Francine Gordon, Ph.D.

Francine is a pioneer in the modern women’s movement. Her achievements demonstrate her strong commitment to supporting women’s success throughout her professional life.

Upon completion of her Ph.D. from Yale, Francine became one of the first two women on the faculty at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. While there, she and her colleague, economist Myra Strober, organized the first conference for male executives on the importance of bringing women into the work environment.

After leaving Stanford, Francine became general manager of a professional non-profit repertory theatre, taking on responsibility for all aspects of its business operations. From there she moved into senior management roles at corporations such as Tandem Computers, Pac Bell and Ungermann–Bass.

Eventually, Francine decided to pursue the ambition that had originally motivated her to earn a Ph.D. – becoming a management consultant. She joined Boston Consulting Group (BCG) as a Global Organization Manager, specializing in post-merger integration, globalization and corporate culture change. Her clients included Global 500 companies in high technology, finance, biotechnology, industrial goods, and pharmaceuticals.

In 2001, Francine left BCG to create F Gordon Group to realize her personal vision of integrated professional services – corporate coaching combined with organization consulting and training. Her mission: to improve companies’ effectiveness by improving interpersonal skills, leadership competency and organizational dynamics. Her special interests include enhancing creativity in individuals and organizations and fostering the development and advancement of women executives.

Francine has facilitated workshops in Japan on strategy and innovation. She also developed and facilitated seminars on innovation and entrepreneurship for Fulbright scholars from developing nations earning graduate degrees in the US. She teaches innovation at Infotech in Mexico (in conjunction with University of Texas – Dallas) as well as Stanford Continuing Studies [where she also offers workshops on confidence and risk-taking].

Combining her interests in women and innovation, Francine is currently writing a book on gender and innovation called Womennovation. She is the founder and chair of SVForum Tech Women and the organizer for TEDxBayAreaWomen. Francine is profiled in the book Innovation in a Reinvented World by Dee McCrorey (Wiley, 2011).

Steve Sato

BioSatoPicMay13cus5Steve Sato is the founder of Sato+Partners LLC, a management consulting and organization development practice specialized in making design and innovation groups more effective and efficient.

Steve has 13 years of experience as a consultant in customer-driven innovation, strategy and planning for Hewlett Packard, Samsung, Baltimore Ravens, Daimler-Chrysler, Motorola, Metro and Weirton Steel, while at Deloitte/Doblin Group, Accenture and Hewlett Packard. He has an additional eight years of experience in architecting and developing customer-centered innovation and experience design practice; he led building the capability world-wide at Hewlett Packard, and more recently consulted to companies such as Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Yahoo, The Hershey Company, Group Health and NetApp.

He has a Masters in Design from the Institute of Design at IIT, Masters of Engineering Management from Northwestern University and a Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering, from the University of Illinois. Steve is a certified facilitator of Innovation Games®.

Kimberly Wiefling

Kimberly Wiefling, Founder and President of Wiefling Consulting, and Executive Editor of the Scrappy About Series, is a globally recognized author and business leadership consultant specializing in helping people achieve what seems impossible, but is merely difficult. A physicist by education, she began her professional career working for a decade at HP in product development project management and engineering leadership. She spent 4 years in Silicon Valley startups, including a Xerox Parc spinoff where she was the VP of Program Management. In 2001 she launched her own consulting practice helping to start, run and grow life-affirming businesses. One of the keys to her success is a focus on a winning culture. Business culture transformation lies at the heart of all of her work. Kimberly is the co-chair of the SVForum Engineering Leadership Special Interest Group (EL SIG), she’s supporting micro-finance for entrepreneurs throughout the world via Kiva, and she supports the economic independence of women in various ways around the world because she believes that this is the most effective way raise the quality of life for all people. She is a force of nature, and determined to use that force to transform Planet Earth for the better.

Neil Love

Neil has over 20 years of experience improving performance in high tech, medical device, services and manufacturing companies. He is a published expert in the management of corporate initiatives and has deep expertise in the best practices for developing organization capabilities that are needed to achieve critical operational and strategic goals. Example accomplishments: reduced cost of inventory levels by 25% ($40M), reduced new product development time 30% and shortened hiring process cycle time by 50%. Strong skills in aligning executives and project teams on current reality and the best path forward and often brought in to get organizations unstuck and initiatives back on track. Clients and corporate positions include Cisco Systems, Infinera Corporation, Johnson & Johnson, VMware, Sun Microsystems, Hewlett Packard, General Electric.