The 2017 Edison Awards welcomed some of the world’s most respected authorities on innovation.
2017 Meet the Innovators Forum Presenters
Host, NPR's The Takeaway; Meet the Innovators Forum Moderator
John Hockenberry is the host of public radio’s live national daily news program The Takeaway. A multiple Emmy and Peabody Award-winning journalist, he is a former correspondent for NBC News, ABC News, and NPR, and has traveled the globe reporting on a wide variety of stories in virtually every medium for more than three decades.
He has written dozens of magazine and newspaper articles, a play, and two books, including the bestselling memoir Moving Violations: War Zones, Wheelchairs, and Declarations of Independence which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has written for The New York Times, The New Yorker, Wired, The Columbia Journalism Review, Metropolis, and The Washington Post.
A skilled presenter and moderator, Hockenberry has appeared at numerous design and idea conferences around the nation including the TED conference, the World Science Festival, the Mayo Clinic’s Transform Symposium and the Aspen Comedy Festival. He has served as a Distinguished Fellow at MIT’s Media Lab.
He and his wife Alison, also an Emmy and Peabody winner, have five children and live in Brooklyn, NY.
Founder, Talent2 International, and Shark, Shark Tank Australia
Andrew Banks is one of the 'Sharks' on the television series Shark Tank Australia. An Australian entrepreneur, investor, film producer and talent & learning expert, Andrew began his career as an actor. His core business activities have been involved with building and growing companies in the recruiting, training and HR outsourcing space.
Together with Geoff Morgan, Andrew founded Morgan & Banks in early 1985 and grew the company to become the dominant recruitment force in Australia and Asia with a 17% market share before merging with TMP/Monster.com in 1999. In 2005 Andrew launched Talent2 International, which focuses on HR Outsourcing and Executive Search and Selection, with a team of 1,600 professionals operating in 20 countries; it was acquired by Allegis Group in 2014.
Spending time between the US and Asia Pacific, Andrew now focuses on advising clients around senior executive talent and Board appointments; he is a US Film Producer as Lila 9th Founder (Syrup/Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter) and an investor in a few "start-ups" leading to involvement in Shark Tank Australia on Network TEN.
Senior Vice President, Rosetta Stone
A data-driven and results-focused leader, Peter has a strong background in strategy & business development, product management, engineering management, marketing management, product design and business intelligence. Since joining Rosetta Stone through the Livemocha acquisition in April 2013, Peter and his team have been responsible for designing, developing, producing, launching and maintaining Rosetta Stone’s award-winning suite of language learning products across the consumer, education and enterprise segments. He has been instrumental in driving the transformation of Rosetta Stone’s product development processes into an enthusiastic and successful embodiment of lean-agile development at a global, enterprise-scale. A graduate of University of California, Berkeley, Peter’s 19-year career spans a variety of management roles at organizations large and small including Microsoft, Compare.NET, SecondSpace, DataSphere, and Livemocha. He is based out of Seattle, WA, speaks English and is learning German.
Co-CEO of CoorsTek, and CEO of CoorsTek Sensors
Timothy Coors is the Co-Chief Executive Officer of CoorsTek, and Chief Executive Officer of CoorsTek Sensors. Timothy also serves on the Board of Directors of Fiskeby, one of Europe's leading manufacturers of packaging board.
Joining CoorsTek in 2001 as a Research Engineer in protonic ceramic fuel cells, Timothy has served in a variety of production, quality, and project management roles including plant manager and general manager. He is a Six Sigma Black Belt, successfully leading continuous improvement during his tenure at six plants across the United States and Europe. In February, 2016, Timothy was promoted to Co-CEO of CoorsTek Inc.
Timothy holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and Petroleum Refining from Colorado School of Mines, and a Master of Business Administration degree from Regis University.
Founder and Inventor, Surefoot
Neil Despotellis, a construction industry innovator, builder
and small business entrepreneur, combined his cumulative life
experiences to invent, patent, and run Surefoot footings as a successful Australian
business. The business has now expanded and operates in Europe, China,
New Zealand and Oceania.
Surefoot was developed as a response to the disadvantages of using concrete and other piling systems i.e. time frame to execute and cost. Neil could see an opportunity in developing a micro pile footing system manufactured from steel. The advantages of this disruptive technology include: site efficiency, speed of installation, relative strength, price and environmental benefits.
Co-founder & CEO of Next Big LLC
Michael Docherty brings unique perspectives to growth and innovation, having been an entrepreneur, senior corporate executive and venture capitalist. It might explain why he’s passionate about the intersection of corporate innovation and entrepreneurship. He is the author of the recent book Collective Disruption: How Corporations and Startups Can Co-create Transformative New Businesses (Polarity Press 2015). The book provides established companies with a practical playbook for plugging into the startup ecosystem to fuel and incubate new businesses as entrepreneurial ventures.
Docherty is the founder and managing director of Next Big, a unique company that creates and commercializes new digital and IoT-enabled businesses in partnership with leading corporations, using a shared risk/reward venturing model. Docherty is also CEO of Venture2, a growth and innovation consulting firm that helps leading companies transform their innovation capabilities, build innovation ecosystems and accelerate the commercialization of breakthrough new products, services and business models.
Docherty holds an MBA degree from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School and BSME degree from Drexel University. He is a frequent speaker on innovation and corporate venturing and an active supporter of the entrepreneurial community.
Chairman and CEO, Black & Veatch
Steve Edwards is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Black &
Veatch. Edwards assumed this position in November 2013 and has
overall responsibility for the company’s engineering, consulting,
construction and related infrastructure businesses in the energy,
water, telecommunications, and security markets worldwide. With
revenues of $3 billion, Black & Veatch is consistently ranked in the top
ten categories for power generation, power delivery, water
infrastructure development and telecommunications in Engineering
News-Record magazine and is ranked in the Top 150 of the Forbes list
of Largest Private Companies. The company is the 12th largest
Employee-Owned Corporation in the United States according to the
National Center for Employee Ownership.
Since joining Black & Veatch in 1978 Edwards has been responsible for a variety of global projects and business lines. He was named Chief Operating Officer in March 2013 in a transition role before becoming Chairman and CEO. He was appointed to the Black & Veatch Board of Directors in 2012. Edwards is a registered professional engineer and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Missouri.
Vice President of Industry Solutions, Components & Distribution Division, Caterpillar Inc.
Gregory S. Folley is vice president of Caterpillar Inc. with responsibility for the Industry Solutions, Components & Distribution Division (ISCD), created in 2016.
Greg believes innovation drives success, both for Caterpillar and our customers, and that is at the heart of what his organization does. Since joining Caterpillar in 1995, he has held numerous positions including senior labor relations consultant, human resources manager, corporate labor relations manager, U.K. HR Shared Services director, director of Compensation + Benefits, and general manager of the Specialty Products Business Unit of Motion and Power Control Division. In 2008, the Caterpillar Board of Directors named Folley vice president of the Core Components Division. He served as the chief HR officer from 2009 through 2011, and then Folley served as vice president of the Remanufacturing, Components & Work Tools Division. In 2015, Folley was named Caterpillar’s chief analytics and innovation officer, and he worked to better capitalize on the growing importance and excitement of data analytics and drive innovation to support customers. Later that year, the Caterpillar Board of Directors named him as the vice president of Sustainable Solutions Division, which was dedicated to making sustainable progress possible for our customers by anticipating opportunities and delivering exceptional value. In 2016, Folley was named vice president of Industry Solutions, Components & Distribution Division, which designs, sources and distributes world class components and industry solutions to customers.
Folley, a native of Indianapolis, Indiana, graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1981 with a Bachelor of Arts in economics and from the same University in 1984 with a Juris Doctor. Prior to that he served in the U.S. Navy. Folley has also completed the Executive Program at Stanford University in 2005.
Folley, a father of nine children, served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Central Illinois Chapter of the American Red Cross in Peoria, Illinois. He is a member of the Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Texas State Bars.
President/CEO & Cofounder, Whipsaw Inc
Dan Harden is President/CEO & Cofounder of Whipsaw Inc., a highly acclaimed product design firm in San Jose and San Francisco, California. Whipsaw creates winning products and experiences for companies around the world including Cisco, Clorox, Ford, GE, Google, Haier, Intel, Leitz, Merck, Motorola, Nike, Olympus, Samsung, Sony, and many exciting startups. Dan is the creative force of Whipsaw where he directs the strategic and conceptual direction of most client accounts. His passion and experience combined with his philosophies about art, culture, psychology and technology permeate the work and the brand.
Throughout his prolific consulting career Dan has designed hundreds of successful products such as Brita pitchers, Cisco telepresence, Google's Chromecast and OnHub, Dell's Precision line, and Dropcam cameras. Dan has won over 250 design awards and granted over 330 patents. Fast Company named Dan one of the 100 Most Creative People, calling him “design’s secret weapon.” His views and work have been widely published in books, blogs, and magazines such as Time, Wired, Business Week, Fortune and Newsweek. Dan was inducted into the World Technology Network, which honors those doing “the most innovative work of the greatest likely long term significance".
Prior to cofounding Whipsaw in 1999, Dan was President and VP of Frog Design and a lead designer at Henry Dreyfuss Associates NYC, and also worked with design master George Nelson.
Primetime TV and Podcast Host, Keynote Speaker, Best-Selling Author and Global Business Celebrity
Jeffrey Hayzlett is a primetime television host of C-Suite with Jeffrey Hayzlett and Executive Perspectives on C-Suite TV, and business podcast host of All Business with Jeffrey Hayzlett on C-Suite Radio. He is a global business celebrity, speaker, best-selling author, and Chairman of C-Suite Network, home of the world’s most trusted network of C-Suite leaders. Hayzlett is a well-traveled public speaker, former Fortune 100 CMO, and author of three best-selling business books: Think Big, Act Bigger: The Rewards of Being Relentless, Running the Gauntlet and The Mirror Test. Hayzlett is one of the most
compelling figures in business today and an inductee into the National Speakers
Association’s Speaker Hall of Fame.
As a leading business expert, Hayzlett is frequently cited in Forbes, SUCCESS, Mashable, Marketing Week and Chief Executive, among many others. He shares his executive insight and commentary on television networks like Bloomberg, MSNBC, Fox Business, and C-Suite TV. Hayzlett is a former Bloomberg contributing editor and primetime host, and has appeared as a guest celebrity judge on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice with Donald Trump for three seasons. He is a turnaround architect of the highest order, a maverick marketer and c-suite executive who delivers scalable campaigns, embraces traditional modes of customer engagement, and possesses a remarkable cachet of mentorship, corporate governance, and brand building.
Founder & CEO, Throat Scope, Entrepreneur, Speaker, Throat Scope Pty Ltd & Holland Healthcare Inc
Jennifer Holland is a serial entrepreneur and inventor who has successfully ideated, designed, developed and patented the world’s first all-in-one light and tongue depressor, Throat Scope. Jennifer always knew that she wanted to invent a product that would have an impact. The right opportunity presented itself in 2009 when Jennifer took her 18-month-old son to the doctors. Thirty-eight weeks pregnant, the doctor asked her to restrain her son as he pried open the child’s mouth with a wooden tongue depressor in one hand, and a flashlight in the other. This distressing experience served as the lightbulb moment for the Throat Scope founder.
Jennifer’s mantra is Today’s No Is Tomorrow’s Yes! Through hard work, persistence, resilience and relentless energy, Throat Scope launched into the Australian retail and consumer markets in October 2015 and has secured healthcare and retail distribution worldwide. Throat Scope is in the hands of medical professionals, hospitals and homes around the globe and is currently available in 146 countries.
Throat Scope has been recognized by the Oral Cancer Foundation in the USA as the number one device worldwide to detect the early signs of oral cancer at home. Oral cancer often goes undetected and has one of the highest mortality rates if left untreated. Jennifer and the team at Throat Scope are determined to bring those rates down through in home early detection. In July 2017 Throat Scope will introduce Oral Cancer Awareness Week in Australia.
Positively changing lives is one of Jennifer’s passions and to be able to help others is highly rewarding and gives her purpose.
Chairman and CEO, General Electric
Jeff Immelt is the chairman of the board and chief executive officer of General Electric. He is the ninth chairman of GE, a post he has held since September 7, 2001. Mr. Immelt has held several global leadership positions since coming to GE in 1982, including roles in GE's Plastics, Appliances, and Healthcare businesses. In 1989 he became an officer of GE and joined the GE Capital Board in 1997. A couple years later, in 2000, Mr. Immelt was appointed president and chief executive officer.
Mr. Immelt has been named one of the "World's Best CEOs" three times by Barron's, and since he began serving as chief executive officer, GE has been named "America's Most Admired Company" in a poll conducted by Fortune magazine and one of "The World's Most Respected Companies" in polls by Barron's and the Financial Times.
Mr. Immelt was the chair of President Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. He is a member of The American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
Mr. Immelt earned a B.A. degree in applied mathematics from Dartmouth College in 1978 and an M.B.A. from Harvard University in 1982. He and his wife have one daughter.
CEO, Lucid VR
Han Jin is the founder and CEO of Lucid, which designed the world’s first true 3D VR live camera, the LucidCam. Born in China and raised in Germany, Han studied, worked and lived in 8 countries before graduating with an engineering master’s degree from UC Berkeley which directed him into product/program management and operations in technology, and building startups in VR/AR and Robotics from the ground up. He successfully built teams from 1 to 50, raised multiple rounds of funding from investors and went through the entire hardware development cycle until mass production and retail distribution while teaching AI and statistics at UC Berkeley and writing for Forbes. He and Lucid have been featured in Forbes, CNET, and TechCrunch among others and received numerous accolades including Inc.’s 30 Under 30, Red Herring Top 100, Launch Festival Top 10 Emerging Startups, and the Lumiere’s Award 2015.
Founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO), NanoMech, Inc.
Dr. Ajay P. Malshe is an inventor and a discoverer, and an entrepreneur and a businessman. He is globally recognized in the field of materials and manufacturing. He is the Founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of NanoMech Industries (www.nanomech.com; founded in 2002). NanoMech Industries is a Materials Science and Manufacturing company specialized in the business sector of “Specialty Chemicals and Coatings.” Nanomech is equipped with nanomanufacturing factories powering four divisions in lubrication (nGlide®), corrosion and multifunctional protection (GuardX®), machining (TuffTek®) and textiles (nGuard®) geared to enhance efficiency, reliability and sustainability of mechanical (physical) systems. He won 35 prestigious awards including fellowships from 4 of the world’s top tech societies for mechanical engineering (ASME), materials (ASM), manufacturing (CIRP) and physics (InstP), Edison Awards, R&D 100, SME’s Research Implementation Award, etc. He has 20+ allowed patents, 200+ publications, and 100+ keynote / invited talks globally. His inventions and related products are used for Fortune 500 companies like Tesla, General Electric (GE), Schlumberger, Navistar, TechnipFMC, Penske, JBHunt across the globe in various business sectors including Oil and Gas, Industrial, HD Trucking and Transportation, Aerospace, Automotive Racing, and others. He is also the Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Co-Founder of NanoInstitute at the University of Arkansas.
Chief Operating Officer, Edison Universe
Working with some of the world’s most innovative organizations in her role as Chief Operating Officer of the Edison Awards, Mindy Manes was previously the Innovation Strategist at Johnson County Community College, one of America’s top ten community colleges. While there, she worked in Sustainability, Strategic Partnerships and Learner Engagement, winning numerous awards for her work with students. Her career background ranges from working with artists at Hallmark Cards and operations at Morgan Stanley to working on some of the country’s largest construction projects.
As a Kansas Supreme Court-approved mediator, resolving court cases between agitated parties leaves her feeling happy and relaxed; her husband points out that arguing with him seems to not have the same effect. She serves as a Commissioner and Chair for the Overland Park, Kansas Police Department to whom she recently reported a middle-of-the-night break-in that turned out to be a possum. Being a mom and mentoring young women as a Girl Scout leader for over 18 years has been two of the highlights of her life.
Vice President, Research & Development, The Dow Chemical Company
Bob Maughon is the R&D Vice President for Performance Plastics and Hydrocarbons at The Dow Chemical Company. Prior to this role, he was the senior R&D director for Dow Pharma & Food Solutions in the Functional Materials Business Group.
Bob began his career with Dow in 1998, working in the Central Research laboratories on a variety of programs ranging from heterogeneous hydrogenation catalysis, ring opening polymerization and homogeneous catalysis. In 2004, he assumed leadership for the chemical feedstocks research area focusing on breakthrough technologies for utilization of methane and coal as Dow feedstocks for olefins. He subsequently became the technical leader for the Catalytic Chemistry group of Core R&D in 2005. In 2006, he was named the director of Inorganic Chemistry & Catalysis, where he was responsible for leading inorganic chemistry, homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis, and high-throughput research with responsibilities for the development of new technologies for chemical and renewable feedstocks and advantaged catalytic processes. From 2008-2010, he served as the lead R&D director for the Hydrocarbons and Energy Business.
He is Director and President of Dow International Technology Corporation and Director of the Union Carbide Polyolefins Development Company, Impact Analytical, and the Council of Chemical Research. He also serves on the University of Michigan Engineering Advisory Council.
Bob earned his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Rice University in 1993 and his doctorate in Organic Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 1998.
Executive Director, Blue Valley Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) and the CAPS Network
Corey is passionate about helping people make connections that allow them to live their dreams. Corey learned many lessons first-hand about the power of connectivity when he co-founded Planning Initiatives, LLC – a city planning consulting firm – at the age of 24. Since selling his share of the business, Corey has dedicated his professional life to public service, primarily through providing funding and technical support to the small business community. Corey is the Executive Director of the Blue Valley Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS), a program that empowers high school students to fast-forward into their future through hands-on work, real-world business projects, and the development of professional skills. Prior to CAPS, Corey served as the Director of Statewide Programs for the Kansas Center for Entrepreneurship (DBA NetWork Kansas).
In July 2015, CAPS launched the CAPS Network, a consortium of school programs across the United States committed to this model of profession-based education. In less than two years, the network has grown to include 26 programs and 54 school districts across nine states.
Corey holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in political science and economics from Washington University in St. Louis and a Masters in Business Administration from Baker University.
James M. Phillips
CEO, NanoMech, Inc.
Jim Phillips is the Chairman and CEO of NanoMech, Inc., the nano-engineering leader providing revolutionary nanoscale innovations in machining and frictionless lubrication, advanced coatings, specialty chemicals, energy efficiency and performance, and strategic military applications. He serves as a Member of the American Council on Competitiveness, the U.S. Technology Leadership Council and the U.S. Manufacturing Competitive Initiative Steering Committee. Throughout his business career, Jim has founded and co-founded many successful corporations and earning prominent leadership positions with Motorola, SkyTel, iPix, Telular, and The FedEx
Institute of Technology, while inventing and introducing many products used by
He is internationally credited with being very instrumental in launching instant messaging, the PDA, the Cable Modem, PCS, Fixed Cellular, Time Magazine’s Medical Invention of the Year- the VeinViewer, and iPix.
Jim holds BBA and MBA degrees from the University of Memphis, graduating with academic honors, and attended Jet Fighter training in the USAF earning distinguished military graduate and aerospace awards.
Clinton O. Robinson, P.E.
Associate Vice President, Black & Veatch
Clint is the father of three publicly educated girls; a recovering school board member; and a registered professional engineer in a global engineering corporation. Individually none of these accomplishments are significant but in concert they are a powerful force towards better connecting education and business. Clint is the great grandson of one of the first three professors at the University of Kansas teaching Greek and Latin back in 1865. He is also the great grandson of an attorney that made elixir in his basement and founded the Burma Vita Corporation. This company was responsible for one of the most successful advertising campaigns with roadside jingles for the first brushless shaving cream, Burma Shave. It is not surprising then that Mr. Robinson has dedicated himself to finding ways to improve education and how we sell it. While serving on the Blue Valley School District School Board he helped create and implement the successful Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) which revolutionized how business and education work together for a common goal. Now while providing thought leadership in his industry to the U.S. Conference of Mayors and National League of Cities, he is never very far away from the topic of how to create jobs, fill the pipeline, and change the landscape of education forever. His motto is “learn to teach” which means 1) if you can teach it then you know it, and 2) there is no value in learning something if you are not willing to teach it to someone else.
Captain of Moonshots, X
Dr. Astro Teller currently oversees X, Alphabet's moonshot factory for building magical, audaciously impactful ideas that through science and technology can be brought to reality. Before joining X (formerly Google[x]), Astro was the co-founding CEO of Cerebellum Capital, Inc, an investment management firm whose investments are continuously designed, executed, and improved by a software system based on techniques from statistical machine learning. Astro was also the co-founding CEO of BodyMedia, Inc, a leading wearable body monitoring company. Prior to starting BodyMedia, Dr. Teller was co-founding CEO of SANDbOX AD, an advanced development technology incubator. Before his tenure as a business executive, Dr. Teller taught at Stanford University and was an engineer and researcher for Phoenix Laser Technologies, Stanford's Center for Integrated Systems, and The Carnegie Group Incorporated. Dr. Teller holds a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Stanford University, Masters of Science in symbolic and heuristic computation, also from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in artificial intelligence from Carnegie Mellon University, where he was a recipient of the Hertz fellowship. Though his work as a scientist, an inventor, and as an entrepreneur, Teller holds many U.S. and international patents related to his work in hardware and software technology. Astro is also a successful novelist and screenwriter. And he makes a mean margarita and other memorable potions.
2017 Edison Awards Gala Presenters
Master of Ceremonies
Comedian; Edison Awards Gala Master of Ceremonies
Named one of Rolling Stone’s Five Comics to Watch with standout appearances on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Conan, The Late Late show, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, and Showtime, he’s establishing himself as one of the nation’s favorite stand-ups.
He’s impressed industry insiders by racking up a remarkable number of national competition wins and festival appearances, including winning The Great American Comedy Festival and Sierra Mist’s America’s Next Great Comic Search. He’s also a regular performer at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festivals with several international television performances including The Muppets Gala in Montreal and the Sydney Opera House International Comedy Gala.
He’s often lauded for being a clean comedian, although his audiences span a broad spectrum. One review said, “His stories and delivery are so funny, it doesn’t even cross your mind that he works completely clean. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. When he talks about his experience skydiving or taking a hot-air-balloon ride, you’re too busy laughing to notice he’s not like the others.” (from Vancouver Georgia Straight “For Comic Ryan Hamilton Getting Clean Laughs Just Comes Naturally”)
Growing up in Idaho and making his home in New York City he’s far from his small-town roots, but the contrast suits him. He’s currently headlining comedy clubs across the country building a following of enthusiastic fans.
Vice Chair, General Electric
Beth Comstock was named Vice Chair in August 2015. In this capacity, she leads GE’s efforts to accelerate new growth. She operates GE Business Innovations, which develops new businesses, markets and service models; drives brand value and partners to enhance GE’s inventive culture. This unit includes Current, GE Lighting, GE Ventures & Licensing and GE sales, marketing and communications.
Since 2008, she served as GE’s chief marketing and commercial officer. From 2006, she was President of Integrated Media at NBC Universal overseeing ad revenue and the company’s digital efforts, including early development of hulu.com, Peacock Equity, and acquiring ivillage.com. In 2003 she was named the company’s first chief marketing officer in more than 20 years. Previously, she held a succession of roles at GE, NBC, CBS and Turner Broadcasting.
Beth is a member Nike’s Board of Directors and Trustee of the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in biology.
Independent Product Management and Innovation Advisor, former Director of Innovation, Caterpillar
Ken is an internationally recognized innovator and product management leader who launched Caterpillar’s first three hybrid construction machines, the first of which is now regarded as one of the top 10 most innovative products in the brand’s 90 year
history. In addition to receiving a Caterpillar Chairman’s Award for Innovation, Ken
received an Edison Award, a Platts Global Energy Award, and an International
Construction Economic Forum Equipment Innovation Award—all Caterpillar firsts.
Ken’s career focused on serving Caterpillar customers, dealers, employees, and shareholders around the world from 1982 through 2015 with assignments in North America, Asia, and Europe. He held positions with diverse areas of responsibility including engineering, marketing, product management, dealer development, and leadership.
Ken was Caterpillar’s first Director of Innovation and an Analytics & Innovation Division Director. He developed and executed Caterpillar’s transformational innovation strategy to create value for customers and for dealers while increasing bottom line results for Caterpillar shareholders. He guided his team to bolster the best capabilities from Caterpillar’s innovative history and to broaden the scale of innovation by introducing a new innovation vocabulary and integrating new tools, leaner processes, and external perspectives. Ken built an innovation incubator to drive a global culture of trust, collaboration, and experimentation while generating revenue through new products and services.
Ken holds a Master of Science and Bachelor of Science, with Magna Cum Laude honors, in Mechanical Engineering from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois and completed executive development programs at Bradley University, Stanford University in Stanford, California, and The Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Danielle Teller (formerly Morse, nee Dyck) grew up in Canada, where she and her two brothers were raised by the best parents in the world. As a child, she was a bookworm who dreamed of being a writer, but she chickened out and went to medical school instead. In 1994, she moved temporarily to America, and she has been living temporarily in America ever since. Danielle attended Queen's University during her undergraduate years, and she received her medical training at McGill University, Brown University and Yale University. She has held faculty positions at the University of Pittsburgh and Harvard University, where she investigated the origins of chronic lung disease and taught in the medical intensive care unit. In 2013, Danielle quit her job to pursue her childhood dream of being a writer. She lives with her husband, Astro Teller, and their four children in Palo Alto, California. She is currently working on a novel about the life of Cinderella's stepmother.