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Conference Speakers
#PDMA2020Virtual

PDMA Virtual Mini Conference and
JPIM Virtual Research Forum

September 17–19, 2020

—Speakers—

Alexandra Watkins

Alexandra Watkins

Author & Head Boss Lady, Eat My Words

Presenter, How To Create and Evaluate Brand Names Like a Pro

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Alexandra Watkins is a leading and outspoken authority on brand names. Her breakthrough book, Hello, My Name Is Awesome: How To Create Brand Names That Stick, was named a Top 10 Marketing Book by Inc. Magazine.

Alexandra is a go-to resource for product development professionals. Since 2005, she and her firm, Eat My Words, have created love-at-first sight brand names for clients from Amazon to Xerox. Her product name hall of fame includes the Neato robotic vacuum, Burger King’s Mac ‘n Cheetos, and a GPS for dogs named Retriever. Other all-time favorite names include Spanish language school Gringo Lingo, frozen yogurt franchise Spoon Me, and the Church of Cupcakes.

Alexandra first got hooked on naming in 2003 ago when Gap hired her to create names for their first line of body care products. Soon after, she broke into the business by talking her way into Landor via a Match.com date. With her fresh, unconventional naming style, Alexandra soon became a go-to resource for leading branding and naming firms around the country. And Landor sent her enough business to open her own firm. Since then, she’s generated thousands of names for snacks, software, sunscreen, sportswear, shoes, sugar scrubs, serums, and seafood. (And that’s just the S’s!)

Prior to Eat My Words, Alexandra was an advertising copywriter, working at leading West Coast ad agencies, including Ogilvy and Mather, where she worked for five years, helped launch Microsoft Windows and learned the language of Geek Speak. In the mid-nineties she jumped on the dot com gravy train and rode it until it crashed in her San Francisco backyard. Alexandra took the money and ran, spending an entire year in Australia, New Zealand, Bali and Fiji disguised as a 21-year old backpacker. Upon her return, she followed her passion for creating names and soon after started Eat My Words.

Alexandra gets her passport stamped as often as possible. She has eaten her way through 50 countries where she’s sunk her teeth into delicacies including barbecued squirrel in Tanzania, ostrich carpaccio in South Africa, stewed camel meat in Libya, and lobster marinara in Cuba. Her favorite food is JIF peanut butter (crunchy), which she once survived on for two days on the remote island of Amantani in Lake Titicaca, Peru.

In her free time, Alexandra creates imaginative succulent arrangements in tea pots, bird cages and other unexpected containers procured at the local flea market. She lives by the beach in San Diego in her Barbie Dream House.



Brad Shuck

Brad Shuck

Author & Professor, University of Louisville

Moderator, Innovating in a Virtual Universe Panel

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Dr. Brad Shuck is an internationally recognized scholar and business thought leader in the areas of employee engagement, leadership development, and organizational culture. He is the author of Employee Engagement: A Research Overview (Routledge, 2020), has published or presented more than 300 scholarly articles, books chapters, and presentations, and holds five US copyrights.

His work has been featured in US-based international media outlets including Forbes, The Washington Post, and TIME, as well as international outlets such as Business World Online, India’s Economic Times, and the Hindu Times.

Shuck is a tenured Associate Professor and Program Director of the Human Resource and Organizational Development program and Assistant Chair in the Department of Educational Leadership, Evaluation, Organizational Development both at the University of Louisville. He is a member of the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels and holds advanced degrees in Counseling, Student Affairs, Human Resource Development, and Adult Education.



Ruth Barry

Ruth Barry

Director of Product Development, bb7

Panelist, Innovating in a Virtual Universe Panel

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A dynamic management professional with 30+ years of product development experience in Medical/Dental, Telecommunication, Industrial Controls, Wireless Communications and Consumer Products. Specialties: Business Development, Strategic Planning and Execution, Product Development, Program Management, Project Management, Strategic Patnerships and Alliances, Lean Process Development, Team Building. Current position is Director of Product Development at bb7, a Madison WI based product development consulting firm. Also serving as President of the PDMA Wisconsin – Chapter, and an Alumni Board member for the UW Madison College of Electrical and Computer Engineering.



Drew Boyd

Drew Boyd

Associate Professor Marketing and Innovation, University of Cincinnati

Presenter, Creative Lessons From a Pandemic

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Drew Boyd is a global leader in creativity and innovation, an international public speaker, award-winning author and innovation blogger, and associate professor of marketing and innovation at the University of Cincinnati. Boyd is a four-time award-winning faculty and executive director of the master of science in marketing program at the Lindner College of Business. With his passion, energy, provocative style and humor, Boyd maps out how professionals in any field can begin preparing today to become professors in the future in his latest book, So You Want to be a Professor: How to Land Your Dream Job in Academia (Bosely Press). Boyd is widely recognized as one of the foremost experts, trainers and thought leaders in corporate innovation methods.

Boyd is also co-author of the widely-acclaimed book on innovation, Inside the Box: A Proven System for Creativity and Breakthrough Results (Simon & Schuster). He shares with audiences how innovation is not brainstorming but rather a structured process to focus creative, inventive output. Boyd’s step-by-step process leverages Systematic Inventive Thinking (SIT), an innovation method that harnesses five thinking patterns that mankind has used for thousands of years. He discusses with audiences how to organize and lead innovation teams and embed innovation into the corporate culture to ensure that the ability to innovate is sustained through organizational change. His forthcoming book (January 2021) is called Adding Prestige to Your Portfolio: How to Use the Creative Luxury Process to Develop Products Everyone Wants (Kogan Page).

Boyd brings a wealth of experience and success to his work in academia and innovation. Beyond teaching, he is a 30-year industry veteran, including 17 years with Johnson & Johnson in marketing, mergers and acquisitions, and international development. He founded and directed J&J’s acclaimed Marketing Mastery Program, an internal “marketing university” benchmarked by companies such as GE, P&G, Kraft and Merck. Boyd focuses on raising competencies in areas of strategic marketing, market management and new product innovation. He particularly emphasizes teaching employees the skills of innovation, strategy, persuasion, and how to systematically invent new products and integrate the inventions into long-range strategic plans. Boyd is an inventor himself, earning his first patent for a device that makes spine surgery easier. He has seven patents to date.



Amin Bashi

Amin Bashi

Chief Product Officer, Bloom

Presenter, Why AI Needs Product Sense

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Amin Bashi is the Chief Product Officer at Bloom. Bloom is on a mission to change the narrative of life. Bloom members (Bloomers) come from different backgrounds, but all share the same desire to stay active, make new connections, and try new things. Prior to Bloom, Amin was CareGuide's VP of Product where his team managed a portfolio of 26 different online marketplaces to pair families and individuals with great care providers. Before joining CareGuide, Amin led the product and design teams at CrowdRiff and built the world's first AI-powered visual content marketing platform which is now used by the world’s best travel and tourism brands such as Zürich Tourism. Before joining CrowdRiff, Amin led the product innovation team at Financeit powering over 7,800 merchants and $3 billion in payment plan applications. Amin was an early member of Shopify's Apps team, led “Shopify for Startups” program, and built a world-class developer ecosystem. Amin is currently a Principal Lecturer at Product School, where he’s training the next generation of product and design leaders.



Kristyn Corrigan

Kristyn Corrigan

Principal, Applied Marketing Science, Inc.

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Panelist, Innovating in a Virtual Universe Panel & Future of Design, Development, and Innovation (DDI) During Turbulent Times Panel

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Kristyn is a principal at Applied Marketing Science where she leads the Insights for Innovation Practice. In her nearly fifteen years of consulting experience, she has helped dozens of companies worldwide to use customer insights to create more successful products, services and customer experiences. Kristyn has been particularly instrumental in leveraging machine learning and AI methodologies to uncover game changing customer insights for product development and customer experience optimization. Her published work has been featured in Fast Company and Marketing News. She has guest lectured at several institutions, including the MIT Sloan School of Management. Kristyn is most energized when she's helping clients uncover meaningful customer insights that change the way they think and that create real business impact.



Kip Creel

Kip Creel

President, Chooseology

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Panelist, Innovating in a Virtual Universe Panel

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Kip Creel is the president and founder of StandPoint, and developer of Chooseology. Kip is a thought leader in insight-driven innovation and has been on the faculty for Stage-Gate® International and teaches marketing management in an executive education program affiliated with Texas A&M University.

Kip holds a BS in Microbiology and Statistics and an MBA in Hospital Administration from The University of Florida.

StandPoint is best known for its SCORE approach to the development of innovation roadmaps in the front-end-of-innovation. Notable companies such as Kimberly-Clark, 3M, Ingersoll Rand, Spectrum Brands, Johnson Outdoors have successfully used SCORE to identify consumer, customer, and end-users needs, ideate new-to-world and new-to-company solutions, and validate these ideas leading to reduced risk and measurable business results.

Over the past five years, StandPoint and its SCORE process have achieved the following accolades:

  • Twice the Atlanta Marketer of the Year based on a case study competition
  • EXPLOR Award for Innovations in Market Research
  • 98% actionability rating by past clients


Bobby Norvell

Bobby Norvell

Emcee, Mini Conference

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By day Bobby Norvell is a Customer Success Manager with West Point Insurance Services, by afternoon he charms audiences and tiny woodland creatures alike with his wit and wisdom as 2020 PDMA Virtual Mini Conference Moderator. When Bobby’s career as a professional baseball playing lawyer didn’t work out, he used his people skills to bring a fun “get it done” philosophy to his clients. Bobby’s attentive and easy-going personality has solidified him has the go to guy senior management has a problem that needs solved.

In addition to the myriad of professional accomplishments, Bobby says that truly his biggest accomplishment is building a loving family— and can’t wait to watch his boys build loving families of their own!

Make sure you introduce yourself to Bobby at the Virtual Happy Hour… he’ll be the one with the bourbon with a cube. Cheers!



Nadine Williams

Nadine Williams

PDMA Conference Chair & CEO &Beyond Innovation and Marketing

Chair, Mini Conference

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Nadine Williams is the Managing Director, Brand and Innovation Consultant at &Beyond Innovation and Marketing, a consulting firm that helps 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. Visit www.AndBeyondCo.com for more information.



Ernie Harris

Ernie Harris

PDMA Chair & CEO, Interesting Blazer

Mini Conference Happy Hour Host

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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.


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