Visionary Headliners, Rockstars &
Fab Facilitators

Interested in Becoming or Nominating a Speaker?

Speaker Roster is from a Previous Innovation Workshop

Headliners

Douglas Terrier

Douglas Terrier

Associate Director
NASA Johnson Space Center

Douglas has been a technology and innovation thought leader for decades, charting the future of human space exploration and guiding the development of advanced technologies that enable exploration and improve life on earth. He served as NASA’s Chief Technologist and is currently the Associate Director for Strategy at the Johnson Space Center.

Kimberly Williams

Kimberly Williams, JD

Chief Innovation Officer
Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County

From launching the Houston region’s first autonomous shuttle service to serving on Texas’ statewide commission on Advanced Air Mobility (AAM), Kimberly is a national expert on emerging mobility solutions. With a focus on innovation in the public sector she brings a unique perspective to overcoming barriers to deploying innovation in agencies and communities.

Rockstar Insights

Gopalan Balaji

Gopalan Balaji

Innovation Leader
W.L. Gore & Associates

Building upon Gore’s 65-year legacy of innovation, Balaji leverages open innovation to establish partnerships with start-ups, higher education institutions, and strategic technology partners, thereby creating new opportunities. Drawing upon his expertise of 30+ years, Balaji has built strong relationships within and outside his organization. With an understanding of existing gaps, he seeks to bridge them or scale innovative concepts through strategic partnerships.

Jacob Baxter

Jacob Baxter

Head of Equipment Innovation
Chipotle Mexican Grill

Jacob is a seasoned corporate innovator and thought leader with a remarkable track record spanning over a decade. Throughout his career, he has consistently pushed the boundaries of conventional thinking, spearheading groundbreaking initiatives and driving transformational change within organizations. Jacob’s unique ability to identify emerging trends and leverage cutting edge technologies has earned him widespread recognition as a visionary leader in the fast- casual industry.

Mike Catania

Mike Catania

Director of Innovation
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Mike leads innovation initiatives in Los Angeles for the largest integrated healthcare system in the country. An entrepreneur and early-stage investor for fifteen years, he is on the faculty at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management in entrepreneurship and MIT LINQ’s Catalyst program for biotechnology.

Terry Collier

Dr. Terry Collier

Vice President Research & Development
3M

Dr. Collier has been an innovation leader across multiple industries creating new businesses, products, and technology capabilities in the electrical, display, renewable and advertising markets. He is an inventor, speaker, and author of peer reviewed articles. He has a passion for learning, experimenting, and working with teams to discover and implement high value solutions.

Michael O

Michael O. “Coop” Cooper

Founder
High Performance Orgs

Michael “Coop” Cooper is passionate about the people side of change. He recognizes changing minds can be difficult but knows often it’s much easier and simpler than we might think. He empowers leaders at companies around the world to understand and appreciate the underlying NeuroEfficiencies that people have, to speak directly in terms of what is important to them, and successfully sell their ideas and strategies.

Ibrahim Itani

Ibrahim Itani

Head of Analytics and Innovation
Marathon Petroleum Corporation

With extensive experience in product innovation and a proven track record of driving successful outcomes, Ibrahim is a highly regarded authority on utilizing impactful metrics for operational excellence. His deep understanding of market dynamics, strategic thinking, and data-driven insights position him as a compelling voice in redefining success metrics for product excellence. Ibrahim, a patented inventor in the field of prescriptive analytics, currently leads the Analytics and Innovation group at Marathon Petroleum, where he continues to spearhead transformative advancements in the industry.

Vishnu Jayamohan

Vishnu Jayamohan

Director, Portfolio Strategy, Innovation & Software Services
Nissan North America

Vishnu has led product strategy and innovation teams both in the physical and software worlds in 3 different Fortune 500 companies. His multi-disciplinary experience in engineering, manufacturing, program management and marketing worlds helps him convince organizations cross-functionally to embrace new innovations with a customer-first mindset. He believes finding a balance between a collaborative, startup-like mindset within his teams against the backdrop of established corporate expectations can lead to high employee satisfaction and real customer value.

Benjamin Karas

Benjamin Karas

Digital Product Manager
Grainger

Ben is part of Grainger’s Technology Group and is currently modernizing experiences for 16 million + customers focused around Post Order eCommerce services. He has worked across all functional teams within Grainger to build the roadmap, own strategy, and partner with stakeholders from the North American branches.

Leo LaBranche

Leo LaBranche

Director, Global Strategic Initiatives
Amazon Web Services (AWS)

An entrepreneur at heart, Leo has spent the past 20 years working closely with enterprise clients and partners to deliver innovative solutions leveraging emerging technologies and hosted platforms. Leo’s unique front-line perspective combined with his creative, collaborative leadership approach to solve complex problems allows his team to build momentum in the marketplace with a continued drive for innovation and success for all AWS partners.

Kareem Meliani

Kareem Meliani

Vice President, Global Marketing Operations
Sealed Air Corporation

Kareem brings a blend of corporate experience including finance, sales, marketing, strategy, and innovation. He currently works at SEE, a $5+ bn revenue company focused on solving critical packaging challenges. For the past four years, he has helped guide SEE’s journey to world class innovation, most recently leading teams that drive operational excellence in project management, innovation portfolio process, prioritization, and analytics.

Priya Narayan

Priya Narayan

Managing Director of Technology
Southwest Airlines

Priya has been a thought leader in using technology and building strong teams to solve unique business challenges for more than two decades. Her experience and track record with delivering business value with a focus on transformation for a broad range of business portfolios adds a practical touch to our conversation on innovation.

Nelson Pedreiro

Dr. Nelson Pedreiro

Vice President Advanced Technology Center
Lockheed Martin Space

Nelson has been an innovator and thought leader in aerospace for over two decades. His experience in identifying and developing novel technologies that enable new capabilities and missions lends him a unique perspective on how innovation drives business growth and the future of space.

Russell Ralston

Russell Ralston

EVA Deputy Program Manager
Axiom Space

Russell has worked within the government and private sectors for over a decade. His experience ranges from systems design and optimization, to space suit design, and program management. He has degrees in mechanical, aerospace, and systems engineering. Currently, Russell aids in managing the EVA program at Axiom Space that is developing the next-generation space suit that will be used on the moon.

Master of Ceremonies

Brian Fitzpatrick

Brian Fitzpatrick

Partner, Events
Frost & Sullivan

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