Meet the Team
From ideators to disruptors, engineers to authors, we’re using genius thinking patterns full time.
CEO and founder of EdgeDweller, Susan Reed looks at products, services, and business strategy inside out, upside down, and to the farthest edge of possibility. Her drive to take businesses to the next level drove her to a long-term study of the greatest minds in the world. This ultimately led her to the realization that there was a pattern to genius thinking.
Passionate about innovation, Susan began helping others learn the needed skills which eventually developed the into the EdgeDweller process. To date, she has helped launch more than 150 products and services for 122 brands representing more than 25 industries. Her clients have ranged from start-ups to Fortune 50s and have included Disney, GE, Interface, the American Cancer Society, Goodwill, Herman Miller, Cox, Wells Fargo, Waste Management, Georgia Tech, the Georgia Department of Economic Development, and many others.
Having spent most of her life hiking untrodden paths in far-away places, hanging upside down from airplanes, and standing on the edge of sailboats to ensure a first-place finish, it’s no surprise her process for innovation is much the same.
A visionary and dynamic problem solver, Nathan Bessette is VP, Innovation Operations. Focused on creative problem solving, operationalizing innovation process, and extraordinary client relations, his hands-on experience in organizations such as Moog Inc, General Motors, and Panasonic arms EdgeDweller with an “insider’s” point of view on the challenges large organizations face when they approach innovation.
He views obstacles to innovation as mere hurdles, and at 6’3”, enthusiastically clears them, delivering unique solutions and satisfied clients along the way. He brings teams and skeptics fervently with him.
Nathan habitually applies his education and expertise in disruptive thinking, design engineering, and business rationale to his daily pursuits. Whether contemplating the world we live in or devising new ways to make 1+1=3, Nathan creates new ways of doing things that are bigger, better, and faster.
An expert on bringing big ideas to life, Kate Jones has spent years honing her creative and critical skills as a performer, producer, and creative writer. She’s always the first to step up to the plate and make sure that the big ideas on the table are backed by the attention to detail that they need to succeed.
In addition to learning lines and writing stories, Kate knows how important it is to make sure your team has the right people in the right roles. Unsurprisingly, she’s also careful to make sure that her projects are getting through to their target audience, and she is excited to apply her passions and experience as EdgeDweller’s Innovation & Communications Associate.
Engaged in innovation on stage and off, Kate enjoys seeing new and devised theatrical work and stays busy working on her family’s mountain cabin and wandering the surrounding Blue Ridge.
As a true creative spirit, Rhonda is invaluable when it comes to training critical thinkers to see creative words and ideas and understand how they can be transitioned into innovation. Her expansive sense of creativity and playfulness give her the ability to see the degree of innovation and uniqueness in ideas.
Rhonda has held positions as Senior Writer and Associate Creative Director for companies like Ogilvy & Mather and Young & Rubicam, New York. She’s created advertising campaigns for regional, national, and international companies like BellSouth, Brooks Brothers, Hardee’s, Kimberly Clark, Colgate Global, Softsoap, and Palmolive.
A passionate artist all her life, Rhonda has studied many art forms from 23 years of classical ballet, 5 years of theater, to now studying poetry and fiction writing. One of her novels, a WWII historical fiction, was awarded first place for Best Work in the 2009 Southeastern Writer’s Conference. She applies her lessons in fine arts to help companies and individuals redefine their brand.
“Making the nearly impossible a reality” is Rick’s contribution to EdgeDweller thinking. After building and selling two communication companies of his own, Rick works with corporations such as Coca-Cola, IBM, and Interface to help create and implement strategic platforms.
From the launch of cable news to the turnaround of “big blue,” Rick has ridden the wave of how people and businesses communicate with one another. Early in his career, Rick gained a reputation as an outstanding conceptual thinker whose strategic vision held special value for organizations at the crossroads. His thumbprints are on some of the more notable corporate stories of the past 30 years, including the launch of CNN, the leveraged buy-out of RJR Nabisco, IPOs for Polo Ralph Lauren and Accenture, and the Lou Gerstner turnaround of IBM.
He currently lives on a 37-acre farm in Georgia, is an outdoor enthusiast, an accomplished fly fisherman, and a reputed junk collector.
In his role as an innovation engineer with EdgeDweller, Wolfgang is passionate about creatively addressing the problems he is presented with in his mechanical and humanitarian engineering work. With a naturally creative thinking style, and the learned analytical problem solving instilled at engineering school, Wolfgang is easily able to switch back and forth from creative to critical thinking styles depending on what the situation calls for.
From helping The Women’s Bakery streamline distribution chains and increase security in urban Rwanda, to doing extensive market research for mechanization of smallholder farms in rural Africa, Wolfgang understands the many constraints that small nonprofits face and is ready to tackle them.
Whether it is snowshoeing across a frozen lake in the front range of Colorado or slogging through an ocean of engineering assignments, Wolfgang is ready with the tenacity to get the job done, and his work with EdgeDweller has only strengthened this resolve.
Jim Ferguson harbors a firm belief that nearly every idea has potential for greatness and is always ready to help evolve an undeveloped idea into a disruptive future state. Using his background in engineering paired with his creative problem-solving savvy, Jim is the master of rapid prototyping and experimental launch testing.
As the owner of Ratio Product Lab, Jim has is passionately working in the field of innovative product design for consumer, medical, military, and industrial applications. All the while, creating incredible results with the perfect mix of the traditional product development and revision process and the Intentional Innovation ® Process.
With a passion for improv theater, Jim is never afraid to have fun with endless possibilities. As a master of blending creative with critical thinking, he readily applies the cardinal rule of improv “never say NO” to innovation.
As an author, entrepreneur, financier, public servant, and social visionary, Sam stands among a handful of leaders helping reshape the Southeast in the 21st Century. Named one of Georgia Trend’s “100 Most Influential Georgians” for multiple years, his expertise in international commerce places him among an elite group of initiators and influencers. As chairman of the Georgia-China Futures Study Committee and founder of the Essential Economy Council, he has in-depth knowledge of global business dynamics and infrastructure.
Co-founder of United Americas Bank NA, president of Zamarripa Capital Inc, and currently serving as CEO of Intent Solutions, a technology company, Sam has spearheaded ground-breaking programs in transportation, the environment, education, healthcare, and the arts. Volunteer roles include trusteeships at the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Syracuse University. Having recently served the central business district of Atlanta in the Georgia State Senate, Sam is an advocate for international business development and other progressive economic programs.
He “relaxes” by hiking with his family in the North Georgia mountains.
Joy McCarthy Ph.D.
A leading psychologist for business and professional organizations, Joy facilitates high- level groups intent on generating ideas, exploring innovation, and finding mission- critical solutions. Her expertise in recognizing individual thinking patterns and ability to engage both sides of the mind assure that EdgeDweller sessions are productive and fulfilling.
Particularly fascinated with the EdgeDweller mind, Joy is working to create methods that will assist in identifying and building client teams more effectively than current profiling tools in the market place.
Joy specializes in helping organizations work through transition and conflict – two key success components of EdgeDweller thinking. Clients include companies and high-level individuals in finance, health care, construction, food service, manufacturing, telecommunications, media, non-profit, academia, and the arts.
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