Senior Director of Research & Development, Vista Outdoor
Derek has been a leader in product innovation in the Outdoor and Sporting Goods industry for 20 years. His passion is for finding product solutions that solve persistent consumer problems in the most sustainable way possible. He is currently the head of product development at CamelBak Products and Jimmy Styks paddleboards. His role encompasses design, engineering, product development, manufacturing, and testing for their global lines of boards, hydration packs and bottles. Previously, he held the role of Director of Global Product Innovation at The North Face where he created a standalone product innovation team that integrated into the corporate innovation structure. Prior to that he was the Sr. Manager of Advanced Concepts at Brooks Sports, where he focused on high performance footwear and apparel innovations for the specialty run market.
He is experienced in creating pathways for cutting-edge University research to influence product design, especially at the intersection of human physiology and performance. Successful partnerships include sports performance (University of Connecticut, MIT), biomechanics (University of Massachusetts, Loughborough University, German Sport University – Cologne) and extreme environment physiology (the Mayo Clinic).
Derek has Masters and Bachelor degrees in Chemical Engineering (from Colorado State and University of Washington, respectively). At University he specialized in environmental, biochemical, and materials engineering.
Representing Corporate Partner CamelBak
George T Chiampas, DO
Assistant Professor in Emergency Medicine and Orthopedic Surgery, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University
George Chiampas, DO is an Assistant Professor in Emergency and Sports Medicine at the Feinberg school of medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago. George serves multiple roles in the sports medicine world with a broad scope from team physician, emergency management and response, as well as mass event planning.
George currently serves as team physician for the Northwestern University wildcats, Chicago Blackhawks as well as travels and provides medical coverage for US soccer and the Men’s National team locally and internationally. He has been the Medical director of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon with 45,000 runners annually and the 40,000 participant Shamrock 8k shuffle. He works closely with city, state and federal agencies in the planning of these events and has incorporated and lead the way with the “Unified Command” approach for mass sporting events and medical coverage.
He currently is president of the American Road Race Medical Society where the direction of “Best Practices” in medical endurance events have been established. He has lectured nationally and internationally and has authored book chapters and journal articles on several topics including mass event management, EMS and communication in a unified command approach. In 2010 Dr Chiampas led and co-authored the medical chapter for the US Bid for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup.
Locally in Chicago, Dr Chiampas is involved with several shorter and larger running events and since 2009 has also served as co-medical director of the Hustle up the Hancock climb for lung disease research. He is involved and a member of several national emergency and sports medicine societies where his focus has become emergency management and mass event preparedness.
Representing Educational Partner US Soccer
Green Bay Packers
Cathy L Esperti
Publisher at Jones & Bartlett Learning an Ascend Learning Company
Cathy is an accomplished Publisher with extensive experience of over 28 years delivering quality, innovative educational products in academic markets. Cathy and her strong team of editors work jointly to develop vision and set strategy that will maximize growth and learning opportunities. In 2015, Jones & Bartlett Learning, working in conjunction with the Korey Stringer Institute, developed a first-of-its-kind, engaging scenario-based online course providing 10 evidence-based practice continuing education units. Preventing Sudden Death in Sports and Physical Activity: An Interactive Online Program went on to win the 2015 Best Digital Media product at the New England Book Show as well as Jones & Bartlett Learnings New Product of the Year award.
Prior to joining Jones & Bartlett Learning, Cathy was Vice-President of NetLearning, a healthcare learning management company providing acute care facilities control over planning, delivering, and tracking education and compliance across their whole health system. She also worked for many years at Cengage Learning in roles such as Editorial Director then later Executive Director.
Cathy resides in upstate New York with her significant other Gary and daughter Hannah, along with their menagerie of pets including two labs, three cats and her beloved horse Lu. She’s been a passionate equestrian since childhood.
Cathy holds a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies ( MALS) from Stony Brook University as well as a Bachelor of Arts from University at Albany SUNY majoring in English with a dual minor in education and linguistics.
Representing Educational Partner Jones & Bartlett Learning
Global Head of Gatorade Sports Marketing
Jeff Kearney is the global head of Gatorade Sports Marketing. In this role, he manages a team that oversees the brand’s sports marketing portfolio including all league, team, event, and athlete partnerships and negotiations around the world. Further responsibilities include Gatorade athlete services, as well as GSSI & influencer marketing platforms.
A 14-year veteran of Gatorade, Kearney has worked across many facets of the Gatorade Marketing organization and most recently served as senior director, Athlete Services. From managing partnerships with key sports influencers to overseeing the brand’s youth sports platforms, Kearney has driven many of the brand’s key equity and partnership platforms. After leading Brand efforts for the introduction of G Series in 2009, Kearney returned to the Sports Marketing team in early 2012 as its global director. In his Global role, Kearney worked across many of Gatorade’s key international markets, leading integration across all sports and sports assets for the brand.
Prior to joining Gatorade, Kearney began his career in sports as an intern at the Big Ten Conference. He later became assistant director of communications at Conference USA and previously held various positions at sports and event marketing agencies.
Representing Corporate Partner Gatorade
Senior Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations, Eagle Pharmaceuticals
Sherry Korczynski is an accomplished leader with 25 years of progressive experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Ms. Korczynski is currently the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations for Eagle Pharmaceuticals, Woodcliff Lake, NJ. Prior to Eagle, she was Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations at Mylan Specialty. Prior to Mylan, Sherry spent 15 years at Eli Lilly and Company in multiple leadership roles within the sales organization. Sherry received her M.B.A. from West Virginia University and her B.S. in Marketing from Penn State University.
Representing Corporate Partner Eagle Pharmaceuticals
SVP, Product & Innovation, MISSION
Chad Lawrence is Mission’s Senior Vice President of Product and Innovation, responsible for the company’s product development, design, trend, performance claims, testing, and innovation. Chad has been with Mission since January of 2016 leading innovation and establishing industry leading personal cooling gear. Chad has been an integral part of maintaining relationships with our University partners such as with the Korey Stringer Institute.
Chad has 20 years of textiles and product development experience. Prior to Mission, Chad worked for companies such as Spanx, Target, and Vanity Fair. Chad grew up in a small town near Monroeville, Alabama which is known as the hometown of Harper Lee who wrote “To Kill a Mockingbird”. He received his Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Science from Troy University. He later received his Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Mobile. Chad lives in Johns Creek, Georgia with his wife, Michelle, and three children.
Representing Corporate Partner MISSION
Tory Lindley, MA, ATC
President, National Athletic Trainers’ Association
Tory Lindley, ATC is starting his seventeenth year as Northwestern University’s Director of Athletic Training Services and Senior Associate AD. At Northwestern, Tory supervises the Athletic Training, Sports Performance and Performance Nutrition staffs. Tory has degrees from Michigan State University and the University of Minnesota. Tory served in state leadership roles for the Minnesota ATA and the Michigan AT Society before providing six years of service to the Illinois Athletic Trainers’ Association Board of Directors, including President from 2006-2008. From 2012 to 2018 Tory was the NATA District Four Director and member of the NATA Board of Directors, serving as Vice President for two years.
In June 2018 Tory began his three-year term as the National Athletic Trainers’ Association’s 14th President. A 2011 inductee into the Illinois Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame, Tory was a 2016 recipient of the GLATA Golden Pinnacle Award and the 2012 NCAA’s Division I Athletic Trainer of the Year. Tory enjoys life balance with Beth, a career social worker and their three children Jonah (23), Evan (20) and Genevieve (18).
Representing Corporate Partner National Athletic Trainers’ Association
Executive Vice President for Health and Safety Policy, National Football League
Jeff Miller serves as Senior Vice President for Health and Safety Policy for the National Football League. Jeff oversees the NFL’s player health and safety programs, scientific research and youth football programs. Jeff previously served as head of the NFL’s Washington office. As Senior Vice President for Public Affairs, he was responsible for all state and federal legislative and regulatory initiatives and oversaw the league’s charitable foundation.
Before he opened the NFL’s Washington office in 2008, Jeff worked as the Staff Director and Chief Counsel for the Antitrust and Business Competition Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senator Herb Kohl from 2003-2008. He previously served as counsel on the same subcommittee. As staff director, Jeff was responsible for legislation on all issues before the Committee as well as investigations and hearings concerning a range of antitrust issues including mergers and anti-competitive business practices. He led investigations into mergers in the telecommunications, media, airline, and pharmaceutical industries, among others.
Jeff is a graduate of The Law School at the University of Chicago and received a B.A. magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania.
Representing Corporate Partner National Football League
Director of Product Management, Nielsen-Kellerman
Michael is currently the Director of Product Management, helping NK to define the right product for the right market at the right price. Since joining NK 20 years ago, Michael has worked in almost every department, starting as an assembler, then wearing titles of Assistant Production Manager, Sales Manager and Director of Engineering. Michael is an early adopter of lean product development and has been a presenter at several conferences on the topic. This more disciplined process, which emphasizes rapid learning cycles and closing knowledge gaps early, has decreased the time it takes to get NK’s products to market, helping us to continue to innovate in each of our niche markets.
Raised in Philadelphia, Michael started his rowing career at La Salle College High School, and continued to row at the University of Miami while earning his degree in Mechanical Engineering. He took up sculling while pursuing his Master’s degree in Naval Architecture/Ocean Engineering at University of California at Berkeley. After graduation, he returned to Philadelphia to continue sculling at Undine Barge Club. His part-time job at NK to fill the time between practices wound up becoming his passionate career, and he still coaches three mornings a week at Undine – another example of NK truly standing in the shoes of our customers.
Representing Corporate Partner Kestrel
Rachael R. Oats, CAE
Associate Executive Director, National Athletic Trainers’ Association
Rachael R. Oats, CAE, has been a champion for athletic trainers and their patient populations since she began her tenure with the National Athletic Trainers’ Association in 1999. During her years of service to NATA and its members, Rachael has worked in several capacities, including special projects and volunteer engagement manager, continuing education associate, special projects coordinator, special projects manager, and NATA Foundation Director. She is currently the association’s associate executive director, a position she’s held since 2013.
Rachael is the staff lead on several youth sports safety programs with the NFL and KSI, including the national and NFL club AT programs, which provide access to athletic trainers for youth in underserved areas; Collaborative Solutions for Safety in Sport, a three-year initiative sponsored by NATA and AMSSM to address and improve state athletic associations’ policies to make participation safer for high school student athletes; and meetings of national youth sports governing bodies designed to educate and develop consensus on best practices for our country’s youngest athletes. She has also worked with NATA inter-association task forces which were convened to tackle issues such as pre-season heat acclimatization, exertional heat illness, commotio cordis, sickle cell trait, emergency preparedness, sudden cardiac arrest in high school and collegiate, to name a few. Rachael led efforts to develop an educational video entitled Head’s Up, which addressed the dangers head-first tackling in contact football, as well as concussion education videos for football and hockey.
In her 17 years with the association, she has served the Secondary School Athletic Trainers’ Committee, College/University Athletic Trainers’ Committee, Honors and Awards Committees and a number of inter-association task forces that have successfully improved practices and led to new policies that make physical activity safer for athletes of all ages.
In 2008, Rachael earned the prestigious Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential, the highest professional designation for association professionals, held by fewer than 5 percent of her peers in association management.
Representing Corporate Partner National Athletic Trainers’ Association