Bob Drane
Biography
Bob DranePartnerGrowth Catalysts

Before "retiring" in 1999, Bob Drane spent two decades at the Oscar Mayer Division of Kraft Foods, where he was Vice President - New Business Strategy and Development for fifteen years, acknowledged “father of the Lunchables business" (a brand he launched in 1989, with sales now over $750 million), and winner of the coveted Kraft Chairman’s Award for "lifetime achievement” in the area of innovation and growth. In addition to his new business responsibilities, Bob also led a wide range of corporate functions (e.g. marketing research, marketing services, strategic planning, and TQM) and worked extensively in Europe and other international markets.

Prior to Kraft, he was a Phi Beta Kappa student with BA/MA degrees in English Literature, a systems engineer for IBM, and a pioneer in marketing research and product management at The Quaker Oats Company from 1965-1979. Through-out his business career, Bob also taught a range of marketing courses in the Graduate School of Business at UW- Madison. One of these courses --"Inventing and Commercializing Breakthrough New Products" -- led to development of Bob's proprietary "Catalyst Innovation System." Since "retiring," Bob has been consulting and teaching. The firm he founded, Growth Catalysts, Inc., specializes in helping companies to identify fresh consumer insights, business strategies, and new initiatives designed to deliver profitable top-line revenue growth. Recent engagements have included: segmentation and brand positioning in the fast food industry; a turn-around plan in France for a leading brand in the dolls/toys industry; strategic planning in window fashions and collegiate athletics; development of several "major new product platforms" in foods; and "installation" of the Catalyst System for several clients wishing to strengthen their hit rates on innovation.

Bob lives in Madison, Wisconsin, where his “spare time” is filled with sports, a Civil War photography collection, travel and his family which includes his wife Susie, three children and ten grandchildren.

Quote From Bob:

"Serving on the Nielsen Center Board has been a great way for me to stay in touch with many established, and up and coming, thought leaders now practicing in the arena of marketing information and consumer insights – as well as to help educate and mentor the truly amazing students who been accepted into the premier UW program. & I believe that as firms accelerate their search for organic growth through innovation, so too they will accelerate their HR demands for Nielsen Center graduates – those trained to manage the flood of new marketing and consumer information, to simplify and integrate it, to spot fresh insights, to communicate these to team members, and to help convert them into smart business decisions."