Partner and Co-founder
Mary’s new product development expertise is in process, strategy, business model development, lean product development, risk management, organizational development, and team dynamics.
Mary began her career at Ford Motor Company, and she progressed through various positions in marketing and development. Mary then joined AT&T Bell Laboratories, concentrating in the areas of strategy, the voice of the customer and scenario planning. Mary transitioned to consulting and was Director of Consulting at Cambridge Management Consulting and subsequently appointed to the position of Vice President at Targetbase Marketing / Omnicom, a firm specializing in marketing analytics.
Mary was recently a Faculty Coach for the New Product Development Lab course at the University of Chicago. She is a member of the Society of Women Engineers and has an MBA from The University of Chicago, Booth School of Business.
She graduated from the Lean LaunchPad Educators Seminar through the National Collegiate Inventors & Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) at the University of California, Berkeley. She is currently co-authoring a book with her business partner, Kathy Morrissey, on a new way to develop products called Exploratory Product Development (ExPD). It is an adaptive process that is based on reducing the biggest project uncertainties.
Out of the ExPD process, they developed the Product Risk Framework business intelligence software tool. They received a grant for the Product Risk Framework in 2018 from the NSF STEM I-Corp program sponsored by the University of Chicago. Most recently, the Product Risk Framework received two nominations: 2019 Edison Award in the area of Innovation Services and 2019 Fast Company World Changing Ideas Award.
Partner and Co-founder
Kathy has over 30 years of experience with Fortune 100 companies specializing in market and customer research, strategy, business processes, and models. Kathy’s new product development expertise is in developing innovation, product, technology, and market strategies, as well as product and technology roadmaps. Also, she also has considerable experience in portfolio management and flexible and lean process techniques.
She has an MS in Statistics from Carnegie-Mellon University and has completed the doctoral core courses. She also has an MBA from The University of Chicago, Booth School of Business. She is an active and long-standing board member of the Chicago Chapter of the American Statistical Association and currently Vice-Chair of the national ASA Council of Chapters.
Kathy is a Faculty Coach for the New Product Development Lab course at the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business. She recently graduated from the Lean LaunchPad Educators Seminar through the National Collegiate Inventors & Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) at the University of California, Berkeley.
Kathy is currently co-authoring a book with her business partner, Mary Drotar, on a new way to develop products called Exploratory Product Development (ExPD). It is an adaptive process that is based on reducing the biggest project uncertainties. Out of the ExPD process, they developed the Product Risk Framework business intelligence software tool. They received a grant for the PRF in 2018 from the NSF STEM I-Corp program sponsored by the University of Chicago. Most recently, the Product Risk Framework received two nominations: 2019 Edison Award in the area of Innovation Services and 2019 Fast Company World Changing Ideas Award.
John Reaves has practiced at the intersection of creativity and innovation for over 30 years, helping clients to build new products and services, as well as crafting innovation models, programs, and strategies.
He has worked with the product lab teams at IBM, Bell Labs, Epson, NTT, Arm & Hammer, and Kraft, and designed innovation and creativity programs for Nationwide, Takeda, Glaxo Smith Kline, and the National Science Foundation. He has supported product marketing groups at 3M, SAP, Lucent, PwC, and Microsoft; change management initiatives at GM, Exxon, and Pepsico; and leadership programs at GE and United Technologies.
John tackles challenges with a unique perspective, derived from a diverse background in the social sciences, new technology, and the arts. Current interests include the intersection of design thinking and systems thinking; fostering innovation between disparate organizations and communities; virtual innovation techniques; and the fundamental nature of ideas (ideaistics).
John received undergraduate, and graduate degrees from Cornell University in anthropology and development sociology has an MFA in theater from Yale University and did graduate work in film and media at NYU.
John is also a contributor to our Exploratory PD book, especially in the area of ideation.
Preston Smith acts as a senior advisor for Strategy 2 Market. He provides valuable input on applying flexible methods to product development. Preston founded and headed New Product Dynamics, a consultancy that helped countless companies in over 30 countries and in industries ranging from footwear to supercomputers to speed up their product development processes and reduce the impact of the changes that always accompany real innovation.
He authored three leading books in the field: Developing Products in Half the Time (the classic in cycle-time reduction), Proactive Risk Management (winner of PMI’s prestigious Cleland Award), and Flexible Product Development (pioneered in applying agile methods to non-software products). Preston holds an engineering Ph.D. from Stanford and was a Certified Management Consultant during his 26-year consulting career. Be sure to check out Preston Smith’s Corner on our site. It is a treasure trove of valuable product development information. Preston is also a contributor to our Exploratory PD book.
Geraldine is a results-driven leader with a strong track record of successfully planning and executing strategic business and technology initiatives for small and large organizations. Geraldine has over ten years of combined technology and management consulting experience and has worked across various industries managing cross-functional teams to solve complex problems using improved processes and technology.
Before attending the Booth School of Business, Geraldine managed and developed systems integration solutions. Shortly after graduating, Geraldine joined Diamond Management and Technology Consultants (now PwC) where she helped clients with current and future state assessments and managed the implementation of strategic recommendations. Her consulting experience has allowed her to work within the financial services, insurance, transportation, and pharmaceutical industries. Most recently, Geraldine has worked as an entrepreneur. She is the founder of a visual storytelling company Life Made Still, a former co-founder of a tech start-up PhotogFind.com, and the technical and creative arm of Propel Parts’ e-commerce site (PropelParts.US). These entrepreneurial experiences have provided first-hand insight in bringing new products to market using lean (Agile) development methodologies.
Geraldine has an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business with concentrations in Strategy, Marketing, and Entrepreneurship. She holds a BS in Bioengineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she graduated with High Distinction for her senior thesis related to bioacoustics research.