Aspen Institute Recognizes 20 Innovative Business Leaders

June 23, 2015

7th Class of Aspen Institute First Mover Fellows creates success for companies and communities

Contact: Trisha King
Program Coordinator
Aspen Institute Business & Society Program
212-895-8065 |

New York, June 23, 2015—The Aspen Institute Business and Society Program today announced the 2015 class of its prestigious First Movers Fellowship, honoring individuals who are working within companies to unite business growth with a sustainable society in the products and services they are developing. The initial Fellowship year includes three seminars built around the core themes of innovation, leadership, reflection and community.

This year’s First Movers were chosen from a wide variety of business sectors including technology (PayPal, Microsoft, Google and LinkedIn); healthcare (Baxter Healthcare, Janssen Research & Development); food and beverage (McDonald’s); consumer products (Colgate-Palmolive Company); apparel (Levi Strauss & Co., Nike); finance (Morgan Stanley Investment Management and U.S. Trust); public utilities (PG&E); automotive (Toyota); and chemicals (Dow). 

The Fellows also represent diverse functional responsibilities, such as legal, finance, design, business development and talent management. These bold leaders are working to create new products, services and management practices that will achieve greater profitability for their companies in tandem with positive social and environmental impact.

“The Fellowship serves as an innovation lab and leadership development opportunity that delivers lasting value to companies and society. The curriculum also prompts Fellows to reflect on their personal purpose and desired impact within their companies and the world,” says Nancy McGaw, creator and director of the First Movers Fellowship Program. “Once again, the Fellowship projects undertaken by this year’s class address a wide range of complex issues such as renewables and energy efficiency, data privacy, financial inclusion and new business models for underserved populations. We are thrilled to welcome these 20 talented business leaders into the First Movers community.”

Bryan Walker, managing director, IDEO, and a member of the First Movers design team, affirms the strength of this growing community of business leaders. “First Mover Fellows are champions for exciting innovations that build competitive advantage for their firms and set the bar higher for others. Our company has been involved in the program design since its inception and we are proud that IDEO will again be represented in this year’s class.”

The First Movers Fellowship was developed by the Aspen Institute Business and Society Program (BSP), whose mission is to align business with the long-term health of society by putting values at the heart of practice. Through dialogue, research, and outreach, Aspen BSP creates opportunities for executives and educators to explore new routes to business sustainability and values-based leadership.

For bios and photos of the 2015 class of Fellows, visit:

About the Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit


The 2015 First Mover Fellows 

  • David Aycan, Senior Portfolio Director, IDEO
  • Doug Coleman, National Manager, Vehicle Marketing and Communications, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A.
  • Tamara “TJ” DiCaprio, Senior Director, Environmental Sustainability, Microsoft Corporation
  • Renée DuPree, Senior Competition Compliance Counsel, Google Inc.
  • Jimena Garcia, Business Model Innovation Lead for Latin-America, Baxter Healthcare
  • Megan Hertzler, Director, Enterprise Information Governance, Pacific Gas and Electric Company
  • Carrie Hughes, Director, CSR – Strategy and Finance, Verizon Communications Inc.
  • Thomas Kamei, Investor, Growth Team, Morgan Stanley Investment Management
  • Jenny McColloch, Director, Global Sustainability, McDonald’s Corporation
  • Jon Mangum, Sales Manager Dow Water & Process Solutions – Sub-Saharan Africa and Mining – Middle East & Africa, Dow Chemical
  • Kady O’Grady, Chief Talent Officer, Innosight
  • Cat Oyler, Vice President, Strategy and External Innovation, Janssen Research & Development, LLC
  • Romy Fischer Parzick, Director of Implementation and Client Experience, NetSpend, A TSYS Company
  • Agata Ramallo Garcia, GM, Global Sustainability Center of Excellence, NIKE, Inc.
  • Gyanda Sachdeva, Director, Product Management, LinkedIn
  • Steven M. Sorrel, Director, Oral Care Innovation – North America Consumer Innovation Center, Colgate-Palmolive Company
  • Tyler Spalding, Lead Manager, Social Innovation, PayPal
  • Jackie VanderBrug, Senior Vice President and Investment Strategist, U.S. Trust
  • Liz Vyas, CMC Team Leader, Biogen
  • Anna Walker, Senior Director, Global Policy and Advocacy, Levi Strauss & Co.
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