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NOVA Innovation Competition 2015

Selection of the Finalists

A judging panel consisting of Saint-Gobain business leaders will select the top three winners of the NOVA Innovation Competition 2015 from a rapid-pitch, speed dating event at the Greenbuild International Expo in Washington, DC.  On November 18, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. – 12 noon, come watch the event at Greenbuild in booth #1919.  Then, at 2:00 p.m., see who the winners are as they are announced and trophies awarded on the USGBC Main Stage, aisle 400 of Greenbuild.  A fourth winner will also be announced, having been selected by the company’s employees as part of the Saint-Gobain Community Award.

Meet The Jury

A judging panel consisting of Saint-Gobain business leaders will select the winner of the NOVA Innovation Competition 2015.

Armand Ajdari, R&D Vice President for the Innovative Materials Sector
Prior to joining Saint-Gobain, Armand Ajdari had an academic career as a physicist with CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) in France. He was head of a research lab at the Ecole Supérieure de Physique et Chimie Industrielles in Paris from 1997 to 2007, and authored or co-authored more than 120 scientific papers and several patents.

Armand taught graduate courses in several universities and schools in France. Additionally, he spent two years in the USA, first as a visiting scientist at Harvard University and then as a visiting professor at Harvard and MIT. Armand Ajdari is currently the R&D Vice President for the Innovative Materials Sector of Saint-Gobain and was previously the Deputy R&D Vice President for the Saint-Gobain Group.

Jason Anderson,
CMO and VP Strategy & Business Development for CertainTeed
Jason is responsible for strategy, corporate development, corporate marketing, and business development for CertainTeed, Saint-Gobain’s Construction Products business in North America. He works closely with the CertainTeed business unit presidents and R&D to drive efforts in mergers and acquisitions, customer insights, and research into future markets. Jason also develops and manages the North American national account strategy for retail and big builder accounts.

Prior to joining Saint-Gobain, Jason worked for Novomer, Inc., a venture capital-backed start-up pioneering a family of high performance, environmentally responsible polymers and chemical intermediates, where he was Director, CO2 Strategy and Business Development. He has previous experiences with McKinsey & Company focusing on enterprise strategy, portfolio optimization and manufacturing performance; the World Economic Forum; and BASF SE as manager of their polyalcohols business.

Jason has a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Jean Angus,
General Manager, Seals business unit within Performance Plastics
Jean Angus is GM, Seals business unit within Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics.   She brings to her role over twenty-five years of broad-based, global experience in the Specialty Chemical Industry including global business management, sales & marketing, strategy development, manufacturing, supply chain, innovation and R&D.   Within Saint-Gobain, Jean was previously Director of Innovation Processes at Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics. 

As GM Seals, Jean Angus leads a 150€ million global business with an integrated co-design model and focused on making critical parts in industries such as aerospace, automotive and oil & gas.  Her business has a global footprint with eleven (11) manufacturing locations and 1,000 employees across the Americas, Europe and Asia. 

John Crowe,
President and CEO, Saint-Gobain Corp. and President and CEO, CertainTeed
John Crowe is President and CEO of Saint-Gobain Corporation, the North American operations of Saint-Gobain, the world’s largest supplier of building materials, and of CertainTeed, the company’s largest North American subsidiary.

He joined Norton Company (which was acquired by Saint-Gobain in 1990) in 1978 as a Process Engineer in the company's materials business.  Over the years, he held various positions of increasing responsibility in engineering, financial management, business development, marketing and sales, and general management in the company's Advanced Ceramics and Crystals businesses.

John was named President of the Fluid Systems Division of Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation in October 2002, and President of its Bearing & Seal Technology Division in September 2003.  Crowe was named President of Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics in 2004.  He was President of Saint-Gobain Abrasives from January 2008 until assuming his current post in September 2011.

John Crowe holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from Clarkson University (Potsdam, New York) and an M.B.A. from Boston College.

Fabrice Didier,
Chief Marketing Officer
Fabrice Didier graduated as an engineer from the Ecole Polytechnique of Paris. He then got a PhD in solid state physics from the University of Orsay.

He then joined Saint-Gobain as an R&D engineer in 1995. In 1998 he was appointed Industrial Manager for the coating activity in Saint-Gobain Glass with location in Cologne (Germany).  Fabrice was then appointed Deputy General Manager of Saint-Gobain Glass Benelux in 2001, and General Manager of Saint-Gobain Glass Germany in 2005. 

From 2009 to 2013 he was CEO of Saint-Gobain Solar, the business unit of the Saint-Gobain Group devoted to solar energy. Since August 2014 Fabrice Didier is Chief Marketing Officer of the Saint-Gobain Group.

Benoit d’Iribarne,
President of the High-Performance Materials Sector
Benoit d’Iribarne graduated as an engineer from the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées of Paris and obtained a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Benoît joined in 1985 as a Research Engineer at Saint-Gobain Recherche Paris. In 1987, he joined Sekurit Herzogenrath Germany as Development Engineer, is appointed Key Account Manager in England in 1989, Production Manager at Sekurit Belgium in 1992, then General Manager of Sekurit NFG in Germany in 1995.

In 1997, he was appointed General Industrial Manager of Saint-Gobain Glass. He was appointed President of Saint-Gobain Glass Outside Europe in 2000, and Saint-Gobain Glass in 2005. In 2008, Benoit d’Iribarne was appointed President of Saint-Gobain Glass and Sekurit, then in 2012 General Delegate of Saint-Gobain for Brazil, Argentina and Chile. Since 2014, he is President of the High-Performance Materials Sector.

Delphine Gény-Stephann,
VP Corporate Planning & Strategy Saint-Gobain Group
Delphine Gény-Stephann is Vice-President, Corporate Planning & Strategy for Saint-Gobain Group, member of the Corporate Board since October 2014.

Delphine was previously Director, in charge of Mergers & Acquisitions in Saint-Gobain Innovative Materials Sector (Flat Glass, Ceramics, Plastics, Abrasives), circa 10 B€ sales, and in charge of External Venturing for the Group since January 2013. She joined Saint-Gobain in 2005 and held various positions in business development and finance.

Before joining Saint-Gobain, Delphine Gény-Stephann graduated from Ecole Polytechnique, Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées and Collège des Ingénieurs in Paris, and started her career at the French Finance ministry.

Anne Hardy,
Director, Northboro Research & Development Center
Anne Hardy, formerly Deputy Vice President of Research and Development for Compagnie de Saint Gobain, joined Saint-Gobain in 1992 as a Research Engineer in the Shared Services Section of the Northboro Research and Development Center. 

Anne held various positions of increasing responsibility within Northboro and created the Materials Processing Section. She has been a prolific contributor of innovative ideas resulting in multiple patents in Abrasives, G&P, Plastics, NorPro, Ceramics, Roofing, among others. She joined Performance Plastics (PPL) in February 2009 as the Technology Manager for Coated Fabrics. 

Anne Hardy took her current position in October 2010.  She has a BS in Chemical Engineering from University of Utah and a PhD from MIT in Materials Science.

Tom Kinisky,
President of Performance Plastics
Tom Kinisky is President of the Performance Plastics business within the High Performance Materials Sector (HPM) of Saint-Gobain and is located in Aurora, Ohio. He has been President of Performance Plastics since January 2008.

Tom spent the early part of his career in R&D and innovation.  He came to Saint-Gobain through the acquisition of Norton Company in 1990.  From 1990 to 1995, he worked in Saint-Gobain’s Northboro Research and Development Center (NRDC) as Director of the Technical and Analytical Services Group.  In 1995, he joined the Abrasives R&D organization as the Technology Director for World-Wide Bonded Abrasives and moved on in 1997 to become Vice-President of Technology and New Business Development for the Abrasives Business.  In 2002, Tom moved into general management and was named President of the Crystals business of HPM where he led the strategic restructure and growth of this business.

Prior to Norton Company, Tom Kinisky worked for Union Carbide Corporation in its Corporate R&D Center in Tarrytown, NY.

Emmanuel Normant,
COO of the Insulation Activity
Emmanuel Normant is graduated as engineer from Ecole Polytechnique and Ecole des Mines de Paris (Corps des Mines). Before joining Saint-Gobain, he worked for the French Ministry in charge of environment (EPA) with various responsibilities, eventually as technical adviser of the Minister.

Emmanuel  joined Saint-Gobain in 2002, mostly within the Construction Products Sector, in Brazil from 2002-2005, China from 2005-2012, in France since then. In Asia, after having been in charge of the development of the pipelines activity for China, he took over the responsibility of General Delegate for Asia-Pacific for the Saint-Gobain Group as well as Regional Managing Director for the Construction Product Sector for the same region. Since 2012, Emmanuel Normant is in charge of the insulation activity of Saint-Gobain – this activity is nearly 3.5 BUSD of turnover, with 65 plants in 40 countries and worldwide leader for sustainable insulation solutions.

Didier Roux,
R & D and Innovation VP of Saint-Gobain Member of the French Academie des Sciences
After studying chemistry and physics at the “Ecole Normale Supérieure” of St. Cloud, Didier Roux joined the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) in 1980. He earned his PhD and was director of research at the CNRS between 1990 and 2005. He directed the Centre de Recherche Paul Pascal (CNRS laboratory in Bordeaux) from 1997 to 2001.

Didier has published more than 150 international publications and 13 patents. He has given invited lectures in more than 100 international conferences. He was awarded many prizes and distinctions including the Grand Prix IBM materials, the Grand Prix of the French Academy of Sciences Mergier Bourdeix. He holds the Silver Medal of CNRS.

Interested in applications of research, he participated in the creation of two start-ups in 1994 and 1998 he was Deputy Scientific Director of Rhone Poulenc and was involved in the Scientific and Technological Committee of Rhodia between 1997 and 2005. In 2005 he has been appointed as Research and Development Vice President of Saint-Gobain. Didier Roux is the Innovation Vice President of the Group Saint-Gobain since January 2009. He is a member of the French Academy of Sciences (Institut de France) and of the French Academy of technologies.

Pamela Schechter,
President of the Siding Products Group
Pamela Schechter joined Saint-Gobain’s CertainTeed team in 2013 as President of the Siding Products Group.  She is a seasoned business leader, with more than 20 years of multinational business experience across a wide range of markets and industries.

Most recently, Pam worked for Honeywell International as Business Director for Industrial Products.  Prior to that she was Global Asset Manager, responsible for multiple million dollar capital investment and obtained her lean expert certification.  She also held other positions including Global Business Manager for Foam Insulation and the Catalyst. Earlier in her career, Pamela worked for Polymer Group and Fisher Scientific in Business Management and Marketing positions. Prior to that, she held positions of progressive responsibility with Honeywell International formally known as AlliedSignal.

Pam Schechter holds a BS in Material Science and Engineering from North Carolina State University and an MBA from The Stern School of Business, New York University.
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