  Her extensive experience across many disciplines and market segments in health insurance has given her a unique ability to develop and match health insurance business solutions to the needs of the marketplace.
With over 30 years in the health insurance industry, she has extensive experience in accreditation, quality improvement, business process development, marketing, product development and innovation. In addition to her work at UnitedHealth Group, she held several positions with BlueCross/BlueShield of Illinois, Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma (HCSC) as well as Chicago HMO.

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 JPIM Co-Editors

PDMA JPIM Co-Editor Jelena Spanjol

Jelena Spanjol, Ph.D., PDMA JPIM Co-Editor
Jelena Spanjol, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Marketing in the Liautaud Graduate School of Business at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She received her doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research investigates marketing and innovation strategy and decision making, as well as managerial and consumer goal-striving dynamics. 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, Health Psychology, and in various book chapters. She is an editorial board member at the Journal of Product Innovation Management and the Creativity and Innovation Management journal.


PDMA JPIM Co-Editor Charlie Noble

Charlie Noble, PDMA JPIM Co-Editor, Ex-Officio
Charlie Noble is currently the Proffitt's Professor of Marketing at The University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Previously, he was on the faculties of Boston College and The University of Mississippi. His research interests focus generally 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, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, and many others. He is currently in his second term on the editorial board of the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. Charles has consulted for many organizations, primarily in the airline, retailing, consumer goods, and commercial real estate sectors. He has won several awards for both research and teaching.



PDMA Operations Committee

VP of Academics Minu Kumar

Minu Kumar, Vice President of Academics 
Minu Kumar is an Associate Professor of Marketing at San Francisco State University where he engages companies and multidisciplinary groups of students in innovation efforts. He received a B.S. in Pharmacy, M.B.A., and a Ph.D. in marketing. His primary scholarly interest lies in areas relating to design-thinking, new product design and development, entrepreneurship, knowledge management, acquisition and licensing innovation, and statistical techniques such as structural equation modeling and multilevel modeling. Professor Kumar has published in journals such as the Journal of Product Innovation Management, Journal of Consumer Psychology, Journal Business Research, and Journal of Business Ethics among others. He serves on the Editorial Review Board of Journal of Product Innovation Management and is also an ad hoc reviewer for journals such as the Journal of Marketing, Journal of Retailing, Journal of Business Ethics. He has won several awards for his research and has also worked with firms such as Barilla, SAP, Daiichi Sankyo, Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals, Merck, Medtronic, Glaxo Smithkline, among others on several product development and marketing projects.


VP of  of Events Ernie Harris

Ernie Harris, Vice President of Events
Ernie Harris is the founding principal at Interesting Blazer, a consulting agency focusing on product management and strategy, business process optimization and competitive intelligence.  A veteran of both the enterprise and the startup community, Ernie has spent his career helping drive growth for the organizations he has had the privilege of working with.

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.


VP of Asia-Pacific Global Affiliates Aruna Shekar

Aruna Shekar, Ph.D., Vice President of Global Affiliates – Asia-Pacific
Aruna Shekar, Ph.D., is a Senior Lecturer in Product Development at Massey University’s School of Engineering and Advanced Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Aruna received her PhD in Product Development from Massey University in 2003, and has supervised several postgraduate students in the field.  Her research interests are in product development methods and best practices, consumer research and product innovation in humanitarian engineering contexts.  She has published in international journals and written chapters for the PDMA’s books on NPD Essentials. She established the New Zealand Affiliate of Product Development & Management Association in 2007, and continues to be a Board member.

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.


VP of European Global Affiliates Egbert-Jan van Dijck

Egbert-Jan van Dijck,  VP of Global Affiliates - Europe
Egbert-Jan van Dijck is currently the Coordinator of the Graduation Program Innovation Management at The Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) in The Netherlands. He is a lecturer on innovation and new business development and researcher at Faculty of Engineering (AUAS). In this capacity, he is involved in a innovation program to innovate their Engineering education. In addition he acts as Faculty Advisor for Enactus, an international non-profit organisation dedicated to inspiring students to improve the world through entrepreneurial action. Enactus provides a platform for teams of outstanding University students to create sustainable solutions to society's biggest challenges. He also serves as Faculty Advisor for the PDMA Student Chapter at the AUAS, the first PDMA Student Chapter outside the USA. Egbert-Jan’s current research is focused in three areas: Urban Technology and Smart Cities, Energy Transition and Stakeholder Management.

Alongside his position as VP of Global Affiliates – Europe, he serves as Acting Chairman of PDMA Netherlands since 2015 and Treasurer since 2013. He has earned degrees from two Dutch universities: Erasmus University (MBA, Finance), Leiden University (BA, Law), and York St. John University in the United Kingdom (MA, Leading Innovation and Change). In his corporate life, Egbert-Jan has worked for more than 30 years in new business development, innovation management for leading organisations in the profit and (semi-) public sector.

Egbert-Jan lives with his wife, Nicolette, near the Dutch coast. In his spare time he enjoys taking long walks on the beach, driving their classic car and playing golf. He is based in Amsterdam (The Netherlands).


VP of Marketing Karen Dworaczyk

Karen Dworaczyk, NPDP, Vice President of Marketing 
Ms. Dworaczyk, the Principal of INSIGHTOVATION® Consulting, is an experienced product development professional consultant, supporting clients’ transformation of their new product development processes to improve productivity. Her background and experience includes 15 years of consumer and B2B ingredient sales and marketing in various positions with Procter & Gamble, Sr. Product Marketing Manager with Birds Eye Foods, Director of Product Marketing with SentrySafe (Master Lock) and Director of Marketing at LiDestri Food and Drink.   She began her career as a Chemical Engineer, Manufacturing Manager, for Nestle Foods. Ms. Dworaczyk, is highly skilled in NPD portfolio management, product line road mapping, and NPD risk assessment and forecasting. She has developed a branded insight-driven innovation process that supports sustainable, profitable growth and the development strategic plans. 

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.


VP of Chapter Activity Mark Adkins

Mark Adkins, NPDP, Vice President of Chapter Activity
Mark Adkins is the founder & president of Smart Hammer Innovation, a management consulting business that helps companies apply best practices to Innovation Management. During his career, Mark and his teams have led development projects that have launched numerous new products with lifetime sales of over $1B. 

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.


Vice President of Publications- Ludwig Bstieler

Ludwig Bstieler, Vice President of Publications

Ludwig Bstieler, Ph.D., is Professor of Marketing at the Paul College of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire (UNH), where he teaches new product development in the MBA program. Prior to joining UNH, he was on the faculties of the University of Innsbruck, McMaster University, MIT's Sloan School of Management, and the European School of Management (ESCP Europe) in Paris.

Ludwig researches the design and marketing of new products with a particular emphasis on close buyer-supplier collaboration in product development. Specifically, he examines how relational and contractual governance mechanisms can facilitate productive research collaborations between firms and between academia and industry. In his latest research, Ludwig explores the question of whether sustainability-minded firms can achieve better innovation outcomes and the circumstances that lead to these outcomes. His research is published in Journal of Product Innovation Management, Technovation, Journal of Business Research, Journal of World Business, and Asia Pacific Journal of Management, among others.

He served as co-chair of the PDMA Academic Research Forum and the PDMA-UNH Doctoral Consortium. He is Associate Editor of the Journal of Product Innovation Management and serves on the Scientific Committee for the Innovation & Product Development Management Conference of the European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management in Brussels. Ludwig’s industry experience includes work in international marketing research and consulting and conducting executive education with numerous European companies.