About Us

Founded as Pragmatic Marketing in 1993, Pragmatic Institute has a strong track record of providing real-world insights, actionable best practices and proven tools to product managers and product marketing managers around the world.  

In late 2018, recognizing the power of data and the increasing need for a real understanding of data science and AI among business and product professionals, Pragmatic Marketing purchased The Data Incubator (TDI), a leading data science training organization. The two companies rebranded, and became Pragmatic Institute in 2019.

Then in 2020, Pragmatic Institute grew once again, this time acquiring the masterminds behind the leading design courses at Cooper Professional Education. Pragmatic’s goal is to create a bridge between product, design and data that will help the organizations they work with identify the right opportunities and create the most innovative solutions for their markets.

Together, Pragmatic’s design, data and product practices create a powerful professional education platform to enhance the knowledge and skills of key contributors and teams.

Leadership Team

Philip Alexander

Philip Alexander has spent more than two decades on the front lines of senior-level and international marketing. In 2000 he founded BrandMuscle Inc. in a Boston incubator. Prior to that Philip served as vice president of brand management for Pearle Vision; and as vice president of marketing and advertising for Western Auto.

“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.”

Harish Krishnamurthy

President of Pragmatic Data and The Data Incubator (TDI)
Harish Krishnamurthy is the president of Pragmatic Data and The Data Incubator (TDI). Previously, he was the president at Sciata, a company providing specialists and custom software and analytics to accelerate change within organizations. Harish has led $40 million businesses (Cloud division at Insight Enterprises and Spear Education business) and a $2 billion business (IBM Midmarket Business Unit)—driving double-digit growth while building a foundation for sustainable growth.

He brings a broad spectrum of expertise across operations and strategy, having held leadership roles across P&L, sales, marketing and strategy during his tenure at IBM, Insight Enterprises, Spear and Sciata.

Erica Sutula

Director of Product and Instructional Design
Erica is an educational product development and management leader with a record of delivering engaging and impactful experiences in the learning and development space. She has a passion for delving deeply into the problems faced by adult learners and thrives on building teams that deliver meaningful learning experiences focused on continual improvement and professional growth for all.

“I am elated to be leading the product team here at Pragmatic Institute. I have the distinct honor of ensuring our product team exemplifies the market-driven methodologies we champion. I am dedicated to delivering experiences that transform how people and organizations do business. “

Holly Phillips

Vice President, Sales
Holly is a results-driven sales leader with a proven track record in the learning and development space. She has a passion for driving revenue growth through innovative sales approaches and meaningful partnerships.

"I couldn’t be more excited to be joining the Pragmatic team. Pragmatic is such a powerful brand and has consistently defined excellence within the product management and data space. I look forward to helping grow our customer partnerships and continuing to deliver on the value Pragmatic brings to their workforces.

Matt Wilkinson

Vice President, Marketing
Matt is a seasoned marketing executive with nearly twenty years of experience driving profitable growth through effective marketing strategies and teams. Prior to Pragmatic, Matt led marketing teams at Terminix and Goodyear, as well as 10 years in key strategic and leadership roles at marketing agencies.

“I'm thrilled to lead our marketing efforts at Pragmatic Institute, where we embody the principles we teach. I am dedicated to fostering a culture of data-driven marketing excellence that lives up to the high standards our clients and partners expect from the Pragmatic brand.”

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.

“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.”

DeSIGN Team Members

Shannon McGarity

Lead Instructor
Shannon McGarity has spent more than 20 years solving clients’ design challenges in roles ranging from head of product to UX director. Prior to Pragmatic, Shannon was a director at strategic design firms Cooper and Designit—leading teams on projects, creating curriculum, coaching innovation teams and teaching service design, design leadership and more. She is also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, focusing on leadership coaching. [Photo by Corey Sipkin]

Teresa Brazen

Teresa Brazen has spent 15+ years working in the design industry as a design consultant, educator, business leader and executive coach. She’s helped teams at NASA, Rail Europe, Cisco, Clorox, Charles Schwab and more adopt human-centered ways of working and designing products and services. Prior to Pragmatic, Teresa spearheaded the global expansion of Cooper Professional Education—a leader in design and creative leadership training—to 10 countries. Her mission today is to help professionals expand their potential and increase their impact.

Lisa Pertoso

Lisa Pertoso is a learning designer, facilitator and organizational coach. The driving force behind her 20+ year career is helping leaders prepare for the future of work by developing our most important human skills: adaptability, communication, creativity, innovation, empathy and self-awareness. Lisa has educated design, tech, business and nonprofit leaders in the U.S., Asia, Australia and Europe. Her past clients include BMW Group, Brooklyn Public Library, Hyper Island, Parsons School of Design and TBWA. [Photo by Reuben Hernandez]

Product Team Members

Dan Corbin

Dan is a proven product management leader, passionate about helping companies improve their product strategy and operations. He has extensive experience as a product management instructor, mentor and coach. Over his multi-decade career, Dan has led a wide variety of product teams across various industries. “I absolutely love teaching product management best practices and there is no better platform for doing this than the Pragmatic Framework. Being a Pragmatic instructor allows me to channel my passion for helping teams build great products.”

Cindy Cruzado

Cindy Cruzado has more than 25 years of product and go-to-market experience in the high-tech software industry. She has worked with multiple industries, including higher education, meteorology, finance and CRM.

“After seeing how successful Pragmatic Institute’s lessons were for my own portfolios and teams, I wanted to share my passion for product management with others and help them do some remarkable things.”

Steve Gaylor

Steve Gaylor has been developing product management and marketing teams and growing organizations for more than 25 years. He has demonstrated success in strategic-leadership roles, providing solutions to a broad variety of industries, including electronics, consumer products, IT and financial services. He has held executive-level positions in companies including Texas Instruments, Harbinger, Peregrine Systems, Inovis and PrimeRevenue

Amy Graham

Amy Graham has more than a decade of experience in product management, development and operations. Amy has launched and managed a variety of products, including multi-million dollar software projects and mobile apps. Prior to joining Pragmatic Institute, Amy was vice president, client services and product development at TalenTrust. She previously served as director of technology solutions at Bright Horizons Family Solutions and on the leadership team at Work Options Group.

Todd Middlebrook

Todd Middlebrook has more than 20 years of experience as a leader in product management and marketing at companies ranging from startups to large technology companies, including Microsoft. He also served as product manager at IBM Tivoli Software, product line manager at Torchquest Inc. and vice president of product management at Virtual Bridges. “I jumped at the chance to become an instructor so that I could share that method and have a similar impact on the careers of my students.”

Diane Pierson

Diane Pierson has more than 20 years of experience delivering product management and marketing results in the big data/analytics, publishing and digital marketing industries. Prior to joining Pragmatic Institute, Diane led product teams at Dun & Bradstreet, LexisNexis, InfoGroup and Copyright Clearance Center. “I joined Pragmatic Institute because the principles work in the real world. I wanted to help others succeed by sharing this content with product teams still in the trenches.”

Terry Sadowski

Terry Sadowski has nearly 40 years of product experience with organizations including Quaker Oats, The Dial Corporate, AT&T, Dell, Cisco, Assurant, Wolters Kluwer, startups and more. “I’ve been an advocate of the Pragmatic approach for two decades and have implemented it multiple times. This hands-on know-how has provided me with a bounty of insights and best-practices that I share with my students as together we can learn from my experiences.”

Will Scott

Will is a seasoned executive with over 25 years of international experience leading product marketing and management teams across hardware, software, services, and SaaS B2B companies. Originally an engineer by training, Will held senior positions with Cisco, Navisite and Capgemini, along with a range of full-time and fractional CMO positions through his own B2B product management and marketing consulting business. In addition, Will was also previously a partner at the premier product marketing agency, Aventi Group, and an instructor at the Kellogg School of Management in their executive digital marketing and product strategy programs.

Clarke Smith

Clarke Smith has more than 20 years of experience in the product marketing space, having worked for such well known companies as Hallmark and Advanced Auto Parts. He also helped leverage a groundbreaking service model that utilized domestic and offshore resources to plan, execute and track cost-effective local marketing programs for clients including DirecTV, Allstate, Spring, Ameriprise and US Cellular.

Mark Stiving

Mark Stiving is a pricing expert who has more than 20 years of experience working in the semiconductor and home automation industries. Prior to joining Pragmatic Institute, Mark held positions as a pricing expert on the technical staff at National Semiconductor and most recently, as director of pricing at Maxim Integrated. He also has served as president of Home Director Inc. and Destiny Networks Inc. and as an assistant professor of marketing at The Ohio State University. Among his career highlights: Mark started two companies and sold three.

Paul Young

Paul has more than a decade of experience in hardware, software and services product management and marketing. During his career, Paul has launched and managed dozens of products, started his own business and successfully implemented the Pragmatic Framework at several companies. His focus on building market-driven teams gives him a unique ability to relate to product management teams and executives that are transforming their business.

Data Science Team Members

Don Fox

Born and raised in deep South Texas, Don studied chemical engineering at MIT and Cornell where he researched renewable energy systems. Don was attracted to data science because it is an interdisciplinary field that combines math, statistics and computer science to derive insights of processes using data. Don has worked as a model developer for GreenFire Energy. He enjoys puns, wearing ties, cardigans and everything fall.

Ana Hocevar

Ana obtained her Ph.D. in Physics before becoming a postdoctoral fellow at the Rockefeller University where she worked on developing and implementing an underwater touchscreen for dolphins. Previously, Ana worked as a doctoral research at Jozef Stefan Institute and a teaching assistant at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia. Now she combines her love for coding and teaching as a data scientist. She spends her free time doing pottery, sometimes climbing and every now and then scuba diving.

Russell Martin

Russ was born in TN, grew up in NY, and got his Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Georgia Tech. After that, he lived and worked for seventeen years in the United Kingdom, including Warwick University and the University of Liverpool, where he was a lecturer. In his spare time, Russ reads all sorts of science-y things he probably doesn’t really understand and plays board games.

Richard Ott

Rich moved from particle physics to data science when he left academia, and is excited to be joining his interests in data and programming with his love of teaching. Previously, he worked as the lead systems consultant for Verizon. He was a postdoctoral researcher at UC Davis, and a research and teaching assistant at MIT. In his spare time, he’s a fan of science, speculative fiction, board games and hiking.

Robert Schroll

Robert studied squishy physics in Chicago, Amherst and Santiago, Chile, before uniting his loves of computers, teaching and making pretty graphs at The Data Incubator and Pragmatic Institute. In his free time, he plays tuba and right field, usually not simultaneously.

Brian Spierling

Brian studied psychology and neuroscience at the University of California, Santa Barbara where he became fascinated with coding statistical software and data infrastructure. He then transitioned into tech, focusing on data engineering, natural language processing (NLP), and teaching. In his spare time, he enjoys camping, rock climbing, and playing guitar.

Marilyn Coleman

Marilyn has over 15 years of experience in data analysis and business analytics. Prior to joining Pragmatic Institute, she led the implementation of operational self-serve business intelligence at Educational Testing Service. She has a passion for empowering others to use data to organize and simplify what appears to be chaotic and complex. Marilyn earned a BS in Electrical Engineering, a BA in Spanish, an MBA in Analytics and Information Management from Rutgers University, and an MS in Professional and Technical Communication from NJIT.

And The Team That Makes It All Happen

Philip Alexander


Philip Alexander


Philip Alexander


Philip Alexander


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