Ceferino “Cef” Gonzalez
Ceferino “Cef” GonzalezPresident
Ceferino (Cef) Gonzalez is Carlyle Conlan Practice Leader | Senior Business Director; President & CEO of BCD Partners™, a management, marketing and sales, product development, and business process improvement consultancy; and Co-Founder and Director of North Carolina Executive Roundtable (NCER). Cef has hands-on but broad technical, business, marketing, and sales experience and successes in running businesses, building infrastructure for organizations, leading product development and innovation, developing and executing marketing and sales plans, identifying new business opportunities, and managing key relationships. In addition, he has expertise in lean enterprise, business process improvements practice, and change management. Cef has a MBA from Drexel University – Lebow College of Business and a BS in Chemical Engineering from Polytechnic Institute Of New York University, certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt from DuPont and North Carolina State University, and certified Innovation Games® Trained Facilitator.
Amit Sawant
Amit SawantTreasurer
Amit Sawant is a proven agile Management leader with over 16 years of experience in data storage, data analytics, and computer networking. His core strengths lie in translating concepts into reality through exceptional thought leadership, collaboration and negotiation skills.
Amit is currently a Product Management leader with Dell EMC where he drives platform product and business strategy for Data Domain. He is responsible for Demand Planning and setting the Annual Operating Plan. He also develops and executes pricing and licensing plans, and assists Sales in closing opportunities through product and roadmap discussions.

Amit holds an M.B.A. from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; a Ph.D. and M.S. in computer science (specialization in data analytics and visualization) from North Carolina State University; and a B.S. in computer science from Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute.

His interests include corporate strategy, product management, consulting, business analytics, and data visualization. For more information – http://apsawant.droppages.com/

Amit enjoys spending time with his family, and his hobbies include photography, playing golf, and tennis.

Sidd Chopra
Sidd ChopraSessions 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.
Frank Pollock
Frank PollockMember-at-Large
Frank Pollock has an extensive background in the consumer packaged goods industry where he worked for Frito-Lay, General Mills and Colgate-Palmolive. After leaving Colgate-Palmolive he started a consultancy, The Pioneer Group, which provided brand strategy, marketing research and consumer promotions expertise for medium sized companies. In 2008 he was appointed Director of the MBA program at NCCU. After leaving academia he returned to consulting and he has co-founded 2 technology start-ups, 3ia  and iKlaro. In his spare time he is an avid college basketball fan and fitness enthusiast. Frank has an MBA from the McCombs School of Business at UT-Austin and a BS from UNC-Chapel Hill.
Scott Burleson
Scott BurlesonPDMA Liason, Session Assistant, Sponsor Assistant
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.

Aaron Sabino
Aaron SabinoBoard-at-Large
Aaron Sabino is a certified product manager, mechanical engineer, and marketing professional with over 10 years of experience in building smart solutions for manufacturers of advanced technology. He has been an impassioned advocate for product management since first discovering ProductCamp through its Washington DC chapter in 2010.

Aaron’s career includes extensive experience with advanced manufacturing systems across many disciplines including aerospace, shipbuilding, automotive, military vehicles, commercial construction, agriculture, and automated machining. In addition, he has spent time marketing specialty environmental control systems for data centers and other mission critical applications. Most notably, for 10 years, Aaron worked in the Metrology industry helping to develop laser interferometer products for machine tool calibration, robot control, critical alignment, and final inspection.

Currently, Aaron is leading the Off-Highway Mobile Sensors product team at MTS Systems in Cary, NC which provides advanced linear position sensors which are typically embedded in hydraulic cylinders. Aaron has been attending and volunteering at ProductCamp RTP events since 2016.

His interests include product marketing, product strategy, music, photography, and classic cinema.

Greg Needham
Greg NeedhamMember-at-Large
Greg is a senior executive and entrepreneur with extensive and broad commercial experience leading and managing full-scale global marketing, business development, product management and business operations for Fortune 1000, SMB, startup and private-equity portfolio companies. He has had global accountability in multiple industries including industrial durable and non-durable goods, large ticket consumer products, technology, and business and financial services.
His expertise is in identifying, creating and launching new ventures, products and services which has led to the introduction of several first-to-market industrial and commercial product platforms globally. He’s also managed over 50 market leading brands during his career.
Greg is an Executive-in Residence at North Carolina State University, Poole School of Management’s Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization (TEC) graduate program.
Greg earned an M.S. in Technology Commercialization from the University of Texas at Austin, an M.B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh, and a B.S. in Business Administration from North Carolina Wesleyan College. Greg has also completed coursework in data analytics and machine learning.
Greg is an outdoor enthusiast and enjoys spending time on the coast and traveling with his family.