CEO, GRC and Due Diligence Practices Leader, Lean Business Optimization, Manufacturing and Supply Chain Practice Leader
Westport Business Solutions
An experienced business consultant and finance professional, Nevil initially established Westport Business Solutions in 2007. His objective was to bring the benefits of a holistic approach to risk management principles (GRC /ERM) to regional businesses. More recently, in response to a emerging wave of generalist consultants, he reestablished it as a unifying brand platform, allowing other leading independent consulting practices to join to provide a complementary set of superior, niche skill specific consulting services to his GRC/ERM model to better serve clients in the regional market.
Beginning his career as an auditor with Arthur Andersen & Co. in London, Nevil moved to the United States in 1985 when he joined Continental Grain Company (CGC), a New York- based multi-national commodity trading, transportation, energy and food processing company and one of the largest privately-held companies in the U.S. During a 12- year career with CGC, Nevil assumed a variety of roles including that of CFO of a billion dollar European trading entity.
Following CGC, Nevil was recruited by Coty Inc., the world’s largest cosmetics and fragrance manufacturer as the company’s VP General Auditor and established the company’s first ever internal audit function. Throughout his eight years with Coty, he was also an active participant in the company’s global strategic initiatives including acquisitions, divestitures, business restructurings and technology platform roll-outs.
A French and German speaker, Nevil’s career has included significant international travel, often working overseas for extended periods. Consequently he has a keen interest of the importance of culture within an organization and the challenges and opportunities it presents.
Nevil is a graduate of The University of Leeds, England, with a B.Sc. (Hons) in Mathematics and Computer Science. Nevil also earned his MBA from The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania.
He currently resides in Westport, CT with his wife and two children.
CEO, BCI International Consultants
Leveraging Industrial Technologies Practice Leader, Westport Business Solutions
Peter is an international business expansion/development consultant who specializes in leveraging new technologies in both domestic and international markets including alternate fuels, environmental, cement, food, glass, metals, pharmaceutical, and water treatment. During a career predominantly spent with Praxair Inc., he focused on new business development, consulting at a local level with potential customers on the benefits of applying proprietary technologies for specific projects or acquisitions. Functioning as a serial entrepreneur with the autonomy to establish relationships, identify new technology oriented market opportunities, launch and lead teams, apply best practices on the local level, and grow the company’s client base through consultation and customer process optimization.
Using his considerable experience in global markets together with his language abilities (fluent German and Portugese, conversational French, Spanish and Italian), he is skilled at bringing together resources to grow the local business through technology, meeting the needs of the local organizations. His experience with proven technologies in bringing products and services to foreign markets and cultures, allow him to now help client companies jump start their market expansion strategies saving them significant time and resources in growing businesses in new geographies both domestic and international.
Peter holds advanced degrees in Chemical Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology and in Business from Pace University. He is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the American Institute of Metallurgical Engineers, the Verein Deutscher Ingenieure, and the Verein Deutscher Eisenhüttenleute. He has lived on assignment in Belgium, Brazil, China, Germany, and Singapore.
Founder, Robert Donovan LLC
Practice Leader Business Advisory Services, Westport Business Solutions
Bob is a “change catalyst” business leader committed to building profitable businesses through revenue growth, innovation, teamwork and customer satisfaction. His extensive strategic business management experience combined with his creative marketing skills have established a proven record of exceptional P&L results associated with a string of prominent brand names.
Bob started his career in field sales/marketing with Sterling Drug managing the marketing programs of products such as Bayer Asprin. He was then recruited by Pfizer where during an 18 year career he progressed through a variety of marketing responsibilities to become VP Product Planning and Development. In this role he led global acquisition, licensing (in and out), new product development and other new business development inititives for all of Pfizer's OTC, Toiletry, Cosmetic and Fragrance businesses. During his career with Pfizer, he was directly responsible for the rapid growth of Visine, the restage of Ben Gay, Desitin and Barbasol the OTC switch of Unisom and the creation of the profitable Stetson, Sophia and Hai Karate fragrance houses.
He left Pfizer, successfully launched a chain of retail consumer electronic stores, and then returned to the pharmaceutical arena where he joined Novartis (previously Sandoz). At Sandoz he had full operating responsibility as Head of the Consumer Pharmaceutical Business Unit and Senior Vice President of Sandoz Pharma. During his tenure, sales revenue doubled and profitability enjoyed a 45% CAGR.
Within the industry, Bob was recognized as a leader and was elected industry Chairman of the Consumer Health Products Association. He was later recruited by OTC industry leadership to serve as interim President of the Association tasked to refocus and reenergize its programs. He was also elected President of the Council on Family Health, the industry's Washington D.C. based educational organization.
More recently, as founder of Robert Donovan LLC, he has “mentored” start-up and early growth stage companies in a variety of industries, both publically and privately held. His contributions have ranged from acquisition/divestiture assignments, strategic plan development, organizational to financing planning/implementation and the establishment of marketing/distribution partnership domestically and internationally. He has also served as an active Board Member for several corporations (public, private and not-for-profit).
Bob graduated from the College of the Holy Cross with a BS, and earned his MBA from The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania.
Bob currently resides in Westport, CT with his wife.
Principal, Hennessy Consulting
Practice Leader - Human Resource Services, Westport Business Solutions
Dianne Hennessy is a senior human resources (HR) executive with over 20 years of experience in diverse industries. She has been the head of HR in both public and private corporations in addition to extensive work as an organizational training and development consultant and college professor. Her experience includes: employee and labor relations; due diligence; benefits plan design; team building; compliance and talent acquisition.
Beginning her career at Verizon, Dianne moved through HR roles in defense systems, equipment manufacturing and corporate headquarters in the Northeast and Midwest. These assignments included employee and labor relations, college recruitment, talent acquisition and leadership training.
Following Verizon, Dianne joined Hilton Hotels Corporations in 1986 as a Regional Director of Human Resources with accountability for 7,000 employees at 12 corporate properties. As a senior HR generalist, she was responsible for labor relations, training and organizational effectiveness planning. In addition, she organized and implemented the strategies that stemmed three union organization initiatives.
Dianne subsequently joined Cowles Business Media, a business information publisher in 1992, to lead their HR and Facilities functions. As Vice-President she developed the HR infrastructure, designed the benefits plan, developed and conducted training programs and established a mentoring program. Also, she designed and implemented the HR strategy to integrate six new businesses.
Since 2001, she has consulted to organizations on Human Resources as well as training and development initiatives. Dianne works to develop and implement an HR Strategies that meet each organization’s specific needs. This includes supporting organizations experiencing significant change as a result of merger, acquisition and divestiture activity.
Dianne has a BA from Northeastern University and a Master’s in Education from Antioch University. She is a member of the Society of Human Resources Management and is certified by Clark Wilson and Hogan to conduct 360 degree feedback sessions.
Partner, Williamson Consulting
Business Finance, Treasury and Restructuring Practice Leader, Westport Business Solutions
Richard is an internationally experienced chief financial officer and treasurer who has worked has worked in a variety of senior leadership positions in both public and private companies across a diverse range of industry sectors including: technology, financial services, distribution, media, manufacturing, real estate, commodities, and not-for-profit.
In the roles of CFO and Treasurer, Richard has built and developed all aspects of finance organizations, implementing the key business infrastructure processes necessary to support sustainable growth, both domestic as well as international.
As a consultant he has had great success in achieving significant annual cost savings for organizations. These include the restructuring of the North American arm of an international media company ($5MM p.a.); development and implementation of a foreign exchange hedging program for an international technology company ($15MM p.a.); managing the external audit requirements of a major financial services company ($ 0.5 MM p.a.).
Throughout his career, Richard has initiated and expanded M&A programs, rationalized real estate holdings and led the divestiture of non-strategic operations. As a team builder, he has transformed the roles of the finance and treasury functions of many organizations into that of major difference makers.
Most recently, he was a CFO partner for a private management consulting company, supporting companies in transition. He has since chosen to continue this work by developing his own consulting practice to better serve clients achieve their objectives.
He is an active Board member of several not-for-profit organizations, including local Brown University alumni, Brown President’s Library Advisory Council, Darien Boy Scouts, and The Scudder Association.
Richard is a graduate of Brown University with a BA in Economics (High Honors and Phi Beta Kappa) and Yale University with an MA in Economics (Woodrow Wilson Fellow). Richard earned his MBA in Finance and International Business (Beta Gamma Sigma) from The University of Chicago. He is a licensed CPA.
Founder, J. Martin Business Law Group, LLC
Legal Services, Practice Leader, Westport Business Solutions
John is a corporate business attorney, whose areas of expertise include, but are not limited to, corporate governance (entities, filings, subsidiaries), corporate transactions, mergers & acquisitions, dispositions (assets and real property), financing (public and private), real estate (acquisition, development, construction, leasing), litigation management, insurance, employment, vendor agreements, healthcare and hospitality, as well as the day to day legal issues faced in today's business environment.
During a career that has included “in house” legal representation of both private and public companies, John is truly a generalist, establishing corporate legal departments as well as serving in the roles of Assistant General Counsel and General Counsel to start up companies and established publicly traded companies. Keeping abreast of today’s changing legal environment, John has the legal knowledge and expertise to competently advise senior management of the legal trends as it effects business in a global environment.
While attending law school, John joined the leasing department of entrepreneurial franchisor, Doctor’s Associates, Inc. – d/b/a Subway Sandwich Shops, and quickly rose to the position of Director of Leasing. With less than 200 stores at the time, John oversaw expansion at Subway to just under 900 sites in three years. Upon graduation from law school and admission to the bar, John added the title of Staff Attorney, before leaving for a position with Melville Corporation, at the time the world’s largest specialty retailer, where he was named Vice President, Assistant General Counsel of Melville and its realty group. Using he skills as a negotiator, John developed relationships with real estate developers and business leaders throughout the world, leading to further expansion of the Melville brand.
Throughout the 1990’s and 2000’s, John has honed his legal skills and business acumen to guide companies through uncertain economic times. From insurance broker Sedgwick James, to real estate owner and developer Midwood Investment and Development, advising, negotiating and finalizing complex commercial transactions, including financing, John has successfully advised companies and created a sound legal foundation as a preventative, rather than a reactionary measure. Recently, John founded J. Martin Business Law Group, LLC to advise businesses and individuals on the legal issues faced in today’s challenging business environment, allowing senior management to more fully focus on the operation of its core business purpose.
John holds a Bachelors in Arts degree from the University of Connecticut, and earned his Juris Doctorate from Quinnipiac University School of Law. John is a member of the Connecticut and Federal bars.
John resides in Fairfield, CT with his wife and son.
Paul Weston Chief Executive, PJW Consulting
Information Technology Services Practice Leader, Westport Business Solutions
As a senior Information Technology (IT) business leader and consultant, Paul has over 20 years experience driving business transformation, change and cost reduction programs in Fortune 500 companies through Information Systems.
Having started his career with IBM in London, he continued working in the Financial Services Sector in New York working for Prudential Securities and ADP, before joining Chase Manhattan Bank NA as VP Infrastructure Services.
Paul was then recruited by The Xerox Corporation, where, as its VP IT Systems & IT Architecture, he led several major applications deployments, defined and deployed the corporate master data and application integration platforms and also managed the worldwide transition of 69,000 desktops and 1,800 servers from proprietary Xerox technology to a standard PC based platform. While managing this transition he also renegotiated a multi-billion dollar contract with outsourcing partner, EDS.
As Vice President of IT for Sales, Marketing, Customer Service and eBusiness for Pitney Bowes he built an integrated CRM platform, reengineered the selling and service business processes and played a leading role in transitioning the support model to an off shore service provider. He also led the deployment of a corporate data warehouse and analytics platform.
Most recently, Paul has served in a consultative role as the CIO for The Pew Charitable Trusts where he had global responsibility for the IT requirements of Pew’s rapidly expanding portfolio of programs.
Paul received his BS in Computer Science from Portsmouth University, England.
Managing Director, Prospect Global Markets
Branding & International Marketing Practices Leader, Westport Business Solutions
Dave Pross is an international business development specialist with experience in consumer products and publishing. After earning an MA in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan, he began his career as an assistant editor for an Arabic-language magazine and then worked as the editor of Middle East Business in New York. Then, after earning an MBA in Finance/International Business at NYU, Dave joined Pepsi-Cola USA, where he held several positions in the financial planning groups, including the mergers and acquisitions team. He then joined Pepsi-Cola International, where he had planning responsibility for the Middle East region and India. Following the Indian government’s approval of Pepsi’s investment, he was a manager in Pepsi's Indian joint venture in New Delhi.
Following his assignment in India, Dave formed his own international business development firm and was a consultant to Pepsi in Bulgaria, Romania and Russia and then to Eastman Chemicals for a project in Belarus and to Constar for a packaging project in Brazil. He joined RJ Reynolds International (a division of RJR Nabisco), based in Geneva, as a director of business development for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. He led the company’s market entry initiative for the Indian market, which was the last major consumer market not yet developed by multinational tobacco companies. After the Indian government rejected RJRI's initial proposal, Dave was able to gain the first and only new foreign investment in India's tobacco industry in 75 years. He served as general manager in India and was the joint venture's managing director.
When he returned to the US, Dave joined a Connecticut-based media company, where he has business development and sales responsibilities. He also recently co-founded Prospect Global Markets, a consulting and information services company that offers a database of foreign direct investment and financial transactions in India. In addition, Dave is a senior director for a California-based consulting firm that specializes in Indian market entry initiatives for consumer product companies.
Prior to earning his MA and MBA degrees, he earned his BA in Political Science/International Relations from the College of Wooster and studied at the American University of Beirut. He has lived in Lahore, Cairo, Beirut, New Delhi and Geneva and now lives with his family in Weston, CT.
José Ignacio Sordo
Founder & Managing Director, CIO Eureka!
Information Technologies Services Practice Leader, Westport Business Solutions
José Ignacio is an entrepreneurial and highly accomplished, award-winning global IT executive and CIO. He started his career in The Procter & Gamble Company in Mexico and then was transferred to the Latin American headquarters in Caracas Venezuela where he became the CIO responsible for the regional services organization in 14 markets representing 2,200 associates across all services and systems (SAP/ERP) to deliver business capability. He also has a proved record of developing successful business driven IT solutions on a global basis as well in association with acquisition & mergers including Richardson Vicks, Wella and Gillette.
In 2006, he was transferred to Cincinnati, Ohio to lead a global initiative to enhance P&G’s distinctive customer-facing go-to-market capabilities and increase the sales productivity of 10,000 sales associates in over 150 countries. In helping to understand the needs of P&G’s key global partners, he led a systems strategy to consolidation over 5K separate (local) systems into a manageable portfolio of fewer (global) solutions which translated directly into more effective selling processes and incremental revenues.
During his 23-year career at the Procter & Gamble Company, José Ignacio has held leadership positions in multiple functions (Commercial, Supply Chain, Consumer Market Research, IT and Global Shared Services) and has worked with the top five global retailers (Wal-Mart, Carrefour, Tesco, Target, Metro) as well as distributors and small independent stores.
He is frequently recognized within industry for blending business acumen and IT strategy together. He was named to HITEC 100 America’s Most Influential Hispanics in Information Technology in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.
His board experience includes:
Industry co-chairman of CECRAL (LatAm ECR Association),
Advisory Board Member for Transora in South America,
Mentorship chair at HITEC’s Board of Directors and
Member of i.c.Stars* (Chicago) Program Committee.
José Ignacio is a graduate of ITESM, Mexico, with a B.Sc. in Computer Science. He also earned his Master’s Degree in Artificial Intelligence from the Rosenblueth Institute in Mexico City.
He currently resides in Chicago, IL with his wife and three children.
CEO/ Founder, Devon Fleming LLC
Practice Leader – Business Development and Public Relations, Westport Business Solutions
Devon is CEO/Founder of Devon Fleming LLC, a multimedia lifestyle brand that produces and disseminates practical & actionable solutions for the 'Household CEO' aka women, the largest emerging demographic. A former “Wall Streeter” working for Dean Witter, Bloomberg LP and Dillon Read & Co. where she was VP Fixed Income Institutional Sales, Devon is now best known as an author, media figure & digital correspondent in the NYC metro area.
Devon specializes in producing premium content for print, online, streaming video, television, radio, and branded content in major media publications. Her brand partners with luxury brands, women's networks and non-profits in the New York Metro region, offering primarily Business Development and Public Relations services. She is also working with a variety of professional practices in the Fairfield County area including architectural firms, musical consortiums and healthcare ventures.
Devon holds a BA in Business Administration and Management from The Tattnall School, Wilmington DE and a BA in Business from George Washington University. She is also the author of “Devon Fleming’s Pink Book,” a premium resource guide for Fairfield County.
Managing Director, Talent Acquisition Group
Talent Acquisition Practice Leader, Westport Business Solutions
Marc is Managing Director of Search Support Group which he co-founded in 1994. Since that date he grown the business into a nationally and internationally recognized consulting firm engaged in all facets of talent acquisition with a specialization in providing human capital research services to executive search firms and corporations. Its unique value proposition helps clients achieve their recruiting goals with unparalleled cost savings.
Marc’s current business success is founded on more than 20 years of corporate management experience. While working as a financial executive for some of America’s leading blue-chip companies, Kraft General Foods, Avon Products, Adidas and Continental Grain Co. he was recognized as a business leader whose style effectively balanced a pragmatic management approach with strong creative and innovative skills. During his management career, Marc received several prestigious awards for his business contributions including the General Foods’ Chairman’s Award and the President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement while at Continental Grain Co.
Prior to forming Search Support Group, Marc also achieved considerable success as a management consultant. His major clients included a $130 million apparel company, where he served as Chief Financial Officer and a global specialty chemical company where he re-engineered the payroll and employee benefits reporting system. He also had clients in the publishing, real estate and service industries.
Since forming Search Support Group, Marc has worked on a wide variety of professional searches both domestic and international. He has successfully completed assignments for senior management in consumer products, manufacturing, new media, entertainment, bio-technology, financial services, hospitality, healthcare and high technology industries.
He is a member of The Society of Human Resource Management and a Founder and Executive Committee member of The Networking Professionals of Westchester.
Marc holds a Bachelors Degree in Accounting from Lehman College and he earned his Master’s Degree in Corporate Finance from Pace University.
Marc resides in Yorktown Heights, NY with his wife.
Principal, Barbara Phillips Consulting
CPG Marketing Practice Leader, Westport Business Solutions
Barbara Phillips has held senior marketing, sales and consulting leadership roles at some of the world’s most successful health and beauty companies. Her experience has included all the primary channels including mass, prestige, and direct distribution as well television.
She began her career in sales with Unilever developing markets in the beauty, home care and food categories. After promotion to Unilever’s North American headquarters operations, she was responsible for an advanced sales analysis system, and later, new product innovation in health and beauty. Barbara was then recruited in succession by Avon, Revlon and finally Coty Inc. for a variety of marketing initiatives that focused on core business turnaround, strategic brand repositioning and new product development and launch.
At Coty Inc. (then a division of Pfizer), she was named Pfizer’s first Business Woman of the Year in 1983. Milestone achievements in her 20 years at Coty include the profit and positioning turnaround of Coty Cosmetics as well as a catalog of iconic fragrance brands including !ex-cla-mation, Lady Stetson, Sand & Sable, Jovan Musk and Aspen.
As Senior VP, she led the team that reintroduced Calgon building a $15 million bath additive into a $150 million bath & body brand in less than two years. In the world’s largest fragrance company, her division was ranked the most profitable for 7 consecutive years.
One of her many legacies at Coty was the creation of its Sales Promotion Group which continues to optimize the business revenues and profitability for all Coty’s divisions at key mass retailers, from CVS to Wal-Mart.
Since 2000, Ms. Phillips has chosen to work independently with a variety of leading healthcare and beauty clients including Benefit Cosmetics, Unilever, Burt’s Bees, Abercrombie & Fitch, Church & Dwight, Sears Circle of Beauty, Limited Too/ Justice and Pac Sun as the Principal of Barbara Phillips Consulting, based in both NYC and Madison, CT.
Barbara is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma and has completed graduate studies at Bernard Baruch. Ms. Phillips currently resides in Madison CT. and NYC.