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Brian Lawley

CEO and Founder

Brian Lawley is the CEO and Founder of the 280 Group. He is the author three best-selling books, The Phenomenal Product Manager, Expert Product Management and 42 Rules of Product Management and is the former President of the Silicon Valley Product Management Association (SVPMA). He was awarded the Association of International Product Marketing Management Award for Thought Leadership in Product Management, and has been featured on World Business Review and the Silicon Valley Business Report. He is the editor of the Optimal Product Management blog and newsletter, and also writes guest articles for publications such as the Software Development Forum newsletter, Softletter and the SVPMA newsletter. Prior to founding and running the 280 Group, Brian spent many years working on innovative products at world-leading companies, including Digidesign (acquired by Avid), Apple (Product Manager for the MacOS human interface), Claris, Symantec and Whistle Communications. Brian is a Certified Product Manager (CPM) and Certified Product Marketing Manager (CPMM) and has a bachelor's degree in Management Science from the University of California at San Diego with a minor in Music Technology and an MBA with honors from San Jose State University.

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    Phil Burton

    Senior Principal Consultant and Trainer

    Phil Burton is a Principal Consultant and Senior Trainer for the 280 Group. He has executed assignments for US and non-US clients with B2B products and services covering both applications and infrastructure. His projects have covered the entire product life cycle, including portfolio management and pricing, writing market requirements documents, planning product launches and creation of sales tools. Phil has trained thousands of 280 Group customers in principles and best practices of product management and product marketing. He is also a contributing author to the best-selling 42 Rules of Product Management and a co-author of 42 Rules of Product Marketing. Phil has extensive full life cycle product management and product marketing experience, with a strong understanding of how to tailor the product life cycle process to the specific needs and organizational structure of a client. Phil has expertise in product definition, launch, messaging and positioning, collateral creation, competitive analysis and sales tool creation. He is also an excellent public speaker for both executive level and technical groups. Phil has more than 25 years of hands-on product management and product marketing experience. He has worked for both established companies such as Sun Microsystems, Novell Inc., Convergent Technologies (acquired by Unisys) and Octel (acquired by Lucent Communications), as well as startups at various stages of development. He has a civil engineering Degree from M.I.T, with an undergraduate degree in civil engineering from City College of the City University of New York. He is a member of several information security organizations and is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).

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      Jim Reekes

      Senior Principal Consultant and Trainer

      Jim Reekes spent the first 20 years of his career developing software. He has extensive knowledge and experience with the entire software development process ranging from very small to very large projects. During his 12 years writing software at Apple Computer, Jim worked at every level of the operating system. As a member of the QuickTime team, he created the company’s innovative audio architecture, earning him two patents and establishing the foundation for countless multimedia products. His contributions include key benefits and innovations found in iTunes and the iPod. He was instrumental in designing the user interface and architecture for Kerbango, the world’s first stand-alone Internet radio, winning “Best of Show” at the Consumer Electronics Show. Jim Reekes was the former VP of Product Management for Meeting Maker, Inc., creating the company’s product vision and strategy. His accomplishments include expanding into new markets while competing against Microsoft. Jim’s efforts resulted in revitalizing the product through new positioning and exceptional product benefits. He reorganized the company’s product line, and extended it by integration and acquisition. Jim has been providing consulting services in product management to Silicon Valley for a diverse set of clients ranging from software products to websites. Jim is often described as “visionary.” Jim has expertise in product strategy, competitive analysis, market driven requirements, messaging and positioning, and brand building. He was a contributing author to the 42 Rules of Product Management.

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        Tom Evans

        Senior Principal Consultant and Trainer

        Tom Evans is a Principal Consultant and Trainer with 280 Group. Tom has over 25 years of technology business experience, working in engineering, sales, marketing and product management and in startups to Fortune 500 companies. Over the last 15 years, Tom has been responsible for establishing and implementing the product management and product marketing roles at multiple early-stage companies. Tom’s experience covers numerous vertical industries, technologies and international markets. His industry experience includes complex software solutions for manufacturing, document management, call centers, financial services and project management. Tom lived and worked in Brazil, and has conducted business internationally, including in Europe, Africa, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific regions. From this broad experience, Tom is able to quickly identify the product management and product marketing challenges that companies face, and implement solutions that lead to great products, great marketing and revenue growth. Tom is a recognized leader in the product management community; he was a board member for ProductCamp Austin, and was a contributing author to the 42 Rules of Product Management. Tom has also obtained the following certifications from the Association of International Product Marketing and Management (AIPMM): Certified Product Manager (CPM), Certified Product Marketing Manager (CPMM) and Agile Certified Product Manager (ACPM). Tom has a BSEE from The United States Air Force Academy, an MSEE from The University of Dayton, and graduated with honors with an MBA from The University of Texas at Austin.

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          Leslie Bixel

          Senior Principal Consultant and Trainer

          With decades of product management and marketing experience, Leslie Bixel consults to senior management on critical marketing issues. She drives initiatives to address common client challenges such as new product introductions, revenue growth, expansion into new geographic markets, new business creation and innovation, international standards engagements and corporate positioning. A world-class software marketer and proven leader of business innovation and expansion, as the Director of Business Development for Adobe’s Advanced Technology Labs, Leslie took on the grand challenge of creating an evergreen pipeline of viable new products to drive revenue growth for Adobe. In 2000, Leslie founded Adobe's "IdeaStudio," a new product incubator and executive oversight process, as well as the Entrepreneur in Residence program to facilitate innovative new product development. An experienced entrepreneur herself, Leslie joined Adobe as a product manager in 1987 to start up Adobe’s Asian language application software business, and is regarded as “the mother of desktop publishing” in Japan. Leslie is a graduate of Stanford University and an alumna of the Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.

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            Greg Cohen

            Senior Principal Consultant and Trainer

            Greg Cohen is a Senior Principal Consultant with the 280 Group and a 15-year Product Management veteran with extensive experience and knowledge of Agile development, a Certified Scrum Master, and former President of the Silicon Valley Product Management Association. He has worked and consulted with venture startups and large companies alike, and has trained product managers throughout the world on Agile development, road mapping, feature prioritization, product innovation, product life cycle process and product management assessment. Greg is the author of the books Agile Excellence for Product Managers and 42 Rules of Product Management, as well as a speaker and frequent commentator on product management issues. Greg has a background in B2B software and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) including spend analysis, business analytics, contract management, network security, and medical technology. Prior to consulting, he has managed over a dozen products from concept through deployment and end of life for Silicon Valley Companies such as Instill (acquired by iTradeNetworks) Idealab!, and Pandesic (a joint venture between Intel and SAP.) Greg earned an MBA with honor from Babson College and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering with second major in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University.

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              Girish Bhat

              Senior Principal Consultant and Trainer

              Girish spent the initial eight years of his career designing and implementing hardware and software products. For the past 13 years, Girish has focused on product management, product marketing, strategic analysis and solutions marketing for mobile, networking, security, computing, consumer and cloud computing products. Girish has comprehensive monetization, business case development, market research, market sizing, positioning, product strategy, product definition, launch, competitive analysis, pricing, sales tools and collateral development experience. Girish has been instrumental in helping a wide range of organizations – from early-stage startups to Global 100 companies to achieve their business goals. Over his career, Girish has built entire Product Management and Product Marketing teams and has implemented product life cycle and go-to market processes.

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                Barbara Rice

                Senior Principal Consultant

                Barbara Rice is a marketing professional and strategist who leads cross-functional and integrated teams for high-tech companies. She specializes in working with companies who need to cost-effectively introduce or expand breakout products and programs. She has managed marketing organizations at both large companies and startups, with extensive launch experience and a passion for bringing new products to market. Barbara has worked and consulted for several innovative companies in the computer software, hardware and telecom industries. At Adobe Systems, she led the Digital Imaging marketing team that launched five versions of Photoshop and introduced Photoshop Elements and Photoshop Album to the hobbyist and consumer markets. During her tenure as Marketing Director of the Digital Content Business Unit at SanDisk, Barbara worked with music, movie and television studios to deliver digital content and services across SanDisk products. Most recently, she was Director of Marketing at GridIron Software, a startup that developed revolutionary workflow mapping software for creative professionals. Barbara holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from San Francisco State.

                  Subcontracting Team

                  The 280 Group has a select group of hand-picked subcontractors that work on individual assignments or as part of virtual teams for clients. Our philosophy is to only work with the absolute best talent available, ensuring that our clients get excellent results. We have several dozen very talented, pre-qualified product management and product marketing professionals available to assist with consulting and contracting.