Our Team

NineSigma's unique corporate culture integrates professionals from a variety of fields, including business leaders, innovation consultants and PhD-level scientists. Learn more about our executive management team, and customer advisory board below.

NINESIGMA HOLDINGS,  INC eXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT TEAM

  • Akihiko SuwaPresident and CEO, NineSigma Holdings and NineSigma Japa

    Akihiko Suwa helped launch NineSigma Japan, a subsidiary of NineSigma, Inc., in 2006. Prior to joining NineSigma, Suwa was a Senior Consultant with the Research and Consulting Division of The Japan Research Institute, Ltd. There he developed an alliance with NineSigma and the Battelle Memorial Institute. He conducted numerous NineSigma projects for world-class Japanese companies primarily focusing on technology in-sourcing and new business development. Prior to The Japan Research Institute, Suwa was an Associate with McKinsey & Company Inc. in Japan where he conducted projects in automotive, energy, pharmaceutical, information technology, and other focus areas. He holds a B.S. degree in Applied Physics from Northeastern University and an M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    Akihiko Suwa
  • Andreas M. (Andy) Zynga, Ph.D.President and CEO, NineSigma North America and NineSigma Europe

    Andy Zynga joined NineSigma in February 2008, establishing and growing the European company presence rapidly. In September 2009 Zynga was appointed the Global CEO of NineSigma Group, expanding business across all regions.

    During his career, Zynga has built four high tech and service businesses successfully in both Europe and the USA. He also spent six years at KPMG Consulting (now Bearingpoint) in Germany and London where he successfully grew a division of the Information, Communication, and Entertainment (ICE) Consulting Practice into a major international player.

    Prior to joining NineSigma, Zynga spent four years as a member of the Executive Committee of Telindus, a global network integrator and outsourcing company with more than $1B in revenues and 3,000 employees in 14 countries. While there, he turned around a region from loss-making to more than 10% of EBITDA, and growing revenues by more than 30% to over $150M.

    He earned a doctoral degree in the field of Innovation Management from RWTH Aachen University, and a dual master's degree in Business Administration and Mechanical Engineering from the Technical University of Berlin, Germany. Andy grew up in West-Berlin, Germany, and immigrated to the United States in 1985.

    Andreas M. (Andy) Zynga, Ph.D.
  • Eiji AtsumiVice President, NineSigma Holdings

    MSc., Electrical Engineering, University of Tokyo. Visiting Research Scientist at University of Maryland (USA). Brought into NineSigma his work experience with Mitsubishi Electric, NOKIA and Samsung. Appointed an executive team member since 2017. Play a promoter role of Finnish ICT business/startup community, KAATO, as his life work.

    Experienced not only R&D but also business unit in global companies, where he executed Open Innovation projects with academia, established companies or startups. Launched the NineSigma Outreach Program to help established companies build bridges with startups globally. Lead NineSigma Holding’s new business development leveraged by IT system.

    Eiji Atsumi
  • Marie MurakamiVice President, NineSigma Holdings

    M.S. in Agriculture, University of Hokkaido.Prior to joining NineSigma, Ms. Murakami was a consultant with NIPPON KOEI CO., LTD., which is Japan’s leading Engineering Consultants company. Appointed an executive team member in 2017.She has conducted numerous NineSigma projects for world-class Japanese companies. Through these projects, she has supported the Open Innovation process by providing matching services and developing the clients side. In addition, she has taken lead in developing efficient matching platform in cooperation with Japanese national government focusing on large companies and SMEs. Direct NineSigma Holding’s new business development focusing on government service.

    Marie Murakami

Customer Advisory Board

  • Todd Abraham, Ph.D.Senior Vice President, R&D, Mondelez
    Todd Abraham is currently Senior Vice President of Research and Nutrition for Mondelez with global responsibility for long term, cross-business innovative research and nutrition programs as well as analytical, sensory, statistical, knowledge management, RD&Q training and fundamental science support to Business Units and Centers of Excellence. In this role, Todd works closely with the Breakthrough Innovations group and corporate health and wellness team. Additionally, Todd is responsible for the R&D Open Innovation and venture capital efforts as well as a series of groups focusing on innovative consumer methodology and the Innovative Applications group. Todd has responsibility for Research and Nutrition Groups at the two global science centers – Glenview and Reading – as well as groups in East Hanover, Tarrytown, Saclay, Banbury, Whippany and Madison sites.

    In 2002 Todd moved to Glenview from East Hanover where he was responsible for product development activities for the Nabisco Foods businesses. Before moving to Nabisco as Sr. Vice President, Product Development, Nabisco Foods Company in March, 2000, Todd held previous leadership positions in Marketing, General Management and R&D at Pillsbury and Procter and Gamble with both North American and International experience.

    Todd completed his Sc.B. in Chemistry at Brown University in Providence, RI. He received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania and his M.B.A. from The Wharton School in Philadelphia, PA concurrently in May, 1981.

    He is a referee and referee instructor for Division I NCAA soccer and previously refereed professional soccer. Todd is married and has 3 children. His personal interests include the theater, sports, and numerous family activities.
    Todd Abraham, Ph.D.
  • Diane ArtmanDivision Technology and Innovation Manager, Parker Hannifin
    Bio coming soon!
  • Sheila BabnisSeasoned Business Transformation Advisor, Former Global Business Lead, Innovation for Genentech

    Sheila is a pioneer, trend-spotter and change agent who uses her business wisdom to prepare individuals, teams, functions, divisions and organizations for future realities. She brings over 25 years of leadership and coaching, both in the US and Europe, for health care and consumer products organizations. Her thought partnership in the areas of business transformation and innovation have propelled many organization to take the first steps to achieve new levels of success, design with the consumer/patient in mind so that they are competitive in today’s world.

    As an expert in both business transformation and innovation, Sheila works with CEOs and Founders, senior level executives and department managers to develop their 21st century business strategies and approaches to innovation. Her extensive global business background, strategic mindset, unique ability to inspire and catalyze, along with a 21st century leadership style, distinguish her in this unique business advisor role. Her specialties include working with small to mid-size pioneering companies, as well as multi-national businesses who want to accelerate time to market and provide high value products to consumers. Her clients include Fortune 50 organizations that are mature and have a well-defined market share to start-up firms where rapid change and fierce competition are constant companions.

    Broad Leadership Expertise

    Recently Sheila served as the Global Head of Strategic Innovation for Roche/Genentech. Her work focused on driving paradigm-shifting changes to drug development, employee engagement and health that are required to ensure a healthy, thriving, sustainable future for patients and the healthcare industry. Sheila’s career spans senior leadership roles in Innovation, Acquisitions and Integration, Product Development, Operations, Distribution and Supply Chain, Manufacturing and Quality. Her track record includes starting up and institutionalizing the portfolio and project management organization at i3Logic/Statprobe and enabling Pepsi/Frito-Lay to work in self-managed teams and integrate the use of digital technology to ensure quality and cost management.

    Along with advising, Sheila provides one-on-one coaching to senior leaders. Sheila is a Board member for Future State and Interaction Associates. She is an Innovator-in-Residence/client advisor for Future State, Spring Board, Launch Pad Central, Nine Sigma and Gaping Void, serving as a thought partner on their most complex, gaming changing projects. Sheila is sought after on the speaker circuit where she shares her thoughts on 21st century leadership, patient-centered design, health trends and practices, collaborative platforms, working out loud and simple approaches to increase transformational effectiveness. She recently served as the President of the Health Care Business Women’s Association for the San Francisco Bay Area and continues to serve on their Executive Board.

    Client Companies

    Boeringer Ingelheim, Amgen, Atara, Roche, Genentech, Pepsi, Gatorade, PG&E, Jimmy Johns, Future State, Nine Sigma, Launch Pad Central, Spring Board, San Francisco School Systems, Ann Arbor School Systems

    Education and Certification

    Sheila holds a BA in Liberal Arts in Foreign Affairs with minors in Business and French from University of Cincinnati; and MS in Statistics and Quantitative Analysis from Southern Connecticut University; as well as Certificates in Executive Coaching, Drug Development and Regulatory Science, Organizational Design, Design Thinking, Operational Excellence/Lean, Instructional Design and Systems Life Cycle Development.

    Sheila Babnis
  • Jason BernsSVP Product Innovation, Ralph Lauren

    Biography forthcoming.

  • Fred BoekhorstSenior Vice President, Philips Research, Program Manager Lifestyle, Philips

    Throughout his career at Philips, Fred Boekhorst has demonstrated great versatility. At Philips Research and Philips Consumer Electronics, he has held numerous positions in R&D, from early research until market introductions of new products. He acquired international experience at Philips’ Briarcliff laboratories in the United States. Over the last decades, the Philips group has transformed significantly. While in the early nineties Philips consisted of 8 divisions, ranging from components & semiconductors to consumer electronics and medical systems, Philips currently focuses and Health & Wellbeing in its three business sectors: Lighting, Consumer Lifestyle and Healthcare. The transformations Philips undertook, have commended several directional changes in Fred Boekhorst’s career. After concentrating on video technology for the early part of his career, the focus changed t the translation of Philips’ “Ambient Intelligence” concept into marketable products, such as AmbiLight TV and services. More recently, Philips’ focus on Health & Wellbeing has led to a transformation of the Lifestyle Research program in which the core capabilities for themes such as Healthy Life, Personal Care, Home living, Sleep and Interactive Life are being shaped.

    He currently holds a Senior Vice President position at Philips Research in Eindhoven. As Program Manager he is responsible for the research program Lifestyle. In addition, he is responsible for the Consumer Lifestyle account.
    Fred Boekhorst
  • Yves CalderoneAssociate VP, Innovation and New Business Development, MAST Global
    Yves joined International Flavors & Fragrances in 1998 as a perfumer where he collaborated on fragrances for Bath & Body Works, Estee Lauder, Proctor & Gamble, L’Oreal, LVMH, Avon, and GAP. He also worked closely with leading researchers and scientists to develop new “Living Flower” Headspaces and create new raw materials.In 2002, Yves joined Robertet as a senior perfumer where he became increasingly involved with the development and creation of natural raw materials and fragrances.

    Yves joined Bath & Body Works in 2005 as Director of Fragrance Development focusing on Aromatherapy, Home Fragrance, True Blue Spa, C.O. Bigelow, and Henri Bendel. In 2007, Yves was named Associate Vice President of Innovation, Beauty & Home, where he continued to leverage his expertise in fragrances and natural raw materials, and is also involved in establishing a global network of experts which identifies new emerging technologies.

    Most recently, Yves has taken on the role of Associate Vice President, Innovation and New Business Development for Mast Global, a wholly owned subsidiary of Limited Brands. Looking across multiple categories including Personal Care, Home Fragrance, Intimate Apparel and Logistics, Yves is building an open innovation network and developing new business models that will help to fuel long-term growth for Limited Brands.

    Yves graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA in 1998 with a dual major in Music and Philosophy and spent time at Yale University studying synesthesia.
    Yves Calderone
  • Paul FranceDirector, R&D, The J.M. Smucker Company

    Paul France is the Vice President of Innovation Systems at Meadwestvaco, where he leads Open Innovation, Innovation Process Management, R&D Systems and Pilot Plant Operations. The Innovation Systems teams develop and deploy internal and external resources and processes to enable excellence in innovation. Paul is also responsible for Knowledge Management and Technology Partnering to accelerate growth through innovation.

    Prior to joining Meadwestvaco, Mr. France was a Principal Engineer for The Procter & Gamble Company. In his 18 years with P&G, Mr. Paul France has had global assignments in both R&D and Corporate Engineering.

    He holds 66 granted US patents and a dozen published articles in plasma surface modification, photocatalysis and zeolite crystallization. He served on the board of directors of Anatech NV (Leuven, Belgium) from 1993-2007. He speaks frequently at industry seminars and universities on topics ranging from emerging technologies, global innovation cultures and business needs in the packaging industry. 

    A native from Belgium and a citizen of the United States, Mr. France received a B.S and M.S. degree in Bio-Engineering from the University of Ghent, Belgium.  He also holds a MBA from the University of Phoenix (2006).

    Paul France
  • Jonathan Hague, Ph.D.Vice President, Operations and Open Innovation, Unilever
    Jon joined Unilever in 1990, following a first Degree and PhD in Materials Science from the University of Sheffield. Jon spent the first seven years of his career as a research scientist in Hair Research at Port Sunlight Laboratory, UK, contributing much to the basic understanding of what makes our products competitive.

    Jon was expatriated to Jakarta Indonesia in 1997, and was charged with the build up of a regional innovation centre for Skin Cleansing and Care. Jon was in Indonesia during the 1998 Asia crisis and spent the first year of his tenure in Indonesia helping the business to prosper and endure in the tough economic climate, and later years providing innovation for a very fast growing business.

    Between 2001 and 2006 Jon led the Global Technical Centre for Deodorants in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, North America, and was part of the team that delivered the innovation to make Unilever the leader in the North American Deodorants market.

    In 2006 Jon returned to the Port Sunlight Laboratory in the UK and operated as Strategy and Operations Director for Home and Personal Care R&D; a role which evolved into Strategy and Operations Director for the Chief R&D Officer.

    His most recent assignment, VP Open Innovation for Unilever, started in October 2008. This is a good fit for Jon’s interests in driving higher ambition in innovation, and in his firm conviction that Unilever can make a much bigger impact in vitality from advances in science and technology.

    Jon is married with two sons. He has been a sporadic marathon runner, completing the Chicago Marathon twice, snowboards, and is a keen follower of cricket.
    Jonathan Hague, Ph.D.
  • Stephen HooverCEO, PARC, a Xerox Company

    Biography forthcoming.

  • Christophe G. E. Mangin, Ph.D.Director of R&D Global Strategy, General Motors
    Christophe is Director of Global Strategy for GM’s Research & Development (R&D) organization. In his capacity he is responsible for creating and managing external collaborations with universities, suppliers and start-up companies. Christophe manages the global science office network with representatives in key strategic geographic locations around the world and is responsible for the open-innovation process. Christophe also leads the Intellectual Property (IP) strategy including the Records of Invention process for GM Global R&D and manages the Corporate GM Library.

    Christophe has a Ph.D. from MIT in materials science and engineering economics, a Master of Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in ceramic engineering and a Bachelor’s degree from Ecole des Mines (France) in metallurgy. Christophe started his career at General Motors Corporation in 2007 after 13 years at Ford Motor Company where he has held a series of position in R&D, product strategy & planning, and business strategy. Prior to those assignments, Christophe worked in Japan for Kawasaki Steel Corporation in the area of business analysis for technology transfer.
    Christophe G. E. Mangin, Ph.D.
  • Jeff MontanyeGlobal Vice President, RD&E Downstream, WellChem and TIORCO at Nalco/Champion - An Ecolab Company

    Jeff is responsible for leading the Downstream, WellChem Technologies and TIORCO Research Development and Engineering organizations.  In addition, Jeff has responsibility for the polymer application pipeline, Diagnostic Solutions and Process Engineering teams supporting Nalco Champion. 

    Jeff has been with Ecolab for 5 years and previously held roles including the Vice President of Global Technology Partnerships, North America Food & Beverage Division and running the R&D portion of the Nalco Acquisition.

    Prior to joining Ecolab, Jeff spent 22 years with The Dow Chemical Company. He held a number of R&D leadership roles in both North America and Singapore, with his primary focus on new global product platforms.

    Jeff received his BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his Masters from Texas A&M University.  He is also a graduate of the Executive MBA program at Thunderbird.
    Jeff Montanye
  • Sesha Neervannan, Ph.D.Senior Vice President, Pharmaceutical Development, Allergan Inc.
    Dr. Sesha Neervannan is currently Vice President of Pharmaceutical Development at Allergan. In his current role, he oversees the CMC activities related to developing the drug product from Discovery to Commercialization that includes material characterization, formulation, process engineering, device & packaging engineering, analytical development, and drug delivery research and development efforts.

    Prior to joining Allergan, Sesha held senior positions at Bristol-Myers Squibb and Amgen, in both a functional and team leadership role. Sesha has several research publications and patents and is a well recognized invited speaker at several national and international conferences. He serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for CHDI, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for Huntington’s disease as well as a member of Customer Advisory Board for NineSigma. He also recently joined the Editorial Advisory Board for the journal, Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery.

    He received his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at The University of Kansas.
    Sesha Neervannan, Ph.D.
  • William SchalitzVice President R&D, Spartan Chemical

    William Schalitz joined Spartan Chemical in 1993 as a Microbiologist responsible for formulating novel antimicrobial cleaning solutions and biologically active products for waste remediation.  William's formulating work resulted in multiple patents and numerous commercial products still found in the market today.  After a brief period as Spartan's Manager of Research and Development, William was promoted to his current position of Vice President of Research and Development where he is responsible for the Regulatory and Quality Departments along with core research activities and technology harvesting.  With over 20 years experience in chemical formulation and commercialization, Bill has his finger on the pulse of technology and regulatory trends in the Industrial and Institutional Cleaning Solutions markets.

    Bill holds a B.S. in Microbiology from the University of Toledo and an MBA from Kansas State University.  Prior to his role at Spartan, he spent five years on active duty as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army serving in various duty stations around the world.

    William Schalitz
  • Paul SerbiakManaging Partner, Pure Sustainable Product Technologies, Inc.

    Paul Serbiak is the CEO and Founder of Ideas to Market First, which specializes in corporate venturing and Open Innovation consulting.  Prior to founding Ideas to Market First, Paul served as the Vice President, R&D of the global Baby Skin Care business which includes brands such as Johnson’s, Desitin, Aveeno, Penaten and Neutrogena. Paul joined Johnson & Johnson in 1998 and held positions of increasing responsibility across R&D and Engineering in Oral Care, Women’s Health, Wound Care, Baby and Kid’s Care and Skin Care.


    Prior to joining J&J, Paul held leadership positions in marketing, operations, engineering and R&D in the consumer businesses at Kimberly Clark and Procter and Gamble working on brands such as Huggies Diapers, Kotex Sanitary Napkins, Lightdays Pantiliners, and Bounce Fabric Softener. He has a Bachelors of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

    Paul resides with his family in Lumberville, Pennsylvania. He enjoys sailing and many other outdoor activities. A little know fact about Paul was that his earliest career (during college) was as a Magician.
    Paul Serbiak