Visionary Headliners, Rockstars and Fab Facilitators

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Previous Headliners

Chief Executive Officer, Conroy Media

Kevin Conroy

Kevin is a veteran innovator with an expertise in digital platforms, product and programming strategies and execution. In his most recent role at MGM, He advanced and broaden new short-form digital content, developed new formats for new platforms, and he established and expanded partnerships with major content brands for virtual and augmented reality experiences. Prior to Conroy Media, he has held a range of global, operational, digital, strategic, entrepreneurial, and intrapreneurial roles for major media and entertainment corporations including MGM, Univision, AOL, CBS, Fox, Bertelsmann, and BMG Entertainment.

Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer, Cambia Health Solutions

Mohan Nair

Mohan Nair brings broad experience to innovation, having been a high-tech entrepreneur, computer scientist, educator, strategy consultant and healthcare innovator. Recognized in Forbes.com as a pioneer in cultural transformation of organizations, he enables innovation, accelerates solutions and creates emerging healthcare companies. As Senior VP and Chief Innovation Officer, the head of Innovation Force at Cambia Health Solutions, author of three books and a Tedx talk on transformation, Mohan is a business transformation enthusiast.

Innovation Leader, DuPont

Ashok Chetty

Ashok Chetty, Innovation Leader has been actively involved in leading and managing innovation at DuPont for over 20 years. He has a passion for learning and for trying new approaches and paradigms to solve long-existing problems. As a result, his career has included marketing, business strategy, and technology leadership roles in businesses serving a variety of industries such as healthcare, automotive, worker safety, environmental protection, specialty chemicals, construction, and packaging.

Previous Rockstar Insights

Chief Technology Officer, Venminder, Inc.

Brian Adams

Brian Adams enjoys breaking problems into ever smaller problems until the solution becomes obvious.

This began at a young age when he discovered the TI-85’s BASIC interpreter could be used to do homework easier. From then-on he was hooked on technology and the unique solutions it makes possible. He dove into learning as many programming languages as possible. He soon realized languages don’t solve problems, people do.

Throughout his career in healthcare, insurance, and now in third party risk management, Brian has excelled at building highly effective teams of analysts, designers, and developers. As Chief Technology Officer at Venminder, Inc., he has helped build an industry leading provider of third-party risk management solutions. He loves getting his hands dirty at the whiteboard. He enjoys working with clients and other team members. He geeks out over the perfect workflow. He still writes code when he can.

In his down time, Brian enjoys scuba diving in tropical locations. When nowhere near an ocean, he can be found bowling with his son or sitting on the back porch reading books out loud with his wife. He travels as often as he can.

Brian is inspired by recursion, rollercoasters, his wife, and his son.

Managing Partner, Berman Strategic Advisors

Mitchell Berman

What inspires you?
My professional and personal enjoyment comes from identifying fledging companies, leaders and ideas that some believe “impossible” and then create business strategies that bring these ideas to market in ways that can help make a positive “cultural impact” on business and the consumer.

Mr. Mitchell Berman is a 35-year entertainment and technology media veteran, who has participated in the launch of 6 start-ups and a successful IPO. These initiatives span social enterprise, mobile/PC games, streaming OTT video, e-commerce, education technology, eSports, video-on-demand, interactive television, cable and satellite entertainment television channels, digital music, YouTube influencer channels, augmented & virtual reality, and subscription-based entertainment products and services.

Currently, Mitch is the Managing Partner of Berman Strategic Advisors (BSA)… a Los Angeles-based advisory firm focused on mentoring global entrepreneurs and managing investments in early to mid-stage companies that are intent on making a cultural impact in the digital world.

Mitch previously served in various senior management capacities with Home Box Office (HBO/Cinemax), E! Entertainment Television, Sky Network Television New Zealand, Galaxy Media/East Coast Pay TV (FOXTEL Australia), OpenTV, C-COR, and ZillionTV Corporation.

Mitch is a frequent speaker at domestic and international industry conferences, serves as a member of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, an advisory board member and judge for the UCLA Social Enterprise Academy, a board member of the Silicon Beach Young Professionals, a strategic advisor to the Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development/Auckland Mayor’s Office and New Zealand Consul General in Los Angeles.

Mitch earned a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California (USC) and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).

Senior Business Development Director, PURELL(R) SmartLink Solutions, GOJO Industries

April Bertram

April Bertram is the Business Development Director of SmartLink Solutions at GOJO Industries. April joined GOJO in 2002 to lead the product development efforts for the Healthcare vertical market.

Since then, she has reinvented the GOJO innovation process, from the front end of innovation to market and product development, through to strategic portfolio management. Most recently, April was tasked with creating new IoT business models in healthcare, commercial building and other core vertical GOJO markets. She develops and cultivates new partnerships in emerging ecosystems to support strategy execution.

April holds a Bachelor of Science in Communication and an Executive Masters of Business Administration. She has earned a GE Green Belt Six Sigma Certification, Innovation Engineering Black Belt Certification, a Certificate in Strategic Design Capability and the VentureWell Lean LaunchPad Facilitator. She has written a number of publications on product innovation and IoT, including several for the Frost & Sullivan Quarterly eBulletin.

Prior to her role at GOJO Industries, April was a small business owner and served in Product and Market Development positions for market-leading brands for The Hygenic Corporation (TherabandTM and Biofreeze®), GE Lighting and CompuServe Network Services/UUNet. Several patents have been awarded through these development capacities.

About GOJO

The GOJO story is one of entrepreneurship and innovation. Notable inventions include the first waterless heavy duty hand cleaner; the first portion-controlled soap dispenser; PURELL® Instant Hand Sanitizer; PURELL® Surface Sprays, and our latest inventions, PURELL® Brand HEALTHY SOAP® products with CLEAN RELEASE™ Technology and PURELL® ES8 Dispensing Systems with energy on the refill.

Board Member, San Diego Innovation Council

Rubén Flores

What inspires you?
openness, achievements, respect, serenity, inclusion.

Rubén is currently the Treasurer and Co-Founder of the San Diego Innovation Council, a non-profit organization that brings together the academic research technology transfer offices in the region, along with investors, incubators and government programs supporting academic startups.

Rubén received his Ph.D. from UCLA’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, where he studied the molecular basis of embryological development. Soon thereafter, he began his career in the San Diego biotechnology industry at BD Biosciences Pharmigen, where he lead the development of immunohistopathology reagents and managed the development monoclonal antibodies for site specific phosphorylation targets. He then moved to Biosite (now Abbott), where he was involved in designing, initiating, and monitoring clinical trials across the US aimed at the discovery of novel plasma biomarkers for acute cardiovascular and infectious diseases. Rubén later joined Millipore (Chemicon), where he managed R&D, worldwide clinical trials, and marketing activities for Millipore products used for the detection of respiratory viruses (SimulFluorTM). Additionally, Rubén oversaw the R&D and manufacturing activities of the Luminex BeadlyteTM biomarker products. Later, Rubén initiated the development of the Scientific Collaborations and Business Development group at the Biosciences division of Merck-Millipore, collaborating with academic scientists across the globe to develop research reagents in the areas of neuroscience, cell signaling, post-translational modification, and technologies for high-content screening. Rubén then joined GenWay Biotech as Vice President Custom and Catalog Business, where he oversaw the strategic and operational marketing and R&D activities related to reagents and assay development for research use only and manufacture of components for large diagnostic companies in the US and abroad. As assistant Vice President for Business Development at Los Angeles BioMedical Research Institute (LA BioMed) in Torrance, California. Rubén managed all aspects of commercialization, including licenses, sponsored research agreements and spin-offs, pertaining to the Intellectual Property Portfolio of LA BioMed. At UC San Diego, Rubén was the Director of the Office of Innovation and Commercialization, leading a team of 34 in the largest technology transfer office of the UC system, doubling the annual number of startups and increasing licenses by fifty percent.

Rubén was a member of the BIOCOM FDA committee and the advisory board for graduate programs in Biotechnology at Cal State University San Marcos. Rubén was also a member the Scientific Advisory board of UC Riverside’s department of Bioengineering and a member of the advisory board to the Coulter Translational Research Partnership Program at the department of Bioengineering at the University of Washington and the University of Southern California.

Senior Product Manager, BD

Rakhi Garg

What inspires you?
Rakhi is driven by the vision to provide world-class healthcare services to patients at affordable costs.

Rakhi Garg is a Senior Product Manager at Becton Dickinson. In her current role, she is leading the Refrigerated Medication Management product portfolio at BD.

In her previous roles, Rakhi has worked for GE Healthcare’s Workforce Management. She has also worked with a digital health startup, Sense4Baby, which was acquired by Airstrip; and a venture fund investing in medical devices and healthcare technologies.

Rakhi is a physician from India and an MBA from Rady School of Management, UC San Diego.

Head of Advanced Innovation/ New Ventures, Philips Healthcare

Bill Gaussa

Bill Gaussa is currently the Head of Advanced Innovation at Philips, and acting Venture Leader for the Sleep Ecosystem. As the Head of Advanced Innovation, Bill leads a diverse team of researchers, engineers, and marketers to transform new ideas into new ventures that delight our customers. Immediately prior to that, Bill served in multiple leadership roles within Philips including leading Strategic Marketing, Advance Research, Clinical and Global Product Management.

Bill has experience across multiple industries with positions at McKesson (healthcare automation), Timesys (embedded software development), Inrange Technologies (IT), and Westinghouse (control systems). Throughout his career, Bill has built upon his skills in Product Management, Healthcare Information Technology, Innovation Management, and Engineering to redefine how corporations can innovate in like agile startups.

Bill holds a Masters in Business Administration from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.

Chief Data Scientist, Americas, Intel Corporation

Melvin Greer

I’m inspired by: Innovation, Leadership, Inclusion

Melvin Greer is Chief Data Scientist, Americas, Intel Corporation. He is responsible for building Intel’s data science platform through graph analytics, machine learning and cognitive computing to accelerate transformation of data into a strategic asset for Public Sector and commercial enterprises.

His systems and software engineering experience has resulted in patented inventions in Cloud Computing, Synthetic Biology and IoT Bio-sensors for edge analytics. He functions as a principal investigator in advanced research studies, including Nanotechnology, Additive Manufacturing and Gamification. He significantly advances the body of knowledge in basic research and critical, highly advanced engineering and scientific disciplines. Mr. Greer is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and U.S. National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine, GUIRR

Mr. Greer has been named a 2018 AI Executive of the Year by Washington Executive. He has been awarded the 2017 BDPA Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2012 BEYA Technologist of the Year Award, which recognize his outstanding technical contribution and technical products that have a broad impact and high value to society as a whole. Melvin Greer has been appointed Fellow of the National Cybersecurity Institute where he assists government, industry, military, and academic sectors meet the challenges in cyber security policy, technology and education. Melvin is Professor, Master of Science in Data Science program at Southern Methodist University (SMU) and Adjunct Faculty, Advanced Academic Program at Johns Hopkins University, where he teaches the Masters of Science course “Practical Applications of Artificial Intelligence”.

In addition to his professional and investment roles, he is Founder and Managing Director of the Greer Institute for Leadership and Innovation, focused on research and deployment of a 21st Century Leadership Model. Mr. Greer is a frequent speaker at conferences and universities and is an accomplished author; his fifth book “Practical Cloud Security a Cross Industry View” is his most recently published book.

Melvin is a Board of Trustee at Capitol Technology University where he oversees and aligns its strategic direction, educational policy, finances and operations with the mission of the university.

As a popular educator and board member at a number of Historical Black Colleges and Universities, Greer is leading science, technology, mathematical and engineering (STEM) research initiatives, directly trying to shape a more diverse generation of up-and-coming technical talent.

Managing Director, Corporate Strategy and Innovation Group, Cisco Systems

Alex Goryachev

Alex Goryachev is an entrepreneurial go-getter. He takes risks, thinks ahead, and loves making way for new innovations. Over the past 20 years, he’s made it his business to turn disruptive concepts into emerging business models.

For him, it’s all about a passion to create a strategy and then drive it home to “get things done.” And as Cisco’s senior director of Innovation Strategy and Programs, he has plenty of opportunities to put this passion to the test.

He sparks internal innovation by providing employees at all levels the chance to share their big ideas, many of which make their way into the company’s innovation engine. Alex also carries the torch for co-innovation across Cisco’s ecosystem.

He’s especially excited about Cisco’s Innovation Centers, which can be found in major cities around the world. Led by Alex, these hubs bring together customers, partners, startups, accelerators, governments, research communities, and universities in a lab setting. Their goal is to discover, develop, and implement game-changing, outcome-based solutions.

He also heads up the Cisco Innovation Grand Challenges. These polished events help creative thinkers bring their technology ideas to life. And then there’s the Cisco Technology Radar, the company’s engine for identifying emerging technology transitions. He was the “Emerging Stars” gold recipient of Brandon Hall Group’s 2016 Human Capital Management Excellence Awards Program, and his organization won golds for “Employee Engagement” and “Innovation Talent Management” programs.

Alex began his Cisco journey in 2004 with a singular focus: Innovation. He defined and operationalized several high-profile Cisco initiatives, including the company’s Country Transformation plan for Cisco in emerging markets. He also held senior roles in Development, Marketing, Finance, and Channels, providing him a 360 view of how a great company ticks.

Prior to Cisco, Alex was a successful consultant with extended assignments at Napster, Liquid Audio, IBM Global Services, and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals.

Vice President, Product Management, TiVo

Morgan Hays

Morgan is a senior software and big-data executive who drives revenue growth through strategy creation, market analysis, product development, and product marketing. In the last 6 years, he has brought 10 industry-leading products to market. Morgan’s primary value proposition is driving alignment between the strategy and the entire buyer’s journey. He achieves this alignment by leading teams that deliver on the needs of sales, marketing and engineering teams. His experience as a startup founder as well as vice president at both public and private companies across the mobile, CE and media industries gives him the ability to deliver rapidly in a wide array of business environments.

Head of Design, New Products, eBay

Pree Kolari

Pree Kolari is a UX executive & product designer. He has a history of shipping innovative consumer and mobile products like the eBay 5.0 mobile app, Moto 360, Moto G, Windows Phone 7 & XBox Kinect. Currently, Pree is a heads up Design for New Products and leads product and engineering for eBay B2B.

President and General Manager, Dealerware

Russell Lemmer

Russell Lemmer, President and General Manager at Dealerware, is a storied business builder known for developing mobility concepts into high-value businesses.

In his role, Lemmer is currently growing the Dealerware SaaS business by helping those in the automotive space (dealerships, dealer groups and big auto manufacturers) use technology to better manage growing fleets, from loaner cars to subscription units. Using Dealerware, customers become more profitable: they reduce costs, create efficiencies, and elevate their customers’ experiences.

How? By transforming many of retail automotive’s old-fashioned business practices from analogue to digital; from disparate to connected; from manual to automated; and from tedious to elegant.

Prior to Silvercar, Lemmer served as an Associate and Venture Capital Investor in Austin Ventures and Consultant at Bain & Company where he mastered the art of identifying viable, disruptive business ideas and strategic problem solving.

Russ is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, where he received a B.B.A. in Business Honors and Finance. He resides in Austin, Texas.

Chief Commercial Officer, Gaido Health

Gary Manning

Gary Manning is the Chief Commercial Officer forGaido Health which is a digital health start-up company based out of Manhattan Beach, CA. He has been in the field of medical devices / solutions for over 25 years and held various positions in the US and International arena as clinical engineer, sales representative, sales & clinical management, marketing & business management at Datascope Corp in both the cardiac and patient monitoring space.

Gary moved to a start-up medical device company in San Diego (Sotera Wireless) in 2008 and held several roles during his tenure from Vice President of Business Development to SVP Global Sales & Marketing. In 2018, Gary joined Gaido Health as Chief Commercial Officer and first employee to build and launch a digital health solution that will enhance care for the cancer patient initially. Gary has introduced a number of innovative products over his career and successfully launched these products into the global healthcare market. He is committed to driving change in healthcare that leads to better outcomes for patients, improved workflow efficiencies for clinical staff, and reducing the cost burden of healthcare.

Vice President, JP Morgan Chase & Co.

Pradeep Narendran

What inspires you? To constantly strive to be a better Me!

As an entrepreneur, Pradeep pioneered import substitution of intricate machinery and turnkey plants through collaborative research and innovation in the confectionery and chemical industry in India. In this role, Pradeep was a key player in the initial design and installation of many crucial components at the Wrigley’s India plant, and that of a working model of an ancient distillery at the Mauritius Government museum, just to name a few accomplishments. Pradeep revived and led a manufacturing business with 300 skilled workers and 45 engineers to greater heights, by diversifying into new domains, and expanding it 3 times over. Ten years later, Pradeep decided to move on to take up a challenging opportunity to work for a plastic extrusion firm in Dubai as the head of their maintenance division, and later changed course to IT after due training, and landed in the U.S. to work at the ExxonMobil downstream HQ. While Pradeep continues to work in the roles of Product Manager, Scrum Master and Business Analyst, the entrepreneur in him continues to search for the right opportunity to get back in the game he is designed for – entrepreneurship!

Head of Digital Innovation, APAC, BASF

Victor Oh

What inspires you? Passionate people making cool technology

Passionate about solving the world’s biggest challenges through emerging technologies, Victor pursues this mission in both his career and personal life. Based in San Francisco, he is currently Head of Digital Innovation for Asia Pacific and helps drive digitalization for the world’s largest chemicals & materials company. Prior to BASF, he was a Lead Analyst at Lux Research and advised Fortune Global 500 executives to make key business decisions regarding disruptive technologies and trends in digital transformation, advanced materials innovation, and sustainability.

Victor is an alumni of Singularity University’s 2013 Global Solutions Program, a leadership program founded by Google and NASA to empower entrepreneurs in creating moonshot innovations to positively transform the future of humanity. He is also recipient of the 2012 Odebrecht Award for Sustainable Development. Victor graduated from the Johns Hopkins University with a M.S. and B.S. in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering and a minor in Entrepreneurship & Management.

Associate Director, Product Design/Development, Humana

Sharon Parsons

What inspires you? My inspiration comes from looking at real world problems. With the rapid growth of technology and the consumer desire for on-demand product, we are at a major turning point for product development. I am inspired by the disruptors, the changing competitive landscape and the shift in the way consumers want to use and receive their products. I look at challenge as an opportunity rather than a barrier.

Sharon Parsons is the Associate Director of Product Design/Development with more than 18 years of experience in healthcare. Sharon is responsible for the product development and management of the Employer Group Specialty Product portfolio, as well as the integration of corporate capabilities and services across the entire product portfolio. She leads cross-functional teams to drive results across the organization and leads product and program development for board-level corporate goals.

Sharon has a passion for product development and management, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Product Development and Management Association (PDMA). She is an American Business Awards Gold Stevie winner for 2017 Product Developer of the Year and holds two 2016 Bronze Stevie Awards for Women in Business for Best New Product or Service and Employee of the Year. She also served as a judge for the 2018 Stevie Awards for Women in Business evaluating submissions in the New Product & Service category. Sharon holds an MBA from the University of Notre Dame Executive MBA program.

Cerner Corporation, Malvern, PA

Nias Puthenveettil

What inspires you? Using technology and innovation to improve quality of life

Nias Puthenveettil is Senior Director of Technology and Innovation at Cerner Corporation. He has more than 20 years of global medical devices and healthcare industry experience in three continents. Over the years he worked on development of several medical devices at Siemens, including Computed Tomography (CT), Angiography, Interventional Radiology and Cardiology imaging systems and clinical applications. At Cerner is currently responsible for development of large scale ambulatory and acute care healthcare information systems and analytics applications. He is also and Adjunct Professor of Business at Penn State University, teaching Management Information Systems.
Nias holds a master’s degree in computer science & engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology and MBA in Strategy, Marketing & Finance from Kellogg School of Management – Northwestern University.

Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer, Sixense

Amir Rubin

Sixense Enterprises Inc., a leading developer of VR and AR solutions for companies across industries, including manufacturing, training, retail, and entertainment.

Director, Research & Development, Janssen, a Johnson & Johnson Company

Theresa Scheuble

What inspires you? Delivering innovation to improve patient’s lives.

Theresa Scheuble is Head of the Combination Product Drug Delivery Systems at Janssen a Johnson & Johnson Company. She is responsible for Combination Product Device development for 26+ programs, including 3 delivery platforms, 5 proprietary devices in development, and 4 novel drug delivery technologies. She is also leading Cross-Sector Initiatives with the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Sectors.

Theresa has been with Johnson & Johnson for 23 years, working all Sectors of J&J with 18 years specifically in the Medical Device Sector. She has launched greater than 20 portfolio enhancing products within J&J. She also has experience in the Automotive and Aerospace industries.

Former Head of World Wide Innovation, Pfizer

Daniel Seewald

What inspires you? Challenging the Status Quo

Dan knows what it takes to be a renegade inside a large organization. Dan Seewald is the Head of Pfizer’s World Wide Innovation Team and led the architecture and design of Dare to Try, one of the Fortune 100’s leading design thinking and strategic innovation programs.

Dan began his career as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) but shortly thereafter went on a mission in search of increased creative freedom. Dan worked as a market researcher, professional moderato and a new product designer at Fortune 500 companies, including: Roche and Bausch and Lomb. He continued his work in marketing and commercial development as a global marketing head of a multi-billion dollar product portfolio at Pfizer.

While Dan was leading Marketing and Innovation, he began his training and certification in cutting-edge areas such as Creative Problem Solving (CPS), Design Thinking, Lego Serious Play and Lean / Agile Experimentation. Dan has been teaching, training and advising these methods to leadership teams around the world for nearly ten years and has accumulated extensive practical wisdom and case studies along the way. Dan has been a guest lecturer at leading academic institutions, including: New York University, MIT’s Innovation Design Center and Harvard’s Innovation Lab. Dan also works closely as a mentor in the start-up community to several Innovation Accelerators and advises companies across multiple industries, delivering keynote speeches, moderating and facilitating at high impact events.

In addition to his business pursuits, Dan is a youth wrestling and soccer coach, a former radio broadcaster and a published author. Dan did his graduate studies (MBA) at New York University in Political Economy and Entrepreneurship and has a BS in Accounting from The College of New Jersey.

Global Vice President, Growth Implementation Solutions, Frost & Sullivan

Mark Simoncelli

Mark Simoncelli, Global Vice President, Growth Implementation Solutions, Frost & Sullivan, will lead the roundtable where we will continue the descussion from our most recent Virtual Executive Assembly call on Improving Strategic Product Development. Mark’s vast experiance is in Product Innovation, Strategic Development, and Digital Transformation – IoT., Digital Business Model Innovation.

Global President, Frost & Sullivan

Krishna Srinivasan

Mr. Srinivasan, Global President and Managing Partner of Frost & Sullivan, has been with the company for over twenty five years. Over the years, he has held a variety of positions with increasing responsibility, culminating in the role of President in the year 2000. He has played a key role in reshaping the company from its early days as a market research company to a full-fledged global growth consulting company focused on solving client challenges with customized business intelligence, growth strategies and training & implementation support.

He is also the architect of Frost & Sullivan’s proprietary Growth Model and Growth Pipeline process, a structured, robust and continuous process that helps clients generate, evaluate and implement growth strategies. He brings to his role a unique blend of technology and business expertise, combined with several years of business research and strategy consulting experience.

Head of Scouting and Partnership, BASF

Brian Standen

What inspires you? Authenticity, stories, people, new tech

Brian is an executive technologist with 20+ years of experience in digital transformation and innovation. Brian’s passion lies in developing technologies at the intersection of science, information and business.

As Head of Scouting and Partnerships, Digitalization of R&D at BASF, Brian is responsible for building collaborations with academic institutions, early-stage ventures and established companies to strengthen BASF’s digital capabilities, enabling the continuous advancement of science. He is currently focused on the role of digitalization in sustainability and how the enormous volumes of data available may still not be enough of the right data to enable the broad changes cutting-edge data science techniques offer. Prior to his current role, Brian was the Head of Computational Biology for BASF Enzymes, LLC, Director of Information Systems and Technology for Verenium Corporation, co-founder and partner of Coaliance and an independent technology consultant. Brian received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology and English from the University of Colorado at Boulder and his Master of Business Administration from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler School of Business.

Chief Product & Strategy Officer, Hitachi Vantara

Brad Surak

Brad Surak joins Hitachi Vantara with over 25 years of success in digital transformation, general management, product and solution development, software engineering and operations across multiple industries and geographies. He has demonstrated success in driving global digital transformations that deliver top-line growth and productivity.

Prior to joining Hitachi, Surak led the formation of GE Digital, a General Electric business, and served as chief operating officer. An “intra-preneur,” Surak comes with a proven history in building successful businesses within large multinational companies such as SAP and Business Objects. He has also held executive positions with DayNine, Cambridge Technology Partners, and Ernst & Young’s technology practice.

Surak holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Purdue University and was awarded the title of Distinguished Science Alumni in 2017.

Senior Consultant, Growth Implementation Solutions, Frost & Sullivan

Tommy Thompson

Functional Expertise

  • 5+ years of product management in Medical Device and healthcare industry.
  • 3+ years of product development and customer segmentation consulting experience in automobile industry.
  • Particular expertise:

―Marketing and Communications: Branding, brand strategy, positioning, event planning, and execution

―Product management: Bringing new products to market, strategic positioning, go-to-market tactics, deal execution, and supply chain management

Industry Expertise

  • Strong understanding of the US light duty vehicle market, supply chain, and upstream product development. Relationships and work experience for Ford, Honda, GM, Nissan, Subaru, Mazda and Tier 1 suppliers as well as other related industry partners.
  • Expert in US specialty medical device market including expertise in value chain from manufacturers, distributors and group purchasing organizations (GPOs). Strong clinical understanding of the respiratory system.

What I bring to the Team

  • Strong ability to distill insights from analysis and communicate effectively with executive clients.
  • Market research expert and analytical thinker. Consumer and people focused
  • Team player, able to consider outside perspectives and foster a collaborative environment.
  • Strong sales and expert presenting skills.

Career Highlights

  • Product management achievement in marketing and sales – Flexicare Inc., 2016
  • Project manager for 2017 Honda Civic redesign concept – The CarLab, 2012
  • Bi-fuel vehicle concept project award – ANGA – The CarLab 2012


  • MBA, USC Marshall School of Business – Los Angeles, CA
  • B.S. Mathematics, Chapman University – Orange, CA
Director of Technology PlayDigital Innovation Lab, IGT

Paolo Werbrouck

I’m inspired by what is challenging, has impact and meaning.

I enjoy solving problems (or trying) and looking ahead to what is beyond the horizon and exciting be it in technology, business or any other domain that I’m involved in.

As the Technical Director of the PlayDigital Innovation Lab at IGT I’m tasked with envisioning the future of real-money gaming and lotteries at a very critical time for our industry and I’m very excited about how the next decade will evolve.
Every day in which you learn something new is a great day.

I enjoy sailing and golfing as well as watching my daughter play volleyball. She’s awesome.

Program Specialist, SDG&E

Raveen Wisham

Global Lead, Technology & Innovation , Northrop Grumman

Jeffrey Worsham

Jeff directs global innovation, technology development and process improvement operations for Northrop Grumman Technology Services, with $4.8B in sales, cultivating ideas for the development of technology differentiators, augmenting business strategies, addressing internal challenges and enhancing employee engagement for over 300 sites and 15K employees worldwide.

He established the vision, objectives, team, process and tools for catalyzing a culture of ideation, developing ideas into focused, strategy-driven technology development and process improvement projects, and the valuation of investment effectiveness, from pre-IR&D innovation grants to IR&D, CR&D and business pursuits.

Additionally, Jeff has an entrepreneurial passion, and has founded several companies, including IT Innovations – offering networking, computer support and repairs, and custom software solutions in the Southern California area – and, Reaction2– delivering media and market analytics and software solutions.

Jeff graduated Summa Cum Laude from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University with a Bachelors of Science in Technical Management and is currently pursuing a Masters of Science in Analytics from Georgia Tech. Additionally, he holds certificates from Stanford University in Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Advanced Computer Security.

Previous Fab Facilitators

Senior Vice President Software & Security, 3Pillar Global

Jennifer Ives

Jennifer Ives specializes in digital technology, at the intersection of people and business. Her experience in engineering, economic development and business growth spans venture-backed startups to Fortune 500 companies. An engaging speaker and mentor to high growth product-focused companies, Jennifer shares practical advice and insightful takeaways, delivered with humor and heart.

Director of Innovation, Nerdery

Derek Chin

As a passionate creator and lifelong entrepreneur, Derek has a breadth of experience bringing new products to market. From successfully bootstrapping his own startups, to raising $240 million as a leader on the core team at Bright Health, Derek is a well versed entrepreneur. Paired with his first-hand experience innovating inside some of the largest corporations in the world, Derek has a unique perspective on what it takes to be successful in both environments.

After a successful exit with one of his own startups, Derek began his corporate innovation experience as an entrepreneur-in-residence at UnitedHealth Group. There, he became fascinated with the new dimensions and challenges of gaining traction inside a multi-billion dollar organization. As head of Nerdery’s Innovation and Product Strategy Practice, Derek works on the cutting edge of technology and experience design to help large enterprise clients bring net-new products to life. Derek’s current engagements include launching a new venture with Cargill, reinventing Nestle Global’s most successful mobile app, and leading multiple product workstreams at Google.

Chief Commercial Officer, Gaido Health

Gary Manning

Gary Manning is the Chief Commercial Officer forGaido Health which is a digital health start-up company based out of Manhattan Beach, CA. He has been in the field of medical devices / solutions for over 25 years and held various positions in the US and International arena as a clinical engineer, sales representative, sales & clinical management, marketing & business management at Datascope Corp in both the cardiac and patient monitoring space.

Gary moved to a start-up medical device company in San Diego (Sotera Wireless) in 2008 and held several roles during his tenure from Vice President of Business Development to SVP Global Sales & Marketing. In 2018, Gary joined Gaido Health as Chief Commercial Officer and first employee to build and launch a digital health solution that will enhance care for the cancer patient initially. Gary has introduced a number of innovative products over his career and successfully launched these products into the global healthcare market. He is committed to driving change in healthcare that leads to better outcomes for patients, improved workflow efficiencies for clinical staff, and reducing the cost burden of healthcare.

Co-Founder, SmartOrg

David Matheson

A co-founder of SmartOrg, David has helped the senior management teams from some of the largest product manufacturing corporations in the world to improve their results from portfolio management, product development, innovation, R & D, capital investment and strategy. He is known for finding simple answers to some of the most complicated strategic business issues. He is an expert at measuring value and managing uncertainty. A gifted presenter, David routinely presents at product innovation and portfolio management conferences.

David is co-author of the bestselling book, The Smart Organization: Creating Value through Strategic R & D (Harvard Business School Press) and has authored numerous articles on innovation, portfolio management and decision making. He is a Fellow with the Society of Decision Professionals. His Ph. D. is from Stanford University where he teaches Strategic Portfolio Management at the Stanford Center for Professional Development and is known for providing strategic guidance to up-and-coming innovators and decision analysis professionals.

Chief Technology Officer, Product Creation Studio

Scott Thielman

What inspires you? I want to empower innovators.

Scott Thielman is CTO and co-founder of Product Creation Studio, a full-system product development consultancy based in Seattle. With expertise leading the development of consumer, medical and industrial products, Scott has participated in all aspects of product design and development for emerging and established global brands including Philips, Johnson & Johnson, L’Oreal, Bose and Lilly.

Scott is an expert at combining cutting-edge technology with engaging, user-friendly design and has been instrumental in bringing numerous innovative products to market at Product Creation Studio. Scott’s leadership has helped client companies garner prestigious awards including the Red Dot Design Award, Good Design Award, I.D. Annual Design Review, Medical Design & Excellence Award (MDEA), and an MD&M West Innovation Prize.

With over two decades of experience as an entrepreneur and product innovation expert, Scott is a recognized thought leader on topics ranging from AI and digital health to strategic product opportunity evaluation and innovation best practices. He serves as a regular speaker for events produced by UBM, Xconomy, Frost & Sullivan, Life Science Washington, Association of Managers of Innovation, and more. He also recently served as a juror for the Medical Design & Excellence Awards (MDEAs) and has authored articles for national publications including Medical Design & Outsourcing (MDO) and MD+DI.

Scott is actively involved in the innovation community in Seattle and serves as the Life Science Committee Co-Chair for Keiretsu Forum’s Northwest Chapter, the world’s largest angel investor. He is also on the Board of Wings ¬– Washington state’s medical technology angel network – and is involved in Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) as an innovation advisor. Scott holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Washington and is a licensed professional engineer.

Director, Product Marketing, Platform, Workfront

Richard Whitehead

With over 20 years’ experience in the software industry, Richard has worked in a variety of global roles, including Engineering, Marketing, Business Development, Sales and Product Management.

He has worked in many technology areas, including software as a service (SaaS), cloud computing, identity and access management, operating systems, and systems management. He has held senior positions for NetIQ, Novell, Citrix, Franklin Covey, and is currently the Director of Product Marketing for the Platform at Workfront.

Richard is a graduate of Engineering from Brigham Young University, is a recognized public speaker, and has authored many industry articles and books.

Partner, Data Science, Tenet Partners

Kellan Williams

Kellan Williams is an advanced analytics expert and experienced data scientist with proven analytical acumen. His experience spans many sectors and his skill set has offered him the ability to have high impact roles at IBM Global Business Services, Huntington Bank, Safelite Autoglass, LBrands, and Abercrombie and Fitch.

Kellan has spent the last 14 years helping companies turn their data into actionable insights. Kellan employs advanced methodologies and cutting edge technologies to transform business problems into sustained competitive innovations. He specializes in the areas of text analytics, predictive modeling, and advanced forecasting.

Director, Professional Services, Planview, Inc.

Doug Williams

Doug Williams is Director, Professional Services at Planview Spigit, a SaaS-based crowdsourcing and innovation management software platform that is part of the broader Planview organization. Doug provides strategic guidance and implementation services to innovation leaders at some of Spigit’s most respected customers, such as Pfizer, AT&T, Southern Company, MetLife, and Campbell’s Soup. He designs programs to raise innovation competency throughout the company while delivering measurable business outcomes and increased employee engagement.

Prior to joining Spigit, Doug was an analyst at Forrester Research where he launched and led Forrester’s coverage of open innovation and co-creation, with a focus on how technology enables collaboration among diverse groups. He also served as Chief Research Officer at Innovation Excellence where he designed and launched the Innovation Excellence Research business line. Before that, he spent 12 years as an economic policy consultant in the telecommunications sector, including two years running his own start-up consulting business.