Forging Effective Internal Partnerships to Fuel Innovation

June 20-21, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio
Join Us
Join Innovation Leader as we head to Cleveland for two days of site visits and learning activities at the most innovative companies in the world.

Our first Field Study in Ohio will cover a range of topics important to corporate innovation, strategy, and R&D leaders — with a special focus on how you create the right partnerships with business units and other functions to make innovation an everyday occurrence, not an isolated initiative.

How do you work with colleagues around the business to set objectives for an innovation program? How should they be involved in incremental, adjacent, and transformational innovation activities? How do you ensure that they become advocates — rather than adversaries? Our session leaders will include representatives from business units as well as senior leadership.

If these issues are relevant to you, you won't want to miss our Cleveland Field Study this June. As with all our Field Studies, this one is limited to registrants currently in a corporate role.

Site Visits


The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Receiving 10+ million visitors from across the world, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum celebrates and archives the achievements of the most influential rock-and-roll musicians, producers, and engineers in history.

Join us as we tour six levels of rock-and-roll history and learn from President and CEO Greg Harris about how The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has created an external network to fuel their innovations.


American Greetings

Many people think of American Greetings as a purveyor of greeting cards, gift packaging, party goods and e-cards, but as VP of Innovation Carol Miller describes it, the privately-held company is in the “meaningful connections” business, making the world a more thoughtful and caring place. We'll tour their newly-built creative studios, listen to executives discuss their collaborative and highly successful innovation process and understand how they are pivoting to a mission driven innovation agenda.


Cleveland Clinic Innovations

Join us as we tour this world-renowned facility, and meet with the Executive Director of Cleveland Clinic Innovations (CCI), Peter O'Neill, who runs a team that transforms ideas to improve patient care into patents and licenses. Cleveland Clinic Innovations has been granted more than 850 patents, and the Clinic has been a source of breakthroughs since it was founded in 1920, including pioneering work in organ transplants, neuroscience, and cardiac surgery. CCI uses a unique approach to assess, protect, build, test, and market the most promising ideas of their 51,000+ caregivers.


Sears Think[box] - Case Western Reserve University

The Sears think[box] is a center for innovation and entrepreneurship filled with supplies and equipment. It is located in a 7-story, 50,000 square foot facility in the Richey Mixon Building. Currently 3 floors are occupied and more is being renovated. Over 5000 visits each month are occurring. The Think[box] is the largest open access innovation center at any university in the world.


Progressive Field

We'll tour Progressive Field a "retro-modern" ballpark, home of the Cleveland Indians. Known as "The Jake" locally, it was built within the physical boundaries of three main streets in downtown Cleveland. We'll have lunch with a view of Cleveland's downtown skyline.



Come visit KeyBank Tower, global HQ for one of the nation's largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $134.5 billion. We'll bring you on a tour and chat with Co-President Dennis Devine about customer-centricity and digital transformation at this 190 year-old institution.


Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
President and CEO
Greg Harris
Shocklee Entertainment
2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and a 2018 GRAMMY Hall of Fame

Hank Shocklee
Cleveland Clinic Innovations
Executive Director
Peter O’Neill
Co-President Key Community Bank
Dennis Devine
Vice President of Innovation
Jean Finnegan
Business Development Director
April Bertram
MTD Products
Sr. Director, Customer Engagement
Jason Belsito
Energizer Holdings
Director Open Innovation & Emerging Tech
Emily Riley
MTD Products
VP of Multi-Channel Sales
Roy Keating
Innovation, North America
Justin Beck
American Greetings
VP Corporate Innovation
Carol Miller
American Greetings
VP Greeting Cards and Creative
Kelley Ricker
American Greetings
Chief Marketing Officer
Alex Ho
American Greetings
EVP, Chief Commercial Officer
Christy Kaprosy
JM Smucker
Vice President- Research and Development
Judy Mondello
Philips Healthcare
Head of Advance Innovation
Bill Gaussa
GE Ventures
Commercial Director – Healthcare
Stuart Weitzman
Chief Solutions Officer
Sara Husk
Nottingham Spirk
VP of Growth
Bill Nottingham
Cleveland Cavaliers
Vice President, Business Intelligence
Kevin O’Toole


Tuesday, June 19

6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Imaginatik Welcome Cocktail Reception
The Metropolitan at the 9

2017 E 9th St [ Map ]

Wednesday, June 20

7:15 a.m.

Meet at Kimpton Schofield Hotel
2000 E 9th St [ Map ]

Please don’t be late!

7:30 a.m.

Depart for Cleveland Clinic by bus

8:00 a.m.

Arrival and Breakfast at Cleveland Clinic,
Foundation House, 9500 Euclid Ave [ Map ]

8:30 a.m.

Group Introductions and Activity: Who are the Key Innovation Supporters — and Skeptics — in Your Company? What New Relationships Do You Need?

9:00 a.m.

Peter O’Neill, Executive Director, Cleveland Clinic Innovations: How We Cultivate and Commercialize New Ideas

9:30 a.m.

Tour of Cleveland Clinic

10:30 a.m.

Whiteboard Sessions:

  • MTD Products, Eliminating Channel Conflict in your Direct Sales Strategy
  • Energizer Holdings, Where to begin: Top 5 ways to effectively define a need for your organization
  • GOJO Industries, Curating the “right” internal and external ecosystems to drive business model innovations
  • Goodyear, When you’re in the middle of “hyper change” how do you define Innovation and who do you work with to make it happen?

11:30 a.m.

Depart for Case Western Reserve University by bus

11:45 a.m.

Arrival and Lunch at Sears Think[box]
Richey Mixon Building, 2nd floor,
11201 Cedar Ave [ Map ]

12:30 p.m.

Whiteboard Sessions

  • Nationwide, Collaborating to build an innovation culture
  • JM Smucker, How R&D at JMSmucker’s collaborates with other functions/business units
  • GE Ventures, Getting value from startups and how to integrate that culture into your company
  • Philips Healthcare, Facing the Reality: We Can Innovate and Don’t Need Your Help

1:30 p.m.

Tour of the Think[box] makerspace facility at Case Western Reserve University

2:00 p.m.

Depart for American Greetings by bus

2:45 p.m.

Arrive at American Greetings
One American Blvd, 2nd Floor, Westlake, OH 44145 [ Map ]

3:00 p.m.

Welcome with Carol Miller, VP of Innovation, American Greetings

3:15 p.m.

Fireside chat: Bringing Together the Right People and Putting in Place the Processes to Foster Innovation

Facilitated by David Mayer, Executive Director, Creative Innovation and Digital with:

  • Christy Kaprosy, EVP, Chief Commercial Officer
  • Kelly Ricker, GVP, Creative and Greeting Cards
  • Carol Miller, VP, Corporate Innovation

4:00 p.m.

Fireside Chat: Mission-Driven Innovation with Alex Ho, Chief Marketing Officer at American Greetings

4:30 p.m.

Workshop #1: DIY Gift Tutorial: Tissue Paper Flower Pens
Tissue paper flower pens are a fun, inexpensive and easy way to make someone a gift from the heart. American Greetings staff will walk you through the Pinterest-proof method during this live tutorial.

4:55 p.m.

Workshop #2: Handwriting / Lettering

Gather in the American Greetings media studio to see a live demo of brush lettering by one of their in-house lettering artists, then jump in and give it a try yourself.

5:15 p.m.

Cocktail Party and Optional Tours Begin

6:30 p.m.

Bus 1 departs for optional Nottingham Spirk Cocktail Party and Innovation Center Tour and Q&A with VP, Business Intelligence Kevin O’Toole from the Cleveland Cavaliers Nottingham Spirk Innovation Center 2200 Overlook Rd [ Map ]

Bus 2 departs for Kimpton Hotel
2000 E 9th St [ Map ]

Thursday, June 21

7:30 a.m.

Meet at Kimpton Schofield Hotel
2000 E 9th St [ Map ]

Walk to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Wear comfy shoes!)

8:00 a.m.

Arrive at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Breakfast
1100 E 9th St [ Map ]

8:30 a.m.

Power of Rock Experience, Connor Theater

8:45 a.m.

Free Yourself. How Creativity Begins. with Bill Nottingham, VP of Growth at Nottingham Spirk

9:15 a.m.

No Bad Ideas: Let’s Jam with a Clear Purpose An immersive discussion with Bill Nottingham (NS), Greg Harris (CEO of Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame & Museum), and Hank Shocklee (Shocklee Entertainment, Public Enemy, The Bomb Squad)

9:45 a.m.


10:00 a.m.

Interactions that build & destroy internal partnerships at critical innovation touch-points, with Imaginatik Chief Solutions Officer, Sara Husk

11:00 a.m.

Tour of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Floors 4, 5, 6

11:45 a.m.

Depart for Progressive Field

12:00 p.m.

Arrive at Progressive Field
Terrace Club, Media Gate Entrance, 12401 Ontario St [ Map ]

12:15 p.m.

Tour the ballpark

12:45 p.m.


1:30 p.m.

Depart for KeyBank

1:45 p.m.

Arrive at KeyBank
127 Public Square [ Map ]

2:00 p.m.


2:20 p.m.


2:45 p.m.

Fireside with Co-President of Key Community Bank, Dennis Devine: Bringing Leadership, Middle Management, and the Rank-and-File Together to Prepare for the Future of Banking

3:15 p.m.

Wrap-up and Next Steps

3:30 p.m.

Bus Departs for Airport

Register to Participate

PLEASE NOTE: Registration is closed for the Cleveland Field Study. We invite you to join us at one of our other events in 2018! Learn more »


Don't take our word for it. Listen to your peers from other large organizations who have attended Innovation Leader events in 2017.

Working in corporate innovation can feel like you are on an island alone at times. It is refreshing and inspiring to be with others who are in similar circumstances.

SVP and Head of Customer Experience Insights, Wells Fargo

A rare opportunity to learn ... with a broad range of innovation professionals. Natural collaboration built right into the structure of the event.

Innovation Director at $183B telecommunications company

At the end of two full days, I find myself wishing this was a three day event!! That has never happened to me before.

Director, Breakthrough Innovation at Stanley Black & Decker

I left very energized and inspired by all the creativity showcased, best practices shared and relationships made.

VP, Brand & Culinary Innovation at Dunkin’ Brands

Perfect [event] to facilitate candid dialogue across industries around the opportunities, realities and challenges of real innovation.

VP Innovation at Nationwide

It was amazing! Being able to see and learn from how other great companies innovate is a singularly unique opportunity.

Innovation lead at large insurance company

A wonderfully intimate and meaningful networking and knowledge sharing opportunity. I learned a lot that I will immediately bring back to my group.

GM Innovation at Goodyear

The Innovation Leader Field Studies treat leaders and peers to open up an amazing creative and learning environment.

UX Designer, Arthrex, Inc.

This is my third IL event, and each time, I learn something new, and meet incredibly smart and genuine people it a fantastic opportunity to learn, network and have fun!

Senior Director at Walmart

Hotel & Travel Information

Arrival — If you are flying in to the Field Study, we recommend arriving on Tuesday, June 19, as the program will begin early on Wednesday, June 20.

Hotels — As most corporations have loyalty and reward programs for specific hotel chains, we only booked a small room block at the Kimpton Schofield which is now full.

*The Kimpton Schofield Hotel
2000 E 9th St, Cleveland, OH 44115 [ Map ] Website
(216) 357-3250

The Westin Cleveland Downtown
777 Saint Clair Avenue NE, Cleveland, OH, 44114 [ Map ] Website
(216) 771-7700

Hyatt Regency Cleveland at the Arcade
420 Superior Avenue East, Cleveland, Ohio, USA, 44114 [ Map ] Website
(216) 575-1234

Departure — The program will end in the early evening on Thursday, June 21.

Questions — If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact Ellen Dolan at or call us at (855) 585-0800.


Space is limited to 60 corporate innovation, strategy and R&D professionals. That’s everyone from Chief Innovation Officers and VPs of Innovation, to Directors of Innovation and R&D Managers. If you’re responsible for new products or services inside your company, you’re probably the right fit.

Field Guides

Many thanks to our Field Guides for their support and expertise in developing this Field Study:
Nottingham Spirk: The Business Innovation & Product Design Firm: For over 44 years, Nottingham Spirk has developed hundreds of patented products that have generated $50 billion in sales for Fortune 500 companies. The firm offers a full-service Vertical InnovationTM process - from market research, user testing, product design and development, mechanical, electrical and software engineering, to prototyping and support for full commercialization.
Imaginatik: "World's first" full-service innovation firm, supporting global organizations seeking to grow and deliver results.
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