Outthinker Chief Strategy Officer Roundtable & Networking
LEARN FROM OTHER INDUSTRIES
STAY AHEAD OF THE PACE OF DISRUPTION
PRACTICAL PROBLEM SOLVING WITH PEERS
CONNECT WITH OTHER STRATEGY EXECUTIVES
WORLD-CLASS THOUGHT-LEADERS AND PROFESSORS
Outthinker Strategy Network Members
Abhay Nayak is the Head of Global Strategy, Commercial Development and Customer Experience at Zoetis. In this role, he is responsible for keeping Zoetis customers at the center of the company’s strategic planning and commercial development plans, while ensuring greater alignment in how Zoetis incorporates the needs of its customers.Mr. Nayak most recently served as Head of Corporate Strategy at Zoetis, responsible for leading global strategic initiatives, as well as identifying major growth areas and business model innovation opportunities. Prior to joining Zoetis, Mr. Nayak was a consultant at McKinsey & Company where he advised leading pharmaceutical and medical device companies on crafting and executing global growth strategies. He started his career as an investment banker at Barclays in London, where he advised private equity clients on M&A, restructuring, and financing transactions in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
Mr. Nayak earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Wharton School. He is also a CFA Charter holder.
Adam Zalisk leads Amplify’s corporate strategy team. Before taking on his current role, Adam led non-profit partnerships, operations, implementation, and product teams at Amplify, including serving as chief operating officer for Amplify’s K–5 literacy portfolio. Before joining Amplify, Adam served as senior advisor and led innovation at the Harlem Children’s Zone, and was a founding member of Booz & Company’s North American education practice.
Building on a 30-year career in the field of taxation, in 2021, Aimee jumped into an opportunity to expand her involvement in developing strategy, M&A, and corporate venture capital as SMG's corporate development lead. She leads the company's "Special Operating Forces" team which provides strategic direction to the organization by partnering with operators to develop and drive their strategic plans. Before joining SMG, Aimee spent six years with EY and also held tax leadership positions with AT&T and Hillenbrand Industries. Aimee resides in Columbus, Ohio.
Previously Caesar was the chief strategy officer for Individual Solutions Group, where he was responsible for strategy, market intelligence, and business intelligence for Prudential’s Annuities and Individual Life Insurance businesses.
Prior to joining Prudential in 2012, Caesar’s experience includes managing investments in the energy sector at AllianceBernstein L.P., consulting for clients on strategic issues at McKinsey and Company, and serving as a Cryptologic Intelligence Officer with the U.S. Navy.
Alok K. Agrawal is an executive with over fifteen years of finance experience in industrial and technology companies. He is proficient in developing and executing organic and inorganic strategies, grounded by experience running a P&L and performing operations turnarounds. He has substantial international exposure, including long-term assignments in Europe and Asia.
Alok is currently the Chief Strategy Officer at Celestica, a $6 billion services company focused on the industrial and technology markets. He is a member of a seven-person Executive Leadership Team (ELT) and reports directly to the CEO.
He recently held leadership positions with global responsibility for strategy and corporate development at Federal-Mogul and Meritor, both multi-billion dollar automotive suppliers. Previously, Alok worked in Johnson Controls' automotive businesses (now Adient) leading strategy development and executing transformation projects, including the turnaround of the interiors business. His assignments included 18 months in China with the Yanfeng Automotive Interiors joint venture and ownership of a $100 million product line P&L.
Earlier, he worked at Kearney as a consultant, primarily on growth strategy and product management engagements. Alok began his career as a powertrain engineer at Ford Motor Company. He received his M.S. and B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan and his M.B.A. in strategy and finance from the Ross School of Business.
An experienced executive with a demonstrated history, Ayman is known as a thought leader on strategic delivery, culture, & team building. Coupled with his expansive experience in the staffing and workforce management industry, as college All-America & former pro athlete, he leverages the discipline and competitive spirit he learned, to build and lead high-performance teams that deliver great results through operational excellence and innovative solutions to their clients and the business. He is a published author, holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from California State University-Bakersfield and is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR).
Ben Clark became the SVP and CSO of Expeditors in January 2020. Prior to that, he served as Expeditor’s SVP, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, since joining Expeditors in February, 2015. Before Expeditors, he was the EVP and General Counsel of the Dematic Group, a materials automation company, and the Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of Celanese Corp, a chemicals and engineered materials manufacturer. Before Celanese Ben held a variety of positions within the Honeywell Aerospace division, culminating as their Vice President and General Counsel of Global Operations.
Ben is a Six Sigma black belt and a life-long learner. His current hobbies include skiing, diving, math, and learning how to boat and play piano.
As vice president, chief risk and strategy officer, Cheryl Lebens is responsible for leading the development of the enterprise’s corporate strategy as well as the risk management and corporate development functions. With 20 years of experience in the insurance industry, Cheryl has held a variety of roles in finance, corporate strategy, sales, and marketing at Nationwide Insurance and Safeco Insurance prior to joining Grange in 2012.
Chris Caton is Managing Director, Global Strategy and Analytics. Chris is responsible for the Research, Advanced Analytics and Valuations capabilities at Prologis. Collectively, these teams create and interpret industry data; identify and project emerging trends that lead to transformational change in the logistics and real estate industries; and, communicate and develop tools to drive business strategy.
Prior to joining Prologis in 2012, Chris held real estate and strategy roles at Morgan Stanley and CBRE.
Chris holds an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Arts in Economics from Boston University, and Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of Puget Sound.
In his role as Chief Strategy & Growth Officer, Chris defines the company’s Vision, Growth Goals and Execution Strategies that drive cross functional alignment. He has responsibility for Corporate Strategy, Technology Innovation, Customer Experience, Ecosystem Alliances and Marketing. Prior to Kofax, Chris spent five years at Deloitte Consulting leading the U.S. Public Sector Robotics and Cognitive Automation practice, seven years as a CEO of a B2C start-up and twenty years in the U.S. Marine Corps as a Finance Officer.
Claus is a transformational change agent with a track record of driving multi-year transitional agendas in large organizations, bringing together ideas, people and technology.
A native of Denmark, Dr. Jensen has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a PhD in computer science from Aarhus University. Earlier this year, he received an IDG CIO 100 Award, and in 2016, he received an InfoWorld and Forrester Enterprise Architecture Award. He has authored numerous publications and holds 14 patents around integration, APIs, and transformation.
Dr. Stamoran has spent nearly 25 years engaged with the healthcare industry, and has experienced the realities of patient adherence and outcomes enhancement from almost every stakeholder perspective: from direct engagement with retail and hospital pharmacists; medical professionals; specialty pharmacies and clinics; and pharmacy benefit managers and payers. He has directly participated in adherence and outcomes enhancement strategies for more than 150 drugs over the last 10 years.
Devang Parikh is the Head of Strategy and Operations responsible for establishing and leading a strategy and operations group across global Precision Medicine and Clinical Research. Overseeing day-to-day department operations, strategic planning, alliance management, project management, business development and finance, Devang is also a core member of the Precision Medicine and Global Clinical Leadership Teams and numerous alliance steering committees.
A dynamic and entrepreneurial senior executive with over 17 years of achievement in the life science industry. Devang excels at strategic planning, operations management, business development, process improvement, organizational design, and leading people.
Prior to joining Pfizer he was a consultant for PA Consulting Group.
He has a BSc in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University, a MSE in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA in Healthcare from the Yale School of Management.
Ed Knapp is Chief Technology Officer for American Tower. Prior to joining American Tower in 2017, Mr. Knapp served as Senior Vice President of Engineering at Qualcomm, where was responsible for their New Jersey Corporate Research Center. Mr. Knapp has more than 40 years of communications technology experience and has spent more than 30 years invested in the development of the global wireless industry. He joined Qualcomm after its acquisition of Flarion Technologies. Prior to that he served as the Chief Technology Officer of PacketVideo Corporation, co-founded NextWave Telecom, Inc. and served as its Chief Technology Officer, and was Executive Director of Technical Services for Bell Atlantic/NYNEX Mobile (Verizon Wireless).
Mr. Knapp serves on the Board of Directors of AST SpaceMobile and the Center for Automotive Research, as well as the Rutgers University Industry Advisory Board. He is also a member of the Outthinker Strategy Network. Mr. Knapp currently has five granted U.S. patents and one pending application. He earned an M.B.A. from Columbia University, a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Polytechnic University (NYU) in New York and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Stony Brook University.
Chesin earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University in 2002 and holds both an MBA from Columbia Business School and a JD from Columbia Law School.
Prior to joining JPMorgan, Mr. Goldstein was a consultant with McKinsey & Co. in the firm’s Financial Institutions Practice. While at McKinsey, Mr. Goldstein advised insurance companies and banks on both strategic and operational issues. Mr. Goldstein received his JD degree from Yale Law School and his undergraduate degree from Harvard University.
Greg is an experienced healthcare leader with experience across the continuum. In his most recent role with Cancer Treatment Centers of America, he was responsible for the development and execution of growth strategies for facilities in six different markets as well as three de novo companies – a value-based care company, a data aggregation company and a platform company. Additionally, Greg helped turnaround the revenue cycle, normalize expenses and had operational responsibility for all clinical assets in Dallas/Fort Worth. At his current company, Tandem Ventures, Greg is working with private equity firms in the acceleration of the growth of their portfolio companies.
James Malick is Global Head of Corporate Development & Strategy for Millennium Management and is responsible for driving new growth initiatives across the firm from a business development lens. He previously built and ran several functions in a deputy COO capacity including enterprise data analytics, Project Execution, Trading Services, Operational Risk and Branding & Communications. He chairs the Firm’s Operational Risk Committee and Co-Chairs the Business Continuity Management Committee.
Jason Ginsberg joins OSN, having recently come on board at Zoetis as the Head of Global Strategy. His career up to this point has been in strategy / management consulting, starting at Capgemini and then spending the last ~6.5 years at BCG, all focused on healthcare (biopharma and MedTech) and spanning Manufacturing & supply to Commercial. Jason brings a passion challenging the status quo and thinking outside the box. In his spare time, Jason is an avid reader, a big New York sports fan, and a middling golfer. Jason is based in New York, has a BSE in Materials Science from UPenn and an MBA from Chicago Booth.
Joanne Sheppard is Senior Vice-President for Strategy and Investments at Holtzbrinck Publishing Group. She works for the majority shareholder of Springer Nature and the owner of Digital Science. Sheppard provides CEO-level strategy support globally in the areas of science and technology. In practice, this means working closely with tech startups, gaming out strategic options to challenges facing scientists, and providing both formal and informal advice to our CEOs. Prior to this, Sheppard was the Vice-President of Strategy for Cell Press. Joanne is an American currently living in London.
John Naccarato has joined Algoma Steel Inc. as Vice President – Strategy, with accountability for developing and enabling the execution of the strategic direction and go-to-market strategies for Algoma. Prior to rejoining Algoma, Mr. Naccarato had acquired 30 years of experience in the steel and engineering sectors at progressive levels of responsibility for market/product development, facilities development, mergers/acquisitions and strategic growth initiatives. He has developed entrepreneurial businesses, and has held previous commercial and legal positions with Dofasco Inc., Algoma Steel Inc. (Director of Market and Product Development), and EVP & General Counsel for Bracknell Corporation. Mr. Naccarato holds a materials engineering degree from the University of Western Ontario, and a law degree from University of Windsor.
Our world is experiencing an unprecedented magnitude and pace of change. People and organizations are stressed and fearful, but also empowered by new technologies and looking to reinvent for the future.
Kalina Nikolova believes that the future brings exponential growth. Increasing returns are unlocked when people and organizations are enabled to work with passion and purpose - while leveraging the new technologies to reinvent business models. For over two decades Kalina has been working as a navigator plotting the course for companies to work better today, and prepare for the future: from Saatchi & Saatchi where she led Zenith Media in Eastern Europe to Deloitte where she consulted clients like S&P, McGraw-Hill, Meredith Publishing, and Cablevision, as EVP of Strategy at Viacom Ad Sales and now as VP of Business Operations and Strategy at Yahoo.
Kalina's approach to strategy and transformation is centered on human potential and building collaborations across internal silos, and among unlikely partners in ecosystems. It is informed by deep understanding of technological, business and societal changes. Igniting innovation and energizing culture and diversity, Kalina creates the playbooks that empower people and organizations to unlock potential with purpose.
Ken Eng is the Senior Vice President, Group Strategy and M&A for Macmillan and Holtbrinck. Since 2007 he has led strategic planning, mergers & acquisitions, investments, alliances and incubation initially in its North American division and in recent years as a member of the Holtzbrinck Publishing Group (Macmillan’s holding company). Prior to Macmillan and Holtbrinck, Ken held various leadership roles in business development, product development, marketing, and operations at prominent media companies including McGraw-Hill/BusinessWeek, Nielsen Business Media, and Universal Media. Throughout his career, Ken has been instrumental in helping organizations to navigate market turbulence and to innovate digitally. In his free time, Ken mentors digital entrepreneurs in education, publishing, and media.
As Senior Vice President of Strategy and Corporate Development, Kevin is responsible for ensuring cross-functional alignment of NI's strategy planning and execution activities including the use of partnerships and acquisitions.
Prior to joining NI in 2015, Kevin served as the Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Tektronix, where he was responsible for the core technology development, R&D strategy, and portfolio processes governing R&D investments. He has held leadership roles at Novellus (LAM Research) and a number of start-ups including Zight and Technical Visions.
Kevin holds a Ph.D. and M.A degrees in plasma physics from Princeton University and B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering with Distinction from the University of Alberta.
Linda Ventresca is responsible for guiding the development of AXIS Capital's strategic priorities and for driving the delivery of those priorities across the organization. She also leads the Company's enterprise-wide transformation program, positioning AXIS to capitalize on the changes reshaping the insurance marketplace, and the Company's corporate development and corporate communications teams report in to her. Ms. Ventresca, who joined AXIS in January 2003, has held numerous leadership roles within the organization including Head of Corporate Development and Head of Investor Relations. Prior to joining AXIS, Ms. Ventresca was an investment associate at MMC Capital, Inc., where she worked extensively with AXIS as a portfolio company of the Trident II fund. Previously, she had been a member of the Financial Institutions Investment Banking Groups at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette and UBS Securities, LLC. Ms. Ventresca holds an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School and a B.S.E. in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania.
Dynamic leader with notable 20+ year track record leveraging innovation, strategy, resources, and systemic transformations to meet business demands and deliver world-class solutions. Manage organizational change, including scaling operations, monitoring milestones, and retaining talent. Leave nothing to chance by clarifying business ambiguity, inspiring new staff behaviors, and mobilizing productive culture. Curious, high-performing lifelong learner.
Milena received her B.S. in Business Administration from Stony Brook University, an MS in Management Systems, Strategy and leadership from NYU and is a graduate of the Harvard Business Analytics Program.
Priya is a client-centric, versatile executive with deep experience and proven transformation skills in growing business and orchestrating organizational change at world’s leading engineering and construction brands. She has led a dynamic management career with strong leadership, problem solving, change management, and execution expertise demonstrated in local, regional and global roles in strategy, business development, operations and delivery.
I work for a large construction company trying to transform the stagnant and fragmented construction industry using technology. We are adding various lines of service to reduce fragmentation/friction in order to more effectively embed innovation.
Mr. Sergio Castanho is the Chief Transformation Officer of Aura Minerals. He joined the company as VP of People and Management Processes. Mr. Castanho is a Mechanical Engineer from Unicamp in Brazil, with an MBA from Insead in France. He is a former managing director of Anglo America’s Phosphates and Niobium businesses focusing on their transformation and value creation agenda. Mr. Castanho has worked for the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company in a number of countries leading operations and process improvement. Mr. Castanho has also worked for operations divisions of Procter & Gamble in Canada, USA and Brazil. For the last four years, Sergio has led his own consulting firm that focuses on improving processes and growing companies across industries, including a railway, a copper mine in Chile and a large agribusiness powerhouse in Latin America. Mr. Castanho is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese.
Prasad Padman has twenty plus years of experience in energy, industrial, aerospace, defense, and medical end markets. He is experienced in leading strategic planning, business development, and business transformation for large global corporations.
He has been exposed to diverse work cultures, having lived and worked in several countries, including India, China, Singapore, and the USA.
He currently acts as the chief advisor to the CEO in making critical business choices, including Organization Design, Business Portfolio, M&A, and Resource Allocation decisions. He also works closely with the executive management and the board of directors in communicating and driving key strategic change initiatives:
- Digital Transformation
- Growth beyond the core (Innovation, Lean Startup and New Ventures)
- Profit from the core (simplify matured complex businesses to drive market share growth and improved profitability).
Rich Haas is the Global Leader for Business Model Innovation at Kyndryl. In this capacity, he leads a team focused on developing and launching innovative business models that drive value for customers, partners, and Kyndryl through new value propositions and operating modes – working across the Kyndryl organization and ecosystem.
Prior to this role, Rich served as Vice President of Strategy and Transformation for Global Technology Services (GTS) at IBM. He supported the creation and evolution of GTS’ strategic direction and business model – shaped by market and competitive dynamics, impacts of new technologies, and business capabilities. His activities covered both Infrastructure Services and Technology Support Services.
Rich joined IBM in 2003 in Global Business Services. He started as a consultant to Financial Services clients, helping them with their business and product strategies, as part of the Strategy & Change practice. He eventually moved to a role as a Strategy advisor for the North America Financial Services Sector, where he helped formulate both near- and long-term strategic actions to address emerging areas of competition, support execution of operational initiatives, and align unit strategy to overall IBM strategy.
Rob is currently Chief Operating Officer at CDS Global, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hearst (a global diversified media, information, and services company with more than 360 businesses). As COO, Rob oversees long term strategy and day-to-day operations of a 1,000-person fulfillment organization spanning 8 sites across 6 diverse business units – Lettershop, Lockbox, Contact Center, Distribution Center, Procurement, and Data Studio. Prior to joining CDS Global, Rob led global revenue operations and strategy at Fareportal, a $5B e-commerce travel company. Additionally, as a management consultant, Rob spent time at Bain working on some of the most complex strategic, financial, and operational challenges facing Fortune 500 companies across a variety of industries.
Roopa is SVP of Strategy and Corporate Development for IDEX. She is responsible for leading enterprise strategy and the corporate development (M&A) function. In this role, she helps to build strategy and business development capabilities for IDEX. Roopa has more than 20 years of corporate strategy experience across a variety of industries, through a mix of consulting roles and corporate leadership positions. Most recently, she served as Chief Strategy Officer for Vontier, a global industrial manufacturing company focused on smarter transportation and mobility. Previous strategy positions have included roles with Harman International, Citi, BlackRock, and Katzenbach Partners – which was formed by past members of McKinsey & Co. consulting. At Pfizer she also stepped outside her traditional strategy and innovation roles to lead the Talent and Organization capability for the pharmaceutical division. She often serves as a professional coach and is the author of the book, “The Career Catapult.”
Tess Caputo joined Zoetis in 2020 and is currently VP US Strategy, Digital and Analytics. In this role, Tess oversees several strategic insights functions, including strategic pricing, business analytics, market research, digital products, and strategy. Tess was previously the Head of Corporate Strategy at Zoetis. Prior to Zoetis, Tess spent seven years at the Boston Consulting Group. As a core member of BCG’s team serving biopharma and biotech clients, Tess gained experience in corporate strategy, transaction, brand strategy and transformation topics. Prior to BCG, Tess worked for Capgemini Consulting. Tess has an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business and a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Duke University.
Ying has over 15 years of experience in financial analysis and commercial analytics and oversees the strategy development and execution activities for the company. Ying also leads our analytics, resource planning, and corporate marketing functions. Previously Ying was Vice President of Operational Finance and responsible for strategic pricing and planning. Prior to Unifi, Ying held several leadership positions at WestRock, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, supply chain optimization and commercial analytics. Ying started her career at Price Waterhouse Coopers in audit and spent the next 7 years in investment banking with SunTrust Robinson Humphrey (now Truist) and a boutique M&A shop (now Citizens M&A Advisory).
Ying was elected winner of Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2021 and earned a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance from Goizueta Business School at Emory University.
The Outthinker Strategy Network (OSN) is an invitation-only network of Chief Strategy Officers and executives leading strategy for large companies.
OSN members get exclusive access to a global peer group of strategy executives and world-class thought-leaders. Members engage in curated learning, practical conversations, and 1:1 networking with connections hand-selected by the Outthinker team based on their needs.
The individuals representing their organizations have described the Outthinker Strategy Network as invaluable for bringing new ideas and transformative thinking into their organizations – enhancing the efficacy and success of their strategy teams and furthering the trajectory of their individual careers.
The ultimate purpose of the Outthinker Strategy Network is to help strategy executive members in solving their top challenges.
There are two sub-groups of the Outthinker Strategy Network.
- The OSN Large Enterprise group – comprised of strategists from $1B+ revenue businesses
- The OSN Growth Mid-Market group – comprised of strategists from $100-$900M revenue businesses
Both of these groups are comprised of Chief Strategy Officers and executives leading strategy for their respective organizations. The Large Enterprise group and Growth Mid-Market group have a mix of programming and networking opportunities that are both exclusive and non-exclusive to their respective sub-groups.