Judges 2015

Wolfgang Bierer


image002After receiving his Master Degree in Electrical Engineering at the University in Stuttgart in 1997 Wolfgang Bierer joined the Hitachi Software Development Center in Totsuka Japan. He then worked for several international consulting companies and focused his activities around Business Process Management, Cost Efficiency, Project Management and Change Management. In 2005 he took on the challenge of establishing his own strategic consulting company, ENDEAVOR SBC, which provides consulting services ranging from management consulting, process optimization, to e-commerce and retail development. In addition to his consultancy business, Wolfgang runs three other distinct and succesful companies in Japan in industries that range from software to medical devices. His own retail business, tausche, in Daikanyama has provided him with direct experience of the marketing and branding challenges of the retail industry.


Jason Broad

Head of Brand, Communications and Digital, Philips Electronics Japan, Ltd.

image004Jason Broad is a Silicon Valley native who graduated in Engineering at UC Berkeley, and received his MBA from INSEAD in France. Today as the Head of Brand, Communications and Digital for Philips Japan, he is working to increase the brand recognition of the Dutch multi-national healthcare and personal electronic giant in Japan. He comes to Tokyo after a career in corporate and healthcare strategy, product management and digital marketing. Prior to his position in Tokyo, he was based in Amsterdam where he drove the global development of B2C digital capabilities and setup Philips’s first independent strategy execution team. He started his career in Philips in product management and strategy for healthcare informatics – working to increase healthcare efficiency and drive down the cost of care around the globe. His job today though reconnects him with his passion for technology, where he started his career at Silicon Valley startups and working at a global digital agency in San Francisco, Tokyo and New Delhi.


Michael Jackson

Director, Solution Delivery, Kenja Corporation

image006Michael is a graduate of Computer Science in Columbia University and he previously held consultant and process engineering positions in KPMG Consulting, Merrill Lynch Japan Securities Inc. and Proxy Inc. He also worked in Barclay’s Capital Japan Limited as the Regional Head of Production Support. In 2007, he founded M5 Consulting Group, an IT and Management Consultancy company focused on the Financial Services Industry. In 2012, he joined ING Life Insurance where he led the IT Transformation and outsourcing initiatives. Currently, Michael is the Director of Solution Delivery of Kenja Corporation. Kenja is an enterprise cloud collaboration platform provider offering various products such as Webinars, Storage, WorkFlow, and KPI management.


Hiroko Kanai

Senior Manager, HR Management Sales & Customer Services Fuso, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation

image008Hiroko joined MFTBC in 2006. In 2011, she moved to HR Compliance handling various HR policies including misconduct investigation. Currently, she is the Senior Manager of HR Business Partner handling 40 staff. In her current post, she led the introduction of variable compensation for sales performance and development of hiring activities.


Ray Klein


Ray Klein co-founded American Life Inc., a Seattle, WA real estate investment company, in 1996. During his tenure, 1996-2012, he grew total funds under management grew to approximately US$ 1 billion, primarily from Asian investors.In 2009, he led a local private investor group in the acquisition of the Okabe Hotel Group, a 500-room resort chain in Japan, and served as its president until the company was sold in late 2010. During 2012-2014, he led Rainbow Clean Energy GK, a developer of PV mega-solar power generation projects in Japan. Rainbow Clean Energy developed 3 megawatts of peak generating capacity at facilities in rural Japan.


Takuya Kudo

Managing Director, Accenture Data Science Center of Excellence & Accenture Analytics Japan Lead, Accenture Japan Ltd

image010Takuya Kudo is a Managing Director at Accenture Digital. He leads Accenture’s Analytics service in Japan, supporting clients in delivering high business performance. Takuya earned master degrees in Information Technology from Carnegie Mellon University and in Public Administration from Columbia University in the U.S.A. He has extensive experience in analytics at home and abroad: developing information strategies, analyzing data, and optimizing its implementation in the areas of the media, communications & high technology, products, finance, energy, and public services. Before returning to Japan in 2011, he served as Director of Statistical Analysis in New York City under the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He is a research fellow at CMO study meeting of the Graduate School of Public Policy (Tokyo University, Tokyo prefecture), an adjunct lecturer in data science at the Faculty of Environment and Information Studies at Keio University (Kanagawa Prefecture) and a special speaker on analytics at Aizu University (Fukushima Prefecture). His latest books are A Guide to Data Science: How to Make the Most of Statistics for Business [Nikkei Business Publications, Inc.] and A Book for Those Who Hope to Start Data Analysis [PHP Institute, Inc.]

Kyohei Noguchi

Operating Officer : Japan Marketing, LIXIL Corporation

Kyohei NoguchiKyohei Noguchi started his career in marketing immediately after graduating from Keio University in 1980 with Nissan Motor Co. LTD, as part of the advertising planning and creative development team. Within the first ten years of his career he was recognized twice by the Japan Advertisers Association Inc., receiving the Gold Prize for Advertising Treatises in 1987, and the Silver Prize in 1989, for his expertse in the field. After 15 years, he was appointed the Director of Product and Market Strategy in NISSAN North America Inc. After a 6 year stint in the USA, he returned to Japan, where he continued to broaden his experience by working in the Global Marketing Department, Global Brand Communications and CSR department, and IP promotion departments, until 2014 when he Joined LIXIL Corporation, where he now serves as the operating Officer of the Japan Marketing. Mr. Noguchi also works as a professor at the Graduate School of Product Design, and has published a number of books on Marketing in Japanese.


Catherine Solazzo

Director, Marketing, Performance Marketing, IBM Japan, Ltd.

image012Catherine started her career at IBM in the executive communications organization as a speech writer at IBM Corporate Headquarters, New York. From there she has spent time in Software Technical Sales, Program Management, Market Management, Field Marketing and other organizations across the business. In 2013 she accepted an international assignment in IBM Japan leading Software Marketing Programs. In 2014 she was promoted to Director, IBM Japan Marketing leading all go to market programs. She is responsible for digital, social, events and telemarketing across Japan. She is also the founder of the IBM BlueHub program that is designed to support developers and entrepreneurs in Japan.


Ross Rowbury

President and Representative Director, Edelman Japan

image014His career in Japan began in the brooking and investment banking industries firstly at Sanyo Securities and then in senior positions at Crosby Securities and BZW Securities. Some 20 years ago Ross moved to the PR industry, joining Gavin Anderson where as Managing Director he led teams in some of the most innovative M&A and financial communications programs then seen in Japan He was also the lead on market entry campaigns for a number of insurance companies and asset management companies. He then moved to PRAP Japan, Japan’s largest PR company where as Senior Managing Director and COO he was responsible for managing teams leading accounts in food & beverage, entertainment, technology, luxury brands, fast moving consumer goods, healthcare, beauty and finance. He also personally ran crisis and issues management campaigns for a range of Japanese and non-Japanese clients.


Daniel Smith

Consultant in Finance and IT

image016Daniel Smith is a consultant in Tokyo specializing in project management and software systems development. He has worked for major foreign financial firms such as Credit Suisse, UBS, and Goldman Sachs on projects involving new business requirements definitions, systems introductions, and business process improvement. He also has developed and delivered training courses in negotiation skills, presentation skills, and provides private training for Japanese company presidents to facilitate their overseas business expansion.

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