Ensuring we are market-driven in everything we do.
Philip Alexander, CEO
Philip Alexander has spent more than two decades on the front lines of senior-level and international marketing, witnessing firsthand how some of the world’s leading companies managed their brands and envisioning a better way. In 2000 he founded BrandMuscle Inc. in a Boston incubator. He grew the media and branding platform into a $100 million marketing services company that utilizes technology to empower 350 national and global brands, capitalizing on local marketing opportunities.
Prior to that Philip served as vice president of brand management for Pearle Vision, a leading optical retailer with over 1,300 locations worldwide; and as vice president of marketing and advertising for Western Auto, a subsidiary of Sears, Roebuck and Co., responsible for the marketing and advertising of 1,500 stores in the United States and Puerto Rico.
“As we enter a new phase of growth at Pragmatic Institute, I see such potential; we have a great product and superb instructors. I am excited to lead the company as we expand our mission to deliver training that helps people elevate their products, companies and careers.”
Stephen Calcagno, Chief Financial Officer
Stephen Calcagno has senior-level financial experience in the manufacturing, healthcare and SaaS industries. Throughout his 20 years of experience with high-growth small- to middle-market companies, Stephen has implemented key cost-savings initiatives, overseen accounting and finance departments and managed the IT and HR function.
Prior to Pragmatic Institute, he held financial leadership roles at 41st Parameter, ACCO Brands, Fender Guitars and the Apothecary Shops.
“It’s exciting to be on the leadership team of an organization that makes a positive impact on people and companies, helping them become better at their jobs and the products they produce. We’re already a market leader but I am excited to watch Pragmatic Institute succeed even more and help more companies worldwide.”
Rebecca Kalogeris, Vice President, Marketing
Rebecca Kalogeris is a proven marketing executive and turnaround specialist. She’s made a career of joining technology companies and building up world-class, results-focused marketing departments firmly grounded in understanding the market and its needs. At Pragmatic Institute, Rebecca leads marketing communications and product marketing, championing efforts to fully understand the buyers and their processes and continuously develop campaigns and programs that not only bring new people into that process, but speed their journey through to purchase.
“In marketing, it’s rare to work on a brand that you are truly passionate about, but that’s what I get to do here. I was a student and a believer of Pragmatic Institute before I joined the company. Now, being able to help spread our training and see the impact that it has on people is truly amazing.”
Prior to Pragmatic, Rebecca held marketing leadership roles at a variety of software and services companies, including TRIRIGA, Shift4 Corporation, Client Development Services and eCommLink.
Christine Plitt, Vice President, Operations
Christine Plitt leads the strategic planning, financial management and operations of all Pragmatic Institute training events, overseeing event management, travel, procurement and shipping. She also leads the cross-functional project team tasked with international expansion of public events. In addition, Christine established the company’s in-house travel agency, NIHITO Travel, an IATAN-recognized corporate travel agency.
“Each year I see the number of companies and attendees that we have trained increase. With each event, we are equipping our attendees with the practical knowledge to be market-driven and create meaningful products. I am enthusiastic about our future as we expand our global footprint.”
Christine began her career in the hospitality industry, working for large brands such as Hyatt Hotels Corporation and Marriott International before transitioning to corporate event planning for a national healthcare company.
Dave Daniels, Vice President, Customer Success
Dave Daniels is uniquely qualified to ensure that every customer has the tools they need to successfully implement the Pragmatic Framework. He has more than two decades of experience helping technology companies become more market-driven in roles that include software developer, sales engineer, product manager, product marketing manager, executive, leader and entrepreneur, and also, former Pragmatic instructor.
According to Dave, “There’s a tendency for people to feel paralyzed until they have all the facts and data. But, as Winston Churchill says, ‘Perfection is the enemy of progress.’ My goal is to eliminate that paralysis by equipping every Pragmatic Institute student to be successful at implementing what they learned in class, not only at the individual level but also at the departmental and corporate levels.”
Steve Johnson, Vice President of Product
Steve Johnson was a founding instructor at Pragmatic Institute, a role he held for more than 15 years before he left to start Under10 Playbook. In his return to Pragmatic Institute, Steve supports the complete learning path for product teams, ensuring they are fully armed for success.
Over the course of his career, Steve has helped thousands of companies and tens of thousands of product professionals implement product management processes. He has worked in the high-tech arena since 1981, rising through the ranks from product manager to chief marketing officer. Steve has experience in technical, sales and marketing management positions at companies that specialize in both hardware and software. In addition, he is an author, speaker and advisor on product strategy and product management
“I was involved in Pragmatic Institute from its beginning and have been a strong advocate of the Pragmatic Institute Framework ever since. I’m excited to return to oversee the expansion of our offerings so that we reach even more product professionals, teaching them how to create successful products.”
Muhammad Zahid, Vice President, Technology
Muhammad Zahid brings more than 15 years of technology experience successfully leading software development, dev ops and infrastructure teams. At Pragmatic Institute, Muhammad plans, coordinates, designs and directs the company’s technology activities. Muhammad also provides the administrative direction to ensure that the company’s technology initiatives are in alignment with its business objectives.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to implement new training delivery platforms that will help move this company forward. We are expanding our training offerings to include online, interactive content that complements what is already the best classroom training available.”
Prior to Pragmatic, Muhammad led the IT department at a global leader in the microelectronics industry for more than 10 years.
Michael Li, President Data Sciences
Michael Li is president at Pragmatic responsible for defining and leading their data courses. Michael founded The Data Incubator in 2014 as a platform for training and placing data scientists. Previously, he worked as a data scientist (Foursquare), Wall Street quant (D.E. Shaw, J.P. Morgan), and a rocket scientist (NASA). He completed his PhD at Princeton as a Hertz fellow and read Part III Maths at Cambridge as a Marshall Scholar. At Foursquare, Michael discovered that his favorite part of the job was teaching and mentoring smart people about data science and so he built up a successful startup focused on what he really loves.
"The Data Incubator was founded on the belief that hands-on training promotes active learning and true mastery of skills. Pragmatic's approach to training adheres to the same philosophy, so the synergies were clear. I'm eager to combine TDI's amazing data science products with Pragmatic's market-driven approach and offer better training on expanded topics to even more people and companies."
Michael Anderson, VP Sales, Data Sciences
Mike Anderson has spent 10 years in senior level sales, business development, and profit and loss roles in the IT services space. A Washington DC native, Mike has worked for multiple large-market IT services companies in support of federal enterprise and Fortune 500 customers. Before joining the corporate world, Mike served as an Army officer in the 101st Airborne Division.
Prior to joining The Data Incubator team and eventually joining Pragmatic Institute, he was the VP, business development for CDI corporation and managing director of government services for Apex Systems (NYSE: ASGN).
“As the market for professional marketing and technical education expands, it is an honor to be part of such a dedicated company that is focused solely on improving their customers skills. The ability of Pragmatic’s team to provide quality training, and its ability to move with customer demand, ensures that the skills taught in our courses will be germane to working professionals for years to come.”
Patrick Smith, VP Education Services, Data Sciences
Patrick Smith has built his career helping companies, from startups to Fortune 100s, evaluate and address their talent and training needs. He has more than fifteen years' experience building strategic partnerships, scaling processes and growing teams. Patrick works directly with clients to formulate and implement full life-cycle recruitment and skills-development plans, considering each organization’s unique strengths and challenges to maximize their return on investment.
"Success in the marketplace requires a comprehensive understanding of your team's abilities and blind spots, as well as the larger landscape. As technology evolves and advances, training, developing and retaining talent is crucial, not just to stay competitive today, but to successfully grow a business long term.”
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