Speakers (Partial List)
President / CEO
KCCD Korean Churches for Community Development
Faith & Community Empowerment
Ms. Hyepin Im is a U.S. Presidential Appointee on the Board of the Corporation for National and Community Service. She is the President and Founder of Korean Churches for Community Development (KCCD), a national nonprofit empowering churches and nonprofits to leverage their resources by building capacity, leadership, and partnerships in economic development and serving as a bridge between the Asian American community and the greater community. Since 2001, KCCD has had over 300 partners, ranging from the White House to Fortune 500 companies.
She has been featured on CNN, NPR, LA Times and the Washington Post and presented at numerous conferences including the White House, U.S. Department of Labor, and Christian Community Development Association. In 2013, she was recently honored by Los Angeles Magazine as “Ten Inspirational Women of Los Angeles .She was honored as 2012 Woman of Action by California Speaker of the Assembly John Perez and also as Pioneer Woman of the Year by Council President Eric Garcetti and Councilmember Tom Labonge. She was also recognized by LAUSD School Boardmember as a Trailblazer for her work and advocacy for students. She has a B.S. from U.C. Berkeley, M.B.A. from University of Southern California, and M.Div., summa cum laude, from Wesley Theological Seminary.
David E. Ryu
4th, Council District
Los Angeles City Councilmember David E. Ryu represents the 4th Council District which includes the neighborhoods of Sherman Oaks, Toluca Lake, Hollywood, Hollywood Hills, Los Feliz, Silverlake, Miracle Mile, Hancock Park, Windsor Square, Larchmont and a portion of Koreatown.
Ryu studied economics at UCLA; Public Policy and Administration at Rutgers; won a prestigious United Nations graduate internship; and was a Netkal Fellow at USC’s School of Social Work.
As Senior Deputy to Los Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne Burke, he worked for years on issues like public health, housing, children and family services, transportation and senior services. He helped oversee the County budget and worked for a time as a Special Investigator for the Auditor-Controller, rooting out waste and fraudulent expenditures.
Ryu returned to the non-profit world and served as Director of Development and Public Affairs at one of Los Angeles’s largest non-profit health care providers: Kedren Acute Psychiatric Hospital and Community Health Center.
On July 1st, 2015 Ryu became the first Korean American to serve on the LA City Council and only the second Asian American.
Rev. Dr. Robert A. Schuller
The Hour Of Power
Rev. Dr. Robert A. Schuller For 32 years, the Rev. Dr. Robert A. Schuller was seen by more than 20 million people every week on the internationally televised program, The Hour Of Power, broadcast from the Crystal Cathedral. From 2006-2008, three years, he was the senior pastor. An accomplished author, he has written over 20 books including a New York Times best- seller, “Walking In Your Own Shoes.” He has been on the Leadership Council of the Global Peace Foundation, since 2009, whose priority is the reunification of the Korean Peninsula. Currently he is writing and producing inspirational videos, which encourage and motivate people to find hope and healing in their families, communities, their nation, and the world. These courses are available at: www.RobertSchullerInspiration.com.
Dr. Schuller has been married to Donna since 1984. He has 4 adult children and 6 grandchildren. He resides in Newport Beach, Ca. and La Playita, Mexico.
Melany De La Cruz-Viesa
UCLA Asian American Studies Center (AASC)
Melany De La Cruz-Viesa is the Assistant Director of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center (AASC) and the Managing Editor of AAPI Nexus, a nationwide journal focusing on Asian American & Pacific Islanders (AAPI) policy, practice, and community issues. She also serves as the Director of the AAPI Community Development Census Information Center, a joint partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau. Her research focuses on AAPI demographics and policy, in relation to asset building, housing, community and economic development, and education. She is a member of the Insight Center for Community Economic Development's Experts of Color Network. She was appointed by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in 2008 and re-appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti to the City’s Human Relations Commission. She holds a master's degree in urban planning from UCLA and a bachelor's degree in ethnic studies and urban studies and planning from UC San Diego.
Director of Field and Constituencies
National Immigration Foru
Adam Estle brings a wealth of experience in the immigration world to his role as Director of Field and Constituencies for the National Immigration Forum. Adam coordinates the Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform network and serves as the liaison between the Forum’s work around the country and its Washington, DC headquarters.
Before joining the Forum in 2015, Adam served as the executive director for Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding, directed a program providing housing and care for unaccompanied immigrant children at Neighborhood Ministries (Phoenix, AZ) and practiced basic immigration law at LifeBridge Community Alliance (also in Phoenix). In 2015, the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Arizona honored him with their Hero Award for his local multifaith peacemaking efforts with his church and the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix.
Originally from Peoria, Arizona, where he currently resides, Adam is a graduate of Olivet Nazarene University and Fuller Theological Seminary.
Community Relations Manager
Adam Ma joined SoCalGas as their Community Relations Manager under External Affairs in 2015. Previously he was a Senior Political Advisor to Congressman Xavier Becerra. He also worked for CA Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León, CA State Senate Majority Leader Gloria Romero, and Los Angeles City Council Member Wendy Greuel. He also has a broad range of campaign and political experiences with California’s elected leaders and organizations, including: Jeff Prang for Los Angeles County Assessor, Kevin de León for State Senate & State Assembly, Judy Chu for Congress, and with the LA County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO.
Adam stays active in the community and has been a long-time member with the Chinese American Citizens Alliance – Los Angeles (Chinatown). He is also SoCal Chair with the California Democratic Party – Asian Pacific Islander Caucus, on the Board of Directors with CAUSE (Center for Asian Americans United for Self-Empowerment) and the Korean American Coalition.
Adam has a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Texas, Dallas and a Bachelor’s in Political Science from the California State University, Northridge.
Alexander Jun, Ph.D
Professor of Higher Education
Azusa Pacific University
Alexander Jun, Ph.D., is a TED speaker and Professor of Higher Education at Azusa Pacific University. He has published extensively on issues of postsecondary access for historically underrepresented students in underserved areas, and continues to conduct research on issues surrounding equity, justice and diversity in higher education. He is author of the book, From here to university: Access, mobility, and resilience among urban Latino youth. He recently joined the board of Journal of Behavior and Social Sciences and serves as Associate Editor. Dr. Jun’s latest book entitled White Out: Understanding White Privilege and Dominance in the Modern Age, published in 2017, is published by Peter Lang. In June 2017 Dr. Jun was elected as the first Asian American Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). He is married to Jeany Kim Jun, a professor of pharmacy at the Keck Graduate Institute. They have three middle and high school children.
Alfred Fraijo Jr
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP’s Real Estate
Alfred Fraijo Jr. is a partner in Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP’s Real Estate, Land Use and Environmental practice in the firm’s Los Angeles office. He is a recognized leader in real estate law and was recently featured in “Newsmakers” by the Los Angeles Business Journal and also was recognized among the Journal’s Who’s Who in Real Estate Law in 2013. Alfred leads cutting edge real estate transactions for public, private and nonprofit developers and multi-national corporations in the United States and abroad. He has significant experience obtaining and negotiating public financing and land use entitlements for complex educational campuses and mixed-use development projects throughout California. Alfred advises clients on state and federal land use and environmental laws, including the Subdivision Map Act, California Community Redevelopment Law, California Environmental Quality Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, CERCLA, RCRA, California Superfund Law and the Polanco Redevelopment Act. He also works closely with clients and consultants on due diligence review of land use issues, including local zoning ordinances, general plans, redevelopment agency plans and related land use restrictions.
Charlie Woo is an entrepreneur with a passion for public policy and civic engagement.
He is the CEO of Megatoys, an international toy manufacturing company headquartered in Los Angeles. He turned the once run-down industrial area in downtown Los Angeles into a thriving toy wholesale district. He is also a developer of housing and commercial mixed- use projects in downtown Los Angeles, helping to create the trendy Arts District of Los Angeles.
Charlie has a long history of civic and community involvement. He is a co-founder and Chair of Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment (CAUSE) with its mission of encouraging civic engagement in the Asian American community and developing the next generation Asian American political leaders.
He currently chairs the Workforce Development Board for the City of Los Angeles, a commission that oversees the nation’s second largest workforce development system. He has been serving on this board for over 25 years, under five successive mayors. Under his leadership, the City’s workforce system has been recognized in the country as a model for innovation. He is also a former Chairman of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, as the only Asian American to head this 128 year old prestigious business organization.
Elysia Adi is the Executive Assistant of GSLTWO, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering the youth through concerts, food fairs, and events. She has an invested passion in politics, public speaking and advocacy, serving in her local community by holding voter registration drives and on a national setting, in which she has done advocacy since her junior year of high school. She is a piano teacher, in the Lobby Committee of her college’s student government, and youth pastor at IMPACT Community Church. Her optimism, passion, and nonstop pursuit in taking initiative weigh contagious to the students at her advocacy group, where she coaches 30 young high schoolers in creating bills to combat controversial and current issues. She currently attends Pasadena City College as a freshman pursuing a major in Political Science. She seeks to continue her love of art and public speaking throughout her future and advocating for the voiceless.
Multicultural Strategy Manager
MUFG Union Bank, N.A.
Frank Robinson is the Multicultural Strategy Manager for MUFG Union Bank, N.A. He is in charge of developing the bank’s multicultural strategy, including the management of diverse banking segments and the development and implementation of internal and external marketing and multicultural programs. He has been with the bank for 21 years.
Prior to his current position, he oversaw the bank’s Special Purpose Credit Program. Business Diversity Lending offers more flexible underwriting guidelines for women-, minority-, and veteran-owned businesses.
Robinson, a Baton Rouge, Louisiana native, earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from California State University, San Bernardino. He is also a graduate of Pacific Coast Banking School at the University of Washington.
Los Angeles Times
New York Times
James Flanigan, business columnist for the Los Angeles Times, New York Times and other publications, has covered national and international business and economics for more than50 years.
For 20 years he wrote a column in the business section of the Los Angeles Times. Since 2005, he has written on small business for the New York Times. During 18 years with Forbes Magazine, he served as bureau chief in Washington, Los Angeles, London and Houston and later in New York as assistant managing editor. His work has won numerous awards, including the Gerald Loeb Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism.
His book, “Smile Southern California, You’re the Center of the Universe”--published in 2009--tells of Southern California's relation to the global economy. He is currently writing a book on the Korean Community in California and across the United States, which will be published in 2018.
Flanigan, who was born in New York City, is a history and English graduate of Manhattan College. He and his wife Patricia have five adult children and an assortment of exuberant grandchildren.
National Race and Justice Correspondent
Los Angeles Times
Jaweed Kaleem is the national race and justice correspondent at the Los Angeles Times, where he writes about how race and ethnicity shape our evolving understanding of what it means to be American. He frequently reports on policing, civil rights, immigration, prisons and religion, among other subjects. Before joining The Times, Jaweed was the senior religion reporter at HuffPost for five years, working in its New York and Los Angeles offices. From 2007-11, he was a reporter for the Miami Herald. Jaweed believes strongly in covering faith communities in journalism and is on the board of directors for the Religion News Foundation. He attended Emerson College in Boston and grew up in Northern Virginia.
Kenneth Bae was born in Seoul, Korea, on August 1, 1968. His family immigrated to the United states in 1985. Kenneth went to high school in California and attended the University of Oregon and Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. While serving as a missionary to China and he began to conduct the tours into North Korea to bring Christians around the world to pray and worship since 2010. On his 18th trip to North Korea, he was detained in North Korea and charged with attempting to overthrow the government and received 15 years of hard labor sentence. He became a first American who was sent to the labor camp in North Korea and he was released after 735 days of detainment in 2012. He became the longest held American prisoner since the Korean War. He is an ordained Southern Baptist minister, and has been working with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) since 2005. He is now serving as the founder and president of Nehemiah Global Initiative (NGI), an international NGO focuses on the North Korean refugees. His book, “Not Forgotten” was published in 2016 by Thomas Nelson.
Paul Y. Song
Chief Medical Officer
Paul Y. Song, MD is on the national board of Physicians for a National Health Program and serves as Co-chair for a Campaign for a Healthy California.
He most recently left the faculty at the Samuel Oschin Cancer Center at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in the Department of Radiation Oncology and currently works part-time seeing Medicaid and uninsured patients at California Dignity Hopstial.
Dr. Song is also the Chief Medical Officer of ATGen Global, a Korea based publicly traded biotech company focused on immunodiagnostics and treatment.
In 2013, Dr. Song as the very first visiting fellow on healthcare policy in the California Department of Insurance and from 2013-2016 served as the Executive Chairman of the Courage Campaign.
He graduated with Honors from the University of Chicago with a BA in the Biological Sciences and earned his MD from George Washington University School of Medicine. He completed his residency in radiation oncology at the University of Chicago Medical Center where he also served as chief resident. He completed a brachytherapy fellowship at the Institut Gustave Roussy in Villejuif, France and was awarded an ASTRO Research Fellowship by the American Society of Radiation Oncology for his work in radiation inducible gene therapy.
Dr. Song currently serves on the board of People for the American Way, the Eisner Pediatric and Women’s Center, Healthcare NOW, Progressive Democrats of America, and the Asian Pacific American Institute of Congressional Studies
Senior Vice President
Community Relations for Bank of America
Greater Los Angeles region
Raúl Bustillos is Senior Vice President, Community Relations for Bank of America’s Greater Los Angeles region. Raúl provides business, civic and philanthropic leadership for Bank of America throughout Los Angeles County, and works to strengthen communication and integration among the company’s local business lines. Raúl works to continuously improve brand favorability in the region and enhance Bank of America’s presence in the community.
Raúl has volunteered his time with numerous organizations and served on various boards and advisory committees including the Koreatown Youth & Community Center, La Plaza de Cultura Y Artes, American Camp Association Southern California/Hawaii, Archdiocesan Youth Employment Services (AYE), and many others. Raúl has a M.A. in Public Policy from Claremont Graduate University, a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Irvine and is a graduate of the Coro Fellow’s program in Public Affairs.
Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA)
Raul Lopez is a Regional Coordinator with the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA). LAHSA is a joint powers authority of the City and County of Los Angeles, created in 1993 to address homelessness in Los Angeles. It is responsible for funding and coordination of homeless services and housing assistance to support people experiencing homelessness in the City and County of Los Angeles.
Prior to joining LAHSA, Raul was a Job Developer with Shields for Families a non-profit in South Los Angeles where he provided employment guidance for formerly homeless and low income people. In addition, Raul worked for Starview Behavioral Health Group a mental health agency that served systems involved youth and their families.
Raul is passionate in creating positive change at the community level and connecting different stakeholders to be change agents for their communities.
Raul has a B.A. in Political Science from U.C. Santa Barbara and a Master’s in Public Policy from California State University Long Beach.
Dr. Rhonda Thornton-Crawford
Small Business Liaison Officer (SBLO)
Dr. Rhonda Thornton-Crawford is the Director for Small Business Diversity, & Small Business Liaison Officer (SBLO) for Federal Research Subcontract Plans at the University of Southern California. Dr. Crawford’s works in tandem with USC Procurement Services to promote business diversity for active inclusion of MWVBEs, and certified Government subcontractors; small Local Community Enterprises within the university supply chain. USC SBDO seeks to ensure diverse business engagement is achieved on all levels of strategic sourcing to include: 1. Long-term university contracts, 2. Within Government Subcontract Plans and 3. Strategic partnerships with USC Local Community Enterprises.
Dr. Crawford’s community engagements include The Greater Los Angeles and local chambers of commerce, National Association of Educational Procurement - Supplier Diversity Institute, the Executive Board of the Department of Defense Western Regional Council, the USC SBDO Advisory Council, Alumni of: USC Cecil L. Murray Center for Community Engagement Faith Based Partnerships, USC Marshall School of Business-Executive Management Development Program, NDU Bible College, Bible Believer College & Seminary, University of
Prophetess Saundra O’Neal
Fountain of Love Christian Center
At the age of eleven Saundra O’Neal received Christ as her Lord and Savior. As evidence of the spirit-filled powerhouse she was to become, she also wrote songs and directed the children’s choir of her church at that age.
Comfortable in a leadership position, while in high school she started a lunch time ministry that was attended by both faculty and students. As if that weren’t enough, she also held prayer meetings in a dorm basement of Pepperdine University’s campus that would become Crenshaw Christian Center.
Saundra would later graduate from Pepperdine University with dual degrees in Psychology and Sociology. Degrees in hand and a heart for service, Saundra applied both with the Los Angeles Department of Social Services as an advocate for battered women and abused children.
She has traveled extensively throughout the United States and abroad teaching the word of God with dunamis and exusia power and authority. She is a member of an International Apostolic and Prophetic Roundtable and in 2004 was ordained into the International Prophetic Ministry by a team of ministers from the UK.
Saundra met and married her late husband Dr. James O’Neal at St. John Church of God in Christ. They were married for thirty-four years and together raised two sons, J. Michael and Jarron Christopher O’Neal. In 1983 they founded a prosperous business, Accounting Management Service. In 1987 they founded Fountain of Love Christian Fellowship, now known as Fountain of Love Christian Center, and its Senior Pastor is their youngest son, Jarron C. O’Neal. Bold Ministries International, of which Prophetic Zone Conference is an off-shoot, was founded in 1994. Saundra also founded Youth Word Explosion, a conference for youth ages 12-19.
Saundra O’Neal, born in Bogalusa, LA and raised in poverty with her five siblings by a single mother that fled an abusive husband, is a daily testimony to the power of God working in and through someone’s life. Indeed it is a testimony that with God all things are possible.
A native Angeleno, Tunua Thrash-Ntuk is the Executive Director of Los Angeles Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LA LISC). She is a seasoned community and economic development practitioner of more than 15-years with both non-profit and private sector experiences. Her strengths range from community advocacy to asset and real estate development around neighborhood revitalization. She has already led a number of important urban initiatives in Los Angeles focused on affordable housing and commercial development as well as transit-oriented projects. Prior to joining LISC, Tunua served as Executive Director of West Angeles Community Development Corporation, during her tenure she was responsible for the asset management and oversight of the WACDC real estate portfolio valued at $150 million. Tunua led the growth of WACDC’s real estate portfolio, in part by brokering a breakthrough in the development, construction and opening of West Angeles Plaza, a 24,000 square foot commercial office project. Tunua serves as a board member or advisory board member to many entities, including Federal Home Loan Bank San Francisco’s Affordable Housing Council, Housing California, City of LA Measure HHH Citizens Oversight Commission, Southern California Edison’s Consumer Advisory Panel, Greenlining Institute, Union Bank’s Community Advisory Board, Frontier Communications Community Advisory Board and the Los Angeles Development Fund, which is the City of Los Angeles’ New Market Tax Credit implementation group.
Development & Economic Opportunity
Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
Lisa Salazar has nearly two decades of experience developing and administering oversight of publicly funded programs for youth workforce and human services. Before joining Mayor Garcetti’s team, Lisa served as the YouthSource Director for the City of Los Angeles Economic & Workforce Development Department, where she managed and provided fiscal oversight to $29 million in federal, state, and local grants. She also managed Summer Youth Employment Programs, including HIRE LA’s Youth, where she led a record breaking campaign to employ 11,644 youth in 2015. Other notable positions include Acting Chief Management Analyst, managing $51 million in federal, state, and local grants that sparked workforce and economic development in vulnerable regions of the City, including South, Central, and Harbor regions. Lisa received her Master of Executive Leadership from USC and her BA from Saint Mary’s College.
President and Co-founder
Berkhemer Clayton Inc.
Author of "The Board Game – How Smart Women Become Corporate Directors," Betsy is president and co-founder of Berkhemer Clayton Inc., retained executive search firm. Her book "The Board Game" reveals how 58 women directors found their first corporate board seats. She serves on the boards of the statewide National Association of Women Business Owners-California (NAWBO-CA), also Southern California Leadership Network (SCLN) and was previously on the consumer advisory board at Southern California Edison (SCE) and UCLA Medical Center.
Betsy chairs the Los Angeles/Orange County chapter of Women Corporate Directors (WCD), a global nonprofit network of women serving on public and private boards. She has been keynote speaker throughout the U.S., and in Washington D.C. at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Based in downtown Los Angeles, Betsy co-founded Berkhemer Clayton Inc. 22 years ago with business partner Fred Clayton. The firm specializes in searches for Boards of Directors, also senior management of Corporate Communications, Finance and Investor Relations. Client companies include Bank of America, GAP, Mattel, Toyota, Ross Stores, Southern California Gas Company, Tournament of Roses, City of Hope, UCLA, USC and American Lung Association.
Before going into retained executive search, Betsy owned a major public relations agency which was acquired by global firm Golin/Harris based in Chicago. She's a graduate of UCLA.
Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Korea Co-chair
Action for Korea United
Inteck Seo is President of Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Korea and co-chair of Action for Korea United, a coalition of over 850 NGOs committed to building a grassroots movement to support Korean reunification. Mr. Seo has been involved with many of GPF’s ground-breaking initiatives to advance awareness and advocacy for Korean reunification and overseas development work. He was instrumental in the launch of the All-Lights Village Project that uses solar powered lanterns to spark community development through improved literacy, entrepreneurship, economic opportunity and security.
Los Angeles City Council, District 10
Herb J. Wesson, Jr. has served as the President of the Los Angeles City Council since November 2011 and has represented Council District 10 since 2005. Wesson is the first African American to hold the position of Council President in the city’s history and has been re-elected three times to lead the city’s legislative body. During his tenure as Council President, Wesson has presided over monumental policy initiatives making Los Angeles a better place to live, work and raise a family. Not only have local policy initiatives —which include raising the minimum wage, pension reform and consolidating city elections to increase voter turnout— positively affected local residents, but in many cases the city’s actions have spurred state and national response and served as a model for similar policies.
Wesson chairs several committees including the Rules, Elections, Intergovernmental Relations, and Neighborhoods (REIRN) Committee, Board of Referred Powers and the Ad Hoc Committee on the 2024 Summer Olympics. He is the Vice Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Comprehensive Job Creation. As chair of REIRN, Wesson has facilitated the empowerment of Neighborhood Councils while finding new and innovative ways to engage the public and promote civic engagement.
Since assuming office Wesson has brought much needed economic development to the 10th Council District. Wesson has presided over completed and highly anticipated development projects bringing economic investment and jobs to the community such as Midtown Crossing, a 330,000- square-foot urban retail development, Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw Medical Offices, which will provide primary and specialty health care services for local residents, District Square, a proposed 300,000-square-foot retail complex located steps from Metro’s Expo/Crenshaw Station, and Cumulus, a proposed transit oriented development on 12 acres which will include a mix of residential units, office space and pedestrian-oriented retail. According to a report by the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce, under Wesson’s leadership Council District 10 has the second highest private employment growth rate in the city, is setting the trend for mixed-use developments citywide and boasts an increase in local business activity.
Mark A. Rothman
Chief Executive Officer
Good Shepherd Shelter
Mark A. Rothman's career shows a long history of involvement with human relations. As Chief Executive Officer of Good Shepherd Shelter, a domestic violence shelter, Mark is committed to ending the cycle of domestic violence.
Mark was previously the principal in MAR Consulting, a consulting firm providing management and development consulting to non-profit organizations around the world. Mark served as Executive Director of the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. Mark supervised all aspects of the Museum’s evolution into its permanent home for the Museum, including managing a $20m capital campaign, the construction of the new facility and its exhibits.
Prior to joining the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust Mark was Holocaust Services Advocate at Los Angeles-based Bet Tzedek Legal Services, helping survivors in their struggles to obtain reparations and restitution. Mark graduated from Columbia University and earned an M.F.A. from USC's School of Cinema-Television.
Drucker School of Management
Jenny Darroch’s research and teaching interests sit at the marketing and innovation interface. In this capacity, she has examined macroeconomic policy that fosters innovation; behaviors and practices within organizations that lead to more innovative outcomes; and the definition of innovation itself.
Her early work on innovation was around the time National Innovation Systems (NIS) became popular. Here, Darroch developed a methodology for examining New Zealand’s NIS. While working in New Zealand as a Director of Entrepreneurship at the University of Otago, Darroch developed the country’s first Master’s in Entrepreneurship, which included a city-wide incubator to foster and develop startups.
Identifying drivers of innovation led her to develop the first ever instrument to measure an organization’s knowledge management orientation. Two of her articles (“Developing a measure of knowledge management behaviors and practices” and “Knowledge management, innovation and firm performance”) were recognized as classics in the Knowledge Management field based on the high number of citations they received.
Examining what innovation means led Darroch to examine the impact innovations have on markets, underscoring her signature course, Transforming & Creating Markets to Generate Growth, which informed her book Marketing Through Turbulent Times. Darroch also published an article in the Journal of Business Research on market creation in the pharmaceutical industry.
Darroch’s interest in markets led to her latest book, Why Marketing to Women Doesn’t Work, which explores market segmentation and was written in response to how poorly marketers seem to understand the role of women.
In addition to work that speaks directly to her interest in marketing and innovation, Darroch co-edited a Special Issue of the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science dedicated to Peter Drucker (with George Day and Stan Slater). This was published in 2006 (Issue 34, Volume 3).
Darroch is deeply interested in Drucker’s work on a functioning society and inspired by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. She is using her interest in macroeconomic policy, innovation systems, and human capital to examine at how organizations and economies can be more innovative, but in a sustainable way.