SF Virtual Design Conversations: 5th Episode


August 13, 2020,
12-4pm EDT

SF Virtual Design Conversations: 5th Episode

Here it is! Our 5th Episode of Virtual Design Conversations!

About The Event

Sign up and join in to hear from 4 innovation leaders from diverse industries with open discussion and Q&A with YOU, our audience, during this afternoon of insight, inspiration, and education on Design & Innovation.  If you’re hungry for creative motivation and learning that only comes from connecting with your fellow design community, this is the perfect opportunity.

Sundberg-Ferar is hosting this free virtual event on August 13, 12:00-4:00pm EDT to connect with and inspire each other, AND to have a bit of fun too! We all need to cheer up a bit in this pandemic, and we, the design community, are the ones known for our optimism. This is our time to shine!

Join us and come away with fresh ideas for how you can apply the power of design in your day-to-day work – yes, even from your basement!

Scroll down to watch recordings of each speaker session!


“Industrial Design & YOU!”

Jeevak Badve

Principal + Director of Strategic Growth


12:00 pm – 12:15 pm

Jeevak brings energy, passion & curiosity to his role at Sundberg-Ferar. With his unique blend of education and experience in industrial design, engineering and business, he is a rallying voice for the alignment and optimal inclusion of the end user’s un-met needs, and unspoken wants in the core value proposition of a company’s products & service portfolio to generate sought-after shareholder value. Jeevak has more than 23 years of professional design experience, first in India for 7 years at Tata Motors, and then in the U.S. for 16 years at GM Design and now Sundberg-Ferar. Beyond his role at SF, Jeevak is a board member of many prominent design associations and think tanks including the Michigan Design Council, Aether Design Group, and Detroit Creative Corridor. He also served on IDSA’s International board for 6 years and chaired IDSA’s 2017 flagship International Design Conference: “Design IS Business”. In his copious amounts of spare time, Jeevak can be found indulging his love of kickboxing, and obstacle course running, or photographing birds in obscure parts of the world.

“Dinosaur Killers and Winners: The psychology behind opportunities and pitfalls for innovations and creatives during world-wide disruption.”

Pete Foley

12:15pm – 1:00pm

Pete Foley is a Behavioral Science and Innovation Consultant who specializes in applying Psychology, Behavioral Economics and Perceptual Science to deliver innovative solutions to a wide range of business challenges.

An experienced innovation leader, facilitator and practitioner, he draws on 25 years experience at P&G.  There, as a serial innovator, he published over 100 patents, co-led the foundation of their Behavioral Science capability, and was closely involved in innovation strategy, capability, culture, recruitment, training, and open innovation.

For the last five years he has been an independent consultant, working innovation capability and specific innovation projects across a broad range of businesses, including consumer goods, beauty, fashion, hospitality, finance, and retail. His broad knowledge of Behavioral Science (he is published in fields ranging from Evolutionary Psychology to Behavioral Economics) is combined with a deep understanding of hard science (he holds a PhD in Chemistry) and extensive practical business experience.  He is a ‘T-shaped” innovator who integrates his fundamental science background with a deep-seated understanding of implicit consumer needs, experience leading multifunctional business teams, and a strong creative streak (he is an exhibited fine artist, photographer, and an experienced musician).

“Future of Mobility”

Carla Bailo

1:15pm – 2:00pm

Carla Bailo is the President and CEO of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), and is a leader in engineering and vehicle program management with 35 years of experience in the automotive industry. Under her leadership, CAR continues to be a preeminent resource of objective and unbiased research, analysis, and information regarding the North American automotive industry.

In addition to her role at CAR, Ms. Bailo was the 2016-2018 vice president of automotive for SAE International, a global association of more than 138,000 engineers and related technical experts in the aerospace, automotive and commercial-vehicle industries.

Prior to joining CAR, she was most recently the assistant vice president for mobility research and business development at The Ohio State University. She also has 25 years of experience at Nissan North America, Inc., where she served as senior vice president of research and development. Ms. Bailo also spent 10 years at General Motors.  She has a MS degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan and a BS degree in mechanical engineering from Kettering University.

“From ‘Doer’ to ‘Manager of Doers’”

Benjamin Thomas

Associate Design Director

Techtronic Industries

2:15pm – 3:00pm

Ben Thomas is currently an Associate Design Director for the Outdoor Products Division at TTI North America. He is co-leading a world-class team of 10 designers and 2 interns in making products for RYOBI, HART, and many other brands.

While at TTI he spent the first 8.5 years of his career helping the design team grow from 8 designers to 30 while creating award-winning power tools for RYOBI, RIDGID, AEG, and CRAFTSMAN brands. While serving the team by designing, he spent much of his time supporting the group by recruiting and managing the internship program that had grown from 1 intern (of which he was the third) to 6 interns at a time.

He took a 4.5 year sabbatical to serve as Art Director for the children’s ministry of NewSpring Church in Anderson, SC.  NewSpring is a multi-site church all over the state of South Carolina where he was part of a small team of creatives that made weekly, series based curriculum for the church and gave it away for free to churches all over the world. This allowed him to serve, lead and cultivate a variety of skills in line with his passions, (Cartoons, Videos, Set Design/Build, etc.) If he wasn’t drawing power tools he was drawing cartoons!

Afterwards, he got the opportunity to rejoin TTI to continue to serve and grow the design team and product portfolio. Recently, he transitioned from the power tool side of the business to co-leading on the outdoor team and specifically leading and serving 5 designers and 1 intern.

When not leading and designing at TTI, Ben is a husband to wife Skye, and father to 3 amazing children.  They spend their days playing, learning, getting outdoors as much as possible, and renovating their 1920’s Bungalow home in Anderson, SC.

“The Overlooked Gallery : Industrial Design, Engineering and the Power of Everyday Art”

Grey Parker

President, CEO & Director of Engineering


3:15pm – 4:00pm

As a life-long maker and professional problem-solver, Grey champions the powerful alliance between Industrial Design and Engineering. He believes that the right blend of art and science can deliver meaningful products that can both improve the human experience and make good business sense. He brings his wealth of mechanical and manufacturing knowledge to our design process along with a passion for innovation and invention. What makes him tick? Creating an elegant solution to a complex problem and leading it to success from concept to production.
Prior to SF, Grey worked in the automotive industry as a seat engineer and chief designer for Honda, establishing a broad scope of expertise including steel structures, mechanisms, plastics and injection molding, soft foam and trim, and electro-mechanical systems which he brought to SF in 2013. He knows the factory floor and how to push the limits of feasible design while thinking ahead to production. Throughout his career, he’s taken pride in making products beautiful from the inside out.

Outside the office, you can find Grey fly fishing on the river, building LEGOs with his daughters, taking on carpentry projects at home or finding adventures outdoors.

“Art without engineering is dreaming. Engineering without art is calculating” – Steven Roberts

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