Dr. Martha Gardner, Executive Quality Leader, Process Improvement, GE Aviation
Dr. Martha Gardner is the Executive Quality Leader – Process Improvement for GE Aviation. Prior to taking this role, she served as the Chief Scientist for Statistics, Quality, and Innovation Methods and the Global Quality Leader for GE Global Research. She helps teams improve capability of current processes, as well develop new conceptual designs for products and manufacturing processes, and then make them robust, reliable, and serviceable through the use of modeling and analytics. She has a Ph.D. in Statistics from North Carolina State University and B.S./M.S. from the University of Alabama. Dr. Gardner has been involved with IRI for over 10 years. Early on she was engaged in the IRI Six Sigma Conferences, and hosted this one year. More recently she was involved in different ROR projects, as well as engaging the next generation of GE participants in IRI activities.
Steven Moskowitz, Director of Digital Transformation, Entegris
Steven Moskowitz is currently the Director of Digital Transformation at Entegris, where he is focused on Data Governance, Extended Reality, and using digital solutions to generate new value for customers. Prior to this role, Steven spent seven years leading Innovation Management in the Office of the CTO, with a focus on the tools & processes of innovation. Prior to joining Entegris, Steven spent over 12 years with IBM in various leadership and technical roles. Steven holds a BA in Chemistry, University of Rochester, and a PhD in Chemistry, University of Washington.
Steven has been involved in IRI for the past 7 years, starting with bringing learning and best practices back to Entegris and then getting involved in ROR projects, including be a co-chair of the Virtual Experimentation and Simulation ROR. Steven has presented at 3 different IRI meetings and co-authored 1 paper for RTM. Over the past 3 years, Steven was involved as a Pioneer in the SPRING program for Digital Transformation and is an active member of the DXC. He has been on the board for the past 2 years and is excited about becoming the Chairperson.
Dr. Srinivas Veeramasuneni, Senior Vice President, USG Corporation
Dr. Srinivas Veeramasuneni is senior vice president and chief technology officer, USG Corporation. In this role, he oversees USG’s technology vision, strategy, and investment, including oversight of the Innovation, Engineering, Global Supply Chain, Operational Excellence, Business Incubation, and Marketing functions. His organization drives competitive advantage and profitability through collaboration, technology, and customer-centric innovation.
Veeramasuneni has a Ph.D. in metallurgical engineering from the University of Utah and has held various research and management positions during his tenure with the company. Veeramasuneni has been awarded 15 U.S. patents related to building materials, and has received numerous awards, including the AIME Rossiter W. Raymond Memorial Award, technology awards from USG Corporation and was also recognized as a 2017 Chicago Business Leader of Color by Chicago United.
He has been actively involved with the IRI organization for more than 15 years including annual meeting & member summit participation, hosting CTO forum & regional meetings, program committee leadership, nominating committee, ROR committee membership, and Board Member.
Vision for IRI’s Future: Strengthen the global leadership in the field of innovation management by promoting collaboration and partnerships among diverse groups to develop transformational innovation management models that provide substantial benefits to the member companies.
Dr. Dan Boss, Senior Vice President, R&D, GAF
Dan was named Senior Vice President, Research and Development in October, 2016. Dan has been helping drive innovation across the aerospace, mining and metals, and building materials industries for more than two decades. His distinctive background, which includes both R&D and marketing, allows him to combine new technology development with innovative business development strategies.
Dr. Robert Heideman, Senior Vice President, Chief Technology Officer, A.O. Smith
Bob was named Senior Vice President – Chief Technology Officer at A. O. Smith in December 2010. He had served as Vice President of the Milwaukee-based research and engineering facility since February 2008. The Corporate Technology Center consists of technology platforms that concentrate on advanced concepts and emerging technologies supporting the long-term product development strategies of the company’s electric motor and water heating operating units. Bob joined A. O. Smith Corporation in 1994 as a Project Engineer at Corporate Technology. In that role, he worked on a wide range of projects for a number of the company’s operating units. He returned to A. O. Smith in 2002 as a Section Manager, responsible for the Metallurgy and Prototyping Group. In 2005, he was promoted to Director-Materials and Processes at Corporate Technology.
Matrice Jackson, Director, Research & Development, Kimberly-Clark
Matrice Jackson is an innovative Senior Strategic Leader with 15+ years of experience working in the consumer goods and business-to-business sectors responsible for all aspects of process, product and technology. She began working for Kimberly-Clark in 1991 as a mechanical engineer after graduating with her Masters in Mechanical Engineering from Auburn University in 1998. Since 2012, Jackson has been a Senior Manager and Associate Director for Research & Engineering in Innovation Management responsible for implementation, product development plans and packaging innovation inclusive of budget, resources and customer relationship management.
Dr. Darin Latimer, Vice President, Strategic Innovation, Danaher Corporation
Currently Dr. Latimer is in a Strategic Development role at Danaher Corporation, a Fortune 200 multi-industry global science and technology company. His small team has three primary enterprise level responsibilities: the front end for M&A; Strategic Planning; Strategic Innovation. His time tends toward the latter categories. From 2005 to 2009 he held leadership roles at MDS Analytical Technologies including in Strategy and Business Development, Legal, Product Development, Hardware Research. Before that he was a founder or early employee in start-ups, including one he took through IPO. His academic background spans chemistry, physics and computation/mathematics with a post doc in atmospheric chemistry, a PhD in chemical physics, an MSc in spectroscopy, and a BSc in chemistry with physics minor.
Pushpa Manukonda, Vice President of Technology and Innovation, Milacron
Pushpa Manukonda is a Technology leader with over 23 years of experience in Innovation, Engineering, Multi-disciplinary integrated solutions, IT, Business Education Alliances, and talent development.
Manukonda serves as the Vice President of Technology and Innovation for Milacron providing global leadership for Innovation, New Product Development, Production engineering, Quality, Controls and Software, a position she held since October 2020. Manukonda is responsible for the seamless integration of Milacron’s vision, strategy and direction of all engineering and development teams.
Prior to joining Milacron, Manukonda served as the Director of the Technology Innovation strategy at John Deere from November 2017 to August 2020. During this time, she was able to build strategic alliances, technical capabilities, develop talent and manage operations of the center. Under Manukonda’s leadership, the center was highlighted as a strategic business alliance for Iowa Education.
Manukonda joined John Deere in 1999 as a product modeling coordinator. In 2001 she was appointed Project Manager for Product Delivery Systems. In 2003, she became Project Manager for Customer Support Systems and in 2006 was made a Supervisor for Engineering. Manukonda was appointed Senior Engineer and Engineering Integration Lead for the XCG-John Deere Joint Venture in China in 2008, and the following year was named Product Development Manager. In 2010, she became Vice President of Engineering for the Ashok Leyland John Deere Construction Equipment Co. joint venture. In 2012, she joined the John Deere Advanced Technology and Engineering team as the Manager of Technology Innovation Strategy, and in 2015 she was appointed as the global lead for technology innovation strategy and product engineering technologies at John Deere.
Manukonda earned her Post-Graduate Diploma in Computer Applications, Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from India; completed coursework for a master’s degree in industrial engineering at the University of Iowa and a Certificate in Artificial Intelligence from MIT.
Manukonda won the National Emerging Leader award through the SWE in 2013. She remains active on the Board of Directors for Innovation Research Interchange an organization that focusses on Innovation and Field of Hope a non-profit dedicated to agricultural education and extension.
Manukonda actively takes part in minority development events and is an advocate for STEM programs and Women in technology.
Dr. Paloma Pimenta, Associate Director, Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals, Colgate-Palmolive
Dr. Paloma Pimenta currently leads a team in the Oral Care division of Colgate Palmolive. Her team identifies and develops new cutting edge technologies for Colgate’s Oral Care business, as well as advance fundamental research within the business category, and develop new methodologies to measure product performance and support new claims. Dr. Pimenta first joined Colgate-Palolive as a research scientist in the R&D Hair Care Advanced Technology division in 2006. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from CUNY Brooklyn College and her Doctorate degree in Chemical & Biochemical Engineering from Rutgers University.
Dr. Courtney Silverthorn, Deputy Director, Technology Partnerships Office, National Institute of Standards in Technology
Dr. Courtney Silverthorn is the Deputy Director of the Technology Partnerships Office at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), leading implementation of interagency technology transfer policy efforts via NIST’s Return on Investment Initiative and the White House’s Lab-to-Market subcommittee. She has over a decade of experience in Federal technology transfer and has served in several roles on the Federal Laboratory Consortium’s Executive Board. Dr. Silverthorn earned a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Sweet Briar College, and is pursuing a M.S. in Leadership from Washington University in St. Louis. Courtney has been involved with IRI since 2015 and is an active participant in the Federal Laboratory Advisory Group (FLAG). She is passionate about her efforts to connect the private sector community to the assets and opportunities available at the Federal Laboratories. Her vision for the future of IRI is two-fold: to help IRI grow and thrive through greater outreach to non-industry organizations, and to foster connections between IRI members and Federal Labs in ways that accelerate private sector research and development activities.
Dr. Jeffrey Tew, Chief Scientist & Global Director of Digital Manufacturing and Operations Innovation Program, TATA Consultancy Services
Director of Global Innovation Program in Digital Manufacturing and Operations for TCS. Leading expert in digital transformation for manufacturing and supply chain enterprises with special expertise in Internet of Things (IOT), Machine Learning Algorithms, artificial intelligence and digital transformation.
Craig Slavtcheff, Executive VP, Chief R&D and Innovation Officer, Campbell Soup Company
Craig Slavtcheff joined Campbell in 2012 and was named Executive Vice President, Chief R&D and Innovation Officer in September 2019.
Craig leads our Global R&D function, including strategy, divisional product development, and corporate science and technology, as well as regulatory, nutrition, and culinary teams. Since joining the company, Craig has led various teams across divisions to drive consumer preferred innovations that combine culinary inspiration with product and packaging technology and appeal to consumers’ desire for delicious, affordable, nutritious, food. Under his leadership, we have transformed our innovation processes leveraging advanced sensory design methodologies and building agile, nimble development teams that mine consumer insights and translate them into superior product designs.
Throughout his more than 20-year career in consumer package goods, Craig has held several leadership positions in North America and Asia, responsible for driving the span of upstream research to divisional market focused innovation as well as quality assurance. He holds more than 80 patents, covering a wide range of product categories, many of which protected key innovations that generated growth platforms for the businesses he supported.
Laura Buen Abad, Global Director of Technology, Rigid Paper and Closures, Sonoco
Laura Buen Abad is a business leader with more than 20 years of multinational experience leading R&D, product development and innovation departments. She is currently a global director of technology at Sonoco, where she is responsible for leading the development of a portfolio of sustainable fiber-based packaging. She is passionate about driving for results through strategy, processes, execution, and accountability. She is committed to people development and to a safe work environment with a purpose towards people and planet. Laura is also a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion.
Laura has been an active member of IRI since 2016. She was a speaker in the 2020 Annual Conference, a member of the Planning Committee of the 2019 Annual Conference, and a member of the ROR team Brilliant Failures, which learnings will be published in RTM in 2021. She has lived and worked in Mexico, USA, and Singapore, and holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from ITESM and an MBA in International Business from U of SC.
Lee Clark-Sellers, Chief Innovation Officer, Cornerstone Building Brands
Lee Clark-Sellers is the Chief Innovation Officer for Cornerstone Building Brands, a $5B Residential and Commercial Building Products company. As CIO, Lee is responsible for leading the effort to take innovation from merely a concept or catch phrase to a resourceful approach to how Cornerstone does business overall and transitions to a culture that’s rooted in innovation. Lee leads the Ply Gem entity, Foundation Labs, which has three main focus areas: Identification of new trends and technologies, quick prototyping new ideas, and incubation of those ideas. She has also established Cornerstone’s Insight Center, located in Research Triangle Park, NC, which acts as hub for advanced testing and analytics as well as material science and technology development.
Lee is leading corporate efforts in STEM partnerships with K-12 education through internships and mentorships, associated with the Kenan Foundation. She also currently serves on the Industrial Board of Directors at Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering, and NCSU Women in Technology. As a long time, member of IRI, Lee participates on the advisory committee for Digitalization.
Prior to Cornerstone, Lee held various leadership positions at Bell Northern Research, Nortel Networks and established the Managing Disruption Innovation while at NCSU. Lee holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master’s degree in the Management of Technology, both from NC State University.
Dr. Sheri Smithey, Vice President, Global R&D Network Head, Nestle Purina PetCare
Sheri Smithey has a BS in Biochemistry and MS/PhD in Agricultural Engineering (Food Processing) from University of Missouri. Sheri has worked for Nestle Purina PetCare (NPP) for 26 years, in which most of that has been in Research & Development. She started as a Process Engineer developing new processes to manufacture differentiating products in all categories of pet food, then moved to Product Development. She also worked in Operations at a NPP factory in the UK.
Upon returning to the US, Sheri went back to process engineering as the Manager of the Manufacturing Support group. From there, she entered a series of progressive leadership roles, wherein 2018 was responsible for R&D at the St. Louis site. In 2020, Sheri became responsible for the global NPP R&D group.