Who are we?

Model Meetings is about generating business value. We bring business and technology expertise from roles spanning startups to Fortune 500 companies. Our team members have successfully delivered enterprise strategic projects through cross functional teams at global companies, and held senior roles in a broad range of functions including finance, strategy, IT, operations, marketing, engineering, R&D and management. Members have developed new curricula, taught university level business courses, and conducted executive level training. We have held senior positions in multiple technology startups including board positions and roles involving strategy, software development, data science, machine learning, cloud, and data visualizations. We have built expertise in corporate culture, communication, facilitation, organizational behavior, and interviewing/surveying to generate recommendations for senior leaders. This wealth of experience provides the foundation and support for the Model Meetings framework.
Why did we tackle meetings?

Leaders across industries have ambitious future-facing goals – to become more customer focused, agile, inclusive, innovative, data-driven, and iterative in real time. We know from working with clients that achieving this is daunting. Where do we start? Meetings are the biggest obstacles to success, the biggest contributor to stress and the number one reason why those ambitious goals remain unrealized.

James Jorasch, Founder and CEO

Inventor, investor, entrepreneur – believes creativity is everywhere.

James is a named inventor on more than 750 U.S. issued patents focused on the intersection of people and technology. His patents are currently owned or licensed by companies such as eBay, Priceline, Facebook, Groupon and Zynga. James is a frequent speaker at conferences and has appeared on CNN, in The Atlantic Monthly and Forbes. Psychology Today’s profile of James called him the “Father of Invention.” James was head of inventing at Walker Digital where he helped incubate a number of businesses over a 15 year period, including Priceline.com. Before joining Walker Digital, James was a management consultant with Deloitte & Touche. He earned a B.S. and M.B.A. degree from Cornell University. He is a chess expert, memory competitor and improv comedy teacher.

Rita J. King, Co-Founder and EVP Business Development

Futurist, advisor, enabling teams to achieve bold visions with less stress.

Rita works with senior leaders and their organizations to help them think clearly about what they are trying to accomplish, and how. She has served as Innovator-in-Residence at IBM and futurist at NASA Langley’s think-tank. Rita is a futurist at the Science and Entertainment Exchange of the National Academy of Sciences, inventing novel technologies, characters and story architecture for film and TV. Features by her or about her work have appeared globally, from The New York Times to CNN, TIME, Fast Company, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inc., Entrepreneur, The Design Observer, the BBC, Le Figaro and many more. She is a LinkedIn Influencer. Rita is the creator of the Imagination Age (featured here in Forbes), a way to navigate between the Industrial Era, which is fading, but not gone, and the Intelligence Era, which is coming, but not here. She is a writer and jewelry designer.

Geoff Gelman, Chief Data Scientist

Technology, data, visualization

Geoffrey Gelman is an accomplished inventor and business innovator with 300 patents on various business innovations. He co-founded software companies in the fields of education and digital signs/billboards, serving in multiple management roles for eight years. A licensed patent agent, Geoff was also VP of Intellectual Asset Management at Cantor Fitzgerald, where he managed a significant intellectual property portfolio. Geoff is a chess master with a distinguished playing career, including winning the National Junior High School Championship, the Connecticut State Championship, and sharing first place in the United States Amateur Team East Championship. Geoff has also taught chess summer camps and coached individual students. His interests include data analytics and artificial intelligence. He was most recently a data scientist at Talkspace, a healthcare technology company, where he created and oversaw company-wide performance metrics. Geoff holds a B.S. and M.Eng. from MIT, and an M.B.A. from Harvard.

Mike Werner, VP Meeting Design and Experience

Expert at the intersection of revolutionizing business and IT

Mike applies his 30 years of transportation industry experience at FedEx to lead, innovate and develop solutions for complex business/IT problems. Over the years, Mike has been consistently recognized for his IT leadership and delivery on many key strategic initiatives that revolutionized the shipping industry. He earned four 5 Star Awards, given to only the top FedEx employees for their delivery of key initiatives and leadership. With a unique sense of team dynamics and heartfelt commitment to people, Mike motivates teams to deliver and perform above what they think is possible. He earned a B.S. in Chemistry and M.S. in Industrial Administration from Purdue University. When he is not working, he enjoys spending quality time with his spouse, two adult sons and friends, running, traveling and a great beach sunset.

Gene Rendino, VP Business Strategist and Meeting Architect

Combining successful business experience and impactful education

Gene is a tenure-track member of the faculty of the University of Hawai’i system, at Kaua’i Community College. Prior to moving to Hawai’i, he was a tenured Associate Professor of Business Administration at Elmira College where he taught for seven years. He has taught a wide range of classes in management, marketing, entrepreneurship, operations, strategy, finance, organizational behavior, and mathematics, including several new courses he has developed.

Before he entered academia, Gene’s professional career spanned more than a decade in senior engineering and operations positions in the plastics industry, and then more than a decade in senior finance, marketing, and strategy positions in the glass and ceramics industry. Some highlights of his career include serving as Vice President of Engineering and Quality with Mullinix Packages, Inc., and Product Line Manager for Gorilla® Glass® Parts with Corning, Inc., where he drove record growth, revenue, and profitability for the global business. A competitive powerlifter and weightlifter, Gene is also credited with four granted and several pending patents. He has appeared as a contributing expert to WalletHub, CreditDonkey, and MoneyGeek. He earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering with a double major in Philosophy, and an MBA in Finance and General Management, both from Cornell University.