Clay Maxwell, Peer Insight

Clay is CEO of Peer Insight, a DC-based innovation consultancy. He has worked on more than 50 innovation projects and has brought to market more than a dozen new ventures. An eternal optimist, he brings creativity and simplicity to the complex design challenges we face in our work. Clay is a thought leader on corporate innovation and entrepreneurship, and has worked across industries with the likes of Intel, Kimberly-Clark, Emerson, Colgate-Palmolive, Intuit, Merck, Cardinal Health, AARP and the NIH. He is an expert in strategic partnering for innovation and has developed new capabilities in business model exploration. Clay has an undergraduate degree from Duke University, and serves as a board member for a national non-profit.


Dr. Lance A. Bettencourt, PhD, is a speaker, author, trainer, consultant, and coach. Over the past decade, he has worked with hundreds of executives of Fortune 100, 500, and 1000 companies, and his service and innovation thought-leadership has been published in Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, California Management Review, and Business Horizons. He is also the author of Service Innovation: How to Go from Customer Needs to Breakthrough Services (McGraw-Hill 2010). A former marketing professor, he is currently a partner with Service 360 Partners, a consultancy focused on helping companies excel at serving customer needs.

DR. Jean Wright, Carolinas healthcare system

Jean Wright, MD, MBA, is responsible for leading the advancement of innovation initiatives throughout Carolinas HealthCare System in Charlotte, N.C., as the Chief Innovation Officer. Her focus is on working with teams to raise the bar for patient care and population health through human-centered design, business development, and novel medical technologies.

Dr. Wright practiced as a pediatric anesthesiologist and intensivist. She held positions as a physician executive at Emory, chair of pediatrics for Mercer, and executive director for Memorial Health's Children's and Women's Hospital in Savannah, and was Chief Medical Officer for Carolinas Medical Center – NorthEast.

She is a health services researcher, has served on federal advisory committees, and given testimony in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. She holds a BS degree from the University of Michigan, an MD degree from Wayne State University, and an MBA degree from Emory's Goizueta School of Business.

Carolinas HealthCare System, one of the nation's leading and most innovative healthcare organizations, provides a full spectrum of healthcare and wellness programs throughout North and South Carolina. The System’s diverse network of more than 900 care locations includes academic medical centers, hospitals, healthcare pavilions, physician practices, destination centers, surgical and rehabilitation centers, home health agencies, nursing homes, and hospice and palliative care. Carolinas HealthCare System works to improve and enhance the overall health and wellbeing of its communities through high quality patient care, education and research programs, and a variety of collaborative partnerships and initiatives.


Bill leads Customer Experience for Cisco’s Digital Technical Support.  His team is responsible for product management, user experience design and research, data science and project management of the support content and tools used by Cisco’s global audience of customers and partners on the website and Cisco Support mobile app.

He has diverse customer-centric and design methods experience at Fortune 500 companies and start-ups across media and high-tech industries.

As Chief Designer at Knight-Ridder, he introduced user-centered design and research practices and provided the original designs for more than 20 newspaper web sites from 1995-1999.

Bill holds a B.S. in Journalism and an M.S. in Special Studies: Information Design (Cognitive Psychology, Industrial Design and Mass Communications) from the University of Kansas.  You can learn more about Bill on LinkedIn

ben stagg, Halo smart labs

Ben Stagg has had a think-outside-the-box mind and an entrepreneurial spirit for as long as anyone can remember. He and Chad White have worked together on numerous projects, most recently in the creation of Halo and founding of Halo Smart Labs. Previously, he was a cruise missile technician in the Air Force, where he laid the foundation for his knowledge of and passion for electronic technology. He is passionate about creating a product that combines the best of safety technology and home automation to help meet needs on an individual and global scale.

BRandon ward, Lowes

Brandon is a Director of Integrated Experience Design and Development at Lowe’s where he leads cross-functional teams on strategic innovation for this Fortune 50 retailer. He has over 15 years experience in design and innovation for global brands like Abbott, Discover, FedEx, Hyatt, John Deere, Nike, Samsung, United Airlines and Victoria’s Secret. He has a successful track record of driving innovation for large organizations and a passion for helping them embrace design tools and methods along the way. Brandon holds a master’s degree in human-centered design and innovation from the Institute of Design in Chicago.


Scott Burleson has dedicated his career to bridging the gap between innovation theory and practice. As a consultant, he has taught innovation and Voice-of-the-Customer methods to businesses in North America, Europe, and Asia. As a practitioner, he led the NPD strategy for John Deere’s compact utility tractor segment which resulted in many successful new products; most notably, the John Deere 1-Family Tractor line. He is currently the Senior Vice-President of The AIM Institute, a B2B-focused training and consulting firm.

brian roderman, in2 innovation

Brian Roderman is the President and Chief Innovation Officer of IN2 Innovation, a rapid innovation design consultancy.  Brian has worked in the design consultancy business for over 25 years, and is frequently a featured speaker on design and innovation at events and symposiums worldwide.  He has extensive design experience in consumer electronics, consumer products, housewares, transportation, telecommunications, and business-to-business industries.  He currently serves on The University of Texas at Dallas School of Management Marketing Program Advisory Board.  He is active with the Industrial Design Society of America (IDSA), having held six terms on the IDSA National Board of Directors.

David biedermann, p&G

David Biedermann is an innovation consultant who helps companies build Innovation pipelines with financial sufficiency and the organizational capability to sustain them. He is formerly the Director of Innovation at Electrolux NA (household appliances), located in Charlotte, NC and has worked 25 years at Procter & Gamble where he directed innovation efforts (Pringles, Duracell, others) and founded P&G’s Innovation Design studio (the ‘GYM’) to strengthen product and commercialization innovation plans for P&G’s billion-dollar brands. David graduated from Cornell University (BS engineering), Xavier University (MBA),is a certified Creativity facilitator, and holds 11 U.S. patents.