About Us

GPSEG is a non-profit professional association of senior-level executives committed to the exchange of business contacts and ideas in a spirit of generous giving, and to the fostering of career fulfillment, business development, and professional and personal growth.

The Innovation Leadership Forum (ILF) is designed to educate, enlighten, entertain and stimulate its members’ senses and sharpen a set of skills that are recognized by all the major consultancies as the #1 topic of the day for CEO’s.  The GPSEG ILF will provide quarterly forums highlighted by an annual conference.

Joel Vardy, Chair

Joel’s current interests include all facets of the innovation continuum, from Strategy to Culture and Product & Process, as well as managing organizational performance through measurement and control principles. He has helped numerous organizations transform themselves by Innovating their Business Models, Transforming their Decision Processes and ultimately creating a sustainable Innovation Culture that either leads their industries or creates new ones. He has served as a mentor to the next generation throughout his career and has recently served in that capacity to the Villanova University Engineering Entrepreneurship program, and the Temple University Fox Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Joel continues to promote new innovation collaboration principles between the public, private and academic sectors.

Joel has journeyed throughout his career as he seeks to attain the next challenge. In the first phase he started in the Chemical Industry in Operations and Engineering (PPG) and moved to the High Tech Industry with an emphasis on Marketing, Market Development and International Business Development (TI, Rockwell, Leeds & Northrup, Invensys, AspenTech & WAM Systems). In the third career stage Joel went into the Strategy and Change Management Consulting industry (Gemini & IBM) which set him up for his fourth stage , Innovation Management (Siemens and now his own consultancy). In his role with Siemens he led Innovation Services to all the North American Operating Companies, from Healthcare to Energy to Water Technologies to Commercial and Industrial Automation. In his current role as a founder of Vardy & Associates Joel has worked with a variety of clients, including the City of Philadelphia, the State of Pennsylvania (Innovation Strategy and Change) and small and medium sized organizations in search of using innovation to create sustainable growth and profitability.

Lisa Canoura, Vice Chair

Lisa is a CEO’s secret weapon – she helps organizations deliver more value to their clients by unifying them around enhancing the client experience. From envisioning a future state, to building and embracing the case for change, to executing against future-state goals, Lisa takes strategy from an intellectual exercise to its practical execution and finds ways to improve your relationship with clients at every turn.  Most recently she served as the Head of Strategy for TIAA-CREF’s Institutional Product Management group and enjoys building, improving and growing client-centric companies in any industry.

Over her 20-year career working with and consulting to leading financial services firms, Lisa has re-positioned internal audit teams as internal consulting teams, brought solutions from the online travel industry to traditional trust companies, and created innovative solutions to combine and grow industry leading, highly-profitable companies with client-loved, yet break-even, businesses.  Lisa is a trusted advisor in the executive suite and her colleagues and clients trust her with both their businesses and their careers.  Each year, she also mentors exceptional high-performing Fortune 500 middle managers through a year-long training program with Women Unlimited, Inc.  As an executive coach and mentor, Lisa envisions professional possibilities, promotes personal transformation, and coaches executives and their teams to breakthrough performance.

Lisa brings her strategic innovation expertise to the Board of Managers for the West Side YMCA in New York City, the world’s largest freestanding YMCA, where she serves as the Chair of both the Board Development and Finance Committees.  She has also brought her mentoring experience to GPSEG’s Mentor Development Committee to envision new mentoring business models for the organization.  In her free time, she can be found lowering her golf handicap and recreating delicious dishes from her travels around the world.  Lisa holds a BS in Finance and a BS in Economics from Villanova University and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Mike Krupit, Advisor

Mike is the founder and operator of Trajectify, coaching entrepreneurs of startups and small businesses to cross the chasm – getting them beyond the stage where they find that the “next step” is a big one

He has a passion for growing companies. As a veteran of seven startups (four in Philly, one in Princeton, two in Silicon Valley), a mentor and advisor to many more, and a small company turn-around, Mike has experienced diverse conditions and markets. He has successfully delivered and grown both products and services, from pre-revenue to $150M, often having to pioneer or innovate what at first didn’t seem obvious. The result is an ability to find and “operationalize” hidden opportunity, creating growing revenue streams and the organizations that deliver them.

Previously, Mike helped to launch Philadelphia’s Real Food Works as its earliest advisor. He was the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Novotorium, an emerging business incubator. Novotorium grew out of his experience as Chief Innovation Officer of Voice Systems Engineering. He was also CIO, the COO and CEO of CDNOW and worked at startups including Infonautics, Verity, and KnowledgeSet.