Board of Directors

IRI is governed by an elected Board of Directors, operating under a Constitution and By-Laws formulated by the membership. The Board consists of the Chairman, Vice Chairman, immediate Past Chairman, and 12 other directors. Each member of the Board is elected to a three-year term and is not eligible for two consecutive terms. When a person is elected Vice Chairman, that person automatically becomes Chairman the following year. Two candidates for Vice Chairman and for each opening on the Board are presented to the membership by a Nominating Committee in an annual election.

John B. Hillenbrand
Vice President, Research & Development
Armstrong Flooring

Dr. John B. Hillenbrand is Vice President of Research & Development for Armstrong Flooring, Incorporated, a world leader in flooring solutions for both residential and commercial markets, with headquarters in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA. Prior to joining Armstrong Flooring in January 2016, Dr. Hillenbrand was Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer for Owens Corning from 2008 to 2015. Before joining Owens Corning in 2008, Dr. Hillenbrand spent 23 years at DuPont, where he worked in a variety of global innovation, corporate venturing, product management, technology, and operations roles in DuPont’s polymers, advanced fibers, and elastomers businesses. Dr. Hillenbrand received his bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech, and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, all in chemical engineering.

Vice Chairman
Dr. Louis A. Gritzo
Vice President & Manager of Research
FM Global

Dr. Louis Gritzo is VP of Research at FM Global, an industrial and commercial property insurance company whose clients include 1/3 of the FORTUNE 1000. His responsibilities include management of FM Global’s $125-million, 1,600 acre, Research Campus for physical property loss prevention research in Rhode Island, and three Research Directorates (Fire and Explosions, Structures and Natural Hazards, and Risk and Reliability) at the Center for Property Risk Solutions in Massachusetts. Gritzo has a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, with a minor in applied mathematics, from Texas Tech University. Prior to joining FM Global in 2006, Gritzo was a manager at Sandia National Laboratories. Lou currently serves on the Governing Board of the Global Earthquake Model, on Advisory Committees for several universities, and on the Editorial Board of several technical journals Gritzo also serves as an FM Global corporate spokesperson, including recent interviews in Fast Company, Bloomberg Business, and The Wall Street Journal.

Tom Kavassalis
Immediate Past Chair
Dr. Tom Kavassalis
Vice President, Strategy & Alliances
The Xerox Innovation Group

As Vice President of Strategy and Alliances, Tom leads strategy development for the Xerox Innovation Group. In this role, Tom ensures that Xerox has a balanced portfolio of research and technology investments supporting Xerox's near term business strategies and creating options for the future. His alliances work is focused on leveraging external innovation. Joining the Xerox Research Centre of Canada (XRCC) in 1987 as a member of the research staff, Tom worked in the field of polymer physics, developing theories and models to explain the mechanical and rheological properties of polymeric materials. He also established a competence in modeling and simulation of material systems. His further research areas included the study of molecular level models of phase transitions, solubility behaviors and stress-strain behaviors.

While conducting research at XRCC, Tom maintained a concurrent appointment as adjunct professor at the University of Waterloo. Tom became Associate Centre Manager of XRCC in 1995. He has been associated with the strategy and planning functions in XIG, and the former research and technology organizations, since 1997. Prior to joining Xerox, Tom served as a research scientist at Ontario Hydro Research Division and as a visiting scientist at the Instituut Lorentz in the Netherlands. Tom holds a B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Toronto and a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from MIT. His thesis research was in the field of statistical mechanics. Away from work, his interests include nature photography, woodturning, rebuilding vintage cars, and auto-racing. He will always be a bad golfer.


Joseph R. Fox
Director, Emerging and External Technologies
Ashland, Inc.

Joe Fox is the Director of Emerging and External Technologies for Ashland Inc., a global, diversified Fortune 500 specialty chemical company. In his current role, Joe is responsible for a portfolio of growth and platform projects in support of Ashland’s Performance Materials Division, a leading supplier of thermosetting resins for composite and adhesive applications. Joe received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Lehigh University and his Ph.D. in organometallic chemistry from Penn State. He has worked at Ashland for 20 years in a variety of technical and managerial roles. He is currently a member of the board of directors of Polymer Ohio and the Ohio Bioproducts Network.

Joe is also the focal point for Performance Materials’ open innovation initiatives and for identifying technology at other companies, universities and federal laboratories that can impact Ashland. He has been an active member of the IRI’s External Technology Network (ETN) since 2006 and served as co-chair of the network in 2010-12. In that capacity, he facilitated several productive collaborations between the ETN and the Federal Laboratory Consortium.

Stephen P. Johnson
Director, Research & Development
The Timken Company

Johnson leads a team that is responsible for providing enabling technologies and cost-effective support to Timken’s business units. Through focusing on market alignment and capabilities in core competencies, Johnson and his team identify and propose new technologies that offer value-added opportunities for the company. He previously served in several technology-related director level roles and began his career specializing in precision machine tool metrology and ultra-high speed grinding systems. An active member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Johnson has spoken at conferences on subjects ranging from ultra-high speed grinding to aerospace mechanical systems technologies. He is also member of the board of directors of the Industrial Research Institute (IRI) and also the board of editors of IRI’s Research-Technology Management journal as well as the advisory board of the Materials and Manufacturing Center at Pennsylvania State University. Active in the community, he is a member of the board of trustees of the Canton Symphony Orchestra. Johnson holds a bachelor's degree in manufacturing systems and a doctorate in advanced grinding technology, both from Coventry University in the United Kingdom.

K. Andrew Kintz
Senior Manager, Global New Ventures
LORD Corporation

Andy Kintz works for LORD Corporation, a privately held specialty chemical and mechanical engineering company, where he currently serves as Senior Staff Scientist leading the company’s efforts to understand technology trends and their impact on business growth. Andy has over 25 years (17 at LORD) of broad based industrial experience in job functions ranging from research and development to operations management. He has worked globally on LORD Corporation’s adhesive business and spent several years as the Market Manger for LORD’s automotive products.

As Manager of LORD’s Open Innovation team, Andy helped establish an outwardly focused vision resulting in mergers and acquisitions for the company. He holds 14 United States patents, numerous international patents and several publications. He earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Chemistry from Bowling Green State University with graduate studies in business at Wright State University, and is a certified pricing professional. Prior to LORD Corporation, Andy worked for Reichhold Chemicals and Mead Imaging. Additionally, he serves on the boards of directors of Treyco Environmental Solutions and The Center for Hope and Healing.


Mark Matlock
Senior Vice President, Food Research
Archer Daniels Midland

Mark Matlock joined Archer Daniels Midland Company in 1980. Mark Matlock was appointed Senior Vice President Food Research division where he directs food ingredient research. Prior to his current appointment, Mark served as an Analytical Chemist, Manager-Process Development, Laboratory Manager-ADM BioProducts, Director-Food Applications and Vice President Business Development. He has conducted research that has led to new soy protein isolates for ADM. He has managed research efforts that lead the introduction of trans free fats for margarines and shortenings via a novel enzymatic rearrangement technology. In addition, Mark Matlock was elected president of the American Oil Chemists’ Society for 2003-2004 and in 2007 was appointed an AOCS Fellow.

Mark holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Millikin University and a Master’s of Science degree in polymer chemistry from the University of Akron. Mark is author or co-author of nine U.S. patents, two of which relate to an analytical instrument (OSI) that measures the oxidative stability of vegetable oils.


Dr. Richard I. Michelman
Executive Vice President, Chief Growth & Technology Officer
Michelman, Inc.

Michelman is a mid-sized, family owned, global coatings and additives company with a focus on packaging, paints and coatings, and composite materials. We invent, manufacture and sell our products, and have an active and successful acquisition program. In his current role, Dr. Michelman has worked to greatly increase product commercialization rates, introduce open innovation, and set both leading and lagging metrics in place to measure corporate technology results. Past roles within Michelman have included VP of the Flexible Packaging Business Unit, VP of the Paper Coatings Business Unit, Market Manager focusing on end user engagement, and Technology Manager and Product Development positions.

Prior to joining Michelman, Rick worked at Raychem, now part of Tyco, Dr.Michelman graduated from the Chicago Executive Institute of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, holds a PhD in Chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley, and an AB in Chemistry from Cornell University. He sits on various non-profit boards, and currently serves as President of the Cincinnati Regional Office of AJC, an international human relations organization, bringing them a more business oriented approach.


Karen Milley
Vice President, Research & Development Consumer Foods
J.M. Smucker Company

A thirty year career in the food industry in Research and Development as well as Quality Control at General Mills, Yoplait, and Nabisco Foods. Currently Vice President of Research and Development for the Consumer Foods Strategic Business Unit of the J M Smucker Company. Responsible for all R&D activities to meet current as well as long term growth plans through new item introductions, and packaging and process innovation, as well as profit improvement using new technologies for the following product brands: Smucker’s, Knott’s, Dickinson’s, Jif, Laura Scudder, Adam’s, Uncrustables, Hungry Jack, Smucker’s, Pillsbury, Martha White, White Lily, Robin Hood, Crisco, Eagle Brand, PET, Carnation Canada, in the categories owned by the company in North America.

Graduated from the Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Food Science and from Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, with an MBA in Marketing.

Anthony D. Nickens
Vice President, Energy Group
Ceramatec, Inc.

Anthony is the Vice President of the Energy Group at Ceramatec Inc., an advanced R&D company, where he leads a group of scientists, engineers and lab technicians. Anthony is also responsible for business development and collaborative technology commercialization where he manages alliances with Fortune 100/500 companies and government research efforts. Anthony holds the rank of Captain(0-6) in the Navy Reserves, where he serves as the National Director of NAVSEA’s SurgeMain Program overseeing over 1,450 Sailors dedicated to providing manpower to our Navy’s Shipyards.

John Reid 

John F. Reid
Director, Enterprise Product & Technology Innovation
Deere & Company

As Director, Product Technology and Innovation, Reid is responsible for John Deere’s Global Technology Innovation Network. John Deere’s network of technology innovation centers in Europe, India, China, Latin America, and North America leverage internal and external R&D linkages to accelerate contributions of technology innovation to business growth. Reid and Advanced Marketing colleagues jointly orchestrate an Accelerated Innovation Process and Enterprise Technology Process to coordinate the delivery of technology innovations to the marketplace and to build capabilities to support future business growth ambitions.

In previous roles, Reid was the Technology Team Leader for John Deere’s Enterprise Technology Strategy in automated and unmanned vehicle systems including robotics and automation. Reid came to Deere and Company in January 2001 after a 14-year career at the University of Illinois where he was recognized internationally for his contributions in automation and control for off-road equipment. Reid’s expertise includes machine vision perception, controls, and hardware-in-the-loop design. Previously, Reid served as a consultant to agricultural and military industries in their effort to deploy advanced technologies into precision agriculture and systems automation. At the University, Reid was research director and chairman for 6 completed M.S. degrees and 15 completed Ph.D. students. Reid’s awards have included the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science Research Fellowship (1998), the University of Illinois University Scholar Recipient (95-97) and the Karl Gardner Advising Award (1997). Reid has received 24 patents and has published more than 186 papers, including 61 refereed journal articles.

Craig Robertson
Vice President, Research & Development
National Gypsum Company

Craig joined National Gypsum in 1985 and has served as vice president, Research and Development since 2009 and is responsible for technology and new product development along with the company’s testing center in Buffalo, New York. He also has direct responsibility for the Cement Board Business Unit. He began his career as a Territory Manager in Shreveport, LA and later in Dallas and Houston, TX. In 1993, Craig became a National Accounts Zone Manager in Philadelphia, PA and moved to Charlotte in 1996 as the Gypsum Product Manager. In 1999, he joined the Cement Board business as the Market Manager and was promoted to the General Manager in 2004.

Craig currently serves on the board of directors of the Gypsum Association and was Chair last year. In addition, he sits on the Board of Directors of a joint venture in Mexico. Craig graduated from University of Louisiana-Monroe with a B.S. in Construction and earned an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.

Robert T. Williams
Principal, Intellectual Property Strategy and Business Integration
The Boeing Company

Rob Williams leads Boeing’s external IP policy advocacy, and business innovation and partnership initiatives. Prior to his current position, Williams was the Program Manager for Platform Innovation in Boeing Defense Systems. Previously he led development of Boeing Phantom Works’ innovation management practices, managed Boeing’s technology portfolio in military networked systems and rotorcraft, and directed marketing in Asia-Pacific. Before joining Boeing, Williams served in the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), worked for Toshiba Corporation in Japan, NASA Headquarters, the Institute for Defense Analyses, TRW Systems, and General Electric.

Williams earned an Executive Masters in Technology Management from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; a M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Southern California; and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University.