Sameer is a Senior Manager of External Innovation within the Technology Ventures team at PepsiCo R&D. In this role, he manages PepsiCo’s open innovation platform and strategic partnerships to source external technologies that can impact the company’s wide portfolio of food and beverage products. These technologies can range from packaging materials, ingredients and processing to digital technologies and business model innovations.
Prior to his current role, Sameer held various roles within Packaging R&D at PepsiCo and before that at the Wm. WRIGLEY Jr. Company, successfully leading packaging development for commercial launches of new beverage, food and confectionary products as well as longer term development on new packaging materials and technologies. Sameer began his career in the materials industry working on polymer films and coatings as well as glass and fiberglass for GE Plastics and PPG Industries. He has a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Houston and B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Jay Wittman is Intelligent Label Sales Operations Manager at Avery Dennison Label and Packaging Materials.
Genius Ventures Inc
Navjeet Chhina is the CEO of Genius Ventures Inc, an augmented, virtual and mixed reality firm based in North America. He is responsible for monitoring all facets of the organization including Operations Oversight, Strategic Planning, International expansion and building the senior executive team. He has 12 years of executive and project management experience across various industries; using his predictive approach to bring innovation into the customer consciousness. He uses comprehensive analysis of competitive trends to drive growth with quantifiable metrics to illustrate the benefits of taking on new avenues for brands. From digital marketing to research & analytics to leveraging strategic relationships, Navjeet perpetually pursues avenues for coupling products with consumers, propogating loyal customers and cultivating long-term brand relationships.
Navjeet is currently focusing on expanding operations internationally, showcasing how augmented reality and forward thinking innovative technologies can provide solutions for organizations of all sizes.
Hannah Fallaw is the Innovation Manager for WestRock’s merchandising display division. Over the past five years, she has integrated and developed new packaging and display solutions into various retail environments across the nation. Hannah is a graduate of Clemson University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Graphic Communications. She took a lead role in developing WestRock’s connected packaging and retail solutions platform. Heavily focused on printed electronic solutions, she successfully developed specialized products utilizing conductive inks to create interactive packaging that connected products to customer’s digital devices, in real time, for an enhanced consumer experience. Hannah earned her certification as a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt through process improvement projects within WestRock’s Innovation pipeline.
Global Business Development Directorat
Phil Stafford, Global Business Development Director, has over 25 years of packaging, agency and manufacturing experience, including global branding, smart packaging, print technologies and mobile payments.
Prior to his current role, he worked as a manager of Brand and Market Insights WestRock Packaging Solutions and as Director of Global Accounts Brand & Retail Package Solutions at MeadWestvaco (now WestRock).
Pepin Gelardi works at the intersection of purpose and possibility, exploring the role of entrepreneurship and technology in solving future-facing problems. As a Partner at Tomorrow Lab®, Pepin leads the Industrial Design and Mechanical Engineering teams to invent and develop new, impactful hardware products.
After hours, Pepin teaches workshops in design, aspires to become a Pasta Scientist, and creates site-specific art with his wife Teresa.