Digital Futures 2021 – Speakers

Keynote Speaker

Jill M. Marlowe, Digital Transformation Officer, NASA

Ms. Jill Marlowe is the Agency’s Digital Transformation Officer, and leads the Agency to conceive, architect, and accelerate enterprise digital solutions that transform NASA’s work, workforce and workplace to achieve bolder missions faster and more affordably than ever before. Her responsibilities include refinement and integration of NASA’s digital transformation strategy, plans and policies and coordination of implementation activities across the NASA enterprise in six strategic thrusts: data, collaboration, modeling, artificial intelligence/machine learning, process transformation, and culture and workforce.

Prior to this role, Ms. Marlowe was the Associate Center Director, Technical, at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.  Ms. Marlowe led strategy and transformation of the center’s technical capabilities to assure NASA’s future mission success. In this role, she focused on accelerating Langley’s internal and external collaborations as well as the infusion of digital technologies critical for the center to thrive as a modern federal laboratory in an ever more digitally-enabled, hyper-connected, fast-paced, and globally-competitive world.

Keynote Speaker

Linda Rae, Vice President, General Manager, Power Generation and Oil & Gas, GE Digital

Linda Rae is the General Manager for the Power Generation and Oil and Gas businesses for GE Digital.  In this role, Linda is responsible for driving profitable growth for the GED solution set into power generator plants, oil and gas refineries, chemical plants, and other heavy industrial verticals.

Prior to joining GE Digital, Linda served as the President of Qualitrol Corporation, a Fortive operating company and global supplier of condition-based monitoring equipment and systems to the electric utility industry.

Linda’s career started at Cleveland-based Keithley Instruments in 1995 as a product manager for the company’s portfolio of electrical test and measurement equipment.  She held various marketing positions over time, including Component Test Business Manager and Business Manager of the Optoelectronics Test Group.  In 2014, Linda became the Worldwide Commercial President for Tektronix, responsible for leading the global sales and support teams for business.

Linda is a member of the Corporate Visiting Committee for Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) and the Visiting Committee for the Weatherhead School of Management at Case.  She is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Great Lakes Science Center and the Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Engineering at the University of Florida.  Linda is an inductee in the University of Florida’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Academy and the recipient of the 2012 Distinguished Alumnae award from the Weatherhead School of Management at CWRU.

Linda holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Florida and an MS in Electrical Engineering and MBA degrees from CWRU.

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Sheri Smithey, Vice President of the Global R&D Network, Nestlé Purina PetCare

Dr. Sheri Smithey is the Vice President of the Global R&D Network. Sheri has worked for Nestlé Purina PetCare for over 26 years, starting out in technical roles, then moving into organizational leadership.  One of her top career achievements is achieving her current role as Head of R&D where she and her team are focused on re-shaping strategy areas and organization to drive future business results for the regions.

Sheri received her BS in Biochemistry, an MS in Agriculture Engineering, and a Ph.D. in Agriculture Engineering. Within Nestlé Purina, she is active in the mentorship program, and outside the organization is an active member of the Innovation Research Interchange (IRI) serving on the Board of Directors and AAAS.  Sheri also enjoys speaking to schools (elementary to universities) sharing the importance of STEM careers and women in STEM.

Sheri has a big family, which includes her husband, Tracy Smithey, her two children, Kaitlin Howard, son-in-law Preston Howard and Wyatt Smithey, as well as four pets. Her furry family members include her Boxer/Pit Bull mix Dixie, Lab/Pointer mix Buster, DLH Cat Mango and DSH Cat Martin.

Keynote Speaker

Youngjin Yoo, Elizabeth M. and William C. Treuhaft Professor in Entrepreneurship and Professor of Information Systems, Department of Design & Innovation, Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University

Youngjin Yoo is the Elizabeth M. and William C. Treuhaft Professor in Entrepreneurship and Professor of Information Systems at the department of Design & Innovation at the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University. An Association of Information Systems Fellow, he is also WBS Distinguished Research Environment Professor at Warwick Business School, UK. and a Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics, UK.  He is the founding faculty director of xLab at Case Western Reserve University. He has taught digital innovation strategy around the globe at business schools such as London School of Economics, Warwick Business School, Indian School of Business, Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Hitotsubashi University, Aalto University, and Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.  He is an expert on digital innovation. His 2010 Information Systems Research article is the most influential paper in digital innovation according to Google Scholar. He has received over $4.5 million in research grant from National Science Foundation, NASA, James S. and John L. Knight Foundation, the Department of Commerce, National Research Foundation of Korea, and Samsung Electronics. His work was published at leading academic journals such as MIS Quarterly, Information Systems Research, Organization Science, the Communications of the ACM, and the Academy of Management Journal among others. He has worked with leading companies including Samsung Electronics, Samsung Economic Research Institute, American Greetings, Progressive Insurance, Goodyear Tire, Sotera Health, Bendix, Moen, Intel, Ford Motor Company, Andersen Consulting, IDEO, Gehry and Partners, University Hospitals in Cleveland, American Management Systems, Lotus, NASA, Parker Hannifin, PolyOne and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.


Eric Kaler, President, Case Western Reserve University

Eric W. Kaler became the 11th president of Case Western Reserve University on July 1, 2021. 

An accomplished chemical engineer and visionary university leader, Kaler’s career in higher education spans more than 40 years and includes leadership roles at premier public research universities. He has significant expertise in elevating research, expanding fundraising, forming collaborative partnerships, encouraging entrepreneurship, and advocating for diversity, equity and inclusion.

Kaler joined Case Western Reserve from the University of Minnesota, where he served as university president from 2011-2019 and professor of chemical engineering and materials science from 2011-2021. 

Industry Viewpoint

Jerry Grunewald, Vice President, Operations, INVISTA

Jerry is currently the Vice President of Operations at INVISTA which is part of Koch Industries, one of the largest privately held companies in the United States.  Jerry leads INVISTA’s Operations Transformation effort, which is focused on delivering value from the Digital Plant of the Future.  He and his team are focused on four workstreams:

  • Process Control
  • Connected Worker
  • Material Flow Automation
  • Asset Performance Management

Jerry’s team focuses on unlocking the underlying data in each area to convert data to knowledge, knowledge to action, and action to value.  Prior to this role, Jerry led INVISTA’s global R&D team.  His group developed several breakthough technologies in Nylon 66 intermediates and polymer products and processes that have recently been or are currently being commercialized.

Jerry has worked for INVISTA and its predecessor company (DuPont) since 1989, after graduating with a BA in Chemistry degree from La Salle University (USA), and a Ph.D. in Organometallic Chemistry from the University of Florida (USA).  Over his career, Jerry has had a variety of roles in R&D and Operations and has worked at or led teams at all of INVISTA’s 11 global operations sites.  Jerry is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt and Master Black Belt.

Industry Viewpoint

Sherry Neubert, Chief Information Officer and the Vice President of Information Technology, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

Sherry Neubert is the Chief Information Officer and the Vice President of Information Technology at The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in Akron, where she has been employed since 2002. 

Sherry has worked in Operations and IT-related positions for 25 years.  She began her career with Goodyear in the Enterprise Data Warehouse leading the Business Intelligence team, and during her tenure she has held various positions in IT and Project Management. Sherry is passionate about data and analytics and especially interested in understanding the role artificial intelligence will have in the workplace of the future.

A native of Akron, Sherry was educated in the Akron Public Schools and graduated from North High School, and through her work and education she has traveled all over the world and lived in both the U.S. and Europe.

Sherry holds a Bachelor of Science in Management of Information Systems from The University of Akron, an MBA from Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management, and a Masters in Operational Excellence from The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business.  She is a certified PMP and a Six Sigma Black Belt.

Sherry is a graduate of Leadership Akron’s Class of XXVII.  She received the Greater Akron Chamber’s “30 for the Future” Award in 2011, the Frank L. Simonetti Distinguished Alumni Award from The University of Akron College of Business in 2017, the Case Weatherhead Outstanding Alumni Award in 2018, and the Athena Leadership Award in 2018.

She actively coaches and mentors individuals both inside of Goodyear and in the Akron community.

Sherry’s community interests are mainly in the areas of the economic empowerment of women, STEM education, and diversity in tech.  She is the Chair of the Leadership Akron Board, serves on both the LeBron James Family Foundation Community Advisory Board and the Corporate Visiting Committee for Case Western Reserve University, and she is the immediate past President of the Women’s Endowment Fund, a fund of the Akron Community Foundation. Sherry lives in Green with her husband Chuck. They have two adult children. Sherry’s favorite things are shoes and books and of course her granddaughters.

Industry Viewpoint

Nitin Manoharan, Director, Global Head Enterprise Architecture & Technology Innovation, Philip Morris International

Nitin Manoharan is Director, Global Head of Enterprise Architecture & Technology Innovation at Philip Morris International (PMI), in which he is responsible for overseeing the global Architects Community of Practice.  He and his team are responsible for the coherent evolution of PMI’s global Business Capabilities, Application, Technology, and Architecture Portfolio.

Before joining PMI, he was the Director of, Industry Strategy & Insight group at Oracle Corporation, London, UK. He and his team led value engineering, strategy formulation, and roadmap of Major Business Transformations leveraging emerging technologies such as Cloud, Big Data, AI, and IoT. His clients include Thomson-Reuters, Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, MoD, British Petroleum, Barclays, and others in the Fortune-100 list. Before that, for over ten years, he held various senior roles at Oracle. Earlier in his career, he worked for other leading technology companies such as Siebel Systems and IBM.

He authored and published several technology white papers, product literature comprising several ‘technology firsts’ referenced by various global corporations. He has contributed to two books published by MIT publications.

Industry Viewpoint

Bernardo Tiburcio, Global Digital Innovation Leader, DuPont

Bernardo Tiburcio is an Information Technology professional with over 20 years of experience developing and implementing technology solutions for international companies. He obtained a B.S. Degree in Electronic Systems Engineering from the Monterrey Institute of Technology (ITESM) and has received certifications as Six Sigma Green Belt, Six Sigma Black Belt, and Project Management Professional (PMP). Bernardo started his career in Mexico, where he led the IT department of the newspaper “Siglo 21”, launched the 3rd on-line newspaper in the country, and designed one of the first web-based editorial systems in operation. In 1999, he moved to Atlanta, Georgia where he worked as a consultant at GE Power Systems. Among other assignments, he was the technical leader for the On-Line Auction System, which saved GE over $200M the first year of operation. Bernardo was hired by DuPont and moved to Delaware in 2002. In his 17 years with DuPont, he has held numerous positions in sourcing and IT, such as Sustainable Solutions CIO, Data & Analytics Leader and Mobility CoE Leader. He is currently the Global Digital Innovation Leader with DuPont, responsible to drive the Digital Transformation program. Bernardo has two daughters and enjoys spending some of his free time supporting nonprofit organizations focused on humanitarian causes. He serves on the board of Leadership Delaware and on the advisory board of Vision To Learn Delaware.

Industry Viewpoint

James William Hunt II, Corporate Digital Value Delivery Leader, DuPont

With over 25 years with the DuPont Company, James (Jim) Hunt II is a broad-experienced leader with a strong background in enterprise-level, end-to-end Business Transformation & Alignment; Supply Chain & Manufacturing consulting on strategy and execution; and Operations leadership and innovation. In these roles over the years, Jim and his teams have triggered creation or savings of almost $1B in earnings for the Company. His current passion is to drive consequential, high-impact Digital innovation and advancement for DuPont in his role as Corporate Digital Value Delivery Leader. In this role, Jim drives digital transformation in supply chain and manufacturing via technologies such as AI/ML, Robotic Process Automation, AR/VR/MR, Cloud Computing, Connected Mobility and IIoT.

Industry Viewpoint

Sam Immordino, Director of Construction Software & Services for North America, USG Corporation

Sam Immordino has 29 years of experience in construction-related product development and R&D management and is currently Director of Construction Software & Services for North America at USG Corporation.  He holds a B.S. degree in Chemistry from Northern Illinois University, a M.S. degree in Engineering Management from Marquette University, and a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from the University of Illinois at Chicago.  His thesis research focused on automated methods for deriving the similarity of patent inventive concepts through the application of machine learning and natural language processing.  He is an inventor on 37 U.S. patents related to both product and process innovations and is a past recipient of a Chicago Innovation Award for SHEETROCK® Brand Dust Control Joint Compound.

Industry Viewpoint

Mads Torry Smith, Head of Digitalization, Application Research, Novozymes Inc.

Mads leads the global team responsible for Digital Transformation of innovation flows for the Agriculture and Industrial Biosolutions division of Novozymes. Anchored across diverse industry units, his team drives innovation processes transformation, competency up-leveling, and establishment of scalable learning loops spanning Novozymes’s innovation pipeline. Based on a philosophy of creating robust and user-friendly digital infrastructure components, his team delivers a foundation for data-based decision making and augmented business guidance. Mads is a vetted technology and people leader with over 20 years of R&D experience within industrial biotech and emerging industries. He holds a PhD in Biotechnology and a MS in Chemical Engineering from the Technical University of Denmark.

Industry Viewpoint

Kipum (Kip) Lee, Managing Director of UH Ventures, University Hospitals

Kipum (Kip) Lee serves as Managing Director of UH Ventures, the innovation and commercialization arm of University Hospitals in Cleveland. Day to day, he manages the innovation portfolio and “living lab” that supports University Hospitals’ strategic initiatives and partnerships through product innovation and human-centered design. Earlier in his career, he was part of the team at frog design that produced a mobile service around HIV awareness and self-testing in South Africa that was hailed by The Economist as “the world’s largest field trial in mobile health technology.” He also helped plan and lead the design of Marriott Mobile, which debuted at number four in the iTunes App Store and shortly went on to become the third largest in mCommerce after Amazon and Apple.

Kip graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BAS in biomedical sciences and from Carnegie Mellon University with a Masters in interaction design. He is currently finishing his PhD in management at Case Western Reserve University and serves as one of the editors of the design and innovation journal, Design Issues, published by MIT Press.

Industry Viewpoint

Moisés Noreña

Moisés Noreña is a seasoned and recognized growth and innovation leader. He built the strategies, innovation programs, and capabilities for 3 leading blue-chip companies: Whirlpool, Allstate Insurance, and Moen. During his leadership, these companies transformed into the most innovative brands in their industries and transformed their cultures into more agile and innovative organizations. He led many of the flagship projects that created millions of dollars in incremental growth from product and service innovations launched into the market and that reinvented their corresponding industries.

His work has been recognized by leading publications like Forbes, Businessweek, Harvard Business Review, Chicago Tribune, and Innovation Leader. Moises is a co-founder of Notre Dame’s Innovation Academy and co-creator of the Unifying Innovation Method.

He immortalized his learnings and philosophy in the series “Moises’ 10 Commandment for Conscious Innovation and Growth” published by innovation leader.

Moises has a BA in architecture, a master’s in computer science from La Salle University in Mexico City, and an MBA from Purdue University. He is happily Married to Marilu and is the proud father of 3 young adults. In his spare time he is a painter, a photographer, and a podcaster. He loves the outdoors and is waiting for the next opportunity to hike another chunk of the Appalachian Trail.

Industry Viewpoint

Chris Nurre

Chris Nurre is a senior full stack developer, process and engineering coach, iteration manager & technical consultant. Over the last 15 years he’s helped a wide range of teams adopt agile and DevOps practices that allow them to more effectively deliver technical products for residential and commercial IoT, mobile ebook reading, top level domains and social media monitoring. With this breadth of experience, Chris is always looking for the next problem to solve whether it requires new technology or a change in team processes.

TIM Talk Presenter

Matthew Clark, Director of Scientific Services, Elsevier

Matthew Clark, Ph. D.  Director of Scientific Services at Elsevier has broad experience leading research and development. He has led teams in discovery research in large and small pharma, and in the scientific software and data industries.  His publications span synthetic chemistry, free-energy calculations, informatics and predictive modeling of drug properties, safety pharmacology, and clinical adverse events.  At Elsevier Dr. Clark leads a global team working with leading research organizations to help address cross-functional informatics issues through data science, predictive modeling, machine learning and AI.

TIM Talk Presenter

Manikandan Balasubramanian, Director, Marketing, Dolcera

Manik has been with Dolcera for over a decade now managing the technical marketing division. He is now working from Dolcera’s Silicon Valley office. He has a bachelor’s in computer science, and engineering and a master’s in business. His entrepreneurial instincts have helped approach all the projects with return on investment as a specific focus. He has been part of several innovation and advanced research projects with Fortune 500 clients. 

TIM Talk Presenter

Tom Culver, Senior Innovation Advisor – Lead, Strategic Advising, RTI International

Mr. Culver is a senior member and strategic advisor in the Innovation Advisors group at RTI International, a leading global non-profit research institute. He advises and develops workshops on digital transformation in addition to creating digital transformation case studies to inform and inspire IRI and corporate clients. Over the last 20 years Tom has led strategic innovation, innovation insights research, and transformation advising projects for Fortune 500 and large government agencies like NASA and NIST.

Academic Facilitator

Joe Nandhakumar, Professor of Information Systems and Head of Information Systems and Management Group, Warwick Business School

Joe is Professor of Information Systems and Head of Information Systems and Management Group at Warwick Business School. His primary research interest focuses on the design and use of digital technology and its implications for the nature of work and organizational interactions and engagement. He is currently leading several research projects on digital transformation and value co-creation in industries such as legal and healthcare.

Joe earned his PhD in Management Information Systems from the University of Cambridge, Department of Engineering. He held faculty positions in the School of Management, University of Bath and University of Southampton, UK. He held visiting faculty positions in the Department of Information and Computer Science at the University of California Irvine and in the Department of Computer Information Systems at Georgia State University, USA.

His work has been published in leading academic journals such as Information Systems Research, Organization Studies, Accounting Organization and Society, Human Relations, Journal of AIS, the Communications of the ACM, and others. he is currently an Associate Editor for Information Systems Research (INFORMS). He is a former Senior Editor of Journal of the Association for Information Systems (JAIS)and an Associate Editor for European Journal of Information Systems (EJIS).

Joe has a wide-ranging industrial experience with Ford of Europe and Nestlé, and he is a fully qualified Chartered Management Accountant.

Academic Facilitator

Robert W. Gregory, Associate Professor of Business Technology, University of Miami Herbert Business School

Robert W. Gregory is Associate Professor of Business Technology at University of Miami Herbert Business School. He is also Research Fellow with MIT’s Center for Information Systems Research (CISR), Research Associate at Weatherhead School of Management’s xLab, and regular visiting professor at Reykjavík University in Iceland. He holds a diplom, a combined bachelor’s and master’s degree, in Management Information Systems from the University of Cologne, Germany, a master’s degree in International Management from the Community of European Management Schools (CEMS), and a Ph.D. equivalent, Dr. rer. pol., in Business Administration from Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany.

He co-founded and currently serves as President-Elect of the newly formed AIS special interest group on Digital Innovation, Transformation, and Entrepreneurship (SIGDITE). He serves as Associate Editor for Information Systems Research and Journal of the Association for Information Systems. He received the Early Career Award from the global Association for Information Systems (2016).

Robert’s research program focuses on novel management and information systems phenomena related to the diffusion and innovation with digital technologies and the associated transformation of individuals, organizations, and markets. His research has appeared in premier journals, including MIS Quarterly, Information Systems Research, and Academy of Management Review. His teaching covers digital innovation and disruption, digital transformation, and product and project management across undergraduate, master’s, MBA, and executive levels and spans multiple countries and cultures. He has worked and consulted with leading companies such as Deutsche Bank, DBS Bank, T-Systems, Volkswagen AG, Microsoft, Ricoh, Xerox, and more, and brings his experience into the classroom through the participant-centered and discussion-based case method.

Academic Facilitator

Nicholas Berente, Viola D. Hank Associate Professor of IT, Analytics, and Operations, University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business

Nicholas Berente is the Viola D. Hank Associate Professor of IT, Analytics, and Operations at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. He received his Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University, conducted his postdoctoral studies at the University of Michigan, and was formerly faculty with the University of Georgia. His research interests include digital innovation, transformation, and entrepreneurship, artificial intelligence, and institutional change. Dr. Berente is an experienced entrepreneur, the principal investigator for a number of U.S. National Science Foundation projects, and has authored more than one hundred and fifty peer-reviewed scholarly articles. His work has been published in top journals, including Organization Science, Information Systems Research, MIS Quarterly, Research Policy, and Nature. He is Senior Editor at Information and Organization, Associate Editor for MIS Quarterly andVisiting Fellow at the University of Liechtenstein.

Academic Facilitator

Johann Kranz, Professor of Digital Services and Sustainability, LMU Munich School of Management

Johann Kranz ( is Professor of Digital Services and Sustainability at the LMU Munich School of Management. His research focuses on IS-business alignment and governance in the digital age, and green IS for enabling circular economies, sustainable mobility and pro-environmental behavior. His research has been published in Journal of Strategic Information Systems, Information Systems Journal, MIS Quarterly Executive, Journal of Service Research and Energy Policy.

Academic Facilitator

Kalle Lyytinen, Distinguished University Professor and Iris S. Wolstein Professor of Management Design, Case Western Reserve University

Kalle Lyytinen (PhD, Computer Science, University of Jyväskylä; Dr. h.c. Umeå University, Copenhagen Business School, Lappeenranta University of Technology) is Distinguished University Professor and Iris S. Wolstein professor of Management Design at Case Western Reserve University, and a distinguished visiting professor at Aalto University, Finland (Industrial and Engineering Management). He is among the top five IS scholars in terms of his h-index (93) and has the highest network centrality among IS scholars. He is the LEO Award recipient (2013), AIS fellow (2004), and the former chair of IFIP WG 8.2 “Information systems and organizations”. He has published over 400 refereed articles and edited or written over 40 books or special issues. He conducts research on digital innovation concerning its nature, dynamics and organization, design work, requirements in large systems, and emergence digital infrastructures. He has consulted several large  national research organizations (Spanish, Swiss, Ducth, German, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Hong Kong) and corporations, EU and participated in NSF panels and policy formulation on digital innovation.

Technology Demo and Q&A

Ken Savin, Sr. Program Director of In-Space Production, CASIS

Ken received his Ph.D. from the University of Utah in 1996 and came to Eli Lilly and Co. in 1998 from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Research Center as a senior organic chemist.  He worked on several projects in the areas of anxiety, depression, and inflammatory disorders, and he was involved in many cross-functional Lilly research collaborations.  Ken had roles in management and research in Drug Disposition, Lead Generation, Isotopic Chemistry, Acquisitions and Assessment, Process Chemistry and Route Design, Technology and in Clinical Innovation.  During Ken’s final years at Lilly, he led a team of scientists to develop and fly five experiments on the International Space Station.  In May 2017, Ken retired from Lilly and joined the team at the Center for the Advancement of Science In space (CASIS), the manager of the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory.  He has been a part of the Business Development and the Science and Technology teams and is currently the Sr. Program Director of In-Space Production at CASIS.

Technology Demo and Q&A

Natalie Smolenski, Head of Business Development, Hyland

Natalie Smolenski leads business development for Hyland’s blockchain-based content services solutions. She was the founding business development executive for Learning Machine, a Texas-based startup specializing in blockchain-anchored digital records, which exited to Hyland in 2020. As Chair of the Board of the Texas Blockchain Council, she works to advance public policy friendly to blockchain technology and the blockchain industry. 

Natalie is also a trained anthropologist whose independent research focuses on the intersections of identity, technology, and government. By bringing a scientific perspective to distributed digital technologies and social transformation, she helps audiences from all backgrounds understand how individuals connect to form communities and build the infrastructures of the future.


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