Vice President Global Innovation
Nate has spent the majority of his career leading development teams within world-class organizations whose primary objective was growing the sustained viability and relevance of its products and services. He has worked the whole continuum of the product development process, from consumer observation through production and from strategic planning and tactical execution. He has the ability to work with a wide range of partners and is adept at negotiating the politics often found in corporate development. Nate has a track record of helping companies move beyond the scope of traditional approaches to product development by the skillful deployment of disciplined creative thinking.
Nate received his undergraduate education in Industrial Design (Automotive) at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. He was hired into automotive interior’s company Prince Corporation in Holland Michigan in 1987 where he helped launch the design team. In 1994, he was promoted to Vice President of Design, heading up a team of eighty designers and advanced engineers. Johnson Controls acquired Prince in 1997 and Nate was made Group Vice President of worldwide advanced product development, market planning and design, leading an international staff of 375.
Then in 2000, Nate became an entrepreneur and co-founded TWISThink, a design and electronics consultancy in Holland, Mi. In 2003, he was asked to become Art Center’s first Chief Academic Officer, a position that he held until 2008. Nate returned to West Michigan in 2009 to found a non-profit educational entity called NewNorth Center for Design in Business. The center specialized in helping companies integrate design thinking as a foundational tenant of business systems. From 2007-2013 he has operated his own consulting business that is currently active. In 2013, Newell Rubbermaid approached NewNorth Center about supporting in several innovation sessions for the company, this engagement led to his eventual hire later that year. Nate now heads a group of future thinkers inside Newell Rubbermaid that are focused on innovation, advanced initiatives and open source product development.