Founder and CEO, Branch Technology
Platt is an experienced and award-winning architect with a track record of success and innovation. His frustration with the design and economic constraints imposed by traditional building techniques, fascination with the natural world and interest in both 3D printing and robotics led him to found Branch Technology and challenge the status quo.
CEO, Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation
Bryan G. Dods is CEO of the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, managed by Collaborative Composite Solutions Corporation (Knoxville, Tennessee). Former Chief Engineer of Manufacturing for GE Power, Dods has 30 years of manufacturing experience in various quality assurance, production management, and technology development roles in the aerospace and power generation industries. As former Executive-Manufacturing Engineering and Technology at GE Energy (Greenville, S.C.), he initiated modelbased enterprise and smart manufacturing implementations and established GE Power’s Advanced Manufacturing Works technology facility. Dods guided GE’s Wind Turbine Advanced Manufacturing Engineering team during the launch a 48.7 meter wind turbine blade, notably the first use of carbon fiber in GE products and lauded as one of GE’s best-selling wind turbine. Prior to GE, Dods worked with Boeing as Sr. Manager of Assembly Technologies where he led composite automated assembly efforts for aircraft such as the 787 and F/A-18.
Dods has been active in re-establishing manufacturing as a competitive advantage through participation with industry consortiums, government agencies, research institutes and universities. His previous experience includes Strategic Advisory Board member for the McNair Center at the University of South Carolina, the leader in composite automation and thermoplastics for aerospace, chairman of Clemson University’s Mechanical Engineering External Advisory Board, and has years of experience working with several Manufacturing USA institutes, such as America Makes and Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII). Dods also worked with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership on the inceptions of Manufacturing USA. Dods has been active in workforce development as a founding member of the South Carolina Upstate STEM Collaborative, a former Board of Director for Greenville Technical College, and a collaborator and representative on Clemson University’s Center for Workforce Development.
He holds a bachelor's degree in metallurgy, mechanics and materials science from Michigan State University, a master's degree in materials engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis and, most recently, a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Indiana University - East. He is the recipient of the 2013 M. Eugene Merchant Manufacturing Medal of ASME/SME for influence and responsibility improving the productivity and efficiency of manufacturing operations.
General Manager - Materials and Process Development Center of Excellence at Local Motors, Inc.
Gregory Haye, Local Motors Knoxville General Manager and Materials and Process Development Project Manager
Greg is charged with overseeing the Local Motors Knoxville microfactory and acts as a materials and process development expert for the company. Before his employment with Local Motors, he worked as an entrepreneur and market innovator in the field of motorsports composites. Greg has experience as a marketing director for an arms manufacturer, and project manager/designer for one of Chicago’s top design houses. In these roles, Greg successfully launched new brands, product lines, e-commerce platforms, and distribution programs in highly competitive markets.
Greg currently serves on the Institute for Advanced Composite Manufacturing Innovation’s Technical Advisory Board and is also engaged in collaborative design programs at the University of Tennessee and Southern Illinois University. With the support of the whole Local Motors team, he has now taken on the challenge of changing the way vehicle manufacturing is done. Greg has his bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University in Industrial Design.
Chairman and CEO, Techmer PM
John Manuck is the chairman and CEO of Techmer PM, LLC. He founded the company in Los Angeles, California, in 1981, and it is still a family business with seven manufacturing sites across the United States. His career in the plastics industry spans more than 45 years, 39 of those in color and additive masterbatch. Prior to founding Techmer PM, John held sales and manufacturing positions with Monsanto and Ampacet. In 1987 he established partnerships with Mitsui Plastics and Tokyo Printing Ink Corp. that remain active today.
John is also chairman of Techmer Engineered Solutions (TES), a subsidiary of Techmer PM, LLC, that designs and produces specialty engineering plastic compounds. John is active in college athletics, especially UCLA football and basketball, and sponsors scholarships in engineering and athletics. John and his wife Mary have residences in both California and Tennessee and have two children and four grandchildren.
John has a BS in Chemical Engineering from The Cooper Union School of Engineering & Science and an MS in Management Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Managing Director, Group Sixty & Marketing Lead, Techmer PM
Darren Reinke, Managing Director of Group Sixty, is a seasoned consultant and executive coach with over 18 years of experience in marketing and strategy consulting, executive coaching, business development, corporate strategy, and project management. His specific expertise is in driving growth for clients by zeroing in on the highest return opportunities, collaborating with clients to build plans to execute on key business objectives, and driving business outcomes through coaching and project management.
Darren began his consulting career in 1997 at Accenture in San Francisco, CA. At Accenture, he engaged clients to define, develop, and implement business strategies, processes, and information systems. After his time at Accenture, Darren received his MBA from UC Berkeley focused on marketing. Since he received his MBA, Darren has worked in consulting as well as successfully launched start-ups focused on the outdoor sports vertical.
In addition to his role at Group Sixty, Darren is the Marketing Lead for Techmer PM. In this role, Darren leads all of Techmer PM's marketing efforts including the development of the marketing strategy and execution of key marketing initiatives.
Darren has a BS in Biological Sciences from UC Davis and a MBA from UC Berkeley. He resides in San Diego with his wife and two sons.
Founder at Chief Creative Office
Marc Shillum FRSA, MARCA has helped conceive, design and launch some of the world’s most successful products and brands such as HBOGO, Nike Fuel, B&N nook, Discovery Digital Networks, RH, Nokia viNe and The Aston Martin Rapide. He also advises and invests in category-redefining startups like SoftKinetic, Onlive and Canary.
Marc has held leadership positions in world-class tech-led innovation, design, publishing and marketing organizations. He was CXO of Matternet which received the World Economic Forum's Technology Pioneer Award in 2015. He was Head of Global Brand at Experience Design Company Method which was acquired by Apax Partners. He founded R/GA's ground breaking Brand Development Group. And he has been a Creative Director at some of the most revered agencies in the world including Wieden+Kennedy and BBH and was mentored by some of the World's greatest designers at Studio Dumbar with Gert Dumbar and M&Co with Tibor Kalman.
Marc has received many awards as a designer, writer, creative director, and strategist. His experience has given him unique insight into how to build strong, empathetic, cross functional teams that thrive on solving complex and fluid problems
Executive Assistant to the President & Market Engagement and Communication Lead, Techmer PM
Tori Watson holds a dual role at Techmer PM, Executive Assistant to the President, Ryan Howley, and Market Engagement and Communication Lead with Techmer PM’s commercial team. Prior to joining Techmer PM, Tori served as the Customer and Community Engagement Manager for Clayton Bank and Trust and The Clayton Foundations.
While earning her Communications degree from the University of Tennessee, Tori was a Division I collegiate soccer player, and after graduation, went on to travel the world playing professional soccer with the MH Mustangs in Denver, CO. Outside the office, you can still find Tori near a soccer field as a Color Analyst for the SEC Women’s Soccer Broadcast Network.
Chief Executive Officer, Bridge Innovate
Bridge Innovate's® CEO, Jenny Whitener has more than 25 years of experience working with top business leaders around the world. She thrives on turning the greatest challenges into successful ventures. An expert facilitator and architect of large-scale design sessions, she enables executives to build leadership, innovate business, and mobilze change. She is certified in IDEO's Design Thinker methodology and Covey's Leadership Foundations. As a Master coach she holds certifications in a number of psychometric instruments such as DISC, Change Navigator, and TalentSmart 360.
Jenny’s clients include leading organizations, such as: Allen & Overy, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cargill, Elopak, Ernst & Young, GE Energy, HMS, McKesson, NCR, Premier Inc, Royal Mail, Serco, Shell Exploration, and Unum.
Prior to her work with Bridge Innovate, Jenny served as Americas Director, Knowledge, Learning and Methods Development and Innovation for Cap Gemini/Ernst & Young where she was responsible for new service innovation with a $30 million budget and a portfolio of more than 100 innovation development projects.
Her commitment to social responsibility comes to life in many ways. She is the founder of Bright Spark, which is dedicated to igniting creative confidenced with students and educators. She serves as the President of the Board of Trustees for the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce (RSA) in the US. and is a member of Rotary Club International and the American Society for Training & Development. She is engaged with regional non-profits such as the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga, Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute, Partnership for Families and Children, and Chattanooga Christian School.
As a strategic partner for executive education for the University of Tennessee Chattanooga College of Business, Georgia Tech University, the University of Georgia Terry College of Business, and the Judge Business School of Cambridge University, Jenny also teams with leading academics to create best in class executive leadership programs.
Jenny is a graduate of the University of Georgia and has completed advanced studies in design thinking and strategic facilitation under DesignShop founder Matt Taylor and leadership development under the direction of Harvard University’s John P. Kotter.
After years of living and working in Europe and all over the United States, Jenny now calls Lookout Mountain, Georgia home. She and her husband Charlie enjoy spending free time with their son, Chase, and daughter, Katie.