team work

Our Team

Mary Drotar

Partner and Co-founder

Mary’s new product development expertise is in process, strategy, business model development, lean techniques, risk management, organizational development, and team dynamics. Mary has most recently worked with medical device and industrial companies in improving their new product development process with flexible and agile methods.

Mary began her career at Ford Motor Company and she progressed through various positions in marketing and development. Mary then joined AT&T Bell Laboratories, concentrating in the areas of strategy, voice of the customer and scenario planning. Mary transitioned to consulting and was Director of Consulting at Cambridge Management Consulting and subsequently appointed to the position of Vice President at Targetbase Marketing, a firm specializing in marketing analytics.

Mary is a Faculty Coach for the New Product Development Lab course at the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business. Mary is a patent holder and a member of the Society of Women Engineers. Mary has an MBA from The University of Chicago.

She recently graduated from the Lean Launch Pad Educators Seminar through the National Collegiate Inventors & Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) at the University of California, Berkeley. She is currently co-authoring a book with her business partner, on a new way to develop products called Exploratory Product Development (ExPD). It is an adaptive process that is based on reducing the biggest project uncertainties.

Therese Graff


Therese Graff is a product development professional with extensive experience in medical devices, IVD and single use devices.  Her expertise includes streamlining the product development process and integration with quality/ design control systems.

Therese began her career at Abbott Laboratories and progressed through various positions including a transition from assay development to complex instrument project management, including hardware and software.  Her work in the Project Management Organization (PMO) included project consulting with design teams across the division.

After joining Hollister, Therese managed the post-launch product support group, followed by managing the Stage-Gate process and integration with the project and portfolio management tool.

Most recently, Therese worked with a Fortune 150 medical device firm to streamline their design controls process and documentation.  At a mid-size company she implemented PLAYBOOK, a web based project management tool built around lean and agile techniques.

Therese earned a BS from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, with concentrations in Chemistry and Biochemistry, and an MBA from The University of Chicago.

Therese is certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP) by the Project Management Institute (PMI) and as a New Product Development Professional (NPDP) from the Product Development Management Association (PDMA).

Kathy Morrissey

Partner and Co-founder

Kathy has over 30 years of experience with Fortune 100 companies specializing in market and customer research, strategy, business processes and models. Kathy’s new product development expertise is in developing innovation, product, technology, and market strategies, as well as product and technology roadmaps. In addition, she also has considerable experience in portfolio management and flexible and lean process techniques.

Kathy has led research projects to develop customer segmentation systems, quantify customer value and understand customer choices and preferences. She has also led large teams in developing coordinated planning initiatives for business and product strategy.

She has an MS in Statistics from Carnegie-Mellon University and has completed the doctoral core courses. She also has an MBA from The University of Chicago. She is an active and long-standing board member of the Chicago Chapter of the American Statistical Association and currently Vice-Chair of the national ASA Council of Chapters.

Kathy is a Faculty Coach for the New Product Development Lab course at the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business. She recently graduated from the Lean Launch Pad Educators Seminar through the National Collegiate Inventors & Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) at the University of California, Berkeley. Kathy is currently co-authoring a book with her business partner, on a new way to develop products called Exploratory Product Development (ExPD). It is an adaptive process that is based on reducing the biggest project uncertainties.

John S. Farnbach, Ph.D.


John works with engineers and their managers to improve their firm’s competitive capabilities in today’s dynamic business environment. Yesterday’s companies competed on operational efficiency, but success today requires agility to seize new opportunities and adapt to fast-changing customer requirements. New management methods such as Exploratory Product Development (ExPD) and Flexible Product Development provide better returns on new product investment with faster innovation and less waste.

John also provides economics training for product developers to enable them to participate in business discussions and make decisions to optimize financial results.

John is a seasoned practitioner who brings 35 years’ experience from a spectrum of industries to resolve clients’ R&D roadblocks. He has worked in and consulted with companies in industries such as semiconductors, disc drives, telecom software, electronic instrumentation, and contract engineering. He earned his BSEE and Ph.D. degrees at Princeton University, and his MSEE at the University of New Mexico.


Dave Hanson


During the last eight years Dave led Engineering Development and Innovation programs for Texas Instruments and National Semiconductor. Recently his group developed the technical curriculum for TI’s new college graduate Make An Impact program reducing course costs by 50% while achieving best in class student assessed quality scores. He won awards for creation and program management of company-wide technology conferences and an experienced analog design engineer curriculum. He led Innovation programs including Geoffrey Moore’s Crossing the Chasm, SRI’s Five Disciplines of Innovation, Gary Hamel’s Management and Business Model Innovation, Institute for the Futures 10 Year Forecast and Santa Fe Institutes Business Network. He also helped develop a corporate-wide engineering competency assessment, an engineering skills database and a tournament based innovation/idea process and system.

Before that Dave spent more than 25 years in semiconductor process and product technology development and production yield ramps of high-performance SRAMs, microprocessors and analog products. At PDF Solutions, a yield enhancement consulting company he was Operations Manager and Engagement Director for Client Services. He hired and managed a staff of 70 yield enhancement engineers conducting yield ramps across the world while improving productivity by 30%. At National Semiconductor he was Central Technology Group Director for technology integration and product development improvement. He helped implement TQM and Leading Change a corporate-wide visioning and strategy program resulting in a major financial turn-around. He led cycle time improvement reducing Analog Intensive Embedded Control TTM by 35%. He also led program management of foundation technology development including design kits, process and package technologies for the 0.18um technology node while reducing technology package cycle time by 50%. Prior to that he was on assignment to Sematech, an industry-wide semiconductor manufacturing consortium as Sr Manager Design for Manufacturing. He and his group developed an industry standard approach to tolerance based design rule calculation.

Dave earned a BS in Chemistry, with minors in math and physics from Chico State University. He is a certified Consultant/Trainer in Time to Market/Cycle Time Improvement, Theory of Constraints from Goldratt Institute, Fast TTM Project Management, Zenger-Miller Team Skills, Facilitation, Problem Solving, Process Management/Mapping/Metrics, Goal Alignment and Benchmarking. He has published over 15 conference & journal articles with one patent applied. Dave was awarded Best Paper 1996 IEEE Transactions in Semiconductor Manufacturing for a work on Statistical Modeling using Technology Computer Aided Design and was a Key Technologist at Fairchild Semiconductor.

Bill Jewett


Bill is an adviser to industrial companies engaged in the development of improved technical concepts, new multi-disciplined products, and related business processes. With insights into important paradigms and advancements in practices, he assists project teams to upgrade their engineering and management processes, strategies for project and risk management, cross-functional teamwork, and governance of projects across development portfolios. For over two decades he has taught these processes and coached teams in their flexible adaptation and disciplined implementation. His emphasis has been on increasing the value delivered to customers and the value returned to the company.

For many years Bill worked for Eastman Kodak Company and Heidelberg Druckmaschinen with much of his focus on the development of high-volume electrophotographic copiers and printers. Among his division-level responsibilities were the management of product development projects and of competency centers for mechanical and systems engineering. At the corporate level he was one of the authors of the processes for advanced product planning, technology development, product commercialization, and their related governance. As the process steward, he evolved the process models to incorporate lessons learned from internal practice, fundamental philosophies such as systems engineering, external benchmarking, and industry advancements.

Bill holds a BSME from Swarthmore College and an MBA from the University of Rochester. He co-authored a book on the development of robustness and reliability in new products and business processes. It was published by Prentice Hall in 2010.

Geraldine Teotico


Geraldine is results-driven leader with a strong track record of successfully planning and executing strategic business and technology initiatives for small and large organizations. Geraldine has over 10 years of combined technology and management consulting experience and has worked across various industries managing cross-functional teams to solve complex problems using improved processes and technology.

Prior to attending the Booth School of Business, Geraldine managed and developed systems integration solutions. Shortly after graduating, Geraldine joined Diamond Management and Technology Consultants (now PwC) where she helped clients with current and future state assessments, and managed the implementation of strategic recommendations. Her consulting experience has allowed her to work within the financial services, insurance, transportation, and pharmaceutical industries. Most recently, Geraldine has worked as an entrepreneur. She is founder of a visual storytelling company Life Made Still, a former co-founder of a tech start-up, and the technical and creative arm of Propel Parts’ e-commerce site (PropelParts.US). These entrepreneurial experiences have provided first-hand insight in bringing new products to market using lean (Agile) development methodologies.

Geraldine has an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business with concentrations in Strategy, Marketing and Entrepreneurship. She holds a BS in Bioengineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she graduated with High Distinction for her senior thesis related to bioacoustics research.

Featured Speakers:

Dan Brown

Dan embarked on a career in the chemical and plastics industry where he applied his science education, and natural ability in engineering to a fast track business career. While serving in roles of increasing responsibility in the rapidly globalizing marketplace of the 1980’s, Dan quickly discovered the necessity of creating competitive product advantages to sustain a business model. These early marketplace experiences inspired Dan to identify and create many new technologies for his employers and later his consulting customers leading to the creation and commercialization of over 30 patents in basic research, B2B, and B2C markets.

As a consultant, teaching and executing this strategy though his clients organizations, Dan has worked with large and small companies to create and commercialize many differentiated products and processes for their customers, often creatively redefining these spaces, while at the same time receiving intellectual property protection to secure the commercialization investment for these projects. Beyond product development and commercialization, Dan is an organizational specialist in the design process, lean supply chain implementation and the integration of differentiated distribution channel strategies.

As an advocate of leveraging design leadership to create and support sustainable markets, Dan has participated in numerous interviews, conferences and educational activities. One of Dan’s life goals has been to teach. Dan attended St. Xavier University, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology, with a minor in Chemistry. He earned a Master’s Degree in Product Development (MPD) from Northwestern University where he is currently an Associate Professor at Northwestern teaching in both the Graduate and Undergraduate programs in the McCormick School of Engineering.