A panel conversation hosted by Chicago Booth professor Lindsey Lyman on the impact of COVID on innovation.



Online Webinar
Los Angeles, California

Event Details

Join us for an engaging discussion on the impact of the COVID pandemic on innovation.

An all-star panel hosted by Chicago Booth professor Lindsey Lyman will examine the impact of the pandemic on innovation and how teams and organizations have changed their approach to innovation in a work-at-home environment. The conversation will also look to the future innovation as we begin to recover and return to a new normal in 2021.

We'll have plenty of time for Q&A, so please bring your questions.


No Charge


Register Online

Zoom information will be shared after registration.

Deadline: 2/24/2021

Speaker Profiles

Lindsey Lyman (Moderator) '08
Clinical Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship, Chicago Booth

Lindsey Lyman is the founder of Growth Studios, an innovation consultancy that helps companies build profitable new businesses. Through her work as an executive innovation coach, Lindsey helps executives become stronger innovation leaders. Through her work as a practitioner, Lindsey helps organizations build innovation capabilities. She consults with leading design firms, consulting firms, large and small companies, and entrepreneurs to identify unique growth opportunities and to build commercially viable new products, services, and business models. Lindsey also helps large corporate clients establish viable innovation structures and organizational designs.

Prior to founding Growth Studios, Lindsey spent 10 years at McKinsey & Company, where she was a founder of McKinsey's global innovation practice and co-developed McKinsey's Innovation Executive Education program. At McKinsey, Lindsey served Global Fortune 100 clients on innovation topics ranging from large-scale innovation transformations, to embedding capabilities in user-centered design and product development. Lindsey currently serves as a Senior External Advisor to McKinsey, focused on Product Development and Innovation.

Lindsey leverages her advisory and consulting work to develop current business content and cases for use in the classroom. Outside of corporate work, Lindsey serves as an advisor to many founders of entrepreneurial ventures and is a recreational angel investor. Lindsey also serves as a board member of the Advocate Aurora Health Whole Person Health Committee.

Lindsey holds an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where she graduated with highest distinction. Lindsey lives on the North Shore of Chicago with her husband and 3 young children. Lindsey looks forward to someday reviving her hobbies of biking and fabric crafting, however in the meantime they center around drinking coffee and building Lego with her kids.

Albert Chow (Panelist)
Operating Investor, Anabatic Ventures

Albert Chow is an operating executive, entrepreneur, board member and investor with over 20 years of experience in the technology industry, leading companies and guiding them to achieve rapid and sustainable growth.

As the former CEO of Prima Cinema and the former COO of Sleep Score Labs, Albert is an experienced senior executive in the media and technology sectors across the spectrum from large, public companies to early-stage start-up growth companies.

Albert brings extensive direct experience on both sides of the table with Corporate Development and financing from acquisition side. Based on his prior experience at PRIMA Cinema, DivX, Yahoo!, Motorola and Bain & Company, he has a proven ability to launch and lead new ventures that create high-impact, global growth.

Albert holds an MBA from Chicago Booth and lives in Orange County. 

Vivian Rhoads (Panelist)
VP of Innovation, Pharmavite

Vivian Rhoads is the Vice President of Innovation at Pharmavite, makers of Nature Made, the #1 brand in the Vitamin, Minerals and Supplements industry. She is a pioneer in adapting principles and practices from Agile software in the CPG industry. She joined Pharmavite in 2018 and has transformed the innovation function, delivering both a rapid increase and acceleration of new product launches. In 2020, Pharmavite launched more new products than the last 7 years combined. Partially as a result of the investment in innovation, Nature Made, a legacy brand, has outpaced the impressive +20.6% sales growth of the VMS category in 2020.

Vivian has a unique perspective on innovation, having gained hands-on experience both in leading CPG companies and in small Health & Wellness CPG start-ups. Following a decade in marketing strategy and innovation with marquee global CPG companies (PepsiCo/Frito-Lay, Wrigley/Mars) working in Strategy, Innovation and Venturing for brands such as Naked Juice, 5 gum, Orbit gum, Cheetos, Skittles and Starburst. She has global experience having developed innovation for Europe, Asia/Oceania, North America and Latin America. Vivian spent nearly 5 years as a consultant to a series of large companies such as Molson Coors, Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Clorox, Nissin, Thai Union, and Nestlé and also small entrepreneurs and startup. During this period, she discovered the power of the build-test-learn cycle of Agile innovation that startups intuitively use and that large companies aspire to use, but have a hard time overcoming legacy mindset and processes.

Vivian earned her MBA from the McCombs Schoool of Business at the University of Texas, Austin, and a Bachelor in Business from the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where she was born. She is married to John Rhoads, an 06' Booth grad, and has two children (Anita-8, Victor-6). They have been spliting their time during the COVID pandemic between their condo in Westwood (Los Angeles) and their Blue Agave farm (i.e. Tequila/Mescal) near Temecula, CA.

Bob Nakasone (Panelist)
Managing Director, First Beverage Group

Bob has spent nearly 20 years in the beverage industry but didn't truly find his passion for it until 2010, when he moved to southern CA to help PepsiCo form an emerging brands team that was initially tasked with nurturing the company's young premium nutrition brands. It was there that he became fully exposed to the vast world of beverage innovation and entrepreneurs seeking to capture the country's growing obsession with health & wellness in a beverage format. Bob has a healthy thirst for experimenting in this segment and has developed a reputation amongst his family and friends for getting them to try new beverages – especially ones in which he has a vested interest.

Bob joined First | Bev after a two-year run at KeVita, where he helped accelerate the company's already steep growth trajectory, culminating in the successful sale of the company to PepsiCo at a significant premium to revenue and over $100MM in retail sales. As the senior vice president of sales, he led the team responsible for gaining distribution in the nation's largest conventional retailers while maintaining thought leadership with the brand's early adopters in the natural channel. Prior to KeVita, he spent 17 years at PepsiCo in leadership positions across business development, customer development, strategic planning and product commercialization and developed a strong track record for architecting and staffing teams for growth as well as leading them to above-plan results. Naked Juice revenue nearly tripled over his five-year tenure with the business during which he designed and implemented an emerging brands development team that had a unique focus on strategic markets and channels of distribution for PepsiCo's stable of emerging brands – Naked, IZZE and O.N.E. Coconut Water.

He holds a BA in political science from Denison University, where he also was a four-year varsity letter winner for the men's soccer team and ran his own student discount card business.

Bob lives in South Pasadena with his wife, Kelly, and their two daughters, Penelope and Holland. He sits on the Board of Trustees of the Mayfield Junior School in Pasadena and enjoys coaching youth soccer and playing in Pasadena's adult ice hockey leagues.

Ketan Vaghani (Panelist)
Strategic Innovation, Salesforce

Ketan is a free spirited, empowered and disciplined innovator that has 7+ years in the CPG innovation space and strikes the unique balance between art and analysis to create breakthrough innovations. He is an explorer that constantly reflects and refines his approach; thereby creating new paths and refining processes to consistently deliver groundbreaking results.

Ketan holds an MBA from Chicago Booth and lives in Chicago. 


Michael Vermillion, '90