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 15 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 strategy for Data Domain protection storage appliances. He also develops and executes pricing and licensing plans, and assists sales in closing opportunities through product and roadmap presentations.

Amit holds a M.S. and Ph.D. in computer science (data analytics and visualization) from North Carolina State University; and is Pragmatic Marketing certified. Currently he is pursuing an M.B.A. from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

His interests include product management, product marketing, strategy, 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.


Andy Roth
Andy RothImmediate Past President, Member-at-Large
Andy Roth is a senior technology manager with an emphasis on software development, process improvement, business analysis, IT, Software Licensing, and quality systems. His career of over 20 years started as a US Naval Officer and has included Fujitsu, GTE Government Systems, SRI International, and Tekelec. Career highlights include leading the design and introduction of the first tactically employed Low Frequency Active SONAR, a battlefield communication system that enabled the US Army’s logistics command to work efficiently in the desert theatre, development of middleware enabling commercial systems to work with high reliability, and a number of enterprise projects. He is a volunteer mentor with CED’s Venture Mentoring Service. Andy has degrees in Computer Science from Cornell University and Old Dominion University. Andy and his wife have a hobby farm in semi-rural Johnston County home to bees, chickens, and goats as well as many gardens. In his off hours, Andy teaches yoga.
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.