Vice President International, Business Relations & Digital Transformation at ARAMARK CORP
(Formerly Global Group Director Emerging Technologies & Strategic Innovation, co-founder BridgeCommunity)
Having begun my career in the music and gravitating toward computing I ultimately progressed to a global role at The Coca-Cola Company. My journey within The Coca-Cola Company included assignments in a variety of markets, including Scandinavia, Asia, Russia and the United Kingdom, with a focus on innovation, that included a Pan-European Music campaign in partnership with iTunes, which is where Tom Daly and I initially connected.
Tom quickly became a close colleague, mentor, brainstorm partner and corporate guide, helping me greatly as I navigated from the UK regional offices to Corporate HQ in Atlanta, Georgia.
While at Corporate HQ I progressed to become the Global Group Director of Emerging Technology and Strategic Innovation, within the Enterprise Architecture group, driving a number of business need-focused innovation initiatives. A key highlight was the establishment and co-founding of a Startup Accelerator program called The Bridge in Tel Aviv, Israel, and founding a community-based variant in Atlanta called BridgeCommunity, in partnership with a range of large corporates. It was through these vehicles that our paths crossed once more.
Tom was a key champion of the Bridge programs within the Marketing arena at Coca-Cola, pro-actively supporting the promotion and integration of startups within the cohorts into Coca-Cola, identifying core business needs that the programs could address, connecting the right executives to the right startups and freely sharing his own expertise to the startups in training and insight seminars. In addition, prior to the establishment of the Bridge, Tom provided strong guidance and support to a business transformation initiative that laid the groundwork for an entrepreneurial-focused, innovative working environment, which enabled the company to successfully engage with and integrate startups, sourced from the Bridge programs that followed.
In many ways Tom played the role of silent partner, a trusted resource of knowledge, a left-field thinker, uber-connector, go-to contact and valued brainstormer that helped all of us in IT drive change within the business.
Tom has a knack for elevating above the noise to ascertain the correct business challenge to focus on, as well as connecting to business leaders that would benefit the most from the innovative initiatives he is focusing on. An example of his ability to identify the core focus areas is when Bitcoin was all the rage as a financial play, Tom immediately focused on the underlying capacity of what Blockchain was capable of for the supply chain environment.
Tom is a unique hybrid of a forward-thinking, future-state visionary who understands how to be a pragmatist in getting an innovation off the PowerPoint deck and integrated in a large enterprise organization. In addition – and crucially – Tom Daly is a brilliant storyteller, understanding how to align and inspire people to move forward with an innovation.
I would happily work with and recommend Tom Daly in a heartbeat.