Meet the Team

Planning

Ceferino (Cef) Gonzalez

President & Sponsorship Chair

Cef Gonzalez, unlike many headhunters, first worked in corporate America in various leadership roles and industries for 25+ years at DuPont Co. At Westport International, Cef is the Managing Director of Materials Science & Engineered Manufacturing™ and Technology. He has a BS in Chemical Engineering from New York University Tandon School of Engineering and a MBA from Drexel University Lebow College of Business. Cef is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (DMAIC, DFSS) and Innovation Games facilitator. Cef volunteers in several Research Triangle Park, NC-based non-profit organizations. He’s a Co-Founder and a Board of Director of North Carolina Executive Roundtable (NCER). Cef is a mentor at EntreDot and President and Sponsorship Chair of ProductCampRTP™. For fun, Cef and his family enjoy traveling, sampling international foods and supporting various charitable causes.

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Christina Blandi

Marketing Chair

Christina Blandi is a seasoned marketing professional who continually strives to work in an agile framework while strategically planning and creating a sustainable environment for self-directed teams.  Looking at the big picture from a high level to breaking down the details to campaign level and analyzing the data and reporting, from concept to completion, encouraging others to be cognizant of what milestones are due and empowering team growth and collaboration.  As principal owner of CBJ Promotional Avenue's (the name being changed to Brandscope Solutions) and working diligently to transition into a Scrum Master role in IT, Christina's focus is clear and forward thinking, always keeping the big picture in mind.  

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Aaron Kesler

Marketing & Logistics

Aaron is an entrepreneur, certified product manager and overall product enthusiast. Currently a Senior Product Manager at Blue Cross NC, he is working on new product development and developing product best practices across the Data and Analytics division of Blue Cross. Aaron started his first company, STAK, in college that focused on development for small businesses. One of his clients was also a quickly growing startup called Carvertise. After working with Aaron on a few projects, Carvertise acquired STAK, making Aaron and his business partner the 3rd and 4th members of the Carvertise team. While at Carvertise, Aaron wore many hats from Product Management to Lead Developer to Sales. Under Aaron’s technical leadership, Carvertise won Tech Startup of the Year 2015 for the state of Delaware. After about three years, Aaron moved down to Raleigh and joined a slightly larger startup becoming the 30th member of TopQuadrant. In his free time, Aaron is creating a SaaS solution for breweries called Perky Pints which focuses on driving business to taprooms. 

Aaron holds a degree in Computer Science from the University of Delaware. He’s also a Certified Product Manager through Pragmatic Institute and is excited to be part of the ProductCampRTP™ planning team.

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Sidd Chopra

Sessions Chair

Sidd Chopra is a software developer, entrepreneur, certified project management professional, author, and award-winning speaker. He has developed critical systems for SAS Institute, the Neurotoxicology Department of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Army, and several fortune 100 companies. He is the founder of LookWiser.com, and leads a consortium of world class experts in various fields to create cutting-edge presentation tools and training programs designed with the help of leading neuroscientists, cognitive psychologists, and professional speakers. Sidd was a Subject Matter Expert for the Project Management Institute (PMI) Global, presented at the 2012 International Toastmasters Convention, and was a finalist in a national public speaking contest. In 1999, Toastmasters International awarded him the Distinguished Toastmaster Award, its highest award.  Sidd served six years on the Strategic Advisory Board for NCSU’s Computer Science Department and currently serves on an advisory board for Wake Technical Community College and the TiE Global speakers bureau.

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Shelly Ryder

Website Manager

Shelly is a seasoned B2B marketing professional with over 20 years' experience in marketing communications and product marketing. Shelly holds a Bachelor's degree in Graphic Design from Rochester Institute of Technology. She earned Pragmatic Marketing certification in October, 2018 and stays current on all things marketing. Shelly brings her skills in trade show and event management to ProductCampRTP, as well as web design, social media and overall marketing communications.

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Sunny Lin

Community Manager

Sunny stumbled into product management after an unconventional career path starting out as an engineer. After Graduating from NC State University with a Biomedical Engineering degree in 2012, she thought she’d dip her toes in entrepreneurship by starting a food truck that served dumplings and pho with her high school friend Sophia Woo. The Pho Nomenal Dumpling truck officially launched in 2014. A year later, the food truck competed on Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race. The Pho Nomenal Dumpling Truck became the first all female team to win the competition. With the success of the show, Sunny and Sophia opened Mofu Shoppe in downtown Raleigh in 2017. As her career grew, her family did as well. To transition to a career more friendly to a work-life balance, Sunny is now a Jr. Product Manager at a tech start up in Durham called InHerSight, merging her experience in engineering and management.

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Kenya Oduor

Logistics Chair

Kenya uses a human-centered approach to solution research, strategy, and design.  After nearly 18 years in enterprise software development organizations, she formed Lean Geeks.  Lean Geeks, a consulting and staffing firm, helps organizations discover market opportunities and define the most effective solutions for their market.

 

Leading business strategy and org change in human-centered solution definition and design (Design Thinking) is her strength. She enjoys working with others across organizations from the top-down and bottom-up on defining and implementing processes that lead to better problem definition and improved solution outcomes.  She coaches cross-functional teams on collaborative discovery, definition, and design processes that are complimentary to Agile methods.   

 

Kenya holds a doctorate in Human Factors Psychology from North Carolina State University. She is an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Computer Science at N.C. State.  She is also Pragmatic Marketing Certified and has Agile Scrummaster and Product Owner training.   

Kenya loves to cook and spend time with family. She volunteers with her children's schools and enjoys long walks and working out.

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Arik Abel

Assistant Treasurer, Assistant Logistics Chair

Arik has deep experience in GTM strategy, innovation, product development, and human-centered design in technology, media and entertainment. He's most passionate about developing product management and product marketing transformation initiatives informing how small businesses and enterprise teams take new products to market successfully. 

 

He's currently the founder of Rubric Design, a startup focused on innovation and design strategy for mid-market technology companies, as well as the head of product marketing for TiVo's (yes, that TiVo) content discovery and metadata platforms. At Lenovo he founded and built the internal community, Design Thinking @ Lenovo, to champion the practices of human-centered design to over 200 community members, while launching new B2B software offerings for technologists and educators. 

 

In his spare time he's a family man, binge watcher, travel enthusiast and foodie who secretly can't get enough of watching Disney movies with his two young daughters.

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Claire-Juliette Beale

Member at Large

Recognized as a catalyst for topline growth, Claire-Juliette Beale has extensive leadership, marketing, innovation, NPD, business development and consulting experience with organizations ranging from start-ups to Fortune 50 including SAS, Cisco, Bank of America, GMI (acquired by WPP and merged with Kantar/Lightspeed Research), McKinsey and KPMG.

Claire-Juliette has worked in B2B and B2C arenas across industries including technology, software and service companies but also retail/CPG, banking, life sciences, defense, security, aerospace, dual use technologies, and telecommunications.  She is passionate about rallying cross-functional teams around a cohesive vision and following on with results-driven execution to differentiate and compete on the global playground.

 

Claire-Juliette holds a M.S. in the Management of Information and Communication Technologies from University of Cergy-Pontoise, France, a B.A. in English from Catholic University, Angers, France, and a Certificate in International Business Management from Georgetown University McDonough School of Business. She enjoys speaking and mentoring in various forums and workshops in the US, Europe, and Asia. She is bilingual in English and in French and speaks fluent Spanish.  

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Advisors

Scott Burleson

Advisor

Throughout his career, Scott has sought to distill innovation into a repeatable process. As a practitioner with John Deere, he created successful new products using Anthony Ulwick’s Outcome-Driven Innovation method. He subsequently joined Ulwick’s firm as Director of the Strategyn Institute where he learned from the world’s top ODI experts while working with companies such as Intel, McDonald’s, Johnson & Johnson among many others.

After Strategyn, Scott led the growth efforts for Actuant Corporation by training and consulting business units in the US, Europe and Asia. While at Actuant, he learned the unique facets of the B2B world but also discovered a new problem: “How do we distill innovation into a process that is not just repeatable but also teachable?” This challenge led him to Dan Adams, founder of The AIM Institute, where Scott currently serves as Senior Vice-President.

Scott has a BS in Electrical Engineering and a MS in Management from North Carolina State University. In addition to Outcome-Driven Innovation and New Product Blueprinting certifications, Scott is a certified New Product Professional from PDMA, a Professional Market Researcher (MRA), is Pragmatic Marketing Certified, is a Certified ScrumMaster and Certified Product Owner.

Scott, his wife Elizabeth and two daughters live near Chapel Hill, North Carolina. When not at work, he enjoys watching reruns of The Andy Griffith Show.

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Reshma Rao

Treasurer

Reshma is a Software Product Management professional, with recent focus on healthcare data analytics. She holds Pragmatic Marketing and Scaled Agile certifications. Reshma's educational background includes a Bachelors degree in Industrial Engineering & Management and a Masters degree in Management Information Systems. She is grateful to be a part of the team that helps facilitate learning and networking opportunities for the local product community.

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