Customer Advisory Board

Margot Brent
The Kitchen Lead, Innovation & Experimentation

Margot leads The Kitchen, the Fung Academy's crowdsourcing platform. As
part of the innovation and experimentation team, she is focused on creating a
culture of innovation and cultivating creativity across the Fung Group. For
Margot, empathy, diversity, collaboration and failure are the cornerstones of
an innovation culture.

Margot drives crowdsourcing and prototyping initiatives across the group,
whose core businesses are engaged in Trading, Logistics, Distribution and
Retailing. Her passion to solve social challenges aligns with the Groups focus
on finding innovative and sustainable ways to generate business value, define
the future of retailing and create the supply chain of the future.

She holds a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics and a BPhil in
Sustainable Development. Margot is also an advocate for diversity and
women’s leadership and is actively involved in The Women’s Foundation in
Hong Kong.

Barbara Distasio
Assistant Vice President of Innovation Program, MetLife

Barbara Distasio has more than 20+ years of experience as a senior business development executive. She launched the first innovation program at MetLife in 2011 recognizing the need for the insurance industry to move ahead of digital and competitive threats. A quick study with an affinity for complex issues, change, and innovation in dynamic work environments, Barbara can act as a knowledge broker to ensure that the most innovative concepts and practices are shared and adopted by independent operating groups. She holds a B.A. in Journalism and Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. MetLife is one of the largest life insurance companies in the world serving approximately 100 million customers globally. MetLife was #1 within the Life and Health Insurance category on Fortune Magazine’s “World’s Most Admired Companies” survey list.

Renee Pearson
Director of IT Global Innovation, Kimberly-Clark

Renee Pearson is currently the Director of IT Global Innovation at Kimberly-Clark Corporation. Kimberly-Clark is a global CPG Company focused on leading the world in essentials for a better life, recognized by its strong brands such as Huggies, Kleenex, Kotex, and many more. Renee focuses on the convergence of business strategy and information technology to drive top or bottom line growth for Kimberly-Clark’s businesses through ideation and the delivery of rapid proofs-of-concept. Her passion, leadership, and commitment to innovation has delivered business impact through solutions ranging from the Internet of Things, Augmented Reality, and crowdsourcing capabilities, of which some have won internal and external awards. Renee holds a Bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Nearly a quarter of the world’s population trust Kimberly-Clark brands and the solutions they provide to enhance their health, hygiene and well-being. With brands such as Kleenex, Scott, Huggies, Pull-Ups, Kotex and Depend, Kimberly-Clark is an indispensable part of life for people in more than 175 countries.

Brent Foster
Director of Software Engineering, Capital One

Brent is passionate about making something happen that was never possible before, making something new, or simply just making the world a better place. This is why he became an engineer. While he was at American Express, he organized an innovation pathway to enable ideas (incremental <-> almost disruptive) to come from anywhere, get prototyped, get piloted, and find a rightful home in the traditional organization through crowdsourcing and hackathons. At Capital One, he’s excited to focus on challenges around how to help propel associates forward through education and personalized learning experiences to enable a cadre of aggressive innovations and paradigm shifts across the enterprise.

Jason Tilghman
Director of Innovation Programs, Fidelity Investments

Jason Tilghman is Director of Innovation Programs at Fidelity Investments, a role he has held since 2015. He is responsible for engaging with associates at all levels to unlock insights that create business value. He conducts this work at scale, working with every business group at Fidelity, reaching over 26,000 associates each year. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and 3-year-old son.

Michelle Mahoney
Executive Director of Innovation, King & Wood Mallesons

Michelle is a serial intrapreneur. Michelle has a strong global network and has a track record for maximising technology, transforming business and innovating. She has been able to successfully execute ideas into business impact. Michelle lives by the mantra ‘anything is possible” which is combined with her down to earth approach ensuring her clients are at ease, also empowering her colleagues and mentees. Michelle is a member of the firm’s Executive Leadership team and is the Executive Director of Innovation. She is responsible for the design and delivery of the innovation strategy for King & Wood Mallesons. Her career has included many first to market initiatives and she has received global professional recognition. Michelle is a technologist, Prince 2 project manager, Prosci change manager, d.school design thinker and a lean six sigma black belt. King & Wood Mallesons is the first and only global law firm headquartered in Asia. KWM is consistently named as one of Asia’s Most Innovative Law Firms in the Financial Times Asia Most Innovative Lawyers Index and as Australia’s Best Law Firm in the Australian Financial Review Client Choice Awards.

Kat Dransfield
Open Innovation and Marketing

Kat Dransfield currently leads open innovation and marketing efforts at Applied Materials. Kat specializes in how digital systems are created, managed, and used by corporations, governments, and individuals to create competitive advantage. Her work looks at methods of quantifying non-rivalrous digital assets, and the organizational structures and communication methodologies needed to succeed in the information economy. Previously, Kat authored the Department of the Navy's information strategy with a focus on networked organizations and data-centered design. She holds an MS in Social Science of the Internet from Oxford University, and a BS in English from the United States Naval Academy.